A continuation of Collett's numerous and highly successful ‘Hall’ class, the ‘Modified Halls’ incorporate improved features introduced by his successor F W Hawksworth, as a prelude to his own new designs intended for post WW2 service. They ran throughout the Great Western system, and many survived until the end of BR Western Region steam.
For some time after nationalisation of the railways in 1948, the newly formed BR continued construction of certain of the established designs of the absorbed companies. The ‘Hall’ class was one of these, building of which was not completed until the end of 1950.
6998 ‘Burton Agnes Hall’ emerged from Swindon Works in January 1949, going initially to Cardiff's Canton depot. She survived until withdrawal by BR from Oxford in January 1966 after being honoured as the engine chosen to work the Western Region's last steam-hauled passenger train. In markedly better condition than the other survivors, she was selected by the Society to represent the typical two cylinder Great Western tender locomotive, no others at that time being expected to survive.
The locomotive was purchased by the Great Western Society in January 1966 for the sum of £2.500 and on 2 April worked light engine under her own steam from Oxford to the Society's Depot at Totnes via Didcot, Reading West, Newbury, Westbury, Taunton, Exeter and Newton Abbot.
She remained at Totnes until the end of 1967 when she worked an epic railtour from Totnes to her new home at Didcot on 2 December that year, hauling No. 1466 (also in steam) and Dreadnought No. 3299, all third No. 5952 and auto-trailer No. 231.
At Didcot the locomotive has been in virtually continuous service, also with plenty of main line and preserved railways use, ever since. She was was withdrawn from service in 1996 and is stored complete awaiting its turn in the queue for overhaul.