County of Montgomery nameplates unveiled
by Montgomery Wales News Team
The Churchward County Trust, which is building a full-size re-creation of a Great Western Railway (GWR) 'County' class 4-4-0 locomotive named 'County of Montgomery', has unveiled the loco's new nameplates.
Forty of the original 'County' locos were built between 1904 and 1912, with 11 named after Welsh counties on the GWR network. Montgomeryshire was not included in the GWR's naming scheme at that time as it was a Cambrian Railways stronghold, but the county found itself at the heart of the GWR following the grouping of railway companies in 1923 when the Cambrian was absorbed into the GWR. It was for this reason that the Churchward County Trust selected the name County of Montgomery for its new loco.
The nameplates have been generously sponsored by John Buxton of Cambrian Transport, and were produced by the Procast Foundry in Yorkshire. The new loco is being erected at Tyseley Locomotive Works in Birmingham, where the main frames (chassis) have been assembled, the first example to be built since 1912. The CCT has also placed the order for County of Montgomery’s two cylinders, which are to be cast in the coming weeks, and will soon be ordering the four 6ft 8½ diameter driving wheels.
CCT chairman Gary Boyd-Hope said: “It’s wonderful to see the new nameplates, which have been manufactured in the traditional manner with individually-cast brass letters mounted on a steel backplate, and surrounded by brass beading. We feel this gives Montgomeryshire the recognition it missed out on over 100 years ago when the original engines were built.”
Further details of the project and how to support it, including a ‘County for the Cost of a Coffee a Week’ scheme, can be found at www.churchwardcounty.org.uk