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June 2021

From the Chairman

Let's start with the good news; 34028 Eddystone left Herston works on 4th May, and after a remarkably short running-in period it entered service at Swanage on Monday 24th May, and is now in regular service. The less good news is that, inevitably, 80104's boiler ticket expired on 11th May and it now awaits overhaul. It was in service up to its last day. The better news is that we have an agreement with a generous supporter to loan much of the cost (roughly 200,000) of the overhaul. Understandably, that supporter is looking to others to bear part of the cost, and we'll be making a direct appeal shortly to Swanage Railway supporters for financial help.

80104


80104 hardly looks like a loco on its last day in service on 11th May. Photo: Peter Milford


Our two original Bulleids, 257 Squadron and Manston also bear good and bad news. It was known that 72 would need repairs to its front bogie, and investigation of an issue with the regulator or main steam pipe. We thought initially that the repair would require the removal of all the flue tubes and half the small tubes to enable access to fix the problem. However, the new steam pipe can be fitted with 'just' the removal of all the elements and superheater header. Our priority is to return Manston to traffic when it arrives back from Tyseley, and it's impracticable for our staff to tackle both jobs especially as Herston isn't set up for boiler repairs. This means an expensive transfer to Tyseley on the low loader which brings Manston back; The cost of transportation, the new pipe and labour charges, combined with lack of hire fees, will be 30,000-40,000 which currently we haven't got. We must find the funds while the time on the boiler ticket slips away.

34028 Eddystone

34028 Eddystone left Herston works on Tuesday 4th May, heading to Norden where it was coupled to its tender and hauled down to Swanage. Subsequently a fire was lit and the loco left several days to warm up slowly to de-stress the boiler. Steam was raised over the weekend, and on Tuesday 11th it made its first trip up and down the line, light engine. It entered service on Monday 24th May to very favorable comments on the quality of its appearance, and (on balance) approval of its 'black' nameplate.

34028


34028 Eddystone left Herston works on 4th May and travelled to Norden via the main road, thanks to the steerable seven-axle trailer used. These three photos are by Dave Ensor, who also headed the volunteer team responsble for most of the casing and painting.


34028


At Norden Eddystone was coupled to its tender and hauled slowly back to Swanage, top and tailed by 08 diesel shunters, with a 'Queen Mary' brake van in the consist.


34028


On May 24th, less than three weeks, later the loco was in passenger service, seen here arriving at Norden on the first morning departure from Swanage.


Many people have commented on the excellent appearance of the loco. The overhaul has taken nearly seven years, though much of this time was due to delays on 257 Squadron, and unexpected repairs to 80104 and Manston. The whole team of staff and volunteers, and our subcontractors at Buckfastleigh and Tyseley, deserve great credit and thanks for the quality of their work. The overall cost was around 250,000, much of which was due to boiler repairs. It's worth remembering that with a 10 year boiler ticket a loco can (with luck) earn enough to pay for its overhauls, though the initial restoration cost is rarely recouped, and if a 10 year working period is truncated, the financial model can get very challenging.

34072 257 Squadron

The low loader that took Eddystone to Norden returned to Herston with 257 Squadron and, as mentioned above, it will be sent to Tyseley for work on its steam pipe. Work on the bogie is well advanced, and we will also repair the bearings of the rocking shaft which drives the piston valves on original Bulleids. Contrary to previous plans we intend to overhaul 257's bogie and reuse it on the loco rather than do a swap with Sidmouth's, though we'll use Sidmouth's wheelsets and overhaul the bearings of 257's bogie.

The expectation is that Manston will return to service sooner than 257 Squadron.

34072


257's bogie has been removed for overhaul while the loco travels to Tyseley for a replacement steam pipe. The rocking levers powering the piston valves also need attention.

34053 Sir Keith Park

One of the advantages of the Spa Valley Railway is the covered accommodation available at 75F, the Tunbridge Wells West loco shed. 34053 has spent the winter out of the rain, receiving some attention along the way. Loco crews started refresher trips on 9th May, prior to the railway reopening on 22nd May. The loco is expected to be in regular use throughout the season, including its weekend as 34095 Brentor reported last month.


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34053 Sir Keith Park heading a pre-opening re-training trip on 9th May. Photo: Owen Haywood


34053


A very nice photo of SKP in action recently appeared on Facebook. Photographer Derek Buckett kindly offered us a good copy. It's 12th September 1964. 34053 Sir Keith Park is Waterloo bound, in Woking Cutting at 2.12pm with a train from Bournemouth. Photo: Derek Buckett

34070 Manston

After weeks of extra testing requested by Tyseley's boiler inspectors the go-ahead to retube last week has been given. It was back on its wheels in early June with all the motion on, leaving just the centre piston to refit. The tubes are being fitted and expanded with hydraulic and steam tests expected in early July.

34070


Manston's boiler is now being re-tubed and painted at Tyseley. Photo: Malcolm Garner

It will return to Herston for the team to complete the task of refitting all the brake gear, cab fittings etc. Some attention will be paid to the paintwork but the plan is to put it back into traffic as soon as possible in 'weathered' condition. At some point it will have a complete repaint, for now the goal is to get it back into traffic, pulling trains on the Swanage Railway and earning revenue for us.

34070


Parts of Manston were moved to Herston for overhaul while the loco is in parts at Tyseley. On the pallet arethe firebox doors and water sight gauges. All of the brake linkage is also getting attention.

34010 Sidmouth

Work on Sidmouth's restoration has been persistently delayed by urgent work on other locos. The immediate problem has been the lack of a facility to grit blast the frames. To get things moving we have decided to move the frames to Sellindge where we now have the space and resources to do this work on both Sidmouth and Brocklebank Line. Depending on the timing some further restoration work will be done before the loco returns to Herston.

34010


Work on 34010's boiler continues at Weybourne. The boiler is upturned, showing sections of the firebox which are being replaced and the thermic syphons. The plan is to complete this work by 2022, and use the boiler on Sir Keith Park when it comes out of service that year. Sidmouth will then use SKP's boiler, which is in much better condition than its original.

27th June marks the 75th anniversary of Sidmouth's naming ceremony in 1946. The first West Country batch were named at the eponymous location; later batches mainly missed out (a naming ceremony at Eddystone would have been worth the trip) and in many cases no crest was used. 21C110 Sidmouth got the full works; the great and the good of the town and the Southern Railway, a ceremonial coffee table, and lunch in the restaurant car which the loco had drawn to Sidmouth station. Both Sidmouth newspapers, the Herald and the Observer, reported the event, though as ever their take on railway matters was erratic. Sadly only one photograph of the event remains; far more must have been taken, but none has turned up in recent years.

34010 34010

What on earth did Mr E S Moore mean when he referred to the loco's work on electrified line - did the journalist from the Herald think the loco could take power from the third rail? Meanwhile the reporter from the Sidmouth Observer wrote that the loco weighed 183 tons - better not tell the Chief Civil Engineer!

The nameplate was unveiled by Mr A Lancaster Smith, Chairman of Sidmouth Council's Publicity Department. We know the name of the driver and the vicar. The webmaster has met several people who say they were there on the day, and one, son of the Station Master, who was away on National Service.

Among the guests at the event was Hugh Tomalin, the five-year old grandson of Mr Lancaster-Smith. Hugh joined his grandfather on the footplate for a short trip on the loco, and still owns the coffee table that the SR gave to the town at the event.

34010 34010

The Sidmouth coffee table (and nameplates) used a generic Devon crest, as did some other West Country class locos.

The 34019 Bideford nameplate and coffee table used the town's crest. The Bideford Railway Heritage Centre gallery displays the coffee table, and has recently purchased the original nameplate and crest.

The newpaper reports of the event are worth reading and can be found in our 34010 Sidmouth gallery. Ironically, Sidmouth never returned to the town in service, and there's only one record of any other Bulleid reaching the town, when in 1959 34104 Bere Alston arrived with an excursion from Plymouth.

80104

80104's last day in service was 11th May, and it now awaits a major overhaul. One of our shareholders, a long term Swanage Railway supporter, has offered us an interest free loan to cover around three quarters of the cost of the overhaul to get 80104 back on the Swanage Railway, hopefully in time for the 2023 season.

34010 34010

The loco crew at Swanage have started to de-commission 80104. The smokebox has been cleared and the concrete base removed.

The brick arch has been knocked out, and the grate removed. Photos: Charlie Rogers

We are again contracting Tyseley Works who have given us a quote for the overhaul - the vast majority of the costs being extensive repairs to the copper firebox. To get the ball rolling our sponsor has kindly bought enough shares to fund the transportation and the copper material needed, on which there is a long lead time.

To complete this projects we will need additional funds, and we are looking for support, particularly from Swanage Railway supporters, where 80104 is such a popular loco.

35025 Brocklebank Line

Since our last update the team have continued to not only dismantle the locomotive, but to also transfer the smaller parts to our friendly gritblasting company near Canterbury. All the main driving springs were dropped in May and the locomotive is now jacked up sufficiently so that the frames can be lifted. Both the bogie and trailing truck can then be removed for dismantling, inspection and overhaul if necessary. A two day operation will see all the component parts of Brocklebank Line placed near our workshops with Sidmouth's frames end on to '25's and in the easiest position to collect when ready to return to Herston. The boiler will also be moved from its current position and placed for easy transportation, hopefully to the North Norfolk Railway when the time comes.

34028


Some of the Sellindge Team. From the left: Harry and Alan Highman, Roy Carlo, Mike Price, Peter Spowage, Simon Troy, Phil Casey, Hugh Topham, Bob Waterman. Photo: Martin Stables

More stock is arriving at Sellindge including the second Bulleid double decker coach. We would invite anyone who wants to come and see how things are progressing on any Tuesday but please email first and look at the weather forecast! Currently we have no covered accommodation but that hopefully will be resolved before next Winter.

75050 Norman

Work continues on the axleboxes which have required major work, but we understand will be ready for reinstatement within the month, enabling re-wheeling to take place. Unfortunately the company which was going to cut the new foundation ring for the firebox by water jet has folded, so another is being sought. As we've remarked in the past this locomotive has proved to be the most difficult of overhauls but we trust the finished result in 2022 will be worth the wait.



April 2021

From the Chairman

In January we appealed to our shareholders to support us to the tune of 40,000 which would keep us afloat until heritage services restarted in April. We are delighted by the response having raised closer to 50,000 by the end of March. With almost no income from hire fees for a year, our success in restoring Eddystone and the continuance of our other projects has been solely down to our supporters generosity, which we take as a token of their trust that we will deliver what we plan.

We can now look to post lockdown with a fair degree of confidence and positivity. This is tinged with sadness with the loss of Ray Grace, one of our longest serving volunteers. He will be familar to many as the man with clipboard in hand at our driving and firing days at Swanage and Kidderminster. Although not a Director he was an integral part of our team and a good friend for 35 years who will be sorely missed.

34028


Eddystone is now complete and plans are being made to transfer it to the Railway to be reunited with its tender. The latter has been in the Goods shed for the last few weeks, being rubbed down, filled and rubbed down again several times so that it should look perfect when it emerges. The painting has been finished and it has been lined out. We're expecting it to leave the Goods shed and be moved to Norden to join the loco during the week of 12th April.



34028 Eddystone

To go from 'nearly complete' to 'complete' involves a lot of work. In recent weeks we've installed the steam pipes, a new reverser screw, the smokebox door and smoke deflectors, handrails, cab fittings and electrics.

34028


Two new reverser screws and blocks have been sourced to replace life-expired parts. One has been fitted to Eddystone, the other is for Sidmouth. There's a photo of the old one in the December 2020 News. Photo: Chris Hardy


There was a pause in painting while our volunteers stayed away due to Covid regulations; they are now returning for key tasks. Eddystone's tender had been stored outside at Norden since 2015, and needed a re-paint. It was moved to the Goods Shed at Swanage for painting and lining out.

34028


Crompton 33111 moved Eddystone's tender from Norden to the Swanage Goods shed on 16th February. The weather was murky, and the photo is from the station webcam, captured by Stuart Magnus.


34028


34028, bearing its smokebox door, though awaiting smoke deflectors in this view. Photo: Dave Ensor

34053 Sir Keith Park

The December lock-down truncated SKP's running days at the Spa Valley Railway. It's in good condition and should run through to the end of its ticket in February 2022. As previously explained, we are restoring Sidmouth's boiler so that it will be ready to use with SKP. If Sidmouth's boiler is not ready in February we will apply for a three month extension. The timing and location of the overhaul are to be finalised; given the extensive work done on the loco's bottom end, the goal is get the loco back in service smartly. There were many contributing factors, but it can't be denied that it's taken us almost six years to overhaul Eddystone - a loco which was fully serviceable up to the last day of its ticket. We intend to do much better this time!


34095


The real Brentor, 34095, lasted to the end of steam on the Southern. It's seen here at Guildford on Sunday 2nd July 1967, a week before withdrawal, having been used on a ballast train in the London area on the previous day and overnight. Photo: Andy Sturt

Meanwhile Sir Keith Park will take on a new identity in June. It will be renamed and numbered as 34095 Brentor over the weekend 26-27th June with plates owned by Mr Phill Brentor for a family occasion.

34072 257 Squadron

Swanage Railway's post-Christmas program was also truncated by Covid restrictions, though 257 ran on the Steam & Light trains in December. 257 will be entering Herston Works for a month when Eddystone is passed for traffic so that rivets on the front bogie can be attended to. As Sidmouth's front bogie is in the process of being overhauled they may be swapped or 257's repaired immediately and reinstated. Assuming Covid restrictions ease as planned we expect 257 to be kept busy this year.

34072


257 Squadron was in light steam on 1st April for a special project (more details anon) and staff training services were being handled by 80104. Note the U class behind 257, which is running minus smoke deflectors.

34070 Manston

Tyseley are in the process of preparing the locomotive for re-wheeling, but the retubing of the boiler has not taken place as an NDT test needs to be undertaken on the boiler barrel. The NDT contractor has been ill so that part of the overhaul has temporarily stalled but we trust will resume shortly. We have advised that the locomotive is needed for service on the Swanage Railway from June. The main springs were sent away for testing, and have been returned and refitted. Meanwhile the ends of the tubes are being anealed prior to refitting. The casing can then be re-installed and ready for its final boiler test. We expect it to return to Swanage in mid-2021.

34070


SLL staff travelled to Tyseley to collect components to overhaul at Herston. The loco is getting closer to the workshop, but wasn't inside on 23rd March.

34010 Sidmouth

Work continues on Sidmouth's boiler (for use on Sir Keith Park) and the scheduled finish date is February 2022. 34053 will then journey to the North Norfolk Railway workshops at Weybourne to have its boiler removed for overhaul for eventual use on Sidmouth whilst Sir Keith Park will return to the Spa Valley Railway with its new boiler for final reassembly. Both Sidmouth's bogie and trailing truck will be overhauled ready to accept the frames on being transferred from its wagon in sidings at Norden. Before this happens the frames will need to completely cleaned and repainted. Despite being thoroughly gritblasted at Sellindge several years ago the weather has taken its toll so some work will be needed during the Summer months in preparation for the move in September. Photos: Pete Pickering

34010


The bogie sliding centre is being overhauled.


34010


New side control rods are being made.

35025 Brocklebank Line

Working parties paused in January and early February as much due to the bitter weather as Covid restrictions. Working parties are now back in full swing at least once a week and we expect, as Covid restrictions ease, the size of them will increase. Much work has taken place to improve the site and by the end of the year it should provide a much better environment for locomotive restoration work. Having stripped all of the brake rodding and various items which had been reinstated 15 years ago, we are now dropping the main driving springs and releasing the bogie and trailing truck prior to lifting the frames during April/May time dependent on ground conditions. Many parts have been found which we were not aware of including three sets of we believe to be newly tyred class 40 diesel wheels which need a good home. These were bought for the proposed tender but as with our four other new build tenders proper Bulleid Firth Brown wheels will doubtless be utilised.

Meanwhile Richard Green of has produced one of his fine prints featuring 35025. The print shows it as running after May 1960, with speedometer, and with cut-down tender 3350. Copies of this are available, without charge, to those who making a new SLL share application.

34028


Richard has produced prints of other MN's, and each is carefully detailed with condition on a specific point in its working life.

Richard's first print for SLL was of Sir Keith Park, in 2009, and around 200 prints are now gracing the walls of SLL shareholders. Other prints feature Sidmouth, Eddystone, Manston and 257 Squadron, and around 500 have been acquired through this arrangement over the past 12 years.

Norman

Work has progressed on a key stage of Norman's overhaul. Cylinder liners have been fitted, the valve faces and valve plates have been machined and the cylinder block is being reassembled. Photos: Jake Marrow

Norman Norman

The horizontal borer machines the cylinder block surfaces.

Cast iron liners have been inserted into the cylinders using liquid nitrogen at -195 degC.

80104

80104 is available for service, and Swanage Railway reopens on 12th April. 80104's boiler ticket expires in May so it won't see much more public service.

80104


On 25th March 80104 made a loaded test run. It was reported as running smoothly and with a satisfying bark. Photo: Gary Packer


80104


80104 is facing Swanage and is seen here on the return trip heading away from Corfe Castle. Photo: Gordon Packer


We are considering ways of funding and resourcing its overhaul, though there will probably be some delay, and we want to ensure it can be stored under cover.

Ray Grace

We're saddened to report the passing of Ray Grace, a long serving volunteer for SLL, and a good friend to all.

Ray Grace


Ray was a regular volunteer at Sellindge and Herston for over 35 years. He had an ample supply of patience and charm, and was a good chap to be working with on any task. He had a steady supply of yarns from his days at Heathrow with BA, and his upbringing in Deal, when Schools class locos hauled trains passed the bottom of his garden. As a boy he spent the hours in the yard at Deal station, at a time when footplate rides and 'helping' the signalman were by no means rare. As a volunteer he was often referred to as 'Young Mr Grace', and had a few bees in his bonnet, such as insisting that tea must be left for six minutes before being poured. For many years he was our "man on the platform with a clipboard" who welcomed SLL shareholders arriving for their Driving & Firing trips on Swanage Railway. But mostly he will be remembered as a good friend.


Ray leaves his wife Lindy, children and grandchidren, to whom we offer our condolences. Ray died on Saturday 13th March, on Monday 15th Swanage Railway arranged for 257 Squadron to sound a long Bulleid whistle over Swanage at 11.00 a.m.

Leo Patmore

We're sad to record the passing of Leo Patmore, who died in Swanage in December. Leo was a volunteer at Swindon on Port Line and 257 Squadron, where he established a reputation as 'a character'. On one occasion he managed to occupy all three available parking spaces with three cars, all his!

patmore


Leo is seen sitting in the garden of the Bankes Arms in Corfe Castle with grandchildren Eddie and Izzy, waiting for a train. Photo: Sophie Westlake, Leo's daughter.


He later moved to Swanage and became an active supporter and volunteer of Swanage Railway, where he sometimes ruffled the feathers, though his heart was always in the right place. He will be missed by his family and many friends.

Photo updates

It seems many of us have spent the hours of lockdown sorting through their collection of photographs, digitising old slides, etc. We always welcome photos of our locos, particularly from BR days, and there's been a steady stream arriving at Thompson Towers. Most of these find their way to our 52 online galleries which hold over six thousand images of our locos in BR days, restoration, and preservation. Here are a few new entries to whet the appetite.

Three photos of 34010 Sidmouth, at different points in its BR life. Full screen versions can be seen in the Sidmouth gallery.

34010


34010 Sidmouth in original form at Basingstoke in 1958. Photo: Colin Clamp


34010


34010 Sidmouth, this time as rebuilt, at Woking. Photo: Mike Frackiewicz collection


34028


34010 Sidmouth, by now withdrawn and awaiting its fate at Woodhams scrap yard in 1972. Photo: Paul Cooper


Two photos of 34053 Sir Keith Park. Full screen versions can be seen in the 34053 gallery and the SLL at Spa Valley gallery.

34053


34053 at Medstead & Four Marks 10-5-1953 Photo: M.F.Collection


34028


At Eridge station the Spa Valley Railway meets the Southern Rail line to Uckfield. 34053 is heading to Tunbridge Wells West while DMU 171 723 is on a down service from London Bridge on 12th September. Photo: Julian Clark.


34072 257 Squadron in early preservation days. Full screen versions can be seen in the Restoration 1983 - 1994.

34072


We don't see many good colour photos of 257 Squadron in its first preservation term. This 1993 image shows it at Gothland on the NYMR. Photo: Colin Clamp


35025 Brocklebank Line. Full screen versions can be seen in the 35025 gallery

35025


35025 passes Semley with an up train from Plymouth on 16th August 1964, just a few weeks before steam west of Salisbury ceased. Photo: Paul Claxton / David Glasspool Collection.


Social Media

A lot of people are wary of social media in general, and Facebook in particular, and not without good reason. There is a limit to the number of silly cat videos and annoying ads one can stomach, though on the other hand it does let you stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues who you'd otherwise neglect.

From SLL's point it's a very simple and zero cost way to reach out to those interested in what we're doing. We've recently passed the milestone of 5,000 "followers", which means that a photo from the workshop or an SLL loco in action with a caption will appear on the page of each of their Facebook pages. On a good day a post will trigger some interesting comments or questions. Now and then we get comments which are off-topic or worse; the only ones which really get under the webmaster's skin are those that fail to spell Mr Bulleid's surname correctly......you have been warned. You can find the SLL Facebook page here.


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