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Heritage News

6984 reappears as ‘Dowty Shed’ is demolished at GWSR

The empty space where the Dowty Shed used to be at Toddington, site of new diesel shed

A bit of preservation history has just disappeared at the Toddington base on the GWSR. The ‘Dowty Shed’. an increasingly decrepit and ageing remnant of the days when there was a preservation centre in Ashchurch, has been demolished to make room for a new diesel shed.  Named after the Dowty Railway Preservation Society next to the Midland line to Cheltenham, it housed LMS pacific 6201 Princess Elizabeth in the early years of its preservation. When that centre closed, the building came to Toddington where it provided the first covered accommodation for the new GWSR on the site.

The demolition has forced the removal into the open the partially restored, wheeled chassis and completed tender of Modified Hall class No. 6984 ‘Owsden Hall’ that inhabited the inner depths of the shed.  It is clear that much of the work needed to get this engine restored to operational condition has been done although there has been little or no progress for at least 18 months.  Its boiler still languishes in an unfinished state in another part of Toddington yard.

6984 Owsden Hall sees the light of day for the first time in a while. Owner Trevor Westbury is the bearded one discussing what to do now!

It is said that it would only take about another £90,000 to finish the job so let’s hope that the enforced move might spur its owner and restoration team back into action

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