A NUMBER of limited edition paintings have gone on sale to raise funds to restore a locomotive which took a former Prime Minister to his funeral.
The locomotive – Winston Churchill 34051 – took the body of the former leader to his state funeral on January 30, 1965, and was a regular visitor through Basingstoke train station.
The painting entitled The ACE at Battledown features 34051 hauling the Atlantic Coast Express in 1960 with another Basingstoke regular, Sir Lamiel 30777, on the Bournemouth line. The painting also features Ellerman Lines 035029 near Pack Lane where it dives under the railway.
Fifty artist’s proofs and 500 limited edition prints of the painting have been produced, all signed by artist Philip Hawkins, James Lester – the fireman on 34051 – and Richard Hardy, former shedmaster at Stewarts Lane, in London.
Dr Ian Harrison, Basingstoke-based chairman of the South of England Friends of the National Rail Museum, agreed to lead the group bidding to raise the £45,000 needed to restore the locomotive.
He said: “The Friends of the National Railway Museum wanted to see her restored to the condition she was in when she hauled Sir Winston’s funeral train on January 30, 1965.
“Our aim is to present her in pristine condition at the head of the funeral train reassembled for the 50th anniversary of the funeral in 2015.”
The train is currently at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway.