Steam Railway (UK) - - Mailbag -

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


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

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