There is a story behind my latest acquisition of a Hornby King Arthur Class 4-6-0 St Dinandan. Sometime ago I bought, off ebay, a Schools Class, Dulwich, which I wanted to get converted to 3 rail running. I wanted this loco because I went to Dulwich College and thought that it would be an appropriate addition to the loco fleet. However unlike the early Hornby Schools Classes this one was not made in Margate but one of their China productions. This meant that it had been greatly modified including wheels which were close to fine scale i.e with very small flanges. These wheels plus the complicated tender drive system would have made it both difficult to convert to 3 rail running and the small flanges would have made it a very iffy runner on old HD 3 rail track. On the advice of my engineer I decided that it was best to sell it and look for something more suitable.
The loco was sold before Christmas and in its stead I acquired St Dinandan. This is from the period when Triang Hornby changed back to being just Hornby. It was only for sale for a couple of years. It has a plastic body and is reasonably detailed. Interestingly the new 2006 Hornby catalogue indicates that this year they will be introducing a new super detailed King Arthur Class which I am sure will put my old version into the shade. However as it is unlikely that the new version could ever successfully be converted to 3 rail operation I will have to live with the one I have.
In the conversion new driving wheels have been fitted to replace the insulated ones and a full size Marklin skate so it is a very smooth runner and a good puller as well. It is in Southern Malachite Green and in Southern livery so it is another interesting runner for my pre- nationalisation running. I now have examples of all the big four pre-nationalisation companies so can happily operate in this era. The only problem being that HD really didn’t make any pre-nationalisation coaches apart from the Gresley teak coaches provided for Sir Nigel Gresley. Given this I will probably have to operate on a Heritage railway basis with more modern carriages. What matters as long as they rattle around the track and bring a smile to your face.
New pictures have been posted of this addition.