4930 “Hagley Hall” was built at the Great Western Railway’s Swindon Works under Lot 254, and entered traffic in May 1929, at a cost of £5,107.
4930 was new to Wolverhampton Stafford Road Depot, and during its career served at the following depots in succession; Wolverhampton Oxley, Chester, Bristol St Phillips Marsh, Wolverhampton Oxley, Wolverhampton Stafford Road, Oxley, Weymouth, Oxley, Chester, Oxley, Tyseley, Leamington, Tyseley, St Phillips Marsh, Weymouth, Bristol Bath Road, St Phillips Marsh, Westbury, Taunton, Exeter, Taunton, Exeter, Old Oak Common & Swindon.
Hagley Hall was withdrawn from service in December 1963, having run 1,295,236 miles and was sold to Woodham's scrapyard in Barry, arriving there in April 1964. The large number of redundant wagons arriving for scrap ensured that most of the locomotives in the yard remained untouched by the cutter’s torch, and 4930 “Hagley Hall” numbered amongst these survivors.
4930 was purchased by the SVR Holdings Company in June 1972 and was moved “dead” by rail to Bewdley on 6th January 1973.
Renovation commenced at Bewdley and continued in earnest at Bridgnorth in 1978. At the completion of this full restoration, and following a few test runs and minor rectification work in August 1979, its return to passenger working took place on 22nd September 1979, when it double headed faultlessly with “Black Five” LMS 5000 From Hereford to Chester and return with the SVRA “The Inter-City” charter.
In preservation, 4930 “Hagley Hall” was first coupled to Hawksworth Tender 4117, but in 1984 this was exchanged for Collett tender 2563 (formerly paired with 6960 Raveningham Hall). The Hawksworth Tender was returned when 6960 left the SVR in 1996.
Regarded as the flagship locomotive of the SVR, 4930 “Hagley Hall” was selected to haul the official reopening train for Kidderminster Town Station on 30th July 1984. 4930 made a number of successful mainline appearances, the most notable being a storming double-headed run with 7819 Hinton Manor over the South Devon banks during the GWR150 celebrations in 1985. It was sent from Bridgnorth to Plymouth overnight to deputise for the failure of the much larger “King” class engine.
Withdrawal from SVR traffic came in October 1986, after suffering failure of several boiler stays. Although this was considered an insignificant repair, with only a short amount of time left on its boiler ticket (a legal requirement every 10 years) before requiring an overhaul, such work could not be justified. Between 1986 and 1999 it was stored at Bridgnorth with other locomotives, awaiting its turn for overhaul.
In 1999, agreement was reached between the SVR and McArthur Glen for the loan of 4930 “Hagley Hall” as an appropriate exhibit for display in the Designer Shopping Complex on the site of the former GWR Swindon Works. It was cosmetically restored prior to the move, and was tended by a group of volunteers from the nearby “STEAM” Museum during its seven year stay in Swindon.
7/8 June 2007 saw the return of 4930 from Swindon to the Severn Valley Railway by road. En route, 4930 “Hagley Hall” made a detour to visit the stately home after which it was named. This is believed to be unique in the history of GWR named locomotives. Thanks are due to Lord and Lady Cobham for allowing this very rare opportunity.
Shortly after its return to the SVR, the setback and damage to infrastructure caused by the extensive flooding of Summer 2007 resulted in 4930 being unable to access the new Engine House at Highley. It appeared at the Bewdley Station Open Day on 22 July 2007, and at Kidderminster Station during the Autumn Steam Gala in September 2007, before being stored in Kidderminster Carriage Shed for the duration of the following winter. On 16 March 2008, it was finally moved to Highley and displayed at The Engine House Visitor & Education Centre. Subsequently, 4930 has only left the confines of The Engine House on one occasion – On 23rd April 2012, during a reorganisation of the locomotive exhibits, when it briefly reached Highley Station.
Following 27 years of dormancy, the removal of 4930 "Hagley Hall" from display at The Engine House, Highley on Sunday 6th October 2013 signalled the long-awaited start of the overhaul and restoration process. Throughout the following years, the locomotive was dismantled at Bridgnorth Works, and the long and painstaking task of restoration to running order got under way. Following an enormous amount of work and expenditure, the restoration of 4930 Hagley Hall was successfully completed in Summer 2022, and the locomotive was re-launched into service on 9th Sept 2022 in a ceremony at Kidderminster Town Station, SVR. At this time, 4930 was 93 years of age, and had been out of SVR traffic since October 1986, a gap of nearly 36 years. 4930 "Hagley Hall" will once again take its place as the flagship of the fleet on the Severn Valley Railway for the 2023 Season.
Last updated: January 2, 2023