A relatively new home fleet locomotive for the GWSR, Dinmore Manor made its gala debut at the railway in style, carrying a number of different headboards over the weekend and double heading with the group’s other locomotive on loan, 3580. Appearing in unlined black livery, it really looked the part on the freight train, and did very well on her passenger turns as well performing faultlessly.
The Manor class was originally built in 1938 as an advancement of the earlier Grange class, and mainly worked mixed traffic on rural GWR lines, being relatively lightweight. The class suffered from poor steaming, but in 1952 this was rectified by modifying the blastpipe and firebars. 7820 was built in 1950 so was constructed by British railways, and as such her usual livery is BR lined green, very similar to the old GWR.
7820 was withdrawn in 1965 and was given the usual sentence, preservation via Barry scrapyard, where it was purchased by the Gwili railway in 1979. Lack of undercover accommodation mean that little restoration had gone on with her and by 1983 Dinmore Manor had been sold to the Birmingham railway museum (now Tyesley locomotive works). The locomotive was restored at the works, with the aid of the West Somerset Railway who gave financial help to the owning group. When she was returned to steam in 1995 she spent her boiler ticket at the WSR before being withdrawn in 2004.
Spool forward another 10 years and Dinmore manor has again been returned to steam, again at Tyesley, this time operating on the GWSR, but will probably be paying visits to a number of railways before her next ticket is up. Next year she will be repainted into her more familiar lined BR green, so if you want to see her in her current form it’s this year only.