Boilers that have been on Loco No. 2874

The usual practice of the Great Western Railway when overhauling locomotives was to swap a boiler to speed up the turn-round in the works - the old boiler would then take its turn in the boiler shop and be ready for fitting to the next loco in the overhaul queue.  Though the listing below shows that a swap was not always the case.  The "standardisation" of boilers, and swapping meant that a boiler would be used on numerous locos and across a number of classes.  The boiler that "started out" on 2874 was numbered 2805.

Subsequent tenders were:

Boiler Number Date Fitted Loco Mileage
2844 1st August 1922 108,618
4097 6th August 1925 201,072
2852 1st November 1928 279,152
4460 30th March 1933 380,592
4460 18th September 1936 490,055
2900 17th February 1939 560,824
2900 19th November 1941 642,796
8232 7th November 1944 730,228
8232 11th March 1947 792,024
2860 7th December 1948 841,565
2822 19th January 1951 905,789
4998 11th November 1952 955,412
4402 26th March 1954 993,761
4956 20th February 1957 1,079,885
2961 21st April 1960 1,173,742
Withdrawn 24th May 1963 1,258,517

History of Boiler No. 2961

When 2874 was withdrawn from service in 1963, the boiler carried was number 2961 - this is its history.  With grateful thanks to Craig Astell who provided much of the information.

The image shows the boiler being worked on in 2017, it is being needle gunned to remove the ravages of years of neglect and rust so that it can be fully appraised and non-destructive testing applied to checj the integrity of the metal.


Our first confirmed record of the boiler is from August 1923 when it was fitted to "Saint" class loco Lady of Lynn (No. 2906).  It covered 94,086 miles before removal in June 1925.  This accords with the recorded new build dates for the 29xx series boilers though there is a record of a boiler with this number being fitted to "Saint" class, Red Gauntlet (2983) between 1915 and 1920, then to "Saint" class,

Lady of Provence (2909) between July 1921 and March 1923.  We will try to resolve the conflicting information but the records are not always easy to find or sometimes read!

November 1925 saw it on heavy freight 2872 (sister of our own 2874).  This loco carried it until November 1927, clocking up 42,731 miles.

In May 1928 the boiler was fitted to "Star" class loco  Japanese Monarch (4026) though  this loco became "un-named" in the 1940s for obvious reasons. It stayed with this loco until October 1929, covering 74,985 miles.

Detail records are missing until October 1933 when it is shown as fitted to "Star" class Tintern Abbey (4067) until May 1936 with a mileage of 145,772. 

March 1937 sees a pairing with "Hall" class Olton Hall (5972) through to January 1944 with mileage recorded 323,636 - there is likely to have been a major overhaul of both loco and boiler in the interim.

Again we have a gap in records until July 1948 when Trentham Hall (5915) became the owner - a mileage of 98,160 was recorded by October 1950.

Another "Hall", this time Butlers Hall (6902) was the next in line -  34,956 miles covered by December 1951.

We now see yet another class - "Grange" - carrying the boiler with fitment to Arlington Grange (6800) between March 1952 and January 1957 - 214,369 miles; then Haughton Grange (6874) between April 1957 and December 1959 - 106,971 miles.

And so we come to April 1960 and the last recipient - our own 2874 - with 84,775 miles covered before the final fire in May 1963.  We did find the remains of that fire still in the ash pan when we came to start the dismantling in 2016!

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