No.1 Sir Goss

Sir Goss

A logical step in developing the Tinkerbell class concept was to produce a tender version.

This concept had originally been developed by Roger Marsh and appeared as an artist’s impression in the 1980’s Severn Lamb catalogue. Called Severnbelle, the design showed the loco retaining Heywood valve gear and weatherboard cab, but with a 6-wheel tender.

In 1981, Jim Goss, assisted by Jim Haylock, constructed a 2-4-0 tender version of this idea in the workshop at Tucktonia. Named Sir Goss, the loco featured a locomotive boiler, a D shaped smokebox (like Medea) but with a large cab and a bogie tender fitted with a tender cab. This gave the loco a completely unique appearance further enhanced by a distinctive pale blue livery.

Sir Goss ran at various lines across the country as well as Tucktonia until the line closed in 1985. Moving to Moors Valley, it became loco No.1 at the railway.

A number of rebuilds followed, including conversion to a 2-4-2, before finally ending up as a 2-4-0 again, fitted with Walschaerts valve gear, a traditional style smokebox and high-level running plates. It was re-painted in a fully lined BR Black livery.

Sir Goss left Moors Valley in the early 1990’s where it performed a key role in setting up the Mersham Valley Railway in Surrey, before moving to Swanley New Barn Railway in Kent. Since then, Sir Goss has clocked up many miles at Swanley, hauling passengers on the line that runs from the car park to the main station and back.

In 2018, Sir Goss returned to the Moors Valley workshop for a complete overhaul, including a new boiler and valve gear, and a nice new livery.

Proving imitation is the sincerest form a flattery, an identical styled loco, this time named Lady Val, has been constructed and can be seen running at the Fareham and District Society of Model Engineers in Hampshire.

Sir Goss is now back running at Swanley, looking resplendent in a Great Eastern Blue livery.