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KENT & EAST SUSSEX MARKS 40TH SCOTTISH STeAM SPeCTACuLAR SPeCTAC NRM WINS TOP AWARD FOR MALLARD 75 ■ GCR MuSeuM bID FAILS
June 5 – July 2, 2014
The month ahead
A last-minute surprise visitor for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend on the Mid-Norfolk Railway was maroon-liveried LMS 8F 2-8-0 No. 48624 which covered for GNR N2 0-6-2T No. 1744, needed for a filming assignment on the Great Central Railway. The maroon 8F’s visit acted as a curtain raiser to the line’s West Coast steam gala which will be followed by an LNER-themed summer steam gala over June 26-29. The 8F is seen running round its train at Dereham. BRIAN SHARPE
As the peak summer season approaches, modern traction and family-orientated events continue to predominate in the heritage lines’ calenders in June, and the two main steam enthusiasts’ events during the month are both in one-time Great Eastern territory, on the Epping-Ongar and Mid-Norfolk railways. As always, we will be bringing you the best of the action from across the heritage lines as the season progresses.
SPECIAL EVENTS JUNE 6-8: EPPING ONGAR RAILWAY: STEAM GALA This three-day event will see resident GWR prairie tank No. 4141 running alongside three visiting engines which will be: LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No. 45379 from the Watercress Line, Beattie well tank No. 30585 from the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre and LMS 3F ‘Jinty’ No. 47406 from the Great Central Railway. The unique timetable includes non-stop runs between Ongar and Coopersale and the popular evening trains will run again on Saturday night. 6-8: KEIGHLEY & WORTH VALLEY RAILWAY: DIESEL GALA WEEKEND 6-8: WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY: MIXED TRACTION WEEKEND 7, 8: DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE: D-DAY 70TH ANNIVERSARY 7, 8: MIDDLETON RAILWAY: DIESEL GALA 13-15: NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY: SUMMER DIESEL GALA
14, 15: BODMIN & WENFORD RAILWAY: HERITAGE TRANSPORT FESTIVAL 14, 15: EVESHAM VALE RAILWAY: GARDEN RAILWAY WEEKEND 14, 15: KEITH & DUFFTOWN RAILWAY: 1940s WEEKEND 14, 15: NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY: SWINGING SIXTIES 14, 15: STAPLEFORD PARK RAILWAY: OPEN DAYS 15: FAWLEY HILL RAILWAY: STEAM DAY 21, 22: CHURNET VALLEY RAILWAY: ANYTHING GOES WEEKEND 21, 22: DEAN FOREST RAILWAY: MIXED TRACTION WEEKEND 21, 22: DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE: 3650’s 70TH BIRTHDAY 21, 22: ECCLESBOURNE VALLEY RAILWAY: DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE WEEKEND 21, 22: GLOUCESTERSHIRE WARWICKSHIRE RAILWAY: DAYS OUT WITH THOMAS 22: BUCKINGHAMSHIRE RAILWAY CENTRE: PEPPA PIG 22: CHASEWATER LIGHT RAILWAY: COAL TRAIN DAY 22: LLANGOLLEN RAILWAY: DMU GALA
26-29: MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY: STEAM GALA Taking place over four days from Thursday, June 26 to Sunday, June 29, this increasingly popular event builds on the success of last year’s steam gala, and this year will have an LNER theme with GNR N2 0-6-2T No. 1744 being joined by John Cameron’s LNER A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa and K4 2-6-0 No. 61994 The Great Marquess. Another visiting LNER engine is under negotiation. 28: ROMNEY, HYTHE & DYMCHURCH RAILWAY: HERITAGE TOUR 28, 29: ABBEY PUMPING STATION: 50TH ANNIVERSARY 28, 29: NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY: AWESOME SEVENTIES 28, 29: ROYAL DEESIDE RAILWAY: VICTORIAN WEEKEND 28, 29: SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY: 1940S WEEKEND
RAILWAYANA JUNE 7 15-22 21
GREAT NORTHERN RAILWAYANA, POYNTON RAILWAYANA.NET SOLENT RAILWAYANA, WICKHAM
Heritage Railway will be bringing you all the action from a selection of events, large and small.
ISSUE 191 IS OUT ON JULY 3, 2014
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106 Heritage Railway
At the Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s steam gala on May 25, newly overhauled LBSCR A1X ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T No. 11 Newport arrives at Haven Street with a goods train. DON BENN
Editor Robin Jones email@example.com 01507 529305 Deputy editor Brian Sharpe firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher Tim Hartley Senior contributing writers Geoff Courtney, Cedric Johns Contributors Fred Kerr, Roger Melton Designer Tim Pipes Reprographics Jonathan Schofield Senior sub-editor Dan Sharp Divisional advertising manager Sue Keily email@example.com Advertising representative Craig Amess firstname.lastname@example.org 01507 529310 Subscription manager Paul Deacon Marketing manager Charlotte Park Production manager Craig Lamb Circulation manager Steve O’Hara Publishing director Dan Savage Commercial director Nigel Hole Editorial address Heritage Railway magazine Mortons Media Ltd, PO Box 99 Horncastle, Lincs LN9 6LZ Website www.heritagerailway.co.uk General queries and back issues 01507 529529 24 hr answerphone email@example.com www.classicmagazines.co.uk Archive enquiries Jane Skayman firstname.lastname@example.org 01507 529423 Subscription: Full subscription rates (but see page 32 for offer): (12 months 13 issues, inc post and packing) – UK £53.30. Export rates are also available – see page 32 for more details. UK subscriptions are zero-rated for the purposes of Value Added Tax.
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allard 75 is no more, and the two expatriated A4s are back in North America on their way to their museum homes. Yet like the diehards who keep the beach party fires burning long after everyone else has gone home, the Gresley streamline magic steadfastly refused to lie down and die. It was no Great Gathering, and neither was there any sign of a red Harry Potter engine, but the visit of No. 4464 Bittern certainly cast a spell over Wensleydale, with the historic first visit of a member of the class for the Swaledale Festival. In scenes reminiscent of when Flying Scotsman last returned to the main line following overhaul, in July 1999, crowds lined the Wensleydale Railway for nine miles to catch a glimpse, and if you were lucky enough to get a seat on board, it was standing room only. Yet what gladdens my heart much more is the award of a £40,000 grant by Hambleton District Council to help the railway get into Northallerton. Of course the amount is small beer in the general scheme of what an eventual reconnection to the town’s East Coast Main Line station will cost, but for me it marks another positive step forward in the sea change that has slowly swept through the heritage sector in the 15 years since I founded Heritage Railway. Then, the NIMBY factor reigned supreme. Remember the opposition to the rebuilding of the Welsh Highland Railway which was so strong that even the planning enquiry inspector sided with the protestors, only to be overruled by Whitehall? Look now at the huge economic benefits it has brought to Snowdonia, while enhancing rather than destroying the stunning landscape. Many are the tales of local council indifference, non-cooperation or outright hostility which early revivalists can tell by the dozen. However, while you can forgive a child for being scared of the dark, there is no excuse for one that refuses to see the light. Heritage railways are players in every local economy where they are to be found. They offer multiple educational, cultural and employment benefits yet still, by and large, depend on volunteers. The grant of half a million pounds by the
Heritage Lottery Fund for steam boilersmith apprenticeships reported on in this issue is to be welcomed with open arms, coming hot on the heels of the ground-breaking Severn Valley scheme we discussed in issue 189. It is vital that as a country we invest in its future, and that includes tourism and heritage engineering. Not so long ago, grant aid of this ilk would have been unthinkable. Initiatives which further the cause of the sector in any way are to be prized. Last month, I visited the Bodmin & Wenford Railway where general manager Chris Hart has brokered a deal with First Great Western whereby you can travel to and on the heritage line from any main line station in Cornwall or Plymouth, for exactly the same price as a round trip on the heritage railway only – and you get to leave your car behind. Now you’re talking! That means that if I’m on holiday in St Ives and it pours with rain, I can walk to the station and enjoy not only a scenic main line journey to Bodmin Parkway but a steam fix too – a complete family day out for less than admission to some theme parks – and under cover into the bargain. A similar deal at slightly higher prices applies if you want to travel to the same railway from anywhere in Devon. Rolling back the Beeching axe, which so nearly closed the Cornish branches, the scheme is building on a huge upturn in traffic in recent years thanks to skilled marketing. If the Bodmin /First Great Western ticketing model works, I would like to see other national network operators extend it to heritage railways with interchange stations on their routes too. There’s bags of potential for everyone here. In the aftermath of Mallard 75, public goodwill towards heritage railways seems to have never been greater, and thankfully that includes local authorities: Cornwall Council is holding positive talks about extending the Bodmin line to Wadebridge. We must tap into initiatives like all of the above, continue to develop new ones, and ensure that we forge ahead and build ever more on our great achievements so far. Robin Jones Editor Heritage Railway
Issue 190 June 5 – July 2, 2014
National Railway Museum wins 2014 Peter Manisty Award for Excellence for Mallard 75; Council takes West Somerset Railway freehold oﬀ market aer rejecting rival bids; A4 Dominion of Canada parts for sale; Brighton Atlantic is ‘wheeled’ and Betton Grange project hits cylinder appeal target.
Heading its first train after overhaul on the East Lancashire Railway at Bury is LMS ‘Crab’ No. 13065 at Bury Bolton Street station. ELR/RICHARD BARNETT
Sir Nigel Gresley’s grandsons begin cutting new P2 frames at Tata Steel: A4 Bittern takes Wensleydale by storm; major investigation underway into Great Central diesel crash; Bodmin bid to save St Blazey turntable for Cornish main line steam; minister opens new Porthmadog Harbour station; Manchester museum concedes defeat over main line link; black Morayshire shines in Bo’ness charter; action from Swithland sidings gala; Galatea’s Skegness to Scarborough jaunt; Fiji locomotive in Welsh Highland charity charter; Padstow station saved from demolition; Australian Paciﬁc
restoration crisis deepens; Welsh Pony restoration begins; tributes to Seaton Tramway chairman, and the civic reception for South Devon Railway’s new ‘super loo’.
Brian Sharpe’s view of doubleheaded ‘Black Fives’ on the Highland main line takes centre stage.
MAIN LINE NEWS
Double Castles over South Devon banks, best ‘Cathedrals Explorer’ so far; Oliver Cromwell is back and Stream Dreams and Railway Touring Company plan Irish trips for 2015.
MAIN LINE ITINERARY
SCALE HERITAGE RAILWAY
UP & RUNNING
Brian Sharpe’s deﬁnitive guide to steam and heritage modern traction railtours in the coming month. Where your views matter the most. Hornby’s East Coast ‘Flying Scotsman’ and Accucra UK’s Canadian Selkirk 2-10-4.
LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No. 44871 heads the empty stock of Steam Dreams’ ‘Highlands & Islands Explorer’ away from Dunrobin towards Brora on the Far North line on May 12. BEN COLLIER
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106 THE MONTH AHEAD
48 4 Heritage Railway
Our new at-a-glance guide to the big events coming up in the next four weeks, with Heritage Railway, as usual, bringing unrivalled coverage.
GREY SKIES NO MATCH FOR BR BLACK
Mixed weather over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, could not deter the crowds from attending the Cotswold Festival of Steam at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Robin Jones was among passengers who deﬁed the forecasts to enjoy a superb day out on a magniﬁcent line.
DOUBLE HIGHLAND FLING
WADEBRIDGE COMES TO BODMIN
e long-term ambition of the Bodmin & Wenford Railway is to extend its line to Wadebridge. However, during the line’s spring steam gala of May 3-5, Wadebridge came to Bodmin. Robin Jones visited the Cornish ‘bluebell railway’ to see the action for himself, and learn the latest about the line’s ambitious plans for the future.
while Geoﬀ Courtney looks to the future at the latest plans to relink to the main line at Robertsbridge. He reports on a similar light railway in eastern Europe that is still giving sterling service in the Colonel Stephens’ style.
Main line steam north of Perth is comparatively rare in the 21st century, but Brian Sharpe reports on two tours of the Scottish Highlands which operated in quick succession in early May.
FORTY YEARS OF COLONEL STEPHENS’ FINEST
e Kent & East Sussex Railway celebrated 40 years of heritage-era passenger trains with a landmark gala over the May 24-26 Spring Bank Holiday weekend. Carlwebus looks back at his visit in 1965 to the line’s initial preservation base,
THE VERY END
BOSNIA STEAMS ON
MOORS STEAM GALA SUCCESS
Forty-ﬁve years ago, the last non-preserved BR steam locomotive outside Barry was scrapped nine months aer August 1968. Robert Anderson witnessed the destruction of one of Lostock Hall’s favourites at Hull in May 1969.
It is now 46 years since British Railways ran out of steam but Warwick Falconer reports on a remote corner of Europe where steam still remains in commercial service.
Diesels had to be brought in for the second weekend of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s spring steam gala – but it did not deter the crowds and ﬁne weather made for some stunning photography, writes Roger Melton.
LNER K1 2-6-0 No. 62005 heads the Railway Touring Company’s ‘Great Britain VII’ round the Horseshoe Curve towards County March summit between Bridge of Orchy and Tyndrum Upper on May 3. DUNCAN LANGTREE
Highland fling Main line steam north of Perth is comparatively rare in the 21st century, but Brian Sharpe reports on two tours of the Scottish Highlands which operated in quick succession in early May.
No. 46115 Scots Guardsman heads along the Cumbrian Coast route past Kents Bank on April 29. KARL HEATH
48 Heritage Railway
he remote Scottish branches to Oban, Kyle of Lochalsh and the Far North see little steam activity these days and almost always only as part of one of the major rail cruises which have operated since 2007. This year though saw steam through the Highlands twice in three weeks as the Railway Touring Company went head-to-head with Steam Dreams with its respective ‘Great Britain VII’ and ‘Highlands & Islands Explorer’. As we went to press last month, Carnforth’s LMS ‘Black Five’ No. 44932, substituting for the much larger Princess Coronation Pacific No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland, was putting in a good performance on the heavy grades of the Welsh Marches route on the Bristol to Grange-over-Sands leg of ‘Great Britain VII’. Next morning, on Tuesday, April 29, it was LMS 4-6-0 No. 46115 Scots Guardsman’s turn, continuing round the Cumbrian Coast route to Carlisle, then taking the West Coast Main Line over Beattock to terminate in Edinburgh’s Waverley station. Preceding the train, Ian Riley’s ‘Black Fives’ Nos. 44871 and 45407 were en route to work the following day’s return trip to Stranraer and then continue light to Aberdeen to head Thursday’s leg from there to Inverness. As in previous years, the train was to split next day with one portion running to Fort William, behind LNER K1 2-6-0 No. 62005, over the West Highland line, and the other heading from Edinburgh to Inverness via Aberdeen. LNER A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa took charge of this portion of the train, through to Inverness. Next day, the passengers swapped trains, with LNER K1 2-6-0 No. 62005 taking the traditional ‘Jacobite’ route over the West Highland extension from Fort William to Mallaig while one of the ‘Black Fives’ was to have worked from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, the passengers travelling between www.heritagerailway.co.uk
LMS Royal Scot 4-6-0 No, 46115 Scots Guardsman produces an all-out effort to lift the heavy ‘Great Britain VII’ up Beattock Bank. NEVILLE WELLINGS
the Kyle and Mallaig by coach and ferry. However, problems struck, after the run to Stranraer, when a wheelset of No. 45407’s front bogie derailed on poor track in Cadder yard, near Glasgow, also trapping No. 44871 in the yard. When it became apparent that neither ‘Black Five’ would make it to Inverness in time, Train Operating Company, West Coast Railways, put its contingency plan into operation and sent Class 37 diesel No. 37516 to Inverness, in time to work the train to the Kyle. The A4 worked one portion back from Inverness to Edinburgh, again via Aberdeen, while the K1 worked south from Fort William, and the combined portions headed south from Edinburgh on the last day of the tour, Sunday, May 4, behind ‘number nine’, giving way at York to No. 46233 Duchess of Sutherland for the last lap to London King’s ➲ On the same day, LNER A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa crosses Montrose viaduct. HENRY ELLIOTT
LNER K1 2-6-0 No. 62005 heads the Fort William to Edinburgh portion of ‘GBVII’ above Loch Treig and towards Corrour Summit on the West Highland main line on May 3. DAVE COLLIER
Grey skies no match for BR black Beneath leaden skies, Dinmore Manor Ltd’s two locomotives, WR 4-6-0 No. 7820 Dinmore Manor piloted by GWR 2-8-0 No. 3850 visiting from the West Somerset Railway still managed to catch the early sunshine. MALCOLM RANIERI
Mixed weather may have dogged the May 24-26 spring bank holiday weekend, but could not deter the crowds from attending the eagerly awaited Back to Black-themed Cotswold Festival of Steam at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. Robin Jones was among around 3000 passengers who defied the forecasts to enjoy a superb day out on a magnificent line.
here is no doubting that the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway gets better and better. I first saw Toddington station in the heritage era in 1983, when the initial lengths of track were being laid, and have followed its progress ever since. It appears that every time I visit, there is always something new to impress, like the state-of-the-art carriage works and paint shop at Winchcombe, which once in full operation will be the envy of almost every heritage railway in Britain, or the new GWR water tower at Toddington station,
now connected up to original steam-era pipework which lay for decades beneath the platforms. The G/WR is far from being a stranger to adversity. The two landslips which crippled the line in recent years, forcing it to be run in two halves, before a £1 million appeal launched by Pete Waterman helped pay for the repairs, now seem like a distant memory. This year saw the biggest and boldest gala in the line’s heritage-era history, the now-annual Cotswold Festival of Steam, sponsored by Heritage Railway and run this year on a ‘Back to Severn Valley Railway-based WR pannier No. 1501 approaching Hailes Abbey with a freight working on May 25. SIMON WALKER
Black theme’, bringing together as many locomotives in BR black as possible. The star of the show, the one everyone wanted to see, was WR 4-6-0 No. 7820 Dinmore Manor, recently reliveried into unlined black, the first member of the class to carry that livery since 1959. It has borrowed the tender from the Bluebell Railway’s GWR 4-4-0 Dukedog No. 9017 Earl of Berkeley until its own tender is ready next spring following restoration. Then there was GWR 4-6-0 No. 3850, also owned by Dinmore Manor Ltd, which headed some very long mixed freight trains, and which, in an impressive and welcome move by the railway, were allowed to carry passengers in the brake vans. From the Mid-Hants Railway came LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0 No. 45379, historically appropriate as it was a sister locomotive that hauled the last steam train on the Stratfordupon-Avon to Cheltenham route in 1966. Another visitor was Hawksworth pannier tank No. 1501 from the Severn Valley Railway, resplendent as ever in its lined BR black livery. They were joined by home-based repatriated Turkish Stanier 8F in BR livery as No. 48274. However, BR black did not have it all its own way. One of the highlights of the event was the debut of Jeremy Hosking’s GWR heavy freight 2-8-0T No. 4270, which has been under restoration from Barry scrapyard condition for a decade at Toddington since he bought it from the now-defunct Swansea Vale Railway. The 1919-built locomotive, a member of the class designed for the heavy mineral traffic in South Wales, spent virtually all of its working life at Newport (Ebbw Junction) shed apart
Early morning at Toddington on Bank Holiday Monday, the GWR/WR contingent with their crews are, left to right, Nos. 4270, 5542, 1501, 7820 Dinmore Manor, 3850, and waiting for restoration No. 2874. IAN CROWDER Left: GWR 2-8-0T No. 4270 passes Hailes with its only freight working of the festival, on the very rainy Saturday morning. PAUL STRATFORD.
from spells at Tondu, Aberbeeg and Slough. It was withdrawn from Cardiff Canton in September 1962 and arrived at Dai Woodham’s yard the following August. It spent nearly 22 years rusting there before it was bought by Swansea City Council for the Swansea Vale Railway in July 1985, but that line never had sufficient resources to restore it. It was the 167th locomotive of 213 to be bought from the scrapyard for preservation purposes, and on May 14, when it publicly moved under its own power for the first time since Western Region days, it became the 142nd ex-Barry engine to be restored to working order. In the car park at Toddington, a far bigger green engine was on static display, one which may well become a flagship for the line in future years. It was clear that Bulleid Merchant Navy Pacific No. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental S.N. Co. is now on its home straight to restoration from Barry condition. Built at Eastleigh in 1941 and shedded at Salisbury through its 23-year career, it hauled the ‘Atlantic Coast Express’ and ‘Devon Belle’ between Waterloo and Exeter among other duties. In October 1959, it became the last ‘Spam Can’ to be rebuilt minus its streamlined casing. It was withdrawn in August 1964 and arrived at Barry that December. Bought by the P&O Locomotive Society in 1962 and moved to Toddington, its restoration has taken more than
Turkish 8F No. 48274 and visiting ‘Black Five’ No. 45379 doublehead from Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington. MALCOLM RANIERI
a third of a century, and a decade longer than it was in BR traffic. Many heritage lines would immediately dismiss Merchant Navies as too powerful and too costly to run. However, the G/WR is looking very much to the future, when big locomotives capable of hauling lengthy trains will be needed when it extends, firstly to Broadway and then to Honeybourne, and possibly beyond towards Stratford. Such dreams are moving ever closer to reality. The line’s Bridges to Broadway share issue, launched on September 30 last year to fund the rebuilding of five bridges on the extension between Laverton, the present railhead, and the tourist honeypot of Broadway where a station is now rapidly taking shape. It passed the £400,000 mark in just seven months, allowing it to award a contract worth nearly £500,000 for the work. The successful main contractor is Kidderminster-based George Law Ltd. The firm has already had experience of major work on the railway as one of the contractors appointed to repair a landslip at Cheltenham and the collapsed Chicken Curve embankment at Winchcombe. The work will start imminently. Alan Baker, director of George Law, said: “What the G/WR has achieved to date is absolutely astounding and I’m looking forward to working with them to help secure the future of this wonderful railway.
“This really is a historic moment and I for one can’t wait to be on the first train to cross the bridges that we will have refurbished.” Railway chairman Alan Bielby said: “It is the biggest single contract that the railway has ever placed with one supplier. Although the landslip works cost the railway well over £1 million, met thanks to a successful emergency appeal; it was divided over a number of separate contracts. “The contract encompasses repair of all five bridges between our present northern railhead at Laverton and Broadway. All have suffered serious deterioration since a train last passed over them in 1979. “The work is expected to take about six months to complete. Then we can get on with the serious business of refurbishing the embankments and drainage, lay ballast and track and install signalling and other infrastructure. “I feel much more confident now in saying that we will run our first train to Broadway station within three years, replacing a rail connection to Cheltenham that has been missing for more than half a century.” The contract specification was developed by the railway’s volunteer structures engineer John Balderstone, with advice from consulting engineers Halcrow. The specification involves steelwork refurbishment (four of the five 110-year-old bridges have steel spans, requiring substantial repairs), brick and concrete work, drainage ➲
LMS ‘Black Five’ No. 45388 in surprisingly filthy condition leaves Preston’s number 5 platform in fine style with the Blackpool portion of the 5.05pm Euston to Blackpool due away from Preston at 8.50pm on Saturday, June 22, 1968. Considering this was one of the very last remaining steam-hauled ordinary passenger trains on British Railways and that total elimination of standard gauge steam was but six weeks away (or seven weeks if 1T57 is to be included), it is quite amazing how few photographers or even bystanders there were.
THE VERY END
Forty-five years ago, the last non-preserved BR standard gauge steam locomotive outside Barry scrapyard was cut up. Robert Anderson witnessed the destruction of one of Lostock Hall’s favourites at Hull in May 1969, nine months after the end of steam haulage on the main line in August 1968.
The scene that greeted me on arrival at Albert Draper’s Neptune Street scrapyard at Hull on Thursday, May 8, 1969, just 10 days after the arrival of the cavalcade from Lostock Hall. ‘Black Fives’ Nos. 44894 and 45017 have already been broken up and No. 45388 Farewell Old Mate is the next and the last. The now preserved No. 45305 – the one and only escapee – is in the background.
82 Heritage Railway
n his highly detailed series recounting the story of the last months of steam on British Railways published in Heritage Railway, Alan Castle described the event as “the final steam locomotives despatched from a BR depot to a scrap dealer” and “the last time that nonpreserved steam locomotives were present on Britain’s railway system”. This event was 45 years ago on April 28, 1969. The movement was the diesel-hauled cavalcade of LMS ‘Black Five’ 4-6-0s Nos. 44894, 45017 and 45388 booked off Lostock Hall shed at 4.15am and stopping at Healey Mills, probably for examination purposes, from 7.45 to 10.05am before proceeding to the Hull scrapyard of Albert Draper & Son Ltd. I knew about it and I even had the times but I could not get out of the job I had to do at work, bearing in mind that these types of workings could run just as easily hours early or hours late and that the information regarding train running was not nearly so readily available as it is today. I had a soft spot for No. 45388 as it was the last BR-owned steam locomotive I personally saw at work on an ordinary express passenger train. I had gone to Preston on June 22, 1968, to photograph the famed Blackpool portion of the 5.05pm from Euston which by then was one of only two or three such trains left on BR. www.heritagerailway.co.uk
I got my photographs but was initially disappointed by the filthy state of No. 45388, as I had wrongly assumed that at this late stage of BR steam, the unofficial engine cleaning gang had cleaned everything that moved. This initial disappointment quickly evaporated as I consoled myself with the realisation that dirt and grime had been the universal livery of most BR steam locomotives for several years and I had in fact photographed the real thing. Nos. 44894 and 45017 had both been actively involved with the run-up to and including the last day steam specials on Sunday, August 4, 1968. No. 45388 however seemed to have been less active. It did make some appearances in July on the 5.05pm Euston to Blackpool, working the train forward from Preston on the last leg of its journey – by which time it had received the attention of the unofficial engine cleaning gang – and on July 31 worked the 7.14pm Colne to Preston parcels and was finally noted in steam on Lostock Hall on Saturday, August 3. Apart from these workings it was perhaps a bit of a recluse in that final month. Having therefore missed the cavalcade on April 28, 1969, I resolved to visit Albert Draper’s scrapyard at Hull to get some farewell photographs of No. 45388. I duly found an excuse to be in Hull on Thursday, May 8, and was astounded to discover that Nos. 44894 and 45017 had already been cut up and No. 45388 would be dealt with on Tuesday 13th. I had never been to Draper’s yard before and had gone very much cap in hand half expecting to be thrown out. My fears were immediately dispelled, for the foreman was most helpful and said I would be welcome next Tuesday as long as I kept out of the way. Imagine that attitude today! I duly arrived in the late morning of that fateful day and was horrified to see No. 45388 already severely decapitated. I had absolutely no idea that a 70-ton steam locomotive could be reduced to such a state in a matter of hours… I managed to grab some photographs as the destruction continued of the last of over 700 steam locomotives to be broken up at the scrapyard of Albert Draper & Son Ltd – a
The destruction of No. 45388. These photographs were taken over a period of just three hours on Tuesday, May 13, 1969.
scrapyard totally different to Barry in that as locomotives arrived they were ‘dealt with’ fairly quickly and there was but one escapee (No. 45305 which was to be restored by the Humberside Locomotive Preservation Group). Most notably, 10 LNER A1 Pacifics and nine rebuilt NER B16 4-6-0s were cut up. No doubt there will be many people in the preservation movement who wished these locomotives had been bought instead by Dai Woodham. I would urge anyone interested in Draper’s scrapyard to obtain a copy of British Railways Locomotives cut up by Drapers of Hull by Brian Egan and Ian Scotney, published by Hutton Press 1989, which details every locomotive cut up at this yard. ■