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December 2021

34028

34028 Eddystone. Photographer: Robin Procter. See 'A man with a Pan'.

From the Chairman

November has seen simultaneous activity on more SLL locomotives than ever before. It was a complicated spell requiring co-operation from the Swanage Railway, Swanage and Sellindge volunteers, including their work at Tyseley, three crane companies and two transport companies. Moving Sidmouth's frames to Sellindge, and repositioniing Brocklebank Line's frames at that site cost a great deal of money, however we made good progess, not least overcoming the log-jam on Sidmouth's restoration.

35025


Brocklebank Line's frames are lifted into their new spot at Sellindge.


Overall the year has been frustrating with slow progress on Manston and 257 Squadron, both of which have been affected by supply chain problems, particularly the latter with its steam pipe. However we have turned the corner and there is progress to report on several fronts. During a period when our income collapsed due to Covid-19 we've had fantastic support from many of our shareholders, without which the whole operation would have had to have been put on ice 18 months ago. Looking forward, our biggest outlay is to pay for the completion of Sir Keith Park's new boiler by April, so that we can get that loco back into revenue earning service in the shortest possible time.

With the help of the Swanage Railway we have been able to raise the funds required to overhaul 80104 and the loco has moved to Tyseley. In return our main sponsor for 80104's overhaul has funded the cost of a very expensive slotting machine for Herston works, for use by SLL and the Swanage Railway staff. So while our projects have made progress our finances remain stretched, and we would welcome your support. Please contact me at southernlocos@btinternet.com if you would like to support us. Simon Troy

34072 257 Squadron

After a long wait, the infamous steam pipe was delivered to Herston Works on the 4th November, long after the promised delivery date. It is now fitted and the superheater header and elements are being replaced. Following a hydraulic test on the 18th November it is hoped that the Squadron will be returned to the railway for running in and testing in time for the Christmas services. While awaiting the steam pipe its valve gear was overhauled along with much general maintenance and a complete varnish.

34072


The new steam pipe is raised into 34072's boiler by the fork lift. Photo: Neville Crook


The planned visit of the locomotive to the Spa Valley Railway had to be cancelled, but its hoped that a similar visit in 2022 will take place.

257 Squadron and 80104 both featured in the first episode of the TV series "Hornby - a Model World" on the Yesterday channel, not to mention a cameo role for the Webmaster. The 'plot' was that Hornby's electronic engineer was visiting Swanage to get sound effects for use with a new OO scale model of an original Merchant Navy. The Webmaster is still by his phone awaiting requests to take over from Daniel Craig or Tom Cruise.

34072


The video was taken on 1st April while 80104 and 34072 were both in service.


34028 Eddystone

As reported in the last update Eddystone was able to return to traffic quickly following the crack in its bogie, courtesy of the Mid Hants Railway's loan of 34007's bogie, for which we are most grateful. The reinstatement of 28's original bogie was part of an extremely complicated set of arrangements involving both Sidmouth and Brocklebank Line. With finances stretched to the limit, we wanted to utilise the same crane to lift the front of Eddystone and transfer Sidmouth's frames for transportation to Sellindge, and at the same time we also needed to utilise just one crane to both lift Brocklebank Line's frames and offload Sidmouth's frames. It was clearly going to be well-nigh impossible to co-ordinate all of this on the same day without keeping crane or lorry drivers waiting in Dorset or Kent.

34072


34028 was back in service with its borrowed bogie. It's seen here entering Corfe Castle on 18th September. Photo: Chris Worby


It was much appreciated when one of our Sellindge neighbours, Rob Mercer Transport, agreed to collect Sidmouth's frames a couple of days prior to our crane arriving and leave them in his yard for 48 hours so that there was plenty of leeway if things didn't go according to plan. Leaving very early on Tuesday morning the 9th, complete with Brocklebank Line's cab on board (lifted by yet another helpful neighbour) the lorry arrived at Herston Works for the cab to be unloaded and then went on to Norden.

In the meantime Graham had arranged for Eddystone to be lifted so that Wadebridge's bogie could be removed and Eddystone's original bogie could be reinstated. With 34007's bogie safely on a lorry to Ropley, the wagon on which Sidmouth's frames have been languishing for many years was brought to the pad at Norden so that the frames could be craned on to our lorry.

34072


Shunting bogie. Eddystone's has been lift off the lorry, on to the tracks. Graham and Chris provide the motive power. Photo: Stuart Magnus


34053 Sir Keith Park

This locomotive continues to draw the crowds every time it was advertised as hauling a train on the Spa Valley Railway, as seen in Ian Silvester's video of the October Gala. Trigger warning: Includes images of diesel locomotives.

Currently its appearance is being converted as per Warner Bros' instructions prior to its Polar Express duties; the front number plate and nameplates have been removed and the cabside numbers and roundel on the tender will be covered for the duration. It will be hauling up to five trains a day for 23 days - the Railway has sold 33,000 tickets which is great news for both them and us, provided that '53 performs as reliably as it has done through the Summer.

34053 ran with black nameplates for a few months but these have now been repainted in RAF blue for reinstatement at Christmas. Its withdrawal date is February 2022 (with possibly a short extension) so much depends on North Norfolk Railway's progress with its donor boiler. Currently all seems to be on schedule with completion scheduled in April.

34053


For authenticity with the original Polar Express film 34053 has been stripped of its number and name plates. The roundel on the tender will be covered by the name Pere Marquette, which was a Canadian railway company. Photo: Liam Treveil.


When the boiler ticket expires we are planning a fast-track overhaul in which the main task will be to swap its boiler with that from Sidmouth which is currently being overhauled at Weybourne. The logistics of a boiler swap need careful planning. The boiler must be lifted, its ashpan removed and refitted on the new (ex-Sidmouth) boiler. It's not possible to be sure what repairs to the ashpan will be needed. The original boiler will stay at Weybourne, for overhaul and future use on Sidmouth, while SKP and new boiler will travel to Herston for the rest of its overhaul. The target is for SKP to return to service in Autumn 2022, though that would require everything going just right.

34010


Most of the work has been on the firebox. The thermic syphons await welding into the throat plate. 14th October 2021. Photo: Ian Silvester


34070 Manston

Four years on from the minor collision damage and subsequent repairs at Tyseley, we are in the last stages of its overhaul and return to Herston Works is in sight. An unexpected delay to its completion was caused by the unavailability of boiler lagging. Fortunately one of our volunteers had a business contact and we could arrange a prompt delivery to Tyseley.

34070


Dave, Dave and Malcolm set to cleaning up the sheets which wrap around the insulation of Manston's boiler.


A team of SLL volunteers led by Bob Bevis spent two days in early November assisting Tyseley staff in reinstating some of the lagging and boiler cladding. Work was concentrated on the backhead initially so that the cab could be put back in place. The cladding sheets which hold the lagging in place were in pretty poor condition having been stored for four years, all the sheets needed a severe clean and de-rust and then were fed through a roller to regain a curved shape to make fitting easier. These then had to be pop riveted together so a very time consuming task and thanks go to Nick Thompson, Malcolm Garner, Jim Bosworth, Dave Anthony, Dave Druce for mucking in.

The locomotive had been moved into one of the workshops so that the team didn't have to contend with the weather. The next step is to have its casing reinstated. Cue, more volunteers to help with the casing and pressure testing of each superheater header. We're planning for the loco to return to Herston early in December, with a short stay in the works for its brake linkage and other fitting to be completed.

34070


The insulation has been installed on Manston and the sheets are wrapped around. The outside casing remains to be fitted.


Meanwhile back at Swanage the painting team have attended to the same areas of the tender as 257's although it will not be varnished so that it will match the 'weathered' appearance of the locomotive. It will make a good contrast to 257 Squadron when operating together just like times past.

34010 Sidmouth and 35025 Brocklebank Line

As the frames of these locos sit side by side at Sellindge it's best to treat them as one. The move to Sellindge for Sidmouth's frames was delayed by a cranage issue. The crane hired to do the reorganisation at Sellindge achieved most of its task but was unable to lift Brocklebank Line's frames to the required position. An even bigger crane duly arrived and all the necessary moves were completed on 11th November, including moving the boiler of a neighbour's J94 68078. Another neighbour has lent us a compressor to power the grit blasting, and yet another neighbour - a scaffolding company - will build us suitable spaces for the grit blasting.

34010


Mike Price salutes the arrival of Sidmouth's frames to its new (temporary) home.


It is now 18 months since we descended on Sellindge and since disposing of numerous dumped cars, caravans, skip loads of detritus, the remains of vandalised and decayed coach bodies and vast quantities of vegetation, our areas are beginning to look more respectable especially where we have laid many tons of gravel. We have also built up a good team in that time - some of whom used to volunteer at Swanage but find the journey time to Sellindge more acceptable, as well as new shareholders. Anyone who would like to assist will find us there on Tuesdays as a minimum, but do phone Simon Troy on 07887 704799 before making the journey just in case.

35025


Rebuilt Merchant Navy 35025 Brocklebank Line near New Malden on an up West of England express in 1961. Photo: R W Carroll


The effort to build up the photo gallery of 35025 in action in BR days continues. We recently received a good image of the loco at New Malden from Robert Carroll, who has some excellent collections on Flickr. A further three photos were received from David Kimber, a friend of SLL volunteer Mike Hall. These include a shot of 25 in original 'spam can' form at Brockenhurst. Our 35025 gallery is still much thinner than those for our other locos, and contributions would be much appreciated.

80104

80104


80104 has been stripped of connecting rods and fittings ready for its move to Tyseley. Photo: Chris Worby


Things are looking up for 80104's overhaul. Our appeal for support was a long way short of the 50,000 needed, however we've made an arrangement with Swanage Railway to assist our cashflow over the next three years. As a result we sent the loco off to Tyseley and we have asked them to order the copper sheet which is needed for the firebox repairs. The price of copper sheet is alarming, and delivery can take up to eight months.

New Locos-in-Profile print of 80104.

80104

Richard Green of locos-in-profile.co.uk has just completed a highly detailed print of Standard Tank 80104. Previously Richard has produced prints of our six Bulleids, not to mention many other classic locos. This print is his first of a Standard Tank and will only be available to new or existing shareholders making a new SLL share purchase. As you'd expect it's a different size to his previous prints, though the scale is the same, and it can be mounted in a 12" x 20" frame.

Norman

This overhaul continues slowly at contractors in Bolton but we are assured that it will be back on its wheels by Christmas. If it's not, a decision will need to be taken on the immediate future of this locomotive - it may be the smallest in the fleet but has caused a dis-proportionate amount of problems to us. Hopefully plans for Norman will be clearer by the next update.

Get down, bogie, ogie, ogie!

34072


Bailey England cuts out the course of the crack in Eddystone's bogie frame prior to re-welding. Photo: Chris Worby


Bogies have a big role to play in the design of express locos - they share the weight and help it to take curves comfortably. They're a set of four wheels in a simple chassis with the ability to turn on curves and with lateral movement controlled by springs. Their role is to lead the loco through curves, sharing the weight and reducing the wear of the flanges of the driving wheels. They don't normally cause much trouble or get much attention, but the last year has been different and various bogies have occupied our time.

35025


Manston's bogie at Tyseley, minus wheels. Note the hole for the pivot pin and the springs that control lateral movement.


It started a couple of years ago when we got Sidmouth's bogie frame out of storage and we started to overhaul it. We needed the bogie to be fit for when the frames enter the workshop, along with the pony truck, so the frames could be moved around the workshop if required. The wheels had already been re-tyred, but all the other components would need repair and reassembly.

34040


Sidmouth's bogie sliding centre being machined.


257 Squadron's bogie was next when it was found to have loose rivets in the frames. It was brought into Herston sooner than expected when a steam leak appeared; this proved to be due to corrosion of the main steam pipe, between the regulator and the superheater header. Off came the bogie and the loco was expected to move to Tyseley for a new steam pipe to be fitted. In the event Herston staff stepped up to the plate, finding a way to remove the superheater header, and remove the steam pipe. When a loco is in the workshop it makes sense to polish off any other maintenence needed, so the bogie was stripped alongside Sidmouth's. You might wonder why we didn't just swap Sidmouth's with 257's; it's a good question, and it's mainly because Sidmouth's tyres are brand new and therefore larger than 257's, and larger wheels on the front might change the weight distribution across the loco.

34010


The white metal surfaces on the horn guides are hand finished.


Then another bogie decided to misbehave. Eddystone had only been in service for a few weeks when a significant crack was found in the bogie frames, so off it came. This time help was at hand; we were loaned 34007 Wadebridge's bogie for a couple of months thanks to the Mid Hants Railway. So a fourth bogie came to the rescue, and we have three stripped bogies in the workshop, not to mention Manston's which had been overhauled at Tyseley at around the same time.

34028 regained its own bogie on 10th November, and Wadebridge's was returned to the MHR. 257 will be have its bogie refitted before it reurns to the railway, and Sidmouth's will be assembled before the frames return to Swanage in 2022. Hopefully it will be a while before we have to overhaul another bogie.

For further information get on down with these guys.

A Man with a Pan

There are many railway photographers taking great photos these days, and it's always a pleasure to see images of SLL's fleet. Some that really stand out are images which were 'panned' - moving the camera to hold in image in frame with a longer exposure to give the impression of movement. Robin Procter has a penchant for such shots, and living in Bridport it's no surprise that Swanage Railway features in his work. Robin kindly sent us some featuring our Bulleids and 80104.

35025


In pouring rain 34053 Sir Keith Park and visiting Standard Class 5 73156 head towards Swanage. This photo was taken on 12th October 2019 with a shutter speed of 1/20 second. Photo: Robin Procter


35025


Same day, same rain. 34072 257 Squadron heads towards Norden. Photo: Robin Procter


35025


80104 heads towards Swanage on 30th April 2021, a couple of weeks before it was withdrawn for overhaul. Photo: Robin Procter


The Missing Links

The Webmaster was browsing a page of this website recently when he found that a link to another webpage failed. A closer look indicated that the older each page was the more dodgy links were waiting to be found. Many of these related to past events such as heritage railway galas, and links to photos.

Our galleries used Fotopic which failed without warning in 2012. The photos moved to Picasa which was owned by Google, who replaced it with Google Photos several years later. The galleries survived but the links all changed.

35025


Along the way new access to the scanned copies of Southern Pacific magazine has been implemented on the Links page. We published Southern Pacific magazines from 1994 to 2007, after which we switched to focus on website news. The mags make interesting reading, with lots of anecdotes from the days of steam.


Some hours of work later most of the web pages have been reviewed and dozens of links updated plus various improvements and corrections made. This work is like painting the Forth Bridge, and if anyone spots a failed link or other error please drop a line to nicksidmouth@gmail.com

September 2021

From the Chairman

Everything appeared to finally be going in the right direction with the fleet, when we received the unwelcome news that a crack was discovered in the frames of Eddystone's bogie. Fortunately, thanks to our friends at the Mid Hants Railway, we have borrowed the bogie from 34007 Wadebridge which is being overhauled, for a couple of months, whilst Eddystone's is repaired enabling the locomotive to return to traffic quickly. Despite this setback we are making progress on many fronts working with SR staff in Herston, and it shouldn't be too long before we're announcing the return to traffic of both 34070 and 34072.

We have found working as one team in the Works has been very successful with the extensive work carried out on 257 Squadron, and we will return the compliment by working through the winter on the M7 30053 under the guidance of Graham Froud. At some point in the process, probably in February at the earliest, another of our locomotives will be arriving at Herston as you will read below.

80104


We were not expecting to be making repairs to Eddystone, which had been running very well. Andy Crooks is in the pit making a temporary weld so that the loco could be part of the Road to Rail Gala at Norden. Photo: Chris Worby


At Sellindge, thanks to the team and our friendly neighbours, good progress is being made given that we started last June with virtually nothing as far as workshops, tools or even a cleared area to start the restoration of Brocklebank Line.

Restoration and overhaul of our locomotives continues to cost large sums of money, and it is only through our shareholders generosity that work has continued on no less than five of the fleet. Please drop me a line at southernlocos@btinternet.com if you'd like to support SLL in any way.

Simon Troy

34072 257 Squadron

In early August we finally received news that steel had been sourced for the replacement internal steam pipe. A further two weeks passed awaiting authorisation from the boiler inspectors that the metal spec was acceptable to them and the order is now placed, and is due to be delivered shortly. Meanwhile the team at Herston have excelled themselves; the plan was for some jobs to be started on 257 Squadron which included the removal and refurbishing of all the valve gear, the fitting of new piston rings, injector overhaul, the complete overhaul of the bogie, and various smaller jobs. The locomotive would then have been transferred to Tyseley for the elements and superheater header to be removed and the new internal steam pipe fitted.

34072


Dave Ensor, Mike Frackiewicz and others have spent the past months repairing any areas of cladding which had weathered and have completely revarnished the locomotive so it's looking in very good shape. Photo: Dave Ensor


However, as the weeks went by awaiting delivery of the new pipe virtually all of the jobs lined up were completed, and the team decided to undertake the work which was to have been carried out at Tyseley. This included the removal of the top of the smokebox, then the elements along with the superheater header and finally the offending internal steam pipe. This work has saved many thousands of pounds in transport costs and external labour.

Unfortunately our plans to get 257 Squadron to the Spa Valley as a back up to Sir Keith Park have been scuppered by a delay to Manston's return as detailed in the 34070 section..

34028 Eddystone

Until the latter half of August this locomotive had been performing faultlessly so the discovery of a crack in the bogie frame was quite unexpected. The first thoughts were to borrow Manston's bogie which would have put pressure on the team to repair Eddystone's before Manston could return from Tyseley.

34028


Eddystone was moved to Norden for Swanage Railway 'Road to Rail' gala, where it was in light steam, and a popular attraction. Photo: Stuart Magnus


It was therefore welcome news we heard that we could borrow Wadebridge's bogie for a couple of months and we're indebted to the Mid-Hants for making it available to us. Eddystone should be back in traffic during September.

34028


Wadebridge's bogie arrived at Norden early in September, and on 15th a large crane lifted the front of Eddystone to switch the bogies. Photo: Tim Marshall


34053 Sir Keith Park

Sir Keith continues to draw the crowds when running at the Spa Valley. We're told that when this locomotive is advertised as hauling specific dining trains or one of many 'themed' services such as the gin and tonic specials, they sell out immediately. The renaming of the locomotive to Brentor was a real success, and earned us some much needed income.

34053


Evening at 75F. 34053 Sir Keith Park is being checked while A1X Knowle breathes a sigh of steam after a day's work. Photo: Liam Treveil


Sir Keith Park will be the locomotive hauling the Spa's Polar Express trains prior to Christmas. We understand that 25,000 tickets have been sold so far, so the success of the event is already guaranteed with two months of ticket sales to go.

We're making plans for the boiler swap during 2022. This is contingent on the overhaul Sidmouth's boiler being completed at Weybourne by spring. In parallel Sir Keith will move to Swanage for partial dismantling prior to the move to Weybourne for the boiler swap.

80104


New sections of the foundation ring of Sidmouth's boiler have been welded into place at the Weybourne workshop of the North Norfolk Railway. Photo: Keith Ashford


Railways that accept the Polar Express franchise have the option of holding the event on more than one occasion, so our hope is that the North Norfolk can complete Sir Keith Park's boiler overhaul in time for it to participate in the 2022 event. The only way this can possibly happen is that if our staff are fully involved, and they are of course 150 miles from Tunbridge Wells and even further from Weybourne! Therefore, it has been agreed with Swanage Railway that '53 can be transferred to Herston at an appropriate time to allow partial dismantling, prior to its transfer to the Weybourne Works for its boiler swap.

One tricky aspect is the ashpans; they have to be fitted to the firebox of the overhauled boiler before lifting into the frames of Sir Keith. Ashpans suffer corrosion during their working lives, so they are being examined at Tunbridge Wells to ascertain if they are to be partially or completely replaced. Either way we have a complete kit of parts in the Works for Sidmouth which can be replaced. These can be fabricated beforehand and taken to the NNR, and doubtless some of our staff assisting with the fitting in Norfolk. The locomotive will then be returned to Herston to be put back together again. Given the constraints, the cladding team will not have sufficient time to undertake the full 'Eddystone' level paint job, though we're sure it will come out looking good. If we're successful and can get this job done in such a short time, it may be possible to four working Bulleid Pacifics to be on site at the same time next Autumn.

34070 Manston

Work has progressed well at Tyseley with work on the locomotive almost completed whilst volunteers have been painting the boiler and working on the casing so that it's ready to reinstate as soon as the steam test is completed. However lengthy delays awaiting the inspectors to attend the hydraulic test which now can't take place until the end of the month, with an ensuing two or three week delay before they can attend the steam test has ensured that the locomotive will not be back at Swanage until November.

34070


All the brake rigging has been rebushed under Neville Crook's direction at Swanage and will be reinstated as soon as the locomotive arrives back in Dorset. Photo: Dave Ensor


The team at Herston then have to reinstate many parts, not least the brake gear, a major job in itself. We are therefore not sure when Manston will be back in traffic.

34070


Malcolm and Alan Garner, Dave Anthony and Phil Casey have all been repainting Manston's boiler and sorting out both the inside of the cladding removing rust, and tidying up the outside prior to reinstatement. Photo: Malcolm Garner


34010 Sidmouth

The groundwork has now been prepared for both Sidmouth and Brocklebank Line at Sellindge, with these two projects moving forward together before the former is returned to Swanage. We have now acquired our own grit blasting equipment, including an almost new cabinet blaster for smaller items, and one of our friendly neighbours has agreed to lend us his free of charge. He has also kindly sold us for a peppercorn a fibreglass van body which will be prefect for grit blasting everything smaller than the locomotive frames themselves. We will need to cocoon the frames with plastic. By coincidence a scaffolding firm has just rented some land for storage a few yards from our area, and have offered to organise undercover accommodation for Brocklebank Line and Sidmouth's frames for us. It has been necessary to purchase a new 40 foot insulated container so that the many parts already overhauled and ready to bolt back on to the engine won't deteriorate during the Winter, owing to heavy condensation in our current 40 foot containers.

34025


The SLL Executive Suite is delivered to our estate in deepest Kent. Note the Hot Tub to the right.


It is also necessary to have a dry environment for the storage of grit. The Sellindge team clubbed together to front the 3,000 for the container to prevent our FD having a coronary, and SLL has avoided much of the set up and ongoing costs at Sellindge through the team putting their hands in their pockets.

35025 Brocklebank Line

A local Hiab owner will be moving the smaller items on site to make way for the various parts of Brocklebank Line to be brought nearer to our 'workshops' by a 60 ton crane. Two Pullman bogies have to be removed so that we can transfer our boiler to the same area for easier access for the low-loader to remove it for overhaul, when funds permit. We will arrange the transfer of Sidmouth's frames, but we need to have moved Brocklebank Line's first as they will sit behind Sidmouth's, as the latter's will be moving off site first. It's impractible to arrange for Sidmouth's frames to arrive on the same day as Brocklebank Line is lifted, so this will be undertaken the week after the main move.

35025


35025's boiler is reckoned to be in good condition considering that it has sat in the open for the last fifty plus years. The outside has been de-rusted and painted.


The delays to Sidmouth's restoration are frustrating but our supporters will appreciate that it's essential to have Sir Keith Park, Eddystone, Manston and 257 Squadron earning revenue to fund much of the cost of its restoration. Given the number of shareholders supporting Sidmouth, and the relatively large amount of cash they have contributed Sidmouth will come first, though we will now be able to work on Brocklebank Line in parallel.

There is a limit to what can be accomplished in a field with temporary covered accommodation, so we were pleased when our cladding team at Swanage offered to rebuild Brocklebank Line's cab, which is looking rather sad having been open to the elements for 20 years.

35025


It's good to find a photo of 35025 Brocklebank Line in BR service, and this one was taken by the late Robin White, an SLL volunteer who sadly died last year. Our loco is seen leaving Poole with an up express for Waterloo.


Following the excellent report from the inspector we have taken steps to further protect the boiler. With the current exception of the lower extremities, every square inch of the boiler has been wire brushed with angle grinders to ensure a smooth and rust free surface for the extremely expensive silver paint being applied. As soon as our first consignment of grit arrives the first job will be to blast the underside of Brocklebank Line's boiler.

Our new insulated container has arrived and positioned in a spot previously occupied by a dozen disused cars. Our skip has been filled and returned six times with accumulated stuff from the previous occupier. Our minor moves are taking place on 21st September and the crane is booked for the 7th October for Brocklebank Line and the 19th for Sidmouth's frames

We were pleased to hear from Richard Derry with a contribution towards Brocklebank Line. Many will recognise his name as the author of the popular series 'The Book Of' covering many locomotive classes. Currently he is amending his book of the West Country and Battle of Britain classes with new information which has come to light since first publication in 2002. Part 4 of his series of the 8Fs is being published now and a new title Joy of the Jinties will see the class being covered over several volumes.

80104

In June we reported that a sponsor, who also supports Swanage Railway, had agreed to offer a loan which will foot the majority of the cost of 80104's overhaul (around 200,000) provided others raise a further 50,000, preferrably from the Swanage area, given the locos popularity on the line. So far response has been slow, and we may not be able to meet the fast-track schedule to have the loco back in service in 2023. Currently 80104 is stored outside at Swanage. We have witnessed before the damage done by prolonged exposure to the sea air and will have to start looking of covered storage unless we can address the shortfall very quickly.

80104


What the near term future holds for 80104 is uncertain, but the Swanage MPD team have made a useful start by clearing the loco of ash and removing the brick arch in the firebox and concrete layer in the smokebox. Photo: Charlie Rogers


Norman

There has been some progress at Bolton with the installation of the cylinder block and a promise that the locomotive will be re-wheeled in September. The contractor has been given deadlines to ensure that this locomotive is now completed in a timely manner. Clearly Covid did affect Bolton more than most places in the UK but this can't be used as a reason any longer so we expect rapid progress. Hopefully by the time the next Latest News update is published we will have a timetable to completion although it is extremely doubtful that we will meet target date of Spring 2022.

norman


Norman's cylinder block has been rebuilt and refitted into the frames. Note the new liners in the cylinders.


SLL in the News

80104



The July edition of Heritage Railway magazine carried a record-breaking (for us) eight page article of SLL, with a full history of our work over the last 38 years with ample illustrations.


So far this year Nick Thompson has given online presentations of SLL "Past, Present and Future" to nine railway clubs across England, and has two more lined up for the autumn. As well as modest fees for the talks we're pleased to say that several members of the audiences have chosen to join us as Shareholders. If your club would like to hear from us please drop an email to nicksidmouth@gmail.com

sidmouth



Nick's presentation starts with a photo of the view from his bedroom window in his formative years.


Not content with his railway club events Nick awaits his cameo role as a Bulleid Expert (surely shome mishtake? Ed.) in the forthcoming TV series "Hornby - a model world" due for release on the Yesterday channel in the autumn.


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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