Design developed in detail from the 51xx class (represented at Didcot by No. 4144), with boilers of higher-tensile nickel steel to permit a greater steam pressure. The entire class of seventy engines was built between 1931 and 1935, and all were allocated to work accelerated suburban services.
Here they stayed until 1955, when some were transferred to outlying branch lines and to banking duties through the Severn Tunnel. All passed into BR ownership, but withdrawals began in 1958 as diesel multiple units displaced them.
6106 was built at Swindon in May 1931, and withdrawn from Oxford depot in 1967. It was purchased in working order by a Society member, being sent to the small depot temporarily established by the Society in the old Taplow goods shed. There it was steamed on high days and holidays until able to come to Didcot in October 1967.
There it has been in almost continual use, apart from repair periods on expiry of each ten-year boiler certificate. Also worked on certain preserved railways, it has been withdrawn from active service for yet another ten-year major overhaul. It has featured in several films including 'The Bliss of Mrs Blossom' when, painted in psychedelic colours, it operated in a contrived snowstorm at Taplow, to the consternation of surprised main-line drivers.
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