The pictures below were taken the weekend before last, with Judy on passenger duties and Teddy once again offering ‘Driver fora Tenner’ experiences in the yard. These photos were taken by Tim Symons, who has given permission for them to be reproduced here.
Another great photo from the charter, this time taken by Flickr User M.C.G.O, who has given permission for it to be used here.
Youtube user Slam Door Media uploaded a video showing ‘Teddy’ on ‘Driver for a Tenner’ duties whilst Kilmersdon was running passenger services at the weekend. ‘Kilmersdon’ has now departed and ‘Teddy’ will be running passenger services
As previously mentioned on this blog, in 1981, the Western Fuel Co.’s diesel shunter Western Pride was in need of an overhaul. This locomotive was used to shunt wagons on the dockside and into the WFC compound, as well as trip workings along the New Cut to Ashton Meadows sidings, from where a BR loco would take the wagons onto the main line.
So it was that Henbury was hired as the first preserved steam loco to pull scheduled goods trains for British Railways (BR having stopped using steam traction in 1968). She crept onto the Western Fuel Co.’s site at 7am on Monday 28th September 1981 and worked for the next three weeks hauling coal trains of up to 450 tons.
This cinefilm was captured by Bob Edwardes and appears here with permission.
Points of particular interest include running on the main line to Bristol Bath Road engine shed to use the turntable (creating quite a contrast to the BR Blue mainline diesels at Bristol Temple Meads!) and double heading with the PBA Rolls-Royce Sentinel No. 41 (10220) that took over duties from Henbury.
The Avonmouth Docks system utilised a large motive power stud, mainly consisting of locomotives constructed in Bristol by Avonside or Peckett. In 1939, there were some 28 steam locomotives in the fleet.
The steam fleet included (But was not limited to):
S1 ‘Hudson’ (Avonside 1724 of 1915) – 0-6-0ST
S2 ‘William’ (Avonside 1725 of 1915) – 0-6-0ST
S3 ‘Portbury’ (Avonside 1764 of 1917) – 0-6-0ST
S4 ‘Percy’ (Avonside 1800 of 1918) – 0-6-0ST
S5 ‘Brian’ (Avonside 1799 of 1918) – 0-6-0ST
S6 ‘Fyffe’ (Peckett 1721 of 1926) – 0-6-0ST
S7 ‘Ashton’ (Peckett 1878 of 1934) – 0-6-0ST
S8 ‘Westbury’ (Peckett 1877 of 1934) – 0-6-0ST
S9 ‘Henbury’ (Peckett 1940 of 1937) – 0-6-0ST
S10 ‘Hallen’ (Peckett 2035 of 1943) – 0-6-0ST
S11 ‘Bristol’ (Peckett 2036 of 1943) – 0-6-0ST
S12 ‘Clifton’ (Peckett 2037 of 1943) – 0-6-0ST
S13 ‘Redland’ (Peckett 2038 of 1943) – 0-6-0ST
‘Lionel” (Peckett No.466 of 1889) – 0-6-0ST
‘Henry’ (Peckett 1264 of 1913) – 0-6-0ST
‘Strathcona’ (Peckett No. 1243 of 1910) – 0-6-0ST
The ‘S’ prefix was added to the loco numbers by the early 1960s as diesel traction was introduced, as well as the addition of the distinctive red and white striped bufferbeams.
At first a small batch of Hudswell Clarke diesels were purchased, of which D1171 ‘Western Pride’ (Later sold to Western Fuel Co., now preserved) was one. Another, No.23 ‘Merlin’ is preserved at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in Yorkshire, although currently out of use awaiting overhaul.
In 1965 a fleet of Sentinel shunters came to the port. Finished in smart blue livery, they were direct replacements for the steam locos, which were withdrawn shortly afterward.
The Sentinels worked right up until the closure of the Avonmouth Docks Railway system in 1983.
Sentinel PBA 39 is now preserved on the nearby East Somerset Railway, and has recently been restored to its original PBA livery. Also on the East Somerset Railway is PBA 42, also known as ‘Eric’, which went on to work for La Farge in Westbury, before being preserved in 2007, and is currently awaiting restoration.
The photographs on this page (Unless otherwise stated) were taken by Jack Faithfull and purchased from the Rail Correspondance and Travel Society’s website. They appear here for research purposes only and may not be used for profit or gain without permission.
Make sure to get your hands on a copy of this month’s Heritage Railway Magazine! The BHR has a feature from Juliet Eden, who took the fantastic photos showing both Portbury and Henbury in service.