In 1930, Southern Railway named ten new locomotives after public schools. The 1930 ‘Schools’ class included Eton (30900), Winchester (30901), Wellington (30902), Charterhouse (30903), Lancing (30904), Tonbridge (30905), Dulwich (30907), Westminster (30908), St Paul’s (30909) and Sherborne (30906).

Southern Railway schools class locomotive 30906 Sherborne at Cannon Street station, c1930 (b&w)

Southern Railway 4-4-0 Express Passenger Engine Schools Class locomotive 30906 ‘Sherborne’, built at Eastleigh in 1930.

The Daily Mail reported that ‘This is really excellent news. No one can now reproach the Southern Railway with carelessness.  I mean, you can’t imagine a public school engine leading a train astray, can you?’

The ‘V’ Class was devised by Southern Railway’s chief mechanical engineer, R.E.L. Mansell.  Each locomotive weighed 67 tons and were very fast runners. However, the electrification of the railways left the class redundant and they were gradually withdrawn.

A further thirty locomotives were added to the ‘Schools Class’ after 1930: Merchant Taylors (30910), Dover (30911), Downside (30912), Christ’s Hospital (30913), Eastbourne (30914), Brighton (30915), Whitgift (30916), Ardingly (30917), Hurstpierpoint (30918), Harrow (30919), Rugby (30920), Shrewsbury (30921), Marlborough (30922), Uppingham (30923), Bradfield (30923), Haileybury (30924), Cheltenham (30925), Repton (30926), Clifton (30927), Stowe (30928), Malvern (30929), Radley (30930), King’s Wimbledon (30931), Blundell’s (30932), King’s Canterbury (30933), St Lawrence (30934), Sevenoaks (30935), Cranleigh (30936), Epsom (30937), St Olaye’s (30938), Leatherhead (30939).

Sherborne Schools Class nameplate, Wallace House (given to School in 1963)

The ‘Sherborne’ nameplate was given to Sherborne School in 1963.

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