A good weather forecast yesterday so I finally made the effort, which was well worth it. There are some good vantage points and a peak summer service was in operation.
Hope they are of interest
I saw Simon Howard’s article involving a flake of maroon paint from Warship D828 a week ago, he is correct, I have one too removed at the same time – it resides somewhere in my loft together with a flake of blue paint removed from first-built Hymek D7000 while it was parked at Oxford Stabling Point in 1973.....I suppose we’re safe owning up to such wanton vandalism half a century later! Unfortunately I have been unable to locate it, but there’s a good chance it would fit with Simon’s ‘sample’! His has a straight-edged cream-colored area on one side, I’m guessing this is part of the ‘D’ prefix or bottom of the ‘2’ on a cabside.
Swindon Works began painting the D800 Warships into maroon in September 1965 and by the time the switch to BR Blue was made just 13 months later 32 class members had been dealt with, giving an indication of Swindon’s general overhaul throughput. The D800’s light weight was in part due to the, at the time, novel ‘stressed skin’ construction where a relatively thin – just 0.078” – steel skin was attached to a steel skeletal structure using a multitude of spot welds – this meant the body itself was load bearing. Since it was therefore more important than usual to protect the spot welds from corrosion, as well as smooth out ripples from the welding process, the body shell was treated to a filler known as ‘Prestolith’. All was well when the locos were new but the harsh treatment from washing chemicals damaged the finish and eventually chunks of the filler would fall out (or occasionally be picked off.....ahem!) leaving bad scarring (sorry). By 1969 D828 looked anything but ‘Magnificent’ with missing chunks of filler down the sides and nose ends so weather-beaten than one black & white pictorial album claimed it had full yellow ends – no, that was mostly primer! And it had only been repainted maroon three years earlier. Contrast this with 66125 at Par Docks on the 25th August, looking almost as good as the day it was delivered after 22 years’ service!
1) Turbo166209 on 11.12 Taunton-Cardiff,
2) DRS class 37, 37716, working L/E from Cardiff Canton to Fairwater yd
3) GBRf 66776 leading the 1000 Crediton - Westbury balast wagons, tailed by 66732,, seen passing Cogload jct
4) 37716, working back to Canton, having collected one wagon. seen passing Creech St Michael, where there has been some serious
cutting back of lineside vegetation.
No.66732 out of sight on the rear pass Cullompton, working the 6G73 10:00 Crediton to Westbury Down TC with a rake of empty autoballasters.