GWR memories in a garage in the 1950s

The article by Geoff Courtney in issue 244 of nameplate Knight of the Thistle from GWR Star class No. 4012 coming up for auction reminded me that this was one of several nameplates hanging for years on a garage inside wall just along the road from me.

Two others were Tre Pol and Pen from Dukedog No. 9065, which my father, who was a GWR railwayman, had fired on, and King Arthur.

Cornish name: GWR No. 3265 Tre Pol and Pen on an unknown date and location, although Norman Preedy, from whose archives the photograph comes, believes it may be Birmingham Snow Hill. Heritage Railway reader Dick Starr recalls that one of the nameplates from the loco, which was built in July 1896 as Duke class No. 3271, was hanging on the wall of a garage near his home in the early-1950s. The 4-4-0 was renumbered 3265 in 1912 and was withdrawn in December 1929, when its boiler and cab were used to build the first member of the Earl ‘Dukedog’ class, carrying the same name and number. Final withdrawal was in December 1949, by which time it was numbered 9065. The name Tre Pol and Pen is a phrase describing Cornish people or places – an example being the pioneer railway engineer Richard Trevithick. NORMAN PREEDY ARCHIVE

These nameplates are just the ones I bring to mind – there were plenty more, as well as cabside numberplates. They were owned by another GWR railwayman who was nicknamed ‘Chuffer’, and he was paying between £10 and £20 for them. I am 82 now, and I am talking about the early-1950s.

Dick Starr, Chapmanslade, Wiltshire

Geoff Courtney writes: The King Arthur nameplate to which Dick refers would have come from a GWR 4-4-0 that was built in August 1895 as Duke class No. 3258. This engine was renumbered 3257 in 1912, had its King Arthur name removed in May 1927, and was withdrawn in May 1937 when its boiler was used in the build of Earl ‘Dukedog’ class No. 3213.

There was of course another King Arthur, SR No. 30453, but this wasn’t withdrawn until July 1961.

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