Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 hauled the first revenue-earning service of a preserved ex-BR mainline locomotive on the 19th March 1977, only three weeks after the end of the diesel-hydraulic era on BR, and became an absolute magnet for the ‘hydraulic’ fans who filled every available seat. Luckily, the event was captured on Cine film and has just been posted onto the WSR’s new TikTok account. Click here or on the image above to view the video. Image extracted from the video by Bill Gates © CC BY-NC 3.0
Our Beyer Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 continues to grab the headlines, with the recent release of a video that has been created from a cine film taken by Bill Gates way back in 1977, just over 45 years ago. Here follows a narrative that has been provided by D+EG (predecessor of the DEPG) founder member Clive Burrows, that can be used when viewing the ‘silent movie’:
“The video clip shows D7017 on the 19th March 1977 Wirral Railway Society “Quantock Flyer” approaching Dunster from Minehead as the train comes off the two track section onto the single line at Dunster. The camera pans round to show the WSR General Manager, David Butcher, in his Driver’s outfit with a grease topped hat, standing next to the signal box at Dunster. The WSR subsequently moved the entire signal box by rail from Dunster to Minehead, where it is now the Minehead signal box. The line from Dunster to Minehead was then reduced to single track operation, with parts of the second line being used for vehicle storage and most of the line being recovered for use elsewhere on the WSR. Prior to closure in 1971, BR operated the two parallel lines from Dunster to Minehead independently, with no connection between the two lines at Minehead, each line serving one side of the island platform at Minehead.
The video clip then moves to a distant shot of the train in open country before showing the train arriving at Williton. The tour participants are then filmed as D7017 ran around the train at Williton before their departure by road transport. D7017 is then filmed running through Washford Station on its return journey to Minehead.
This was the first passenger service worked by D7017 on the WSR, if you discount some of our “test trains” between Minehead and Dunster. Traction Inspector Eric Webb was the driver and I accompanied him in the secondman’s seat with fingers crossed, knowing we would not be able to restart the engine if it shut down for any reason, due to the poor condition of the batteries!
As mentioned previously (Weekly Roundup 20-Mar-22), we borrowed the batteries from Class 42 ‘Warship’ D821 ‘GREYHOUND’ on the turntable at Swindon and took them to Minehead to ensure D7017 could be started on the day, but D7017 had to run with its own batteries as ‘Greyhound’s’ batteries would not fit into the ‘Hymek’s’ battery boxes. It was the combination of this experience and the challenge of the 19 ton 4 cwt axle load on the ‘A’ end bogie that made me decide the batteries had to be relocated to the boiler compartment. John Hembry subsequently organised the removal of the steam generator using the steam crane at Washford.”
Many thanks to Clive for providing us with this very interesting narrative. It is remarkable to hear that the founder members of the D+EG were able to put D7017 into service with so few resources of any kind at their disposal, and in doing so, ensured the preservation of a diesel when most people were still fully occupied with saving steam engines from Woodham’s yard in Barry.
On Saturday 23rd April, the DEPG EASTER RAFFLE DRAW took place from the cab of Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ in the loco shed at Williton, and the prizes were awarded to the four lucky winners. The raffle, the first to be conducted by the DEPG for as long as anyone can remember, raised £2210 with the net proceeds of £1976 including donations that was then split between the two restoration appeals for D1010 and D9518, therefore making a significant contribution to those funds. THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all who bought a ticket and congratulations to the four lucky winners. Many thanks to DEPG Publicity Officer Mark Bladwell for organising the raffle.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ in grey primer provided the ‘stage’ for the DEPG EASTER RAFFLE DRAW on Saturday 23rd April 2022, with DEPG Chairman Martin Howard picking the winners as DEPG Publicity Officer and raffle organiser Mark Bladwell held the tub of tickets. The draw raised £1136 for the D1010 restoration appeal and £840 for the D9518 restoration appeal. A BIG THANK YOU to all who bought a ticket ! Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ in grey primer livery provides the backdrop for DEPG Publicity Officer and raffle organiser Mark Bladwell who is pictured holding the tub of tickets, just before the draw at Williton on Saturday 23rd April 2022. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Coming up this weekend is the BRISTOL MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION which is being held at Thornbury Leisure Centre from 12:30 on Friday 29th April through to Sunday 1st May 2022. Our intrepid sales team will be manning a stand at the show to raise awareness about the DEPG and our loco fleet – and to persuade visitors to part with some of their hard-earned for the benefit of our locos! Please do go along and support the event if you can !
The WSR’s SPRING STEAM GALA will take place next week from Thursday 5th May through Sunday 8th May. The timetables for this event have now been published and can be accessed by clicking this link to the WSR website. A useful summary of the event has been posted on wsr.org.uk so click this link to that article.
The DEPG’s diesel depot at Williton will be open to the public for all four days of the gala and well-known model railway retailer Rod Saunders will have a sales stand offering a wide range of pre-owned models. If you are planning to attend the event, please allow enough time for a visit to Williton.
Model railway specialist Rod Saunders will have a sales stand at Williton depot again during all four days of the Spring Steam Gala, Thursday 5th through Sunday 8th May 2022. The photo shows the wide range of models that were available during the Mixed Traction Weekend event on 17th September 2021. Photo by Martin Howard © CC BY-NC 3.0
MORE VERY IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY – the WSR’s 2022 DIESEL GALA will take place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022, so keep these dates free and make a plan to attend ! Click this link to the WSR website to view the dates for other WSR events that are planned for 2022. We will be opening our depot to the public on these special event days.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER took a very useful boost from the EASTER RAFFLE last week, and donations and sponsorships continue to arrive in support of the restoration of this much-loved locomotive. Click on the images below for an update of fundraising status or to make a donation:
On Saturday 23rd, Ian F and Chris continued their work on preparing the bodyside for painting. This is a massive task so we applaud their diligence as they gradually move along the loco, sanding, filling, sanding and painting. The results are already clear to see from the previous pictures, the loco gradually losing her faded maroon livery in favour of an all-over (temporary) coating of grey primer. Well done guys !
Major progress was made on the Voith L630rV transmission last Saturday as we welcomed Paul Koch and Andy Venn to Williton to continue their work on the disassembly of the turbine rail. The following photos tell the story:
D1010 – the turbine rail from the ‘B’ transmission was subjected to further dismantling at Williton on Saturday 23rd April 2022. The picture shows DEPG member and transmission expert Andy Venn alongside the assembly which has been stood on its end to allow the two parts of the cast steel housing to be separated. The first stage (first or bottom gear) torque converter fluid port can be seen resting on the wood block, above which is the third stage (third gear) fluid port. The second stage (second gear) section has already been removed. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – looking down into the housing of the second stage turbine before separating the housing to reveal the third stage, the debris from the failed bearing can be seen all over the surface, especially towards the right hand side of the picture. This debris has to be carefully removed before the assembly can be fitted back together with new bearings (and new labyrinth seals where appropriate). Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – with another large cast steel section removed, the third stage (third or top gear) torque converter has now been exposed in the background. Other than the expected debris around the bearings and seals caused by the failure of bearing 3-152, the rest of this assembly appears to be as expected, which is good news for the restoration programme. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – after a struggle with some very tight bolts, the third stage turbine runner appears to be ready to be lifted off in the careful hands of Paul Koch (left) and Andy Venn (right), but the runner did not want to separate so it will be tackled again in the near future. At this point along the turbine rail, there are three concentric shafts rotating at two different speeds – the centre shaft is missing in this view, but of the two radially-toothed surfaces (Hirth joints), the smaller diameter is the input that rotates according to engine speed and the larger diameter is the output that rotates according to the road speed. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
To support the work that is progressing in multiple areas on D1010, we launched our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER by offering ‘SPONSOR A PATCH’ where you can donate in support of the bodywork repairs that are taking place on D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ and HAVE YOUR NAME ENGRAVED ON THE SPONSORED PATCH or PART.
For the sum of £25, this scheme offers you a chance to sponsor the restoration of this much-loved locomotive, with your personal contribution being recorded and documented on a set of drawings that will be made available at our Williton depot on running days and open days. For those who prefer to remain anonymous, a unique reference number will be allocated and engraved instead.
See our CAMPAIGN for CAMPAIGNER web page for more details !
NOTE: EVERYONE WHO HAS ALREADY DONATED £25 OR MORE SINCE JULY 2021 WILL BE RECOGNISED and will be allocated an appropriate area on one of the patches or parts that have already been applied to the loco. Donations of smaller sums that accumulate to £25 are also eligible, so donate what you can when you can, and we will keep track of your total donations. Use our CONTACT FORM if you want to register your previous donations to D1010 for this campaign.
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco is based at Bishops Lydeard and is available to the WSR for contract work or ‘Thunderbird’ work as required. We understand that one of the ‘Cromptons’ will be rostered for some of the diesel turns under the blue timetable in May, and we will send out a DIESELGEN bulletin when the rosters have been finalised.
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – this loco is the WSR duty loco and is currently based at Bishops Lydeard. Last Sunday 24th April, the ‘QUANTOCK BELLE’ dining train was in use and was steam hauled, so the 1230 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and return was rostered for diesel haulage, and D6575 was back in action. On the return leg, the former Southern Region ‘Parcels and Miscellaneous Van’ (PMV) was attached so that it could be taken to Bishops Lydeard and used for a photographic charter that ran on Monday 25th April.
BRCW Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) worked the 1230 Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and return on Sunday 24th April 2022 and was pictured at Williton on the return leg with ex-SR ‘PMV’ in the consist. The recently-restored ‘PMV’ was moving to Bishops Lydeard so that it could participate in a photographic charter the following day. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – this loco is now receiving attention for a fairly short list of tasks that need to be dealt with before she can be returned to service. One task that was completed last Monday was the repainting of the bogies after all of the work that took place in March. The plan is to get the loco into a presentable external condition in time for the Diesel Gala that takes place between 9th and 11th June.
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 was pictured at Williton on Monday 18th April 2022 after receiving a coat of black paint to tidy up her bogies after the spring replacement work. Photo by Graham Perry © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 now has a complete new set of helical springs, so her old springs are available for sale to collectors of such parts. It is important to note that these parts saw service with BR in the 1970s and have been supporting the loco throughout her 47 years in preservation. Send an email to email@example.com if you are interested in acquring one or more of these sets of springs. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017’s old elliptical springs are also available for sale to collectors of such parts. It is important to note that one of these parts saw service with BR in the 1970s and has been supporting the loco throughout her 47 years in preservation. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in acquring one or more of these sets of springs. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – no change this week.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – after the major move-around of the previous weekend, work has continued on refitting of parts to the frames. The trim panels that are used to dress each corner of the loco were refitted on Tuesday 15th April, and preparations were made to reinstall the generator, to be followed by the brake frame.
D9518 – the Paxman 6YJXL 650 hp (485 kW) V6 diesel engine that last worked in D9526 awaits a strip down for a full overhaul before being installed in sister loco D9518. Pictured at Williton on Tuesday 19th April 2022 by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
This loco is the subject of a fundraising appeal so please follow this link to find out more. We need your help ! In addition to funds, we also need plenty of HANDS. If you love the ‘Teddy Bears’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is going to return D9518 to full operational condition as ‘NCB No. 7‘.
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9526 – this loco continues to be in regular use on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. By agreement between the DEPG and the K&ESR, this loco will now be staying at the K&ESR for the rest of this year to cover for sister loco D9504 which is undergoing a heavy overhaul.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco is currently stabled at Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, and we are waiting for news about her moving to Grosmont to enter the loco works for completion of some overhaul tasks. The loco is expected to be readied for entering service in the summer of this year.
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – no change this week.
Continuing her visit to Williton is Bishops Lydeard-based Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019) which is with us for battery replacement and electrical testing. The loco has had the old batteries removed and the battery compartments cleaned up, along with inspection and maintenance of her main generator. The new batteries are due for delivery this week and the loco will be dispatched back to Bishops Lydeard next week. Meanwhile, it is a pleasure having this loco adorning our yard.
Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019) was pictured at Williton on Sunday 24th April 2022 with newly-painted battery boxes, ready to receive her new batteries later this week. Photo by Ian Robins © CC BY-NC 3.0
Can you help by donating your time ? If yes, please JOIN US and come along to the depot for an introduction to what we do and how we do it. We currently have people on site from Saturday through to Tuesday and we can open on other days if we can be sure of getting at least two volunteers on site at all times, so there is plenty of scope. We have tasks of all types to suit most capabilities, both skilled and unskilled.
Many thanks to all of our volunteers who give up so much of their time to work on the cleaning, painting, maintaining, restoring, managing and fund raising for our fleet of heritage locomotives !
BOOK REVIEW – last week, we provided a book review by volunteer Jon Tooke that was prompted by the loco pictured on the cover of that book, D1024 ‘WESTERN HUNTSMAN’, which showed similar damage to that which affected D1010 before repair at Swindon in 1972. Jon has now unearthed another book, ‘FAREWELL TO THE WESTERNS’ dated 1975 that shows several other ‘Westerns’ with similar damage. We are curious to learn how such damage occurred and we would very much like to hear from someone who might have first hand knowledge of what happened to D1010 because it will help us to complete our D1010 timeline. Can you help ?
Here’s Jon’s book review:
“This week to keep the subject going, I have delved deep into the shelves in the library of the South wing at JT towers and come up with this gem:
‘FAREWELL TO THE WESTERNS’ – ISBN0715370693 – published in 1975.
A hard back book measuring approx. 8″x 8″ crammed full of black and white pictures of ‘Westerns’ at work, mainly in the South Western area of the BR Western Region.
Edited by Geoffrey Kitchenside, this David & Charles publication rightly contains pictures of Newton Abbot station and the well-known signal gantry outside their offices.
Starting off with the up Bristol-Paddington working seen near Box Tunnel with one of the ‘Westerns’ with the experimental circular ‘navy style’ windscreen wipers. Further down the line we see action at Aller Junction, with other trains on Dainton Bank as their journey takes them to Plymouth and onwards to such places as Par, Burngullow and Penzance in Cornwall.
Diverging down the branch from Aller Junction, a rare shot taken as the gas works sidings at Paignton is passed by D1048 ‘WESTERN LADY’ on her way to Kingswear with the down ‘Torbay Express’ in 1963.
London areas and the home counties are well represented in this volume, but we also pop up to Birmingham for a couple of shots of New Street station and Saint Andrews junction.
Unusually, not all the pictures are of ‘Westerns’ on sunny days! There are some of ‘Westerns’ in wintry settings too. All the pictures are extremely crisp and clear and are printed on a gloss paper. The 72 pages of this fine book are well worth a look.”
Many thanks to Jon for this book review and for continuing the search for answers to the question about the bodyside damage. Can you help us find the answer ?
ON SHED – this week, although not ‘on shed’ but staying with the theme of ‘Westerns’ with bodyside damage, Jon has provided us with photos of photos from the above book that show two other locos carrying similar wounds. These photos are reproduced with appropriate credit to the photographers and DAVID & CHARLES, the publisher of ‘FAREWELL TO THE WESTERNS’.
This photograph is copied from ‘FAREWELL TO THE WESTERNS’ and shows D1018 ‘WESTERN BUCCANEER’ at Plymouth, after receiving a side swipe that has resulted in loss of her nameplate and left a deep gouge at the deckplate level, similar (but more severe) than the damage inflicted on D1010 in 1972. D1018 carries the dubious honour of being the first of the class to be cut up, having worked for only 10 years and 2 months. Photo by C. Plant © CC BY-NC 3.0
This photograph is copied from ‘FAREWELL TO THE WESTERNS’ and shows D1031 ‘WESTERN RIFLEMAN’ at Frome, after suffering a side swipe that has left her with a gouge below her nameplate. It is curious that so many locomotives suffered damage in this way. Perhaps the long length and generous cross-section of the locos made them more prone to contact with out-of-gauge freight loads ? Photo by K. Connelly © CC BY-NC 3.0
DEPG NEWS – the DEPG Board met at Williton last Saturday 23rd April and covered a packed agenda that included the outline plans for the 50th anniversary of the DEPG as a preservation organisation on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd September 2023, which will also be the 50th anniversary of the ‘Hymek Swansong’ railtour. We will be producing a synopsis of the meeting and will be emailing it to all members for whom we have a valid email address ASAP.
Keep that weekend free so that you can participate in what will be a major event in the history of the DEPG !
WSR NEWS: the next event will be the ‘SPRING STEAM GALA’ that takes place from Thursday 5th through Sunday 8th May when the DEPG facility at Williton will be open to the public. Please make a plan to come along if you can, and have a tour of the depot. Timetables for this gala are now available by clicking this link to the WSR website.
Last Friday, a meeting of the PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT GROUP (PDG) took place at which the DEPG was represented by our Chairman, Martin Howard, so we look forward to being able to share a synopsis of that meeting shortly.