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Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:23 pm
by Robin Summerhill
22A wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:11 pm
It's possible therefore that some steam worked through the area in 66 and early 67.
It's not just possible its certain!

Here is a shot of one of the rakes on Flickr. Although this one is dated April 1965 such sighta were quite frequently seen in the area during 1966 and 1967. Depending on how long it took to clear out Salisbury MPD, where they were all assembled at the end, some could even have run in early 1968.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thanoz/14220620756/

But these of course were special workings, not ordinary passenger or greight runs. Andy K has posted that freight work continued into August 1966,citing Colin Maggs' book. Perso nally I would like to see some hard evidence of that as I have never heard of it before, and don't recall the railway press mentioning it either. And it is well documented that there were no servicing facilities on the WT after the end of 1965.

All that said, of course, there was perhaps more unofficial autonomy on the railway in the 60s than there is today. Whilst watering facilities may not have been officially available, it is quite possible that enterprising staff with a hose pipe could top up a tender with water, and a Black 5 or 8F could have run Saltley to Bristol and back on a tenderful of coal.

Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:05 am
by 76026
Andy Kirkham wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:28 pm
However there is an incident described in the Wild Swan book Somerset & Dorset Swansong by Bob Bunyar (of which I can't find my copy at the moment) which I think will be hard to beat. The book contains an eye-witness account from (I think) January 1967 when 34057 Biggin Hill took over a Portsmouth-Cardiff service at Salisbury and worked it through to Temple Meads.
I wonder whether 34067 have hauled another train back to Salisbury, or returned light engine? Either way I assume the crew would have wanted to take water before returning, so I guess the unofficial hose at Bath Road would have been deployed. (Does anyone recall when the water cranes at TM were disabled /removed?)

I imagine someone in Western Region hierarchy might have been seriously displeased with the Southern for sending a smelly old streamer into their pristine dieselised patch. Given regional rivalries, perhaps someone in the Southern quite enjoyed sending it. Would it have been the shedmaster's decision to allocate 34057 if no servicable diesel was available? Would they have had to discuss this with their local Control?

More generally, does anyone recall a steam loco that had replaced a failed diesel getting stranded at its destination, for want of coal or water?

Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:52 pm
by buxton4472
As regards steam in the Bristol area, I have a photo I took of 9F 92212 heading north LE at Charfield in July 1966. It was a Sunday and it had worked an extra freight south that morning, presumably from Washwood Heath and as far as Stoke Gifford. The photo I have shows it tucked in behind a works train in the up loop at Charfield, awaiting the passage of an up express. It may be that the water column there was still operational, in which case it may have taken water before continuing north. This was the last revenue-earning steam I saw personally on that route.

Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:08 pm
by 76026
Good to know that my schoolmates weren't necessarily making up their stories of late steam cops at Stoke Gifford!

Speaking of water columns, I've heard of another late survival, albeit out of area. Apparently in 1970 when 4555 (based at the Dart Valley Railway) was hauled in steam from Laira- following an Open day- to Bath Road- for another Open Day- it was routed around the back or Exeter St David's and took water from a column there. When 4555 was full the leather bag fell off, so that was probably the columns final use.

Prior to leaving Plymouth 4555 had needed to be turned. Apparently the BR Inspector on the footplate called the North Road Panel with an 'engine to be turned' request without mentioning that it was a steam loco. 4555 then broke the steam ban by moving solo under its own steam via Mt Gould Jn to Plymouth North Road and back to Laira (to pick up it's train -an Ocean Saloon, a Hawksworth Brake, a Cinema coach and an SR Queen Mary brake van- before been hauled to Bristol by a diesel). Apparently those in authority were not impressed...

Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:16 pm
by 76026
55A, was the Imperial Smelting loco that you saw in live stem on BR metals running solo, or with a diesel chaperone? http://www.bropendays.co.uk/1965_1993.html shows this loco appearing at the 1970 Open Day. If it was running solo that too would have been a breach of the steam ban. Perhaps this is evidence of the 'unoffical autonomy' that Robin mentions...

Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:36 pm
by 22A
There was definitely smoke coming from the chimney and it was moving in the 82A shed tracks, presumably for specific stabling.
Sorry, but I'm not sure if it made it's own way there or was towed as far as the depot and then parked itself.

Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:49 am
by Devonian
I've always wondered what strings were pulled to allow Cookham Manor and Princess Elizabeth to steam down from Ashchurch for the October 1968 Bath Road Open Day .The date and time of their departure must have been broadcast on the grapevine as Dad took some pictures.

Re: Last BR steam workings in or around Bristol?

Posted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:33 am
by mjt
76026 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:05 am
Andy Kirkham wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:28 pm
However there is an incident described in the Wild Swan book Somerset & Dorset Swansong by Bob Bunyar (of which I can't find my copy at the moment) which I think will be hard to beat. The book contains an eye-witness account from (I think) January 1967 when 34057 Biggin Hill took over a Portsmouth-Cardiff service at Salisbury and worked it through to Temple Meads.
I wonder whether 34067 have hauled another train back to Salisbury, or returned light engine? Either way I assume the crew would have wanted to take water before returning, so I guess the unofficial hose at Bath Road would have been deployed. (Does anyone recall when the water cranes at TM were disabled /removed?)
Well, according to Bob Bunyar, who travelled on the train from Bath to TM: 'After arrival at TM it was swiftly despatched light engine back to the Southern'. It was the 1.12pm from Portsmouth Harbour & on an unspecified day in February 1967.

Martin