From my Archive I choose…

D is for Duchess

Duchess of Hamilton

46229 Duchess of Hamilton arrives at York

One of a class of 38 express passenger locomotives designed by Sir William Stanier for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company.   She entered service in 1938 and was withdrawn in February 1964 during the rapid dieselisation of British Railways.   Saved for posterity by Sir Billy Butlin she spent some years at Butlin’s Minehead holiday camp where children could play on her.   In 1976 she was loaned to the National Railway Museum and was subsequently purchased by the museum in 1987.   This photograph was taken in April 1985 when she operated the Yorkshire  Coast Express.   Recently she has been restored to her original streamlined guise, as she entered service in 1938 – Photo by Jon Benton available from the Railway Herald site.

Although the class became known as The Duchesses, they bore a mixture of names.   The majority were named after major British Cities.  Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary and King George VI were also honoured along with Princess Alice and Princess Alexandra.   The last but one member of the class fittingly bore the name Sir William A. Stanier F.R.S. 🙂