A Warship at Lavington

Yesterday, a searcher at the Market Lavington Museum blog was searching for a ‘Warship at Lavington’.  Many people will think this is most unlikely, since our Lavington is best part 50 miles from the sea and not on any kind of navigable waterway.

But that would be to forget the railway. One of the early types of main line diesel loco was named after warships and these were referred to as ‘The Warship Class’.

And thanks to the generosity of a former Lavington signalman, we do, indeed, have a photo of one of these engines racing its train through Lavington Station.

A Warship class diesel loco passes Lavington in 1959

This photo is said to have been taken in 1959. It shows a down train passing Lavington Signal Box, complete with its Great Western Railway signal box nameplate.

Other features of GWR influence can be seen. The leading coach is in the GWR livery of chocolate and cream. There’s a lower quadrant signal on the end of the down platform as well. In fact, the Warship loco could be deemed a last fling of the GWR. Many of these engines were built at Swindon and they featured a non standard (in Britain) system of hydraulic transmission which some might suggest was a bit of cussedness by those in charge of the Western Region.

Other items to interest the transport enthusiast are the existence of bull head rail in the loading dock and a Morris 1000 car at a time when it must have been quite new

Let’s hope that searcher from yesterday, looks back again.


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