34053 Sir Keith Park – BR Service

Built at Brighton Works in 1947, and allocated to Salisbury MPD, 34053 spent considerable time on loan to Stewarts Lane depot, where it was recorded hauling the heavy Continental boat expresses, including the Golden Arrow on many occasions. Following brief spells at Nine Elms and Exmouth Junction, it returned to Salisbury in 1951 working over the entire South Western network

34053 Sir Keith Park

34053 Sir Keith Park
in original form at Bournemouth on
30th May 1954
Photo: © C Caddy

In November 1958 the locomotive was rebuilt and its air smoothed casing was removed. It returned to Salisbury MPD. A final transfer in 1960 saw it operating out of Bournemouth depot and many times it traversed the Somerset & Dorset at the head of the Pines Express.

34053 Sir Keith Park

34053 after rebuilding, Basingstoke shed 28th August 1963
Photo: © J Scrace

We have four recorded runs of Sir Keith Park in BR service during the 1960's.

SLL shareholder Malcolm Garner timed it between Woking and Waterloo on 8th January 1965. Details can be found here.

Derek Tuck has provided us with details of three runs; between Woking and Waterloo on 28th December 1964, to be found here, a run from Southampton to Bournemouth on 11th April 1965, here, and a finally a run from Southampton and Waterloo recorded on 14th April, here.

34053 was withdrawn in October 1965 and towed to Barry scrap yard in South Wales the following March. Its arrival was delayed by several weeks, as there were some connecting rods in 34053's tender which struck a bridge near Chandler's Ford. The convoy of locos, which also included 76068, were left at the east siding of Romsey station for several weeks. After its eventual arrival at Barry it somehow avoided the cutter's torch for a further 20 years.