Mid-Hants’ ‘Black Five’ moves to Margate

By Gareth Evans

THE Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society has moved its ‘Black Five’ No. 45379 to Locomotive Storage Ltd.’s undercover facility in Margate, Kent. The 4-6-0’s boiler certificate expired on September 9.

The MHRPS confirmed the locomotive is likely to stay there for up to five years while it awaits its turn in the overhaul queue. However, should the preservation body have funds for the Stanier to be overhauled prior to that, it may return to Ropley earlier.

Society trustee David Ford, trustee said: “I’m pleased to announce that agreement has been reached with Locomotive Storage Ltd to store 45379 alongside Bittern at its facilities at Margate. This new facility is part of the old Hornby factory and already houses a number of interesting railway exhibits, and is next door to the Hornby Visitor Centre.

‘Black Five’ No. 45379 was displayed on the Alresford station forecourt during the autumn steam gala (see page 68), where it was pictured on October 20. GARETH EVANS

“This new facility can house up to 30 locomotives in a dry, clean and ventilated environment. In the future, it is likely that the facility will be open to the public adding to the Hornby Visitor Centre’s 40-50,000 visitors a year. With a shop, cafe and existing car parking, the centre could become a major local attraction.”

The building, which is the former Tri-ang/Hornby factory warehouse is already home to the Crewe breakdown crane, A4 No. 4464 Bittern and its two tenders, plus former Coventry Electric Railway Museum-based four-car 4-SUB (Class 405) set No. 4732 and the unique three-car Merseyside Class 503 unit.

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