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Churchill Battle of Britain Class Locomotive by Ross Wardle
The painting shows Bulleid Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 Winston Churchill (34051) steam engine in motion and is quite superb. This painting was especially commissioned for ourselves.

Taken from an original oil painting by Ross Wardle - who used to paint for Matchbox and also a great number of Formula 1 paintings.

Bulleid Battle of Britain Class 4-6-2 Winston Churchill (34051)
Full colour print - artwork size approx 45cm x 32cm
2cm border on top and sides with elongated 4cm bottom border
Limited edition of 200

Any creases or poor quality with the scanned image is due to scanning the print in multiple sections or using a digital camera - as it is larger than our flat bed scanner.

Print will be sent rolled in a cardboard tube to avoid any damage during transit.

Bulleid Battle of Britain Class

The former Southern Railway was one of the pre-Nationalisation 'Big Four' of independent railway companies who preceded the former British Rail (along with the Great Western Railway, London, Midland and Scottish Railway and London And North Eastern Railway after the grouping of many smaller companies in 1923).

It decided, with the co-operation of the Air Ministry, to name 40 of its Bulleid light pacifics (i.e. a 4-6-2 wheel arrangement), originally introduced May 1945, after famous airfields, aircraft, squadrons and others associated with the Battle of Britain, as a tribute to the part they played in defeating the Luftwaffe, fighting, for the most part, over territory served by the Southern Railway.

After considerable correspondence, consideration and rejection of various names, names were allocated in a rather random way, being taken from Fighter Command's Order of Battle for No.11 Group for 3 November 1940 (The end of the Battle) with the occasional renaming along the way.

Following introduction in 1946, they operated throughout the area covered by the Southern Railway, from the London terminals at Waterloo (London's last steam terminus in 1967) for the West Country and south coast, and the Kent coast expresses from Victoria, Charing Cross (to Ramsgate) and Cannon Street.

Since at the time of ordering they were destined for use away from the West of England already covered by the preceding 48 West Country pacifics, a different sequence of names was introduced, actually for 44 of the 110 locos eventually built. Construction of the West Country/Battle of Britain class continued after nationalisation, until January 1951.

Other than the nameplates, the 'West Countries' and 'Battle of Britain's' were virtually identical, with their distinctive 'air-smoothed' boiler casing (hence their nickname 'spamcans' or 'streaks') and Bulleid-Firth-Brown 'Boxpox' driving wheels. Their chain-driven valve-gear in its oil bath between the frames could fail, and the oil proved to be a fire hazard on occasions when leaks reached the hot boiler region!

The 'Battle of Britains' however did have minor modifications to cab and tender contours to enable them to work through the restricted tunnels of the Tonbridge - Hastings Line (which they never actually did on a regular basis). They were designed by the charming but persistent and controversial Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway, Oliver Vaughn Snell Bulleid; all but six were built at Brighton locomotive works, the others at Eastleigh.

Vital Statistics
Driving Wheel Diameter; 6ft 2in
Locomotive weight; 86 tons, (rebuilt 90 tons) tender 47 tons.
Boiler Pressure; 250 psi
Tractive effort; 27,720 lb
Cylinders; three 16 3/8 inch diameter X 24 inch stroke
Length 67ft 4¾in with tender

Fully laden, a West Country/Battle of Britain pacific tipped the scales at 133 tons 5cwt. They were given the power classification 7P5F (7 for passenger, 5 for freight). Unrebuilt engines had a tricky reputation with some train crews and all shed fitters, with high coal consumption, but were speedy and powerful when running well.

Their original Southern Railway number series was Bulleid's typically individualistic European style 21C100 series, showing the engine number and wheel arrangement. The number of coupled driving axles was indicated by the appropriate letter of the alphabet - in this case, C for three - and the first numeral showed the number of carrying axles in front of the driving wheels (two) while the second shows the number of carrying axles behind the drivers (one), plus, after the letter, the serial number of the locomotive.

Their original colour scheme was malachite green with yellow lining, with nameplate with coat of arms or badge on each side of the original streamlined casing. From August 1949 this changed to standard British Railways express passenger loco Brunswick Green, lined in black and orange, repainting the whole class taking until March 1953 to complete; earlier, a few had briefly received an experimental apple green livery.

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