• DIESELGEN 03-Dec-20

    D6575 (33 057) waits at Washford on the WSR. Photographed on 31st August 2014 by Peter Skuce. © CC BY-NC 3.0

    Our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) is going to be in action on Saturday 5th December on crew refresher training special workings between Bishops Lydeard (BL) and Williton (WN).

     

    The booked movements are:

         0900 BL arriving WN 0937

         1005 WN arriving BL 1045

         1250 BL arriving WN 1329

         1400 WN arriving BL 1440

     

    Please note that the stations are closed and trespassing is not allowed. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the best way to view these workings is via the webcams at BL and WN.

    BL: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-bl2.htm

    WN: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-wn2.htm

    Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

    Take care and stay safe!

     

  • DIESELGEN 01-Dec-20

    D6575 positioned over the pit at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard, on 2nd November 2020. Sister D6566 and Class 09 D4107 also in attendance. Photo by Martin Howard. (c) CC BY-NC 3.0

    Our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) is going to be in action on Thursday 03 December 2020 on an Engineering train. The detailed timings have not been released but the loco is due off shed from Williton at 0930.

    The planned movements are from Williton (WN) to Stogumber (SR) then returning to WN then to Norton Fitzwarren (NF) then to Bishops Lydeard (BL).

    At BL, D6575 will swap with D6566.

    D6566 will then return to WN light engine.

     

    Please note that the stations are closed and trespassing is not allowed. During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the best way to view these workings is via the webcams at BL and WN.

    BL: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-bl2.htm

    WN: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-wn2.htm

    Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

  • Depot news – week ending 29-Nov-20

    Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 outside the Old Goods Shed at Williton with Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 and Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) on 21st November 2020. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0

    The survey of the roof of the Old Goods Shed at Williton has been completed and the results are disappointing. The slate roof tiles have apparently become porous over the years and this has led to deterioration and weakening of the underlying structure. As a result of this, we must vacate the building until structural repairs are completed, meaning that we have to remove all of our artefacts and find safe places in which to store them.

    Our Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 will now have to spend the winter outside, unless some other arrangements can be made. The above photo from Class 14 team member Terry Deacon shows the loco in splendid condition, standing outside the Old Goods Shed last Saturday, along with ‘Hymek’ D7017 and ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057).

    On the day of the inspection, 25th November 2020, DEPG Chairman Martin Howard provided a photo of the Road-Rail-Vehicle-mounted Elevated Work Platform that allowed Andrew Young and the WSR Civil Engineering team to inspect the inside of roof and the supporting structure.

    Road-Rail-Vehicle-mounted Extended Work Platform inside the Old Goods Shed at Williton on 25th November 2020. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0

    Similar photos of this very useful machine at work can be found on the wsr.org.uk website:

    http://www.wsr.org.uk/cgi-bin/snap.cgi?h=Snapshot&p=2020/11/180

    http://www.wsr.org.uk/cgi-bin/snap.cgi?h=Snapshot&p=2020/11/181

    The next step will be a meeting between the WSR and the DEPG to determine the way forward and decide upon the strategy for raising the multiple-six-figure sum that will be required to allow work to proceed on this 158-year-old Grade II listed building. Read more about the Old Goods Shed at Williton by clicking here.

    Many thanks to our volunteers for working so hard to make the building accessible for the RRV EWP and for their work since the inspection, on the removal of the hundreds of smaller artefacts.

    DEPG LOCO WORKINGS: Yesterday, Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) was used on crew refresher training workings between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, during which several of the WSR drivers renewed their Class 33 “tickets”. More training services are running today, but steam only, using WSR 2-6-0 ‘Mogul’ No. 9351. These training services can be viewed from the webcams when they are departing from Bishops Lydeard and when “running round” at Williton. For advance notification of DEPG diesel loco workings, join the DIESELGEN mailing list, details as below:

    https://depg.org/dieselgen/

    Thanks again to Railcam UK and the WSR for installing and operating these webcams. They really do help us all keep in touch with what is going on at the WSR. Links to the Railcams can be found on the wsr.ork.uk website:

    http://www.wsr.org.uk/index.htm

    Moving on to an update about the status of our fleet:

    D1010: Work has been suspended for the duration of the lockdown.

    D6566 and D6575: D6566 has been in use during this week and D6575 remains on standby at Williton.

    D7017 and D7018: Work has been suspended for the duration of the lockdown.

    D9518: Work has been suspended for the duration of the lockdown.

    D9526: This loco has now been moved outdoors and needs to be prepared for the winter by providing protection from the worst of the elements. Although D6575 has to be kept outdoors and “at the ready”, the fact that she gets used is very helpful toward arresting deterioration. Her stablemates D1010 and D7017 are destined to be static outdoors through the winter and they are already partly covered by tarpaulins. Additional covered accommodation for all heritage assets remains a long-term goal of both the DEPG and the WSR.

    47077: No change from last week due to the priority being placed on clearing the Old Goods Shed.

    The DEPG depot at Williton is classed as a workplace and is maintained Covid-safe as per Government guidelines. Work will only take place if deemed essential by the Board and our volunteers will only attend if it is necessary to do so.

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  • Help us when shopping (2)

    The DEPG has registered with another online shopping site that generates charitable donations for the DEPG AT NO COST TO YOU, the shopper !

    The additional site is GiveasyouLive

     

    This service has been in use by the DEPG for a while and has already generated a useful contribution to funds. This service differs from Easyfundraising by also providing donations when you are shopping in-store and when topping up store cards, so it is well worth considering.

    It is very important to make sure that, after registering, you START your shopping from the charitable giving site to make sure that your purchases count.

    More information about How to sign up to GiveasyouLive

    See our Help Us When Shopping page for details about all three of our charitable giving services !

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  • DIESELGEN 26-Nov-20

    Class 33 D6566 waits at Bishops Lydeard on a crew refresher training special working on 21NOV20. Image captured from the Bishops Lydeard webcam courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR (c) Railcam-UK Ltd and WSR plc 2020

    Please note that our Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6566 (33 048) is going to be in action tomorrow (Friday 27 November) on crew refresher training special workings between Bishops Lydeard (BL) and Williton (WN). The booked movements are:

       0900 BL arriving WN 0937

       1005 WN arriving BL 1045

       1250 BL arriving WN 1329

       1400 WN arriving BL 1440

     

     

    Please note that the stations are closed and trespassing is not allowed. During lockdown, the best way to view these workings is via the webcams at BL and WN.

    BL: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-bl2.htm

    WN: http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-wn2.htm

    Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing these webcam services.

    Take care and stay safe!

     

  • Weekly Roundup

    Originally established as a means of keeping our active volunteers up to date with what was going on at Williton Depot, the “roundup” was expanded during Lockdown 1.0 by including items of interest such as “on shed” photos from past and present, along with book reviews and WSR news.

    The circulation was also expanded beyond volunteers to all DEPG members for whom we held email addresses, then all DEPG supporters, then for anyone else who wanted to join the list!

    We now reach almost 200 people with a page of news EVERY WEEK.

    To join the mailing list, email contact@depg.org with the subject ROUNDUP ADD.

    In the unlikely event of you wanting to be removed from the list, make the subject “ROUNDUP CANCEL”.

    If you have previously signed up for “roundup” but are not receiving it every week, it is probably due to some ISPs deciding that it is spam – which it most certainly is not! Let me know if you don’t receive it every week – because it is sent out every week for sure.

    Here follows an example of the roundup, as published on Saturday 21st November 2020:

    Hello all,

    Work continues at Williton depot to make preparations for a survey that has to be conducted to assess the safety of the roof of the Old Goods Shed. Our lovingly restored Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 has had to be woken from hibernation and moved outside the shed for one week to allow access for the elevated working platforms.

    The attached capture from the Williton webcam shows the gleaming loco in a line with ‘Hymek’ D7017 and ‘Crompton’ D6575 (a hopper wagon is sandwiched between the two ‘Type 3s’). Many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for providing the webcam service from which this image was captured.

    Class 14 D9526 emerges from the Old Goods Shed at Williton on 21NOV20. Image captured from the Williton North webcam courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR. © CC BY-NC 3.0

    Last week, we mistakenly reported that the Class 14 in the below photograph from 1982 was D9526.

    Class 35 Hymek D7017 and Class 14 D9551 stand outside the Old Goods Shed at Williton in 1982. Photo by Brian Hart via wsr.org.uk © CC BY-NC 3.0

    We have since been advised that it was in fact D9551. DEPG member and Class 14 team leader Simon Purvis reports: 

    “D9551 was a long term resident on the WSR, being bought from Corby steel works in 1981,  arriving on the WSR 6/6/81. She worked until 1999, and was sold by the WSR in 2000 to the Royal Deeside Railway in Scotland. From there, she was sold in 2013 to a group on the Severn Valley Railway and has been working there since 2015.”

    Many thanks to Simon for this information. He also provided us with the attached photo of D9551 wearing “Golden Ochre” livery. This photo was taken at Bridgnorth on the SVR on 16th August 2018, and shows DEPG Class 14 team member Terry Deacon doing some checks on the Paxman engine prior to startup.

    Class 14 D9551 undergoing inspection by DEPG member Terry Deacon at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway. Photo dated 16AUG18 by Simon Purvis © CC BY-NC 3.0

    The fourth photo shows D9551 leading D9526 as it runs around it’s train at Minehead in the Autumn of 1983. Thanks to Ian Grady and wsr.org.uk for the photograph.

    Class 14 D9551 leads sister loco D9526 as they run around their train at Minehead in the autumn of 1983. Photo by Ian Grady via wsr.org.uk © CC BY-NC 3.0

    On Friday 20th November 2020, ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) was in action, hauling a coach from Williton to Minehead for maintenance, and returning with the WSR’s Class 115 DMU which is now stabled in the North Yard at Williton. The webcam image below shows the ’33’ doing the ‘DMU drag’ and slowing for the token exchange at Blue Anchor signalbox.

    Class 33 D6575 hauling the WSRs Class 115 DMU approaches Blue Anchor on 20NOV20. Image captured from the Blue Anchor webcam courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR. © CC BY-NY 3.0

    On Saturday 21st November 2020, sister D6566 (33 048) was used on crew refresher training workings between Bishops Lydeard and Williton, during which DEPG members and drivers Robin Fisher, Paul Fleet and Neil McCannon renewed their Class 33 tickets under the watchful eye of Traction Inspector John Leach.

    Class 33 D6566 waits at Bishops Lydeard on a crew refresher training special working on 21NOV20. Image captured from the Bishops Lydeard webcam courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR © CC BY-NC 3.0

    Thanks again to Railcam UK and the WSR for installing and operating these webcams. They really do help us all keep in touch with what is going on at the WSR. Links to the Railcams can be found on the wsr.ork.uk website:

    http://www.wsr.org.uk/index.htm

     

    Moving on to an update about the status of our fleet:

    D1010: Work has been suspended for the duration of the lockdown.

    D6566 and D6575: As stated previously, both locos have been in use during this week.

    D7017 and D7018: No change from last week.

    D9518: Work has been suspended for the duration of the lockdown.

    D9526: This loco has now been moved outdoors but this is only a temporary move while the surveying of the Old Goods Shed takes place. The loco will move back in the shed after the surveying is completed, because there will be a length delay while the required work is put out to tender, and then a further wait for contractors that are qualified to work on this Grade II listed building.

    47077: No change from last week.

    The DEPG depot at Williton is classed as a workplace and is maintained Covid-safe as per Government guidelines. Work will only take place if deemed essential by the Board and our volunteers will only attend if it is necessary to do so.


    BOOK REVIEW – This week, our attention has been drawn to another brand new book, this time by Steve Ireland and titled “THE WESTERN REGION in the 1970s – A Decade of Standardisation“. We look forward to hearing from those of you who have obtained a copy of this book and we look forward to sharing your reading experience.

    ISBN: 9781912695386 – “THE WESTERN REGION in the 1970s – A Decade of Standardisation” by Steve Ireland, published by Visions International on 18NOV20.


    NOTE: A CLARIFICATION about Amazon Smile

    As we have stated previously, the DEPG has registered with Amazon Smile. It is not entirely obvious how to start shopping with this option activated, but search on Amazon Smile and there will be a page where you can sign up. Alternatively, use this link:

    Go to the How to sign up to Amazon Smile page

    Select The DEPG as your nominated charity. Amazon will make a charitable donation of 0.5% of the value of every eligible purchase that you make (eligibility is shown on every purchase page). This may sound small, but it all adds up and there is no cost to you, BUT YOU MUST START YOUR SHOPPING SESSION FROM smile.amazon.co.uk or else your purchases won’t count.

    The attached image pops up when the link to the DEPG has been made (there is no need to install the Amazon Assistant, but that’s your choice). Please consider starting your Amazon shopping via smile.smazon.co.uk whenever you buy ANYTHING from Amazon. Thanks !


    ON SHED: This week, we feature a photo that has been provided by Mike Cale via Paul Mear, showing a pair of Westerns arriving at Newport station, heading in the Cardiff direction, thought to be in 1968. Several things are interesting here. The use of two locos, the very long train with at least 13 vehicles in the photo (and probably more out of the photo) and the train destination boards that are hanging on the middle doors of the Mk II stock.  Thanks to Mike and Paul for sharing this image with us. Can anyone provide any detailed information? Can we identify the photographer so that we can credit him/her ?

    Double-headed “WESTERNS” at Newport, thought to be in 1968, photographer not yet established.


    DEPG NEWS: We have now registered for “Easyfundraising” (an online shopping-based donation scheme that is similar to Amazon Smile) and the instructions are very similar to those for Amazon Smile. Here’s the link to get you started, then the same rule applies – start your shopping session from easyfundraising then go the shopping sites that you would have gone to anyhow.

    Go to the How to sign up to Easyfundraising page

    There is an option to install an “assistant”, but this is not a requirement and such tools have been known to put additional load on your device, so you may choose to ignore it or install it on a trial basis and see what happens.

    We have already applied to be registered on the direct fundraising site “JustGiving” and as soon as our application has been validated, we will post an appeal for fundraising to keep our most important projects moving along. These fund raising options will also be posted to our website and social media channels. Let’s see what we can all do together, to keep funds flowing and make sure that our locos are available for service at home on the WSR and on visits to other railways next year.

    Also, we are taking orders for DEPG branded merchandise including a new A3 “landscape” format calendar for 2021, along with some good quality clothing items – see our flyer for details.

    DEPG merchandising 20NOV20


    DEPG WEBSITE: We have changed the “theme” or template of the site to make better use of widescreens and to automatically re-format into a compressed mode on small screens. There are some useful new features in the new theme, such as a menu at the bottom of each page that automatically includes newly added pages. We have appointed four more people as authors and editors to increase the flow of new or updated material and we continue to improve the structure and accessibility of the site. Keep viewing the site to see what is changing. Thanks!


    WSR NEWS: The WSR are fully intent on re-opening in December and have adjusted their Christmas timetable to allow some time between the end of Lockdown 2.0 and the start of the festive service. For details, go to the WSR site below:

    https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/events/detail/santa-express

    The WSR have also posted an update to the overall fundraising efforts, the details of which are available from the following link:

    http://www.wsr.org.uk/news.htm#2219


    That’s all for this week – thanks to all for your ongoing support of the DEPG and the railway upon which we run – the WSR !

    Please STAY SAFE and STAY WELL.

    Regards,
    Andy

     

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  • Website template changed

     

    As a result of feedback from viewers, we have changed the template (more accurately termed the “theme”) that we use for our website to make better use of widescreen displays and to automatically resize when used on smaller displays such as smartphones.

    The format changes will mean that each page needs to be re-optimised to get the best layout and that will take some time, so please bear with us while we do this work.

    It is important to get the template right at this early stage, because the rework task will get much larger as we add more pages.

    A useful feature of this new template is that is includes a menu bar at the bottom of the page, along with a “back to top of page” arrow button. This menu automatically includes pages that have been added recently.

    Let us know if you find any issues with this website. We we will do our best to improve it on a continuous basis.

    Thanks !

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  • ‘Cromptons’ in Action

    Today, the two Class ‘Cromptons’ D6566 (33 048) and D6575 (33 057) that are under the care of the DEPG were in action on the WSR, connected in multiple and working an Empty Coaching Stock train from Williton to Bishops Lydeard.

    The day started with some shunting at Williton and ended with both ‘Cromptons’ being placed over the pit at Westridge shed for an underframe and traction motor inspection, before D6575 returned to Williton (D6566 remains at Bishops Lydeard for further use by the WSR).

    Here’s some pictures of the event, provided by our Chairman Martin Howard and from DEPG member and regular contributor Mark Ireland. All items are (c) CC BY-NC 3.0.

    There is also some very nice photos on the wsr.org website, one of which you can view via this link:

    http://www.wsr.org.uk/cgi-bin/snap.cgi?h=Snapshot&p=2020/11/006

    The above is extracted from a video that Mark captured while getting a good soaking! To see an extract of that video, go to our Twitter page: https://twitter.com/wsrdepg

    And many thanks to Railcam UK and the WSR for the following scenes that were captured from the Williton North webcam earlier today: weblink http://www.wsr.org.uk/r-cam-wn2.htm

    Well done to the DEPG’s ‘Team Crompton’ and to the volunteers and staff of the West Somerset Railway !

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