Wiltshire

STEAM museum buys 'rare' wheel guard from Swindon locomotive

  • 17 November 2012
  • From the section Wiltshire
GWR Castle Class locomotive No. 7037 Swindon
Image caption GWR's Swindon locomotive is the only engine to have had wheel guards decorated with the Swindon coat of arms

A "rare" wheel guard from the Great Western Railway's Swindon locomotive has been bought by the STEAM museum.

The splasher, decorated with the Swindon coat of arms, is one of a pair of wheel guards from the GWR Castle Class locomotive No. 7037 Swindon.

Spotted at a recent auction by museum staff, it was bought for £3,300 using donations from visitors.

Curator Felicity Jones said she was "particularly excited" as she was "not aware that it even still existed".

Image caption Princess Elizabeth carried out the official naming ceremony in 1950

Built in August 1950, No. 7037 Swindon was the last in the line of GWR's famous Castle Class express passenger locomotives.

Named by the Queen - Princess Elizabeth as she was then - at Swindon Works, the locomotive is the only engine to have had wheel guards decorated with the Swindon coat of arms.

This distinction, according to a museum spokeswoman, made the splasher a "must have acquisition - particularly as the museum already holds both of the Swindon locomotive nameplates".

"We are thrilled to be uniting the splasher with one of the Swindon nameplates, after all these years apart," said Ms Jones.

"Given its royal connections, it is especially significant to bring the splasher back to its Swindon home during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year."

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