6015 King Richard III
The GWS was pleased to support the temporary renaming of 6023 as 6015 King Richard III (long since sent for scrap in 1963), in honour of the momentous archaeological find of the King's bones under a car park in Leicester.
King Richard III marches towards Leicester from Loughborough. Photo by Mike Spencer
It's hard on an occasion like this to avoid Shakespeare's portrayal of King Richard, so we haven't - although some relevant updating has taken place to reflect 6023's story:-
King Richard III
Act1. Scene1. Enter Duke of Gloucester (not to be confused with 71000 Class 8 Br Standard of same name).
'Now is the winter of our stay at Barry,
Made glorious summer by our restoration at Didcot,
And all the rust that clung to our hulk,
In the deep bosom of a scrapheap buried.
Now is our brow crowned with a single chimney,
Our cut-through wheels set aside as monuments,
Our base decay changed to merry paintwork,
Our dreadful silence to delightful roaring.
Grim British Rail has smoothed his wrinkled front,
And now instead of dragging decrepit engines,
To fill the lines of distant scrapyards,
He capers nimbly on Beeching’s by-ways,
To please the souls of nostalgic gricers.
For I am now shaped for sportive tricks,
And made to court a digital camera's glance,
For I that was once rudely abused,
Yet wanted in my majesty to strut
before wanton adoring crowds.
I that was curtailed of my former glory
Cheated of parts by destructive preservationists,
Deprived, uncared-for, sent onto a spur,
With my rear drivers half cut through,
And my cladding so lame and dull,
That seagulls cawed, as they halted upon me.
Now I, with my piping gleaming apiece,
do now delight to pass away the time,
out of the shadows into the sun,
and descant upon mine own enormity.
And since I am not decked out in Green,
to entertain these new-found days of steam,
I am determined to shine in Oxford Blue,
And hate the hues of other engines.
Pots have I lain, of paint,
by nefarious means,
to colour all other engines blue...' (webmaster with apologies to the Bard)
6015 emerges from the road bridge at Leicester North. Photo by Mike Spencer
The last Plantagenet king reaches Leicester North. Photo by Mike Spencer.
The real Richard III has now been lain to rest in Leicester cathedral.