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Mr. J.E. McConnell

1851 — Large Bloomers
1852 — Patents
1854 — Small Bloomers
1861 — Class H

Mr. J. Ramsbottom

1859 — Problems
1863 — Samsons
1866 — Newtons

Mr. F.W. Webb

1874 — Precursors
1874 — Precedents
1876 — 2-4-0 Tanks
1879 — 4ft 6in 2-4-2Ts
1882 — Experiments
1884 — Dreadnoughts
1884 — Comp. 4-2-2-0T
1885 — Comp. 2-2-2-2T
1887 — Comp. 2-2-2-2T
1887 — Comp. 2-2-4-0T
1887 — Impr. Precedents
1889 — Whitworths
1889 — Teutonics
1890 — 5ft 6in 2-4-2Ts
1891 — Greater Britains
1894 — John Hicks
1897 — Jubilees
1898 — 5ft 3in 0-6-2Ts
1901 — Alfred the Greats

Mr. G. Whale

1903 — Benbows
1904 — Precursors
1905 — Experiments
1906 — 6ft 4-coupled Ts
1908 — Renowns

Mr. C.J. Bowen Cooke

1910 — George Vs
1910 — Superhtr 4-6-2Ts
1911 — Prince of Wales
1913 — Claughtons
1915 — Prospero

H Special Bloomers Class

Click on picture
for bigger image.
Photographer unknown

Vital Statistics

Official NameH Special Bloomers Class
NicknameExtra-large Bloomer
Water & Coal StorageTender
Water Capacity2500 gallons
Coal Capacity2 tons
Wheel Arrangement2-2-2
Driven WheelsTwo: 7ft 6in
Carrying WheelsFour: LW 4ft 6ins, TW 4ft 6ins
Wheelbase8ft 6in + 9ft 6in
Total Wheelbase18ft 0in
BoilerFront section: 4ft dia, 8ft 7in long. Rear section, elliptical: 4ft 4in vertical, 4ft 3in horizontal, 3ft 2in long; total length 11ft 9in.
Boiler Pressure150psi
Grate Area26 sq ft
Tubes214, 1⅞in diameter, 9ft 4in long
Total Heating Area1222.85 sq ft
CylindersTwo inside 18in diameter; 24in stroke
Weight34tons 14cwt
DesignerMr. J.E. McConnell
Number in Class3


The design was an enlargement of the Bloomer type, but with an immense firebox, divided lengthwise, with two grates and two fireholes (like the Patents and some of the first Large Bloomers) and a combustion chamber. The engines were fitted with the then new Giffard injectors, and steel crank axles and weldless steel tyres by Krupp of Essen.

Building the five engines was begun at the L&NWR's Wolverton Works, and three were turned out during 1861, but they were heavier than the stipulated 33 tons. Just at that time, McConnell had fallen out of favour with the new Chairman, Richard Moon; the three engines were withdrawn and put into store, work was stopped on the other two, and McConnell resigned. The first of the three had worked for nine months, the second for six months; the last one had hardly worked at all, but was eventually sent to the 1862 International Exhibition as a late entry.

The three engines remained in store (and "for sale") until McConnell's successor John Ramsbottom rebuilt them in 1866/7 with 16in cylinders and smaller Crewe boilers with normal fireboxes. The new boilers were the same as those given to the Large Bloomers when rebuilt at Crewe, with 178 tubes of 1⅞in diameter.

In 1872 they were given names, and until 1880 they worked from Camden, mostly on piloting and secondary expresses. They were scrapped in 1880 and 1882.

There is only one record of their work in original condition. No 372 hauled the famous Trent Special of January 7th 1862 from Stafford to Euston. A speed of almost 80mph has been claimed, but is based on rather dubious data.

Long after their demise they were awarded the nickname "Extra-large Bloomers".

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