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Locomotives that NEARLY made it

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Hicks19862, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    You might think that, I might think that, but plainly the folks at the top didn't. And as to why shed-masters didn't buy those engines they were holding back, I don't know what a shed-master earned, but I'm willing to bet it wasn't enough to buy and engine, and even if they all clubbed together there's still the question of where to put it. There's only so long you can hide a privately purchased engine on BR property before someone higher up finds out.
     
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  2. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

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    I think he might of. Supposedly he gave railway preservation his blessing.
     
  3. Alan Kebby

    Alan Kebby Member

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    Yes I just found this film of the occasion

     
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  4. MattA

    MattA Member

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    And this is how we ended up with "inauthentic" livery applications such as (4)6441 in LMS maroon and KWVR red on 41241, if my memory serves me correct?
     
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  5. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    So the tales go, although I think some doubt has been cast on how official this ban was actually spelt out, possibly by @LMS2968 ?
     
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  6. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    You also need to consider the mood of the time. This was an era where it was acceptable to destroy such as the Euston Arch, and where the railways' very existence was threatened by the belief of some that they represented a past that needed to be got rid of. That was where we saw the introduction of things like InterCity, Freightliner and BR Blue on top of dieselisation and electrification, designed to radically change public perceptions of the railway. In that context, it's not so surprising that BR took a hard line on steam before they realised it could improve their image, not damage it.
     
  7. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    I guess that the Official List of locomotives that were earmarked for saving (by the British Transport Commission I think) meant that most people at the time thought no more about saving any more steam locomotives. The rush for modernity in a swinging sixties Britain was doubtless another reason. Harold Wilson opened a debate on science at the Labour Party conference in Scarborough in 1963 (the oft misquoted "White heat of technology" speech) which probably echoed the popular feeling of the time, especially amongst the younger generation. What Harold Wilson actually said was, "The period of 15 years from the last time we were in Scarborough, in 1960, to the middle of the 1970s, will embrace a period of technical change, particularly in industrial methods, greater than the whole of the industrial revolution of the last 250 years. In all our plans for the future, we are re-defining and we are re-stating our Socialism in terms of the scientific revolution. But that revolution cannot become a reality unless we are prepared to make far-reaching changes in economic and social attitudes which permeate our whole system of society. The Britain that is going to be forged in the white heat of this revolution will be no place for restrictive practices or for outdated methods on either side of industry." Towards the end of steam on Britain's railways, the railway industry appeared to embrace this view; British Railways became the snappier "British Rail" and the future would be bright and clean. No place for old steam technology.

    The tradition of the UK Armed Forces having gate guardians I believe originates from the display of captured weaponry by various Army regiments etc. The formation of the BBMF was a particularly smart PR move but, certainly during my service in the RAF, the BBMF and the Red Arrows came up in every annual spending review "What shall we chop this financial year?" and I'm sure they still do. Aircraft gate guards have been reduced dramatically in the last 25 years. In 1990, the Ministry of Defence sold off virtually all its veteran WWII aircraft gate guards in return for fibreglass replicas, which did not require the same level of maintenance. A significant drop in the number of personnel (bodies to fix stuff) meant that we had "front line first." If an aircraft is left outside for any length of time, it will deteriorate rapidly (just like a railway coach!) and the only 2 places for an aircraft are in the sky or in a hangar. The last Victor Tanker was a gate guard at RAF Marham in Norfolk but is now up for disposal. (If it hasn't already gone - after all, where would one keep it?!)
     
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  8. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    North Star & Lord of the Isles?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. Kylchap

    Kylchap Member

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    I think general attitudes to steam locos during the 1960s, compared to now among aficionados, echo the way people view and value many things. For example, in the early 1970s you could buy any number of rusty, but usable, Mk2 Jaguars for about £200 each. Now they are classics and people pay stupid money for them as collectors' items. We don't value what we've got till it's gone.
     
  10. torgormaig

    torgormaig Well-Known Member Friend

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    You clearly were not around in the late '60s ( or maybe you were and enjoyed that time so much you do not remember ;)). Dr Beeching had a very thorough and very anti-sentiment (so VERY anti-steam) Vice Chairman in one Philip Shirley, whose idea of making railways pay was to shut down as much as possible. It is noticeable that BR's very cautious "return to steam" movement only started to gain ground after Mr Shirley left the BRB for the antipodes in 1972. While many breathed a big sigh of relief in the UK to see him gone he went on to create havoc on the railways in New South Wales where the very vibrant and active steam movement was shut almost down overnight. At the time of his arrival in Sydney one of the popular railtour locos, Pacific No 3813, was in shops two thirds of the way through a fully financed overhaul. Not only did he cancel the work immediately but refused to even allow reassembly. The component parts of the loco were ejected from the works in waggon loads and scattered throughout the state, never to be reassembled again. With someone like that in charge, you lived in cloud cuckoo land if you thought steam would ever make a comeback on BR.

    Peter
     
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  11. Kinghambranch

    Kinghambranch Well-Known Member

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    Hence the infamous one-liner from Airplane, "Yes it is, and stop calling me Shirley."
     
  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    His is a name that I've never heard before, but the existence of someone like that at the very top helps explain a certain amount of what went on in BR at the time. His Wiki entry is (probably deservedly) brief - is there any biographical material on him?
     
  13. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    I just Googled 'Philip Shirley railway' and it through up a few references, including some on Google books where you can view some pages.

    Patrick
     
  14. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thanks
     
  15. Miff

    Miff Well-Known Member

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    Northiam wasn’t in the Eastleigh paint shop although I believe the IoW Beyer-Peacock was. Northiam returned to the K&ESR where it did little work before scrapping in 1941. The fireman on the filming job, interviewed in the 1970s, claimed the film company wanted to buy it in order to blow it up at the end of the film but K&ESR refused to sell so they blew up a pile of bits & bobs instead and put the chimney on top.
     
  16. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    If anyone can't remember how 'orrible it looked here's 46441 at Steamtown Carnforth in 1969.
    Ray.
    01-69-12 46441 at Steamtownr 1969 (2).jpg
     
  17. MattA

    MattA Member

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  18. 60017

    60017 Part of the furniture Friend

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    So pleased to see that 6441 is 'offending' people 50 years later! When I was helping Peter Beet painting 5407 in a shade said to be Furness red, he chuckled and said "the magazines will go nuts about this when we unveil it...free publicity to get people through the door!" He was right.
     
  19. 61648

    61648 New Member

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    Personally don't think
    it looks that bad in red although agree the whitewall tyres are way over the top.
    However these days a certain loco painted in a very much non standard red livery attracts attention from thousands, if not millions of fans worldwide.
     
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  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    Nice idea on paper, but who pays for them?
    20 years ago when EWS had it's Heritage Pool, they were quite happy for them to go out and about provided it wasn't detrimental to their core business,
    They were happy for some of them to be repainted provided it was paid for by someone else (a video company I believe)
    As I say they were happy too just as long as it wasn't a distraction for them.

    But going back to your original point much would it cost to keep things like one off spares and competent staff for what is a rather labour intensive piece of kit?
     
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