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project CONTEXT



In September 1964 the official withdrawal of the last member of the Great Western Railway's 'County' class, designed by F. Hawksworth and introduced in 1945 occurred. Although there are suggestions that 1011 'County of Chester' continued in traffic for a few weeks after withdrawal, she was placed in store in November 1964, sold to Cashmore's Scrap yard in Newport and cut-up in March 1965.

At that point, Hawksworth's 'Counties' became extinct. Unlike many other Great Western locomotive types taken out of service in the 1960s, no Counties were sent to Woodham's Yard in Barry, Glamorgan, so were not available for later rescue and preservation, consequently the class lived on only in the memories of Great Western locomotive enthusiasts, aided by a wide range of photographic images, models, memorabilia and even art.

The first seeds

One G.W.S. member, David Bradshaw, noted that amongst the last group of unrestored locomotives, once stored in Woodham's Yard, there were sufficient standard 'parts' to form a basis for a County - with modifications and some new-build. Following several years of negotiations with Vale of Glamorgan County Council and planning, the G.W. County Project was launched in December 2004, to recreate a County, at Didcot, utilising the frames of a Modified Hall and a Stanier 8F boiler, from which the County boiler was derived.

Marking the contribution of Vale of Glamorgan Council and Barry scrap yard, it was agreed the completed locomotive should bear the identity 1014 'County of Glamorgan'.

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