The main gala at the Great Central Railway is normally held in October and is sponsored by Steam Railway magazine. This short series of 5 images, converted to B&W.which hopefully gives an old look to each, features three visiting engines to the railway, two of them for the first time.
Returning to steam, and looking terrific, after a major overhaul was the "Black Five" locomotive number 45305 (5305).
5305 was built by Armstrong-Whitworth of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1936, works No 1360. She spent most of her life based in North-West England. After nationalisation in 1948, British Railways renumbered her 45305.
45305 survived to the last month of steam on British Railways, August 1968 and was withdrawn from Lostock shed.
45305 was sold to scrap merchants Albert Drapers and Sons Ltd. of Hull. The owner of the scrapyard, A.E. Draper saved the engine, merely that it was the cleanest engine in the yard. The locomotive is still owned by the scrapyard but is looked after by the 5305 Locomotive Association.
5305, restored to original LMS livery was steamed again in 1976. In 1984, 5305 was named Alderman A E Draper by the Mayor of Hedon, Bill Tong. A.E. Draper was twice Mayor of Hedon and the Hedon coat of arms is on the nameplates. However, for reasons of authenticity, the engine does not always carry these nameplates.
In the 1986 5305 worked over the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig, continuing her class's particular association with Scotland.
5305's boiler certificate expired in December 1994 and she was out of service until Autumn 2003 when she assumed her BR guise as 45305. Since then she has also had a mainline certificate and has been based on the preserved Great Central Railway in Leicestershire.
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