Great Central memories are rekindled at Finmere station

BRIAN Stabler named his 88DS class 4wD No. 46 (Ruston & Hornsby 242868 of 1946) Heather, in honour of his wife, on October 15.

He bought the loco in 2015 and moved it from the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway to the private site at Finmere station (ex-GCR), Oxfordshire, in 2016, following completion of restoration.

Owner Brian Stabler reveals the name Heather on his Ruston & Hornsby at Finmere station on October 15, but his wife was unable to be present as she was in a nursing home. Sadly, she passed away in early November. PHIL MARSH

It now has a solar panel on the cab roof to keep the battery charged, and is dual-braked. It sees use shunting the growing amount of stock at the Finmere site.

Previously, the loco had been based at the Northampton Ironstone Railway Trust, Hunsbury, and on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. It was delivered new to the Gas Light & Coke Co, Southall from Ruston’s Boultham Works on November 1, 1946.

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