80072

                            

      

2012 ..... 80072 is currently at Llangollen but will be moving to the North Yorks Moors for the summer returning to Llangollen in September

 

 

 

 

 

On July 4 1988 a very shabby hunk of metal on wheels was carted off from Woodham's scrap yard in Barry, South Wales. It had been shoved around there for 23 summers and winters suffering corrosion watching 205 other more complete and appealing pieces of similar machinery, including some of it own type, being snapped up by steam locomotive preservationists. To facilitate the departure of some of these luckier engines the hulk had been shunted too and fro becoming derailed on one occasion.
The leading bogie wheels had come off the tracks and, to remove the obstruction, they were simply sliced off with a gas axe leaving the hulk an even more forlorn and useless mess. If ever there was a "Barry-no-hoper" this was it.
What remained was constantly soaked by the rain bleached by the sun and bitten into by the cruel spray-filled sea air leaving it smarting and rusting away.
To make matters worst from time-to-time humans with no humanity chopped off limbs and ravaged the entrails.
There was no chimney, motion, pistons, gears or springs left: even the cab roof was torn off to provide a bonnet for a younger sister already rescued and just visible on the bunker sides was a number, 80072.
I was a loco-spotter in the early 1950s like so many other young boys and paid frequent visits to my grandparents in Hampshire. I soon found out that, if you went down to the nearby station of Bursledon in the afternoon, you would be treated to an express train hauled by a Brighton Atlantic speeding through quickly followed by a train with glossy new very impressive black express tank locomotive on it - a BR Standard Four Tank.
These trains were the Bournemouth - Brighton and Plymouth - Brighton services, the latter being pulled by a newly built 80XXX Class engine on a running in turn.
Every few days the next one in the series would appear. No 80072 was completed at Brighton in November 1953 and this was probably one of her first duties.
The Class was destined for service over a wide range of lines throughout the country and No 80072, together with a batch of her sisters, was sent to Tilbury on the Eastern Region. Here she seems to have been totally a passenger engine, working heavy commuter trains in and out of London's Fenchurch Station.
One of her regular bosses was Roy Shelley, who passed out as driver on her. He drove her often and came to look upon her as "my engine". His widow found out about the preservation of the engine and became one of the benefactors of the restoration project until her recent death.
Electrification brought an end to No.80072's usefulness at Tilbury and in July 1962 she was sent to the Western Region being assigned to 87D (Swansea East Dock).
This was the beginning of various wanderings on to Shrewsbury, back to Camarthen for a summer and, in September 1965, to Leamington Spa. Of her activities there we have quite a bit of evidence, mostly photographic, because she worked commuter trains into Birmingham, iron-ore workings from Banbury and even on banking turns from Stratford upon Avon up to the North Warwickshire line.
Otherwise of these itinerant years we know little and would be grateful for more information. But British Railways were modernising, diesels were fast taking over and No80072 was sent to Shrewsbury.
But they don't appear to have wanted her because on 24 July 1965 she was with-drawn from service and sold to Woodham's of Barry for scrap. No80072 was a mere child in steam locomotive terms being only 11 years of age.
Early in 1988 a chartered surveyor, Ray Treadwell, and his wife Elaine, were looking for a engine to buy and discovered No.80072. A reserve already placed on the engine was successfully challenged and purchase completed.
Ray had originally intended to take her to Brighton but shunting difficulties over the third rail there deterred him and he turned to Swindon, who were willing to take her. So rusted up was she, that loading at Barry was difficult, so they oiled her up before unloading.
For a moment No.80072 showed some of her original vigour, for, as she was lowered down, she ran free, broke through the chocks and unloaded herself in the middle of the yard.
Swindon was planned as temporary resting place but it proved to be more than that. Ray says that it was fortunate that the engine did go to Swindon because it was possible to dismantle and start some work there. This would not have happened at Brighton.
But Ray and Elaine were also trying to restore a pannier tank too so they decided to seek others to restore No.80072. This led to the formation of the Llangollen Standard Four Project, as it was acknowledged by some of the Llangollen Railway members that this kind of engine would be an asset to their line.
She would also fill a place in Welsh railway history because not only had No.80072 spent most of her years in Wales but examples of the Class had been used over several lines in the North Wales in the latter years of BR steam.
Money had to be raised quickly to complete the purchase, as we were not the only party interested in buying this engine, such is the favour bestowed on the type. The engine was secured while Ray and Elaine became partners in the scheme.
The engine had already been dismantled when the Project team moved into Swindon. The engine resided on the premises of the now Swindon Locomotive , Carriage and Wagon Company set up in the old GWR works.
We are grateful to them for allowing us to go in to work on the engine and for undertaking much of the early technical work. Professional work was needed as years of corrosion had played havoc with the metal.
Getting the engine apart in the first place had not been easy. Frame stretchers needed replacement or repair, strengthening had to be done in some places and a bent back-end had to be straightened (probably form a heavy shunt in BR days). Axle box liners were cracked and had to welded or replaced.
The driving wheels had been retyred by the time we became involved but the broken wheelset had to be replaced with the new wheel hubs. Despite the extent and cost of the work it was decided to restore to MT276 specification leaving options for use on the main line open for the future.
The frames were thoroughly cleaned and six coats of paint applied. Axle boxes were remetalled, journals machined and the engine made ready to receive her driving wheels back.
By the summer of 1995 the engine was a rolling chassis again. The move came on July 11 by road and she was received in the old goods shed at Llangollen. Now work could get underway to fabricate and fit the parts needed to hang the new springs.
Also transported at the same time with the engine had been the other axle boxes and wheels together with the repaired set. Assembly now took place returning the engine from an 0-6-0 to a 2-6-4.
With the completion of the new locomotive shed at Llangollen including its restoration roads No.80072 could be removed form the depths of the goods shed and took up position in the airy and spacious position reserved for her. The move in the Autumn of 1996 has meant that work can proceed more easily. At present lubrication, vacuum and steam heating pipes and fittings are being attached and the brake gear and motion being assembled.
It has been found that many parts exist on preserved railways across the country; these are being collected together as availability and finance allow. The engine can be viewed by the public subject to prior arrangement but when the planned observation platform is put in place in the locomotive shed, the public will have regular opportunities to view the progress.Since Harry's article he has written to me with the following :-
When the engine left Brighton it went briefly to Plaistow Shed (33A) before being sent on to Tilbury. On leaving the LTS it went to Old Oak briefly and then on to Swansea. I refer in the article to it moving on to Shrewsbury - this was because I have documentary evidence of it there at this time. However, I have established that it wasn't shedded there then but would be a likely visitor because it was working the Central Wales line which ended up at Shrewsbury and likewise this would have taken it to Camarthen.
At Leamington I refer to iron ore traffic. This may be so but is probably unlikely. This was based on the picture (which you have in the photo album in paper cutting form) of it standing at Banbury with' seemingly, iron ore wagons. I have since established that these contain stone from Ardley quarries - so replace "iron ore" with "stone". (Iron ore trains from Banbury were not a Leamington turn).
While she was at Swansea I have documentary evidence of her on Gloucester shed in steam -- how she got there is an interesting one to work out.Also when it left Leamington apparently it was sent to Tyseley first - they didn't want it so sent it on to Shrewsbury who promptly withdrew it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links to other pages:

How to help

Restoration Photos

History of the Standard 4 Tank

Driver Roy Shelley

Peter Sumner memories

Richard Hoskin memories

Videos of 80072

Churnet Valley 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

This is the official website of the group of dedicated enthusiasts whose aim was to have 80072 steaming through the Vale of Llangollen. This aim was achieved in 2009.

Email

bob@80072.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      

 

 

                                                  

 

                                                   

 

 

                                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                  

From this in 1991

                                                                                                                     

                        

To this in 2010