Evening Star, the youngest steam locomotive in the National Collection turned 60, earlier this year. Assuming Evening Star is a she, then at 60 years old on 18 March 2020 she became an Old Age Pensioner. It’s difficult to keep track of retirement ages now that a sliding scale has been introduced to align when you get your pension, but we won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story! Officially, a woman born in March 1960 will need to be 66 before they can draw their pension (www.yourpension.gov.uk/pension-calculator).
The plaque below the nameplate records the naming ceremony:-
No. 92220 built at Swindon March 1960 The last steam locomotive for British Railways Named at Swindon on March 18, 1960 by K.W.C. Grand, Esq Member of the British Transport Commission
A competition to suggest names had been arranged for employees of British Railways (Western Region) and three proposed Evening Star, F L Pugh from Paddington, Driver T M Phillips from Aberystwyth and J S Sathi, a boilermaker at Old Oak Common.
Sadly, nobody could join in with a birthday party for Evening Star as the NRM closed its doors to visitors on the previous day due to the Coronavirus restrictions. Apart from the HST power car on the turntable, all the other locos with her round the turntable are somewhat older. Nobody was in the museum to hear if they acknowledged the birthday of this youngster in their ranks!
By Russ Rollings