Photo gallery: Historic naming of Bure Valley Railway steam engine in Aylsham
16:57 14 May 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
Proud pupils have unveiled a steam engine named after their school.
Who was John of Gaunt?
John of Gaunt lived from 1340 to 1399.
He was the third son of King Edward III, was a powerful and wealthy Plantagenet prince and was made Duke of Lancaster in 1362.
Among his three brothers was Edward, Prince of Wales - the Black Prince
He was the protector of his nephew Richard II and effectively ruled England until Richard was old enough.
His name came his birthplace of Ghent.
He married Blanche of Lancaster in 1359, Constance of Castile in 1371 and Katherine Swynford (a commoner with whom he had an affair) in 1396.
He was Lord of the Manor at Aylsham from 1372.
Shakespeare included John in his Richard II play giving a death bed soliloquy which included the famous line “this royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle”.
Youngsters from Aylsham’s John of Gaunt infant and nursery officially named the engine at the Bure Valley Railway station in the town.
The 2-6-2 tank loco has been running under the nickname of Thunder - because of the noise it made in its earlier oil-fulled days before it was converted to coal two years ago.
Railway general manager Andrew Barnes said: “It was more a term of abuse than affection, so we decided to give her an historic name to match our others including Spitfire and Blickling Hall.”
John of Gaunt was a local 14th century lord of the manor.
Ninety five pupils and staff from his namesake school attended the event.
The loco’s first official duty with its new nameplate was to take them on a trip to Hautbois and back.
Mr Barnes said the engine was part of the’s fleet of five steam and three diesel locos, which hoped to haul about 120,000 passengers this year.
One of the others, Wroxham broad, is marking its 50th anniversary in 2014.
All the locos will be out on the railway’s Everything Goes event over the late May bank holiday weekend.
Contact 01263 733858 or www.bvrw.co.uk