Monthly Archives: October 2010

Museum Latest

Today, 31-10-2010, we have taken on loan some quite exceptional railway items.  They are models made entirely from matchsticks, even the display cases.

In addition to the models loaned to our museum, the owner has other models which we may also loan at some future date.  To give some indication of the work involved, there is a model of the ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ which is 48 inches long and contains 35,000 matches!

The models at Chasewater Railway Museum are:Bass No.9 loco and coachJinty No.47383And, finally, a coal wagon.

At virtually the same time, another of our loan exhibits, the ‘Princess Royal’ Class steam model left us briefly for Dave to work his magic with his paint brushes.  This loco will also be on display during the ‘Santa Specials’  month.

With these models on display in the museum and the Meccano display in the Heritage Centre, December shouold be quite a month!And, don’t forget – Santa will be here too!

Halloween comes to Chasewater Railway

Welcome to Halloween at Chasewater Railway, Staffordshire.

The Chasewater Railway Junior Team put together a first-class evening’s happenings in Chasewater’s Brownhills West station and on the train.Lynda and co. did their usual excellent job with the buffet.

The youngsters put an awful lot of hard work in to making the evening a great success.

After the train ride, there was a spooky story told in one of the wagons by a very spooky story-teller!  Congratulations to Mitch for his very vivid imagination!

The Halloween Secial waiting for the off.Bryan’s never looked so good – and the same could be said for other staff members – well done to everyone!!

If you missed this year’s event, please make a note to come next year – the Junior Team are already thinking of new ideas to make it even more creepy!

Chasewater Railway Bits & Pieces 55

The follow-on to the previous post.

Everything out of Hednesford

From the Mercian August 1970

Secretary’s Report

They said it couldn’t be done – but it was!!!  Done by sheer hard slogging and the aid of a clapped out tractor.

Little did I think that the Cadbury van and the two open wagons at Hednesford would not be moved by road and that what I jokingly referred to last time would in fact become a reality.  It was!!  Six – yes six – of us spent two nights digging the sunken track and point out of a couple of feet of hard mud and rubble so that we could hand-shunt the wagons off the siding and onto the main section where we could couple them up to the passenger stock for removal by rail.

Deadline was Thursday evening so we had only three nights to organise the job.  It took the whole of Tuesday and part of Wednesday to dig the track out and we managed to move one of the wagons along to the point ready for transhipment.  However it stuck fast and all our efforts failed to make any impression on it.  This did not auger well for the other wagon and the van and we were almost on the point of giving it up as a bad job.

Then we spotted the tractor and after making a few quick calls we discovered that it belonged to the President, albeit he thought it was out of action with some parts missing.  A quick tickle up by the Treasurer soon proved him wrong and all was set.  We found a length of hawser and soon had the first wagon over the point.  Our troubles were solved you might think but unfortunately they were not.  There was no rail beyond the point and the wagon had to be towed onto the semi-hard ground of the yard.  The point (stub type) would not budge so the next problem was how to line up the wheels for the correct road.  This we did by towing the wagon back onto the point and then jacking up one end clear of the rail.  The jack was then knocked away sideways so as to throw the wheel flanges onto the right side of the line.  After much trial and error we managed the first one and it was coupled up to the passenger stock.  The second wagon followed similarly and by this time it was getting dusk.  We held a council of war and decided that unless the van was moved then it would have to remain at Hednesford for ever.  Out came the hurricane lamps and we trundled the van down to the points.  By this time there was quite a groove in the yard surface and the van soon found the level.  We jacked her up and with some pushing and heaving and a tug from the tractor we managed to move her into the right line where she joined the rest of the stock at about 10.30pm.

How stupid – possibly this is your first thought – can some members be? But let me say right here and now that if it wasn’t for such stalwarts and in particular those six who struggled so gamely to do a very important job, the Society would be highly successful resting on the laurels and efforts of its armchair and featherbed members.

I DON’T THINK

Those three vehicles are now at Chasewater thanks to the six, but had it been left to our non-regulars then they would have rotted away at Hednesford.  Members should be thankful that we have a solid core of stalwarts who do care about the future and who will do something about it.

Stirring it up am I – you’re damn right I am.  Where were YOU when we ran our most successful steam weekend to date?  I refer to the 27th/28th June when we were operating a small service and an exhibition as part of the Aldridge/Brownhills Festival of Sport.

I understand from the Social Organiser that he sent 10/- worth (50p) of Draw tickets and appeals for help on the days of the Festival to all members living within a 20 – 25 mile radius of the site in an effort to boost the funds.  Needless to say the response – altogether not unexpected – was NIL.  A few members did manage to sell some tickets and the surprising fact was that most of these were members whose subs were due, and not paid-up members – to me a disgusting state of affairs.

We have about 120 members scattered about the country and I am fully aware that it is not possible for all of you to attend on site due to distance away.  We have certain members who regularly donate £5 – £50 when we need to raise money urgently, we have a member who purchased one of our locos for us.  I am not getting at these members or the faithful band that turn out regularly each weekend.

I am getting at the shower – there is no other word for them – who think we can run on their subs alone.  Like other Societies I think that we can manage without this type of member even if we only have 20 members who care enough to pull their weight when we need them to.

Reverting to the weekend, the weather marred the Saturday operations, however it was all systems go on the Sunday when, had we had about another 20 members available we could have made a very fat profit form the Draw from ticket touting among the crowd which packed the Park.

I have said it many times before and I will say it again, we MUST have more help when we run these steam weekends.  The next Open Day will be Sunday August 30th.  Make a note of it NOW!

We need quite a few hands between now and then for track repairs, stock repairs and restoration and a host of other jobs too numerous to mention.  Every Sunday afternoon from 2.00pm whatever the weather we can find plenty to do, so may we see you on site fully prepared to do a little hard work.

It is a pity that every time I prepare this report all I seem to do is belay a large number of members who are close enough to the site to be able to make at least two or three visits a month.

What a change it will be when the day arrives that I can report that the turnout on working parties each week has been 30 members and that they have now completely relaid the trackwork, the three coaches are fully restored and operational, three steam locos are available and a service will be operated each weekend.

There is no reason why this should not be so if members will rid themselves of their apathy.

Hon Sec. A.A.Chatfield

 

Now a follow-up from the General Manager’s stock news

Chasewater News

Apart from the usual lack of manpower things have been happening on site this past three or four weeks in preparation for the Festival Weekend and other events.

In the last issue I summarised the various jobs to be done and this met with a fair response so I will repeat it again this month.

Asbestos

I am pleased to report that she is now fully operational and was successfully steamed on June 20th on the occasion of the visit paid by the L.C.G.B  Under the able hands of Mike Lewis she was again performing for the Festival Weekend and proved quite an attraction.

Barclay

The boiler inspector’s report has now been received and he has condemned her boiler.  This means we shall have to either order a new one, which at this stage is financially out of the question, or we may be able to buy a reasonable second-hand one from one of three or four of the same class which are known to be still operational.  To help defray the cost we propose to sell the old boiler as scrap.  In the meantime the loco will be put back together as a static exhibit.

Neilson


Work will now be put in hand to strip this loco down for a boiler inspection.  We understand that the boiler is in good condition and that we should be able to get the loco operational by next summer providing we have enough man-power to work on her.  Mike Lewis will again be dealing with the job and he will need some assistance.  Any offers?

 

Hudswell and Lance

These will be kept oiled and painted until after the work on the Neilson has been done.  Again, any offers?

 

Cannock Wood

I am pleased to report that this is now safely at Chasewater having been delivered on June 26th.  It is unlikely that she will run in the foreseeable future as a new boiler will be needed if reports which we have are correct.  Work will therefore be confined to a thorough repaint and general restoration as a static exhibit.  This should keep a couple of members fully occupied for the next few months, so may I have some volunteers?

 

Diesel No.1

This is still out of commission, have we any members who are knowledgeable enough to work on her, please?

Diesels 20/21

Pic – Ross Lockley

These are both running now and are in need of a repaint.  I hope to make one or the other available fro this purpose during the next month or so.  It should not take too long to refurbish the paintwork on both of them and if any members would like to help then please contact the Secretary on site.  He will be supervising this part of the work.

 

Petrol No.1

Through the efforts of Arthur Chatfield who did the bulk of the restoration work on this loco, it was just about ready for display at Messrs. Dorman’s Ltd. exhibition in Stafford from June 22nd to July 4th.  I am grateful to hi, for the hard work he put in on this project and for the assistance that he received from the Chairman.  The loco proved to be quite an attraction at Dorman’s and I am sure we may receive some benefit from the resulting publicity.

 

Other Rolling Stock

Apart from the stock already on site you will have read in this issue that the two open wagons and the Cadbury van have now been delivered to Chasewater.  These have also bee joined by the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the LNWR Brake bogie van.  The ‘Paddy’ coach and the TPO coach are due in the very near future and also the GER six-wheeler.   This will only leave the Royal Saloon, and the Committee have agreed in principle, subject to various safeguards, that this vehicle should be placed on loan to the Midland Railway Project Group at Derby.  Should the Group decline then arrangements will be made to transfer it to Chasewater.

From this you will note that all our assets will be at one site and there is a lot of work to be done on them.  John Elsley has already offered to repair the roof on the Maryport & Carlisle and to do other jobs on it so that it may be available for the Bank Holiday weekend.  A start has been made by Bob Ives and Phil Dunning on repainting one of the open wagons.  There is plenty of other work to do particularly reproofing jobs and if John Elsley can have two more members to assist him he is prepared to tackle the GWR Brake, the LNWR Brake and the SECR Brake roofs, so that they may be watertight before the winter sets in.

Another top priority will be the laying of the other siding in the compound so that all the stock may be put under lock and key.  It is imperative that this work should be completed as quickly as possible and as many hands as possible will be needed.  I should like to see this job done before the middle of August and if we can get a real good turnout we should be able to meet this deadline.  Is it too much to ask, in spite of the holiday period?

Well that’s about the size of it.  There is plenty to do and enough to keep 50 members fully occupied between now and the end of the year.  We can find plenty of tools and materials to do these jobs – what we also need are the hands to do them!

You have read what six members can achieve when pushed hard, please try and think what 30 regulars could do at a more leisurely pace if I could persuade them to turn up on site each Sunday afternoon for the next two or three months.

Won’t you give it a try?

A. Holden, General Manager, Chasewater Site.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 54

Time to catch up a bit!

Secretary’s Report from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

It seems that my forecast for the movement of the smaller items of stock from Hednesford to Chasewater was way off the beam.  Let me hasten to add that several snags cropped up which had to be examined with regard to the transport.

Those of you who are familiar with the layout of the yard at Hednesford will know that there is an acute angle bend to be negotiated by any road vehicle which is delivering to or conveying from the yard any bulky items.  This unfortunately precludes all but the smallest type of low-loader, and the one that we had lined up for moving the four wheelers would not go round the corner.

We have, through the good offices of our President, made another approach to a different operator and we hope that he has a vehicle which can do the job.  If this fails then we shall have to dig out the point to the spur upon which the wagons are standing, this having sunk into the thick mud, so that we can shunt the wagons onto the main siding for removal by rail with the other stock.  The Coal Board have informed us that they will move the stock up to Cannock Wood Colliery yard either the first or second week of May and we now await clearance from British Rail that the stock is fit to run over the line to the Colliery which is their property.  Once the stock is at the Colliery yard it will be put under lock and key in the compound and the smaller items, such as the six-wheelers, E1, and, if necessary the four-wheelers will be shipped from there to Chasewater by road as there are better loading facilities at the Colliery yard to manoeuvre a big low-loader.

I sincerely hope that my forecast that most of the smaller stock will be at Chasewater by the time you either read this or receive the next edition will in fact be true for we shall require some of it for use at the Festival of Sport and also for the late Bank Holiday in August.

To impress upon you the need for better turnouts at working parties, you will find included in this issue (following) a run down on the various items of rolling stock and brief details of work which urgently needs to be either started and carried through, or which has already been started and which needs completing.

It is an impossible task for the present working parties to cope with the amount of work available, and I plead to all members with cars to try and get along to the site prepared to put in at least a couple of hours graft.  The weather seems to be picking up so we must pray for plenty of sunshine as we rely on this due to the present lack of covered space where we can operate if it rains.  May I count on your help over the next few Saturdays and Sundays???

May I, before closing this report, welcome on your behalf our newly co-opted Social Organiser, Gordon Loach.  Gordon has had many years experience in running carnivals, garden parties and other such fund raisers, and with the help of his good lady Mrs. Loach and, we hope, a ladies committee, he will be able to bring a bit of social life to the society which is lacking at the present.

Hon. Sec. A.A.Chatfield

Rolling Stock Report (as promised)

Chasewater Site

The following schedule of commitments refers only to the present stock on site; these will be greatly enhanced when certain other stock has been safely delivered from Hednesford.  We have a tight schedule to keep if we are going to provide a steam operated line this year and it is imperative that we get under way as soon as possible.

Asbestos

Boiler lagging and fittings have been removed and all applicable joints packed for a hydraulic test.  The initial inspection has been carried out by the boiler inspector who has okayed the boiler as fit, subject to some plugs being replaced and another test run before he issues the certificate.

The boiler barrel and underside of the tank are being red-leaded and painted.  Work is under the supervision of Mike Lewis who will need another two reliable assistants as soon as possible.  Work on lowering the tank, etc. will be done as soon as the boiler inspector has finished his tests.

Barclay – Colin McAndrew

This has been completely dismantled in preparation for repairs to the firebox stays by an outside contractor.  All the old tubes have also been withdrawn and will be replaced when the other repairs are done.  A lot of work will then be required to put the loco together ready for the boiler tests and final restoration including painting.  Mike Lewis is again supervising and needs two more assistants.

Neilson, Hudswell & Lance

Work on these three will have to be confined to oiling, greasing and generally touching up of paintwork, etc. until work has been satisfactorily done on the other two locos.  Volunteers are required for this.

Diesel No.1

This is at present out of commission with gear and clutch trouble.  Have we any reliable members who have knowledge of the workings of diesels and who could take this loco in hand?  Our regular fitters are already taxed to the limit with the other diesels.

Diesels Nos. 20/21

Minor repairs to the injectors and other routine work is well in hand on these two.  Both are due for a complete repaint and again volunteers conversant with the trade are asked to come forward.  Arthur Chatfield would be pleased to hear from you.

Petrol No.1

Cleaning down work is now well in hand.  This loco has to be ready for exhibition at Dorman’s Ltd., Stafford for week commencing June 22nd.  This leaves very little time for the two regulars seconded to the job.  More help is needed here; again, volunteers are required most urgently.

Other Rolling Stock

This has been lumped together because the variety of jobs required on most of the vehicles is almost identical.  Two of the coaches are sheeted over due to leaking roofs, anybody care to take on the job of re-felting them?  It will need at least two people.  There are also a considerable number of loose or cracked panels which need attention before they are painted in undercoat.  The running board on the Great Western brake needs repairing and re-bolting and of course a real good start on painting the interiors of the passenger stock would not be amiss.  There is enough work to allocate at least three people to each item of stock or a gang of five regulars tackling each item in order of urgency.  We cannot spare this number from the present compliment; we need more of you on site to help us do this vital work.

It may also be stated that there is a lot of work to be done to the Trackwork and again more help is needed.

No offer of assistance will be refused – this cannot be afforded.

A. Holden – General Manager, Chasewater Site.

Lest We Forget

Remember them

Brownhills – A Bit More from the Fifties

Vicarage Road, Brownhills (Pic  – Jean Hucker)

It is fifty years ago this month since I left Brownhills – where did that go?  I used to live in the house behind Ken Williams and Henry Taylor.  This month is also special because on the 26th, my father would have been 100 years old.

In my previous Brownhills post I had got down Church Hill as far as the rear entrance to some of the High Street shops, including my Grandma’s.  Just down the road on the opposite side stands the Shoulder of Mutton public house, still with Mr. Roberts’ window.

The Shoulder of Mutton

Roberts’ window with the trade mark steam locomotive in the centre

Moving to the bottom of the road, Gordon Roberts had his barber’s shop.Not the hairdressers as it is now but Gordon’s barber’s was where Cresswells is now.  He was a very good barber but he took his time!  If there were more than two in front of you , it would be at least an hour before you got out!

Turning left along High Street towards Brickiln Street (it was hard spelling it that way!) the next picture that I have is of the shops which had their rear entrance in Church Hill.  From the left, the MEB showroom, Tisdale’s fish shop, Smiths fireplaces, Flossie Rogers’ greengrocers and Bradbury’s.Pic from ‘Memories of Brownhills Past’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

Down High Street and across the road was Cyril Kingston’s shoe shop.It is now a Solicitor’s office, but the white door on the right of the green framed window hides what used to be the only sports goods display in Brownhills.  The best shop window in the town! In those days football shorts were only available in white, blue or black – but then, one day I saw them, a red pair of football shorts.  It wasn’t long before I had them and was getting them covered in mud over the batters!

Opposite was Daft’s fish and chip shop, Jones’ the Jewellers, later Lotes and Joes.Phonetalk was Daft’s, then the Jewellers then Joe’s

To end this post, a walk over the bridge to the entrance to the park.The Library car park is to the right, the site of public conveniences in those pre-vandal days!  I’m sure that the bank on the left was much steeper when I were a lad.  I remember once a glider, a full size one, landed on the parade, coming to rest just short of the top of the bank.  (It couldn’t happen now with my ‘favourite’ trees in the way!)

Chasewater Railway – Sunday Running Until Santa Specials

Clocks going back!

From October 31st to November 28th inclusive, Chasewater Railway will be running trains hourly from 11.00am till 3.00pm.  They will be hauled by the Class 08 diesel loco D3429.

After that – the Santa Specials!

Churnet Valley & Moorland City Railways

NATIONAL PRESERVATION FORUM SPECIAL Saturday 13th November 2010

The special will depart from Froghall station at 19:15. The train will be 12 coaches (approx 450 ton train!) and hauled by 8F No. 48624 and banked by 5MT No. 42968 for the run up the 8 miles of 1 in 40 – 1 in 59 gradients to Cauldon Lowe.Pic – Tony Fletcher CVR

The train will run non stop from Froghall – Cauldon and the same from Cauldon – Froghall. The train will arrive back at Froghall at 21:12.

There will be a train leaving Froghall at 21:30 to allow passengers to travel back to Cheddleton if that is where they started their day from.

There will be food and drink available at Froghall until the special leaves at 19:15, there will also be plenty of beer and nibbles on the train.

The prices for the special are;

£10 on the night for the special only
£5 extra if you have a day rover ticket.
Free if you have a weekend rover ticket.

Tickets will be available via an online ordering system that is due to be launched on the 1st September 2010 and will also be available on the day.

More specific details of all the plans and special services being operated will be made available as soon as they are confirmed.

A Gradient Profile for Leekbrook Junction – Cauldon Lowe extension
http://railways.national-preservation.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1599&d=1281960894

The website is http://www.mcrailways.co.uk/
And you can book tickets at
http://www.mcrailways.co.uk/events/cauldon-lowe-branch-line-gala-re-opening/online-booking/?mcrailways=805d21782c8e50d3656be78dd5994c75

The link to the forum discussion is
http://railways.national-preservation.com/showthread.php/25357-Churnet-Valley-Railway-amp-Moorland-amp-City-Railways-Cauldon-Lowe-Branch-re-opening-Gala

Highley Station Severn Valley Railway, Engine LMS 42968 Built 1933

© Copyright Beryl Allcoat and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.

 

 

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – GWR 4-4-0 Tender Engines – Part 3

From the ‘Mercian’ – January 1970

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era

The Great Western Railway 4-4-0 Tender Locos. Part 3

By Casey Jones

The final chapter in the life of the Bulldogs was not complete, for in 1929 the frames of number 3365 were used with the boiler of Duke class number 3265 to form another variation.  The resulting locomotive retained the Duke class number and name, and formed the prototype of a class numbered 9000 – 28 although it was never renumbered with them, but remained with the Duke class until withdrawn.

Numbering (information from Wikipedia)

NB: In the table below, names in parentheses were allocated but never actually carried.

Numbers Rebuilt from Name
3265 / 9065 3265 & 3365 Tre Pol and Pen
3200 / 9000 3288 & 3422 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
3201 / 9001 3263 & 3412 Earl of Dunraven
3202 / 9002 3286 & 3416 Earl of Dudley
3203 / 9003 3275 & 3424 Earl Cawdor
3204 / 9004 3271 & 3439 Earl of Dartmouth
3205 / 9005 3255 & 3413 Earl of Devon
3206 / 9006 3267 & 3428 Earl of Plymouth
3207 / 9007 3274 & 3410 Earl of St. Germans
3208 / 9008 3285 & 3403 Earl Bathurst
3209 / 9009 3277 & 3392 Earl of Radnor
3210 / 9010 3269 & 3402 Earl Cairns
3211 / 9011 3281 & 3415 Earl of Ducie
3212 / 9012 3261 & 3405 Earl of Eldon
3213 / 9013 3257 & 3374 (Earl of Powis)
3214 / 9014 3252 & 3434 (Earl Waldegrave)
3215 / 9015 3262 & 3420 (Earl of Clancarty)
3216 / 9016 3282 & 3404 (Earl St Aldwyn)
3217 / 9017 3258 & 3425 (Earl of Berkeley)
3218 / 9018 3266 & 3380 (Earl of Birkenhead)
3219 / 9019 3260 & 3427 (Earl of Shaftesbury)
3220 / 9020 3279 & 3414
3221 / 9021 3259 & 3411
3222 / 9022 3278 & 3436
3223 / 9023 3253 & 3423
3224 / 9024 3290 & 3409
3225 / 9025 3268 & 3437
3226 / 9026 3270 & 3390
3227 / 9027 3280 & 3433
3228 / 9028 3256 & 3429

In some cases the ‘Duke’ names were retained but they were soon removed.  One reason put forward for the building, if that is the right word, of these locomotives, was that there was a drastic shortage of suitable motive power for use on the Cambrian section of the system.  One of the musts so far as motive power on this section is concerned is that the axle loading must be exceedingly light.Dukedog – Earl of Berkeley

Unfortunately the Company had nothing suitable in the way of an alternative and rather than going to the expense of a completely new design they cast around for a suitable alternative amongst their available stock which could be modernised as a stop-gap at a reduced cost and at the same time use up stocks of parts which would otherwise be put on the scrap heap.  Thus it came about that the best parts of the two classes mentioned were used as both types had been used on the Cambrian section.

Consequently most of the class spent their entire life working from Oswestry, Aberystwyth and Machynlleth depots.

The work of the class has been fully documented over the years by the railway photographers who flocked to see these antiquated looking machines at work, and through the good offices of a Birmingham enthusiast it is now possible to see one restored to full working order at the premises of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society.

Withdrawal dates were between 1948 and 1961.

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – GWR 4-4-0 Tender Engines – 2

From the ‘Mercian’ – November 1969

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era

The Great Western Railway 4-4-0 Tender Locos. Part 2

By Casey Jones

The first part of this article dealt with the express passenger types, in this second part, a look is taken at the mixed traffic types.  These comprised two distinct classes, the Dukes and the Bulldogs.

Originally intended for the steeply graded Exeter to Penzance section, both types became pretty well scattered throughout the system.  When new, the two classes were added to stock in sequence, irrespective of type and naturally this caused a certain amount of confusion which was finally sorted out in the 1912 renumbering scheme.  Further confusion was also caused by the fact that on visits to works for overhaul, boilers and frames of both types had been freely interchanged, giving rise to some proper hybrids.  The Dukes were originally numbered 3252 – 91 and the Bulldogs 3312 – 72, 3413 – 5/6 – 32/43 – 72/3701 – 45.

Dealing with the Dukes first.

Dimensions were:

Cylinders 18” x 26”,  Driving wheels  5’ 8”,  Pressure 160 lbs,

Grate area 19 sq ft,  Total heating surface 1400 sq ft.

GWR 4-4-0 Duke class No 3276 ‘St. Agnes’ and an unidentified 0-6-0PT ghosts through station returning to Leamington. Number 3252 was built at Swindon in March 1897 and lasted in service until November 1949 before it was withdrawn from Shrewsbury shed before it could bear its BR allocated running number 9076. C1937

http://www.warwickshirerailways.com

The outside framing was gracefully curved over the outside  cranks, the nameplates affixed to the side of the boiler, which was a large domed parallel one similar to that carried by the 2301 class 0-6-0goods engines.  The first fifteen had flush round topped fireboxes, the extended smokebox being of the built up type with an early type of spark arrester inside.  Belpaire fireboxes were fitted from 1901, superheaters from 1911 and the nameplates recast and fitted in the more conventional position over the wheel splasher.  Final dimensions were pressure 180 lbs, total heating surface 1224.2 sq ft, grate 17 sq ft, weight  47 tons with cylinders and driving wheels as before.

Building dates were:  3252 – 60 in 1895,  3261 – 9 in 1896,

3270 – 80 in 1897 and 3281 – 91 in 1899.

Because of their light axle loading the class had a wide range all over the system, particularly where there were fairly heavy gradients.  In later years many found their way onto the old Cambrian section and here many survivors spent their declining years being stationed at Oswestry and Machynlleth depots.  In 1946 those still left in traffic had their numbers increased by 90xx, that is 3254 became 9054.

In spite of their rather antiquated appearance the locos were very useful in coping with the heavy Summer holiday traffic which the Cambrian section carries at the height of the season, and in some cases the class were turned out in pairs to haul the heavy passenger stock over the many steep grades and tortuous curves which abound on this section of the Great Western Railway.

Withdrawal dates did not begin until the late thirties and the last two members of the class managed to hold out until British Railways days.

The Bulldogs as built had a slightly different parallel boiler pitched higher, with 1712 sq ft of heating surface, 23½ sq ft grate area, 180 lbs pressure, weight 49 tons 4 cwt, driving wheels 5’ 8” and cylinders 18” x 26”.  Earlier members of the class had the framing curved over the outside cranks, later members having straight framing.

I have already mentioned that several became interchanged with Dukes on visits to shops and these were eventually numbered 3300 – 10, with the true Bulldogs becoming 3311 – 3455.  Later developments to the class were many and varied.  ‘Bulldog’ itself had a wider cab with doors between the firebox and outside edge of framing, it was also fitted for a short time with steam reversing gear.  Number 3334 was tried with a mechanical stoker.

The class were originally fitted with Belpaire fireboxes and the boiler as carried by 3300 – 19.  A domeless parallel boiler was tried on number 3340 with a drum type smokebox carried on a saddle built up from the cylinder chest, this boiler was also fitted to numbers 3320 – 39 and 3341 – 80, giving a heating surface of 1663½ sq ft, grate area of 21½ sq ft, pressure of 180 lbs, and weight of 49 tons 16 cwt.

The superheated taper boiler fitted to the class much later on was first applied to number 3381, giving final dimensions of cylinders 18” x 26”, pressure 200 lbs, total heating surface 1348 sq ft, grate 20½ sq ft, weight 50 tons.  Numbers 3441 – 55 had slightly deeper frames and weighed 51 tons 16 cwt.

They were built between 1895 and 1910.

The variety of nameplates sported by the class was also very interesting.  Numbers 3300 – 19 had them fixed to the sides of the firebox, number 3340 on the cabsides with number plates fixed to the smokebox.  Numbers 3321 – 60 had combined name and number plates which were mounted on the cab sidesheets to which style number 3340 later reverted.  The remainder had the standard pattern of curved brass nameplate carried over the leading driving wheel splasher.Bulldog – Marazion – warwickshirerailway.com

Of all the Great Western Railway 4-4-0s the Bulldogs were the most numerous and naturally were allocated to depots all over the system.  A large number were employed either singly or in tandem to work the heavy West of England expresses over the South Devon Banks, a job for which their small wheels were ideally suited.  They also made ideal mixed traffic engines and were often employed on the semi-fast newspaper and perishable traffic trains.

Hopes of having one preserved at Swindon in company with ‘City of Truro’ never materialised and as there were no standard gauge preservation societies at that time to step in, the last one was broken up.

Withdrawal spread from 1929 right up until 1951, with the exception of the years from 1940 – 44.