SEmG

Bulleid WC/BB 'West Country' and
'Battle of Britain' class 4-6-2

Engines were built as follows:
21C101-21C148 (renumbered 34001-34048) 1945/46 WC "class" (narrow cab)
21C149-21C170 (renumbered 34049-34070) 1946/47 BB "class" (narrow cab)
34071-34090 1948/49 BB "class" (wide cab)
34091-34108 1949/50 WC "class" (wide cab)
34109-34110 1950/51 BB "class" (wide cab)
all were built at Brighton works except 34095/7/9/101/2/4 which were built at Eastleigh

"Class" is in quotes as there was no difference between the Battle of Britain and West Country locomotives, other than the style of their nameplates. All of the narrow cab locos were originally supplied with a 4500 gallon capacity tenders but the 1948/49 BB batch came with the heavier 5500 gallon tenders. From 1952 onwards BR modified all bar five of the tenders by removing the raves to allow easier coaling and access for the water column bag when filling the tank. (Note that the modifying of tenders preceded by up to 5 years the modifying of many of the locomotives.) Corrosion, buckling and split welds were a big factor in the need to modified the first 70 as the metal was too thin, stemming from efforts to cut down on weight, and areas such as the joints of the raves which allowed water to collect. Between 1954 and 1956 the boiler pressure was lowered to 250 psi.

 
34041 An immaculate looking Nº34041 Wilton at Eastleigh in 1963.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
Nº34063 229 Squadron in ex-works condition on Saturday, 24th August 1963 at Nine Elms shed.

photograph by Mike Morant

34063
 
34092 Nº34092 City of Wells at Folkestone Junction with a boat train.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
Nº34064 Fighter Command at Ruabon on 28th September 1963 when the major part of the motive power for a RCTS rail tour from Paddington to Ruabon and return.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

34064
 
34091 Nº34091 Weymouth on shed at Yeovil during 1964.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
Nº34076 41 Squadron at Eastleigh Works in 1964

photograph: Mike Morant collection

34076
 
34006 Nº34006 Bude at Eastleigh Works in 1964

photograph Keith Harwood

 
Another view of Nº34064, back on Southern metals at Staines, sometime during 1965.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

34064
 
34051 Nº34051 Sir Winston Churchill photographed at Eastleigh, date unknown.

photograph: Mike Morant collection

 
On 30th January 1965 Sir Winston Churchill was given a State Funeral and, as part of the proceedings, the locomotive named after him, 34051 Winston Churchill, was used to haul the funeral train from Waterloo to Handborough. Here the locomotive is at Nine Elms, being prepared for the day ahead.

For further information about this journey see our Sir Winston Churchill funeral pages and the Railway Magazine archive.

photograph by Roger Merry-Price

34051

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This page was last updated 13 July 2010

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