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December 2019

34028

From the Chairman

Tuesday 19th November marked a milestone in the overhaul of 34028 Eddystone when it was transferred to Norden for the reinstatement of its boiler. This had been moved from its temporary home at a private site in Holton Heath where our volunteer cladding team had spent the past months doing yet another splendid job. Before being craned on to the frames the ashpan was fitted with far fewer problems than we've encountered in past similar exercises. The locomotive was then moved back into Herston Works for completion. The whole project took place as a joint enterprise with Swanage Railway staff and we would like to thank them and the haulage contractors for a job well done.

Following a successful AGM in October, we were able to thank many shareholders in early November with three days of driving and firing on Sir Keith Park. The Swanage Railway pull out all the stops to make these events so successful which is much appreciated as we have relied even more heavily on shareholder support this year. We incurred significant expense due to the bottom end overhaul of Sir Keith Park, finishing Eddystone's overhaul in Herston, commencing Manston's at Tyseley, continuing the extensive overhaul of our Austerity Norman in Bolton and authorising the North Norfolk Railway to commence work on Sidmouth's boiler.

2020 looks to be a promising year at Swanage with 257 Squadron, Sir Keith Park and 80104 to be shortly joined by Eddystone, with Manston hopefully ready for traffic later in the year. Norman's overhaul will also be completed in the Autumn and will enter traffic on the Spa Valley Railway which will be its future base.

Little of the above would have been possible without our shareholder support so please do get in touch with us if you would like to help either physically or financially. As we are a company, not a trust, a shareholding in SLL really does mean that you part own the locomotives, have access to them at all reasonable times and occasionally having the chance to drive them. We were the first organisation to successfully offer shares in a locomotive at 250 for cash or a standing order arrangement in 1983. We've never deviated from this idea and a visit to Swanage in 2020 will reflect on just how successful the idea was and still is!

Finally, Nick Thompson has included a link below to a clip from a BBC Radio programme in which Clive James talks about Sir Keith Park back in 2009 - just at the time that we were restoring the locomotive for much the same reason as in his talk. Well worth another listen.

Best regards, Simon

2020 SLL calendars

Once again the webmaster created a calendar featuring SLL's fleet of locos. The 2020 edition includes action shots from the past year and at least one hitherto unpublished shot from the 1960's. 150 were printed and they have all now been sold, raising several hundred pounds for SLL funds.

34053

The 2020 calendar includes 12 photos of the SLL fleet in action. Some are modern colour images from leading photographers, and others date back to the 1960's showing our locos in BR days.

January 2020 features 34072 and 34053 coupled together on a train during the September 2019 Swanage Steam Gala. A big Thank You to the photographers who contributed their photos.


34028 Eddystone

Work on the frames and motion is almost complete in Herston and whilst this work was on-going our cladding team worked off-site on the boiler at a private location. Situated at ground level the very complicated task of reinstating the cladding was made just a little easier. In a complicated exercise in mid-November the boiler was transferred to Norden lowered onto the ashpans which were secured in place, and then was lifted on to Eddystone's frames which had been transferred by low loader from Herston. The locomotive was then moved back to Herston by which time the M7 30053 had slipped into '28's original spot. Eddystone is now near the doors so that it will be ready for transfer to the Railway, hopefully in May.

34028

Eddystone's boiler has been off-site for several months, where the cladding team have been working on it. Photo: Dave Ensor


34028

Eddystone's boiler was installed on the frames at Norden on 19th November, and the loco returned to Herston later that day. We're hoping to complete the overhaul in the first half of 2020. Photo: Neville Crook

34053 Sir Keith Park

We sent Sir Keith Park's tender to Tyseley in September to enable the loco to be steam tested there before its return to Swanage. This also permitted the loco to be run at the Tyseley Open Days on 28-29th September - the first time a Bulleid has been run at Tyseley in recent years. The loco returned to Swanage early in October, in time for the Swanage Autumn Steam Gala, while the tender stayed at Tyseley to be used with Manston next year. The result is that Sir Keith Park will run with Manston's tender until well into 2020. The tender is a 'narrow' version, though that is protoypically correct as some rebuilt Light Pacifics did run with the narrower tender design.

34053

34053 Sir Keith Park was in service on 19th October. Unusually for a Bulleid it's facing Swanage, giving the passengers in the Devon Belle observation car a great view and sound.

On its return Sir Keith Park was re-weighed and tested and is now in regular service.

34070 Manston

The overhaul of Manston has been contracted to Tyseley as Herston remains fully engaged in the overhaul of Eddystone. Manston was considered to be in very good order prior to its withdrawal after the 'shunt' in 2017. The casing has been removed and the boiler stripped of tubes and flues. We're looking forward to its re-entry into service, hopefully mid-2020, though this is dependant on funding to be available.

If these plans come to fruition SLL will be in the remarkable position of having four Bulleids in servicable condition. What a line up that will be!

34070

Manston's casing has been removed and the tubes and flues taken out. It's seen here on 23rd September still outside the workshop. SLL volunteers Phil Casey, Jim Bosworth and Malcolm Garner returned to Tyseley on 11th November to clean up the surface of the boiler prior to NDT testing.

34010 Sidmouth

Given the work on 34028 and 34070 it may come as a surprise to learn that Sidmouth's pony truck frames and wheelset were brought into the workshop in late October to be cleaned, painted and repaired. As the plan is to bring the frames inside in 2020, it's important to have the bogie and pony truck ready so that it can be moved within the workshop when needed.

34010

Sidmouth's frames have been stored outside since the loco was withdrawn in 1965. The frames were gritblasted, had some repairs and were painted at Sellindge but in the ensuing years have become rather weathered. Volunteers Ray Evans, Nick Wren and Colin Eyles get to work on the pony truck, and it's now looking a lot smarter.

Work on the boiler continues at Weybourne on the NNR, though as previously described the plan is for this boiler to run with 34053 Sir Keith Park.

34072 257 Squadron

257 Squadron has been in regular service over the summer, and was running alongside Sir Keith Park at the Swanage Autumn Gala.

34072

34072 and 34053 were running back-to-back on some services at the Autumn Gala, and the webmaster put out a shout for photos to record this unusual coupling. Tim Nobbs responded with this image of 34072 leading into Harmans Cross. Photo: Tim Nobbs

80104

80104 was in regular service at Swanage Railway throughout the season.

80104

These ladies are clearly keen train fans eager to get a close up shot of 80104, and who can blame them?

Norman

While it was always our intention to give Norman a thorough overhaul we hadn't reckoned on just how much work that would require. These locos were built during WW11, with a life expectancy of 5-10 years. When the loco was stripped down it became apparent that the horn guides would need to be replaced, and the boiler inspector has determined that the firebox foundation ring and the lower walls will need to be replaced. The total cost is likely to run to around 140,000, almost double our initial estimate. All of this work will result in a loco which is virtually 'as new', though the work is unlikely to be completed until mid-2020.

norman

Work has moved to Norman's boiler and firebox. Jake Marrow is seen inside the firebox cutting the heads off stays which will need to be renewed. Photo: Jake Marrow

SLL has reached agreement with the Spa Valley Railway for the future use of Norman, which will move to its base at Tunbridge Wells West during 2020. The generosity of one of our sponsors has enabled us to undertake a thorough overhaul of the locomotive. This should ensure that we and the Spa Valley will hopefully have no more than running maintenance to worry about for 10 years. We plan to turn out Norman in WD Longmoor Blue with the running number 75050 as it did when based at Longmoor in 1944, albeit in khaki livery, before being shipped to France following the D-Day landings.

SLL AGM and Driving & Firing days

This year's AGM was on Saturday 19th October and held in Harmans Cross Village Hall. Around 25 shareholders attended plus six board members of SLL. The formal proceedings took place without issue. Simon Troy reviewed the past year and our plans for 2020. If things go well we could have four Bulleid Pacifics in working condition a year from now, though Simon stressed the need for continued support from our shareholders. Jon Cleverdon explained our recently published 2018-19 accounts, and Nic Drukker explained the company's arrangements for authorising expenditure.

34053 Sir Keith Park was hauling the passenger service on Swanage Railway so some attendees took the train down to Swanage to attend the railway's AGM in the afternoon.

34053 34053

Brian Hardiman and Nick Mould have been SLL supporters for many years, and are regular volunteers at Herston.

Pat Platt (Fireman), Alan Gadian (from Sidmouth), Rob Barrett (Driver) and Martin Collier in the glare of the firebox.

This year's shareholders DX days were on 4-6th November. Our loco was Sir Keith Park, and 48 shareholders took turns at driving and firing between Swanage and Corfe Castle. Thanks as always to all the Swanage Railway crews and staff who made these sessions possible and so enjoyable.

34028 34072

Bruce Duncan is chairman of the Salisbury to Exeter Rail Users Group, SERUG. Could the search for a replacement for the class 159 DMU's be over?

Thorncombe Railway Activities Club TRAC have made a donation of 500 to SLL, becoming shareholders and enjoying a footplate trip. Would some other railway clubs like to do likewise?

Top of the Format

The webmaster has recently splashed out on a new film scanner with which to digitise some of his old 35mm negatives. His new toy also handles 'medium format' film also known as 120 / 620 format. This was not entirely unconnected with negatives of SLL locos which we've recently been offered by two photographers who used this format back in the 50's and 60's. Each frame has at least four times the area of a 35mm frame, and cameras which used it were generally of high quality. The images below are only 450px wide, though they still show a lot of detail.

34010

David Kimber took this photo on 2nd January 1956 showing 34010 Sidmouth in its original form. The location is not known, though it's probably a down train between London and Bournemouth. Photo: David Kimber



34010

The late Derek Cross was a prolific source of excellent steam photos in BR days and his collection is now looked after by his son David. Here 34010 Sidmouth, now in rebuilt form, leaves Southampton Central for Bournemouth on 5 June 1960. Photo: Derek Cross collection.

If you have some negs of SLL locos in BR days that you'd like to have digitised please drop a line to nicksidmouth@gmail.com

Clive James and Sir Keith Park

On 27th November the death of Clive James was announced. An Australian, he'd lived in England for most of his adult life, and became a well known TV personality. Most of his TV work was light hearted, but he also wrote serious newpaper articles, books, and radio programmes on art and philosophy. In the early 2000's a campaign started to place a statue of Sir Keith Park on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, and a temporary version was installed for a few months. This led to public discussion in which journalist from The Guardian wrote that Park could not be a suitable person for the statue because she'd never heard of him. Clive James' BBC talk skewered the journalist with clinical precision. It can be heard here: A letter from Clive James.

34010

We invited Clive James to join us at the Severn Valley Railway in 2013 for the re-commissioning of 34053 Sir Keith Park. He wrote expressing his support but he was too sick to travel at that time.

And finally...

34010

Back in April 2019 we published a photo taken in 1980 by Mark Holmes, then aged 10, showing his mother and two sisters in Woodhams scrap yard with Eddystone in the background. The mantle for the youngest Woodhams 'bunker' now passes to a 5 year old, Martin Hough, who is scarcely taller than the undergrowth in front of 34072 257 Squadron around 1982. Can any reader claim to have visited Woodhams at a younger age?

September 2019

From the Chairman

It will probably be mid-September before Sir Keith Park is back on Swanage metals. Part of the delay is because the turntable at Tyseley which is vital for low-loader access has been closed for repair. On the bright side this has given us more time to overhaul the bottom half of the locomotive, assisted by Tyseley staff. Our former apprentice, Bailey England, who is now fully qualified, and Andy Crooks, our newest member of staff, spent a week reassembling the loco helped by volunteer Phil Casey. We are working closely with Swanage Railway, and Herston Works Manager Graham Froud has dispatched staff to Tyseley to remove all the fusible plugs so that they can undertake a boiler washout and have a cold boiler exam by Tyseley's local inspector to save time once back in Swanage. We may send Manston's tender to Tyseley so that the hot exam could also be carried out there. This would have the advantage that Manston would have its own tender so that a similar arrangement could be made next year. No decision yet - watch this space.

As advised in the last update the plan is to have the boiler from Sidmouth fully restored to put on Sir Keith Park's frames once that locomotive is withdrawn for overhaul in 2021/2. In August the North Norfolk Railway was authorised to commence work on the boiler over the next two years to complete the job on time. Earnings from Sir Keith Park and other locos will help fund the restoration of Sidmouth, though substantial support from new and current shareholders will still be needed. Please drop me a line at southernlocos@btinternet.com if you would like to support us in any way.

Best wishes, Simon Troy

34028 Eddystone

Eddystone's overhaul is progressing well and with the impending return of our staff from Tyseley work at Swanage will accelerate. The boiler is currently stored off-site and receiving attention from our cladding team and will move to Herston in two or three months once the rest of the engine is completed.

34028

Ron Neal is reinstalling the motion, and seen here measuring the LH piston valve.

All the pistons and valves are being reinstated with much of the motion already in place. Lubrication runs need to be completed, and work is ongoing fitting out the new smokebox and all its ancilaries. The target is for this locomotive to return to traffic in Summer 2020.

34053

The new smokebox door has been fitted.

34053 Sir Keith Park

Work on Sir Keith Park at Tyseley is now complete. All of the axle boxes, journals and bearings were overhauled and the driving wheels were re-installed early in August. Examination of the front bogie revealed that there were 23 loose rivets which needed to be replaced. The axle boxes were also overhauled. The bogie and pony truck were refitted on 16th August. The brake gear and sanders were refitted and the loco is expected back at Swanage in early September.

34053

A general view of Sir Keith Park within the main Tyseley workshop. It's interested to see a Bulleid among so many other locos; Halls, Castles, a Jubilee, Duke of Gloucester, etc.

When the loco returns to Swanage Railway it will need to be attached to its tender and to be steam tested before it can re-enter traffic.

34053

Examination of the front bogie revealed 23 loose rivets. The head of each had to be cut off and the rivet burnt out. The hole was then built up with weld and redrilled and reamed to size, after which a new red-hot rivet could be fitted in the traditional method.

Thanks are due to Pete Pickering for seeing this job through, to Bob Bevis for spending two weeks helping to re-assemble the loco, and to the steady stream of volunteers who undertook much of the unglamorous work of stripping and cleaning the brake gear, sanders, wheels and frames.

34053

The journals of the bogie and pony truck were machined, and all of the axle boxes were overhauled. Here the bogie frame is held up by Tyseley's gantry crane before the wheels and axle boxes are positioned below.

34070 Manston

34070 Manston moved to Tyseley in December 2017, and most of 2018 was spent repairing the damage to the front frames in the bump it had received at Swanage. Its boiler ticket expired in July 2018, so preliminary work on its overhaul started at the same time, and has continued intermittently. However attention switched to Sir Keith Park as that was seen as a quicker job. With the completion of Sir Keith Park work has refocussed on Manston. SLL has contracted Tyseley to undertake both the bottom end work (axle boxes and motion) and the boiler, while the brake gear, etc, has been taken back to Herston for cleaning, inspection and rebushing.

34072

Manston has been moved into Tyseley workshop and a start to stripping the boiler has been made. It's seen here in the yard on 3rd July, minus brake gear and sanders, which have been returned to Swanage, where degreasing and cleaning have started. The front bogie was removed some months ago and has been cleaned but awaits overhaul.

Manston was in good order when last in service (August 2017) so we do not anticipate extensive work being required, however it all takes time and money. Our target is for Manston to return to traffic in the second half of 2020.

34010 Sidmouth

The focus has been on the detail of the overhaul of Sidmouth's boiler at Weybourne, and our procurement of a new front tube plate and other boiler components, tubes and flues, which we'll be supplying to the NNR. The frames are still stored on a bolster wagon near Norden, however we intend to start cleaning the frames in September prior to them coming into Herston works when Eddystone leaves.

34010

Sidmouth's frames put in an appearance at the 2017 Strictly Bulleid gala, when they were displayed at Corfe Castle station.

34072 257 Squadron

34072 257 Squadron has been in regular service at Swanage Railway over the summer, alongside 80104 and visiting Ivatt 2MT 2-6-0 46251.

34072

34072 257 Squadron leaves Swanage with the 13:40 service to Norden on 22nd July. 80104 can be seen in the siding to the top left.

80104

80104

80104 has been in regular service over the summer. Its current ticket runs to 2021 at which point it's likely to require some work on the boiler and firebox. At least a lot of work has been done on the bottom end and motion in recent years.

This photo by Dave Ensor was taken back in March when the loco was bearing number 80126 as part of Swanage Railway's Scottish event.

Norman

The scope and cost of Norman's overhaul has grown substantially, but good progress is being made, and the loco is now expected to be available for the 2020 season. No agreement has been reached regarding its future 'home', and we invite expressions of interest from suitable heritage lines.

Huron

The wheelsets have returned from SDR Engineering, and the axleboxes are being machined, as seen here. Photo: Jake Marrow


Huron

The boiler has been stripped and NDT used to measure metal thicknesses throughout. The Boiler Inspector has now visited and his report is anxiously awaited. Photo: Jake Marrow

In the Machine Shop

In the course of overhauling a locomotive a lot of man-hours and associated costs are spent in the machine shop, repairing or re-manufacturing components. Smaller items such as pins and bushes are mainly made with the lathe while larger items such as slide bars require a milling machine. The lack of a large universal milling machine was a gap in our capabilities and we've been on the lookout for a suitable used machine. Volunteer Neville Crook has a lot of machining experience, at Herston and in his previous time at Wansford on the Nene Valley Railway where he worked on 92 Squadron.

Neville found a suitable Huron machine, which would cost us around 7,000. This presented two problems, firstly it was located in North Yorkshire, which is about as far from Swanage as you can get without leaving England. Secondly we didn't have a spare 7,000; our current resources are spread thinly between Sir Keith Park, Eddystone, Manston, Norman and Sidmouth. So Nick Thompson emailed some of our loyal supporters, explaining the issue and our urgent need for funds. Within two weeks we'd received sufficient cheques and promises of funding to close the deal.

Huron

Huron MU4 milling machines are usually found in Tool Rooms where their quality offers accuracy of better than one thou. They are extremely flexible as the head can be rotated for compound angles.

Willie Bath travelled north to inspect the machine, the deal was sealed and transport was arranged; a HIAB truck capable of lifting several tons. It arrived in Herston on 1st August. A more powerful electrical supply was installed, and the machine was set to work within a few days. Our skilled staff are all keen to make use of it, and - once again - a big thank you to those who reached for their cheque books at short notice to make the acquisition possible.

June 2019

From the Chairman

After some months during which it's seemed to be "one step forward, two steps back" it's good to have some positive developments. As I mentioned in the last update our key constraint is money; we can't employ staff or commission outside work which we can't afford to pay for. That's about to change as we have received support to fund two key projects.

Firstly, Sidmouth's boiler has been at the North Norfolk Railway workshop at Weybourn for over a year and following a detailed examination they have quoted us for its overhaul. A supporter has agreed to fund this work with a long-term loan, and we have asked the NNR to proceed on the basis of the quotation. However, when the boiler is available in two or three years the plan is to fit it to Sir Keith Park (as requested by the supporter), thus shortening its overhaul timescale greatly. SKP's boiler will then be available and is expected to require far less time and money to repair than Sidmouth's will have taken. This will reduce the cost and time of completing both Sir Keith Park and Sidmouth and gives us more serviceable (i.e. fee earning) locos over the next five years.

Secondly, Manston is at Tyseley awaiting overhaul with little current progress. However a shareholder has agreed to match share sales for Manston's overhaul on a one for one basis. The overhaul cost is reckoned to be at least 80,000, so if our shareholders can contribute 40k to Manston, the balance will come from the sponsor. Existing SLL shareholders can download a share application form from the Shareholder section of this website. If you'd like to find out more about becoming an SLL shareholder please drop an email to me at southernlocos@btinternet.com.

In this Latest News update you'll read more about current work on Eddystone, Sir Keith Park and Norman and our locos in service. We will report further progress on several fronts a little later this year.

Best wishes, Simon

34028 Eddystone

Work on the boiler at Buckfastleigh is complete. As there is remaining work on the chassis before the boiler is required it has gone to off-site storage near Swanage until later this year. We're hoping that our cladding team will have access to the boiler meanwhile to save time on the final assembly.

34028

For some months Norden has been home to three Bulleid tenders as only Sir Keith Park's tender was attached to a loco, and that was 257 Squadron! From the left: 257 Squadron's (with the brake cylinders receiving attention), Eddystone's (overhauled but as yet unlined) and Manston's (awaiting overhaul). Since this photo was taken 257 Squadron has regained its own tender.

All three expansion links have been fitted along with most of the inside engine. Pipe work is ongoing, the running plates have been refitted as have the injector pipes, and lubrication work is progressing. The new smokebox door has been fitted to its new ring, rolled at the South Devon Railway, and all the furniture is attached.


34028

Eddystone's new smokebox with new door and other fittings in place. Volunteers have now removed all of the rust and painted the smokebox.




34053 Sir Keith Park

34053

The journals were machined on Tyseley's wheel lathe to remove wear and ovality. The journals were then polished with the abrasive tape visible in this photo.



The journals of the three driving wheels sets have all been machined and polished. The final diameters of the journals have been taken for each axle box to be machined to size. The wheels are being reinstalled and the bogie and trailing truck being removed for overhaul. We hope that the loco will return to Swanage and be ready for traffic in August.

34053

Work on the axle boxes and wheelsets will be finished in early July. In this photo the leading wheels have their axle boxes installed while the crank axle's boxes are yet to be fitted.




34070 Manston

Having completed the repairs to the front of the frames in the spring, Manston has taken a back seat pending available funding. That door is now opened with a 50/50 funding offer from a supporter as outlined in Simon Troy's message above. Owing to lack of staff and space in Herston Works we have asked Tyseley Works if they can finish the overhaul of the bottom end of Manston and the boiler. They have indicated that this task could be undertaken in a year so there is a good chance that Manston could be back in service for the 2021 season if no unforeseen problems arise.

Manston

The brake gear and sanders from Manston were removed in mid-June. A good deal of crud was scraped off the parts which will be moved back to Herston for full cleaning and overhaul.



SLL volunteers have been at Tyseley in June, primarily to assist with Sir Keith Park, however they found time to strip down Manston's brake gear and sanders prior to the planned work on the wheels and axle boxes.

34072 257 Squadron

34072 has been in service for most of the spring, with minor issues along the way. The vacuum cylinders of its tender were removed, stripped down and reassembled. It had been running with Sir Keith Park's tender which was found to have broken six of the spring cup holders. It's now been reunited with its own tender. Fingers crossed that the gremlins will not revisit as our stock of 'spare' Bulleid tenders should shrink to none over the next few months.

34053

A superb monochrome photo by Dave Ensor featuring 257 Squadron at work on 14th April.




34010 Sidmouth

Loco restorations are driven by available funding, and our supporter's offer to fund the overhaul of Sidmouth's boiler with a long-term loan is a key step in the project. The plan is to have this boiler available to use with Sir Keith Park, when it comes out of service in 2022, and overhaul SKP's for use with Sidmouth when the chassis is complete. The point of this is that the big job - Sidmouth's boiler - can start NOW, and the overhaul of SKP's boiler, hopefully a much less costly project, will be done when we have more locos in service and earning money.


80104

For over a year Malcolm Garner's journey home from work was on the 17:09 from Waterloo as far as Woking. This photo was taken on Friday 4th September 1964.




Malcolm's log of 34010 on the 17:09:

17:09 Waterloo to Basingstoke, 4th September 1964

Load: 10 coaches - 318 tons tare / c. 340 tons gross
Crew: Driver Hayward & Fireman Rood of Basingstoke MPD
spacer
Distance   Station Schedule Time Speed
0.0   Waterloo 0.00 0.00  
1.3   Vauxhall   3.32 41 / 54
3.9   Clapham Junction 7.00 6.54 45* SR
5.6   Earlsfield   9.05 51
7.2   Wimbledon   10.54 61
9.8   New Malden   13.23 65 / 67
12.0   Surbiton   15.28 64
13.3   Hampton Court Junction   16.44 65 / 68
14.4   Esher   17.44 70
15.9   Hersham   19.07 70
17.1   Walton   21.08 68
19.1   Weybridge   22.07 60 / 63
20.4   Byfleet & Newhaw   23.18 65
21.7   West Byfleet   24.36 68
          Sig stop 3 min 34 sec
24.3   Woking 31.00 33.04  

Estimated Net Time: 27 min 40 sec.

This was a very competent run, only spoilt by the (unusual) signal stop before Woking. No explanation in my notes for the slight slowing through Weybridge – possibly sighted a yellow signal in the distance?

80104

Our Standard Tank has been the backbone of steam operations at Swanage Railway in recent weeks. Unlike Bulleids, 80104 has a copper firebox and some attention to weeping stays has been required.

80104

80104 has been hard at work on Swanage Railway. It's seen at Swanage on 31st May having arrived with the 14:40 from Norden with plenty of passengers.




Norman

Norman's overhaul has revealed some expensive problems especially associated with its axle boxes. Its wheels went to the South Devon Railway for profiling as fortunately the tyres were still good for another turn - they are now ready to return. However, whilst attempting to repair the horn guides for the axleboxes it was discovered that the cost and difficulty would outweigh replacing them altogether. One of our Directors who works on the Kent & East Sussex Railway has supplied us with patterns for the horn guides saving a four figure sum; these will be taken to a foundry immediately and the finished articles will be sent to Wigan. Norman can't be re-wheeled until they return, so with a deadline for traffic early next season this is just one of many problems being encountered that have had to be solved quickly.

Norman

Machining a horn face with a porcupine cutter on the milling machine to remove a hard wear strip and weld from the horn face. Photo: John Marrow



A boiler inspection is expected shortly to establish what work is required. We have taken the decision to do all the work which is necessary to see it through another 10 years, without it having to come out for major renewals mid-term. Norman will really have to earn its keep once in traffic to repay some of these costs. We have had some expressions of interest from heritage railways, though we won't be making any agreements until the work is approaching completion later in the year.

Norman

One of Norman's horn faces being machined. Photo: John Marrow



We're hiring

Our website and Facebook page carried a notice that we were looking to recruit a Fitter/Machinist, and we have received a number of responses. We may be looking for additional staff during the course of 2019, and would welcome interest from anyone with experience steam loco engineering. Please email Simon Troy at southernlocos@btinternet.com with your CV.

Memory Lane

Tony Laming recently came up with this photo taken in the late 1980's at Richborough Power station where Manston was being restored. The event was probably jacking up the loco to remove the front bogie as several chaps from the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway track gang are present.

34070

From the left: Dave Hodges, Tony Williams, Colin Aris, Terry Mann, Julian Willis, Dave Saffery, Tony Laming, Jez Laming, Alan James, Paul Umbers, Dave Morgan, Mick Dennison and Ken Taft (CEGB).



April 2019

34053

It's not often that a good colour photo of an SLL loco in BR days appears and Geoff Plumb's is one of the best for a long time, and unusually it's hauling freight. 34053 is heading south west through Winchfield cutting with a long train of vans on the down slow line at about the point where the M3 motorway bridge now crosses the line. The headcode suggests a working from Nine Elms to Southampton Docks via Brentford, Chertsey and Woking. It was taken on Saturday 11th April 1964.

Geoff has just published a book of his photos, The Geoff Plumb Collection - British Railways in the 1960s - Southern Region, and has an excellent online gallery, with plenty of Bulleids represented, though sadly no more of SLL's.

From the Chairman

The first quarter of 2019 has had its ups and downs. Bob Bevis's decision to retire was anticipated, though it changes the face of the workshop team nonetheless. Willie Bath has also stepped back from day to day management of SLL workshop activities, though he remains engaged on our project management and sourcing of components. Pete Pickering will become a full time employee when his commitments at Tyseley are completed, not least his work there on both Manston and Sir Keith Park, and we're planning to recruit another full time staff member during the year.

Swanage Railway are also revising their working practices, and we are looking for closer alignment with them in the future. Their purchase of four large portable jacks (ex-Eurostar North Pole depot) will permit work on axle boxes, etc, to be done on site, saving us significant transport costs. With only 80104 and 257 Squadron on lease cashflow has been lower that anticipated. That should change when work on Sir Keith Park is completed. Meanwhile our work is focused on getting Eddystone to the point where its boiler can return from Buckfastleigh and be installed. Work on Norman continues at Bryn Engineering; we have agreed to have a more complete rebuild of the cylinders and bottom end to give us a loco which can expect a full 10 years in service.

The primary obstacle to completion of all these projects is money, and the support of our shareholders continues to be essential to our success.

Simon Troy

34028 Eddystone

The superheater header and elements were moved to Buckfastleigh to be installed and steam tested by SDR Engineering. As the locomotive is not quite ready to accept the boiler, we expect to transfer it to a private site not far from Swanage where the cladding team can start the process of reinstating the casing etc. Once the middle engine is complete with the inside connecting rod reinstated along with pipework, we can return the boiler to Swanage.

On the other hand the cost of the 150 finger bars to make up the grate has recently doubled - an unexpected and unwelcome bill.

34028

Work has started on the new smokebox, with a preliminary fit on the saddle to mark up the cut-outs for the chimney, etc. We also bought a new smokebox door, and this is being built up prior to welding to the smokebox.




34028

Eddystone's connecting rods need to be cleaned up prior to fitting. Ray, Geoff, Pete and Bob, get stuck in. Note U Class 31806 on the new jacks in the background.



34053 Sir Keith Park

Examination of the axle boxes showed that they all need repair, and this work is now under way at Tyseley, with Pete Pickering much involved. New crowns were cast and machined and ready for pressing into the axle boxes, to be followed by white-metalling. However, SKP is behind three or four other locomotives in the queue to use the wheel lathe, so until the journals are profiled the axle boxes can't be machined to size. This work should start in May and once the wheelsets are ready the locomotive can be re-wheeled and returned to Swanage for re-entry into traffic.

We plan to clean and overhaul the pony truck and bogie, so this will constitute most of a bottom end overhaul. The loco's 10 year overhaul will be due in 2022, and we're looking at ways to shorten the downtime then.

34053

With the driving wheels removed it's possible to get at the frames, and a posse of SLL volunteers visited Tyseley in February to clean up wherever possible.




34053

When the frames were clean work moved on to the motion. Mary Bosworth took the rag to the LH slidebars and revealed the writing, "Sold Mr Woodham", dating from when BR sold the loco for scrap.



34070 Manston

34070

The repairs on Manston are complete, bar a further inspection when the loco is lifted to overhaul the axle boxes. It's planned to do this at Tyseley when funding is available, but with Eddystone and Sir Keith Park needing work we don't know when that will be. Meanwhile the loco is in the yard at Tyseley.



34072 257 Squadron

34072 has been been in service in the early part of the year, and was the subject of a 30742 Charters event on 4th March. Subsequently it developed a problem with valve packings and was out of service while the 'Scottish engine' was at work.

34072

34072 attracted good photographers for the Photo Charter and several of these were published on Facebook, etc. This image by Chris House of 34072 leaving Corfe Castle was striking. One or two photos from the day may well feature in the 2020 SLL calendar.



34010 Sidmouth

The big news is the agreement with Swanage Railway that Sidmouth's frames will enter Herston works when Eddystone leaves, early in 2020. Workshop space is at a premium, and when the frames are indoors we will have to make good use of the parts which we have been gathering over the past several years. Currently the frames are on a rail wagon west of Norden station; they will probably move to the 'pad' at Norden for cleaning during the summer.

34010

Overhaul of Sidmouth's bogie and pony truck are high priority tasks as they will make the frames mobile. Here Phil Casey is painting a set of bogie wheels with apple green undercoat.




34010

Bulleid smoke box doors are a characteristic part of the loco; oval in shape with a different radius in the horizontal and vertical planes. SDR Engneering developed the necessary tooling to press the shape, and made a batch. SLL has bought the last two of these; one for Eddystone and one for Sidmouth.



80104

80104 has remained a backbone of the Swanage Railway service and was involved with the excitement accompanying the visit of a well-known Scottish loco, to the extent that it was renumbered 80126, which worked in Perthshire in the 1960's.

34072

Our resident numbering expert, Robin White, unveils 80126. The real 80126 was built at Brighton in 1955 and based at Perth South MPD throughout its short working life. It was withdrawn in November 1966 and cut up in January 1967.



Norman

The overhaul of Norman continues to reveal more expensive problems mainly associated with its axle boxes. The wheelsets have been dispatched to the South Devon Railway for profiling as fortunately the tyres are still good for another turn. The first boiler inspection is due to take place imminently so we trust the inspector doesn't turn up anything that we don't know about already. We and just one shareholder who is kindly sponsoring much of the work have taken the decision to do all the work which is necessary to see it through another 10 years, without it having to come out for major renewals mid-term. The net result is that it will really have to earn its keep once in traffic to repay some of these costs. No decision has been made regarding its next home; expressions of interest are invited.

34072

Norman's cylinders have been fitted with cast iron liners and rebored.



Bob Bevis

We're sorry to report that Bob Bevis, a long term employee of SLL and key member of our team, has decided to retire, and left us at the end of February. Bob started as a shareholder and volunteer, and joined our full-time staff when Manston was being restored. He worked on all of our fleet over the years, most recently on Eddystone and Sir Keith Park, and was pivotal to the construction of our three new-build Bulleid tenders.

Bob will remain a director of the company, and promises to turn from game-keeper to poacher by joining our regular volunteer sessions. He was noted for his energy, analytical approach, and plain speaking, which nearly hid his warm nature.

Bob Bevis

Bob spent a lot of time managing and encouraging our volunteers, or "expendables" as he preferred to call them. On one occasion volunteers Ray Grace and Chris Worby completed a task correctly and without referring back to 'management', a rare feat according to Bob. They were rewarded with a 'silver washer' medal.



and finally....

34028

We have quite a few photos of our locos while they were at Woodham's scrapyard; access was not difficult and it was a magnet for steam fans of all ages. In 1980 Marc Holmes was about 10 years old and on holiday in Barry Island, so it's not surprising that he visited Woodham's and took this photo of Eddystone with his 110 format camera. Less usual is that he brought his mother and two sisters with him. Photo: Marc Holmes



January 2019

From the Chairman

It's customary to look ahead to the coming year, and for SLL 2019 is a year of promise. As a company we have committed to continue to improve our working practices and productivity. The completion of 257 Squadron has given us the opportunity to focus on Eddystone; it may or may not be steaming by 31.12.19 but rest assured it won't be through lack of trying! The repairs to Manston will soon be complete, and we will be able to start funding its overhaul. When Eddystone leaves Herston we intend to bring Sidmouth's frames into the works; at first the work will be mainly undertaken by volunteers, frame cleaning and painting. Getting the bogie and pony truck under the frames is also a priority as it then becomes mobile.

34072

34072 257 Squadron was used for five days of SLL Shareholders DX trips in November, and was much admired by all. Thanks again to all the Swanage Railway locos crews, guards, signalmen and Ops staff for making these days such a success. Photo: John Tidmarsh



One fly in the ointment is Sir Keith Park which has had a knock in the bottom end which needed attention. Getting to the axle boxes is a major task, and as there's no point in doing half a job, we decided to undertake a complete bottom end overhaul now to make for a speedier overhaul in three years time. The loco moved to Tyseley at the end of December and all the driving wheelsets have been removed for examination and repair.

In 2019 we will continue to build up our machinery and tools, bearing in mind the limited space that we have in Herston Works, and we also hope to increase the number of staff. In the early days there were dire predictions of losing our volunteers as they wouldn't wish to work alongside paid staff; we have consistently proved this to be nonsense. Our volunteer force is increasing and will continue to do so as long as we progress our projects at a decent pace and make sure that everyone feels welcome, whether skilled or unskilled. Just as important are those shareholders who rarely if ever see their locomotives; without their financial support everything would grind to a halt!

Below you will see some of the excellent work recently carried out by staff and volunteers.

Best wishes, Simon Troy

80104

Swanage Railway ran a Somerset & Dorset weekend 17/18th November featuring 80104, 34072 and visiting Black Five 44871. Neither 80104 or 34072 ran on the S&D, however their classes were commonly used on the line. Photo: Mike Hall



34072 257 Squadron

It's a real pleasure to write that 257 Squadron has been in service since October, taking part in Swanage Railway's "1948 Exchange" Gala, the S & D weekend and SLL's shareholder driving and firing dates, as well as regular service trains.

34072

34072 was preparing for service on 7th December. It is currently running with the tender from Sir Keith Park. Its own tender has a recurrance of the brake cylinder malfunction which was encountered during commissioning. Photo: Chris Worby



One of our supporters who goes under the name The Southerner makes excellent railway videos. Here's a recent product featuring 257 Squadron's commissioning and re-entry into service during the second half of 2018.

34028 Eddystone

We're focusing on those tasks that are much simpler to do before the boiler returns. The inside piston valve needed to be relined; it was just short of scrapping size and unlikely to last the full 10 years of the loco's next boiler ticket. The task involves boring out the casting and fitting new cast iron liners. Work is being done by Bryn Engineering who are also skimming the outside piston valves and the middle cylinder to remove the slight ovality that comes from years of service.

34072

Eddystone's LH piston valve after being skimmed, with the swarf yet to be cleaned out.



When we stripped Eddystone we took care not to damage the smokebox in the hope that it could be re-used. Three years on it doesn't look too good and we've decided to replace the body. Buying the rolled tube with the required cut-outs isn't too expensive, though all of the fittings must be carefully removed, cleaned up and welded back on to the new body.

34072

The smokebox was brought into the workshop for inspection. The body is destined to become razor blades but all the fittings will be used on the replacement.



The superheater header is a large casting which connects the main steam pipe to the superheater elements. There are 32 elements, meaning 64 orifices, each of which has to be ground to ensure a good seal. Volunteer Neville Crook completed this job in November.

34072

Each of the 32 superheater elements attaches to the header which is mounted at the top of the front tube plate. To ensure a good seal the faces are being ground clean and to the correct profile using the large pillar drill with a grinding tool. Photo: Neville Crook



The first official hydraulic test of the boiler was on 14th January. The boiler reached 375 psi with very minor leaks which need no attention at this stage. Subsequent hydraulic and steam tests will doubtless identify glitches needing attention.

34028

Work on the repairs of Eddystone's boiler are now complete and the boiler inspector was on site at Buckfastleigh for a hydraulic pressure test. The boiler reached 375psi (50% above normal operating pressure) successfully.



We're also overhauling the superheater elements and will ship these with the header to Buckfastleigh to be installed there. That will permit the full boiler hydraulic and steam tests to be done off-site. The boiler's return to Herston will be a few weeks later than previously intended but will minimise the chance of work being needed when the boiler is on the frames.

34053 Sir Keith Park

The knock coming from Sir Keith Park has not gone away (we wish!) and all of its driving axle boxes are being examined. It travelled to Tyseley on Wednesday 13th December and a team of SLL volunteers visited Tyseley in the following week to strip the brake gear, sanders, springs, etc. We also plan to examine/repair the bogie and pony truck while they're accessible. We have some ring-fenced funds to spend on this work, and we expect Sir Keith Park to be back in action for the 2019 season.

34053

34053 was resting in the services on the M40 when it caught the eye of Andy Lovell.





34072

All of the driving wheels have been removed on the Tyseley wheeldrop. Measurement of all of the hornstays and axle boxes is being made to check the geometry of the loco and identify damage or incorrect settings.



34070 Manston

Repair work on Manston is essentially complete. The loco will remain at Tyseley until we are able to commission the work on the axle boxes, the starting point of its overhaul. We are prioritising the completion of Eddystone at present, so we may have a few months pause until there's money in the kitty to start this job.

34070

Manston's front end has been refitted with lights, buffers and coupling in place. Work at Tyseley will now switch to Sir Keith Park. Photo: Pete Pickering



34010 Sidmouth

In one of Chairman Simon Troy's recent shareholder updates (aka begging letter) he asked for a sponsor for a new smokebox door for Eddystone. The current one is life-expired and making a replacement is a specialist task as they are oval and domed; it costs about 3,000 to have one made. We were pleased when a sponsor came forward after a few days, and even more pleased when a second sponsor got in touch. A short discussion ensued and we now also have a sponsor for a new smokebox door for Sidmouth, whose original went for scrap a while since.

34010

The speedometer we recently acquired for use on Sidmouth was exhibited at the Warley model railway exhibition. SLL volunteer Claire Sheppy and members of her family exhibited their vintage Hornby O guage layout and included the speedo as part of the display.



Norman

Work on Norman paused in December, not least because the guys at Bryn Engineering were busy at work on Eddystone's valves and cylinders, see above. Currently the cylinders are being bored to accept new liners, and a trip to Wigan to review progress is expected in the next few weeks.

80104

Once again we're happy to report that 80104 has been behaving and is in regular service.

34072

Another view of 80104 during the S&D weekend. The chalk inscription read, "Long Live the Slow and Dirty" Photo: Mike Hall



The Cladding Team

34053

The sheet metal that covers a loco is perhaps not the most exciting or interesting part of the machine, but it's the part we see, and which defines its style and colour. There's also a lot of it, made from dozens of pieces, some very oddly shaped with complex curves which require hours to manufacture and finish well. As well as being functional it needs to look good, and as it's typically made of 16 gauge sheet steel (that's 1/16 inch or 1.5875 mm) it's liable to corrode and need major repairs of replacement when overhauls are due.

34028 34072

Norman Lush can turn his hands to many jobs. He specialises in cleaning the most dirty sheets and has a limitless appetite for rubbing sheets down with wet and dry paper.

John Heath was responsible for much of the welding repair on the crinoline primary structure on 257 Squadron and the repairs of sheet metal work on Eddystone.

No surprise then that in Herston works a lot of people spend a lot of time working on loco cladding, and that it's almost entirely done by volunteers. Generally known as The Cladding Team there's a core of six who normally all work on Tuesdays and other days in smaller numbers. Overhauls start by removing the cladding and getting the worst of the rust off before applying a coat of primer. Such parts are then put away for a year or two until the loco is being re-assembled. In the case of Sir Keith Park's restoration there was no original cladding at all, and although 257 Squadron's was an overhaul in practice virtually all the cladding was re-made. Not much new work has been needed for Eddystone, as care was taken in the stripping operation. All inside surfaces are painted with supplies taken at no cost from the local dump. When finished the outside surfaces have as a minimum primer, two undercoats and two topcoats.

34028 34072

George Parrot is multi skilled and has saved us a lot of time and effort by lending us his pneumatic riveter.

Mike Hall is noted for his meticulous care in whatever job he is asked to do, and is never known to say no.

Leader of the team is Dave Ensor. The core of the team are the Tuesday regulars, Dave, John, Ian, Mike, John and Norman, assisted by other volunteers as available. Painting is the domain of Ron Bennett our 91 year-old volunteer, helped by Mike Frackowitz and Robin White, whose special subject is cabside numbering. Ron was 19 years old when Eddystone entered service with the Southern Railway. He trains our other volunteers - mainly lads in their 60's - first on primer, then undercoating and finally passing out on gloss, with a lot of rubbing down along the way.

34028 34072

Ian Odd marks out, drills and helps to rivet the sheets to the underframes. There were hundreds of rivets to be fixed in place on 257 Squadron.

Dave Ensor sees his role as to keep everyone else busy and happy.

34028 34072

Purbeck resident Robin White works with the team. His 'special subject' is number transfers.

When first restored Sir Keith Park ran with plain white numbers. Robin sourced the protoypically correct numbers with a black outline which now adorn the loco.

Honorable mentions are also due to Mike Evans, Stuart Magnus, who is also a signalman at Corfe Castle and a member of railway's Council of Management and to Matthew Sell who helps out when not producing high quality steam videos.

34072

Top marks for a mirror finish by Mike Frackiewicz with 257 Squadron's final gloss coat. For the record 257 Squadron had about 50 panels comprising the smoke deflectors, boiler sheets and cab. 95% of this had to be replaced. By contrast around 95% of Eddystones's sheeting will be repaired and used again. The renovation of crinoline and sheets will have taken about 6 months.



Shareholders Driving & Firing

This year's shareholder driving and firing sessions were spread over five days in November. A record number of 76 participants enjoyed a round trip driving and firing 257 Squadron. As usual priority was givien to new shareholders.

34072

Colin Mitchell from Sidmouth and Alan Heeks from Bridport pose on Swanage station after their driving and firing trip, as 34072 257 Squadron runs round ready to collect the next SLL crew.

Workshop Equipment

We've been thinking about machine tools we use at Herston and how suited they are to the range of tasks we face, and their condition. All our current kit was 'pre-owned' when it arrived so it's not surprising that some is long in the tooth. Our large vertical mill is not working correctly, and only runs on manual feed, which is unsuitable for large tasks. The small universal is simply too small so we resort to using the horizontal borer on jobs it is not really suited for. What we need is a large Vertical and a large Horizontal mill or a large Universal mill. These second hand machines can cost up to 15,000 so any size of contribution would be gratefully received; if anyone can help us source or pay for this we'd love to hear from them.

Herston Herston

Our small milling machine is OK for small jobs - only.

Our Cincinnati mill has the size and power but the lack of auto-feed is a major handicap.

Likewise most of our power tools predate the 'cordless' age, and have been seen a lot of use. Heavy duty cordless drills, grinders, LED lamps, etc, are now widely available and would simplify many tasks. Replacing our current equipment would cost several thousand pounds, but this can be done item by item as funds are available. Donation of suitable tools or money to buy them with would be much appreciated.

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