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Robcruick

20 May 1972 UID warship

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I wonder if anyone out there can help me solve a 47 year old mystery .

As a 14 year old I ventured from Liverpool to Swindon on Saturday 20th May 1972 in the hope of seeing some Hydraulics. It was my first solo big day out , my parents we’re away and things were rather fraught as the previous weekend had been a national rail strike. 

I had to leave at three o clock ish on the train to Cheltenham. A few minutes before it left what I now presume to be 6A27 1230 Malaga Vale to OOC vans appeared from the west and stopped with a scruffy ?unnamed warship on. It duly dropped “ Enparts” at the works shunting agonisingly close to my line of sight. I was unable to identify it was head on and I didn’t dare leave the DMU as it was leaving imminently. The DMU left while the warship was among vans at the  works sidings. I imagine that the locomotive would have shortly carried on to London past the spotters in the station. I was most upset at this cruel twist of fate as it remains my one and only sighting of a warship in active service. I was and remain gutted. Fortunately I saw my share of Warships in the works scrapyard in the next year or so. 

 

Research and kind info from Martin Street has revealed that the candidates were D812/814/825/829. His info for 1972 is incomplete, but all the others are  accounted for on the day. 825 was on Laira the day before. 

A photograph of 825 exists on Flickr on Tuesday 23rd  May on 6A07 Plymouth to OOC at Reading looking very battered.

 

Is it likely that this locomotive stuck to parcels diagrams from London to Plymouth and back over 21-23 May?  

Or somehow got from Plymouth to Padd on the Friday 19th evening in time for the 4B05 0515 Paddington to Bristol vans on the Saturday. This was I think the inbound diagram for 6A27. 

 

Remarkably, there seemed to be little contemporary interest in the surviving class 42s in summer 1972 and the journals of the time are unhelpful. 

 

If if anyone still has any info of the whereabouts of the four warships over that weekend or fine knowledge of the parcels diagrams I would be most interested and rather  grateful 

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Nameless you say? 812 still had a nameplate, on one side at least, in June 1972. The other three were considerably more down at heel, with perhaps 825 being the worst of them.

 

In earlier times you would not expect to see the same loco working the same train on consecutive days, but with only 13 left in service at this point, things may have been different, especially for the reinstated trio.

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If you could see that it was unnamed, can you remember if it had BR arrows on the cabsides? If so it must have been 825.

The others had the logo centrally below the (absent) nameplate.

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