The impending withdrawal for overhaul of 7903 Foremarke Hall at the Gloucester-Warwick railway has raised a question in my mind about Halls in general (both the original 49xx and the modified 6959 series), and I'd be interested to hear what other people think. Essentially, does anyone rate Halls as one of their favourite classes, or could name one of the preserved examples as one of their favourite engines? My observations (and I'm happy for people to disagree) is that they do seem to be a rather overlooked class for no good reason that I can think of. To prove the point, there are plenty of enthusiasts for their LMS cousins, the Black Fives (Perhaps Ian Riley being the most celebrated). Obviously, the Black Five has one big advantage over a Hall - route availability - but this doesn't apply with the Manors which do also seem to make more people excited than Halls. The Severn Valley, not content with 7812 in service and 7802 soon to follow, have booked 7828 for the Spring Gala, and the West Somerset ran a gala with four Manors which went down very well. Suppose hypothetically that instead, the gala had featured 4936, 4965, 6960 and 7903 (Yes, I know Tyselsey doesn't loan out its engines really). Would four Halls/Modified Halls have drawn the crowds in the same way? Talking of 4965, it obviously can't put up such spectacular performances as its stablemate 5043 - it wasn't designed to - but it still has proved a most relable engine, but rarely seems to generate as much favourable comment, either on this forum or in conversations I have had with other enthusiasts, as the Castle. I must confess, having lived less than an hour's drive from the Gloucester-Warwick Railway for the last two years, I've developed quite a soft spot for 7903. I still wouldn't say it is one of my absolute favourites engines but it certainly looks the part at the head of a rake of chocolate & cream Mark 1s, and I'm sad that it is bowing out this year. So over to you, Gents. Especially with 6990 possibly re-entering service next year, 6989 not far behind and 4930 (which after all has been called the SVR's "flagship") about to begin its overhaul, I'd love to hear your opinions.