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NWR No. 503 'Col. Henry Regaby' - Full Story




Here's the full (relatively short) story of the making of my 'Green 5', No. 503. I've combined all the previous blog posts into one.





NWR Name:
Colonel Henry Regaby


Wheel Arrangement


North British Locomotive Co. (1935)


Stanier 5MT


Purchased by NWR




After the Killdane accident in 1935, No.303 was written-off. At this time, the steel fireboxes on the ROD 2-8-0s were wearing out and a second motive power crisis loomed.


The story current at Crovan's Gate Works is that Topham Hatt and William Stanier were apprentices together at Swindon, and that on at least one occasion, perhaps more, the future Sir Topham was able to help the future Sir William to escape the consequences of what might have been a serious scrape. The arrival of Stanier at the LMS in 1931 had marked the beginning of the end of the ill-feeling the LMS had toward the independent NWR.

Thus, Hatt was able to arrange the purchase of two 5MT and three 8F locomotives. These were built by the North British Locomotive Co. to drawings borrowed from Crewe (the LMS not being allowed to build locos for other companies). The NBL 5MTs were distinctive from the early LMS ones in having the top feed on the front ring of the boiler, a feature which would appear on the later LMS locos.

One of these, numbered 503, became the second 'Colonel Henry Regaby' and inherited the nameplates and lined green livery of its predecessor. No.504 was named "Sir Albert Regaby' in honour of the recently retired chairman, and painted standard NWR blue.


Whilst at the Shepton Mallett toy fair, the good people at Ray Heard sought out for me the elusive 'black 5' I had been searching for. This one ticks all the boxes:


Super detail
Loco drive
Dome and top feed in the correct places (top feed far forward) to represent Henry


All for a great price! Please excuse the grainy iphone pics.








So, my intention is to get this one repainted professionally. In the spirit of my project, I am going to draw from real-life liveries, in this case the BR Green applied to classmate 44932 in the early days of preservation, similar to the green 'Jubilees'


With the letters 'N W' on the tender and a GW-style numberplate on the cabside.


Work on 704 'Gordon' has stalled, but with my housemate now moved out I have enough space to model again!


A little update on No.503. As previously mentioned this is being resprayed professionally, today I was pleasantly surprised with some in progress pics!








I'm excited!


Just received these pics of a completed No.503, with lettering, lining, real coal and weathering all completed.


I'm very pleased with how it's come out! Cabside numberplates are likely to be etched GWR style ones, will have to get some transfers for the smokebox door.


Tender numerals are based on the wartime LNER style. I asked for the loco to be given a light weathering to show it's actually been working and go for the 'realism' aspect.


Extremely happy with it!


Now, pics...












I just wanted to give a shout out to the chap who undertook No.503's repaint and weathering - David Penman at Custom Models


David's service was great and I was over the moon with the end result!




I haven't really posed 503 on the layout yet, so got it out of the drawer, fitted a number 20 Kadee and played with the goods stock.


705 and 805 lurk in the background.




NWR 5MT - The Green Five


So, why is 503 green when the NWR standard livery is blue? Well, I'll tell you....


In The Island of Sodor: It's People, History and Railways, written by the Rev. W Awdry, the following is written of one of the Sudrian characters of note:





REGABY, ALBERT 6th Baron, and 1st Viscount Harwick. Eldest son of Frederick Regaby, the 5th Baron. Albert succeeded to the Barony and the Cronk Abbey Estate in 1886. His tastes were literary and he added judiciously to the
historical side of the Abbey Library. He also played an important part in encouraging his cousin, the REV. NICHOLAS DRESWICK, in the preparation of his definitive History of the Island of Sodor, 4 Vols. (Chatter & Windows, Suddery 1899-1912). This work lays great emphasis on the importance of Sodor
as an outpost in the direction of Ireland. Albert Regaby always maintained that his gift of a copy of that work to the then First
Lord of the Admiralty was the deciding factor leading to the formation of the North Western Railway Company in 1914.
He was Chairman of the N.W.R. from 1915 to 1934, in which year his peerage was advanced to a Viscounty on his retirement.
He died in 1947 at Cronk Abbey, and was succeeded by his son Col. Henry Regaby M.C., D.S.O., the present holder of the title. (1864-1947)


So here is where I pick up the story...
Albert was the chairman of the NWR in 1918 when his eldest son, a Colonel, returned from the battlefields of France and Belgium.


Col. Regaby had served first in the Sodor Regiment before transferring to the Rifle Brigade and seeing combat during the Somme offensive.


In 1919, the NWR's loco No.303 was named Colonel Henry Regaby in honour of the chairman's son, and repainted green (the traditional uniform colours of the 95th Rifles, the predecessors of the Rifle Brigade). No.303 was sadly a notoriously poor performing loco and eventually written off in the Killdane accident of 1932.
The replacement was NWR No.503, a much more powerful loco. This engine inherited the name and livery of the scrapped No.303, looking not dissimilar to the example seen in this photo:



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