Crusaders Union: Swindon Works Special 10/4/51
Collett King class 4-6-0 No.6003 King George IV was selected for the first Crusaders Union special to run after WW2. These CU specials, this one to Swindon for a works visit in 1951, were organised by the late Cecil J. Allen who had been responsible for the concept of such special trains back as far as his first effort in 1929 which attracted 1,970 applicants. So, 'trainspotting' goes a lot further back than the inception of Ian Allan's ABC's in this country!
From the May 1951 RO page 103: "On 10/4/51 'King' 6003 (81A) hauled a ten-coach Crusaders' Union educational excursion from Paddington to Swindon and back, carrying a large green headboard with the Crusaders' coat-of-arms on the smokebox door."
And just when I thought I knew everything relevant about this shot I received a message from Nigel Spencer who informs me that he tracked down the original headboard and It is now stored at Westbrook – the Urban Saints, formerly Crusaders Union, Victorian mansion near Seaview (Isle of Wight).
[Mike Morant collection]