Sold October 2006 Back to Archive

7 1/4 GER freelance 0-4-2 tender engine - stock code 2399

Another victim of Mrs P's vicious campaign to rationalise my toys, she spotted this one lurking behind a rather good GWR King on the racks. I bought it last year because it appealed to me - it looks like somebody has built a 7 1/4 inch gauge engine using only a Bassett-Lowke tinplate catalogue for reference - and had rather vague ideas of using it for "specials" on the new railway here, redolent of the old sepia pictures you see of 1930s summers with little boys in felt hats and cricket jumpers driving ancient engines round long-forgotten garden railways.

So much for the romance, the boss has decided to get the stock of 7 1/4 gauge engines into single figures this year so this one has to go. Possibly.

I know little of its history. Lots of things look ancient about it - nutted and calked boiler, smokebox superheater, signwritten buffer beams, ancient cylinder lubrication, overscale plumbing with huge injector amongst others. Other parts suggest a more recent overhaul including newish paintwork. The thing was substantially built and well-made, with working leaf springs and crisply done motion work. I've scoured "Model Engineer" and talked to a number of knowledgeable sources but so far no more information. If somebody does recognise it, let me know (particularly if it's some terribly exciting information which makes it irreplaceable and, thus, assured of a permanent place in the collection...)

Turns over freely, rather dusty and cobwebby and the grate's missing. Other than that, it appears complete although unused in many years.

20 August

At last, some diligent soul has found out a little more about this engine! I had already looked through (amongst many, many other tomes) Greenly's "Model Steam Locomotives" to no avail. Mine's a 1929 edition, in the 1948 edition there are several additions, including this picture of a rather familiar looking engine. So now we know the maker and that it was interesting enough for Harris to turn his camera on (and, indeed, make it to Greenly's book when reprinted). Still don't know the exact age, although obviously no later than 1948.

My thanks to Richard for the information and the trouble he took to scan his copy of Greenly for me.

Scan courtesy R.Roebuck

Locomotive 44 inches
Tender 29 inches
Weight approx 3 cwt

gauge 7 1/4 inch