ANOTHER CLOSE RUN FOR 70013
It was only by another short whisker that No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell made it into preservation as the final steam locomotive to be overhauled at Crewe Works. If its surviving record cards can be believed, what we are in fact enjoying today is No. 70013’s frames, bolted to the boiler built for No. 70051 Firth of Tay, and attached to the tender from No. 70012 John of Gaunt. When it emerged from Crewe after its final overhaul on February 2 1967, No. 70013 was the last of six that had been sanctioned repairs during the previous four months. It was therefore the wrong throw of the dice for preservation of Nos. 70028 Royal Star (outshopped at the end of October), 70006 Robert Burns and 70021 Morning Star (mid-November), 70012 (early December), and the penultimate, 70014 Iron Duke, on Christmas Eve. No. 70014, one of the Southern’s pair of ‘Golden Arrow’ engines highly polished and allocated new to the Southern in 1951, lasted in service until the end of ‘Brit’ workings, being noted on the 1.10pm Carlisle-Skipton service on December 29 1967. BR’s locomotive disposal was highly organised, and (mainly) Scottish contractors shared out the spoils over the next few months with firms in the Sheffield area. Only two ‘Brits’, Nos. 70017/26, made it to South Wales, and then not Barry. The East Anglian Locomotive Preservation Society arrived on the scene in 1967, but all the engines had gone (they successfully took on the abandoned No. 70000 - see pages 60-66). It has also occasionally been reported since that attempts were made to preserve No. 70014 Iron Duke, but the deal fell through because the North West purchaser was unable to find a place to keep it. When he returned to BR with the good news that he had found somewhere, Iron Duke had been sold for scrap to T.W. Ward of Inverkeithing, and there was no way out of the deal.