Having posted on the Rothesay class frigate F129 Rhyl, a stunning photo of her predecessor, a Bangor class minesweeper of World War Two turned up!
Image: warwickshire railways.com
It got me thinking about other ambassadors of our fair town… although not as far travelled as her naval cousins, the locomotive Rhyl spent a good 25 years storming up and down the London Midland system on express passenger services, and latterly as diesel replaced steam, on more humble goods duties.
Rhyl, like all the other Patriot class locomotives, had been withdrawn and scrapped by 1965. I can only remember seeing one of the class, an un-rebuilt one which was lurking in the gloom at Chester Station on a November evening when we had gone to visit a neighbour in hospital.
The closest I came to seeing this magnificent engine was looking at the nameplate that was displayed in Rhyl Town Hall. I’m not sure if it is still there.
Coincidentally, as none of the class was preserved, a group is completing the building of one at the Llangollen Railway. It will be called the Unknown Warrior – which is a fitting name given that the origin of the Patriot class was to commemorate railway workers killed in the First World War. It is hoped to have the new engine steaming before the centenary of the First World War comes about in November. However, funding and engineering difficulties have caused delays.
Unknown Warrior 45551 under construction
In the meantime, I have my own tribute to Rhyl running on my model railway…