Model Rail (UK)
Factfile: GWR ‘Manor’ 4‑6‑0
GWR chief mechanical engineer Charles Collett had spent much of the 1930s creating the ‘Hall’ and ‘Grange’ class 4‑6‑0s, as part of a drive to replace a few hundred Churchward ‘43XX’ ‘Moguls’. The new locomotives proved successful, yet they were too heavy for certain GWR routes and a lightweight 4‑6‑0 was needed to replace the surviving ‘Moguls’.
Swindon’s appetite for recycling was such that parts from the redundant ‘43XXS’ were reused, including the driving wheels and motion. A new lightweight tapered boiler was specified and, when complete, the new ‘Manor’ class 4‑6‑0s were over five tons lighter than a ‘Grange’. Introduced from 1938, 20 locomotives (7800‑7819) were initially constructed, and they were given blue circle route availability markings. The original plan was to create 100 ‘Manors’, but the outbreak of war forced a change of plan. Whereas the ‘Halls’ and ‘Granges’ proved highly successful, the performance of the ‘Manors was initially disappointing. However, various modifications carried out in the early years of the nationalised railway proved transformative. Furthermore, BR authorised a further ten ‘Manors’ to be built at Swindon in 1950. The ‘Manors’ became closely associated with passenger and freight work on various routes, especially the former Midland & South Western Junction and Cambrian lines, while they could also be found working in Cornwall, South Wales and the West Midlands. The final examples were withdrawn in 1966 and, incredibly, nine out of the 30 ‘Manors’ survived into preservation.