By Geoff Courtney
Among the huge crowds that greeted Royal Scot during its recent visit to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was a railway enthusiast whose interest ran far deeper than simply admiration for one of the country’s most iconic locomotives.
For 89-year-old Keith Ware it was also an occasion that provoked pride and brought back memories of a railway career that in its nascent years included being involved with the design of the 4-6-0’s distinctive smoke deflectors.
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Keith, who lives in Pickering at the southern end of the NYMR and also owns the former signalman’s house at Levisham, the first station on the line out of Pickering, joined the LMS as a trainee engineer at St Rollox works, Glasgow, in 1946, and after Nationalisation in 1948 was sent by the new British Railways to continue his training at Derby.
That training included working on the design of the curved smoke deflectors for fitting to members of the Royal Scot class that at the time were being substantially rebuilt, including the replacement of parallel boilers with tapered Type 2A boilers, a programme that lasted until 1955.
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