As the saying goes; you should never judge a book by it's cover. While this may be true, presentation is very important. In the case of 37521 at the recent Swanage Diesel Gala it would certainly seem that the locomotive is in fine condition mechanically- its external condition however can be described, at best, as appalling. The locomotive, which has not worked for the better part of 10 years was most definitely a pull for the haulage enthusiasts but the image it presented at the railway was surely far from desirable. Members of the general public certainly would not expect to see a locomotive working on a prestigious railway which has a paint job so faded that it barely exists and rust holes which you could almost put your hand through. For those expecting a beautifully turned out steam train it could even be enough to put them off travelling. The state of the 37 can hardly present a good image for its owners, HNRC either, who are trying to sell the locomotive on.
I am not for one minute advocating that all trains at preserved railways should be in pristine condition all the time, but surely there is a point at which a visiting locomotive starts to become an eye saw rather than a star?
These views are my own and are not intended to cause offence to any parties mentioned.