Wightwick Hall in special appearance at Quainton Road

NEARLY complete Hawksworth ‘Modified Hall’ No. 6989 Wightwick Hall made a special outdoor appearance at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on October 25-26 as the museum celebrated the life of its late friend and supporter Dennis Howells MBE.

The 6989 Wightwick Hall Restoration Group’s 1948-built 4-6-0 was posed alongside Mr Howell’s ‘94XX’ 0-6-0PT No. 9466. It appeared remarkably complete, with paintwork finished, and coupled to the on-loan 4,000-gallon Collett tender from sister engine No. 6984 Owsden Hall, currently under restoration at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway.

‘Modified Hall’ No. 6989 Wightwick Hall is displayed at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on October 26. The 4-6-0 is expected to steam before the end of the year. PHIL MARSH

In spite of appearances, No. 6989 is still a few weeks away from making its first independent moves in preservation.

Group secretary Jeff Jackson told The RM: “We are now checking everything ready to perform an in-frames steam test, to be arranged with our boiler inspector. We do not have a date set for the test.

“Once the test is passed we have to fit the brick arch, spark arrester and firebox deflector plate, all of which are in stock ready to fit. After this we will move the loco under its own steam and fix any snags arising.”

Subject to any unforeseen problem, the group hopes to have the locomotive tested and operational before the end of this year.

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