By Steve Herring
This engine was built in 1987 as the prototype of a batch by Phil Flint of Pembrokeshire. He also built some based on the earlier engines from the pre-Southern Railways days. I believe the numbers built were quite small, possibly about 12 of “LEW”. I would be pleased to hear if anyone has any definite information.
This particular engine was the one reviewed and tested by Jack Wheldon in an article published in ‘Practical Model Trains’ in October 1987. He also tested a ‘TAW’ at the same time. ‘LEW’ then was given to the Association, (donated by Phil Flint) and was a prize at the Association AGM in 1988. It was won by the late Bill Abbott who was the Association Secretary at the time. He promptly did a swop with Mark Gooding of Salisbury for another loco and I bought it off Mark during a session at Pat Foreman’s ‘Lanac Valley Railway’ in 1988.
She has a meths-fired pot boiler built on the principles worked out by Jack Wheldon and incorporated into his ‘Charles Pooter’. Very simply put, this involves a specially designed firebox which gives good air-flow around the boiler to help in steam raising while at the same time preventing too much heat passing to the body-work and imparting third-degree burns to the operator!
The ‘works’ are by Roundhouse Engineering. This is the two-cylinder, slip eccentric set-up as used on the contemporary ‘Lady Annie’ and ‘Dylan’ and therefore well proven items. As can be seen, prototypical (outside) valve gear is not fitted. ‘It’s all pure Doncaster’.
Additions by me include a blow-down valve and a water filling system. I did go mad once and fit radio-control but removed it preferring to stay with the ‘burnt fingered brigade’! Apart from that any work has just been due to the usual wear and tear.
It’s a big strong engine, happy with five or six bogies yet very easy and docile to drive. The paintwork and lining are getting a bit tatty now but I’ve been told to leave it alone. Like a piece of antique furniture, it’s developing a patina!
If anyone has any further information on these Classics by Phil Flint I’d love to hear from them.
Membership No 551