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Halls - unloved, unsung?

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by John Petley, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

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    6998 Burton Agnes Hall is my favourite because it was the first loco I worked on many many moons ago in my teens during my brief volunteering period at Didcot. (I scraped the paint and muck off the running plate on the drivers side)
     
  3. Bramblewick

    Bramblewick New Member

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    Never been a fan of the Halls. The cylinders are, to my eye, too wide and the cab too tall. The Manors are pretty, the Kings imposing, and the Castles beautifully proportioned, but the Halls have always seemed to me to be slightly on the ungainly side. I dare say that I'm in a minority.
     
  4. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Where you make the comparison to Manors, it's worth mentioning weight as well, a Manor could run at Buckfastleigh or Llangollen no trouble, whereas both routes need upgrading from BR days to take a Hall (though Llangollen have done this).

    To an extent I think it's the same situation with the Halls as Bulleid Pacifics, how many large tender engines of one type do you need at one time ?, Class 5 and gauging makes them awkward for a fair chunk of mainline work that forms the majority of work for most larger types.

    More of a square peg for a round hole than any dislike of them.

    I think the lack of comment about 4965 does it more credit than harm, it's quietly got on with the Shakespeare with minimal fuss for many years, rather than being involved with any unfortunate incidents.
     
  5. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Living in S-o-A Rood Ashton Hall is a regular visitor and have enjoyed a couple of sunday lunches behind it as it gallops through Solihull at 60mph. It seems to be a reliable performer which I supose is to be expected from the Tysley Stable
     
  6. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    Could ownership also play a part ?, without wanting to have a dig, Owsden Hall and Wootton Hall don't look to have any prospects prior to the long term.

    It's probably fair to say Didcot (rightly ?) take the view they are better off overhauling/building something rarer than 5900/6998 while there are other examples running, a Saint or 43XX being somewhat harder to come by.
     
  7. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    Owsden's progress seems to have gone well since it moved to the S & C R.

    I like a Hall, but as mentioned, it may be to do with them 'just getting on with it' much like the Black 5s.
     
  8. Stu in Torbay

    Stu in Torbay New Member

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    I had a footplate ride on Kinlet Hall at the PDSR summer before last, and remember the driver saying the Hall was just a bit too cumbersome for the Paignton line every day operations, whereas the manor and the BR std 4 are spot on for tender engines (which I guess is why they have both of these types!) I guess they are not quite right for 25mph 7 mile trips, but not suited for longer mainline work either. West somerset, or the GCR maybe the most appropriate heritage lines for them?...
     
  9. 5786Dan

    5786Dan New Member

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    I think it is partly because there are so many. However, if that was the case then the Black 5's wouldn't be so popular but I don't really like those locomotives especially. I like them a lot and I know many people want to see the return of 4920 Dumbleton Hall so they can't be all that unloved.
     
  10. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Yes, I always think its a shame that my favourite member of the class, the last one to be constructed, was not saved: That's Hall


    I will get my coat.
     
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  11. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  12. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    Reminds me of the version with the blue lamp. Evening Hall.
     
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  13. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  14. quarterjack

    quarterjack New Member

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    Well, for the landed gentry a hall is a home and every man's home is his castle...

    (Sorry, I'll keep quiet and act like a saint.)
     
  15. dampflok

    dampflok New Member

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    Now now gentlemen ,show your good manors ...
     
  16. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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    What if your house is out on the prairie?
     
  17. simon

    simon Part of the furniture

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    Where's KentYetti to tell us they were all beaten by a night owl.....
     
  18. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    You can always county on someone to make jokes about GW locos.
     
  19. Corbs

    Corbs Member

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  20. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Any more of these puns and I'll be wanting to duke it out with the culprits. And I've got a real bulldog approach with this sort of argument. Just have to be careful not to let anyone know what my achilles heel is.
     

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