7802 Bradley Manor was amongst the first batch of Manors to leave Swindon Works in January 1938. Initially 7802 was dispatched to Old Oak Common, the first of the class to be shedded there. In truth, probably very little useful work would have been found for it and within four months it was transferred to Bristol where it was employed on cross counry work around Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and South Wales. In April 1946, 7802 was transferred, after a brief spell at Oswestry, to Aberystwyth, and thereafter stayed resident in one or other of the ex Cambrian sheds, (except for a very brief period at Tyseley), until it was withdrawn in late 1965. During this period, it became a well known performer on The Cambrian Coast Express.
At the time of withdrawal 7802 had covered approximately 900,000 miles having had six heavy repairs at Swindon along the way.
It was rescued from Barry in 1979 by the ‘Erlestoke Manor Fund’ based at the Severn Valley Railway, originally as spare parts for 7812 Erlestoke Manor. However, the owners had a change of heart and in 1983 the decision was taken to return 7802 to steam. This was accomplished in 1993 and since then has given excellent service on the Severn Valley Railway, West Somerset Railway and on various mainline excursions.
Bradley Manor was withdrawn for overhaul in August 2000, and to help speed up the process it was given the boiler of preserved classmate Erlestoke Manor which was already partially restored. The work on Bradley Manor continued with it first moving under its own steam on 12 March 2002 and entering service for the Severn Valley Railway later in the year. It completed over 9,000 miles during the 2002 season with almost continuous daily service and ran over 110,000 miles in preservation before being withdrawn from service at the end of the 2010 season.
The summer of 2003 saw Bradley Manor haul a number of trains in August and September under the name Torbay Express. The originally planned four trains were so popular a fifth was added in September. Bradley Manor developed a hot axle box on the first run on 10 August and so was unable to haul the next two. However, Bradley Manor returned for the 31 August and 7 September trips. On commenting about the success of the Torbay Express, Past-Time Rail director Andy Staite said that “Bradley Manor was the ‘right’ motive power for the line – Newton Abbot shed had ‘Manors’ in steam days and they were a familiar sight on the South Devon Coast route.
In April 2007 new Network Rail standards were introduced requiring all preserved steam locomotives to be fitted with On-train monitoring recorders (OTMR) before they could run on the mainline. So halfway through its latest mainline certificate the owners decided the cost of returning 7812 Erlestoke Manor to steam and fitting OTMR to 7802 was just too much. Bradley Manor did receive a stay of execution and did run mainline until the end of 2007.
In 2009 it completed 100,000 miles of running since it was preserved.
7802 completed its overhaul with the frames being done at Tyseley and the boiler at Bridgnorth. It was in steam at the Severn Valley Railway in November 2015. It is planned to equiped it with a new 3500 gallon Churchward tender built to replace the worn out 4000 gallon Collett tender.
In July 2019 whilst running on the West Somerset Railway in July 2019 the locomotive suffered a broken piston rod. As significant damage to the locomotive resulted it is expected that it will be out of services for a considerable period.
At the end of July 2019 the locomotive was moved to Tyseley for assessment.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Severn Valley Railway||Awaiting repair||Erlestoke Manor Fund|
- 7808 Cookham Manor
- 7812 Erlestoke Manor
- 7819 Hinton Manor
- 7820 Dinmore Manor
- 7821 Ditcheat Manor
- 7822 Foxcote Manor
- 7827 Lydham Manor
- 7828 Odney Manor