Garden plaything in Hampshire garden makes Flying Scotsman fly again

The Flying Scotsman flies again with steam belching from Ron Scrace's double chimney
The Flying Scotsman flies again with steam belching from Ron Scrace's double chimney
Ear witness Brian Whiting identified the robber's distinctive tones

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Robber caught by his voice alone

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No doubt many of you saw the re-introduction of the A4 class locomotive Flying Scotsman back to main line running in February.

The loco is fitted with a double chimney to assist with superheating, but for some reason the original double had been replaced with a single chimney.

The double chimney off  A3 class locomotive Salmon Trout

The double chimney off A3 class locomotive Salmon Trout

What to do?

As luck had it a former railwayman living at Worting Junction, a few miles west of Basingstoke station, was a collector of all things railway.

Ron Scrace, now of West Sussex, used to spend all his spare cash at Euston station where there was an outlet for railway memorabilia.

In the garden at the front of his Hampshire home were dozens of old station signs, a big attraction for passengers on passing trains.

The double chimney in Ron Scraces garden at Worting Junction with  his children playing in it. It remained there for 28 years

The double chimney in Ron Scraces garden at Worting Junction with his children playing in it. It remained there for 28 years

In the early 1960s Ron bought a double chimney from an A3 class loco called Salmon Trout and put it in his garden. ‘It was somewhere for the children to play,’ says Ron.

Some 28 years later Dr Tony Marchington, the chief engineer for the Flying Scotsman, was looking for a double chimney to put back on to the Flying Scotsman and heard that Ron had one in his garden.

He paid Ron a visit and asked if he could have the chimney. Ron agreed to let him have it on permanent loan knowing he would never get it back again.

And so it was that the loco, complete with Ron’s double chimney, was back belching steam once again.

Ron Scrace at home in West Sussex with an old station lamp

Ron Scrace at home in West Sussex with an old station lamp

Since then the Flying Scotsman has been rebuilt by the National Railway Museum in York, but it is still Ron’s chimney that rules the roost above the boiler.