The Open Day at Crewkerne Railway Station on Saturday October 20th will celebrate the 70th anniversary of a steam engine being named Crewkerne. The event has been organised by Friends of Crewkerne Station (FOCS) and will include a history exhibition and a raffle with refreshments available at Sue’s cafe in the Old Weighbridge.
FOCS would love to meet people at the railway station between 10 am-12.30 pm, who remember the engine naming ceremony that took place at Crewkerne Railway Station on October 20th,1948. On that important day in Crewkerne’s history, the platform was crowded with local people and school children including boys from Perrott Hill School. The steam engine was designed by Oliver Vaughan Snell Bulleid, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Southern Railway between 1937 and the nationalisation of the railways in January 1948, when the ‘Big Four’ British railway companies merged and became the state owned British Railways.
34040 Crewkerne was a Bulleid light Pacific that originally entered service for SR in 1946 under number 21C140. The engine number was changed under the BR numbering system and it was sporting its new number of 34040 when it arrived for the grand naming ceremony at Crewkerne Railway Station which was also attended by BR management and local dignitaries. One of the two nameplates from the Crewkerne steam engine, which became scrap metal around 1967, was returned to the town and is proudly displayed on the wall in the council chamber at Crewkerne Town Hall.
FOCS are currently in negotiations with the town council and other bodies to bring a few extra surprises for visitors to the Open Day at Crewkerne Railway Station on October 20th this year, exactly 70 years from the date of the original naming ceremony. Crewkerne & District Museum have confirmed that they will be commemorating the special anniversary in Crewkerne with a time honoured window display.