Depot news – week ending 10-Jan-21

Depot news – week ending 10-Jan-21

Going back to the last movements of 2020, our ‘Cromptons’ D6566 and D6575 were swapped over so that D6575 ended up positioned at Williton and D6566 ended up at Westridge shed in Bishops Lydeard. This swap was made because D6575 handled most of the “Santa Express” diesel duties, so she is now due for an “A-exam”, when circumstances permit.

Both Class 33s performed admirably throughout December, and the following photos show the changeover that took place on the 31st December:

Classic vehicles at the West Somerset Railway – an Iris Blue MGA from 1958 waits while BRCW Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) dating from 1961 heads in the opposite direction (toward Williton) on 31st December 2020. Photo by Robin Moira White (c) CC BY-NC 3.0


Class 33 ‘Cromptons’ D6566 (in the yard, just south of the Swindon Shed) and D6575 (alongside the Swindon Shed on the ‘down’ line) manoeuver to change places on 31st December 2020. Captured from the Williton North webcam, courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR (c)


Class 33 D6566 (33 048) departs Williton for Bishops Lydeard with DEPG Chairman Martin Howard at the controls while being monitored by Class 33 loco manager Ian Robins and DEPG “team Crompton” volunteer Tom Courtney on 31st December 2020. Captured from the Williton North webcam, courtesy of Railcam UK and the WSR (c)


DEPOT NEWS – Major progress was made on the clear-out of the Old Goods Shed last year and the building is now empty and ready for remedial work to begin, when circumstances permit. The photos below show the internal layout of the  building, with the central platform that facilitated transfer of goods from wagons to road vehicles (horse-drawn wagons in those days, of course). The black column seen in these photos is the central pillar of the goods crane that would have been used to assist in the transfer of heavy loads. Thanks to our volunteers and to Matt Brewer from the WSR for getting this major task completed and thanks also to Martin Howard for providing the photos.

Inside the Old Goods Shed at Williton facing north towards the Goods Clerk’s office – the central platform allows road vehicles to approach from the left for easy transfer of goods to and from the railway wagons that would have been on the right (see next photo). The black column is the central pillar from the crane. Photo by Martin Howard (c) CC BY-NC 3.0


Inside the Old Goods Shed at Williton facing south – showing the railway and roadway either side of the central platform. The loading gauge still hangs in position (below the light fitting), to warn the staff against over-height loads on wagons. Photo by Martin Howard (c) CC BY-NC 3.0


Sadly, our depot has had to close again, for all except those tasks that are considered as being both urgent and essential. This weekend, we have a very small team attending to deal with a rainwater leak that is affecting one of our spare part storage containers. The spares for our heritage fleet are precious and irreplaceable, so they must be protected. The short-term fix is to apply a tarpaulin, the longer-term fix will be to replace the container, but that will have to wait until restrictions are lifted.


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