Railways in Worcestershire

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PEOPLE & PLACES OF WORCESTERSHIRE

Over the years many locomotives have been named after people and places connected with Worcestershire but do you know who they were or where they are? This list is by no means comprehensive and we'd be delighted to hear of others that are not in our list:

1. PRE GROUPING LOCOMOTIVES

JENNY LIND

The Jenny Lind locomotive was a steam locomotive built in 1847 for the London and Brighton Railway by E.B.Wilson and Company of Leeds, named after Jenny Lind who was a famous opera singer of the period. She died in 11/1887 in Malvern after spending her last last years at Wynd's Point, opposite the British Camp. She is buried in the Great Malvern Cemetery.

 

2. GWR CASTLE CLASS LOCOMOTIVES

SIR EDWARD ELGAR

Several locomotives have carried the name of this famous composer of music starting with the "Castle" class 4-6-0 steam locomotive No.7005 which had originally carried the name "Lamphey Castle" before being re-named at a ceremony at Worcester. The nameplate from this engine is in the Elgar birthplace Museum at Lower Broadheath. In the diesel era, Class 50 diesel locomotive No.50007 also carried the name "Sir Edward Elgar". The rather more impersonal name "Elgar" is carried by ex BR Class 92 Co-Co electric locomotive No.92009.

Elgar was born at Lower Broadheath in 1857 and went on to become the foremost composer of English music in the early years of the 20th century. He died in 1934 and is buried in Malvern. Amongst his most popular works are "Enigma Variations", "The Dream of Gerontius" and the "Pomp & Circumstance" marches.

EARL BALDWIN

GWR "Castle" class 4-6-0 locomotive No.5063 was originally named "Thornbury Castle" but later acquired the name "Earl Baldwin". The Rt Honourable Earl Baldwin of Bewdley to give him his full title was M.P for Bewdley and Prime Minister. See also Astley Hall.

HARTLEBURY CASTLE

The "Castle" class 4-6-0 steam locomotive No.7033 carried the name of this castle in north Worcestershire. The building which houses a museum is now owned by Worcestershire County Council and is open to the public. One of the original nameplates from No.7033 is on display in the museum. Hartlebury Castle had been the seat of the home of the Bishop's of Worcester since 850AD but was largely destroyed by Oliver Cromwell (BR "Britannia" class 4-6-0 No.70013).

DUDLEY CASTLE

"Castle" class 4-6-0 No.4091 was named "Dudley Castle" after the castle that stands on a hill overlooking this Black Country town. Dudley Castle's remains are in the grounds of the famous Dudley Zoo. The name was also carried by class 86 electric locomotive No.86245.

The name "Earl of Dudley" was carried by No.5045.

EVESHAM ABBEY

Several "Castle's" were actually named after Abbey's, one such being No.5085 which was "Evesham Abbey". This locomotive was a rebuild of "Star" class 4-6-0 No.4065 and the nameplates were transferred to the new locomotive. The abbey overlooks the banks of the River Avon and is the burial place of the remains of Earl Simon De Montfort who died at the Battle of Evesham in 1265.

EARL OF PLYMOUTH

See Hewell Grange.

 

3. KING CLASS LOCOMOTIVES

There are many connections between the kings of England and Worcestershire but we list here only what we consider to be the three most important ones. There were 30 locomotives in the mighty "King" class 4-6-0 locomotives of the Great Western Railway.

KING JOHN

King John (of Magna Carta fame) (GWR No.6026) was buried in Worcester Cathedral in 1216.

KING CHARLES II

The motto of Worcester is "The Faithful City" which is a reference to the English Civil War when the city took the side of the Royalists under King Charles II who were defeated by the Parliamentarian army led by Oliver Cromwell (BR Britannia class 4-6-0 locomotive No.70013) at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

KING HENRY II

King Henry II (GWR locomotive No.6007) and his Queen were crowned in Worcester Cathedral in 1159.

 

4. GWR HALL CLASS LOCOMOTIVES

Several GWR "Hall" class 4-6-0 locomotives have connections with Worcestershire:

HAGLEY HALL

The most famous of these is No.4930 "Hagley Hall", the home of the Cobham family in north Worcestershire and open to the public on occasions, which is preserved at the Severn Valley Railway.

ASTLEY HALL

No.4903 was "Astley Hall" which is three miles from Stourport-on-Severn on the west bank of the River Severn. It was the home of Earl Baldwin.

HANBURY HALL

No.4931 was named "Hanbury Hall" which is also in Worcestershire and open to the public. The nearby Parish Church is also worth a visit if only to see the grave of a person who apparently died in an accident involving a runaway railway wagon.

HINDLIP HALL

No.4934 "Hindlip Hall" is named after this house near to Droitwich Spa which is not open to the public being in use as a headquarters for the West Mercia Police.

SHAKENHURST HALL

"Shakenhurst Hall" (GWR No.4966) is in west Worcestershire.

DAVENHAM HALL

No.6907 was "Davenham Hall" which is one of the most important buildings in Malvern and is now in use as a rest home for the elderly.

MAWLEY HALL

One of the lesser well known Worcestershire Hall's was No.5959 "Mawley Hall" which is close to the Shakenhurst estate in west Worcestershire. The hall was the home of the Blount family who amongst others owned a number of small coal mines in the Mamble valley.

 

5. GWR COUNTY CLASS LOCOMOTIVES

COUNTY OF WORCESTER

The GWR had two "County" classes of locomotive, both with one engine called "Worcester".. The first was No.3820 which was built in 1906 and withdrawn in 1931. After the original "Counties" had all been withdrawn a new "County" class was designed by Hawksworth and built at Swindon. No.1028 "County of Worcester" was built in 1947 and withdrawn from service in 1964. The nameplates differed from those on the earlier "County" class in that the Hawksworth designed locomotives had straight rather then the curved nameplates on the earlier locomotives.

 

6. GWR COURT CLASS LOCOMOTIVES

The GWR "Court" class of 4-6-0 locomotives was designed by Collett and built at Swindon from 1902.

CROOME COURT

Croome Court is south of Worcester and adjacent to the River Severn. With gardens designed by Capability Brown. It was the home of the Earls of Coventry, the remains of many of whom lie in the nearby church

MADRESFIELD COURT

No.2947 was named "Madresfield Court" which for centuries had been the seat of the famous Lygon later Beauchamp family of Malvern. The main claim to fame for Madresfield Court being that is was selected to be the wartime home if ever the Royal Family needed to be evacuated from London during World War Two.

STANFORD COURT

The name "Stanford Court" was carried by "Court" class 4-6-0 No.2949. The court and its church are high above the village of Clifton-on-Teme and was for many years the homes of the Salwy and Winnington families.

 

7. GWR DULLDOG CLASS LOCOMOTIVE

PERSHORE PLUM

This strange name was carried by GWR "Bulldog" class 4-4-0 No.3353, an outside framed light passenger locomotive built at Swindon in 1899. After the locomotive was withdrawn from service the nameplate was bought by an enthusiast and for many years adorned the outside of his house near to the Three Counties Showground in Welland.

 

8. GWR STAR CLASS LOCOMOTIVE

MALVERN ABBEY

The name "Malvern Abbey" was carried by GWR "Star" class 4-6-0 No.4066 which was built at Swindon in 1922. The locomotive was withdrawn in 1937 so that it could be rebuilt as "Castle" class 4-6-0 No.5076 "Viscount Horne". Originally a Benedictine Priory until the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, only the magnificent Priory Church remains in the centre of Great Malvern.

 

9. GWR GRANGE CLASS LOCOMOTIVES

HEWELL GRANGE

Hewell Grange (GWR "Grange" class 4-6-0 locomotive No.6839) and EARL OF PLYMOUTH (GWR "Castle" class 4-6-0 locomotive No.5049). Hewell Grange is in the village of Tardebigge and not far from the famous Lickey Incline at Bromsgrove. One of the largest estates in Worcestershire Hewell Grange was the Worcestershire home for the Earls of Plymouth. When the house was rebuilt between 1883 and 1891 a narrow gauge railway was laid to the nearby Worcester & Birmingham Canal in order to allow building materials to be brought from the canal to the house.

 

10. SR SCHOOLS CLASS LOCOMOTIVES

MALVERN

At least two locomotives have carried the name "Malvern". The most famous one being Southern Railway "Schools" class 4-4-0 locomotive No.30928.

 

11. DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES

SIR ROWLAND HILL

Sir Rowland Hill who was the pioneer of "Penny Postage", was born in Kidderminster. His name was carried by ex BR Class 47 diesel locomotive No.47484. The locomotive was one of those fitted with electric train heating but it was later sold to EWS who used it on postal duties. The locomotive was named at Kidderminster in 5/1990.

THOMAS TELFORD

Telford's name was carried by BR Class 47 diesel locomotive No.47590 (later re-numbered to 47825) has a connection to Worcestershire in that he built the river bridge at Bewdley in 1797. It is tribute to his work that the bridge is substantially as it was when he built it.

CITY OF WORCESTER

This name was carried by BR Class 37 diesel locomotive No.37114. The locomotive was named at Worcester on 2/5/1993.

SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY

BR Class 31 diesel locomotive No.31233 carried this name after the re-opened private railway that runs from Kidderminster to Bewdley and Bridgnorth.

SEVERN

This name which is presumably shorthand for the River Severn was carried by Br class 47 locomotive No.47513.

LEA & PERRINS

The well-known maker of "Worcestershire Sauce" which had its headquarters in Midland Road, Worcester was commemorated by the naming of Class 37 diesel locomotive No.37185 (originally D6885). The name was unveiled at the open day at Worcester on 2/5/1993.

 

12. INDUSTRIAL LOCOMOTIVES

SARAH SIDDONS

'Sarah Siddons' is the ex Metropolitan Line Bo-Bo Electric Locomotive Number 12. It is maintained in working order and makes occasional forays onto the London Underground network for special events. Siddons was a well known 18th century actress who had ancestors that had lived in Worcester for many and she later lived in the City.

THE SHERIFF

A diesel locomotive built by Ruston & Hornsby of Lincoln (No.458961 of 1962) was purchased by Underwood & Co Ltd from a dealer in Birmingham for use at their coal depot just north of Droitwich Spa Station.

Alexander Clunes Sherriff (1816-1875) was one of the most important Victorians in Worcester. He was already well established before being brought to Worcester in the 1850s to revitalise the fortunes of the Oxford Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway (OW&WR) (by this time the railway was so run down its customers named it the "Old Worse & Worse"). Under Sheriff's leadership things improved so much that by 1863 it was sold to the Great Western Railway. Sheriff then formed the Worcester Engine Works Co Ltd with amongst others Walter Holland. Sheriff went on to become the M.P. for Worcester, Chairman of Worcester Porcelain Co, a director of several railways in London and of a Russian steelworks.

He was also responsible for bringing William Underwood to Worcester to work on the OW&WR. William Underwood later became the managing director of the Cannock Chase & South Wales Coal and Coke Company (founded 1861) and founder of Underwood & Co Ltd. When Underwood's acquired their first and only locomotive Peter Underwood, son of the founder, named the locomotive "THE SHERIFF" in honour of the close friend of his grandfather. (See Underwood & Co Ltd, Droitwich).

Just to the east side of Shrub Hill Station you will find another connection to Sheriff in the aptly named "Sheriff Street".

A portrait of Alexander Clunes Sheriff is in the foyer of the Guildhall at Worcester.

MALVERN

The second locomotive to carry the name "Malvern" was owned by the railway contractor, Thomas Brassey, and was used in the 1860s in the construction of the Worcester & Hereford Railway and the Ashchurch & Evesham Railway.

 

 

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