By Geoff Courtney
New-build Gresley P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales is to receive a boost from an anonymous railwayana enthusiast who is selling his collection at auction on July 15 in aid of the £5 million project.
A quartet of pre-Big Four worksplates will be among the lots going under the hammer, as well as numberplates and a shedplate. The auction house which will be handling the sale has agreed to waive its vendor’s commission, meaning the total hammer price will go to the project.
The worksplates date from 1905 to 1921, the oldest being a Great Northern Railway Doncaster example (works
No. 1067) from 4-4-2 No. 2821, a member of the popular C1 ‘large boiler’ Atlantics designed by Great Northern Railway chief mechanical engineer Henry Ivatt.
This class reigned supreme on the East Coast Main Line for several years, sometimes hauling trains of more than 500 tons, and even in their dotage were sometimes called upon to replace failed Pacifics on the route. No. 2821 – it was allocated the No. 62821 by BR but this was never carried – was withdrawn from King’s Cross (34A) in July 1948, sadly meeting an ignominious end as a stationary boiler at Doncaster carriage works.
Another worksplate going under the hammer is also a GNR Doncaster example, from O3 class 2-8-0 No. 63479, built to a Nigel Gresley design in 1914 (works No. 1418) and withdrawn from Retford (36E) in May 1951.
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