Third Restoration 2020-
26B are pleased to confirm that (4)5337 is now beginning her third overhaul.
Preliminary work on the tender has begun and the team have lifted the boiler from the frames, the boiler tubes have also been removed, allowing for detailed inspections to proceed.
We are also pleased to declare that the whistle is the first part to be fully restored, “well actually” it was removed from the top of the boiler/firebox for cleaning and polishing, but we had to start somewhere!
During the cleaning process it was noticed that this whistle is stamped with the number “45623” being from EX-LMS Jubilee “Palestine”.
After enquiries, no one can seem to remember where this whistle came from, but in the early days of 26B, many people came forward with various loco items such as this and we believe that it made its way to the loco from a previous member of 26B (now deceased) who also worked out of the Newton Heath depot.
During her preservation years she has never reverted to her original London Midland & Scottish Railway identity as Class 5MT 5337, which she carried between 1937 until 1948.
Although, for a short while she did run as M5337, (being a number temporarily used by the newly formed London Midland division of British Rail, before this “M” was replaced with a “4”).
Therefore, for her third relaunch back into working service, we intend to restore her back to her original LMS livery.
We would like to see her running again in this livery and showing them off, which now seems like the most dignifying accolade to do.
We do understand that liveries are close to people’s hearts, for many people now just remember Black Fives in British Rail liveries, normally looking a little scruffy too, 26B had a policy for keeping her just as people remembered them, looking work stained and weathered.
Therefore, it is perhaps inevitable that sometime during the third 10-year boiler certificate, at some point she will most probably revert, back to her 45337 identity, for which most people now associate her with, but for the third launch back into traffic, we are looking forward to seeing her looking good while steaming again with her former identity as 5337.