Locomotive “Foxcote Manor” to visit the Kent and East Sussex Railway in 2017

Photograph of Foxton Manor by Duncan Langtree

In a fantastic example of co-operation between heritage railways around the country, the Kent and East Sussex Railway is delighted to announce that the Llangollen railway’s flagship locomotive, 7822 “Foxcote Manor” (often referred to as Foxy), will be at Tenterden in May 2017, so enhancing the planned programme of events, including the ever-popular 1940s event (20th & 21st May).

Locomotive No. 7822 "Foxcote Manor" is a Manor class locomotive, designed by Charles Collett of the Great Western Railway and built by British Railways at Swindon Works in 1950.  The Manor is the smallest of the western 4-6-0's, smaller than Saints, Halls, Castles, Kings & Granges and has its own slot-in boiler design.  ‘Foxy’ saw a variety of services in her 15 year mainline life, from the  Cambrian Coast Express to working 2 or 3 coach mixed trains in the latter days of steam. She did of course haul the royal train in 1963!

The visit is - in part - sponsored by the Kent & East Sussex Railway Guest Engine Club, setup by volunteers 18 months ago to encourage the hire of guest engines to enhance the railway’s home fleet when possible. The engine club has agreed to cover the eye-watering cost of transporting the loco from Wales.

For further information about the Kent & East Sussex Railway and to see the 2017 events calendar visit www.kesr.org.uk

Notes to Editors:
"Foxcote Manor" is part of the second batch of Manors built at Swindon, the first batch of 20 (7800-19) built in 1938-9. She may well have been built sooner had it not been for the intervention and disruption of World War II.

The Manor Class was designed as a 5MT (Western region D) class locomotive with a  4-6-0 configuration and a relatively light axle loading. This was a requirement on the western as trusted types like the Dean Goods and Dukedogs couldn't go on forever. This light axle loading gave them a versatile route availability and gave the GWR a light yet powerful option for hauling trains.

With the modernisation of British Railways and the end of steam, “Foxcote Manor” was withdrawn from service in November 1965, before being towed to Dai Woodhams scrapyard in Barry where she was scheduled to be cut up. She is one of 9 preserved Manors, a great number compared to classes such as the Granges where out of 80 none survived.

In 1972 the FMS (Foxcote Manor Society) was formed, their role was to save the engine from Barry scrapyard where she had been standing for 9 years exposed to the sea elements and inclement South Wales weather. The plan was to overhaul 7822 to a standard where she could be run again hauling passenger trains in a world where steam preservation was growing.

After the purchase 7822 returned to her former stomping ground at Oswestry to begin overhaul. Former FMS member Chris Warburton said "the first job was to strip her down to her component parts, no mean feat given that every nut and stay was completely oxidised".
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