TWO pieces of UK railway history have come to Oxfordshire after spending more than four decades Down Under.

Former Oxford resident David Green, 68, has returned two plates he took to New Zealand when he emigrated in 1966.

He acquired the numberplate from former Great Western Railway-design pannier tank locomotive No 1646 and its 60C engine shed allocation plate from Helmsdale depot in the Scottish Highlands after it was withdrawn by British Railways in 1962 and scrapped the following year.

The locomotive, which was built at Swindon in 1951, was transferred from Wales to Scotland in 1957 to work on the Dornoch branch line.

The plates will now go on display at the Great Western Society's museum at Didcot Railway Centre.

The trust’s Laurence Waters was handed the plates by former Oxford resident Laurie Johnston, originally from Headington, who also emigrated with Mr Green, on Saturday. Mr Waters said: “It is brilliant.”