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project mission statement

To create, on behalf of the Great Western Society, a County Class locomotive, in late British Railways condition, as authentically as possible, within cost constraints, to satisfy the requirements of the appropriate technical and safety authorities.

Hawksworth County 1000 County of Middlesex on th day of its naming in 1946 (C) GWR / Chris Hoskin

1000 County of Middlesex official GWR photograph from the day of its naming in 1946 (GWR/Chris Hoskin collection)

how to build a county

To achieve this goal the Great Western Society was granted ownership of major component parts of two donor locomotives which will form the basis for the reconstruction:

  • The underframes from 'Modified' Hall class locomotive No. 7927 Willington Hall.

  • The boiler from Stanier 8F locomotive No. 48518


7927 Willington Hall was built at Swindon in October 1950 and withdrawn from use in December 1965. 7927 was subsequently purchased and stored, to await scrapping in Woodham's Yard, Barry. Surviving more or less intact, she was removed from the scrap yard in February 1988, becoming part of the Wales Railway Centre collection in Cardiff. With the closure of the latter, she was returned to Barry, where she was stored undercover until being acquired by the Project in 2004.

The boiler to be rebuilt for the project was 'donated' by Stanier 8F locomotive No. 48518. This locomotive was one of a batch of 50 built for the L.M.S. at Doncaster Works, L.N.E.R. and was completed in August 1944. She was withdrawn from B.R. service in July 1965 and, like 7927, was purchased by Woodham Brothers for scrap. She survived, left the scrap yard in February 1988 for the Wales Railway Centre, subsequently being transferred to Barry in 1996 for storage.


Many additional parts will be required to produce a working County class locomotive. Some of these are available from the stocks of standard G.W.R. locomotives parts and some others, including items from scrapped County class locomotives, have been donated by enthusiasts. However, many will have to be manufactured from scratch. The latter process will benefit from the experience gained at Didcot by G.W.S. in their reconstructions of a single chimney King class locomotive, a Saint class locomotive from a Hall and a Steam Rail Motor.


The project has been divided into FOUR main phases, but while certain aspects would be given priority at different times, work on all four will continue concurrently:

  1. Modification of the Modified Hall's frames, bogie and brake equipment and manufacture of three sets of 6' 3" driving wheels to create a rolling chassis.

  2. Rebuild the 8F boiler as a Swindon Standard 15 OA (three-row superheater) boiler, add smokebox and double chimney.

  3. Refurbishment and/or acquisition of the motion, manufacture of fittings and pipe work.

  4. Construction of a new, all-welded, flat-sided Hawksworth tender.

Although the County Project was initiated by David Bradshaw and is under overall control of the G.W.S. Chairman, Richard Croucher, a specific G.W. County Project team has been established. The team was initially led by the late Mike Cooper, whose extensive knowledge of procurement, project management and infrastructure engineering was gained during his career in the Royal Engineers. At present, the Project Leader is Dicky Boast. Looking after the engineering aspects of the project was the late Keith Gilbert. Both were previously involved in the restoration work on 4079 'Pendennis Castle'.

7927 Willington Hall

7927 Willington Hall in British Railways service. (TM Collection)

This is how the original 1014 'County of Glamorgan' looked on 03/03/1957 at Bristol Bath Road shed. It is to this form that the Project aims to recreate 'our' 1014. (R.A. Panting, via Chris Hawkins, Irwell Press Ltd.)

48702 (sister locomotive to 48518) at Newport Ebbw Junction MPD, August 1965. (Terry McCarthy)

This is what the finished locomotive will look like.

1022 was the first to be fitted with a double chimney (after the development locomotive 1009), being out-shopped in May 1956. The original 1014 'County of Glamorgan' was similarly fitted in November 1956 and would have appeared in the livery shown in the photograph.

1022 County of Northampton, Swindon 1956. (K.R. Pirt/Colour-Rail)

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