Philip D Hawkins - Old Oak Common - Castle Class
Steam Train Locomotive Christmas Card featuring a GWR Great Western Castle Class 4-6-0 by Railway Artist Philip D. Hawkins
The care and maintenance of steam locomotives had to carry on in all weathers, though at Christmas the warmth afforded to the crews by the fires in these fine machines was a welcome perk of the job.
One of the most important depots, Old Oak Common on the outskirts of London, supplied a great many locomotives for famous trains such as the Cheltenham Flyer and Torbay Express. The depot also had its allocation of smaller engines and here we see two examples of Great Western excellence in the twilight years of their service for British Railways.
5063 is Earl Baldwin, a Castle class 4-6-0 built in 1937 and named for the then prime minister Stanley Baldwin. The locomotive would be withdrawn in 1965 and scrapped the following year. The locomotive behind it is one of the GWR distinctive Pannier tanks, probably of the 57xx class. These little workhorses could be found all over the GWR network and were even supplied to London Transport.