GWR 7819 Hinton Manor
At The Engine House
7819 was the last to be built in the first series of ‘Manors’, and was turned out from Swindon in February 1939 (The last ten ‘Manors’, 7820-9, were constructed almost a decade later, in B.R. days). No. 7819 went new to Carmarthen, and following successive moves to Oswestry, Machynlleth and Shrewsbury, being withdrawn in 1965. In 1963/4, 7819 was a favourite choice for heading the ‘Cambrian Coast Express’ from Shrewsbury, invariably turned out in immaculate condition.
The locomotive arrived at Bewdley in woebegone condition in 1973, having been bought through the `Hinton Manor Fund’, which included S.V.R. Company help. Restoration to running order was carried out initially at Bewdley, and later at Bridgnorth, and 7819 was test-steamed in 1977. Its debut in passenger service occurred in the late Summer of 1977, and it was a prolific performer in the years that followed. Originally out-shopped in G.W.R. unlined green in June, it was repainted in G.W.R. lined green livery early in 1980, and B.R. lined black early in 1985. No. 7819 saw main line service during the `G.W. 150′ celebrations in 1985, reaching Plymouth, Swindon, Avonmouth and Newport. In 1987, a brief period of Cambrian steam occurred, and the engine took a prominent part, visiting Aberystwyth and Pwllheli during the Summer, working the ‘Cardigan Bay Express’ special service.
In 1991, 7819 shared Cambrian special train duties to Aberystwyth on two Sundays in June, and two in September. In the meantime, Gloucester Festival shuttles were worked on 4th August.
Following a loan to the Nene Valley Railway in 1994, 7819 was placed in storage awaiting major repairs on 7 January 1995. After a period in store in the open, the locomotive was cosmetically restored and placed on static display in the McArthurGlen shopping complex in Swindon. It returned to the SVR in August 2018 and moved to static display at The Engine House in March 2019. The ‘footplate’ is accessible to allow visitors to climb aboard and learn how to operate a steam locomotive, and for weddings and civil ceremonies.
The locomotive is now owned by The SVR Charitable Trust, having been formally transferred from the Hinton Manor Fund for a nominal sum in April 2004.