…AND WILL WIGHTWICK HALL BE THE 150TH REBUILD?
Wightwick Hall is a hot favourite to be the 150th locomotive to return to steam from Barry scrapyard.
The Hawksworth ‘Modified Hall’ is in the final stages of a 40-year restoration at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, with the lining on its BR green paintwork completed on September 26. It is expected to undergo a steam test imminently, with 6989 Restoration Group volunteer Mike Tayler telling Steam Railway in late October: “We are so close.”
The only other ex-Barry engines that are comparatively near to steaming are GWR ‘Saint’ 4-6-0 No. 2999 Lady of Legend at Didcot Railway Centre (converted from ‘Hall’ No. 4942 Maindy Hall) and unique surviving single-chimney BR ‘9F’ 2-10-0 No. 92134 at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which is expected to run again next spring.
A former Worcester locomotive, Wightwick Hall was a regular performer on the ‘Cathedrals Express’ along with No. 6984 Owsden Hall, whose Barry restoration is at an advanced stage at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway. Ironically, Wightwick Hall is to initially run with Owsden Hall’s tender until its own is completed.
Withdrawn from Gloucester Horton Road shed on June 1 1964, No. 6989 went to Barry that July, and arrived at Quainton Road on January 9 1978.
‘Modified Hall’ No. 6989 Wightwick Hall outside its restoration shed at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on October 18, with its BR lining complete.