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5637 STEAM
LOCOMOTIVE GROUP

 
 

RESCUE

 
                 
 

 

Back in the late 1970’s the GW Steam Loco Fund was formed by members of the Swindon & Cricklade Railway (S&CR) to locate and acquire a Swindon-built Great Western Loco to operate on the S&CR. It was originally intended to obtain a small Prairie Tank but one couldn’t be found and 5637 was available as it was no longer part of the Birmingham Railway Museum’s plans.

Thamesdown Borough Council, at that time the local authority for the Swindon area, had a number of sympathetic ex-railwaymen councillors who were prevailed upon to buy 5637 by members of the Steam Loco Fund. The local authority agreed to fund the £8,000 purchase price and the £1,500 cost of road transport plus VAT with the option of the group buying it when it had raised sufficient funds.

5637 arrived at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway’s Blundsdon site in early April 1982. The only preparation needed was to wrap the boiler in polythene sheeting to stop the asbestos insulation escaping through the large  holes where the steel cladding had rusted away. The acceptance ceremony with the Mayor and Mayoress of Swindon in attendance took place on the 12th June 1982.


Photo: Ken Watts

5637 arriving at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway in April 1982

The GW Steam Loco Fund was then reconstituted as the 5637 Steam Locomotive Group (SLG) which began selling shares and other fund raising to buy the locomotive from Thamesdown Borough Council for what was expected to be a nominal sum. However, this was not the case and 5637 was eventually bought on 26th May 1989 after interest payments  on the initial outlay took the price to £13,688 plus VAT.

 
         

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