Newton Heath's 44890
In the 1960s train spotters in the North West saw a lot of Black 5s, and we craved a 'namer'. By late 1967 the only namers around were the 'Britannia's, but any layout supposedly set in the North West in the mid-1960s needs a high proportion of Black 5s. Creating 'variety' in the fleet tends to focus on Caprotti valve gears of various hews, or differing boiler types. The Caprotti Black 5s were 'drawn' to Southport by 27C shedmaster Alec McBeath who rated them for their hill climbing abilities. These variants will have to wait another day, but for now the focus is on providing Black 5s from the last surviving sheds. With examples from Rose Grove and Lostock Hall, 44890 represents Newton Heath. Remarkably this loco spent its entire BR career at Newton Heath so would have been a regular visitor to Hall Royd.
The loco was bought off eBay as a part completed kit, with the tender finished and painted, and the body completed but unpainted. The chassis had been assembled but still required cylinders and valve gear. The 'standard' Portescap RG4 and Lenz silver decoder have been fitted. The front bogie is - in the photo - fitted with a Peter Denny style bogie pivot consisting of a piece of wire firmly fitted at either end to the bogie frame and the chassis. This has worked for others, but does not seem to suit our conditions, and as can be seen, in positioning itself for the photo, the front bogie has 'sprung' off the rails. So before final commissioning, a more traditional bogie fixing will be fitted.