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BR(WR) 'Modified Hall' Class 4-6-0 No. 6989 Wightwick Hall


6989out2.jpg (23.1KB) wightwick.jpg (23.1KB)

Photos:
Robert Frise - Wightwick Hall being shunted in the Upyard
Chris Taylor - Out of frames steam test August 2014 (courtesy QEL)


In 1944, F. W. Hawksworth of the GWR introduced an improved version of the popular 'Hall' class 4-6-0s of his predecessor, C. B. Collett. The locomotives were termed 'Modified Hall' and incorporated 'one piece' mainframes (the originals were made in two sections joined together behind the cylinders), plate frame bogie and larger superheaters. At the same time new-type flush-sided tenders were paired with the engines, although these soon became swopped round as visits to the works for repair took place. The 'Hall' class itself was a development of the 1907 'Saint' class of G. J. Churchward, so the original design was now on its third wind.

British Railways continued building the 'Modified Halls' after the 1948 nationalisation, and No. 6989 Wightwick Hall was completed in March of that year at a cost of £9,686. On delivery, 6989 was sent to Hereford and remained there until transfer to Gloucester in September 1962. June 1964 saw the loco withdrawn from service, and sold the following month to Woodham Brothers for scrap. Total recorded mileage was 640,645 on 28 December 1963, six months before withdrawal.

In 1977, 6989 was purchased by the QRS and 10th January 1978 saw the locomotive delivered to Quainton. It has been paired with an older Collett pattern tender, as it ran with one of these for most of its life.

Wightwick Hall is now undergoing a major restoration. After nearly 2 decades at Quainton, the boiler was reunited with the frames on 20th October 1996. The engine's tender chassis arrived back from the Flour Mill, Forest of Dean, in November 2004. On the 2nd September 2008 the tender and loco were reunited in the old King shed in the Upyard when the 6989 Group took over this covered storage space. The tender frames are making good progress as are the tender brakes, with the tank itself taking shape. The water scoop column has been fitted, though it is unlikely ever to be used again.

Having had the boiler in the frames for a number of years, allowing the fitting of the various parts, the boiler was removed and placed on a concrete pad outside the shed in May 2010. Since then around 900 of the stays have been drilled out and replaced. On 11th August 2014 the boiler of Wightwick Hall had a fire light, and the relief valves lifted, for the first time in around 50 years. Wightwick Hall gained a Transport Trust Highly Commended Award in 2011.

The latest progress can be checked on 6989's own pages, or ask in its dedicated sales vehicle located in a grounded Mark II coach.


History of 6989 Wightwick Hall

Date Depot Tender No. Repairs Remarks
March 1948 Swindon 4048 Built Boiler - 9241, Brunswick Green Livery
29/01/50 - 4048 - -
15/02/50 Worcester 2907 Unclassified -
10/05/50 Hereford 2907 Unclassified -
20/10/50 Swindon 2533 Heavy General Miles - 101065, Boiler - 9326
18/03/53 Swindon 2689 Heavy Intermediate Miles - 200504
08/11/54 Swindon 2831 Heavy General Miles - 284092, Boiler - 9264
26/09/56 Swindon 4071 Heavy Intermediate Miles - 373022
14/06/57 Swindon 2931 Heavy Classified
05/09/57 Swindon 2613 Heavy General Miles - 468663, Boiler - 9296
28/12/57 - 2777 - -
22/01/59 - 2772 - -
05/11/60 Worcester 4081 Unclassified -
06/03/61 Swindon 4081 Heavy General Miles - 549750, Boiler - 9296
02/08/61 Old Oak Common 4081 Unclassified -
27/09/61 Worcester 4081 Unclassified -
20/10/62 Swindon 2933 Heavy Classified -
28/12/63 - - - Miles - 640645
01/06/64 - 2933 Condemned Boiler - 9296, Brunswick Green Livery
17/07/64 Woodham Bros - - Arrives Woodham Bros scrap merchants
08/01/77 Woodham Bros - - Sold to Quainton Railway Society

References:
Welcome to Wightwick Hall - Quainton News No. 34 Spring 1978
Shed Noticeboard - 6989 Report - Quainton News No. 64 - Winter 1987 / 88
6989 Group - Quainton News No. 66 - Winter 1989 / 90
6989 Update - Jeff Jackson - Quainton News No. 97 - April 2007
6989 Update - Jeff Jackson - Quainton News No. 100 October 2008
Fleet Report: 6989 Wightwick Hall - Quainton News Nos. 105 - 107 Triple Issue 2011/12


Builder :- BR(W) Date Built :- 1948 Origin :- BR
Number :- 6989 Alternate Numbers :- - Name :- Wightwick Hall
Wheel Arrangement :- 4-6-0 Tractive Effort :- 27,275 lb Boiler Pressure :- 225 psi
Cylinder Dimensions :- 18½" X 30" Weight :- 123t 02c Driving Wheel Dia. :- 6' 0"
Owner :- QRS Status :- Heavy Overhaul Location :- Upyard Shed
Accession Number :- W/0009

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 08 December 2014