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Album: Trainspotting in the 1950s and 1960s and What We Used to Wear

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SR/BR Bulleid Class WC 4-6-2 No. 34037 at Eastleigh Works 1964

SR/BR Bulleid Class WC 4-6-2 No. 34037 at Eastleigh Works 1964

BR/Southern Railway freshly-repaired rebuilt Bulleid Class West Country 4-6-2 Light Pacific No. 34037 'Clovelly' at Eastleigh Works open day on 5th August 1964, a hot summers day. In the background is the main office building of the Works. Built at Brighton Works, it entered traffic in August 1946 as No. 21C137, renumbered March 1949 and rebuilt at Eastleigh February 1958. It was withdrawn from 71A Eastleigh shed in July 1967 and cut up by Cashmores, Newport in March 1968.

The SR West Country and Battle of Britain classes, collectively known as Light Pacifics or informally as Spam Cans, are air-smoothed 4-6-2 Pacific steam locomotives designed for the Southern Railway by its Chief Mechanical Engineer Oliver Bulleid. Incorporating a number of new developments in British steam locomotive technology, they were amongst the first British designs to use welding in the construction process, and to use steel fireboxes, which meant that components could be more easily constructed under wartime austerity and post-war economy.

They were designed to be lighter in weight than their sister locomotives, the Merchant Navy class, to permit use on a wider variety of routes, including in the south-west of England and the Kent coast. They were a mixed-traffic design, being equally adept at hauling passenger and freight trains, and were used on all types of services, frequently far below their capabilities. A total of 110 locomotives were constructed between 1945 and 1950, named after West Country resorts and Royal Air Force (RAF) and other subjects associated with the Battle of Britain.

Due to problems with some of the new features, such as the Bulleid chain-driven valve gear, sixty locomotives were rebuilt by British Railways during the late 1950s. This produced a design highly similar to the rebuilt Merchant Navy class. The classes operated until July 1967, when the last steam locomotives on the Southern Region were withdrawn. Although most were scrapped, twenty locomotives found new homes on heritage railways in Britain.

Although separately called 'West Country' and 'Battle of Britain' Classes, there were no design differences, the locomotives being identical, apart for their names.

The loco is the subject of numerous young trainspotting admirers, some with cameras, who are also swarming round a BR Standard 2-6-0 beyond. They are wearing a variety of clothing; shirts, jackets, pullovers, jeans, long and short trousers, with some carrying the proverbial 'duffle bag'. Although there are some steps up to the locos cab, some spotters are climbing on both locos tenders, running plates and roofs. What would Health and Safety say about that today!

Date Photo Taken 05/08/1964
Date Uploaded 11/09/2014
Image Owner/Copyright Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
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Steam Loco Information for SR/BR Bulleid Class WC 4-6-2 No. 34037 at Eastleigh Works 1964

Steam Loco Class Information for SR/BR Bulleid Class WC 4-6-2 No. 34037 at Eastleigh Works 1964



Comments

Jon Stubley said on the 08/05/2015:
This was Eastleigh Works Open Day. I was there with my parents, and remember my dad taking a photo of me standing in the cab of Clovelly, but I have no idea what happened to it. I don't suppose anyone has any notes of what was there that weekend, as I lost all my pre-1967 spotting notes to one of my mother's 'clearouts'. I think that the electric 20002? was there, but can't be sure.

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