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Western Identification Sought


Andy Kirkham

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In May 1973 the Western Region made a start on withdrawing the most successful of the diesel hydraulic fleet, the class 52 Westerns and condemned two locomotives 1019 and 1032. The following month two more locomotives were condemned 1018 and 1020 followed by a further two locomotives in July 1039 and 1042. I visited Laira MPD on the 7th July 1973 and all six of these locomotives were present and here is one of those six condemned Westerns dumped in the scrap line with name and number plates removed. Any help in identifying this locomotive gratefully received. A couple of clues I have at the moment, although present on my visit on the 7th July 1973 1039 and 1042 were not officially condemned unit the 21st July 1973 and 1018, 1019 and 1020 were all vacuum brake only when withdrawn and this appears to me to be a vacuum braked only engine.

10xx - https://www.flickr.com/photos/pics-by-john/16394819994/

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From what I've picked up from others on OHLW sign positions, and card brackets I think this might be a Swindon machine? Of 1018/19 or 20, the latter was Western Hero and the nameplate scar looks too long for that. All three had loco data panels in BR Blue as far as I can tell, but this appears to be missing in your photo, unless it has been removed or one one side only? There doesn't appear to be any other distinguishing features, and late-in-service comparison photos of these early casualties seem to be scarce to say the least.

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In May 1973 the Western Region made a start on withdrawing the most successful of the diesel hydraulic fleet, the class 52 Westerns and condemned two locomotives 1019 and 1032. The following month two more locomotives were condemned 1018 and 1020 followed by a further two locomotives in July 1039 and 1042. I visited Laira MPD on the 7th July 1973 and all six of these locomotives were present and here is one of those six condemned Westerns dumped in the scrap line with name and number plates removed. Any help in identifying this locomotive gratefully received. A couple of clues I have at the moment, although present on my visit on the 7th July 1973 1039 and 1042 were not officially condemned unit the 21st July 1973 and 1018, 1019 and 1020 were all vacuum brake only when withdrawn and this appears to me to be a vacuum braked only engine.

10xx - https://www.flickr.com/photos/pics-by-john/16394819994/

I think this is 1042, if that is any use.

10421235045_8fc915620f_z.jpgFEB 73 13. A Class 52 (possibly D1042 Western Princess) passes Landore with a Swansea-Paddington train, 1973 by Andy Kirkham, on Flickr

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Guest Q663368

I'm as sure as I can be. The date stamp on the Kodachrome slide mount is APR 74.

FWIW - My experience with Kodachrome slide mounts is the date stamp refers to the processing.

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  • 9 months later...

In the summer of 1972 the family was on holiday in the Cornwall/Devon area.

I managed to badger my Dad into stopping at Plymouth Station for about half an hour, in the hope that I might see a Warship - little did I know then, that they'd had a heavy purge the year before, so never actually saw one in service. Anyway, as a special holiday bonus, I was allowed 3 frames from the families holiday film to take at the station, and took one of a 47, a 'Peak' No 122 (is that a '45?), and this one:

 

WesternPlymouth1972.jpg.21fdde79cc9bba877d4aa492324cd46d.jpg

 

The thing is, at this distance in time, (precisely) 45 years-on, I can't be 100% sure of it's identity. I always had it as D1051 'Western Ambassador' in my mind for some reason, so perhaps something stuck from the day, but is there any way to tell for sure? Was there anything specific marking that loco out from the others that might positively identify it as such from the photo?

 

Cheers

 

 

Edited by billy_anorak59
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In the summer of 1972 the family was on holiday in the Cornwall/Devon area.

I managed to badger my Dad into stopping at Plymouth Station for about half an hour, in the hope that I might see a Warship - little did I know then, that they'd had a heavy purge the year before, so never actually saw one in service. Anyway, as a special holiday bonus, I was allowed 3 frames from the families holiday film to take at the station, and took one of a 47, a 'Peak' No 122 (is that a '45?), and this one:

 

I wonder how many of our parents in those days would have imagined how precious those few rationed frames would still be to us forty-five years into the future.

Edited by Andy Kirkham
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In the summer of 1972 the family was on holiday in the Cornwall/Devon area.

I managed to badger my Dad into stopping at Plymouth Station for about half an hour, in the hope that I might see a Warship - little did I know then, that they'd had a heavy purge the year before, so never actually saw one in service. Anyway, as a special holiday bonus, I was allowed 3 frames from the families holiday film to take at the station, and took one of a 47, a 'Peak' No 122 (is that a '45?), and this one:

 

attachicon.gifWesternPlymouth1972.jpg

 

The thing is, at this distance in time, (precisely) 45 years-on, I can't be 100% sure of it's identity. I always had it as D1051 'Western Ambassador' in my mind for some reason, so perhaps something stuck from the day, but is there any way to tell for sure? Was there anything specific marking that loco out from the others that might positively identify it as such from the photo?

 

Cheers

Well Andy looking at this it is a Crewe built Western for sure with the Drivers nameplate holder under the window it looks like D1052 on the number plate to me.

 

What does anyone else think?

 

Cheers Gareth

Edited by TEDDYBEAR D9521
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In the summer of 1972 the family was on holiday in the Cornwall/Devon area.

I managed to badger my Dad into stopping at Plymouth Station for about half an hour, in the hope that I might see a Warship - little did I know then, that they'd had a heavy purge the year before, so never actually saw one in service. Anyway, as a special holiday bonus, I was allowed 3 frames from the families holiday film to take at the station, and took one of a 47, a 'Peak' No 122 (is that a '45?), and this one:

 

attachicon.gifWesternPlymouth1972.jpg

 

The thing is, at this distance in time, (precisely) 45 years-on, I can't be 100% sure of it's identity. I always had it as D1051 'Western Ambassador' in my mind for some reason, so perhaps something stuck from the day, but is there any way to tell for sure? Was there anything specific marking that loco out from the others that might positively identify it as such from the photo?

 

Cheers

Hi Billy,

 

By a huge coincidence,I was also on a family holiday in Cornwall in August 1972,and on the 8th I absented myself from family stuff and took the "CRE" from Penzance to Plymouth,hauled by Western Centurion. I took the long walk to Laira,and managed to get around the depot.If you had done the same,your wish of seeing Warships in service would have come true! There were 6 serviceable examples there,plus 3 in store.But,to the point of your question,it may(or may not) help your identification if I listed the Westerns I saw that day,both at the station and at Laira:

 

D1026 D1036 D1046 D1057(which hauled my train back to Penzance)  D1009 D1021 D1038 D1054 D1059 D1063 D1008 D1011 D1013 D1019 D1023 D1024 D1028 D1031 D1033 D1042 D1051 D1053 D1054  806 Cambrian was seen at the station. Some of these Westerns were seen both at Laira and the station.I am not a Western recognition expert by any stretch,but maybe this list might narrow down the i.d. of the loco in your picture..?

 

Neil

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Much appreciation to all of those that have offered information that might identify the loco in my picture - thank you. I'm not sure if we've reached a consensus though...

 

 .....took the long walk to Laira, and managed to get around the depot. If you had done the same, your wish of seeing Warships in service would have come true!

 

 

A coincidence indeed, Neil!

Wow, so I missed all that? so near, yet so far to fulfilling my Warship dream.

(I don't think the family would have appreciated me taking in the sights of Laira though - they were all sat in the car while I bumbled round the station for half an hour. That was all I got before we had to move on to the next scenic delight)

 

Thanks again.

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A coincidence indeed, Neil!

Wow, so I missed all that? so near, yet so far to fulfilling my Warship dream.

(I don't think the family would have appreciated me taking in the sights of Laira though - they were all sat in the car while I bumbled round the station for half an hour. That was all I got before we had to move on to the next scenic delight)

 

Thanks again.

 

I guess many of us will have suffered lifelong regrets at what we just missed when we were young. In 1967 my interest in railways was just awakening and, living on the Western Region, I assumed that there was no steam left anywhere on BR. The family visited Weymouth at Whitsun but there didn't seem to be any particular reason to visit the station. When, a few months later on, I bought a Railway World for the first time and was confronted with a massive photo feature on "Steam's Last Fling on the Southern" I was utterly thunderstruck.

 

I am always rather envious of those whose dads were also railway enthusiasts.

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I guess many of us will have suffered lifelong regrets at what we just missed when we were young. In 1967 my interest in railways was just awakening and, living on the Western Region, I assumed that there was no steam left anywhere on BR. The family visited Weymouth at Whitsun but there didn't seem to be any particular reason to visit the station. When, a few months later on, I bought a Railway World for the first time and was confronted with a massive photo feature on "Steam's Last Fling on the Southern" I was utterly thunderstruck.

 

I am always rather envious of those whose dads were also railway enthusiasts.

Being only four years old at the time, I can only vaguely remember BR steam while holidaying in Weymouth, when we travelled on a steam-hauled train from Dorchester to Weymouth in the summer of 1965. Obviously, I've no idea what the loco or it's type was, but nor does dad remember. Seeing as dad was a very keen GWR enthusiast before the war, though his interest waned during the war and on through the 1950s, and regained his interest when I was of 'train set age', I can never forgive him for not taking me to his childhood spotting locations to see steam trains thundering past. Even in 1966, when we holidayed on the Isle of Wight he never took me to see the steam trains still running. Nor did he take me to Waterloo to see the last steam there. I think he now regrets not taking me too. I think he realised too late, as we went to the Bluebell in about 1968, my first real experience of steam. Ive been into railways ever since, and dad has retained his interest since too (he's now 92). Edited by Coppercap
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I guess many of us will have suffered lifelong regrets at what we just missed when we were young. In 1967 my interest in railways was just awakening and, living on the Western Region, I assumed that there was no steam left anywhere on BR. The family visited Weymouth at Whitsun but there didn't seem to be any particular reason to visit the station. When, a few months later on, I bought a Railway World for the first time and was confronted with a massive photo feature on "Steam's Last Fling on the Southern" I was utterly thunderstruck.

 

I am always rather envious of those whose dads were also railway enthusiasts.

 

In a break from the variety of Hydraulics at Cardiff, I accompanied my parents on a coach trip to Weymouth during the last weeks of Southern steam. ........................... My dad (a  latent enthusiast) drew my attention to the Channel Island Boat Train behind D2397, followed closely by D2398 and a single GUV. He took a monochrome photo, which I still have somewhere. I pleaded to be allowed to visit the station (and what I know now to be the Jubilee Sidings) but was firmly told 'no'. 

 

Hence I missed the sight of a 'Packet' (and possibly more) during its final days.

 

However much my dad nurtured my hobby (and he did), this one incident still wrankles !

Edited by br2975
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In the summer of 1972 the family was on holiday in the Cornwall/Devon area.

I managed to badger my Dad into stopping at Plymouth Station for about half an hour, in the hope that I might see a Warship - little did I know then, that they'd had a heavy purge the year before, so never actually saw one in service. Anyway, as a special holiday bonus, I was allowed 3 frames from the families holiday film to take at the station, and took one of a 47, a 'Peak' No 122 (is that a '45?), and this one:

 

attachicon.gifWesternPlymouth1972.jpg

 

The thing is, at this distance in time, (precisely) 45 years-on, I can't be 100% sure of it's identity. I always had it as D1051 'Western Ambassador' in my mind for some reason, so perhaps something stuck from the day, but is there any way to tell for sure? Was there anything specific marking that loco out from the others that might positively identify it as such from the photo?

 

Cheers

Hi There is a photo in R.W.Carroll collection that perfectly matches D1051 paint scar in front of number plate and oil stain on cab yellow panel, approaching Reading to your pic.

 

I need to get out more lol

 

cheers Greg 

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There is a photo in R.W.Carroll collection that perfectly matches D1051 paint scar in front of number plate and oil stain on cab yellow panel, approaching Reading to your pic.

 

 

Greg - apologies for the tardy reply - holidays, and no access to computers.

 

Thats a great spot, and I think that nails it - you're a super sleuth extraordinary!  :clapping:

From that evidence, the subject of my pic is no longer in question.

 

Thanks to all who offered assistance - Cheers!

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  • 1 year later...

I can confirm andy’s picture taken on April 17 in Cornwall is that of D1034 on its first outing after its repaint 2b10 from Plymouth to Penzance. QCI were riding on it too. This turn was regularly used for engines off exam and repaint. D1048 did not have silver footrestson it’s April repaint. Hope this helps. 

 

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  • 4 years later...

Looks like a Crewe built one to me so D1030 onwards and dual braked which makes it no earlier than 1968, but we can rule out D1036 as its number plates were higher up the cab side. It's a pity you don't have a date for the photo. Can't tell if it's maroon / full yellow ends or blue / full yellow ends which would help. If it's blue we can also rule out D1039, D1056 and D1071 which all had the small square air vent below the driver's window.

 

 

Edited by Rugd1022
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Nidge, I'd say the photo is c1971/2 as Warships were still on frontline service in the late 60s. Also the coaches look like Mk2bs (with the yellow destination panels that were used around that time). The Thousand has a "blue feel" about it - can't explain why though.

Edit - ignore my remark about Warships - didn't realise this was on the South Wales mainline. 

Edited by Peter Kazmierczak
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13 hours ago, Peter Kazmierczak said:

Nidge, I'd say the photo is c1971/2 as Warships were still on frontline service in the late 60s. Also the coaches look like Mk2bs (with the yellow destination panels that were used around that time). The Thousand has a "blue feel" about it - can't explain why though.

Edit - ignore my remark about Warships - didn't realise this was on the South Wales mainline. 

 

I think the carriage side destination boards were more common in the 1967-69 period - if indeed that is what we are seeing.

 

1A62 was 15.25 Swansea - Padd, Mon to Sat in 1969, and 15.20 in 1968. Air-braked stock was rostered in both years, but the Mk2b fleet arrived in 1969, so it could potentially be that year.

 

Not many Crewe-built 52s in Maroon FYE livery and also dual braked, but quite a few more Blue FYE ones by the end of 1969.

Edited by stovepipe
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