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No. 60116 Hal o’ the Wynd

The third of Peppercorn’s A1s, No. 60116, was seen under construction at Doncaster Works on 9th August 1948 as Works No. 2033.  With class production now speeding up it was one of a pair to appear that month.  The unnamed No. 60116, carrying boiler No. 9662, emerged with LNER green livery with black and white lining but with ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ on the tender.  The characteristic early A1 plain chimney was fitted as it was believed that it would not disturb the airflow through the smoke deflectors.  It was noted at Doncaster on 7th September and entry into traffic was from Heaton shed (HTN) on 8th October.  Early workings naturally featured the North East with sightings at Newcastle and Darlington.  The first trains recorded were the up 09.00hrs ‘Tees-Tyne Pullman’ and down return from 8th – 12th November plus a few more runs the following week and on New Year’s Eve.  Other workings included the Newcastle to Liverpool up train noted leaving Stockton at 11:15hrs on 1st and 25th April 1949 with 12 and 11 coaches respectively. Another Pullman hauled by No. 60116 was the down ‘Queen of Scots’ from Leeds to Newcastle on 6th May.  Five times No. 60116 was logged on the up ‘Northumbrian’ between November 1950 and July 1951; that on 24th May working into King’s Cross while 25th July’s run from Newcastle included the ‘Coronation’ restaurant car. Rosters included runs to Edinburgh Waverley, it being noted there on 31st July 1950 and it was seen on Haymarket shed on 13th September then 14th January 1951. Most sightings though were at Newcastle and King’s Cross or stations in between.  Normal overhauls were done at Doncaster, however, on 17th October 1950, No. 60116 visited Darlington for weighing.

Changes to No. 60116’s appearance came in the early 1950s.  Repainting into BR express passenger blue was accomplished in March 1950, following a general overhaul at Doncaster, making it one of the first members of the class to be so treated.  A lipped chimney replaced the plain one, improving the aesthetic appearance.  After a heavy intermediate repair, May 1951 saw No. 60116 named after a character from one of Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Waverley’ novels.  Hal o’ the Wynd is an alternative name for Henry Gow (Gow is the Gaelic equivalent of Smith) in ‘The Fair Maid of Perth’.  He was a squat but powerfully built, prosperous blacksmith in Perth who was “known to Highland and Lowland as the best armourer that ever made sword and the truest soldier that ever drew one.”  The word ‘Wynd’ (pronounced ‘Wined’) refers to a back street or alley.  Although third in the class it was the 42nd A1 to be named.  It has been commented that the choice of name was superb as No. 60116 patrolled the Borders!  During 1950/51 the Flaman speed recorder fitted from new was removed as with the other 19 A1s so equipped.  In August 1952 the locomotive and tender were repainted in BR green during a general overhaul which included fitting its first replacement boiler, No. 29818.  Hal o’ the Wynd had its smokebox numberplate and nameplate transposed because of difficulty in fitting train headboards.  The numberplate was moved down over the upper door hinge and the lamp iron lowered.  This modification was applied to the rest of the class as they went through the works.

Hal o’the Wynd has a lamp change at Peterborough North in 1955 – Peter Townend

No. 60116 races past Brandon-Colliery, Co.Durham on New Year’s day 1960- Revd. David Benson

Work in the 1950s seemed to comprise chiefly the East Coast Main Line, interrupted by general overhauls during February 1954 (boiler No. 29829 fitted), July 1955 (boiler No. 29861 fitted) and February 1957 (boiler No. 29810 fitted), all carried out at Doncaster apart from a visit to Gateshead works in October 1954 to have a welded repair to its smokebox tubeplate.  ‘The Heart of Midlothian’ seems to have been a favourite for Hal o’ the Wynd with logs for 1952/3 and especially 1955/6.  Often these were the up working taken forward from Newcastle but also the down train from Peterborough to Newcastle.  Also hauled were the down ‘Queen of Scots’ like the 8th October  1951 run from Leeds to Newcastle, the up ‘Tynesider’ from Newcastle on 3rd January 1954 and the down ‘North Briton’ from Newcastle on 11th April 1955.  From October 1955 to June 1956 No. 60116 could often be found on ‘The Norseman’ (Saturdays only) from King’s Cross to Tyne Commission Quay though it is likely that the Pacific was taken off at Newcastle.  At 06:40hrs on 17th September 1957 found Hal o’ the Wynd arriving at King’s Cross with the up ‘Night Scotsman’.  Less auspicious was No. 60116 failing on 28th December 1954 with the 08:00hrs Newcastle to King’s Cross at Peterborough with Class V2 No. 60866 taking the train forward – though it was seen back in use that afternoon passing Retford with the 14:00hrs ex-King’s Cross to Edinburgh.  Many times between 1957 and 1960 but particularly in 1958 No. 60116 brought the up ‘Queen of Scots’ into Newcastle though a few times in 1959 it was seen bringing the train from Edinburgh into Newcastle.   While unnamed trains between London and Tyneside were pulled there were runs via the Durham coast such as the 07:53hrs Sunderland to King’s Cross on 24th November 1954.

Other duties, however, appeared.  These included the afternoon 13:26hrs ex-Carlisle on the Waverley route on 14th August 1953.  Goods trains on the main line were rostered through the decade, ones on 10th October  1953 and the following 3rd July being seen in County Durham as well as one in York on 27th April 1957.  The 10:15hrs York to Great Yarmouth run was double-headed by No. 60116 and B1 No. 61338 as far as Doncaster on 18th April 1953.  The East Coast section of cross-country trains were pulled like the afternoon Birmingham train recorded at Low Fell on 8th May 1954 or trains into Yorkshire like the 11:15hrs Newcastle to Leeds observed three times between February and May.  Casual light repairs could be at Doncaster as on 10th August but they were also carried out at Gateshead Works on 20th October.  A double-header with No. 60126 Sir Vincent Raven was noted on 16th June 1956 with the 13.03hrs Newcastle to Birmingham.  Double-heading with A2 60511 Airborne on the 08:05hrs Birmingham to Newcastle occurred from York on 27th September 1957.  Two months later the emblem on the tender was changed to the later BR crest following a general overhaul at ‘The Plant’ which included equipping the locomotive with boiler No. 29864.  Workings in Scotland were customary for North East A1s, two noted in this period were the 14:05hrs Edinburgh to Perth on 5th July 1958 and the 09:30hrs from Glasgow to King’s Cross on Sunday 28th February 1960 as far as Newcastle.

Hal o’ the Wynd saw in the 1960s whilst at Doncaster for yet another general overhaul, leafing carrying boiler No. 29803.  Observations in the early 1960s feature servicing at Gateshead shed with stabling at Heaton or York. Along with most A1s a Smith-Stone speed recorder was fitted.  ‘The Northumbrian’ was worked a number of times in 1960/1 both down trains into Newcastle and up trains from that city.  Durham coast workings still sometimes featured like No. 60116 hauling the Sunderland to King’s Cross on 29th April 1960 as far as Grantham, arriving there at 11:30hrs, returning on the down ‘Tees Thames Pullman’.  Before reallocation, other named trains featured. On 13th June Hal o’ the Wynd hauled the 1E14 ‘Queen of Scots’ into Newcastle.  Three days later it powered the down Anglo-Scottish Car Carrier from there to Edinburgh and on a down fitted goods on 29th June.  Special or unusual workings featured No. 60116, one being an ECML diversion past Lincoln on 22nd January 1961.  While additional King’s Cross to Newcastle or Edinburgh trains were rostered for No. 60116 in 1961/2 it also brought the 09:55hrs Whitley Bay to Glasgow into Newcastle on 7th July 1962. Off its usual track were the up ‘White Rose’ on 6th September 1961 and a down pigeon special from Dringhouses on 5th July 1962.  As always throughout its life, goods trains were worked like the coke train from Newcastle to Carlisle on 18th October 1960.

The last of No. 60116’s eight boilers was fitted in June 1962 during its final general overhaul, a diagram 117 boiler No. 29786 with the dome further forward and having thicker barrel plates.  After 14 years shedded at Heaton No. 60116 was one of ten A1s reallocated from there to Tweedmouth – right in the Border country – for goods and regular passenger work.  The latter included the car carrier and the ‘Queen of Scots.  Local trains such as the 07:28hrs 2G85 Berwick to Newcastle feature.  Goods and parcels trains featured in 1962. A Class F freight from Heaton to Thornaby was logged at Newcastle at 14:50hrs on 12th June.  Nine and eleven days later No. 60116 left Newcastle at 15:05hrs with an additional afternoon parcels to Edinburgh and on 30th July it was recorded working a van train north.  Early 1963 parcels workings included Newcastle (originating at York) to Edinburgh and Berwick to Newcastle.  Of note is a down excursion from Newcastle at 10:40hrs on 16th May.  Ten days later it had worked further north as it was seen in Perth shed yard in steam.  Running from Carlisle happened on 17th, 19th and 21st June when it took the Euston to Perth train forward.  A seed potato train was recorded with No. 60116 on 22nd and 25th November.  Though based at Tweedmouth, servicing was frequently carried out at Gateshead with a visit to Heaton also noted.  An undated sighting is of Hal o’ the Wynd passing south through Seaburn on the Sunderland line one morning in 1963.

Trains recorded in 1964 were mostly in the North East.  They include the 2G85 Berwick to Newcastle and return, 8S57 and a down passenger from Newcastle on 20th May though passenger runs featured much less with more reliance on goods trains, 21 being recorded this year.  They range from heading north past Alnmouth, York to Tyne Yard freights, a down minerals through Newcastle, Tyne Yard to Millerhill and 6S49 Carlisle to Niddrie West.  An exception was 14th February ’s duty of 14:42hrs Corstophine to Edinburgh, working empty stock out of Waverley on the 13th then the 15:30hrs south to Berwick and again on 14th March.  One parcels noted was the 10:40hrs Newcastle to Leeds on 25th September.

Hal o’ the Wynd and Meg Merriles at, appropriately, Haymarket in 1964 – Bill Reed

Reallocation to Gateshead came on 18th October. The last recorded workings of No. 60116 were on 24th October when it was seen on Darlington shed at 04:30hrs before pulling a down Class F York to Low Fell goods after which it went to Gateshead shed.  Withdrawal from traffic of this magnificently-named locomotive came eight months later on 14th June 1965 though it had been removed from Gateshead shed to Tyne Dock shed for storage on 11th March.  It had last been seen in steam on 28th February in Gateshead shed yard.  With a service life of 16 years 8 months it lasted a year and a half longer than the class average.  In fact, it was among the ten longest surviving A1s. Sold for scrap to Hughes, Bolckow of Blyth, Northumberland the following month, it was towed by Q6 No. 63366 on the morning of 4th August to its final destination.  It was last seen there on 27th August.  A sad end for a hardworking North East engine which patrolled its Border homeland well for nearly 17 years, while still giving a good account of itself over the rest of the LNER system in between.

This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background.  Revised and updated by Graham Langer, April 2020.

Footnote: Brothers David and Philip Champion saw No. 60116 Hal o’ the Wynd a number of times in the early 1960s when on locospotting trips to Newcastle, Heaton and Seaburn which gave rise to the cry, “Not Hal o’ the Wynd again!!!” Only years later did they realise what they now missed, and No. 60116 became their favourite A1! It was particularly the memory of this locomotive, together with other inspiring members of the class, which prompted them to get involved in the A1 project at a very early stage in 1990. David devised the financial plan under which No. 60163 Tornado was built and later became Chairman for eight years. Philip became Editor of the in-house magazine for 11 years.