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Album: The Story of Woodham Brothers Ltd and Barry Scrapyard

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BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 4979 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966

BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 4979 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966 - Low Resolution Image

BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 4979 'Wooton Hall' at Woodham Brothers scrapyard, Barry, Wales on 18th August 1966 standing behind the tender of Castle class 7027. The rear of Hall No. 4942 tender is just visible behind. Built at Swindon Works in February 1030, it was withdrawn from 81F Oxford shed in December 1963.

The Great Western Railway 4900 Class or Hall Class is a class of 4-6-0 mixed traffic steam locomotives designed by Charles Collett. A total of 259 were built, numbered 4900-4999, 5900-5999 and 6900-6958. The LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 and LNER Thompson Class B1 both drew heavily on design features of the Hall Class. After nationalisation in 1948, British Railways gave them the power classification 5MT.

The prototype was rebuilt from GWR Saint Class number 2925 Saint Martin in 1924 with smaller driving wheels. Additionally the cylinders were realigned in relation to the driving axle and a more modern 'Castle' - type cab was fitted. The rebuilt Saint Martin emerged from Swindon in 1924 and, renumbered 4900, embarked on three years of trials. During this period Collett introduced other modifications. The pitch of the taper boiler was altered and outside steam pipes were added.

Satisfied with no.4900's performance Collett placed an order with Swindon works and the first of the new two-cylinder Halls entered service in 1928. They differed little from the prototype; the bogie wheel diameter had been reduced by two inches from 3 ft 2 in (0.965 m) to 3 ft 0 in (0.914 m) and the valve setting amended to give an increased travel of 7.5 in (191 mm). The overall weight of the locomotive had increased by 2 tons 10 cwt (5,600 lb or 2.5 t) to 75 tons 0 cwt (168,000 lb or 76.2 t) but a tractive effort of 27,275 lbf (121.33 kN) compared favourably with the 24,935 lbf (110.92 kN) of the 'Saint'.

In what amounted to a trial run the first 14 were despatched to the arduous proving grounds of the Cornish main line. However they were so successful here and elsewhere on the GW system that by the time the first production batch of 80 had been completed in 1930 a further 178 were on order. By 1935, 150 were in service and the 259th and last Hall, No. 6958 Oxburgh Hall, was delivered in 1943.

4979's first shed allocation was Plymouth Laira and after 32 years of service it ended up at Oxford. During this time it was allocated to sheds in Penzance, Tyseley, Severn Tunnel Junction, Cardiff Canton, and ended its days in the London Division of the Western Region of British Railways, based at Southall, Reading, Didcot and finally Oxford in July 1958. It was used for a variety of duties including fast passenger service and freight.

It was sold to Fleetwood Locomotive Centre in Lancashire, and left as the 179th departure from Barry in October 1986.

In 1994 it was purchased by the Furness Railway Trust and stored at Lytham Motive Power Museum. In March 2007 it was moved to a new storage site at the Appleby Heritage Centre where preventative maintenance has been carried out prior to full restoration. With the completion of the FRT''s new accommodation at the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston in Lancashire, it is planned that 4979 will be moved into the new shed where the restoration can continue under cover. In advance of this a number of parts have been gathered.

Date Photo Taken 18/08/1966
Date Uploaded 03/09/2014
Image Owner/Copyright Howie Milburn
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Steam Loco Information for BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 4979 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966 - Low Resolution Image

Steam Loco Class Information for BR/GWR Collett 4-6-0 Class 4900 Hall No. 4979 at Woodham Brothers Scrapyard 1966 - Low Resolution Image

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