By Norman Spink, Martin and Tom Parham

It’s no surprise that LBSC’s Speedy design became one of the most popular among model engineers. One of only a few he designed in 5” gauge along with attractions such as Walschaerts valve gear on a Great Western subject, although the valve gear has proven a mystery to many a builder. Not so the late Norman Spink, who built this one 50 years ago. It passed to Martin Parham who used it extensively for many years, and then to Tom Parham who rebuilt and improved it.

It was displayed attractively at the 2019 London Model Engineering Exhibition at Alexandra Palace in a large scale maintenance shed diorama incorporating neat figures by Hardy’s Hobbies.

The 1500 class were 0-6-0 pannier tanks. Despite being a GWR Hawksworth design, all ten (nos 1500–1509) were built by the Western Region of British Railways in 1949. Unlike almost all their forebears, they had outside cylinders, Walschaerts valve gear, and a very short wheelbase of 12 ft 10 in to go round curves of 3.5 chains (231 ft).

the class had limited usefulness as they were restricted to few routes due to their heavy weight, and being unsuitable for fast running because of their short wheelbase. Largely confined to empty stock workings at Paddington station, their lives were as little as ten years. Four of the class, 1506 to 1509, were based in Wales, Newport Pill, Ebbw Junction & Cardiff Canton. Loco 1501 is preserved on the Severn Valley Railway.



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