Peter Rich

GW REBUILT BADMINTON CLASS

This rebuilt Great Western Badminton class 4-4-0 Waterford was designed and made in 5” gauge by the late, great Pete Rich and shown by current owner Paul Hutfield at Bristol in 2018. Pete described the class as William Dean’s first real adventure into modern express passenger locomotives in the 20th century. The chassis was pure Dean design and the boilers were the work of his assistant G. J. Chuchward.

With deteriorating illness Dean’s work was gradually taken over by Churchward. The class of 20 locomotives were described by Pete Rich as “the odd men of the Great Western.” By the time they were retired in the late 1920s they had been subject to many experiments which resulted in a class of ‘one-offs’.

The class was the first to be fitted with Belpaire fireboxes, and to be fitted with oval wheel spokes.  A number of other innovations were applied to the Badmintons during their life time.

No 3310 Waterford had many other non-standard features. It had the Standard No 2 Belpaire boiler with no dome. The safety valve was moved forward (as in all later engines). The boiler was pitched higher than others and the chimney much shorter. It was also fitted with a large cab with pillar handrails.

Cab sides initially carried large oval number plates. No 3310 was also among the first to be fitted with the Dean 3000 gallon tender with a squared off top. It was also unusual in that it had the old type Dean frames.

Peter Rich noted more alterations to this fascinating class. As he commented: “Why did I refer to Badminton locomotives as the ‘odd men out’? I cannot think of any other GWR class engines in which so many visual  and internal differences applied to such a small number of engines.”

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