Gordon Jones’
The final development of the Great Western iconic 4-6-0 locomotives was the County Class (not to be confused with the earlier 4-4-0 Counties). They were easy to identify with their unique full-length splashers over the wheels, rather than having the traditional GW separate splasher for each wheel. These were a feature unique to the Counties on the  GW.

Thirty were built between 1945 and 1947, but all were withdrawn and scrapped in the early 1960s. A replica of 2014, County of Glamorgan, is under construction at Didcot - see http://www.gwcountyproject.org.uk.

The class was designed by Hawksworth and was a testbed for ideas he wanted to include in a still-born Pacific design that was ruled out by post-war austerity measures, possibly including outside Walschaerts valve gear only ever to be used on the 1500 class of Paddington 0-6-0 shunting engines on the GW.

The Counties featured double chimneys and high (initially  280psi) boiler pressure. Running gear was that of the Modified Hall class. The new boiler was influenced by the Stanier 8F design. They proved to be a successful, free steaming design, well suited to express or freight work and a fitting finale to GW two-cylinder 4-6-0 development.

This model, photographed at Bristol, is by Gordon Jones in 3.5” gauge and represents no 1015, County Of Gloucester. The drawing and artists impression are of the Hawksworth Pacific that never was.