LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 numberplate sells

Posted by Chris Graham on 24th March 2022

The last BR passenger service numberplate, as fitted to 1935 LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0, sells, complete with original BR receipt for £2!

LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0

LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0: The plate reunited with the engine. Early Severn Valley Railway volunteers Pete Cherry (right) and Mick York (centre) with Crewe auctioneer, Neil Booth, on December 21st. (Pic: RAUK)

The original smokebox numberplate from ‘Black Five’ No. 45110, as fitted to LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0 BR No. 45110, was sold at auction in February, raising well above the estimate set for it.

The locomotive took the first leg from Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Victoria at the beginning of the famous ‘Fifteen Guinea Special’ rail tour – BR’s last steam-hauled passenger train – on August 11th, 1968, before running from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool Lime Street with the returning train at the end of the day’s tour.

The loco was purchased straight from service for preservation by ex-fighter pilot, David Porter, and was based at the nascent Ashford Steam Centre, where it was named RAF Biggin Hill. It was subsequently purchased by the Severn Valley Railway in 1970, where it has been based ever since.

This significant engine numberplate had a guide price of £1,000-£2,000, but went on to sell for £3,000 at the Crewe Auction.

Lancashire-based enthusiast Alan Moore had purchased the smokebox numberplate from BR for its scrap value of £2. Having travelled to Manchester to pay for it (along with several other plates) he went, as instructed, to Bolton MPD after the August finale, showed his receipt and collected it. The plate was sold with its original, BR paperwork.

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