‘THE SHERWOOD FORESTER’ : BR 45231
‘BLACK FIVE’ CLASS 5MT : 4-6-0
‘The Sherwood Forester’ was originally known only as No. ‘5231’, the number given to her by the LMS when she was built in 1936. She spent the early years of her life based in Manchester, working both passenger and freight trains to North Wales. The ‘Black Fives’ were built by the LMS as mixed traffic engines, hence their designation 5MT. Over 800 were built, making them one of the most numerous classes of steam locomotive ever built, being deployed across the network from London to the farthest reaches of the Scottish Highlands. Just five members of the 842 strong ‘Black Five’ class received names during their working lives. In 1976 No. ‘45231’ received what was to be her first name, becoming ‘3rd (Volunteer) Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment’. Just a year later she was withdrawn for her first overhaul which took over 10 years to complete.
She returned to steam in 1988 and a year later moved to the Nene Valley Railway where she was to remain until the 1990s. In 1993 she starred in the Richard Attenborough film ‘Shadowlands’, filmed at the Great Central Railway. She is now operated by Icons of Steam on heritage rail routes.
Photo by: Bob Green