Swanage Railway News Gallery Page 241
THE TRAIN NOW ARRIVING – AN HISTORIC FIRST COMES TO THE GREAT DORSET STEAM FAIR IN THE SHAPE OF A HUGE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE!
Photo Report from Andrew P.M. Wright
Official photographer & press officer, Swanage Railway.
Photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright.
To view a larger version of any photograph on this page,
just click on the thumbnail photograph and subsequently use the
Back button on your browser to return to this page.
Swanage Railway volunteers and the Great Dorset Steam Fair made history on Tuesday, 24th August, 2004, when a huge
leviathan of steam – a 128 ton steam locomotive – visited the popular annual event north of Blandford.
For a series of Photo Reports and Press Release from Andrew P.M. Wright, Swanage Railway's
Press Officer and Official Photographer
covering this historic event, please visit the following pages,
either from the News Page or by clicking on these links:
Press Release (This page)
By Rail to Norden
Exchanging the rails for a huge road transporter, this is the first time that an ex-BR main line express steam locomotive has
ever visited the Great Dorset Steam Fair which takes place at Tarrant Hinton from September 1st to 5th, 2004.
Unrebuilt Battle of Britain class Bulleid Pacific No. 34072 ‘257 Squadron’ arrived at the steam fair showground at Tarrant
Hinton – off the main A354 Blandford to Salisbury road just north of Pimperne – on Tuesday, 24th August, 2004.
Watching was 81 year old veteran Bournemouth steam locomotive driver Stan Symes who joined the Southern Railway at
Bournemouth in 1939 and has driven 110 different classes of steam locomotive – and covered one and a half million miles –
including the Battle of Britain class Bulleid Pacifics like ‘257 Squadron’.
The huge steam locomotive was built at Brighton in 1948 and named after the Second World War Royal Air Force squadron
based at Warmwell near Dorchester that fought in the crucial Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940.
Designed by the pioneering Southern Railway locomotive designer Oliver Bulleid, ‘257 Squadron’ spent its career hauling prestigious
100 mph express trains across the south and south east of England until withdrawn by BR in 1964 – including Southampton,
Bournemouth, Weymouth and Kent.
After being restored from a rusting hulk – following almost 20 years in a Welsh scrap yard – ‘257 Squadron’ spent 12 years
hauling trains on the Swanage Railway‘s rebuilt six mile Purbeck Line.
Now, ‘257 Squadron’ is visiting the Great Dorset Steam Fair for the show before continuing its journey on a huge road
transporter to Kent where the 128-tonne steam locomotive is to be given a £250,000 major overhaul before returning to the Swanage Railway.
The huge leviathan of steam is visiting the Great Dorset Steam Fair to publicise a fund-raising appeal to raise £100,000 towards
the £250,000 needed to overhaul ‘257 Squadron’s massive boiler – the significant part of a major overhaul needed after the locomotive
spent 12 years hauling trains on the Swanage Railway, following its restoration from scrapyard condition during the late 1980s.
The fund-raising appeal by the Swanage Railway Trust, a registered charity, includes a super prize draw – dubbed a super raffle by
the Swanage Railway – which has a first prize of a brand new car worth £6,000 along with 29 other prizes!
Swanage Railway fund-raising officer Alan Maynard said: “It’s very apt that a leviathan of railway steam should meet the titans of
road and farming steam – traction engines, steam rollers and the like.
“The Great Dorset Steam Fair is probably the best and largest event of its kind in the country and it is wonderful to bring ‘257
Squadron’ to such a prestigious and popular event. It will make an awesome sight at the Great Dorset Steam Fair. Everyone is
very excited about its arrival,” added Mr Maynard.
Prize draw promoter and volunteer Swanage Railway fireman Mick Hatton said: “The public has the chance to come to the Great
Dorset Steam Fair and see around the massive ‘257 Squadron’ – a real leviathan of steam – for themselves and even touch the
controls. Access to the footplate is free of charge.
“Although the locomotive will not be in steam, the public will also be able to sit in the driver’s seat and the fireman’s seat – and
also have the controls explained to them by Swanage Railway drivers and fireman, some of which worked on the Bulleid Pacific
class of steam locomotives during the 1950s and 1960s.
“’257 Squadron’ is a smashing locomotive and one of the best designs of steam locomotive ever built with its then futuristic air-smoothed
casing which caused it to be dubbed a ‘Spam can‘ when it was built at Brighton in April, 1948. It was at the cutting edge of steam
technology at the time,” added Mr Hatton.
Mr Maynard added: “We need to raise the money needed to give her an overhaul as soon as possible so that ‘257 Squadron’ can
again run on the Swanage Railway and continue to give pleasure to hundreds of thousands of people.
“The overhaul will be a major engineering job and we‘d love to get the locomotive back in service by 2008 but we do need the public‘s
support and ’257 Squadron’s appearance at the Great Dorset Steam Fair is part of that,” he added.
Raffle tickets are £1 each, or £5 for a book, and are available from the Swanage Railway, by post from ‘257 Squadron’ Prize Draw,
Swanage Railway Trust, Station House, Swanage, Dorset BH19 1HB or call 01929 425800. For more details please click here where
you can apply on-line to have tickets sent to you.
If you can help the appeal with a donation, or by offering practical help, contact the Swanage Railway’s fund-raising officer Alan
Maynard on 01929 425800 extension 34.
All photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright.
Last Updated 28 Oct 2004
© Swanage Railway