Thursday, October 3, 2013

Butler Henderson

In one of the very early posts on this blog I looked at the different railway companies that had, at one time or another, run trains along the line at the bottom of our garden. One of the reasons for doing this was that, at the time, I was considering building an OO gauge layout set somewhere local and wanted to get the locomotives right. This led me to the problem that out of all the OO gauge models currently on the market only one was suitable (albeit unlikely to have run on the line) for the whole period up to the grouping in 1923; a Bachmann model of Butler Henderson produced exclusively for the National Railway Museum. After Iain spotted that Butler Henderson was the background to the Meccano Garratt I thought it was worth actually showing you what this locomotive looks like.

These photos were actually taken last year at Barrow Hill when I was at Model Rail Live but she (I know it has a masculine name, being named after a director of the Great Central Railway company, but I was always taught steam engines should be treated like a lady regardless of their name) is a static exhibit and doesn't appear to have been moved during the past year. Unfortunately it isn't very easy to take good photos of the engines around the turntable, as it is impossible to get far enough back, so I went for mostly detail shots instead, rounded off with a photo of the OO gauge model.

While Butler Henderson may now only be a non-working static exhibit this wasn't always the case. On the 25th of August 1985 she was in fact happily pulling trains along the Great Central Railway, captured here by my Dad at Rothley station.


  1. What a treat! Thank you very much for putting these photos on the blog. I have a thing about the Great Central...the Robinson and Pollit designs particularly. That livery is gorgeous. I never saw BH in steam unfortunately and she's certainly well out of her 10 year boiler ticket now!. I do wish more ex-GC locos were preserved, but it's wonderful to have this one!

    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos. I agree it would be nice to have more GCR locos preserved, if for no other reason than, as you said, the livery is gorgeous.

  2. She does look very smart. Let's hope they get round to a full restoration.

  3. She has a certain un-fussy elegant simplicity that I like.