Steam Railway (UK) - - 'Brits' Special -

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.

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