Erlestoke’s Return to Cornwall

A fifty year absence in Cornwall by Manor class locomotives was ended in early September when one
time Truro and St Blazey based 7812 returned briefly to near its old stamping ground. The echoes of a
barking Manor could once again be heard climbing some steep and twisting Cornish grades on 4 or 5
coach trains albeit between Bodmin Road and Boscarne Junction via Bodmin General. Erlestoke had been invited to attend the Bodmin and Wenford Railway’s annual real ale festival in an exchange for their resident 4-4-0 Greyhound ex-LSWR T9 which later made an equally interesting visit to the Severn
Valley’s Autumn gala. Several of us took a break from 7802 work parties to see 7812 in different
surroundings, luckily enjoying some rare sunny weather to make the most of the glorious scenery.

7802 Mechanical Repair, Tyseley Contract Progress – Terry Jenkins.

This is taking place at Tyseley Loco Works (TLW) in Birmingham and with their kind cooperation our own EMF workforce attends 2 or 3 days most weeks. We have now almost completely stripped all the filth and old paint from the loco and its dismantled components. Some days we may only have 3 folk on site, more often 5 or 6, but occasionally we have managed a turnout of 12. All this volunteer input is saving considerable cost.

As a result of the accumulated grease and in particular the degrading effect of the dirt on the old paint (an unfortunate side effect from the use of certain oils) it has been necessary to strip almost every chassis component back to bare metal to achieve a good standard of finished work. This factor and the weather this summer have delayed the work from our original programme though the loco is now undercover making things a lot easier.

TLW are now well on with the repair of the various components of the loco and, as ever, a certain amount of emerging work has been identified. Fortunately some items thought to need repair are in fact serviceable and as a result the work remains at or very close to our initial budget using our EMF contribution for this part of the work. We have not compromised on standards and are working to current main line standards. SVR’s Workshop Manager, Ian Walker, has been over to inspect and
was satisfied with the work done to date. We have been particularly impressed with the standard of work
by TLW and their “can do” attitude towards the task. We now envisage completion of the mechanical work by April 2013. Thereafter work parties will focus on fettling the 4000 gallon tender for a short period of further service pending replacement by the new 3500 gallon tender.

Boiler Overhaul

Meanwhile the boiler, now in the boiler shop at Bridgnorth, has had most of the firebox stays removed and the foundation ring is also on the verge of removal. Duncan Ballard (SVR Boiler Shop Manager) and his team have progressed stripping down to the point where removal of the copper firebox doorplate and tubeplate is imminent. This will allow the proper repair of these plates and permit examination of the waterside of the steel door plate and throat plate. Replacement of these is likely to be necessary so EMF have (through TLW with agreement from Duncan) ordered the steel to enable replacement plates to be
formed. EMF has also ordered new superheaters for the loco.

EMF 40th Anniversary – 20th April Film Show

The New Year 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of EMF’s existence and as part of the celebrations, Richard Icke of the 7820 Dinmore Manor Group has agreed to present his acclaimed BR era Cambrian themed slide show featuring Manor class engines. This will be shown at the Kidderminster Museum on Saturday 20th April at 7.30pm during the SVR Members and Shareholders’ Weekend so we may have a good turn out. Entry price is expected to be £6 and a raffle may also be held. Please express an interest or order in advance from Des Ainsworth on or by letter to him at Woodcroft, Willington Road, Willington, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 0ND -Cheques payable to Erlestoke Manor Fund. Details will also be placed on our website nearer the time.

The Boiler and Tender Appeal

The Appeal, which was launched just over a year ago, has now reached the halfway stage, meaning an
impressive total of £25k has been subscribed (or pledged by regular standing order up to December 2014) from a third of our shareholders. This has been a magnificent response but the hope is that more of those who haven’t yet contributed may consider doing so now. An Appeal leaflet is appended elsewhere in this website.

Items invited for Sponsorship – Tender Project

New cast iron tender tank vent castings have recently been obtained as also has a handbrake stand casting generously sponsored by one of our shareholders living in Canada. Outstanding items for the tender which would benefit from sponsorship are listed below;

  • 1 no vacuum brake cylinder top cover casting £300
  • Steel for front dragbox £750
  • 1 no vacuum brake cylinder piston casting £300
  • 2 no steel mainframes £1,250 each

If sponsoring a particular item interests you, please indicate this in your application with the name of the
component you would like to sponsor. As the project progresses further sponsorship opportunities will arise.

Cambrian Reminiscences

Our Boiler Appeal patron, Gareth Jones recalls his BR footplate days on the Cambrian in the 50s and 60s;

“I worked on 7802 from 1953 until 1965 and now realise how fortunate I was. She performed most of the Cambrian Coast Express work between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury. 7803 (Barcote Manor pictured below) was the other Manor located at Aberystwyth. We also had 7806 at Machynlleth in the early years. Towards the late 50s we had plenty more. I was recollecting how many I had been on, and there are only four that I missed, 7805, 13, 25 and 29, not bad eh!

Both 7802 and 7803 were looked after very well. They were always clean and could be turned out at any time to work a Royal train with the minimum of cleaning. For this, all thanks to Aberystwyth shed master, namely Danny Rowland. It was a pleasure to turn up at Salop with a loco in such prim condition.”

Ark Royals under tow.

When SVR Class 50 Ark Royal broke down at Bewdley recently, 7812 came to its rescue to tow its train
to Kidderminster (below left). This recalled a day in 1958 and 7820 Dinmore Manor “towing” an earlier
Ark Royal D 601 through Totnes (below right).

Tail Light

Bernard Rainbow, our EMF Vice President, enlivens and extends our working party tea breaks at Tyseley with his numerous anecdotes of his early working life at Tyseley MPD in the 50s. He recalls that as “knocker upper” (waking drivers for early turns), there was one senior driver who gave advance
instructions “find key under the mat, enter kitchen and put kettle on, make tea, then wake me up”. Bernard also recalls an occasion arriving ten minutes early sitting waiting on the step, when through the misty early morning gloom, PC Plod suddenly peered down at him “’Ello, ‘ello, and what do you think you’re up to, young man?”

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