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Quainton News archive - Quainton News No. 34 - Spring 1978

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

Welcome to Wightwick Hall

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Simon Field - Arrival, Quainton, 10th January 1978

Rescuing a locomotive from certain extinction is very satisfying but an expensive operation. Once again we have a newly rescued engine and tender from Barry at Quainton and we welcome 6989 Wightwick Hall which arrived in the up yard on 9th January. She was unloaded on the following day. Our good friend, Rod Thomas, Chairman of the sub-committee for the Hall has sent some very interesting notes titled 'Lets Save a Steam Loco', here they are in full :-

The idea to save a steam locomotive was born one dark winter's night. A group of enthusiasts had worked very hard on trying to save a GWR 2-8-2T, No. 7200, had their hopes dashed at the very last moment by a 'rival' organisation so they decided to have a go at saving another engine. A meeting was arranged and a further visit made to Barry to inspect a 28XX Class 2-8-0. It was then we came across 6989 and she looked very tidy so we confirmed from Mr David Woodham that the Bristol Suburban Railway Group no longer wished to purchase her. We then learnt that Wightwick Hall could be ours for £5000.

A group was formed to raise money and to organise working parties to carry out essential preservation work in the scrapyard. Months later, having survived a take-over bid, the cash was coming in quite well when the price of scrap started to rise sharply. We were then informed by Mr Woodham that 6989 would cost £8500! Help from somebody else was now necessary, so we turned to the Quainton Railway Society who were about to loose the attraction of 34016 Bodmin. Yes, the QRS were interested - subject to the boiler examination being satisfactory.

A posse of QRS members came to Barry made an inspection of 6989's general condition and the boiler report from Vulcan Insurance of Swansea confirmed it was sound. Thus, on 8th January 1977 a consortium of members of the original group and of the QRS went to Barry and paid the cheque for our Hall.

The 6989 Committee has become a sub-committee of the Executive Committee and has full control of the restoration of the locomotive.

We had started collecting fittings and other components and these were at members homes, garden sheds and garages throughout Bucks., Berks., and Oxon. The next task was to bring the locomotive nearer to the loose parts! The cost of moving her from Barry to Quainton would be about £2000 and it was decided to bring the tender as soon as possible and to follow with the locomotive when funds would allow. Thanks to Chris Tayler and all who bought and sold raffle tickets, the £300 to move the tender was collected and it arrived in time for the August Open Days, 1977. Mike Lawrence's Transport of Highbridge were successful in their quotations for bringing the tender to Quainton and also for moving the locomotive last January but there was one problem with the locomotive; it was too long for the trailer unless the bogie was first taken out.

This accounted for the appearance of a QRS Loco team at Didcot on New Year's Day on a recce to find out how to remove a Hall bogie! The technique was mastered as witnessed by our cover photograph of a Hall Class 0-6-0 being loaded at Barry on the following weekend.

The journey to Quainton was completed successfully with arrival on the evening of Monday, 9th January after an overnight stop at Cheltenham. There were no problems during offloading. During January 6989 has had all boiler cladding and asbestos lagging removed with the proper care and the first visual external inspection of the barrel is very encouraging. Soon after Easter our Hall will be moved down to the Swindon area of the up yard and the long haul of restoration will have started. There quite a number of items we will need to complete the locomotive; injectors, ejector, safety valve bonnet, pipework, some cab fittings, lubricators, cylinder drain cocks, pressure relief valves, snifting valves and a copper cap for the chimney. So, help in locating any of these parts will be much appreciated .

We still have loans to pay off so please keep your donations rolling in to help pay for Quainton Railway Society's first main line locomotive.

History of 6989 Wightwick Hall

Built at Swindon, March 1948 Cost including tender, £9,686
Boiler No. 9241 . when new Tender No. as new, 4048
Condemned, 1st June 1964 Sold to Woodhams, 17th July 1964
Boiler No. 9296 Tender No. 2933
Miles at 28th December 1963, 640,645
Sold to Quainton Railway Society, 8th January 1977

Date Depot Tender No. Repairs Remarks
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 -

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R Sherlock - 6989 at Worcester

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Alan Cooper - At Paddington in 1961. Tender No. 4081

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1978 and so does not reflect events in the 37+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Welcome to Wightwick Hall - Quainton News No. 34 - Spring 1978

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 17 November 2017