Sold April 2008 Back to Archive

5 inch gauge Britannia - stock code 3346

Nobody who saw it first time round will forget "Lord Hurcomb" which I sold in April of last year. Alan's spirited driving of it at the club is still the stuff of legend there, the video I posted at the time has been viewed thousands of times. I make no apologies for re-using the pictures below - they are eighteen months old, however the engine hasn't been steamed in the meantime and remains in the same condition. It's recently returned to us, along with the V2 and IMLEC-winning J39 from the same collection, after its owner fell for my 7 1/4 inch gauge B1 "Mayflower" in a big way.

I've re-processed the video into a higher resolution format - although I think YouTube only let you get at the HD version during quiet periods - and posted it here.

An excellent 5 inch gauge "Britannia", number 70001 "Lord Hurcomb". Completed in 1988 using the Perrier drawings marketed at that time by Norman Spink, it has seen little use, with only half a dozen steamings in the last ten years in the hands of its second owner.

Silver-soldered superheated copper boiler, working pressure 90psi, feed by twin injectors, axle pump and auciliary hand pump in the tender. Twin safety valves and one of the best whistles I've heard in a while. The boiler blowdown valve is between the frames on the throatplate, remotely operated by a wire which comes out just below the nearside running board - this arrangement works very well and probably goes some way to accounting for the internal state of the boiler, which appears as-new.

Cast iron cylinders with piston valves actuated by Walschaert's valve gear with screw reverser in the cab. Cable-operated drain cocks. Mechanical lubricator behind front buffer beam. Fit and finish of the motionwork is first class.

The locomotive was repainted some years ago to a high standard, the tender is in its original livery, in good condition other than some chips around the removable panel covering the water pump.

I took this down to the club yesterday afternoon, braving the occasional hail showers which blighted an otherwise sunny Saturday. I have to say it's the nicest Britannia I've driven in any gauge - it pulls away on the tiniest throttle opening, can be notched up quickly and settled into a fast, relaxed gait with faint, dead-square exhaust beats with only two of us on the back. The injectors pick up cleanly and one is sufficient for all normal use.

Having a rather substantial investment in the machine, I was naturally somewhat cautious of giving it any stick given it's value, power and the elevated nature of our club track. Alan, on the other hand, had no such qualms and put in some storming laps while I watched, faintly aghast. They were captured for posterity on video, check it out from around 50 seconds in - Alan swears he knew there was a corner coming up, I'm not so sure...

Overall length is about six and a half feet, the locomotive alone is only just liftable by two people.

gauge 5 inch