GWR 7800 Class 7802 Bradley Manor
7802 Bradley Manor crossing Victoria Bridge.
7802 Bradley Manor is a 7800 'Manor' Class 4-6-0 steam locomotive. Built by the Great Western Railway at its Swindon Works in January 1938 it had an operating life of 27 years being withdrawn in November 1965. Designed by Charles Collett, it is one of nine of the class to make it into preservation and is currently based on the Severn Valley Railway.
After leaving Swindon it was sent to Old Oak Common TMD being transferred to Bristol Bath Road TMD in 1939. Like most of its class it eventually ended up on the Cambrian section, arriving at Machynlleth in 1946 where it stayed until its final transfer to Shrewsbury in 1964. Withdrawn from service in November 1965 it was sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard in July 1966.
It was rescued from Barry in 1979 by the 'Erlestoke Manor Fund' based at the Severn Valley Railway originally as spare parts for 7812 Erlestoke Manor. However the owners had a change of heart and in 1983 the decision was taken to return 7802 to steam. This was accomplished in 1993 and since then has given excellent service on the Severn Valley Railway, West Somerset Railway and on various mainline excursions.
Bradley Manor was withdrawn for overhaul in August 2000, and to help speed up the process it was given the boiler of preserved classmate Erlestoke Manor which was already partially restored. The work on Bradley Manor continued with it first moving under its own steam on 12 March 2002 and entering service for the Severn Valley Railway later in the year. It completed over 9,000 miles during the 2000 season with almost continuous daily service. In 2005, 7802 was featured in the Disney movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, in the scenes passing through the countryside.
The summer of 2003 saw Bradley Manor haul a number of trains in August under the name Torbay Express. Promoted by Past-Time Rail, the itinerary was Bristol Temple Meads to Kingswear and return. The originally planned four trains were so popular a fifth was added in September. Bradley Manor developed a hot axle box on the first run on 10 August and so was unable to haul the next two outings which saw 5051 Earl Bathurst step in. However Bradley Manor returned for the 31 August and 7 September trips. On commenting about the success of the Torbay Express, Past-Time Rail director Andy Staite said that "Bradley Manor was the 'right' motive power for the line - Newton Abbot shed had 'Manors' in steam days and they were a familiar sight on the South Devon Coast route."
In April 2007 new Network Rail standards were introduced requiring all preserved steam locomotives to be fitted with On-train monitoring recorders (OTMR) before they could run on the mainline. So halfway through its latest mainline certificate the owners decided the cost of returning 7812 Erlestoke Manor to steam and fitting OTMR to 7802 was just too much. Bradley Manor did receive a stay of execution and could run mainline until the end of 2007, 7802 was withdrawn in 2012 for an overhaul.
In November 2015, 7802 re-entered traffic after an overhaul shared between Bridgnorth works and Tyseley locomotive works. A new 3500 gallon Churchward tender is being built which will eventually replace the 4000 gallon Collett tender.
The location of 7802 Bradley Manor on particular dates.
|First shed||Old Oak Common|
|August 1939||Bristol Bath Road|
- "A tale of two Manors". Erlstoke Manor Fund. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "Boiler swap for two SVR 'Manors'". Steam Railway. 257: 8. 2001.
- "Newsletter No 36 (March 2002)". Erlstoke Manor Fund. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "Newsletter No 37 (April 2003)". Erlstoke Manor Fund. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- Wilcock, David (2003). "Down Main". Steam Railway. 288: 70.
- "'Manor' class details, 7800 - 7829". The Great Western Archive. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
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