Woodhams commenced the scrapping of redundant BR Steam locos in the late 1950s and also had contracts to scrap wagons and coaches from BR. The volume of wagons and coaches being scrapped increased in the mid 1960s as the BR modernisation plan was in full swing and although steam locomotives were also acquired by Woodhams they were set aside on arrival with only the removal of non ferrous fittings. As a result by 1968 over 200 steam locos had accumulated in Woodhams yard at Barry.
Having put all efforts into the preservation of a very limited selection of locomotives straight from BR service, the enthusiast movement came to be aware of the continued existence of the Woodham’s locos and once BR steam became extinct in 1968 attention inevitably turned towards possible acquisitions for preservation.
First mooted in 1971 the idea of acquiring a Manor Class locomotive for preservation was suggested in an advertisement in the “Gloucester Citizen” inviting like minded enthusiasts to take an interest. As a result the Dean Forest Railway was formed though the idea of acquiring a Manor remained firmly in the mind of its proposers!
By 1973 the DFR was well underway and after inspecting the remaining Manors then at Woodham’s, 7812 was selected as most suitable for preservation and the “Erlestoke Manor Fund” was formed by a group of like minded DFR members. A meeting with Dai Woodham at Barry in February 1973 secured a reservation on the loco and its rescue was underway.
Raising the initial purchase price of the locomotive and tender presented a significant hurdle at £4,000 when the average wage was just a few hundred pounds per year. Fundraising included the sale of shares, donated relics and models, sponsored walks and donations. The introduction of VAT in march 1973 added a further £400 to the sum to be raised. To avoid a further price rise and with half the purchase price raised a loan for the balance was taken in June 1973 enabling purchase.
Purchase of 7802 in 1979 was a low key affair involving a large loan and was aimed solely at ensuring that the locomotive was not cut up for scrap and remained available as source of spare parts!
- missing parts
- like minded groups
- 7812 goes to the DFR, then Ashchurch, then SVR
- 7802 rescued & to SVR