Ordered in 1926 and delivered on 20th April 1927, she was originally to be called Southern Chief, but for some reason, Captain Howey changed his mind and the nameplates were removed before she entered service. In 1946 Southern Maid ended up in a dyke, after being rammed by a lorry on a level crossing near Dymchurch.
During her 1947 refit, the Maid received a large capacity tender and a livery similar to that of Green Goddess. However, in 1954 she received a brown umber coat of paint and smoke deflectors soon followed in 1955. A French Grey livery was applied in 1959, a Malachite green in 1965 and LNER Apple Green in 1971, when the smoke deflectors were removed. She has seen more changes of livery than any other Romney loco.
During May 1998 she travelled up to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway in Cumbria for the 75th birthday party of their loco River Esk.
Prior to her most recent overhaul, Southern Maid appeared in the colours of the former South Eastern & Chatham Railway. She currently has a tender similar the one attached to Northern Chief and her whistle is an ex-Isle of Wight section ‘hooter’ from the Southern Railway.
Southern Maid returned to New Romney for the Steam and Diesel Gala in May 2003, following an extensive overhaul. Her livery, lining and lettering is based on that as seen on the locomotive when delivered in 1927.
GN outline two-cylinder 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive.
Designed by Henry Greenly
Built by Davey Paxman & Co., (16040) in 1926
Overall length: 27′ 7″
Weight in working order: 8 ton 10cwt
Driving wheel diameter: 2′ 1.5″
Bogie and trailing wheel diameter: 1′
Cylinders: 5.25″ bore x 8.5″ stroke
Current Livery: RH&DR Green