William Stanier was born in Swindon where his father worked for the GWR as clerk to William Dean. Stanier junior was apprenticed at Swindon and rose from draughtsman in 1897 to Works Manager in 1920. In 1931 he was headhunted by the LMS to be their new Chief Mechanical Engineer.  Stanier took a lot of GW knowledge with him and he set about creating a series of successful large, modern engines which included the Jubilees, Princesses, 8F, 4MT, Turbomotive and, of course, the Black Five, one of the most successful ever all-rounder steam locomotives.

Stanier was knighted in 1943, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He was one of two I Mech E presidents that built a model locomotive, the other being Sir High Ford, another ex-Swindon apprentice.

The Black Five was introduced in 1934. By 1951 some 842 had been built. Black Fives continued up to the last day of steam and no less than 18 are preserved (including 45212) and more than half are operational.

The name comes from the power classification - 5 - and being painted black. It is one of the most modelled engines in all scales. This 5” gauge model was shown by the Sussex Miniature Locomotive Society at Alexandra Palace in 2017. 

It started as a Model Works kit, but has been much modified and improved from a non-runner to a regular and reliable performer at Beech Hurst. The Society reports that “there have been many trials and tribulations along the way, but proof enough that with time and effort these models can and do work!”