Robert Frise - Wightwick Hall being shunted in the Upyard
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 June 1964 saw the loco withdrawn from service, and sold the following month to Woodham Brothers for scrap.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 Spetember 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. Subject to funding it is currently hoped that the engine will be in steam in 2013. Wightwick Hall gained a Transport Trust Highly Commended Award in 2011.
History of 6989 Wightwick Hall
|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
Page Updated: 17 October 2012