If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

4449 the story

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by Reading General, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    thanks for that...we learned a lot and would have contributed to the"scene" if things had been different

    I should add that our coach came from Dover and had been apssed over by the other , closer societies I believe as being too big a job (well they had superb collections awaiting attwntion and this one was butchered a bit!. Crucially for us though, it was a "runner"
     
  2. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,426
    Likes Received:
    9,507
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Andre, i still have back ache from that job :) its nice to see it finally done, how long was it stuck in the shops for?? i must pop over one day and say hi and con a cuppa out of you. that needle gunning the floor wasnt just that, it was removing the floor, taking out and overhauling the bogies, twice, because the first set had to go under another coach, cleaning back and needle gunning the frames after rolling one bogie out, then fitting in the new floor, removing and refitting the brake gear, stripping the roof, repairing the roofing planks , then all hands on deck to lay the new canvass, that was as far as my input went, as i left shortly after the canvass went on.
     
  3. Andre

    Andre New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    21
    Occupation:
    K&ESR Commercial Manager
    Location:
    Tenterden
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Would be good to see you Martin - you certainly deserve that cup & more!
     
  4. Andre

    Andre New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    21
    Occupation:
    K&ESR Commercial Manager
    Location:
    Tenterden
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It's on the K&ESR website. Let me know if you want a look around.
     
    Reading General likes this.
  5. OldChap

    OldChap Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    149
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    A sort of what could have been photo, here is a Maunsell Nondescript Brake (possibly 4449... there is after all a 1 in 20 chance!) behind a King Arthur who's tender was swapped with a Maunsell S15 30847 which went to Barry and was subsequently purchased with 31806 which ended up on the MHR... yeah its a stretch but hey :)

    [​IMG]

    Picture Source: http://www.davidheyscollection.com/userimages/00001-colour-rail-340085.jpg
     
  6. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    looks a quite late photo, in which case 4449 was an Ambulance Car at this stage, but it's the thought that counts!
     
    OldChap likes this.
  7. PolSteam

    PolSteam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    131
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, owner of Wickham type 17a TP57P
    Location:
    Fleet, Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    You guys bring me to tears.

    I'm Sorry.

    I was the one who parked the coach at Ropley, which caused all the damage at Alresford. It was a Mk1 BCK, which was going to be stripped out, and used as a C&W workshop coach. Jim Lawrance wanted a place to do woodwork, so the break area was removed, and a work bench fitted, and that's why it was left opposite the station doors, because Jim wanted to take stuff in and out of the coach. I parked the coach, put the handbrake on, and put two chocks under the wheels. I then shunted the BY onto the BCK, applied the handbrake, and chocked it. Note I did not couple them, because the next day the BY was going to be moved, but the BCK was supposed to stay where it was.

    The next day, I was supposed to do the next shunt, but I arrived late, as I overslept. When I got to Ropley, the runaway had just happened. I drove down to Alresford to see what had happened, and it was not good.

    The reason the runaway happened was simple. They guy who did the shunting at Ropley that day, removed the cocks from the BCK and BY, and took the handbrake off in the BCK, leaving the coach just sitting there. He did not notice the BCK and BY were not coupled, and called on the J94, which buffed up, but hard enough to move the BY, and in turn the BCK, which started to roll. So I was told, someone the platform shouted "is your coach supposed to be running away?" Attempts were made, by running after it, and someone almost got onto the moving coach, but he tripped over the loop points, and fell over. That was the end of that.

    I was involved in the DoT inquiry, and found to not be at fault, as I had made everything safe. But, from that time on, no stock was to be kept on the running line at Ropley.
     
    Andre likes this.
  8. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    Nice to know I suppose ...too much water has gone under the bridge for recriminations and I always knew it wasn't deliberate. I didn't know there was a DoT enquiry though, when I spke to the Railway Inspectorate about it they didn't seem too interested. Was n't 44123 one of the vehicles in the headshunt? or was it 30499?
     
  9. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,426
    Likes Received:
    9,507
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    It wasn’t your fault you did everything right, the shunter was the one who didnt chock the BCK, i was taught never assume the handbrake will hold be enough to hold a vehicle and to chock the end vehicle if coupling up, never leave a vehicle with the brake off and un chocked, dont beat yourself up over it.
     
  10. PolSteam

    PolSteam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    131
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, owner of Wickham type 17a TP57P
    Location:
    Fleet, Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    It was 30499. The sock smashed the bogie center casing on the loco. Major Ulver came to Alresford to discuss the crash, after the railway had interviewed the people involved. He concluded the shunter was to blame, as he should not have removed the brakes and chocks on the last coach, on the downhill end [BCK]. If he had done that, all that would have happened, would have been towing the BY away with the J94. The BCK would have gone nowhere. And the man in question was a so called "shunter", which I never was.
     
  11. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    I was trained as a shunter back in the day.... really the training was a bit of a joke, how to couple up basically with no safety info such as mentioned above.I imagine things are very different today
     
  12. PolSteam

    PolSteam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    131
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, owner of Wickham type 17a TP57P
    Location:
    Fleet, Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I know, but the"What if" still lingers in my mind. If I'd got there in time. But I was so dog tired from the day before.....
     
    Reading General likes this.
  13. PolSteam

    PolSteam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    131
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, owner of Wickham type 17a TP57P
    Location:
    Fleet, Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I can't remember where I learn't to shunt, but I got very good at it. Lifting and dropping buckeye couplers, and working on the next series of moves to get the right result. Not easy when every inch of track was full. Hence that picture of the Sentinal, with all the Alresford stock on it!
     
  14. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    7,686
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Former NP Member
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    The story I heard was that Peter Olver actually lived next to the Mid-Hants and the runaway passed the bottom of his garden, so he was aware of a problem before the full, terrible consequences had developed.

    Greatest of sympathy to Reading General and all the 4449 lads - I suspect today, insurers could have been convinced to give repairing the coach a go.

    Steven
     
  15. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,215
    hmm,,,what if?

    well, we were washed up on the MHR anyway and were talking to the Swanage about a move there. They were more advanced than us C&W wise by a long chalk and I reckon they'd have had it in service pretty quickly if the move had been agreed. I'd probably still be selling Insurance or had a breakdown (latter more likely), I'd probably only have 2 kids rather than my impressive 5 (no idea where they came from) and be living in a semi somewhere rather than my rather nice house we built 10 years ago, having previously built an almost as nice one in 1987. So, mixed fortunes really.... the accident has a direct link to me ending up in Ireland (which is where I live btw, I don't usually mention that...)

    SO initially bad, but out of it came a good life, better than it would have been had I stayed on. It's just there isn't much to do train-wise here, hence many years of buying and selling classic cars (running lifetime total 81 cars owned) I'm just on the verge now of being involved in the revival of the Tralee and Dingle Rly project which foundered 5 or 6 years ago.
     
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Nat Pres stalwart Friend

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,426
    Likes Received:
    9,507
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    St Leonards
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    plus, as it was on a down hill gradient, why was the road left set? i would have thought that it would have made sence to have set the road into the loop, so that the worse that would have happened was that the end bogie would have derailed but as stated previously, the so called shunter should have ensured the End coach was either screwed down, or chocked incidently, at Tenterden we have a derailer that ensures nothing should roll away down the bank, , now that would have been real heart stopper , 2 level crossings, one on the main road!!
     
  17. PolSteam

    PolSteam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    131
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, owner of Wickham type 17a TP57P
    Location:
    Fleet, Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    This is the post, which caused me to do something about correcting the record. I wrote these replies on Facebook, And I've left out some irrelevant posts.

    The Mid Hants Railway is delighted to announce that four 19th-century, heritage coach bodies have been donated to the Preservation Society by the Hayling Island Railway Society.

    It is believed that the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) carriages ran on the Hayling Island line up until 1923 and they are of local, historical interest. After the coaches’ withdrawal from service, they were turned into static holiday homes and used up until the 1970s. After this, three of the four carriages have been partially restored and kept undercover and subsequently, are in excellent condition. Salvageable parts from the fourth coach, LBSCR 660, are currently being recovered. These will form the foundation of the Watercress Line’s first vintage carriage set.

    The carriages will be restored to working order by the Carriage and Wagon workshop, Ropley. The renovations will utilise the facilities, large building capacity and experienced staff created by the HLF project in 2010. Over the last 5 years, the department has gained in experience and reputation of rolling stock restoration and is continually looking to expand its portfolio.

    The donated carriages are:
    LBSCR 174 – six-wheeled passenger brake van, built 1880
    LBSCR 521 – six-wheeled First, built 1898
    LBSCR 1646 – six-wheeled BK 3rd converted from a First
    LBSCR 660 – six-wheeled Third, built 1878

    John Graham
    Well, lets hope they have a better future than the other historic coaches, which were on the Mid-Hants.
    23 January at 14:59

    Simon Shutt
    They are being stored at Eastleigh at the moment so they are nice and safe
    23 January at 15:03

    John Graham
    Restoring the bodies is hard enough, but then you need to build four chassis's for them from scratch. Not easy these days without a ready made set of doner vehicles to take running gear from. As I remember LBSCR wheels were a slightly larger diameter than bogie or PMV's. But it's a long time since I've played with coaches.
    23 January at 17:27

    Simon Shutt
    I'm guessing this a long term project. Would seem a bit odd to start working on these when they are about to begin work on the 2 Bulleid coaches we have on loan from the Bluebell
    23 January at 17:33

    John Graham
    I have to work from memory, but on the last train into Alresford in 1970's was an ironclad brake third, which came from Bristol Parkway. It was the first coach bought by the Late David Viddler. For many years it was parked in Alresford station yard, before moving to Ripley, and finally Medstead. By the time it was there, it was very rotten, with a tarp over it. In those early days there was a complete LMS 6w full brake, which also became trapped over and rotten. The LSWR restaurant car was destroyed in a fire at Ripley a few years ago. My three LMS PIII open thirds were part of a Southern region film train. They were destroyed by fire, l suspect as a result of internal MHR war which was going on at the time. Luckily we were covered by the railways insurance, so we lost nothing, but the coaches. We also owned DM395801 LMS PII corridor third, which is now part of the collection, and has been externally restored by the VCT. There were at least two coaches from the weed killing train, a Bullied suburban brake third, and another LSWR brake compo, I think. They were dumped at Medstead for many years. They were shells, and very rotten, but nobody was interested in them. There was one LMS engineers saloon, which again was smashed up because of the internal war. It was parked up at Ripley, but I've not seen it there for years, so I have no idea where it is today. The sleeping car, was a BR built one, to LMS design, on 6w wheeled bogies. It can from Machynlleth in mid Wales. It was used at Ropley for many years, but because of deteriorated condition, and blue asbestos, it was scrapped. There was another Bullied Corridor Brake Which for many years was used as a disabled saloon, but it was damaged in the same fire which destroyed the LSWR restaurant car, but somehow I think this coach is being repaired. That's about all I can say from my memory 73 to 87.
    24 January at 00:06

    John Graham
    When I was tasked to find around 20 Mk1's for the Alton extension, it became apparent there were a lot of coaches coming out of device within a year or two of a full general repair. These coaches had been reupholstered,, and had full body and running gear repairs. Most of them were being withdrawn for silly faults, like steam heating leaks, and leaking water pipes. All very easy to fix. The thinking at the time was to quickly repaint the new coaches into sets, so we had a maroon, blood and custard, green, and chocolate and cream sets. Once these coaches were in service, it would be a fairly simple matter to keep the coaches tidy. Many visits to Scrapyard's were made to recover even more brand new cousions from withdrawn stock, and stores in the old green shed in Alresford, which in the end was packed with coach spares. So things were set for at least 10 years of easy life for the C&W department, during which time restoring old stock could have taken place. All fine, but for one person who spent all his time trying to rule the railway, and caused me to leave in 1986. Now,to the present day. My last trip on the railway stunned me. The condition of the Mk1 fleet is poor to say the least. We always used to say, the quality of the coaching stock was the most important part of the railway, as it's the place were the visitors spend most of their visit in. The coach I traveled in made groaning noises from the bogie rubbing blocks, and center castings. I eyed the guards vac gauge, and the brakes leaked off very quickly, while in Alton station. This all tells me, over the general state of the interiors and paintwork, the money earning fleet is badly run down. So, all in all, I'd say a lot of time and money needs to be invested in the Mk1 fleet, before you start any vanity projects, or you will not have anything to put behind the steamers.
    25 January at 14:09

    John Graham

    Hello Ben Traynor. I have a unique perspective, as I'm no longer an active member of any preservation group, since my children were born, and my wife left us. I'm now bringing up 3 young kids, and my health is not as good as it once was, so annoying people online is all that's left to me to do these days. When I look back over the time I spent at the Mid-Hants, it almost seems impossible I did so much. The first day I became a member, I was told by a little old lady, who I later knew as Reney, that everyone was at Liss LMR station, taking down something. That something was a MOD water tower. The tower is still in use, at the back of the picnic area. One that day I met a lot of people who I became good friends with like, Dick Audsley, Martin Collier, Cris Button, Charles Lewis, and many others. On return to Alresford, Rene had tea ready for everyone. In those days before the N class arrived, we only had access to the station buildings. No restaurant building, there was a kitchen lean too, and a small garden, with a lamphut next to the signalbox. The station lost some character when the restaurant was added, as the style of the building does not fit Alresford. In those early days we only had a ex Croydon Power station, Bagnell 0-4-0T and 0-6-0T Hunslet, Slough Estates No5, and a couple of hand trolleys which had been found in the trolley shed, which stood by the west end loop points. As time went by we acquired more tools, and the fledgling loco group started work on the Hunslet with a view to get it working. All the time in 1973 talk was about buying the whole line, and a company had been registered for the sole aim of having a share issue to buy the whole line. There was no thought of just buying part of the line. More an more people were joining, and sadly, us youngsters, were largely ignored, so we set up a fledgling C&W department in the old goods shed office. By this time we were given a Wickham trolley with w JAP V twin 1300cc engine. It was in a terrible state, so in the good shed we set too rebuilding the Wickham. Chris Le Corney, Neal Knowden, Pete Moore, Martin Collier, and myself work away on that Wickham for best part of a year, in the leaky old goods shed. There were many good times, over the years, but all the time the hold of the Dark Side got stronger, and all the fun went out of the railway. Politics were a daily topic, and most people tried to stay away from Ropley. So I think by the time I left, I was burnt out, and I just gave up! Since then I've changed, and no longer take bullshit, and after I ran my own business in Poland for 8 years, well lets just say, I would have different priorities.
    26 January at 17:08

    Ben Traynor
    • Again, candid and frank. Thank you. Its really disappointing that the preservation scene, of all places, should be fraught with ego politics, but you still even see it today - the nonsense going on with the proposed 'Bramley line' springs to mind! Would you say that things have got more professional and business like since the early days of the movement, in general? No doubt many lessons have been learnt as to how to attract and not attract people/money/effort? But I guess at times the legacy of yesterdays bad decisions can be impossible to undo.
     
  18. flaman

    flaman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    2,011
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Semi-retired farmer, railway & museum owner
    Location:
    Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex
    Shortly after I came across the remaining evidence of the incident, sometime in the early '90s, I saw Maj. Olver and, knowing that he lived nearby, asked him about it. He heard the bang, but, as he said, so did a good part of Hampshire!
     
  19. PolSteam

    PolSteam Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2015
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    131
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired, owner of Wickham type 17a TP57P
    Location:
    Fleet, Hampshire
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I never knew where he lived, and I only saw him twice. Once at Four Marks, and on the test train to Alton, when we went over Butts Bridge at an easy 60mph!
     
  20. OldChap

    OldChap Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    149
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    A strangely familiar tail, I left the MHR in disgust some time in the early 1990s and moved to North America, got married, had children, brought/restored/ran classic cars (Triumph's mainly TR6,7,8 and Stag's are my thing) and did well in business. Life turned out much better that if I had stayed at the MHR which, at some point verged on the obsessive.
     

Share This Page