Pitchford Hall creates Collett preservation ‘first’ after overhaul brings new livery

No. 4953 Pitchford Hall simmers on Loughborough shed during its first full day of testing at the Great Central Railway on October 10.

Epping Ongar Railway-based GWR ‘Hall’ No. 4953 Pitchford Hall is back in steam after overhaul, and carrying a livery never before seen on one of the Collett 4-6-0s in the preservation era.

Roger Wright’s ‘Hall’ caught many by surprise when it arrived at the Great Central Railway (GCR) for testing on October 2 sporting 1950s British Railways lined black livery with red-backed name and cabside number plates. 

The gleaming locomotive was fresh from a £400,000-plus overhaul at Locomotive Maintenance Services of Loughborough, and subsequently proved to be a bonus star attraction at the GCR’s Autumn Steam Gala on October 4-6, despite the fact that it was not in steam. 

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A ‘Modified Hall’ and ‘Hall’ comparison as No. 6990 Witherslack Hall lines up alongside No. 4953 on October 4. TONY GOULDING

The black livery has adorned other Swindon-built 4-6-0s in preservation, notably the Severn Valley Railway’s ‘Manor’ No. 7819 Hinton Manor, and more recently its classmates Nos. 7820 Dinmore Manor and 7827 Lydham Manor.

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