Imagine it’s 1948 and No.6990 Witherslack Hall is just rolling off shed to begin her duties in the 1948 Locomotive Exchange Trials. No.6990 Witherslack Hall was completed, at Swindon, just as the trials were about to commence and, as a ‘Modified Hall’, she had all the latest additions and ‘improvements’, making her the obvious choice as GWR representative in her class. Like No.6990, British Railways was ‘new’ in 1948, the railway, rolling stock motive power, and workforce were the same, but it was ‘a new era’ – public ownership.
I will resist the temptation to open the can of worms which was created by the Nationalisation of the railways, save to say that there is a significant, and growing, body of public opinion that views the re-Nationalisation of the railways as a very desirable goal. The connections which drew me to choose this photo were those of ‘new’ start of a new day, new engine, new beginning for the railways and the railway workers, new names, new paint jobs and yes New Year – and a Happy New Year to you all.
In real life No.6990 Witherslack Hall is just rolling off Loughborough MPD to begin her duties during the recent ‘Last Hurrah’ gala.
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