On the afternoon of Saturday Sept 16th 1961 the South Bedfordshire Locomotive Club Organised a tour of the branch line from Welwyn Garden City to Hertford closed to passengers on 1st Oct 1951. Titled ‘The Lea Flyer’ this train returned to Hatfield and there reversed and travelled on to Luton Bute Street. The motive power for this tour was provided by a six coupled saddle tank built for the Great Northern Railway by Sharp Stewart & Company in Glasgow in 1899. It had been saved from the scrap yard by Captain W G (Bill) Smith VRD, RNVR, the first mainline locomotive to be bought by an individual for preservation. Bill had the locomotive overhauled and painted into its original glorious Great Northern Railway livery.
Having enjoyed the tour thus far here are photos I took of the ‘Lea Flyer’ en route for Luton waiting departure and departing from from Harpenden East Station. Finally there is the same loco returning the empty stock whence it came.