Jump to content

Why did some classes not go to Woodhams?


Recommended Posts

15 hours ago, The Johnster said:

I doubt it.  He didn't say 'I'm just on the way to the office to get this weighed', he just made some excuse about mantelpieces.  It's got thievery written all over it!  The 'sales office', btw, was a brake van body that was what served as an office in general; there was a table, a small weighing scales (though Dai's usual method was to pick whatever the thing was up, heft it - he had hands like shovels - and name his price). and a kettle on the stove.  No safe; Dai kept his cash (and, like most scrappies, only dealt in cash) in his pockets.  If you could breathe in there over the cigar smoke, you were doing well!  The idea of a 'sales office' is a lot more 'formal' than the reality on the ground was...

 

The only other bloke I've ever seen with hands like Dai's was Gareth Edwards, the rugby player.

Did you not see my Angel icon?

 

Yes, I believe in the tooth fairy, if I thought that person intended paying for it.

 

But aren't scrap merchants the same the world over? Although some countries have introduced payment by bank deposit only for them. But...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, justin said:

Are you sure about Port Talbot? The steelworks at Briton Ferry and Llanelli definitely received tenders from Woodhams but I have never heard of Port Talbot having any. There is information on these tenders at Briton Ferry and Llanelli in the Industrial Railway Record no 232 March 2018.


I was told they went to Port Talbot years ago but to be pedantic, your probably right but as Port Talbot and Briton Ferry are within spitting distance within each other, and Llanelli isn’t that far away either.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jools1959 said:


I was told they went to Port Talbot years ago but to be pedantic, your probably right but as Port Talbot and Briton Ferry are within spitting distance within each other, and Llanelli isn’t that far away either.

I'd never heard of any going to Port Talbot; it tended to have its own, purpose-built stock. Briton Ferry and Llanelli were much more 'cash-concious' :the latter was at the bottom of the street I was brought up in, so I got to see some of their economy measures. Apart from the tenders, they bought a pile of 14t fuel-oil tanks, sliced the tops off, and used them to carry scrap.

The tenders were a bit of a false economy, in that the centre wheel-sets had to be removed for them to negotiate some of the curves...

  • Like 1
  • Informative/Useful 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

A unique feature of Dai's operation, and the one that was probably the most important in his original decision to keep the locomotives as a reserve and cut wagons instead, was space.  He had plenty of it, and was not pressurised to process the locos in order to make room for more.  The other scrapyards I visited regularly back in the day, Cashmore's and Buttigieg's in Newport, were tiny in area compared to the majestic sweeping plains and wildebeeste herds of Barry, and in consequence if a loco arrived at either of them and you blinked, you'd missed it!

 

IIRC Dai did not actually own any premises, he simply paid rent to the docks board for his sidings, and worked in the open.  The office was a brake van body, stove blazing away in competition with the infernal cigar.

 

Of course, the reason that some classes did not ever reach Dai's 'yard', which wasn't actually a yard in the usual sense of a fenced compound, was that many of them were, and still are, kept at a secret location as the Strategic Reserve. recently converted to run on biomass as coal stocks at the surface are thin and there will be plenty of biomass available in the sort of National Emergency that the Strategic Reserve is intended to be used in.  I know exactly what and where these locos are, but if I told you you'd have to kill me...

Edited by The Johnster
  • Like 1
  • Funny 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, The Johnster said:

Of course, the reason that some classes did not ever reach Dai's 'yard', which wasn't actually a yard in the usual sense of a fenced compound, was that many of them were, and still are, kept at a secret location as the Strategic Reserve. recently converted to run on biomass as coal stocks at the surface are thin and there will be plenty of biomass available in the sort of National Emergency that the Strategic Reserve is intended to be used in.  I know exactly where these locos are, but if I told you you'd have to kill me...

No need for the secrecy any more Johnster.  Sadly, due to an administrative cock-up, the Strategic Reserve is now trapped in the various caverns accessed off the internal network at Trecwn as the reception sidings have been disconnected.

 

Rob

  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Northmoor said:

No need for the secrecy any more Johnster.  Sadly, due to an administrative cock-up, the Strategic Reserve is now trapped in the various caverns accessed off the internal network at Trecwn as the reception sidings have been disconnected.

 

Rob

The Strategic Reserve cannot possibly exist, as long ago the vandals & assorted wreckers would have found it and made unrepairable the lot.

Plenty of stuff on You tube, where people go exploring abandoned industrial sites.

 

Here's a massive munitions factory in the US.

 

Or the aftermath of the UK vehicle scrapping scheme.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I mean the real strategic reserve, accessed through the hidden entrance to the undersea storage bunker from the Channel Tunnel, a joint Anglo/French initiative consisting of 141Rs with 9F boilers, but retaining 141R style cabs and smoke deflectors modified to the UK loading gauge.  They look very smart in a dark grey livery. 
 

When I say joint, I might have been smoking one when I thought of this idea. 

  • Funny 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

No, I mean the real strategic reserve, accessed through the hidden entrance to the undersea storage bunker from the Channel Tunnel, a joint Anglo/French initiative consisting of 141Rs with 9F boilers, but retaining 141R style cabs and smoke deflectors modified to the UK loading gauge.  They look very smart in a dark grey livery. 
 

When I say joint, I might have been smoking one when I thought of this idea. 

(Slightly) seriously, though, if you had been creating a 'strategic reserve' in, say, the 50s, what and how many would you have reserved. I'm guessing nor front-line express passenger stuff: probably black 5s, 8Fs, 28XX and their more modern successors: 75XXX and of course 9F. Mebbis not Austerity 2-8-0s, which hadn't been designed to last (although of course they did). But what would you reserve at power classes below that, and why? I'm imagining that in a national emergency, freight needs trump passenger. Would the reserve be national or regional (eg you might focus a steam reserve on coalfield areas and reserve such diesels as you can fuel for areas distant from the coalfields).  

 

And, of course, given the Civil Service's legendary and almost intuitive understanding of how railways actually work, what do we think the biggest bloopers would have been? (Series production of the, to put it mildly, 'unproven' Leader class - which does look quite neat on whatever Whitehall's equivalent of a spreadsheet was in those days, and is easier to store cos there ain't no tender?).

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 08/07/2021 at 13:44, Andy Kirkham said:

Woodham Bros bought plenty of Halls, Manors and 5101s, but as far as I know, no Counties, Granges or 61XXs. 

 

Is there any special reason why a scrapyard  would have bought one class rather than another?

Dai simply tendered  lots for lots listed by BR. It was very much a lottery as to what locos were in the lots he successfully bid on.

  • Like 1
  • Agree 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 08/07/2021 at 17:13, Michael Hodgson said:

Nevertheless Woodhams did remove the more valuable bits first - brass and copper.  

Their approach to cutting probably looked odd to outsiders too as they cut bits off wheels fairly early on.  It's remarkable that so many survived to be rescued given what had been removed.  Of course once the preservation movement became serious, Dai realised that it was worthwhile just letting them sit there festering until somebody came along with enough dosh to offer more than scrap value.   

The reason wheels were cut was due to derailments.  It was easier to cut a wheel than rerailing. 

  • Agree 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

If I were designing a Stategig Reserve loco, I would try to factor in the expected operating conditions following a nuclear attack.  Until the mid 50s, most weapons in service were ballpark Hiroshima yeild, city killers.  About 2 thirds of an attacked city might survive and be capable of moving, and would need to be evacuated, housed, and fed.  The railway infrastucture would be only intact in the open country; all urban areas would have been smashed, bridges out and lines under tons of rubble, and radiation contaminated anyway.  People seem to think in terms of  troop movements, but any military establishments would have been targeted and destroyed, and the traffic would be refugees and supplies for them mostly.

 

We want a loco simple to drive, prepare, and maintain, light axle loading, speed above about 30mph is not important, able to pump it's own water from rivers etc.  You could do worse than a simplfied version of the Ivatt/Riddles 2MT, tank and tender version, with a boiler modified with larger diameter tubes so as to require less cleaning or operate longer between washouts despite the loss of efficiency, and firebox able to burn a variety of fuels, including 'biomass'.  Re-railing jacks fitted to running plate, basic per. way gear, and point winding handles, clips & spikes carried.  'Snowploughs' fitted to clear debris and, bearing in mind that social cohesion is not guaranteed in this situation, other possible obstacles, from the track.

 

Rolling stock to be based on GUVs, fold up or slot in removable seating to make space for cargo and chemical toilets, retractable steps for ground level access, central stove for heating Russian tepluska style.  From about 1958 onward the need for provision of such locos and rolling stock diminishes as the yeild of the weapons increases, and it becomes less likely that anyone is left after an attack to need the services of a railway, or that much of the railway is left.  In this respect the big countries with large open spaces, Russia, Canada, and the US, may have fared better than densely populated European ones with shorter distances between the destroyed urban centres.

 

From about 1970, any pre-emptive nuclear attack will provoke an automated response, and become so devastating that there is no point in planning for the aftermath; mutually assured total destruction is the only possible outcome, and everybody is dead.

  • Like 1
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Hal Nail said:

I thought all you needed to cover any situation was a castle and pannier?

After a nuclear attack you'd be better off with panniers to shunt the useless Castles that are difficult to prep out of the way.

  • Funny 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...