GWR 4930 Hagley Hall
|GWRGreat Western Railway 4930 Hagley Hall|
4930 Hagley Hall on relaunch day, 9 September 2022
|Built By||GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon Works|
|Power class||GWRGreat Western Railway: D, BRBritish Rail or British Railways: 5MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic.|
|Axle load class||GWRGreat Western Railway: Red|
|Designed By||Charles CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941|
|Type||GWRGreat Western Railway 4900|
|1972||Purchased by SVRSevern Valley Railway(H)|
|1973||Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway|
|1979||First steamed in preservation|
|Tractive effort||27,275 lb|
|Pressure||225 lb/sq in|
4930 Hagley Hall is a GWRGreat Western Railway CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 4900 Hall Class locomotive. The Hall was a mixed traffic locomotive, serving a similar role on the GWRGreat Western Railway to that carried out by the StanierWilliam Stanier, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1932-1944 ‘Black 5’ on the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway. StanierWilliam Stanier, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1932-1944 worked for the GWRGreat Western Railway before moving to the LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway, and the Black 5 drew on many of the Hall's design features. Like the Black 5, the Hall was rated 5MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic. by BRBritish Rail or British Railways post-nationalisation, although its wide cylinders meant it was mainly restricted to ex-GWRGreat Western Railway routes.
A total of 258 'CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941' Halls were built between 1928 and 1943. 11 were preserved, although one (4942 Maindy Hall) has since been converted into the 'Saint' 2999 Lady of Legend. 4930 Hagley Hall is the second oldest surviving example and as of 2022[update], the oldest in steam. 4930's sister locomotive 4936 Kinlet Hall has visited the SVRSevern Valley Railway on several occasions.
CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941's successor Frederick HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 produced a modified version of the design, of which a further 71 were built by the GWRGreat Western Railway and BRBritish Rail or British Railways up to 1950. The 6959 'Modified Hall' Class included a new 'straight-sided' tender (later also re-fitted to some early CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 Halls). Seven Modified Halls were preserved, including former SVRSevern Valley Railway resident 6960 Raveningham Hall, although one (7927 Willington Hall) is being used as the donor for the 'Grange' and 'County' re-creation projects.
4930 Hagley Hall in service
4930 was built in May 1929 at the GWRGreat Western Railway’s Swindon Works as part of Lot 254, at a total cost of £5,151 including the GWRGreat Western Railway's newly introduced ATCAutomatic Train Control, a form of limited cab signalling developed by the GWR in 1906, superseded by BR's Automatic Warning System gear. It entered service at the Wolverhampton Stafford Road Depot. As well as Wolverhampton’s Stafford Road and Oxley depots, other pre-War shed allocations included Chester, Tyseley and Leamington as well as brief periods in the south west.
In 1948, 4930 was shedded at Tyseley, but the remainder of her post-War service was mainly spent in the south west, with allocations to Bristol St Phillips Marsh, Weymouth (August 1950), Bristol Bath Road, Westbury, Taunton (March 1959) and Exeter. Final allocations were to London’s Old Oak Common and Swindon.
GWRGreat Western Railway records show that 4930 received a new boiler, no C.8227, at Swindon during its final heavy general repair at Swindon on 13 April 1961 at 1,217,568 miles.
4930 was photographed on 1 June 1963 at the head of a parcels train approaching Hereford. Later that month, Adrian Vaughan’s biography ‘Signalman’s Twilight’ recounts that on 29 June 1963 4930 was the only spare locomotive available to replace a Western class diesel which failed near Swindon when working a Milford Haven to Paddington express. Supposedly restricted to working low class goods services due to her run-down condition, Hagley Hall was nevertheless timed at 82mph passing Didcot and covered the 53 miles from Didcot to Paddington in 45 minutes. Following this swansong, 4930 was withdrawn from service by BRBritish Rail or British Railways on 2 December 1963 after a working life of 1,295,236 miles, an average of about 100 miles per day over the locomotive's working life.
The locomotive was acquired by Woodham Brothers scrap yard on 30 April 1964 and delivered to BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. in May of that year. Viscount Cobham obtained one of the original 'Hagley Hall' nameplates from Lord Beeching, which he lent to the Richard Dunn to have copies cast in preparation for the locomotive's recovery from BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. and subsequent restoration.
4930 Hagley Hall in preservation
Arrival at the SVRSevern Valley Railway
SVRSevern Valley Railway policy in the earliest years of preservation was that locomotives should be acquired by individuals or groups rather than the railway itself. However following the incorporation of SVR(H) in March 1972 at the instigation of Sir Gerald Nabarro, SVRSevern Valley Railway News announced in summer 1972 that the company was in the course of acquiring 4930 Hagley Hall from BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation.. The indicative cost including purchase and restoration was given as £4,000. A preserved HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 4,000 gallon tender, no 2740, had already been acquired from Swindon for use with the locomotive. At the time the deal was the subject of a disagreement between Nabarro and Richard Dunn who had suggested it should be a private purchase, and was also badly received by the railway's volunteers; not least because the locomotive was seen as a vanity purchase being too heavy to run on the SVRSevern Valley Railway at that time.[note 1]
Having been bought by SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) in June 1972, 4930 became the 29th locomotive to leave BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation., moved from there to Bewdley Down Yard by rail, and arriving on 6 January 1973 in a convoy which also included 4141, 5164, and 7819 Hinton Manor. A six-year restoration began, initially at Bewdley. The boiler had been lifted by autumn 1972, and was moved during the 'big lift' of five boilers on 3 May 1976. Around that time the SVRSevern Valley Railway Board confirmed that funds would be made available to complete the restoration, and in autumn 1977 a committee of five members was set up to monitor the expenditure.
In winter 1977 4930 moved to Bridgnorth Loco Works where the restoration would be completed. After that time much of the restoration was carried out by the late Ray Tranter; his work and that of Dave Reynolds on 46521 being described by Chief Engineer Alun Rees as "The nearest which the Locomotive Department has come to one-man projects". By spring 1979 the mechanical work was complete with the locomotive awaiting completion of the boiler.
First boiler ticket
During summer 1979, attention switched to restoration of the HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 tender, with 4930's main line debut provisionally scheduled for September 1979. Restoration was completed in August 1979 when test running was undertaken. A month later 4930 fully entered service and on 22 September 1979 made her main line debut, working double-headed with fellow SVRSevern Valley Railway locomotive LMSLondon Midland & Scottish Railway 5000 from Hereford to Chester and return with the SVRA “The Inter-City” charter.
4930 was due to attend Rocket 150 at Rainhill in 1980, but two weeks before the event was determined to be out of gauge for the platforms at Rainhill and Earlestown, with Didcot's 5051 Drysllwyn Castle (a.k.a. Earl Bathurst) attending instead. However the locomotive made a number of other main line appearances in the next few years as listed below.
In late 1983 Brian Thomas, then owner of HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 Modified Hall 6960 Raveningham Hall, agreed to a temporary tender swap for filming purposes. 4930 was fitted with 6960's CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 'step-sided' tender, appropriate for an original Hall, while 6960 was fitted with 4930's straight-sided HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 tender. The following year, 4930 hauled the official reopening train for Kidderminster Town Station on 30 July 1984. Shortly after the opening day 4930 suffered several burst 'small tubes', which were replaced in time for a return to traffic just before the autumn 'Enthusiasts' Weekend'.
4930 made a number of other mainline appearances. Most notably, 7819 Hinton Manor and 6000 King George V were due to complete a two-day return trip to Plymouth and back as part of the GWRGreat Western Railway 150 celebrations in April 1985. The King failed with a 'hot box' during the first day. 4930 made a light engine move overnight from Bridgnorth to Plymouth, joining 7819 for a storming double-headed run back over the South Devon banks the following day.[note 2]
A full list of 4930's main line appearances is as follows:
|Date||Tour name||Route||Notes||Web||SVRSevern Valley Railway News|
|22 Sep 1979||Inter-City||Hereford - Chester - Hereford||D/H with 45000. 4930 first main line run||SBJ||53-12|
|04 Oct 1980||Deeside Venturer||Newport - Hereford - Newport||SBJ||56-12|
|14 Feb 1981||Welsh Marches Express||Hereford - Newport - Hereford||SBJ||60-30|
|14 Mar 1981||Welsh Marches Express||Hereford - Newport - Hereford||SBJ||59-24|
|?? Oct 1981||Welsh Marches Pullman||4930 worked 2 tours in October 1981 (SVRSevern Valley Railway News)||63-10|
|17 Oct 1981||Welsh Marches Pullman||Shrewsbury - Hereford||Locoperf||63-10|
|20 Mar 1982||Welsh Marches Express||Hereford - Newport - Hereford||D/H with 45000||SBJ|
|17 Apr 1982||Welsh Marches Express||Hereford - Newport - Hereford||D/H with 7812 Erlestoke Manor||64-28|
|24 Apr 1982||Welsh Marches Pullman||Shrewsbury - Hereford||D/H with 7812 Erlestoke Manor||SBJ||64-29|
|19 Feb 1983||Welsh Marches Pullman||Hereford - Newport - Hereford||SBJ||67-30|
|26 Feb 1983||Welsh Marches Pullman||Shrewsbury - Hereford||SBJ||68-31|
|22 Jan 1985||Post Office special||B'ham Moor St-Stratford-Leamington Spa-B'ham Moor St||PO charter celebrating 150th anniversary of post by rail||76-21|
|02 Feb 1985||Red Dragon||Newport - Swindon - Gloucester||SBJ||76-37|
|08 Apr 1985||Great Western Limited||Plymouth - Bristol Temple Meads||D/H with 7819 after working L/E from SVRSevern Valley Railway overnight||SBJ||76-12|
|25 Jun 1985||GW150 Exhibition Train||Highley-Hereford||D/H with 6960 Raveningham Hall||77-26|
|06 Jul 1985||Western Stalwart||Kidderminster - Cardiff Central - Hereford||DH with 7029 Clun Castle||SBJ||77-40|
|07 Jul 1985||Great Western Limited||Bristol Temple Meads - Totnes (terminated)||DH with 5051 Drysllwyn Castle||SBJ||77-13|
|13 Aug 1985||GW150 Celebrations Excursions||Swindon Gloucester - Swindon||SBJ|
|30 Dec 1985||Santa Special||Kidderminster - Hereford - Kidderminster||D/H with 3440 City of Truro||SBJ||79-12|
|22 Mar 1986||Tiddly Dyke Tour(s)||Andover - Ludgershall (5 x return)||SBJ||80-4|
|23 Mar 1986||Sunday Steam Specials||Andover - Ludgershall (6 x return)||4930 last main line appearance. £600 of tickets at £4.60 were also sold for the Sunday night ECSEmpty Coaching Stock working to Bristol (alight at Salisbury).||80-4|
4930's last main line duty was two days of Andover – Ludgershall steam specials in March 1986. No further trips were envisaged as the seven-year main line boiler ticket was due to expire later that year. A further three years of home use might have been expected, but 4930 was withdrawn from service in October 1986 following the extensive failure of a number of steel stays on the firebox doorplate.
4930 did not steam between 1986 and 2022, the longest period any current locomotive has spent ‘out of ticket’ after working at the SVRSevern Valley Railway. The intervening years were initially spent in store in the headshunt at Bridgnorth, with little activity on the locomotive taking place. In late 1996 Raveningham Hall acquired new owners and left the railway, ending the 'temporary' tender swap and resulting in Hagley Hall being reunited with its incorrect HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 tender.
In early 1999 the Swindon Steam Museum contacted the SVRSevern Valley Railway to ask if 4930 could be placed on loan as a static exhibit at the Designer Shopping Complex (sited on the former GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon Works), taking the place of former SVRSevern Valley Railway Resident City of Truro which was returning to the National Railway Museum. In April 1999 the SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) Board agreed and a cosmetic restoration began at Bridgnorth. This began with steam cleaning the lower works and reinstalling a number of fittings which had been removed for storage. The locomotive was also repainted in GWRGreat Western Railway HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948-era livery as appropriate for its tender. The work was completed on 20 May 1999, with 4930 moving by rail to Kidderminster and then by road to Swindon, arriving on 25 May 1999. The loan was then expected to be for 'at least two years'.
The move to Swindon stimulated interest among the working members for an eventual return to steam. Being company-owned, 4930 had no separate owning organisation to provide stimulus and support for this. A "Hagley Hall Restoration Group" was therefore established, with the approval of SVRSevern Valley Railway(H) and the support of the SVRA, and intended to be made up principally of the younger generation of working members. The first open meeting was held on 25 July 1999, just two months after 4930's move to Swindon. The group quickly morphed into the Friends of 4930 Hagley Hall and began fund raising.
At the end of 2005 the SVRSevern Valley Railway received the necessary funding to enable the construction of the new Engine House at Highley to take place, with 4930 intended to be 'the prime exhibit'. With construction almost complete, 4930 left Swindon on 7 June 2007, spending a day en route at the real Hagley Hall courtesy of Lord and Lady Cobham, probably the only time a Hall class locomotive has visited the hall after which it was named. However the freak storm damage on 19 June meant 4930's move into the Engine House was delayed until March 2008, where the locomotive would spend the next five years.
Overhaul and second boiler ticket
An SVR(H) share offer in 2012 sought to raise £4m for a various projects including the Bridgnorth Station Development and the overhaul of Hagley Hall. The 'futuristic' design of the former proposal was not well received, with only £2m being raised by the close of the offer in 2013. Nevertheless, 4930’s long-awaited overhaul began with a move to Bridgnorth on 6 October 2013. Two days later 4930 was again paired with the correct CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 style tender after a permanent exchange of tenders was agreed with the custodians of 6990 Witherslack Hall. The CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 tender, which was described in SVRSevern Valley Railway News as "…in similar poor condition to the HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 one" was moved into the Bridgnorth Works where the Friends of Hagley Hall and other volunteers could begin dismantling it. The tender tank was considered beyond repair and quotes were obtained for constructing a new one. The contractors Adam Dalgleish Engineering completed the new tender tank in July 2015, retaining it in storage until needed by the SVRSevern Valley Railway.
During 2014 the Charitable Trust secured a £95,000 grant from the The National Heritage Fund towards the overhaul of 4930, which would be used to fund the cost of apprentices working on the loco as part of their training. The tender tank was removed using the 30-ton steam crane, and the tender wheelsets were sent to South Devon Railway for new tyres to be fitted. Work on the tender chassis then started, by a combination of the paid staff and Friends' junior members.
During 2015 work was again mainly focussed on the tender chassis. By spring, fabrication of a new tender tank was under way at Adam Dalgleish Engineering and the wheelsets were returned. By the end of the year the locomotive's boiler has been removed, mostly by volunteer labour, to allow volunteer work to begin on the boiler, and also to allow a more detailed examination of the severely-corroded exhaust passages.
2016 again saw much of the work on the tender chassis. On the locomotive, stripping the main cylinder block revealed a number of areas which had suffered severe corrosion. Later that year the insurance test for the 30-ton steam crane was used as an opportunity to remove the cylinder block to allow it to be split and examined more closely. The new tender tank was delivered to the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 24 October 2016.
By early 2017 the cylinder block was found to have been previously patched, and was considered beyond repair. The decision was therefore taken that a new cylinder block would be required. Stafford Road Design Ltd were appointed to design the polystyrene patterns using for casting replacement cylinder. The casting by Shakespeare Foundry in Preston, Lancashire would be the first cylinders to be cast for a Hall in more than 50 years. Work in earnest on the locomotive overhaul was expected to begin by the end of the year. In March 2017 the Friends, in partnership with Severn Valley Engineering Services, formulated a detailed programme for completion of the overhaul. This "2020 Vision" envisaged a return to steam in 2020.
In early 2018 lack of available space in the SVRSevern Valley Railway's boiler shop resulted in a decision to sub-contract out the boiler overhaul.[note 3] On 9 April 2018 the boiler departed for Northern Steam Engineering Ltd. at Stockton, for overhaul.. The driving wheels were also sent to the South Devon Railway in 2018 for fitting of new tyres.
By the start of 2019, the tender had become a fully wheeled chassis, with the new tank being fitted in March. The locomotive frames had been fitted onto new stands which had been sourced to avoid extended use of the works' jacks and to ensure the new cylinders could be fitted without movement in the frames. A number of further issued had been encountered including a cracked boiler crown, cracked expansion slides on the boiler sides, and a cracked vacuum cylinder on the tender. The new cylinder blocks had been machined by Harco Engineering and were returned to Bridgnorth on 14 June 2019 where they were trial fitted. A new drag box was designed, manufactured and fitted over a period of around three months.
By Q3 of 2019 the plan for 4930 was for the boiler to be completed and returned to Bridgnorth in Q4 of 2019, the loco to be re-wheeled in the first half of 2020, followed by boiler installation and completion of the final fitting out leading to a steaming date in the latter part of 2020.. Unfortunately 2020 progress was significantly affected by the 2020 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which meant for some months no work could carried out, or work only carried out by small numbers of paid staff. The boiler was eventually returned from Northern Steam Engineering just before Christmas 2020.
In spring 2021 the frames were moved onto the works' jacks and raised so that the locomotive could be re-wheeled. The boiler was steam tested on 15 September and trial fitted into the frames in October. On 8 December the lagged and almost fully clad boiler was refitted to the frames and the locomotive moved back from the boiler shop to the works for fitting out and painting. The plan had been to have the locomotive complete before the 3-month closure of the works for fitting a new roof. In the end this was not quite possible, with the last stages being completed in the MPDMotive Power Depot yard.
The locomotive moved in steam for the first time within the MPDMotive Power Depot yard on 11 May 2022. On 22 June 2022 the locomotive was signed off to begin line testing, beginning with a run to Hampton Loade paired with visiting locomotive 2999 Lady of Legend and returning solo. Further light engine and loaded test runs took place in July and August, with the locomotive painting also being completed in GWRGreat Western Railway lined green with small GWRGreat Western Railway logo on the tender.
The relaunch of 4930 Hagley Hall took place on Friday 9 September 2022, with around 200 invited guests attending a dedication ceremony at Kidderminster and travelling on two return trips to Bridgnorth, the first official passenger carrying journeys by the locomotive since October 1986.
Ownership and support
4930 is owned by SVRSevern Valley Railway(H), but has its own support group, the Friends of Hagley Hall. By September 2016 the Friends had raised over £110,000 towards the overhaul. In addition, thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant in February 2014 of £95,000 to the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust Ltd, apprentices from the Heritage Skills Training Academy playing an active part in this work. In all the Charitable Trust was the conduit for nearly £800,000 of funds for the second overhaul.
Mileage recorded during the first boiler ticket was as follows:
Following the GWRGreat Western Railway's policy of naming locomotives after locations near its lines, 4930 is named after the country house of Hagley Hall, located five miles from Kidderminster. Whilst being transported by road from the Designer Shopping Complex in Swindon back to the Engine House at Highley in June 2007, the locomotive briefly visited the estate. The country house is the home of Viscount Cobham, and in 2012 the 12th Viscount Cobham accepted an invitation to become patron of the Friends of Hagley Hall. In March 2013, one of the original nameplates off the locomotive was permanently loaned for display in the Engine House by Viscount Cobham.
- Two other 'overweight' locomotives had also arrived around that time. Viscount Garnock's 3442 The Great Marquess had been described as being capable or running on the railway, although it clearly was not, while 70000 Britannia was not allowed to cross Victoria Bridge with a full boiler.
- 7819 had also failed with a hot box on the first day, the excursion being completed with diesel haulage. Fortunately spare parts were available and 7819 was repaired at Exeter with tools borrowed from BRBritish Rail or British Railways, before also moving light engine to Plymouth.
- Boilers for the 42968, 82045 and 4150 were all in progress. 4930's boiler was selected for sub-contracting because as a company loco, no negotiation with an owning group was needed. Also Heritage Lottery money and fundraising support from the Friends was available.
- Photo in SVRSevern Valley Railway News 36
- Signalman’s Twilight, Adrian Vaughan, Chapter 12
- BR database. Stephenson Loco Society records have November 1963 (Retrieved 18 November 2019)
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 43, "Viscount Cobham", Obituary by R.H. Dunn
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 24
- Marshall (1989) p. 181.
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 29
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 40
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 45, General Manager's Notes
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 46
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 51
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 53
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 56
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 70
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 76
- Steam Railway Magazine No 74
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 80
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 83
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 130
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 190, 207
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 152, 156
- Friends of 4930 Hagley Hall - The Journey Home
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 184
- Friends of Hagley Hall News page
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 185, 186, 187, 188
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 189, 190, 191, 192
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 193, 194, 195, 196
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 197
- Friends of Hagley Hall News update 7 March 2017 '4930 Our 2020 VISION'
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 203
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 205
- Railway Magazine, July 2019, p.72
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 207
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 213
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 214
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 216, 218
- Branch Lines May 2022
- Autumn Steam Gala 2022 Souvenir Programme
- Friends of Hagley Hall web site
- Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust website (Retrieved 15 February 2017)
- Charitable Trust accounts to 30 June 2021, p. 6,
- Friends of 4930 Hagley Hall - News (November 2012)
- Friends of 4930 Hagley Hall - News (March 2013)