Major Great Western Railway collection set for July auction


By Geoff Courtney

A COLLECTION of more than 100 mainly GWR steam locomotive nameplates, cabside and smokebox numberplates, shed and worksplates, models, signalling equipment, and other memorabilia, is to go under the hammer at two GW Railwayana auctions in July and November.

The collection was amassed by former railwayman and GWR enthusiast Gerald Payne, who died earlier this year aged 69, and is described by GW Railwayana’s Simon Turner as “one of the most significant we have ever been asked to sell in terms of variety, quality and quantity.”

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To the Manor born: No. 7814 Fringford Manor departs from Whitland with the Down ‘Pembroke Coast Express’ from London Paddington on the last leg of its 205-mile journey to Pembroke Dock on July 8, 1963. A nameplate from the 4-6-0, which was built at Swindon in 1939 and withdrawn in 1965, will be going under the hammer at a GW Railwayana auction on July 14. NORMAN PREEDY ARCHIVE

Simon, who himself lives deep in former GWR territory in Worcestershire, said Gerald, a widower, had the items on display throughout his home in Tilehurst, Reading. “It is great for us to be asked to sell the collection, quite a scoop.”

The first tranche to be sold in July includes five nameplates, comprising County of Oxford from No. 1023, St. Mawes Castle (No. 5018), Fringford Manor (No. 7814), Runter Hall (No. 7919), and, by way of a diversion from the GWR theme, Charles Dickens from Standard Britannia Pacific No. 70033.

The four GWR representatives were built at Swindon variously between 1932 and 1950 and withdrawn between 1963-65 from, respectively, Shrewsbury (89A), Reading (81D), Gloucester Horton Road (85B), and Oxford (81F), while the plate from No. 5018 will be making its first appearance at auction.

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