GWR 7819 Hinton Manor

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GWRGreat Western Railway 7819 Hinton Manor
7819 20180825.jpg
7819 Hinton Manor at Kidderminster, August 2018
Built By GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon Works
Configuration 4-6-0
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: Blue
Status Awaiting overhaul
Loco Number 7819
History
Built 1938
Designed By Charles Benjamin CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941
Type GWRGreat Western Railway 7800
1973 Purchased by The Hinton Manor Fund
1977 First steamed in preservation
1995 Withdrawn for overhaul
Technical
Length 61ft 9¼"
Weight 68t 18cwt
Tractive effort 27,340 lb
Pressure 225 lb/sq in

Steam Locomotives

7819 Hinton Manor on display in Swindon in 2011

7819 Hinton Manor is one of three GWRGreat Western Railway CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 7800 Manor class 4-6-0 mixed traffic locomotives based at the SVRSevern Valley Railway, the others being 7802 Bradley Manor and 7812 Erlestoke Manor.

The Manor Class was designed as a lighter version of the GWRGreat Western Railway Grange Class, giving a wider Route Availability. They were one of the classes of locomotives used on the Severn Valley Branch in commercial service, although mainly for freight as by the time they were introduced, passenger services mostly used tank engines and diesel railcars. Hinton Manor was the last of the first batch of 20 Manors which were built between 1938 and 1939 and incorporated parts from old GWRGreat Western Railway 4300 Class moguls. BRBritish Rail or British Railways built a further 10 in 1950 and rated the class 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..

7819 Hinton Manor in service

7819 was named after the manor house at Hinton Waldrist near Oxford. Built in 1939, 7819 began life at Carmarthen, moving to Oswestry in July 1943. Apart from periodic transfers to Whitchurch, this remained 7819’s principal home for the next 20 years.

In March 1963 7819 moved to Machynlleth. The following month 7819 took part in a Ffestiniog Railway Society rail tour on 20-21 April, working sections between Ruabon, Minffordd and Shrewsbury.[1] 7819 regularly headed the ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ from Shrewsbury and on 10 August 1963 double-headed the Royal Train with 7822 for HM The Queen's visit to Pwllheli.

7819 moved to Shrewsbury in January 1965, before being withdrawn by BRBritish Rail or British Railways at the end of the same year.

7819 Hinton Manor in preservation

7819 was purchased from Barry Scrapyard by the Hinton Manor Fund (of which the SVR Wolverhampton Branch was the major shareholder), with SVRSevern Valley Railway Company help. The locomotive arrived at the SVRSevern Valley Railway in a convoy from Barry Scrapyard on 6 January 1973 which also brought 4930 Hagley Hall, 5164 and 4141.

Restoration and first boiler ticket

A small team led by Ray Tranter carried out the restoration at Bewdley. After lifting from the frames, the boiler had three quarters of the tubes replaced and two firebox stays changed, while the smokebox fittings were renovated, including repairs to the blower ring, regulator box and superheater header. The frames were jacked up to release the driving-wheels and bogie. One axlebox required re-metalling and re-profiling. The bogie was completely stripped down and repairs to one axlebox carried out. The boiler and frames were reunited on 3rd May 1976.[2].

In spring 1977 a raffle organised by the SVRA Wolverhampton Branch was held to raise funds to buy fittings and restore the tender.[3]. The first steam test, a return trip to Bridgnorth in June 1977, revealed that the valve chests were not parallel. Both valve chests were re-bored with equipment borrowed from the Dart Valley Railway and the Standard Gauge Steam Trust. After a further steam test on 7 September 1977 acting as pilot to 47383 on a service train, restoration was completed (albeit with cab fittings borrowed from 1501 and the tender from 3205 when Hinton Manor made her debut in traffic at the Autumn enthusiasts' weekend.

Hinton Manor performed regularly during 1978 and 1979, topping the mileage charts during the latter year. On 5 May 1979 the SVRSevern Valley Railway hosted its first ever incoming BRBritish Rail or British Railways rail excursion, a Monmouthshire Railway Society tour from Cardiff, for which 7819 took the 10 BRBritish Rail or British Railways Mk1 coaches forward from Bewdley to Bridgnorth.[4]

7819 took part in the filming of the "Fire on the Line", the third part of the God's Wonderful Railway trilogy first broadcast in March 1980.

Over the winter of 1979-80 the restoration of Hinton Manor's own tender and cab fittings was completed. The locomotive was also repainted in HawksworthFrederick Hawksworth, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1941-1948 style GWRGreat Western Railway green lined livery at the request of the organisers of an international steam festival at Dusseldorf (subsequently cancelled).[5] Service continued through 1980, but in June 1981 7819 burst a small boiler tube. Examination revealed other burst and weak tubes, surprisingly mostly those replaced during restoration and not the remaining ex-BRBritish Rail or British Railways ones. Hinton Manor was withdrawn from traffic and joined the queue of locomotives awaiting major overhaul.

Overhaul and second boiler ticket

By spring 1984 it had been decided that Hinton Manor would take part in the following year's GWRGreat Western Railway 150 celebrations, starting with an excursion double-headed with 6000 King George V from Bristol to Plymouth on Easter Sunday 7 April and the return leg on the Bank Holiday Monday. The overhaul now had a tight timetable and was once again led by Ray Tranter. Dismantling began in earnest, with the boiler lift taking place on 27 August. The boiler was completely re-tubed, and all the side stays and two crown stays in the firebox renewed. Other firebox repairs included some copper inserts and attention to the throat plate. In the meantime the frames were stripped down to component parts. All the axle boxes received new crown bushes and were metalled and machined. The motion and brake gear were completely overhauled. New valves were fitted and new pistons after the cylinders had been re-bored. On 23 February 1985 the boiler was lifted back onto the frames. The successful steam test took place on 8 March with Hinton Manor piloting 6960 Raveningham Hall. The overhaul had broken two records for the Railway, the fastest overhaul ever carried out (taking only nine months) and the quickest steaming of an overhauled locomotive after the boiler was replaced in the frames (twelve days).[2] It was during this overhaul that 7819 was christened "Trant's Babby" by the MPDMotive Power Depot staff, because of the care and attention that he lavished upon her.[6]

After final painting (in BRBritish Rail or British Railways black lined livery, with early crest and red backed name and number plates) and test running, Hinton Manor left Bridgnorth for Hereford on Saturday 6 April 1985 to join up with the King and continue to Bristol. On the way there a hot box was found on the tender, so on arrival at Hereford a call was made and a tender axle box bearing was removed from 3205 (not in traffic at that time) and rushed to Hereford by road. Attempts to remove the faulty bearing ran out of time so the replacement bearing and tools were thrown in the support coach. Both locomotives then continued to Bristol for the overnight stop, where the troublesome box now appeared to be running satisfactorily. During the following day's run from Bristol to Plymouth the King suffered a similar hot box and was failed at Taunton. 7819 continued over the Devon banks banked by two class 37s but suffered another hot tender axle box and was failed in turn at Exeter. While there, the announcement was made that 4930 Hagley Hall was being dispatched from the SVRSevern Valley Railway to travel overnight to Plymouth to provide some steam haulage on the return leg. Ray Tranter and others then decided to try to install the spare bearing in the yard at Exeter so Hinton Manor could also participate. The job was completed with the aid of hydraulic jacks brought up from Plymouth, allowing Hinton Manor and support coach 6913 to leave for Plymouth late on Sunday night where they were joined by Hagley Hall at around 4:00am. On the Bank Holiday Monday return, the SVRSevern Valley Railway locos successfully climbed the South Devon Banks with their 485 ton train and reached Bristol nine minutes ahead of time.[6]

After restoration in 1979, 7819 was a prolific performer in the years that followed both on the SVRSevern Valley Railway and the main line. The latter included the GW150 celebrations in 1985, when 7819 travelled to Plymouth, Swindon, Avonmouth and Newport, and also the 1987 Cambrian Cardigan Bay Express special service steam services between Machynlleth and Pwllheli where 7819 became the first steam locomotive in more than 20 years to haul a passenger service on this section of the Cambrian Coast Line. A full list of main line appearances is given below.

Date Tour name Route Notes Web SVRSevern Valley Railway News
07 Apr 1985 Great Western Limited Bristol - Taunton (1) - Tiverton Jn(2) - Exeter St Davids(3) - Plymouth(4) (1)D/H with 6000, (2)Solo, (3)Diesel Assisted, (4)L/E SBJ 76-12
08 Apr 1985 Great Western Limited Plymouth - Bristol Temple Meads D/H with 4930 Hagley Hall SBJ 76-12
26 May 1985 GW150 Portishead Shuttles Bristol Temple Meads - Portishead return Hauled first Steam Special on Spring Bank Holiday weekend 80-40
13 Aug 1985 GW150 Celebrations Excursions Swindon Gloucester - Swindon Various other runs around this time (pool of 7 locos used) SBJ
21 Aug 1985 GW150 Celebrations Excursions Swindon Gloucester - Swindon
24 May 1987 Machynlleth - Barmouth + return Supplement to longer railtour 86-37
25 May 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 SBJ 85-33
26 May 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 85-33
27 May 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 SBJ 85-33
31 May 1987 Barmouth Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return Supplement to longer railtour SBJ 85-33
20 Jul 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 86-38
21 Jul 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 85-11
22 Jul 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 85-11
26 Jul 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Pwllheli + return 85-11
02 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 SBJ 86-39
16 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Aberystwyth + return 86-39
18 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 SBJ
John Hill's Facebook post 21 February 2020
19 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 86-40
23 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 SBJ
30 Aug 1987 Cardigan Bay Express Machynlleth - Barmouth + return x2 SBJ
16 Jun 1991 Cambrian Limited Shrewsbury - Barmouth (75069 worked the return leg) SBJ 100-38
23 Jun 1991 Cambrian Limited Shrewsbury - Barmouth (75069 worked the return leg) SBJ 100-38
22 Sep 1991  ?? Via Talerddig Videoscene
29 Sep 1991 Shrewsbury-Machynlleth Videoscene, Mainline 91 Volume 2 101-25
For further information on sources and references, see The Severn Valley Railway on the main line

In 1990 7819 conveyed HRH The Duke of Gloucester from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth for the official opening of the railway's boiler repair shop. The Duke drove 7819 for part of the journey. The locomotive also made the first operational entry into platform 2 at Kidderminster when it was brought into use on 25 November of that year.[7]

7819 featured in an episode of the BBC drama series The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries broadcast in 1993.

Following a loan to the Nene Valley Railway in 1994, 7819 was placed in storage awaiting major repairs on 7 January 1995. After a period in store in the open the locomotive was cosmetically restored and placed on static display in the McArthurGlen shopping complex, Swindon. It returned to the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 21 August 2018 and moved to static display at The Engine House in March 2019.[8] The 'footplate' is accessible to allow visitors to climb aboard and learn how to operate a steam locomotive, and for weddings and civil ceremonies.

The locomotive was owned by the Hinton Manor Fund of which SVR Wolverhampton Branch was the major shareholder. It is now owned by The SVR Charitable Trust, having been formally transferred from the Hinton Manor Fund for a nominal sum in April 2004.[9]

Preparations for overhaul

A new set of tyres is in storage, in readiness for the restoration.[10]

The 'Friends of Hinton Manor' launched an appeal on 20 September 2008 to raise money for 7819's overhaul.

The Wolverhampton Branch was the sponsor of the 2010 Autumn SVRSevern Valley Railway raffle which was called "Fittings Fit for a Manor" to overhaul or replace worn out cab fittings as appropriate.[11] July 2010 saw the publication of Wolverhampton's Railways in Colour, with a sequel Wolverhampton's Railways in Colour, with profits going towards this cause. The branch also produced a model of a Wolverhampton Stafford Road Brake Van in OO and a limited edition watercolour print of 7819 on Talerdigg bank.[12]

The Charitable Trust operates a restricted fund for the purpose of returning the locomotive to service, for which it appealed for funds. As of 30 June 2019 the restricted funds totalled £18,577.[13] The appeal no longer features on the website list of active appeals.

See also

References

  1. Six Bells Junction
  2. 2.0 2.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 80
  3. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 45
  4. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 52
  5. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 55
  6. 6.0 6.1 SVRSevern Valley Railway News 162, "Ray Tranter's Dream, a tribute", Martin White
  7. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 198
  8. 'Platform' magazine, 2018 Issue 4, p.7
  9. SVRSevern Valley Railway News 147 and SVR Wolverhampton Branch (retrieved 6 January 2017)
  10. Express Points, September 2018 (Retrieved 7 December 2020)
  11. 7819 Hinton Manor Branch Support, SVRA Wolverhampton Branch website (Retrieved 23 March 2019)
  12. SVR Wolverhampton Branch website (Retrieved 7 December 2020)
  13. SVR Charitable Trust accounts at Companies House (Retrieved 7 December 2020)

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