As with it’s fellow Paignton and Dartmouth Railway based cousin 5239 Goliath that featured on Saturday (click here to read more), 7827 Lydham Manor has for many years been one of the stalwarts of the line’s fleet. It also shares a similar history in it’s preservation; being an ex-Barry scrapyard locomotive.
Rescued in 1970, it was moved to Ashburton where restoration started, although it soon moved to Newton Abbott where it was returned to running order in 1973. From Newton Abbott it steamed to Paignton and since then has provided many years of excellent service to the line.
For many years, 7827 ran incorrectly in GWR livery – a scheme she never wore in service. Built in 1950, 7827 was never a GWR engine, although other members of the class were built by the GWR in 1938-39. The 78xx Manor class were built to provide modern power to lighter laid tracks of the Cambrian and M&SWJR. As was GWR standardisation practice, the Manor class shard components with other classes; but had a new boiler, cylinders and frames. The driving wheels and motion were sourced from 43xx class, as were the original cabs, although these were later upgraded as they proved too small. The tender’s were secondhand Churchward 3,500 gallon type’s, with 7827’s being built in 1913!
At first, the Manor class were not successful and performance was considered poor. They were called back to Swindon in 1952 and after some minor modifications were transformed into excellent machine’s that gained a good reputation with their crews. Considering their lightweight and compact appearance, British Railway’s rated them 5MT – a match for the larger 49xx Hall class.
The Manor classes greatest claim to fame came from taking over from Castle class locomotive’s at Shrewsbury and hauling the Cambrian Express to Aberystwyth. The largest concentration of the thirty members of the class was in the Cambrian region, but they also served other parts of the west country. Interestingly they were also employed in the Southern Region of BR on the North Downs line from Reading through Guildford to Redhill.
Thanks for reading folks 🙂