WORKING 4-4-0 IS FINEST TRIBUTE
I have been a little surprised by the negative reaction to the transfer of the LSWR ‘T3’ 4-4-0 from the National Railway Museum to the Swanage Railway, set out in the letters from Allan≈Baker and David Ward. I should say I am not a member or active supporter of the Swanage Railway. I have never visited it, but I am in favour of the ‘T3’ going to the Swanage Railway and was pleased to read the news in your magazine. The last time I saw the locomotive was at the production of The Railway Children at King’s Cross and it struck me then the loco was looking somewhat shabby and uncared for. It’s unfair to criticise Swanage for storing the ‘T3’ outdoors at Corfe Castle when their spokesman made it clear this is a temporary measure to allow visitors to view it until permanent covered accommodation can be arranged. I have the deepest respect for the work of preservations such as John Scholes, David Jenkinson and Bill Harvey. The point made by Messrs Baker and Ward seems to centre on the ‘restoration versus conservation’ debate which will be familiar to all museums. I can take their point on conserving the ‘T3’ as it is, but there’s another side to this which I believe outweighs it. Those involved in the construction and overhaul of the ‘T3’ at the LSWR works are no longer around to give their opinion. However, let us suppose for a moment they were. Do you think they would prefer to see the ‘T3’ ‘stuffed and mounted’ never to steam again, or overhauled and restored to haul trains on LSWR track between Wareham and Swanage? Were I one of those LSWR engineers, I would go for a living, breathing locomotive every time against one that is still, cold and silent in a museum. A much better tribute to railway engineering of the past, I believe. I look forward to the ‘T3’ steaming and working trains at Swanage, as I am sure will many of your readers. I am sure the ‘T3’ has found a good home there. It may even prompt me to make an overdue visit to the railway. I am puzzled by David’s criticism of the proposed move of
I’D GO FOR A LIVING, BREATHING LOCOMOTIVE EVERY TIME...
the ‘V2’ to the new GCR museum. He makes it sound as if the ‘V2’ is being moved to Patagonia, whereas it’s only a few hours away from York. I am sure it will be just as well cared for at Leicester and will be readily accessible to all those enthusiasts and families visiting the GCR. John Sherratt, Staffordshire
The Swanage Railway has taken measures to prevent some of the ‘T3’s’ parts from being stolen or damaged while it is on open display at Corfe Castle. This view shows the cab, which shows where nearly all the fixtures have been blanked-off. CHRIS LEIGH