Saturday, 3 June 2017

Tyseley: The King of the Castles...

Hi all. The absence of posts on the blog since the Pannier trip to Burton three weeks ago has seen us not only have a weeks holiday sunning ourselves in Greece but also I have changed jobs again. Its been on the cards for a while and I've now returned to my first employment 'home': Rolls-Royce. I'm back in blue now and working in Derby. Onwards and upwards. Anyway, today I met Phil for breakfast at the Tyseley Corner CafĂ© before trundling the final distance to the former 84E. The usual suspects were found in the works, already busying themselves with No7029 "Clun Castle" which is drawing ever closer to a return to steam following a painstaking (and very expensive) overhaul. Before I did anything else I had to follow my curiosity and wander down to the back of the shed where the running engines sit. Tyseley's 'forgotten' Castle: No5080: has just returned from long term storage (15 years or more) at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton Road and, having not seen her in the metal before, I couldn't resist a look. 5080 "Defiant" is now the subject of a restoration appeal and there are hopes to return her to the main line in the future...
Built at Swindon in May 1939 as "Ogmore Castle", 5080 was renamed "Defiant" in 1941. A few of the Castles were renamed after aircraft which had played a significant role in the Battle of Britain. "Spitfire" is a good example. "Defiant" is a fabulous name. The Oxford dictionary describes its meaning as "to show Defiance", the latter being hailed as showing "bold disobedience". Unlike Tyseley sisters 7029 & 5043, "Defiant" still carries her single chimney along with the original superheating arrangement and hydrostatic lubricator. During the 1950s, Hawksworth modified selected Castles - including 7029 & 5043 - to include double chimneys, a higher degree of superheat and the mechanical lubricator arrangement which they still carry today. 5080 could therefore be determined an 'original'. It is 84E's intention to one day return this engine to main line work, carrying Great Western livery in a historically correct fashion. The engine was originally restored in preservation in the late 1980s but only managed three main line outings before being confined to preserved line work as well as working Tyseley's popular "Foot Ex" jobs up and down the yard. She's been on static display at Quainton for a long time, awaiting her chance...
Here, 5080 sits with 5043 & 4965. 5043 was just a kit of parts when they last met. Since then, the "Earl" has gone on to become a formidable main line performer...
So there you have it - three Castles at Tyseley. The trio is reunited. Exciting times are ahead as 7029 will no doubt soon be joining sister ship 5043 on the main line whilst 5080 also awaits her turn. For the rest of the day I found myself working in the large smokebox of 7029. Slowly but surely, she's getting there...
"Double Chimney Castle No7029 Awaits Her Chance"
All three of the Castles will be on display at Tyseley's upcoming Open Weekend over June 24th/25th. The "Earl" will no doubt be in steam alongside "Rood Ashton Hall" and 9600. I believe the Duchess is coming to play too! Its fantastic to be involved at Tyseley, particularly when making (albeit miniscule in comparison to the total workload) a working contribution to the overhaul of "Clun Castle". I can't wait to be riding behind her in the Support Coach. Cheers all, Sam...

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