GWR 4-6-0 No 4920 Dumbleton Hall
Dumbleton Hall is one of the earliest examples of C. B. Collett's hugely successful and numerous mixed traffic 'Hall' class of locomotives. In all, 259 members of the class were built by the GWR, with a further 71 of the later 'Modified Hall' class, introduced by F. W. Hawksworth in 1944.
Our locomotive was built by the GWR in Swindon works in 1929 at a cost of £4375, including £1167 for her boiler. Initially allocated to Old Oak Common, she was also shedded at Oxford, for which reason she carried a reconditioned 3500 gallon tender until 1939 instead of a standard Collett 4000 gallon tender because of Oxford's ancient coaling stage which could not handle the larger tenders. After spending some years at Cardiff and Reading, 4920 worked from Taunton shed for much of the 1950s before transfer to Laira shed in Plymouth.
After travelling 1,396,966 miles, Dumbleton Hall was withdrawn in 1965 and sent for scrap to Woodham's scrapyard in Barry, South Wales, becoming the longest serving member of the 'Hall' class outliving most of her classmates on the main line by at least two years. She is also the oldest 'Hall' class locomotive to survive into preservation.
She was rescued by the Dumbleton Hall Preservation Society in 1974 and restored at Buckfastleigh.
Having worked on a number of lines, she is now awaiting overhaul. Previously too heavy to work on the South Devon Railway, 4920 will be able to work on the line in future as the SDR has recently been upgraded for use by heavier locomotives.
The real Dumbleton Hall is a Tudor-style house six miles from Evesham, Worcs built in 1830. Once the home of Lady Eyres-Monsell, it is now a hotel.
4920 is currently out of service.