In 1964 a schools class locomotive 'Stowe' was brought to Beaulieu by Lord Montagu after being withdrawn from service by British Railways. No. 928 was put on static display in the grounds of the Montagu Motor Museum with three Pullman coaches which were used as a restaurant named 'The Bournemouth Belle'.

The new exhibit was officially opened by Lord Robertson of Oakridge, former chairman of the British Transport Commission. Also in attendance was 83 year old William Oliver who drove 'Stowe' on the Bournemouth-London route from 1936 until he retired in 1946.

At the ceremony, Lord Montagu explained that railways were the first love of his father John Montagu, who had trained at the LSWR's Nine Elms works and sometimes drove the main-line express between Bournemouth and Waterloo.

The Pullman coaches, Fingall, Agatha and Car no 35 represented first and second class parlour cars and a first class kitchen car and were of the type used on the Bournemouth Belle and Golden Arrow services.

The exhibit remained at Beaulieu until the 1973 when Stowe was moved to Eastleigh works and later to the East Somerset Railway. She subsequently went to the Bluebell Railway where, in 1981, she was fully restored and steamed for the first time since 1962. Pullman car Fingall is also based on the Bluebell railway. 'Stowe' is one of five locomotives now owned by the Maunsell Society. www.maunsell.org.uk.

 

above: Stowe at Beaulieu with another outdoor exhibit, the SRN-1, the first hovercraft to cross the English Channel. Note the home signal which not only faced the wrong way, but was a GWR lower quadrant type - hardly the right thing for a Southern Railway locomotive to be passing in deepest Hampshire!