Memory Lane


Foot and Mouth in Rolleston (1950)

Read Bryan Jennings (now living in Queensland, Australia) account of Foot and Mouth at (their) Cross Farm, Rolleston in 1950 (pdf document). Only six years earlier they had received certificates for their war effort.



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The Casualties Of World Wars I & II - Two More “Rolleston” Men

In St. Mary’s Church, near the original montage, we now have a framed picture of 23 of the 24 Rolleston casualties of the Great War, with his name printed on the photograph of each man. We are fairly certain of the identity of all but five of these, and should like information about those whose names are underlined. The one missing is Private Benjamin Smith, who was killed on 20th May 1918, and whose War Grave is in the churchyard.

Also in our churchyard are memorials to two of the fallen with Rolleston connections, Percy Faulkner and Ted Gammage.

Rifleman Percy Faulkner, of 7th Battalion Rifle Brigade, was killed in action at Hooge on 30th July 1915 aged 23. He had been in France since 20th May and was one of 769 men who fell on that day. His name is recorded on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Panel 48.

He is also commemorated on his mother’s tombstone in St. Mary’s Churchyard where the inscription reads: “In Loving Memory of ELLEN JANE Wife of JOHN YEOMANS FAULKNER Died May 28th 1948 aged 94 years and 8 months
And their two Sons JOHN GUY Died January 16th 1948 Aged 61
Alongside PERCY 7th Batt R. B. Fell at Hooge JULY 30 1915 Aged 23”

His name is also recorded on the Thomas Alleyne’s School War Memorial, Burton Town Hall War Memorial and Bass House War Memorial.

His father is buried in a separate grave where the inscription reads:
“To the Memory of JOHN YEOMANS FAULKNER who died Nov. 5th 1903 Aged 50. Sleep on it is not yet the dawn.” At the time of Percy’s death, his parents lived at 87 Derby Road, Burton, so he is not strictly one of our Rolleston casualties. Before the war, he worked at Bass brewery, and was a member of Burton Football Club, Burton Rugby Club and Leander Rowing Club.

Aircraftsman 1st Class Albert Edward Gammage of RAF Volunteer Reserve died on 19th October 1943. He is buried in Grave 51 in the N’Djamena (Farcha) War Cemetery in Chad (formerly French Equatorial Africa), one of only 4 Commonwealth casualties there, all airmen. He was married to Eileen Edith Gammage of Eastbourne, East Sussex.

His name is recorded on his mother’s tombstone in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Rolleston where the inscription reads: “In Loving Memory of ANNE GAMMAGE Passed away May 25th 1935
Aged 74 years. Come unto me and I will give you rest. Also in loving memory of ALBERT EDWARD (TED) GAMMAGE R.A.F. Youngest son drowned in West Africa, October 19th 1943 Aged 42 Years (Buried at Fort Lamy). REST AFTER WEARINESS”

Perhaps someone can tell me what Anne’s Rolleston connection was?

Arnold Burston: July 2016.

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Rolleston Soldier Remembered

Dignitaries from across France gathered to mark the centenary of the death of a First World War soldier from Rolleston in a ceremony organised by his great nephew. Arthur Topliss (born in Rolleston-on-Dove on April 28, 1896), of 'A' Company, 2nd/8th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action aged just 20 under machine gun fire on September 5, 1916 at Battalion HQ in Laventie, France. As well holding a ceremony in France, his great nephew, Tony Topliss, also travelled from his home in Grantham, Lincolnshire, to Rolleston Church which rung its bells 100 times. Mr Topliss also presented a ceramic poppy he had purchased from the display at the Tower of London to the church.

Read more in the Burton Mail (September 21, 2016) article here.

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Do You Know Where You Live?

The village History Group is planning a display of local maps from the last 250 years in St Mary’s Church, 23rd – 26th September 2016. This will include tithe maps, the first ordnance surveys, plans for the great estate sales of the early 1900’s, etc. Come to see how the local area has developed. Did your house or road exist or are you on a greenfield or brownfield site? Full details in the Autumn 2016 Rollestonian. Offers of unusual maps welcome. Please contact Tom Martin (813320) Arnold Burston (813457) or Michael Wardell (812565).

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Lest We Forget

July 1st 2016 marks 100years since the Battle of the Somme began in Northern France. This was probably the darkest day in British military history with 19240 soldiers killed on the first day. The battle lasted until November 18th.

During this period there were a number of casualties from Rolleston.

With this in mind and prompted by an article in the Daily Telegraph I am proposing to place a small cross of remembrance on the graves of all the Rolleston casualties of WW1 before November 2018.

This year it would seem appropriate to start by placing a commemorative cross, inscribed with 'Rolleston Remembers' on the graves or memorials of soldiers involved in the Battle of the Somme.

If anyone with connections to Rolleston would like to get involved, I can be contacted on 01283 812268 or by email at

Ref: › History › World War One /Arlesey

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A Rolleston Village Shop (Or life before Starbuck’s) (Rollestonian Spring 2016 Article)

Local author, Layton Layberry, who lived as a child on Dovecliff Road in the early 1920’s, wrote a series of memoirs for an unpublished autobiography. Here, he remembers Royal’s shop on Station Road. The shop is still remembered by some senior village residents.

To those of us who lived near the station, there was only one shop that mattered in Rolleston. It was kept by a family named Royal and situated opposite the Gas House, almost in the centre of the row of Edwardian villas which stretched from the end of New Row to “the Pit”.

I do not remember Mr Royal in life, but I have a clear recollection of his death which occurred when I was six (I have checked the year on the gravestone). As the youngest of our family I often listened-in to conversations between my mother and my two older sisters and I vividly remember long discussions about the unfortunate man’s prolonged sufferings on his deathbed.

Mrs Royal was (as it seemed to me) a vast woman permanently arrayed in her widow’s weeds which she wore with queenly dignity. Rows of heavy black beads were an additional attraction, as was her delightful Scottish accent. Her daughter, Emily, brought up locally, could not match her mother’s speech nor her personality for she was a small. Colourless young woman, as like to her mother as a mouse is to a lioness.

In the crowded little shop (actually the front room of the house) we spent our pennies (when we had any) on the way to school, in the dinner-hour or on the way home, exchanging them for caramels, Seton’s toffee, two-a-penny bulls-eyes, humbugs, long coiled liquorice tubes which we called telephones, sherbert (which we called kay-lie) and the sweet dried pods of the carob tree which we called “locusts”. In those days biscuits arrived at the shop in cube-shaped tins holding several pounds. For twopence we could buy a large bagful of the broken biscuits which collected at the bottom of the tin.

Here also we bought marbles, whips and tops, fireworks during the few days they were in season (nobody ever seemed to get blown up or burned in those days), Christmas decorations, and surreptitiously, the occasional packet of Woodbines. I suppose, but cannot be sure that general dry goods such as tea, sugar and flour could also be purchased, but I can be sure that black treacle, drawn from a small barrel was available. On our way to school we used to take in a largish china jug plus twopence, collect it when we came out and carry it home – not without some trepidation, for it was filled nearly to the top with black stickiness. I cannot recall any disaster that ever happened. We were too careful for that as we were all greedily fond of suet pudding and treacle.

These memoirs with some amplification (and literary licence?) appear in his series of “Oakleigh” novels based on local farming life e.g. “On the left-hand counter, one could buy reels of cotton, ribbons, skeins of wool, elastic, stockings, butter muslin, and if you asked furtively and no males were present, she would bring a box of ladies underwear from beneath the counter. She would not put unmentionables on show, of course – it might cause ribald comments from the lads of the village!”

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Mystery Village Sign

This “ROLLESTON” village sign has been discovered in the Craythorne area (Winter 2015). Note the ornate shaping at the left-hand end. This suggests that there could have been a right-handed companion. The lettering is not consistent with the railway station signage and is not thought to be associated with it. Do any old Rollestonians recognise the sign or one similar? Please e-mail any suggestions to -

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“Lest We Forget” (Rollestonian Autumn 2015 Article)

One hundred years ago Europe was in the throes of the Great War and seventy years ago saw the end of the Second World War.

The carnage was so great in the Great World War that nearly every community, however small, saw losses of men on active service. For the first time ever following a war, memorials were erected in almost every city, town and village.

One hundred years ago, Rolleston on Dove was a small agricultural village with only a small number of whom would be suitable for active service and the 23 who died would have represented a high proportion of those.

The grief of family and friends of those who died would have been the same in every community, whatever the size but, in the villages, the young men killed and their families would have been well known to every member of the community.

After the Great War Rolleston on Dove erected its memorial to the dead and inscribed it as did many others, with the words “Lest We Forget”

We do forget. Those with living memory pass away and a list of names is usually that remains to be remembered.

It is possible that the villagers of Rolleston realised this, but whatever the reasoning, the Rolleston community wanted a more personal memorial and collected photographs of those killed in action and mounted them in a frame which has ever since been mounted on a wall in the village Church. This memorial reminds people that the names on the memorial are real young men with personalities and character who were sacrificed by and for their country and knew no life after schooling other than the hell of active service.

The Second World War did not repeat the static warfare of the First in which attempts were made to take territory by weight of numbers in the hope that sufficient would survive to take the objectives. Mass slaughters in attack and defence were not generally a feature of WW2 and consequently, although Rolleston would have grown by the end of the Second World War, those of the village who died on active service were less than half the numbers of the Great War. A plaque with their names was added to the War Memorial but no montage of photographs was placed in the Church as after the Great War, and the memory of those fallen in the Great War is more alive than those who were killed 25 years later. It might be that it is already too late, but Rolleston wants to prepare in this anniversary year a montage of photographs of those who died in the Second World War.

If you have any photographs or know where there are photographs of any of those whose name who appears on the Rolleston on Dove War Memorial, please get in touch with Arnold Burston (Tel: 813457) who very much wants to take copies for a memorial and village archives. Your photographs will be returned undamaged.

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Royal Jubilees in the Village (Rollestonian Summer 2012 Article)

Our longest serving King, George III, reigned for 59 years and 3 months but it has taken two Queens, Victoria and Elizabeth II, to pass the 60 year hurdle.

We do not know of Rolleston’s activities in the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign but Canon Feilden’s (Rector 1884 - 1907) day-book, which has survived, portrays the enthusiastic celebrations of her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.

On 21st June 1887 he records “The Queen’s [Golden] Jubilee was celebrated in Rolleston with great heartiness and every manifestation of exuberant loyalty.” The village had collected £55 and men’s wages had been paid for the day, which started with a peal of bells at 6 am. At 10 am the 250 children of the village were marched to Rolleston Hall to receive Jubilee Medals from Sir Tonman and Lady Mosley. A Church service at 11.30 was followed by villagers walking to a field with three tents. At 12.30 two hundred men sat down to “a plentiful meal of beef, plum pudding, etc”, washed down with ale. At 3.30 “the women were regaled with a substantial meat tea” and a tea for the children followed. The site was extensively decorated with flowers and Chinese lanterns. There were sports and dancing to a band from Nottingham. “At 10 o’clock a Jubilee bonfire of huge dimensions was lighted on Beacon Hill. The proceeding was enlivened at intervals by the firing of cannon and flights of rockets. This brought the day’s rejoicings to a close but the neighbourhood was en fete until the early hours.”

Festivities for the Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday 22nd June 1897 follow a similar pattern with the additional laying of the foundation stone of what was then called “The Victorian Commemoration Hall”.

Sir Oswald had given the land and the village had collected funds for this memorial to the occasion. On laying the stone, however, Sir Oswald announced that he would take on the entire cost of the building, leaving the subscribers to provide the furnishings and incidental expenses. The Hall was completed and opened by Lady Mosley on 23rd December with an accompanying concert. Canon Feilden reports “The night was unfavourable in as much as there was a dense fog – but notwithstanding there was a large attendance to investigate an Institution which, it is to be hoped, is destined to be of real use and benefit to the village.”

The next event of Jubilee status was the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935, only months before his death. One eye witness account, in the village archive, records a parade of village organisations, led by the Excelsior Silver Prize Band, from the Commemoration Hall to the Church for a special service of thanksgiving. There was again (and for the last time?) a large beacon at the top of Beacon Hill “When it was lit, after dark, many people danced around singing songs, with no regard for health and safety.”

The coronation of our present Queen on Tuesday 2nd June 1953 was marked by six days of village celebrations. These started with a United Churches service on the eve of Coronation Day and culminated with a Fancy Dress Parade and sports afternoon on the Saturday. The village legacy of that occasion is the now ageing willow trees planted along Burnside.

A village committee was formed to plan for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. The Scout Group contributed with a special Jubilee Carnival. Community activities included a dance (which would have been held in the Forest of Needwood High School hall), a children’s film show and a senior citizen’s tea. Village children were presented with jubilee mugs and also Jubilee crown coins. The event was also commemorated with extensive bulb planting around the village.

The village planned major celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2002. These followed the success of the Millennium festivities and the formation of Rolleston on Dove Special Events Committee, successor to the Millennium Committee. Spread over an eleven day period, celebrations began with an Arts Festival and Open Art Exhibition. These were followed by a Church Service, entertainments on the Croft, including the village mummer’s play and an exhibition of village memorabilia. Events concluded with an evening “Golden Jubilee Hog Roast”, bonfire and a loyal toast at the Scout H Q.

The programme in which this article appears shows that our village has not lost its zest for these royal occasions. There are events and displays for all ages and tastes. The proposed Diamond Jubilee legacy of a community orchard, close to the site of the old beacon, will provide a long term reminder of shared community spirit in Rolleston on Dove.

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Anniversaries 2012

National attention, next year, may be focussed on the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and as this issue of Rollestonian shows, our village will be making its own contribution to this event. However, we have anniversaries much closer to home –

Is 2012 special to anyone else?

Rolleston is full of dates – the memorials and tombstones in St Mary’s, Isaac Emery’s 1707 cottages, 1895 and 1897 (Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee) foundation stones to the Methodist Church and Rolleston Club. We continue to add to them – the Millennium Oak on the Croft and the Yew in the Churchyard. They are all demonstrations of the vitality of our continuing community.

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Alastair A. C. Aitken 1972-2009

Ruth and Sandy Aitken and Family wish to thank all friends and neighbours for their many kind messages and overwhelming support so freely given following our recent tragic bereavement.

Alastair moved to Rolleston from Scotland at 9 years of age. He attended Alderbrook School (which he resolutely called Alderburn), moving on to the Forest of Needwood school, where he was very happy, completing his schooling at de Ferrers High.

Alastair graduated in Social Anthropology at Newcastle University and, after a few years travelling and acquiring various skills in gardening and working with metal and wood, he qualified as a Teacher in Art, Design and Technology.

On one occasion, when Alastair was home from University he said to us “Rolleston was a good place to grow up”; he enjoyed his time here and for that we thank you all.

(Tribute first appeared in Spring 2010 edition of Rollestonian)

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The Paddy, the Jinny and the Dove

Another Rolleston is located 4 miles south west of Newark on Trent, Nottinghamshire and 3 miles from Southwell. (See “Rollestons of the World”, Rollestonian, Summer 2001).

The Midland Railway opened the line from Nottingham to Lincoln on Tuesday 4th August 1846 and the 33 mile long track was completed in less than a year!! A single-track line from Rolleston to Southwell was opened on 1st July 1847. The engine used to operate the line had no tender and carried its own coke and water. However the line was so unprofitable it was closed between 1849 and 1852 and then used horse traction between 1853 and 1860. A steam train was re-introduced in 1861 and the shuttle service from Southwell to Rolleston Junction became known, affectionately, as the Southwell Paddy. A new type of ‘push-pull’ was introduced in January 1931, this consisted of a Midland 044 tank engine and two carriages, the one at the rear being specially converted to allow the engine to be driven from that end. This passenger train was finally withdrawn in June 1959 and the line closed in 1965 after 118 years. 

The North Stafford Railway or the Knotty (after the Staffordshire Knot) was formed by the fusion of three companies, the Potteries, the Harecastle & Sandbach, and the Churnet Valley Railways. The N.S.Railway between Tutbury and Burton was brought into use on 11th September1848. As far as Rolleston was concerned, the line had to pass through land owned by the then Sir Oswald Mosley, and it is not surprising that it was sited as far as possible from the Hall. Initially there was only a siding since coal was brought here for the use of Rolleston gas works and the forge at Claymills. There were two brick platforms, a goods yard, cattle pens and a yard crane. Rolleston station was opened on 1st November 1894. The following year the name was changed to Rolleston on Dove to avoid confusion with Rolleston Junction. The opening of the station encouraged people to build homes nearby and these people must have been some of the earliest rail commuters. The Tutbury Jinny provided a quick and popular service from Burton to Stoke and Crewe. Early records refer to it as the Jenny however the name has changed over the years to Jinny or Jinnie. Its name was probably derived from the word ‘engine’; the old horse gins were once referred to as ‘Jinny Rings’.

The train was for most of its life also ‘push- pull’ operated. The locomotive pulled the train from Burton to Tutbury, but to save time rather than the loco running round the train at Tutbury, the engine would push the coaches back. Similar to the Paddy, the rear carriage had a set of windows so the driver could see the road ahead. The fireman would stay on the engine looking after the fire, water and steam pressure. The stations at Rolleston, Stretton and Horninglow (Derby Rd) were closed on 1st January 1949 and the last run of the Jinny was on Saturday 11th June 1960. 

The line was lifted in the early 1970’s and the track bed was ‘bought’ from British Rail for a nominal sum by the Parish Councils of Rolleston and Stretton and became the ‘Jinny Trail’. Both Rolleston and the hamlet of Rolleston on Dove expanded in the 60’s and 70’s and effectively merged. To avoid confusion the whole village was named Rolleston on Dove under the guidance of Alan Woodbine, the Parish Clerk.

(this article by Mike Jobson first appeared in the Winter 2003 issue of the Rollestonian)

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Family History

The Website reunion story in the Spring 2003 issue of “Rollestonian” took Sybil Limbert (nee Carter) by surprise and set her tracking long lost relatives-

Following the website story earlier this year I have been very excited to find that I have a relation in Australia. The Carter family who lived in Rolleston have traced a family tree back to 1759. The relative that I have found is Fred, father of Carol Carter-Edwards who is the granddaughter of Joe and Janet Carter. Joe was my father’s brother.

My father was Walter Carter, one of five brothers and two sisters born in Rolleston between 1893 and 1900. I am the eldest daughter – Sybil (now Limbert). My sister, Hilda, lives in Woodville, my brother, Tom, lives in Swansea and my brother John lives in Tunstall, Yorkshire. There is also a Bill, son of Joe who lives in Littleover.

Going through the family tree makes interesting reading;-

George, born 1811 – died 1874 was a shoemaker
Harriet, born in 1852 was a court dressmaker
Samuel, born 1837 – died 1898 was a master brewer of Carter and Scattergood, Burton on Trent
Emma, born 1862 - died 1927 was a teacher of music in Rolleston.

If anyone would like to see the family tree please contact Tom Martin – it spreads out to Yoxall, Church Broughton and the younger ones all over the country.

Sybil M Limbert.

I have received an email (9-Nov-03) from Carol Edwards in Australia to say her father Frederick Joseph Carter (son of Joseph and Janet Carter of Rosemary Farm, Rolleston) died November 8th 2003 at 12.40pm. He is survived by his daughters Carol, Janet and Jacqui. Her Uncle Bill (Carter) of Littleover is the last surviving member of her dads immediate family.

Bryan Jennings wrote in April 2018 to say "She seems to have left out their (Joe and Janet Carter) other son Harold. The last I heard of him he was living in Weston Super Mare but that was a long time ago. My Dad was very good friends with Joe."

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Wartime Scouting

The following letter, from Mrs James, was prompted by a copy of "Rollestonian" commenting on Wartime Scouting.

My husband - Eddie James - founded and ran the Scout Troop (24th Burton) until the outbreak of World War II when, as your article states, he joined the R.A.F. and initially flew Blenheim Fighter Bombers. He was ably assisted by his great friend Tony* (not Bob) who joined the Army and was taken prisoner at Tobruk, and who sadly died last July. *Tony Cherry whose family lived in part of Rolleston Hall.

My parents - Mr & Mrs R. Tweed - and I lived in Beech Mount, Rolleston from 1920 until 1950 when they retired to North Wales.

Before the War, and prior to my joining the W.A.A.F., I ran the Brownies and Guides in the village. Is there a company now? If there are any ex-Guides around I would love to hear from them.

My husband, Eddie, worked for Bass Brewery in Burton and eventually became a Brewer. Before we were married his family including three brothers, - Bruce, Derek and Don (all choirboys and Scouts) lived at a small farm - Firfields, Knowles Hill.

We were married on July 20th 1946 by the Rev. F. Abbott (who succeeded the Rev. W. Bagnall), at Rolleston Church and we went to live in Stretton, then moved to a brewery in Yorkshire and finally to Ireland in 1950 where my husband joined Guiness. I am godmother to David Bagnall - grandson of Rev. W. Bagnall and with whom we are closely in touch to the extent that David and his wife came over to stay with us on the occasion of my 90th birthday on Dec 4th.

During the 1930s we had a Badminton Club in the Commemoration Hall (known as "the Commem") and an Amateur Dramatic Society known as the Rolleston Village Players. Both my husband and I took part in various village activities - particularly connected with the Church. My husband was, at one time, Hon. Sec. and Treasurer to the Vestry. He would like to hear particularly from any old Scouts who may remember him, we do exchange Christmas greetings with an ex-patrol leader Jim Lowe who lives in Foster Avenue and got in touch with us after an announcement of our Golden Wedding in 1996 in the Burton Mail.

Mrs M.C. James (nee Tweed)
Wenden, Leoville, Dunmore Road, Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

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Scouting in Rolleston

(An article in the Millennium issue of "Rollestonian" suggested that Rolleston Scout Group folded during the war years. This caused at least two senior citizens to burst their woggles. Here, they put the record straight!)

The day War broke out - September 3rd 1939-or very soon afterwards Rolleston scout Group (24th Burton) lost - The Skipper - Eddy James who joined the R.A.F. and flew Blenheim fighter bombers and the Bosun - Bob Cherry who also joined the R.A.F.

The Troop was then taken over by Mrs Bagnall, wife of the Rector of Rolleston, who ran the Scouts as Skipper during the war years. Scout H.Q. was the old school room alongside the "jitty" at the end of the Spread, and this also housed the Cub Pack jointly run by Miss Skellet of Knowles Hill and Mrs Brown of Station Road. Mrs Bagnall proved to be a superb "Skipper" - fit as a fiddle with eyes like a hawk - the four patrols were put through their paces and had to be at their best to earn the usual array of badges that all of us aimed for.

We enjoyed some memorable annual camps - Rangemore, Beaudesert on Cannock Chase, and best of all a week in Dovedale in the river valley just below Thorpe village, transport being an old bus with enough petrol for the return journey plus a day trip to Buxton.

(The Rector did not drive, but Mrs Bagnall ran an Austin 7 with a small trailer in which the Scouts collected waste paper and scrap every week, and the small petrol ration may well have helped to fuel the bus to Dovedale and Buxton!)

In Dovedale Mrs Bagnall plus a few helpers kept an eye on the Troop, but for most of the time we raced around like a pack of wild dogs - up and over Thorpe Cloud, scaring ourselves on the river side, climb up Bunster, diving into the river from an overhanging tree into a deep swimming hole just below Camp - and generally enjoying a great adventure. Thanks to the Scouts and all who worked so hard to keep it going throughout the war years.


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What's In A Name?

The history of Rolleston Hall and the events which led to its demolition in 1928 are well documented. In the circumstances it is surprising that its name should have been perpetuated by a Railway Company based in Wiltshire.

In 1928 the Swindon Works of the former Great Western Railway began the construction of the first of a new type of mixed traffic locomotive with the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement. They were intended for passenger and fast freight work and were named after Halls in the Western Region. As they grew in number eventually reaching a total of 329 it became necessary for Great Western to extend their search for suitable names into the North Midlands and beyond. This however was a legitimate ploy since the Company had engine sheds at Wolverhampton and as far north as Birkenhead. So it is not surprising to find locomotives named after Halls in our area.

"Rolleston Hall" No. 5973 was one of these, built in May 1937. It was first allocated to the Old Oak Common engine shed adjacent to Paddington Station and was later transferred to Reading where its service life was terminated. It was withdrawn in September 1962 and scrapped at the Swindon Works where it had been built.

Two other locomotives with local names have been preserved. They are "Foremark Hall" No.7903 and "Willington Hall" No. 7927 built in 1959 and 1960 respectively. Both these locomotives were built by British Rail which had absorbed the Great Western Company at the time of the nationalisation of the railways in 1948. "Foremark Hall" is currently being restored by the Swindon and Cricklade Railway and "Willington Hall" is stored at the Vale of Glamorgan Railway awaiting restoration.

During the mid 1960's when thousands of steam locomotives were being broken up in scrap yards the handsome brass nameplates could be purchased for a nominal sum. When a locomotive was scrapped at Swindon as was the case with "Rolleston Hall" the two nameplates would have been offered to employees as mementoes for the sum of £5 –5s each. Today, at Auction a single nameplate from an express loco can fetch in excess of £10,000 and occasionally £20,000. There can be few collectables that have appreciated in value as much as locomotive nameplates. It would be interesting to learn who currently owns either of the two "Rolleston Hall" nameplates.

Seventeen "Hall Class" locomotives survived the scrap years, six of which are now operational and can be seen in steam on preserved railways. The remainder are in various stages of restoration.

Alan Partington.

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Last updated: 11 July 2018