Railway artefacts saved from fire to go under the hammer

By Geoff Courtney

A collection of express locomotive nameplate patterns saved from a bonfire will be going under the hammer at an auction near Derby on February 22. They include some of the most classic names carried by LMS Princess Royal and Princess Coronation Pacifics, including five Duchesses and six cities.

Stanier masterpiece: No. 46227 Duchess of Devonshire makes a fine sight at Hartford, near Warrington, as it heads southbound with the Up ‘Royal Scot’ on June 19, 1954. A pattern for the Pacific’s nameplate will be coming up for auction, with a number of others from the class, on February 22. NORMAN PREEDY ARCHIVE

The 50 patterns, which are made of wood and were used to form the mould into which molten metal was poured to form a nameplate, were acquired by John Wood, a retired BR engineer at Derby and Crewe. In addition to the Princess Royals and Coronations, other classes represented include Patriot, Jubilee, Royal Scot and Standard Pacifics built at Crewe.

The Princess Coronation nameplate patterns coming up for sale include the Duchesses of Gloucester, Devonshire, Montrose, Sutherland and Abercorn (Nos. 46225/27/32/33/34), and the Cities of Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, Lichfield and Nottingham (Nos. 46235/41/46/48/50/51).

A majority of the Princess Royal class names will also be in the sale, as will Britannias – there are more than a dozen different size patterns for this class alone, said John, ranging in length from 15in to 6ft – and Clans from the BR Standard classes.

Read more in Issue 225 of HR – out now!

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