The God’s Wonderful Railway line is at Moorthorpe, in God’s green acres, the locomotive, the Great Western Railway 4073 Castle Class 4-6-0, No.5043, is named Earl of Mount Edgecumbe, which, I’m sure, most of you knew. The title Earl of Mount Edgecumbe was bestowed upon the III Baron Edgecumbe in 1789, the same year the French began lopping the heads off their aristocrats. One of the more interesting titles / posts the Earl held was, Captain of the Honourable Band of Gentlemen Pensioners, a post created in the 16th Century and first held by the Earl of Essex, from 1509 to 1539. Five centuries later the title is still going strong and one of the duties of the holder is to act as Chief Whip in the House of Lords.
Thing is, No.5043 Earl of Mount Edgecumbe did actually start her life as a ‘castle’, originally, she was No.5043 Barbury Castle, only becoming Earl of Mount Edgecumbe, in September 1937, 18 months after entering service, during March 1936. His Lordship was a director of the GWR and No.5043 wasn’t the only name swapped castle, Nos.5043 to 5063 inc. were given the names of Earls and No.5095 became the new Barbury Castle. Another batch, originally named after castles, were given the names of fighter aircraft, Nos. 5071 to 5082 inc. Some castles were never called castle in the first place 9 were Abbeys, No.5069 was IKB, No.5070 Sir Daniel Gooch, No.7017 GJ Churchwrd, No.5086 was Viscount Horne, from new, as were No.7000 Viscount Portal and No.7037 Swindon.
If all that wasn’t enough, in 1952, No.4082 Windsor Castle swapped names and numbers with No.7013 Bristol Castle and the change became permanent. Ogmore Castle was affixed to Nos.5056, 5080, 7007 and 7035. Just so they don’t feel left out in all this swapping No.7001 Denbigh Castle became Sir James Milne and No.7007 Great Western.
No.5043 Earl of Mount Edgecumbe was working the Tyseley – York Christmas trip, a working she has done several times over the past few years.
For those of you who might be interested – my Latest book, Steam Age Daydreams ‘Railway Tales’ is out now.
Below is the link to my book “Gricing: The Real Story of the Railway Children.