Bass No.5

Bass No.5 working at Burton-on-Trent

This 0-4-0DM locomotive was fitted with a Gardener 4L3 diesel engine and developed 85 HP @1000 RPM

The loco was designed jointly by Messrs Baguley and Bass & Co., Burton on Trent in 1939.  It was delivered to Bass & Co. in the December and was numbered 5 in the Bass loco fleet.  It was the first diesel shunter the brewery owned and gave good service throughout its working life with Bass & Co., although it was considered too small for the normal shunting and trip work.  It worked for the grain department for most of the time, hauling pumping machinery around the maltings.

It was fitted with a two speed Baguley gearbox and weighed around 15 tons.  The loco originally carried the Company’s famous ‘Turkey Red’ livery lined out with black and straw lining.  However, from 1964 onwards it was painted into a lighter shade of ’Worthington’ blue with red lining.

It had a complete overhaul in Baguley’s works in 1957, all other minor repair work was carried out in Bass’ own workshops.

The loco was sold to the Honourable John Gretton in 1967 when Bass closed its entire railway system and went over to road haulage.  It was moved to the GW society at Didcot on 31st August 1968.  It spent a few years at Didcot before moving to Flying Scotsman Enterprises at Market Overton in Leicestershire where it kept 4472 ‘Flying Scotsman’ and 4079 ‘Pendennis Castle’ company.

Sir William McAlpine had connections with the loco and in March 1975, following another rebuild at Baguley’s works, it was moved to Bill McAlpine’s private railway at Fawley Green in Bucks.  It spent a few years here before moving to Carnforth some time between 1984 and 1987.  It was sold to the Shropshire Collection and moved there in early 1992.  The loco was stored outside at the SLS for 10 years, the bodywork and engine paying a heavy price for being out in the open.  Bass No.5 was sold again in 2001 and moved to the Yeovil Junction site of the Somerset & Dorset Locomotive Co.Ltd. where a start on restoration was made.  The by now heavily stripped loco was purchased by a Chasewater member and moved to the railway on the 21st of that month. 

Restoration started in mid-January 2004 with the complete stripping of the original Gardner 4L3 and replacement of heavily damaged cylinders, etc.  Fortunately, most of the parts for the engine are still available and all the damaged or missing parts have now been replaced and rebuilt and the loco’s engine recommissioned.

Work has also been underway on the body; the loco’s saving grace has been its original over-engineered design, most of the platework is quarter inch plate, so, even when the rust is removed, there is still a lot of steel left!

The loco will be returned to traffic in her 1939 livery of Bass, Ratcliffe and Gretton ‘Turkey Red’ with full lining and polished brasswork as per the original 1958 colour photo.

3 Bass No.5

The pictures show No. 5 working at the Bass Brewery and in restored condition at Chasewater.


One response to “Bass No.5

  1. My granddad drove this train & the other no.5 bass trian.. photos of it in serve are in burton of the two drivers.

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