7828 'Norton Manor' and 6960 'Raveningham Hall' Double Heading 17th March 2012
Spring is here and the West Somerset Railway is running the Spring Steam Gala 2012 on the 17th, 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th March. Both home engines and guest engines are running services along the line between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard.
This picture shows 7828 'Norton Manor' and 6960 'Raveningham Hall' double heading the 13:00 service from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead on 17th March 2012 as they approached Williton station. In the background can be seen the Quantock Hills.
6960 'Raveningham Hall' was built in 1944 and is one of the Modified Hall Class of engines. 71 Modified Hall locomotives were built between 1944 and 1950. Together with the original Hall class locomotives 330 were built in total.
More information regarding this locomotive can be found at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preserved_GWR_Modified_Hall_Class_l... .
7828 'Norton Manor' was originally built at Swindon in 1950 to a 1938 design by Great Western Railway Chief Mechanical Engineer C.B. Collett and was originally named 'Odney Manor'. The 'Manors' were the smallest and lightest of the GWR 4-6-0 locomotives and were intended for fast passenger and freight work over less-heavily used main lines such as the Cambrian Railways network in Mid-Wales. 7828 was first allocated to Neath locomotive shed in 1950 but was soon on its way to Cambrian territory, moving to Shrewsbury in 1952. In 1961 it went to Croes Newydd in Wrexham and two years later it was off to the Cambrian coast at Aberystwyth.
It was during its time at Aberystwyth that 7828 was selected to head the Royal Train but with steam coming to an end on the national network it returned to Shrewsbury in 1965 from where it was withdrawn from service. Time in the Barry scrapyard of Woodham Brothers followed before it was purchased for restoration by Mr Ken Ryder. Once returned to working order 'Odney Manor' spent time at a number of heritage railways before coming to the West Somerset Railway. The West Somerset Railway purchased the engine from Mr Ryder at the end of 2003.
Since 19th September 2011 the engine has run under the new name of 'Norton Manor' in honour of 40 Commando Royal Marines who are based at Norton Manor Camp near Taunton.