Wednesday, 25 February 2015

‘LOWER DARWEN’ on the Bufferbeam

We have few sightings of 76084 between May 1963 and May 1964. See our Sightings page for our complete record of reported sightings. You will see that 76084 was seen on Saltley, Birmingham (Shed Code 21A) outside Number 3 Engine Shed by Gordon Hopkinson in May 1964 as shown below.

76084’s Record Card has a note that she became the responsibility of Swindon Works in December 1963. At this time Horwich Works was running down its steam locomotive overhaul work and 8F 2-8-0 48756 was the last being despatched after overhaul on 4 May 1964. It seems logical that Swindon became responsible for members of the Standard 4 2-6-0 class since they built 2 Standard classes there but not this one.

Looking at Gordon’s photograph the centre driving wheel has the eccentric re-fitted as if 'in transit’, probably with the connecting rod, piston and cylinder cover stowed in the cab or tender. One possible reason she is on Saltley is that she was on her way to Swindon from Lower Darwen for repair. The huge gap in sightings of 76084 before this sighting suggest something was seriously wrong with her in this period.

Did British Railways management change their mind about Swindon and send 76084 up to Cowlairs instead for the repairs to be carried out?

Cowlairs Works was noted for painting the name of the home shed on a loco’s bufferbeam when it went through the works. Peter Winstanley, a 76084 supporter was puzzled by this on 76084, not being aware that she visited Cowlairs. However, Peter was going through the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society's (RCTS) book ‘Standard Steam Locomotives Volume 5’ recently after some other information when he came across more works visits data not covered in the earlier Volume 2 in the series. 

With regards to 76084 Volume 5 states the following: -

Visit Classification
Works Visited
Arrival Date
Departure Date
Light Intermediate
20 January 1961
17 February 1961
Non Classified
29 September 1962
12 October 1962
Heavy Casual
18 June 1964
9 July 1964
Light Casual
24 May 1965
29 May 1965
Volume 5 corrects any mistakes in Volumes 1 to 4 and details any additional information gathered about the Std Classes since Vols 1 to 4 were published.

So thanks to Peter’s eagle eye we now have a much more comprehensive works visits record for 76084. During her first visit to Cowlairs the front bufferbeam must have been adorned with her home shed 'LOWER DARWEN'. By 76084’s second visit in May 1965 she was a Sutton Oak engine but was only there too short a time receiving only a Light Casual repair to have that Depot's name stencilled onto the bufferbeam. Peter has provided us with a photograph (see previous blog articles) taken in July 1966 with the 'LOWER DARWEN' stencilling still in existence.

We are happy to perpetuate this (and her 3 front steps Overhead Wires warning flashes) on 76084 in preservation.

Thank you, Peter for providing us with previously unknown facts about 76084.

Monday, 16 February 2015

The Full Picture

After the teaser of showing you just the bufferbeams and front steps of the 3 2-6-0 Standard 4's at Sutton Oak I thought you would like to see the BIG picture. 

So here it is:
Taken on 3rd July 1966 with from left to right 41286, 76078, 76084 and 76077. The last two, of course, still exist but in very different stages of restoration.

76084 still carries her 10H Lower Darwen shedcode as well as the text on her bufferbeam some 15 months after transferring to Sutton Oak.

Not one of the locos has their overhead wires warning flashes in the same formation/place!!

Thanks again to Peter Winstanley for providing this stunning image of 76084 and her sisters.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

BR Standards not so Standard

It is really nice to see 76084's class-mate and one-time Shed-mate, 76079 back in action on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. '79 in a previous life (under the ownership of Ian Riley) was mainline certified. She will be part of the NYMR fleet running into Whitby from Pickering. 

Wouldn't it be really nice if both 76079 and 76084 got together on Network Rail metals and double headed a few steam charters?

We can but dream.

When '79 and '84 were shedmates at Sutton Oak Motive Power Depot at St. Helens there were a number of photographs taken of the enhanced population of these BR Standard 2-6-0 4MT locos. A much published image shows 76079 front and proud. Recently, an image with 76084 front and proud has come to light. Taken in early July 1966 it represents the only recorded sighting the 76084 Locomotive Company Limited has on their website for that year. But one thing caught the eye of this viewer.

British Railways built 999 'Standard' locomotives with many parts being interchangable. When it came to protecting locomen from overhead wires warning flashes were placed at eye level on engines to warn of the danger. This was half way through the BR Standard Locomotive's short BR life span.

So here are 3 locomotives of the same class (2-6-0 4MT numbers 76077, 76078 and 76084) at the front of Sutton Oak Shed. There does not seem to be a standard way of placing the Overhead Wire Flashes!! 

Which one is 76084? If you know anything about '84 she stands out quite clearly.

We will share the BIG picture with you shortly.

With thanks to Peter Winstanley for providing another stunning image of 76084.