‘Tangmere’ was a West Country and Battle of Britain class steam locomotive built for Southern Region in 1947. The class was designed by its Chief Mechanical Engineer Oliver Bullied and 110 were built, the third batch being named after squadrons, airfields, commanders and aircraft that had participated in the Battle of Britain over Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The name on each BoB locomotive was incorporated in a name plate design resembling a wing of an aircraft and was painted in air force blue. Beneath the nameplate, the locomotives named after airfields carried a large oval enamelled RAF Badge
In 1965 the original set of plates from ‘Tangmere’ (numbered 34067) were presented to the RAF Officer’s Mess at RAF Tangmere where they remained until the Station closed in 1970. They were then stored by the RAF Museum at Cardington until purchased by Barry Eden, Chairman of the Mid-Hants Railway Preservation Society Ltd in October 1991.
Barry recently contacted David Coxon, Curator of the Museum and offered to donate the plates with the number plate ‘34067’ to the Museum’s collection. He said that, “he considered himself to have only been the custodian of the plates and that they are now back where they belong”.
The plates will be displayed in due course in the Museum’s Merston Hall.