THE project to construct No. 3840 County of Montgomery has reached another significant milestone following the formal transfer of ownership of a ‘Standard No. 4’ boiler and other suitable components to the CCT from the Great Western Society (GWS).
The majority of the items will be removed from ‘Barry 10’ 2-8-0T No. 5227, which had originally been earmarked for use in the GWS’ own, but ultimately aborted, plan to re-create a Churchward ‘County’ at Didcot Railway Centre in line with the 2005 ‘Three Counties Agreement’ with Vale of Glamorgan Council. After the GWS decided not to proceed with its ‘County’ 4-4-0 scheme, when the County of Montgomery project was launched at the start of 2018 the society offered to donate the components to the CCT, but only once the main frames had been erected, and on condition of a successful application for charitable status. With both of these provisos now met, a formal transfer agreement was drawn up, which was signed by CCT Chairman Gary Boyd-Hope and GWS Chief Executive, Clive Hetherington, at Didcot at the end of last year.
The parts being donated by No. 5227 are:
• Standard No. 4 boiler No. 5212. This was constructed in 1923 at a time when the original ‘County’ 4-4-0s were still in service, and while never actually carried by a ‘County’, this particular boiler saw use on a string of ‘5205’ and ‘43XX’ locomotives until being fitted to No. 5227 in 1955.
• 1 x pony wheelset which will be used in No. 3840’s bogie
• 2 x axleboxes from the pony truck
• 4 x horn guides (subject to suitability)
• 2 x eccentric sheaves
The other items transferred to CCT ownership under the terms of the agreement are:
• Churchward 3,500-gallon tender chassis No. 2143. This 1920-built tender was also part of the ‘Three Counties Agreement’ and had been intended for use with Didcot’s own ‘County’ 4-4-0 project. During its life it was paired with a variety of GWR 2-6-0s and 2-8-0s including the now-preserved ‘28XX’ No. 2857. It finished its days behind ‘2884’ No. 3822 in January 1964. While having lost its tank some years ago, the frames and wheelset are in a good state of repair.
• 4 x driving wheel axleboxes from ‘28XX’ 2-8-0 No. 2861
Plans are now being drawn up to remove the items from No. 5227 and have them, along with the tender chassis, transferred to Tyseley Locomotive Works where County of Montgomery is being constructed. Once this has been accomplished, the boiler will be examined to establish its overall condition and provide an estimate for its overhaul.
Commenting on the new transfer, CCT Chairman Gary Boyd-Hope said: “I would like to take this opportunity to place on record our gratitude to the Great Western Society for its generous donation of these parts to the Trust. The society has been very supportive of our project from the beginning, having already loaned us the pattern to have No. 3840’s coupled wheels cast. Its support shows great faith in the CCT and belief in our ability to achieve our goal.
“The formal handover of these parts effectively means that we have all of the major items required to complete the locomotive – frames, boiler, wheels, cylinders and tender. There is a considerable amount of work still to do, and a lot of money still to raise, but the key pieces of the jigsaw are in place.”