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Driver Roy Shelley

These few words have been kindly provided for us by Dave Shelley whose father Roy drove 80072 so many times that he regarded 80072 as "his" engine.

-One of her driver's-

This is an insight to one of the drivers of steam engine 80072. His name Roy Shelley who started working on the railway in 1937.

When he first began it was as a cleaner then to fireman and finally a driver. In those year's he had three moves to different depots, the first was Cricklewood second Upminster, third Tilbury riverside. His third move was in 1956 and in 1957 he became a driver. There were two needed on the footplate of 80072 - Roy's fireman was Gordon Claydon.
On 6 April 1959 there was a accident when Roy and Gordon both had injuries to their hands. This was due to a brake failure on 80072 while she was on the turntable at Shoeburyness with the 6.35 London to Shoeburyness. Also in that year Roy received a monetary award for his alertness in observing a buckled rail on the up line near to Ripple Lane.
In 1962 was when steam finely ceased being use for passenger trains on the Shoebury to Fenchurch line. He then went onto drive the class 302 multiple unit electric - although he sometimes wished he still had 80072. He remained in the driver's seat until he retired on 3 April 1982.
In the year's that followed he often spoke of what he called his engine and wondered if she would ever be back on the rail's under her own steam. When he heard that she was being restored he new what the answer would be YES.
These are a few lines of one of the driver's of 80072 who worked out of Tilbury riverside sheds.

The following videos have been posted on youtube  ....

Memories of 80072 - Richard Hoskin

email dated 5 May 2010 ....

I was so pleased to see the splendid photos of 80072 back in steam, and must congratulate you and your group for an excellent job.

I think I have written to you in the past when she was still being restored, but I have especially fond memories of 80072 when she was shedded at Leamington. I had always liked this class of engine since having my first Hornby Dublo 3-rail model of 80054, but never saw many of them until near the end of steam. 80072 was often seen on the 17:35 Bíham Snow Hill to Lapworth service, the last steam hauled passenger train long after DMUís had taken over other services, and I still have my notes recording her on this service on at least 5 dates in April and May 1965.

On 5th April 1965 I was travelling home from Bíham Snow Hill to Solihull when 80072 pulled in at the head of the train. I plucked up the courage to ask the driver if I could ride on the footplate and to my astonishment he agreed. I shall never forget the experience of plunging into Snow Hill tunnel with the footplate filling with steam illuminated by the glow of the firebox. What an incredible experience for a 16 year old and I will always be grateful to that driver.

I attach a photograph I took of her on 24th May 1965 between Olton and Solihull which you may have seen before.

I donít know if I shall ever get to Llangollen to see her again, but if I do I like to think I might stand on that footplate one more time and relive that day in 1965 that I shall never forget.

Richard now lives in Plymouth and went to the South Devon railway when 80072 came to visit and I was able to arrange a footplate ride ...ed

email dated 11 April 2012 ..

I canít thank you enough for all the trouble you went to organise my footplate ride. Needless to say I had a fantastic time and it was a wonderful and very nostalgic experience.

The weather on Easter Monday couldnít have been worse Ė it rained continuously and got heavier as the day went on but nothing was going to spoil my day. Seeing 80072 for the first time in 47 years I thought she looked magnificent and a real credit to your group. She was quite a bit dirtier back in 1965, but itís even more impressive when you compare her with the photos taken when she left Barry.

I rode on her both ways; on the first trip we double-headed with 78019 and then returned unassisted. She was steaming well and the crew seemed to like her (although there were a few grumbles about the strength needed to turn the reversing lever!). For me it brought back so many memories and I really canít believe it really was such a long time ago.

Anyway, thank you once again. Iíve attached a photo but I have to apologise for the quality Ė it was due to the rain!


ROY SHELLEY 1918--1995



Memories of 80072 - Peter Sumner

80072 means a lot to Peter who has written to me on a number of occasions and included in his letters are the following:

I am really interested in 80072, it has a sentimental link to me as it was once shedded at Leamington Spa. My grandparents lived in neighbouring Warwick and it must have been a regular engine through there. I did wonder if it could have been used as the Warwick banker at times. I would be really fascinated to see any photos of it taken at Warwick as well as at Leamington. Interesting to note that when the engine arrived at Leamington in September 1963, the shed had changed from 84D to 2L. Although 2L shedplates were made I believe they were never fixed to the locos? I have seen a photo of No 4178 where 2L has been chalked on the smokebox door!!

This is in fact correct as archive photos of 80072 at Leamington quite clearly show 2L chalked on .... ed.

Thanks to everyone who made this great project possible.

I am very interested about its time spent at Leamington Spa - perhaps it could return there one day?


80072 at Leamington with 2L chalked on  .......