Black Country Bugle

Great memories from the last days of steam


A few weeks ago I bought myself a copy of the book ‘Black Country Steam, Western Region Operations, 1948 -1967’.

I enjoyed reading the book for various reasons, one of which is the way the pictures are so evocative. They show various 0-6-0 PT locomotive­s at the end of their working lives with typical Black Country industrial scenes being shown.

I am pleased to see that Dan Shaw has given the book a good review in his article in Bugle number 1558.

Some of the locomotive­s pictured were stabled at Stourbridg­e shed. Nine locos were rendered homeless when the shed closed down in July 1966. Four of them were taken out of service for scrapping, but five others survived for a few months longer.

Three of these are shown in the book, they are numbers 4696, 4646 and 3607.

I believe that these five were shedded at Tyseley. They were numbers (out of service September) 9461 and 3607 (October), with 4646 and 4696 lasting until November. These two, together with 9774, were the last of all EX-GWR locomotive­s to be taken out of service.

In his book Paul Dorney has included a picture of 4646 and 4696 working in tandem at Brockmoor in May 1966. These two locomotive­s, together with 3607, have by this time suffered the indignity of having their number plates removed.

I think the last area to be used to these two locomotive­s was the line down to Halesowen Canal Basin.

Incidental­ly, another steam line survived well into 1966, this was a branch line running from Wrexham to a local steel works. The locomotive involved was 0-6-0PT number 9630, which was taken out of service in September 1966 and scrapped in December of that year.

Could Dan Shaw give me any details regarding number 9774, which survived until November 1966, with 4646 abd 4696? I don’t think it worked in the Black Country.

Michael A Cox, 45 Hart Road, Old Harlow, Essex

Editor’s Note: 9774 was built at Swindon Works and went into service on Saturday March 13, 1936. It was reallocate­d to Wellington in June 1953, to Banbury two years later and then to Wellington in the same year, after less than two months.

In August 1964 it was reallocate­d to Tyseley, and withdrawn on November 11, 1966. It was scrapped at Cashmore’s of Great Bridge in April 1967.

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