THE FIRST STAGE OF THE JOURNEY BY LARGE PRAIRIE 5164 BACK TO STEAM BEGINS IN NOVEMBER
PRESS RELEASE – issued on 18 October 2023
Back in 2021, Erlestoke Manor Fund ( EMF ) approved proposals to restore ex-GWR Large Prairie no 5164 to steam, after its acquisition of the locomotive from the 5164 Preservation Group.
5164 has been stored, courtesy of arrangements made by Severn Valley Railway, under cover in Barrow Hill Roundhouse, near Chesterfield, since 2014.
The loco is due to leave its current home during the week commencing 20th November and has been invited to be the centre piece attraction at the Warley Model Railway Club Show at the NEC over the weekend of 25th & 26th November.
After the show, the loco will continue onto Tyseley Locomotive Works where the plan is to store the loco whilst EMF completes the overhaul & repairs of 7802 Bradley Manor and the new build tender project T2329.This work will occupy a large part of 2024.
During 2024, EMF will continue to make further detailed assessments of the locomotive’s condition and purchase materials as necessary. Currently over £40,000 has already been spent in this way.
Chris Field, EMF Trustee and 5164 Project Lead, says “ EMF is extremely grateful to the Warley Model Railway Club Show organisers for the chance to get the 5164 project moving, as well as enabling us to raise the profile of the 5164 Appeal and Erlestoke Manor Fund membership through highlighting our work over 50 years with our other two locomotives – 7812 Erlestoke Manor and 7802 Bradley Manor”.
Chris added “The 5164 Project will be used as an educational & transitional focus for younger engineering volunteers to project lead whilst learning from the more experienced engineers involved in EMF, thus preserving many, much needed skills for the future”.
For more details on the 5164 Appeal and EMF, please visit www.erlestokemanorfund.co.uk/the-big-large-prairie-appeal-returning-5164-to-service/
Photo – 5164 at Barrow Hill in 2021 at handover to EMF Trustees ( credit Robert Davies )
NOTES FOR EDITOR
Formed in 1973, the EMF was successful in the rescue through fund raising and the purchase of firstly Erlestoke Manor and latterly Bradley Manor from Woodham’s scrap yard in Barry, South Wales. Having been cast aside by British Railways as surplus and outmoded at the end of 1965, 7812 was rescued in 1974 and 7802 in 1979.
Once saved, the Fund’s attention focused on returning 7812 to working order, which was achieved in 1979. Initially purchased solely for spare parts, the Fund was encouraged to restore 7802 to working order, a practical and financial feat which was achieved in 1993. Since then, both locomotives have proved their usefulness in regular heritage railway service, each covering more than 100,000 miles in preservation, mainly on the Severn Valley Railway.
In late 2021, GWR Large Prairie 5164 was acquired by the Fund. 5164 currently remains on static display under cover at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, near Chesterfield.
5164 was completed at Swindon in October 1930 and allocated to the Wolverhampton District until 1956, when the locomotive moved to Newton Abbott to work local trains and as a banker on
Dainton and Rattery Banks. Withdrawn on 5th April 1963, it was sold to Woodham Bros. of Barry and arrived there later that year.
5164 was selected by the 5164 Preservation Group as being in the best condition of the 10 large prairies in the yard and moved to Bewdley following purchase in 1973. Once restored, 5164 was steamed for the first time in 1979, running until 1984. After a period in storage, the locomotive re-entered service following a comprehensive overhaul in 2004 and enjoyed a successful period in traffic, prior to being withdrawn pending a further overhaul at the start of 2014. Since 2014, 5164 has been on static display under cover at Barrow Hill Roundhouse, near Chesterfield.
CONTACTS for FURTHER INFORMATION
Peter Evans – Trustee and Press Contact – Erlestoke Manor Fund