1962-vintage Beyer-Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 stand together at Williton during a rare break in the rain on Saturday 8th January 2022 while DEPG Chairman Martin Howard (left) and Publicity Officer Mark Bladwell prepare to cut the birthday cake. Photo by Mark Bladwell © CC BY-NC 3.0
Our two Beyer-Peacock ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018 celebrate their 60th anniversaries this month, with D7017 turning 60 on January 8th and D7018 turning 60 on January 18th. Both locos entered service at Bristol Bath Road depot in January 1962, at a time when the depot was still being built around them. D7017 remained a Bristol loco until 1971 when she was reallocated to Old Oak Common (in West London) and D7018 remained at Bristol until 1966 when she moved to Cardiff Canton depot for a short while then back to Bristol until 1972, after which the dwindling fleet was concentrated at Old Oak.
Both locos were part of a small group of four of the originally 101-strong Class that survived in service until March 1975 when they were withdrawn and were sold for scrap. Luckily, four of these fine locos survive today, two with us at Williton plus D7029 with the Diesel Traction Group at the Severn Valley Railway and D7076 with the Bury Hydraulic Group based on the East Lancashire Railway.
The 60th birthday cake pictured in the rain at Williton on Saturday 8th January 2022, in celebration of Beyer-Peacock Class 35 ‘Hymeks’ D7017 and D7018, both of which turn 60 this month. Photo (and cake) by Mark Bladwell © CC BY-NC 3.0
The worksplates on D7017 and D7018 both show their build date as 1961, but it is customary to determine the age of the loco based on it’s first day in revenue-earning service, therefore January 8th, 1962 for D7017 and January 18th, 1962 for D7018.
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.
Class 52 D1010 ‘WESTERN CAMPAIGNER’ – This loco has benefitted from 12 man-days of work since the 1st of January, with significant progress being made with the bodyside repairs. Gordon and Ian F have been busy with the needle gunning, and Leroy and Geoff have been removing pipework and inspecting it to determine if repairs are necessary. Meanwhile, Colin F has been replacing corroded sections with new metal as can be seen from these views below:
D1010 – the skin below the handrails at ‘B’ end had blistered out due to corrosion taking place behind the skin. The blistered sections were cut out and replaced with new steel by Colin F at Williton on Tuesday 4th January 2022. Photo by Leroy Ford © CC BY-NC 3.0
D1010 – the corner skin was removed from ‘B’ end by Colin F at Williton on Sunday 9th January 2022 to allow replacement of the corroded sections. The repairs are being tackled in small sections to ensure that the authentic shape is retained. Photo by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
On completion of the bodywork repairs, the loco will be repainted into the colour scheme that she wore when she first entered service in October 1962, overall maroon with a yellow buffer beam. The loco ran in this livery until March 1963 when the more familiar small yellow warning panel was added and the bufferbeam was changed from yellow to black. D1010 wore this livery again back in 2001, for one season. For more information on liveries, see our booklet ‘D1010 – FROM MEREHEAD TO MINEHEAD‘.
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 ‘Westerns’ and you are not already a member of the DEPG, please join us so that you can become one of the team that is returning D1010 to full operational condition.
Class 33 D6566 (33 048) – this loco worked the ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ services from their start on 19th November right through to the very last day, Friday 31st December, when sister D6575 (33 057) took over to steal the limelight by bringing the last two services of the year into Bishops Lydeard. Here’s a link to a short video clip of the last day of ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ workings, with D6575 (33 057) at the tail end, but in fairness, we need to be grateful to D6566 (33 048) for doing the bulk of the work from November all the way through December !
Class 33 D6575 (33 057) – with 360 litres (80 gallons) of fresh oil running through her engine after maintenance at Williton, this loco worked the ‘WINTERLIGHTS’ services on the very last day, Friday 31st December, allowing sister D6566 (33 048) to head for Williton and a well-earned rest ! D6575 (33 057) is now at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard, in the company of 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ and Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019).
Class 33 ‘Crompton’ D6575 (33 057) is now the duty locomotive and is outstationed at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard in the company of BR-Brush Class 47 47 077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ and at the other end of the lineup, Class 09 shunter D4107 (09 019). Photo taken on 9th January 2022 by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7017 – resting at Williton after celebrating her 60th birthday on 8th January 2022 !
Class 35 ‘Hymek’ D7018 – resting at Williton as she prepares for her 60th birthday on 18th January 2022 !
Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’ D9518 – the detailed work of refitting the pipes and conduits to the frames is now in progress and will consume a lot of man-hours before the next ‘high profile’ events which will be the reinstallation of the major subassemblies (transmission, cooler group, brake frame, cab, electrical console and ultimately, the engine). The photos below shows the ‘rolling chassis’ on number 2 road inside the loco shed at Williton:
D9518’s ‘rolling chassis’ is now positioned on number 2 road inside the DEPG loco shed where Simon and Mike E were pictured working on the re-installation of the many pipes and conduits that are best installed while the major sub-assemblies are out of the way. Photo taken at Williton on Saturday 8th January 2022 by Chris Lawton © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518’s ‘rolling chassis’ is gradually re-acquiring various ancillary items including this fuel filter and priming pump. All parts have to be overhauled and tested prior to being re-installed on the loco. Pictured at Williton on 9th January 2022 by Andy Royal © CC BY-NC 3.0
D9518’s ‘rolling chassis’ gets attention from Nick and Colin F at Williton on 21st December 2021, as they work out the assembly sequence for the many pipes and conduits that need to be reinstalled. Photo by Terry Deacon © CC BY-NC 3.0
All of this progress has been made possible by the efforts of volunteers and the donations of the many ‘Teddy Bear’ supporters who have contributed to the D9518 Restoration Appeal. Thank you all very much !
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 is currently based at the Kent & East Sussex Railway and celebrated her 57th birthday on the 6th January 2022. We have received confirmation that the loco will remain at the K&ESR until May 2022, by which time her older sister D9504 should have completed her heavy overhaul and be returned to traffic. We look forward to seeing D9526 back at Williton in time for the WSR’s 2022 Diesel Gala that takes place from Thursday 9th through Saturday 11th June 2022.
Class 47 47077 ‘NORTH STAR’ – this loco remains stuck at Bishops Lydeard, waiting for instructions for her move to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which is now expected to take place by road later this month. To keep the loco in full working order, an engine run was performed by Ian and Tom on Sunday 9th January so that the engine and other systems could be tested and exercised. Everything went well and the loco remains ready for action.
BR-Brush Class 47 47077 (D1661, 47613, 47840) ‘NORTH STAR’ underwent an engine run at Westridge Shed, Bishops Lydeard on Sunday 9th January 2022. The exhaust plume shows that the Sulzer 12-cylinder twin bank engine was cold at the time that the photo was taken, the exhaust becoming clear a short while afterwards. Photo by Tom Courtney © CC BY-NC 3.0
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH 578 – this loco is now housed within the WSR Restorations ‘Swindon Shed’ where it will receive further attention to its bodywork while under cover. When new in 1972, this loco was based at the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) in Puriton, near Bridgwater, where it worked with its sister loco number 579 hauling wagons from the explosives factory to a junction with the main Bristol to Exeter line (formerly Huntspill Sidings) for onward transit by mainline rail. The locos had to cope with the steep gradient of the bridge over the then-new M5 motorway, just north of the A39 Bridgwater junction (J23).
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DH number 578 (ROF No. 1) or 579 (ROF No. 2) pictured on the bridge over the M5, just north of Bridgwater with a short train of explosives from the Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) at Puriton (which closed in 2008). Photo by Paul Stanford courtesy of the Cornwall Railway Society © CC BY-NC 3.0
The reason to show this photo now is because the disused and overgrown railway branch line is being cleared and relaid so that it can connect with a new industrial development that is being built on the former ROF site. The work is visible when travelling on the M5. If anyone has any further information about this, please let me know so that we can share it in a future roundup. Thanks to Martin Howard for bringing this to our attention!
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 !