Updated 16th March 2020
The Festival team were planning a fantastic event to remember with the theme: 'Somerset & Dorset Remembered'. But due to the unprecedented and uncertain times we fund outselves in we have had no option but to postopone the event in the hope that we will be able to either run it later in the year or pick up the theme for next year's event.
Sentinel 4wvb no. 7109 Joyce - two of these quirky machines were a familiar sight shunting at Radstock on the S & D (Pic Sean Dudden)
Sister locomotives to Bulleid light pacific 34072 257 Squadron - seen here on its home Swanage Railway - were a common feature of main line motive power on the S&D (Pic David Stubbings)
Hwksworth 0-6-0PT no. 9466 is the only operational member of this last class of pannier tank and is currently resident on the GWSR, seen here at Toddington on 19 October 2019 (Pic Ian Crowder)
Merchant Navy pacific 35006 Peninsular & Oriental SN Co at Toddington (Ian Crowder)
BR(W) Modified Hall no. 7903 Foremarke Hall between Toddington and Hayles Abbey (Pic Malcolm Ranieri)
GWR 2-8-0T no. 4270, at 101 years old, is currently the oldest locomotive on the GWSR following withdrawal of 2807 for overhaul on 1 January. Here it is seen departing from Gotherington, with a southboun summer service in 2017 (Pic Malcolm Ranieri)
BR (W) Manor 4-6-0 no. 7820 Dinmore Manor pulls away from Broadway on 19 April 2019 (Pic Ian Crowder)
On the 2ft gauge North Gloucestershire Narrow Gauge Railway you can expect to see at least two locomotives in steam. One of the line's available locomotives is this delightful Hunslet 0-4-2 no. 2075 of 1940 (Pic Malcolm Ranieri)
We know that many will be deeply disappointed at this decision, as are we, but I hope you understand that it is too early for us to make any firm plans at this stage. Meanwile, we hope that circumstances will allow us to run an 'anything gfoes' event over the weekend of 23rd-25th May using all available engines from our rather splendid home fleet. Please watch out for further news.
Which way are the locomotives pointing?
Following is the way that the locomtovies are pointing (ie North = chimney towards Broadway, South = chimney towards Cheltenham)
4270 - NORTH
7820 - NORTH
7903 - NORTH
9466 - SOUTH
35006 - SOUTH
Locomotives in order of age - visitors:
Sentinel 4wvb, no. 7109 Joyce, built 1927
(Courtesy of the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust)
We hope to bring this locomotive to the GWSR at a future date: Now for something completely different! Quirky Sentinel no. 7109 Joyce was built in 1927 by Sentinel Waggon Works in Shrewsbury which is much more widely associated with its steam road waggons. Joyce bears very little resemblance to a conventional steam engine both in terms of appearance and the noise it makes. It is powered by a pair of 100hp twin cylinder, double acting transverse engines at the front with geared and chain transmission to its four wheels. The engines are supplied with steam from a superheated vertical coal-fired water-tube boiler (conventional engines have fire-tube boilers) which works at 275 lb/sq.in. pressure. An equally unusual feature is that the locomotive has four chimneys – two for each engine. The boiler is fed with water from a tank between the frames via two engine-driven pumps when working and a separate steam pump when stationary.
Joyce was the first of eight pre-war locomotives of this type and trials led to further development. Two were bought by the Somerset & Dorset railway for shunting purposes at Radstock and became a familiar feature of the S&D.
Joyce is presented in black LMS livery as no. 7109 and will be working throughout the Cotswold Festival of Steam at Winchcombe shunting wagons and will run into the station between services. There will be ample opportunity for visitors to get up close to examine this striking machine and visit the cab. This is without doubt the most unusual steam locomotive ever to visit the GWSR and an opportunity not to be missed!
GWSR is grateful to Andy Chapman and the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust at Midsomer Norton for bringing Joyce to the event.
Bulleid unrebuilt Battle of Britain class 4-6-2 no. 34072 257 Squadron, built 1948
(Courtesy of Southern Locomotives Ltd and the Swanage Railway)
We hope to bring this locomotive to the GWSR at a future date: The railway is delighted to announce another visitor: this time, unrebuilt Bulleid Pacific no. 34072 257 Squadron, courtesy of owners Southern Locomotives Limited, and the Swanage Railway where the locomotive is based. You might well guess then, that the theme is not as one wag has put it a gala of 'locomotives with funny shaped cladding' but 'Somerset & Dorset Remembered' as the unrebuilt Bulleid pacifics were particularly associated with the fomer Somerset & Dorset route between Bournemouth West and Bath.
Nevertheless, it is unlikely that 257 Squadron ever worked over the 'S&D'. Following completion at Brighton in 1948 (the second of the class to be turned out under British Railways ownership following nationalisation), it was allocated Dover Marine shed, principally to work Kent Coast continental expresses, including the Night Ferry, out of London's Charing Cross terminal. After electrification of the Brighton lines 34072 was re-allocated to Exmouth Junction, providing services throughout the West Country west of Salisbury.
The engine was sent to its final shed, Eastleigh, in June 1964 where it was withdrawn just four months later and despatched to swell Woodham's growing collection of withdrawn locomotives at the eponymous Barry scrapyard in South Wales. It was initially restored at the former Swindon works, being re-steamed just in time for the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, being renamed and taking part in commemorations at Folkestone in 1990.
The engine moved to the Swanage Railway in 1992 where it has been based ever since, finally being withdrawn for overhaul more than 12 years after its restoration (incidentally the longest continuous spell a heritage locomotive has operated under the same boiler certificate) in 2003. It was eventually overhauled and steamed again in 2017, re-entering service on the Purbeck line the following year.
This is the first visit to another heritage railway for 34072 since its most recent overhaul.
Locomotives in order of age - residents:
Churchward 4200 class 2-8-0T no. 4270, built 1919
This locomotive spent its entire working life in South Wales handling mineral traffic. Essentially, it is a tank locomotive version of the 2800 class and in fact, was the only 2-8-0 tank locomotive class to run in the UK. The majority were used to handle coal and other mineral traffic, primarily in South Wales, where high power was needed to convey mineral traffic over relatively short distances and over often steeply-graded routes. It is a pleasingly attractive engine that returned to steam for the first time since withdrawal from British Railways in 1962 just in time for the 2014 Cotswold Festival of Steam. The locomotive has been subject to an extremely comprehensive restoration both at Toddington and off-site.
Bulleid Merchant Navy class 4-6-2 no. 35006 Peninsular & Oriental SN Co, built 1941
The powerful Merchant Navy class are associated with the heaviest express passenger services on the Southern Railway's routes from Waterloo to Bournemouth and to the West Country. Although they did not work over the 'S & D', their smaller West Country and Battle of Britain class sisters did. The class of 30 locomotives was ostensibly a mixed traffic design introduced by O V S Bulleid in 1947 to a highly unconventional 'air-smoothed' boiler casing and incorporating many new features (in fact, similar to visiting 34072). Although the engines were extremely capable, the design was let down by the innovative features incorporated. As a result, the entire class were rebuilt to conventional appearance during the late 1950s, as 35006 is now presented. 35006 was withdrawn from service in August 1964 having spent its entire working life allocated to Salisbury. It was the second locomotive to arrive at Toddington, from the scrapyard at Barry, South Wales, in 1983. It moved for the first time in preservation on 10 August 2015. You can find out more about the Merchant Navy class on our feature pages.
Hawksworth Modified Hall class 4-6-0 no. 7903 Foremarke Hall, built 1949
The Great Western Railway's standard mixed traffic locomotives were the numerous Hall class 4-6-0s introduced in 1924 by C B Collett as a development of Churchward's 'Saint' class. The Halls were extremely successful, economical and versatile - as at home with fast freight as they were with express passenger trains. When F W Hawksworth became chief Mechanical Engineer at Swindon in 1941, he set about making a number of design changes to the class, the result being the 'Modified Hall' which was introduced in 1944. Production contiunued until 1950, after nationalisation of the railways. Foremarke Hall was completed in 1949. Restored to working order in 2004, this popular locomotive has proved to be an extremely reliable performer over the ten years before its '10 year' overhaul, re-entering service just in time for the 2017 Cotswold Festival of Steam.
Collett Manor class 4-6-0 7820 Dinmore Manor, built 1950
The Manor class is a smaller version of the earlier 'Grange' class designed by C B Collett and introduced in 1938. The Second World War interrupted production, which resumed in 1950 after the Great Western Railway had been nationalised to become the Western Region of British Railways. With a light axle loading the 30 'Manors' were very much at home handling freight as well as passenger trains and were particularly associated with secondary main lines such as the Cambrian route to the West coast of Wales. Indeed, the class famously handled the 'Cambrian Coast Express' which started from Paddington usually behind a 'Castle' class locomotive, the 'Manor' taking over from Shrewsbury. No. 7820 was the first post-war member of the class.
Hawksworth 9400 class 0-6-0PT no, 9466, built 1951
Pannier Tank 9466 was built by Robert Stevenson & Hawthorne of Newcastle for British Railways in 1951, to a design of the GWR's last Chief Mechanical Engineer, F W Hawksworth. No. 9466 is one of only two survivors of the 210 members of this class built (the other, no. 9600, is on display inside STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway, Swindon). Introduced in 1947 for shunting, suburban passengers work and freight yard transfers, these most powerful of the range of different Pannier Tank classes on the Great Western, proved themselves very efficient for their intended function. 9466 is very much a local engine as its first allocation was Gloucester, later moving on to Worcester and it certainly worked over the Honeybourne Line. Its last allocation was at Radyr (Cardiff) from where it was withdrawn in 1964, then making its way to the nearby Barry scrapyard where it spent many years rotting before being saved by the late Dennis B Howells who lovingly restored it to 'showroom' finish at Quainton Road. The engine is now owned by Jonathan Jones-Pratt, chairman of the West Somerset Railway and is currently resident at Toddington.
On the North Gloucestershire narrow gauge line at Toddingston station
(Trips on the line free to ticket holders)
You can expect to see at least two 2ft. gauge steam locomotives opertating over this delightful 2ft-gauge line. Those available for traffic are:
- Henschel & Sohn 0-8-0T no. 1901 of 1919
- Hunslet 0-4-2T no. 2075 Chakaskraal no. 6 of 1940
- Chrzanow 0-6-0T no. 3512 Tourska of 1957