By John Horton with photos by Jamie Horton
A steam Loco arrived at the Locomotive Storage site – formerly part of the Hornby building – last night (September 7), having travelled from the Severn Valley Railway.
The loco had been taken out of regular service due to its boiler certificate having expired. These have to be renewed every 10 years, usually being re-certificated after overhaul.
The loco is a Great Western Railway “Hall Class”, named “Raveningham Hall”, number 6860, originally built at the former GWR Works at Swindon, Wiltshire in 1944. The original ‘Hall’ 4900 Class locos were designed by Charles Collett. Frederick Hawksworth was responsible for the later ‘Modified Hall’ 6959 Class design, including Raveningham Hall. One of only 6 of this class now in preservation, it was first allocated to Old Oak Common Shed in London, transferring to Reading Depot in 1953. It was removed from regular service in 1963 at its last shed, Oxford, and despatched to the “Locomotive Graveyard” of South Wales, at Woodham Brothers Ltd, Barry Island.
Saved for preservation, it left the scrap yard in 1972, and was the 26th Loco saved from the cutters torch.
Having been based for many years at the Severn Valley Railway, it left in 1996, being sold to Jeremy Hosking -Locomotive Storage owner – and spent a while at the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway before going to The West Somerset Railway.
However, new weight restrictions meant the loco was too heavy for the West Somerset so in 2019 it moved back to the Severn Valley and swapped with a “Manor Class” loco – 7802 “Bradley Manor.”
The boiler certificate expired in July this year and it has now been given a temporary new home at the 1:1 site in Margate, although it is expected to only be there for a short while before heading off again for a full overhaul.