Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era
British Railways Southern Region 0-6-0 ‘Terrier’ tank No.32670 leaves Tenterden Town station for Robertsbridge on 27th September, 1952. This engine, once London, Brighton & South Coast Railway No.70 Poplar, was built in December, 1872; it was later sold to Colonel Stephens, in May, 1901, who put it to work on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, giving it the number 3 and the name Bodiam. As late as the summer of 1948 it was still resplendent in apple green with the letters ‘K & ESR’ on its side tanks. J.G.Dewing
The first of these remarkable little engines, No.71 Wapping, came out in October, 1872, followed by No.70 Poplar and 72 Fenchurch in November. The class eventually totalled fifty, numbered 35 – 84, the last appearing in 1880. The design was a direct development of the type which William Stroudley had introduced on the Highland Railway during his short term of office on that line. (See previous post – Stroudley 0-6-0T, Highland Railway). They were designed originally for suburban work in the London area, but of later years their uses have been many and varied.There are few of Stroudley’s ‘Terriers’ left in service today, (1969) though they still work on the Hayling Island Branch and shunt the quay at Newhaven. Two have been preserved by British Railways, one at Brighton Works and another at the Clapham Museum of the BTC. There is also another working on the Bluebell Line. During their lives, engines of this class have gone far afield – even the mighty Great Western had two of them from the late Weston, Clevedon & Portishead Railway. They were favourites of Colonel Stephens. Their great assets were their high axle loading and their short wheelbase, which made them ideal engines for cheaply laid branches and light railways. No. 32661 leaves Havant for Hayling Island with the 12.35 pm train on 4th March, 1950. P.M.Alexander.
From 1901 onwards a number of them were disposed of, some were scrapped, but very many of them were sold out of service, details of which are to numerous to go into fully. It may be mentioned however that two of them went to the LSWR, one to the SECR, several to various light railways, others to collieries, whilst a few went on Government service during the first world war, and were subsequently disposed of to sundry undertakings. Of those that remained on the Brighton, a number were fitted with pull-and-push apparatus for motor train working, and most of the later survivors of the class had been rebuilt with extended smokeboxes. About a dozen still remained on the LBSCR books at grouping in 1923, but this total was increased under the Southern Railway regime, as several which had been sold previously now came back to the fold under the combined ownership. These included some which had gone to the Isle of Wight railways.The summer of 1949 saw the end of the Isle of Wight 0-6-0 ‘Terrier’ tanks. This class had worked the Merstone to Ventnor West branch from its inception in the days of the Isle of Wight Central Railway. ‘A1X’ class No.W8 Freshwater enters Ventnor West station on the early morning train on 18th April. P.M.Alexander
In later Brighton days the remaining engines had and their numbers increase by 600, the Southern Railway in turn put 2000 on to this, whilst those that have survived Nationalisation have again received an addition of 30000.
Those in the Isle of Wight were numbered in a special series as W9, etc., but on return to the mainland were either scrapped or given their original numbers plus the 326xx addition. A particularly interesting example of this perpetuation of identity occurs with No.70, which when sold to the Kent & East Sussex Railway in 1930 became their No.3 This line remained independent until 1948, when the engines became BR stock, and it duly received its rightful number 32670, having skipped the intervening 670 and 2670 phase during the many years it had been in independent hands. This engine, together with No. 32636 (old 72 – in this case the original number was not perpetuated) are in 1959 the oldest engines in service on British Railways.Travellers over the one-time Stratford-on-Avon & Midland Junction Railway, had they alighted at Burton-Dassett station under Edge Hill, would have found the remains of the moribund Edge Hill Light Railway, an unsuccessful Ironstone speculation where two Brighton ‘Terriers’ slumbered on grass-grown tracks. Both engines somehow survived the wartime scrap drives but were cut up on the site by 1946. J.H.L.Adams
Driving wheels – 4’ 0”, Cylinders – 12”x 20”, Pressure – 150lb., Tractive effort – 7650lb., Weight – Unrebuilt – 27½ tons, Rebuilt – 28¼ tons, LBSCR & SR Classification – Unrebuilt – A1, Rebuilt – A1x, BR Classification – OP
Tractive effort – Engine 32636 had cylinders 14.3/16”x 20” with 10695lb tractive effort.
No.70 as running in 1933 on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. It subsequently became BR No. 32670 and was rebuilt to Class ‘A1x’ with extended smokebox. H.C.Casserley.