The Yorkshire Engine Company of Sheffield
finished the job of building this loco by finally assembling the parts, accrued during a
chequered history for two new engines for the
RH&DR. Originally ordered from, and started by,
Davey Paxman then continued at New Romney
using boilers from Krauss in Munich.
Designed from drawings originated by Greenly,
completed by A.L.S Richardson and based on
Canadian Pacific practice!
The Canadian style was chosen by Howey as it
was felt that the larger cab would give the driver
better protection against some of Kent's fine
summer weather, than the British styled
locomotives. He was also a fan of and visitor to
the Canadian Pacific Railway. When the engine
emerged onto the RH&DR in 1931 she came
complete with a very 'American' Vanderbilt tender
and was named Doctor Syn, after the Dymchurch
smuggling-vicar created by Russell Thorndyke.
In 1948, having been renamed Winston Churchill after the war-time Prime Minister, she was sent to
an exhibition in Toronto, Canada. At this time she
was painted bright red, but in 1962 she received a
black coat of paint and a new tender. The original, although stylish was prone to leaking.
As an experiment Winston Churchill was converted
to an oil firing loco in 1973, but was rebuilt
conventionally in 1979. The experiments were successful, but a rise in the price of oil meant
that no savings would be made over coal.
She carries one of a pair of Crosby chime whistles
that Howey had bought in Canada, and had
impressed Nigel Gresley on a visit to the RH&DR.
Howey then presented Gresley with the second
whistle which in turn was fitted to the new LNER
express Cock o' the North.
She has just undergone (2013) an in-house Major
Overhaul, complete with new power cylinders and
a brand new tender. Her current colour is bright
red, similar to how she looked during the 1970's.