GWR 9400 Class 0‑6‑0PT No. 8403
85D Bromsgrove based GWR 9400 Class 0‑6‑0PT No. 8403 has been allowed a path on the up main line at Barnt Green with a lengthy Worcester goods. Transferred to 85B Gloucester (Horton Road) in October 1964, 8403 ended its working life from 82E Bristol Barrow Road, being withdrawn from there on 16th June 1965. A few months later it was reduced to a pile of scrap metal at the hands of Ward’s, Briton Ferry.
Photograph by Peter Hands
We are at the height of the summer timetable and steam still remained supreme both on freight traffic and extra holiday passenger services. Unfortunately my records of steam activity during this month fall short by one week, a week that was spent shed‑bashing, armed with permits (no sleep stops planned in advance – big mistake) on the Scottish Region courtesy of their excellent all‑around Scotland railrover ticket.
One subject I have not touched upon yet were the restrictive practices employed by the unions (‘You won’t get me I’m part of the union’) which must have cost British Railways (and the taxpayers) a small fortune. One such example was when the signalbox guttering was in need of repair. Whilst the workman was slowly tapping away with his hammer (in between tea breaks) or utilising his screwdriver (dinner and another tea break) my signalman, Gordon, asked me to ask him if he could drop a few nails into the loose wooden catwalk at the front of the box. The curt answer was: ‘Not my job son, it’s the carpenter’s’ and so a carpenter had to be sent for.
A second incident was when a small piece of equipment, about three feet long, fell off the underside of a DMU near to the station. This was something a child could have collected, but no, half a dozen or more men, including Inspectors, were despatched to collect the same.
On one occasion the all but redundant goods yard at Barnt Green was the scenario for the transfer of a huge new boiler from rail to road which was bound for the car plant at Longbridge from the manufacturer. It arrived at night on low‑loader wagons incorporated in an out‑of‑gauge freight train and upon arrival had to be carefully postioned, via the employment of a crane or cranes under the glare of spotlights, onto a massive lorry (with more wheels than a centipede has legs) for its short onward journey and with any luck, assuming that the workforce were not on one of their innumerable strikes, it would be installed in a matter of days – or weeks – or months!
The transfer process took hours to complete, much of which would be spent on … (you’ve guessed it … tea breaks…). A couple of weeks later the process was reversed and it was rumoured, though never clarified, that the new boiler was being returned because of a manufacturing fault.
The reasoning behind the rumour was because shoddy workmanship was rife in Great Britain in the 1960’s, a period epitomised in the film entitled: ‘I’m Alright Jack,’ starring Peter sellers as an intransigent union leader at a manufacturing firm run by an incompetent management team and so it was odds‑on that this was probably the reason why the boiler was being returned. If true, heaven knows how much this charade cost! Meanwhile, several thousand miles away the Japanese Industrialists were in the wings, biding their time before waiting to pounce!
LMS Class 5 4‑6‑0 No. 45429
LMS Class 5 4‑6‑0 No. 45429, from 2A Rugby, hurries its excursion stock down the 1 in 37 Lickey Incline between Blackwell and Bromsgrove on 13th April 1963. Subject to a number of transfers during the fifties and sixties No. 45429 ended up at 6A Chester from whence it was taken out of service week ending 7th August 1965.
Photograph by Peter Hands
Back on the steam scene and despite my week’s absence I was able to record quite a number of LMS Jubilee Class 4‑6‑0’s still hard at work on passenger and express freight duties:
Nos. 45557 New Brunswick (16C Derby), 45598 Basutoland (16F Burton), 45602 British Honduras (55A Leeds – Holbeck), 45608 Gibraltar (55A Leeds – Holbeck), 45641 Sandwich (16F Burton), 45661 Vernon (9D Newton Heath) – N48, 45670 Howard of Effingham (16C Derby), 45674 Duncan (2E Saltley), 45675 Hardy (55A Leeds – Holbeck), 45697 Achilles (55A Leeds – Holbeck) and 45721 Impregnable (16F Burton).
Other LMS types recorded are as follows:
Class 6P5F (Stanier) 2‑6‑0 No. 42967 (5E Nuneaton). Class 5 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 44898 (12A Carlisle – Kingmoor), 44912 (55D Royston), 45060 (5D Stoke), 45340 (10A Carnforth), 45399 (10A Carnforth) and 45411 (9K Bolton). Class 8F 2‑8‑0’s Nos. 48005 (1F Rugby), 48123 (55D Royston), 48137 (16E Kirkby), 48196 (16G Westhouses), 48217 (16D Nottingham), 48289 (5E Nuneaton), 48424 (2A Tyseley), 48651 (15B Wellingborough), 48662 (16F Burton), 48671 (15B Wellingborough), 48697 (5D Stoke) and 48741 (9E Trafford Park).
LNER types recorded:
B1 Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 61051 – V10 and 61327 – V49, both from 41D Canklow.
BR types recorded:
Class 5 4‑6‑0 No. 73164 (82E Bristol Barrow Road) – M01. BR Class 4 2‑6‑0’s Nos. 76038, 76040, 76043 – all allocated to 2E Saltley. 9F Class 2‑10‑0’s Nos. 92032 (16B Annesley), 92049 (16A Toton), 92209 (88A Cardiff East Dock), 92220 Evening Star (88A Cardiff East Dock) and 92226 (86E Severn Tunnel Junction).
WD locos recorded:
Class 8F 2‑8‑0’s Nos. 90072 (50D Goole), 90121 (9K Bolton), 90133 (36C Frodingham), 90557 (10F Rose Grove) and 90650 (55D Royston).
GWR types recorded:
Grange Class 4‑6‑0’s Nos. 6810 Blakemere Grange (87F Llanelly), 6820 Kingstone Grange (88A Cardiff East Dock), 6830 Buckenhill Grange (2B Oxley), 6859 Yiewsley Grange (88A Cardiff East Dock) and 6863 Dolhywel Grange (88A Cardiff East Dock). Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6936 Breccles Hal (88A Cardiff East Dock). Modified Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 6987 Shervington Hall (88A Cardiff East Dock). Manor Class 4‑6‑0 No. 7805 Broome Manor (2A Tyseley). Modified Hall Class 4‑6‑0 No. 7909 Heveningham Hall (83B Taunton). 9400 Class 0‑6‑0PT’s Nos. 9453 (85B Gloucester – Horton Road) and 9493 (85D Bromsgrove).
The locomotives recorded in the three week period were still from a wide variety of depots: from Llanelly to Goole, from Leeds to Taunton and from Carlisle to Wellingborough.
To be continued.