Newsletter No.5

February 1979

541 at Guildford coaling stage (22K)

Cover Photograph: 30541 at Guildford shed in 1964. R. Blencowe.

In this edition click to go further to:

Financial Matters or 847 - a Historical Survey _ Part 2 or New Arrival-PLV bought or Sir Lamiel progress report


As was mentioned in our last issue talks have been held between ourselves and the owners of 30541, the Maunsell Q Society. These talks have now reached a successful conclusion and we welcome the members of the Maunsell Q group to our Society. Some of the original Q group have been making the long journey from Gloucester to Sheffield Park to help with the work on 541 and we are very grateful for their assistance. We hope that as a combined group work on the locomotives will be speeded up.

Money seems to be in the news more than ever and most members will be affected by the recent increases in interest rates. We as a society always suffer in times of financial hardship but we need your financial help more than ever. We have been very fortunate in obtaining an extension of time on the loan that was used to secure 847 from Barry and it remains interest free until September. This is really good news but it does not mean we can relax, we still need to find £4,900 pounds to pay for 847 and until this is done our spending on the restoration work will have to be severely restricted.


As members will appreciate the balance sheet sent to you recently was for the year ending 31st December 1978, and so I will try to bring you up to date with the financial situation for 1979.

On the income side-

The Donations and Subscriptions amount to £962.
The Donation Box £113.
Sales £160; of which some £60 was taken on a trial sales stand at Horsted Keynes, it is hoped to run a stand at the station more regularly next year. The total income so far this year amounts to £3,295.

The expenditure has been kept to a minimum to enable the Society to pay as much as possible off of the loan that was made to secure 847, and I am pleased to report that £2,533 has been paid off of the original loan of £7,433, leaving a balance of £4,900. The member who made the loan available has very generously offered the Society a second year interest free. The total expenditure to date is some £3009, and your very valued financial support is urgently needed as we have a long way to go.

Mary Bellingham. Treasurer.

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Engineering Report

As it is planned to restore the "Q" class 541 to steam in the shortest time possible all the mechanical work has been concentrated on this locomotive as the work involved is considerably less than that on S15 847.

It was decided to remove the steam reverser first, so the whole unit was removed from the engine and taken to my home in Gravesend as this will enable the work to be carried on at a continuous pace.

Progress so far has been to clean and repaint all parts, all flanges on oil and steam cylinders have been refaced to enable good joints to be made and fitted with new studs and nuts. New leather cup washers have been purchased for the oil locking piston. The steam cylinder will be rebored and new rings fitted to the steam piston, the piston rods are to be reground and new glands and bearings fitted.

The original steam and oil locking valves were removed at Barry and cannot be traced, so two from a Bullied West Country will be adapted. Patterns have been made to enable the flanges to be cast so that the necessary steam and oil runs can be made, incidentally from new copper pipe, when complete this reverser should give many years of trouble free service.

Ray Bellingham. (C.M.E.)

Restoration Work

Work proceeds on both locomotives though as detailed in the engineering report the technical work is being done on Q class 30541. As well as the overhaul of the steam reverser the pistons have been removed for overhaul. As this 0-6-0 locomotive is ideal in size for regular work on the Bluebell Railway work on this locomotive will proceed faster than that on 847. This does not mean that 847 is being neglected. Work is being carried out by a dedicated group of members, mainly to prevent further deterioration general cleaning and painting is proceeding on engine and tender. This work will continue during the winter but it is hoped to complete some boiler work in the spring i.e. renew studs and remove boiler tubes.

Further fittings for 847 have been obtained in recent weeks and we are grateful to Roger Cruse and Martin Allen for their help in tracking them down. In one instance one valuable item was traced and returned from Scotland.

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1618 has been working on the railway and has been giving good service although she was derailed while shunting at Sheffield Park on Sunday 18th, November. Fortunately she was rerailed the next day with the aid of a crane and no damage was done. Recently 1618 was fitted with a steam heat valve similar to the original that was removed at Barry by Woodhams. Our thanks go to Keith Sturt for doing this job.

BOC presentation (25K)

Barry Henley of B.O.C. Ltd. present the committee with the portapac on May 20th. Left to right. Pete Nicholson, Norman James, Ray Bellingham, Rodney Packham and Martin Allen (photo D. Nicholson.)

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New Arrival

During the past months, there has been felt the need for additional storage accommodation for our stock of spares and tools. With the transfer in ownership of "Q" class 541 and associated spares, together with the further acquisition of locomotive fittings the situation had become critical. Thoughts were directed towards the purchase of a Maunsell 4-wheel van, to be based at Sheffield Park for use as a stores and workshop. It was known that several Maunsell vehicles were stored, awaiting breaking up, at the Southern Region's scrap sidings at Micheldever. A preliminary investigation revealed that there were no less than twenty Maunsell designed vehicles of various types awaiting disposal. Apart from a few which had suffered fire or collision damage, the majority of the vans were in reasonable condition and a list of possible candidates for purchase was drawn up.

First on the list was S13, a rare "By Safe" van, the sole surviving example of a batch of only five guards vans fitted with a bullion compartment, built in 1941. Unfortunately, despite extensive inquiries over several weeks, this van was eventually sold to the Swanage Railway Society. Second choice was for a Passenger Luggage Van, numbered S2186, which although not a particularly unique vehicle, it was found to be already fitted out as a workshop, with shelves, lockers and benches. Provision was also made for the fitting of a coal-fired stove. Apart from one broken window and a split plank at one end, the van was in excellent condition, although in urgent need of a repaint. Further enquiries revealed that this van had already been sold., along with several others in the yard to a firm of scrap merchants, A. King and Sons, of Snailwell, Newmarket, Suffolk. Shortly after this discovery the van was dispatched to Ely, for storage pending delivery to the scrapyard at Snailwell. A journey to Ely confirmed that the van had not suffered further damage and a "reserved" notice was painted on the van. It was agreed with Kings that the van would not be scrapped but a firm price could not be given until the van was delivered by rail to Snailwell and an assessment of its scrap value made. One of our members kindly offered to purchase the van for us and also contribute towards the cost of road transport from Snailwell to Sheffield Park. The price was eventually confirmed by Kings and agreement reached for the additional purchase of spares from other vans in the yard.

During the following weekend, together with our friends in the Bluebell carriage and wagon department, a working party was arranged at short notice, before all the vans were broken up. Special thanks are due to Tony Harris for his assistance. Many useful items were recovered, which will enable 2186 to be restored externally to its original 1934 condition in due course.

The van was delivered during December and made the journey from Snailwell to Sheffield Park by road. The hauliers being Hills of Botley. It was found necessary to hire a crane to complete the unloading. Further details in News- letter 6.

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Historical Information

On 26th. April 1933, the Southern Railway authorised the construction of fifty Passenger Luggage Vans, based on a similar vehicle which R.E.L.Maunsell had designed whilst Chief Mechanical Engineer of the S.E.&C.R. The vans were built to diagram 3103 at Ashford wagon works between 1934-5 to lot number 762, 2186 being built in December 1934 at a cost of £397. This batch of vans was the first of a total of 934 vans built in ten batches up until 1951, with minor constructional differences. Such vehicles could be seen behind the engine on most boat trains and even today, on all regions of B.R., the average parcels train has a few of these ubiquitous vans.

Our van 2186, was originally classified, "Passenger Luggage Van", but after Nationalisation all of these vans were re-designated "Parcels and Miscellaneous Vans and an "S" prefix added to the number. On 18th August 1956 S2186 was relegated to Departmental service and renumbered DS 150, subsequently to be allocated to Faversham, Kent, for use of the signal and telegraph staff. For this purpose it was fitted out as a workshop and mess room as described above. The van was finally condemned on 31st May 1978 and sent to Micheldever for scrap, which is where we came in!

Basic dimensions of 2186 are as follows:

Length over buffers: 35ft. 8ins. Overall height: 12ft. 8ins.
Width over handles: 8ft. 11ins. Fixed wheelbase: 21ft.
Length over body: 32ft. Wheel diameter: 4ft.
Width over body: 7ft. 10¼ins Tare weight: 13tons.

Martin Allen


The Annual General Meeting was held in Horsted Keynes at the Crown public house on October 21st. There was a good attendance of members and we will have to consider a change of venue in future.

All the current topics were discussed and we were pleased to see representatives of the Q Society present. Our plans for the future were outlined and it was agreed by the membership to put the subscription rate up from £2.00 to £2.50 per annum and to £25 for Life Membership. The members of the committee were all re-elected.

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847~An Historical Survey

Part 2

The subject of Maunsell S15 tenders is a most complex one and would fill several issues of this newsletter. Not only were S15 tenders exchanged within the class during repairs, but transfers with the King Arthur and Lord Nelson classes also took place. In 1962, S15's 30833 and 30836 also received Schools class 6 wheel tenders. This article will attempt to cover the topic as far as 847 is concerned, covering the various exchanges that have taken place during the locomotives career.

When 847 was built in December 1936, a new bogie tender was provided. This was of the Maunsell flush-sided type of 5,000 gallons and 5 tons coal capacity. (See illustration in Newsletter number 4). It was the practice of the Southern Railway to allocate registration numbers to it's tenders (as distinct from locomotive numbers) and a small cast brass or steel tablet would be affixed to the frame or footplate angle on the leading left hand side. As a result of this, 847's original tender was numbered 3244. After Nationalisation, 847 was re-numbered 30847 in August 1948 and at the same time the tender was re-painted and lettered temporarily with BRITISH RAILWAYS in full, in the new yellow Gill Sans typeface then being applied to a few locomotives. 30847 was the only Maunsell S15 to be so identified.

30847 was transferred from Salisbury shed to Redhill in January 1960 and to allow her to fit the smaller turntables on the Central section, it was necessary for the bogie tender to be replaced with a smaller 6-wheel tender. At the time, tender number 914 (formerly attached to King Arthur number 30797 Sir Blamor de Ganis) was available, the engine having being scrapped in June 1958. The exchange was made in March 1960, the decking on the tender floor having to be modified and raised to meet the existing floor level of the cab. Photographs of this tender attached to 30847 show clearly the differing levels of the footplate framing. This tender was retained with 30847 until withdrawal in January 1964, later accompanying the locomotive to Barry scrapyard. Later, this tender was sold to the Mid-Hants Railway for use with their Maunsell "U'class 31806.

When the preservation of 847 was contemplated in September 1976, it was felt that a bogie tender should be acquired, in preference to a 6-wheel tender, as bogie tenders were more representative of the S15 class. Unfortunately , no examples of the Maunsell flush-sided type were available, but three Urie pattern tenders were available in Barry scrapyard. These are identical to the Maunsell type except that the coal space side panels are stepped out and the top rear water space panels are flared out at an angle of 45 decrees; This type of tender was originally provided with S15's 823 to 834, so the choice was not entirely unsuited.

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At first, the only Urie tender at Barry not reserved for another preservation society was that attached to 30830. This tender was, however, in a poor condition with all the springs removed and both sides of the coal space rotted. This tender was reserved for possible use with 847, but later this was changed in favour of the tender attached to 30828 (tender number 887), as the society originally interested in this locomotive decided the best example of a Urie tender in the yard, for a variety of reasons. Purchase of the tender was made together with 847 on 12th. September 1978.

Tender number 887 has in itself an interesting history as it was built by the North British Locomotive Company Limited, Glasgow, for King Arthur class engine number 770 Sir Prianius. Engine and tender were built under works order number 2316 in June 1925 and were hauled dead to Eastleigh works for examination by ex-North British Railway class S 0-6-0 number 103, the following month. Tender 887 remained with Sir Prianius until January 1929 when it was transferred to S15 number 828. This was to enable 828's original tender (number3225) to be paired with Lord Nelson class 858 Lord Duncan. Tender 887 was retained with 828 throughout the remainder of its existence, when eventually it was condemned on 23rd. February 1963 and dispatched to Barry Scrapyard on 2nd. March 1963.

During recent restoration work, the old paintwork on the tender sides has been burnt off to reveal the original circa. 1929 Southern Sans Serif lettering and number in primrose yellow, including the "E" (for Eastleigh) prefix to the number, which was abandoned in 1931.

Martin Allen.


Paul Skinner has been busy in the Essex area with his Sales stand. His last exhibition was at Enfield where over £120.00 of stock was sold. If you have details of suitable exhibitions within a reasonable travelling distance from Saffron Walden Paul would be most pleased to hear from you. He would also be pleased to hear from members who are prepared to donate or sell at a reasonable price items of Hornby (Triang) or other makes of model railway equipment, for resale on the sales stand. It must be obviously in reasonable condition. We would also be interested in railway relics for re-sale. Contact Paul at: 4, The Glebe, Saffron Walden, Essex.

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777 Sir Lamiel Progress Report

As most members are aware, the sole remaining Maunsell 'King Arthur' class locomotive Sir Lamiel is at Hull being restored to main line standard by Humberside Locomotive Preservation Group for the National Railway Museum who own the engine. Both tender and Locomotive have been stripped down to ascertain the necessary repairs and Mr. Tom Tighe and his team have found the overall condition better than expected. Considering that very little work was done during its time both at the Birmingham Railway Museum, Tyseley and latterly at the South Eastern Steam Centre, Ashford, this is welcome news. The one major problem is the 9 inch crack in one of the frames which it is believed caused the early withdrawal of the locomotive from B.R. service. It is hoped that this crack can be repaired during the winter.

At the present time the tender is being restored and has been lifted so that the bogies can be completely overhauled. The tender is the same type as on our S15 No. 847 as shown in the photograph of 30777 at Ashford in Newsletter No.1. Members will also note that boilers of 'King Arthur' and 'S15s' were interchangeable as described by Martin Allen in his article in Newsletter No.4, where it will be noted that the present boiler on 847 was used on Sir Lamiel near the end of its B.R. service. Members of the Humberside Locomotive Preservation Group are carrying out repairs to the platework of the engine during the winter as well as general repairs to the boiler which has necessitated the removal of all the tubes. Their own engine, Class 5 No. 5305 will be shedded at Carnforth during the next few weeks.

Sir Lamiel is expected to emerge from Dairycoats, Hull in about 12 months time resplendent in Southern Railway Mid-30s Olive Green, the paint for which is already on hand at the N.R.M. York. It can then join 925 Cheltenham and 850 Lord Nelson in main line service, these latter two Maunsell locomotives being scheduled to return to steam in time for the Rainhill 150 celebrations in May.

David Jones.

Used Postage Stamps

We have received some postage stamps from a few members but far more are needed if we are to raise any money by this means. Everyone receives post of some sort at home or at work so send your used stamps to Pete Nicholson, 17, Crossland Road, West Ewell, Epsom, Surrey.

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Once again it is time to renew your subscription so please send your sub to Rodney Packham at 132, Church Road, Swanscombe, Kent. All cheques, postal orders should be made payable to the Maunsell Locomotive Society. Remember the rates are £2.50 per annum or £25 for Life.


shot up N Class (16K)

Mogul damaged by enemy action awaiting repair at Ashford works. Circa 1943.
Photograph T.Price.

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taking delivery of the van (26K)

Martin Allen supervises the unloading of the van at Sheffield Park.
Photograph Pete Nicholson.

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Special General Meeting

In connection with the formation of the Maunsell Locomotive Society as a limited Company (limited by guarantee and not having a share capital) it is necessary to wind up the M.L.S. and form the M.L.S. Limited, this being a requirement of the Companies Act, 1948. For this purpose, a Special General Meeting has been convened for Sunday, 9th. March 1980 at 14.00 hours, at the Members Room, Sheffield Park Station , Bluebell Railway, near Uckfield, Sussex. All members are invited to attend.

M.J. Allen, Company Secretary.

Committee Members

Martin Allen: General Secretary. 51 Friar Crescent, Brighton, Sussex. BNI 6NL.
Rodney Packham: Membership Secretary &
Newsletter |Editor
132 Church Road, Swanscombe, Kent. DAI 0 OIP.
Ray Bellingham: Chairman. 87, Old road east, Gravesend, Kent. Phone: Gravesend 3942
Mary Bellingham Treasurer. As Above
Norman James: General Committee Member. 16, Malvern Close, Mitcham, Surrey.
Derek Preece General Committee Member 8, Podsmead Place, Gloucester.
Bob Hawker General Committee Member 26, Columbia Close, Gloucester.
Jim Hatfield: General Committee Member. 4, North Road, Haywards Heath, Sussex.
Paul Skinner: Sales Officer, 4 The Glebe, Saffron Walden, Essex. CBI 1 4BQ.

Footnote. Rodney Packham will be pleased to receive articles or sharp black and white photographs for the newsletter. Items for inclusion should be of Maunsell interest.

Designed and Printed by: Kingfisher Railway Productions, West End, Chipping Norton, Oxon, OX7 SEZ. Telephone: Charlbury (0608) 810750.

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