With grateful thanks to the locomotive's owners The Erlestoke Manor Fund and the Great Central Railway, we are pleased to offer the second of two days of Western Region steam action, today featuring No.7802 Bradley Manor on goods stock. We will use a mixed goods rake and also the closed vans rake at various times in the day to give as much variety as we can without wasting too much time swapping rolling stock sets around.
Our day will start from Loughborough station at 07.30 with our customary but important safety briefing before a full day out on the line. The griddle car will be open from 06.30 serving hot breakfasts plus tea, coffee and other hot drinks before departure.
We will have full use of the double track sections of the line and intend to use a variety of locations during the day. Whereas recent charters have concentrated on two or three prime locations, for these charters we hope to include these and more, including those that are still sufficiently clear at and around Woodthorpe and in and around Quorn & Woodhouse. As we are using goods stock, we will have to travel to locations by road, but we will do our best to ensure there is as little driving as possible, we manage as much car sharing as is practical and that no-one who does not know the roads is without either a knowledgeable driver or a car to follow.
No.7802 was one of the earlier batch of twenty Manor Class locomotives (7800-7818) built before the Second World War by the Great Western Railway's Swindon Works. A further ten locos in the class were built in 1950 by British Railways Western Region. The loco entered traffic at Old Oak Common Depot in London in January 1938 before moving to Bristol Bath Road Depot to work trains throughout the West Country. After the Second World War, No.7802 was transferred to Machynlleth (89C) in 1946 and it largely remained there working the former Cambrian routes until its final transfer to Shrewsbury Depot (84G) in 1964, being withdrawn on 30th November 1965, close to the end of Western Region steam. For the curious, the house Bradley Manor is located near Newton Abbot in Devon.
No.7802 was purchased in scrap yard condition by The Erlestoke Manor Fund in 1979 and, after a lengthy restoration, the locomotive steamed again in 1993. The locomotive has had two further overhauls and has appeared on numerous main line excursions between 1995 and 2007, when it was decided that the cost of equipping the locomotive with on-train monitoring recording could not be justified. Its current boiler ticket started in 2015 and the Manor remains based at the Severn Valley Railway where it is a regular and popular performer.
While there have been several previous charters with Bradley Manor, there have been comparatively few using the locomotive and smaller 3500-gallon tender and none that have featured the Manor on double track. We therefore expect this goods charter to be very popular and hope you will wish to join us at the Great Central for some Great Western steam action.
Event cost £80.00 per person.