Grange team agrees tender hire

THE builder of the 81st Grange, the Betton Grange Society, has secured a hire agreement that will see a genuine GWR tender paired with its locomotive for use on heritage railways from 2019.

No. 6880 Betton Grange, which incorporates the boiler from former Barry 10 Modified Hall No. 7972 Willington Hall, and components from other GWR locomotives – including 4-6-0 No. 5952 Cogan Hall, which is also owned by the group – should be steamed for the first time by the end of this year.

When the time comes, the tender earmarked for use with GWR 2-8-0 No. 3814, which is undergoing restoration at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, will be available to work with the Grange as completion of No. 3814 is still some years away.

The tender earmarked for GWR 2-8-0 No. 3814 in the latter stages of overhaul inside the workshops at Llangollen. Agreement has been reached for it to run with No. 6880 Betton Grange while its owner’s locomotive is still undergoing restoration. Little is known about this vehicle, other than it is a genuine GWR Collett 4000 gallon vehicle, with a six ton coal capacity – its number and its operating history remain a mystery. What is known is that it was bought from BR departmental use, possibly by the owners of West Country No. 34007, before being sold to its present owner, who also owns a Churchward 3500 gallon tender in unrestored condition. QUENTIN McGUINNESS

Owner Peter Robinson moved the Collett 4000 gallon tender to Llangollen in order that its own restoration could be completed there. With some work still remaining to be done on behalf of the owner by contractor Llangollen Railway Engineering, volunteers from the Betton Grange Society will paint the completed tender in the matching lined BR green livery it has been decided to run No. 6880 in for the initial part of its first 10-year ‘ticket’. The arrangement will see a hire fee paid to Peter each time that Betton Grange is steamed, earning much-needed funds towards the completion of No. 3814, which itself is due to move to Llangollen for its restoration to be progressed, while the society will get to operate its locomotive without having to complete the construction of its own tender first.

Around £120,000 will be needed to complete a new tender and overhaul the chassis of the genuine GWR item it already owns.

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