Steam Railway (UK) - - Focus News -

The grand­son of emi­nent LSWR Chief Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer Robert Wal­lace Urie spent £2,000 to se­cure the CME’s pa­pers, medals and lo­co­mo­tive sketches at a Devon auc­tion. Bob Urie, re­tired chief of Re­gional Rail­ways North East and liv­ing near Don­caster, went to Lyme Regis at three days’ no­tice. He told Steam Rail­way af­ter­wards: “I am very grate­ful in­deed… I didn’t know who I was com­pet­ing with on the phone and the in­ter­net, but at least

I was suc­cess­ful.”

He said that how the items came to be sold in the first place was “a fam­ily mat­ter”, but ma­te­rial as­so­ci­ated with his re­tire­ment from Eastleigh Works may be ex­hib­ited in 2020 when Urie’s two sur­viv­ing en­gines, ‘S15’ 4-6-0s Nos. 499 and 506, cel­e­brate their cen­te­nar­ies. The col­lec­tion of items, sold at Chilcotts Auctioneers on June 2, in­clude sketches in a school­boy ex­er­cise book, his let­ter of ap­point­ment to the LSWR, and a framed ci­ta­tion and sil­ver­ware pre­sented to him upon his de­par­ture in 1923.

Be­fore the sale, they had all been at risk of be­ing thrown away af­ter they were found scat­tered around dur­ing a house clear­ance in Lyme Regis, when no-one re­alised their sig­nif­i­cance. Liz Chilcott, a di­rec­tor of Chilcotts Auctioneers, said that so­lic­i­tors han­dling the es­tate had been un­suc­cess­ful in its ef­forts to track down the fam­ily.

The first lot (sold for £620) was a 1923 signed ci­ta­tion from the LSWR board un­der a wa­ter­colour im­age of ‘N15’ No. 736, along with books of tech­ni­cal draw­ings and lists of lo­co­mo­tives. There were also the typed notes for a talk to be given to the LSWR Engi­neer­ing So­ci­ety, in which Urie ar­gued the case for steam lo­co­mo­tives to be made more ef­fi­cient to avoid the switch to diesels and electrics.

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