The newly restored 926 ‘Repton’ steam locomotive was, yesterday, blessed by Repton School Chaplain, the Reverend Father Neil Roberts.
A 17-strong Repton School contingent travelled to Pickering yesterday to witness the blessing of the ‘Repton’ steam locomotive. Of the 40 ‘School Class’ steam locomotives that entered service in the 1930s only three are still operational. Yesterday’s blessing was believed to be the first blessing of any train at North Yorkshire Moors Railway and, indeed, the first train blessing by Father Roberts! Father Roberts said: “It is a rare privilege to bless a locomotive and an honour to be asked to bless the newly restored ‘Repton’ steam locomotive.”
Originally designed in 1930 by Richard Maunsell for the Southern Railway, the ‘Repton’ steam locomotive formed part of a group of steam locomotives affectionately known as the ‘School Class.’ The ‘School Class’ was made up of 40 locomotives all named after English public schools. 928 ‘Repton’ entered service in May 1934 and was withdrawn in December 1962. After spells in the USA and Canada, ‘Repton’ is now back in service with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at Pickering.
The Repton group travelled from Pickering to Grosmont with North Yorkshire Moors Railway PLC Chairman, Mike Child, and Director, Neal Clarke. The group enjoyed a tour of the Grosmont signalling box and sidings.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway is currently raising funds for Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey, which Repton School hopes to become involved with. Chris Price, General Manager at North Yorkshire Moors Railway said: “The Railway was pleased that we could assist with this special ceremonial event yesterday and look forward to welcoming back the Repton Group in relation to the Lottery Bid as we work towards the necessary enhancement of this unique visitor attraction for the benefit of the community and visitors for many years to come”.