Portbury in Preservation

Avonside No. 1764 ‘Portbury’ was built in 1917 for the war effort, destined to work at the Portbury shipyards. The end of the war in 1918 meant the shipyard never actually built a vessel.
She eventually moved into the fleet of shunters based in Avonmouth and worked there until replaced by diesels.

Here are a few photos from across the internet of her life in preservation.

In the early 1970s, all three of the BHR’s steam locomotives were to be found at Radstock station in Somerset. This was part of a preservation effort to save and operate a section of the Somerset and Dorset Railway.

Here she is outside the shed, looking rather forlorn.
Source: http://www.geoffspages.co.uk/raildiary/radstock.htm

and another pic inside the shed next to 7F 53808

Portbury sharing space in Radstock Shed

Portbury sharing space in Radstock Shed

Unfortunately, the project at Radstock was unsuccessful and the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust relocated to Washford on the West Somerset Railway.
‘Henbury’, ‘Portbury’ and No. 242 found their way to the Bristol Harbour Railway, opened in 1978.

‘Portbury’s restoration was completed in Bristol and she was in brought into operation on the BHR.
Here she is in lined blue livery back in 1992.


Original source:

and in operation in 1996

Source: http://bit.ly/1erjN1L

After another overhaul, she emerged in 2001 in a livery akin to the one she first wore, the initials ‘I W & D’ stand for ‘Inland Waterways and Docks’.


Source: http://www.bristoljpg.co.uk/2004/portbury.jpg

Now, in 2013, this livery has been adapted to more accurately represent her 1917 condition – note the lack of nameplate (She was not named ‘Portbury’ until her time at Avonmouth Docks) and the black wheels.

Aerial Photos – Bristol Harbour History

Flickr user brizzle born and bred documents all aspects of Bristol life throughout the years, including the development of the docks area and the BHR.

Here are some insights into how the docks looked from the air.

Cumberland Basin in 1946 – the Second World War is over, Ashton Swing Bridge is still combined road and rail, and the building of the dual carriageway is a long way off. The northern branch of the BHR to Canons Marsh branches away to the left of ‘A’ Bond and through Hotwells, with Canons Marsh shed (Now @Bristol) at the top of the picture.
To the right of this is the site of ‘M’ and ‘L’ sheds, replacing the Corporation Granary building, which was struck by a bomb in 1941 and demolished. The site has been cleared but construction not yet started.

Cumberland Basin 1946

9 years later, in 1955, this is the view from Redcliffe looking toward Hotwells. ‘M’ and ‘L’ sheds are now built, and the line to Temple Meads is visible crossing Bathurst Wharf.
This view also shows the open nature of the back of the sheds at ground level – the area where the locomotive shed is now.

Wapping Wharf 1955

A closer view of M/L Sheds in the 1960s shows the development of the coal yard, which later became the reason for the BHR’s continued survival.
Note also the large crane where the M Shed cafe now resides!

M Shed 1960s

This 1955 view of the Gasworks is particularly interesting. Of the gasworks buildings, only a few remain, as evidenced by the following picture taken in 2007!
Look to the bottom of the 1955 photo – you can see the sidings on the site of SS Great Britain Halt, with the small rail-mounted cranes on the dockside. The rails for these cranes are still in evidence today.
The 2007 image also shows the former Bristol Industrial Museum (Now M Shed), with the coal yard now used as a car park.

Gasworks 1955
Docks 2007

All credit goes to Paul Townsend/Brizzle Born and Bred – have a look at his flickr page for more photographs.

Alfred and Judy arrive at the BHR!

The diminutive Port of Par twin engines ‘Alfred’ and ‘Judy’ have arrived in Bristol.

Thursday September 12th will see them operating photo charters, and as an added bonus, they will be operating service trains in conjunction with the BHR’s own ‘Portbury’ this coming weekend.







The charter and the visit has been organised through 30742 Charters with the Bristol Harbour Railway, the Locomotive’s owners, and the haulage company.

To find out more about these locomotives follow the link: