By Roger Melton
NORTH Yorkshire Moors Railway-based LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No. 44806 reached the end of its current boiler certificate on January 1 and was withdrawn from traffic pending overhaul.
For its last day of running it had one of its Magpie nameplates reapplied, which date back to when it was based on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.
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No. 44806 was built at Derby in 1944 as LMS No. 4806. The locomotive was based at many sheds on the London Midland Region, most notably at Lostock Hall (10D) until it was withdrawn in 1968. In preservation, it was unusually well-travelled between museums and lines, although staying in the North West of England.
Some years were spent stored at Accrington, before it moved in 1973 to the newly-reopened Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway.
While there, No. 44806 was adopted by the ITV children’s TV series Magpie and named after it.
The Magpie show was always in competition with the BBC’s comparable Blue Peter programme, which had earlier adopted the LNER Peppercorn A2 No. 532 Blue Peter, conveniently built under that name.
After a crack was found in the outer firebox of No. 44806, which Haverthwaite did not have the workshop facilities to repair, it was moved, this time to the former Steamport in Southport, moving on again in 1983 to Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry as a static exhibit.
In 1993, No. 44806, with its 20-year-old firebox crack, travelled to the Llangollen Railway, where repair work began. This took almost three years to complete and it returned to steam in September 1995. It worked on the Llangollen for nearly 10 years.
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