Published: 12-08-2014 photo #21255 1 comments 1 votes
Photographed in Sheffield Park station of the Bluebell Railway, placarded “Not to be moved”, a mournful sight, with the locomotive paint beginning to fade.
This locomotive was built at Brighton Works to order number 2561, dated 28 September 1944. It was completed in February 1946 and painted in the Southern Railway’s malachite green.
Its firta allocation was to Ramsgate shed, and then in June 1947 to Nine Elms shed in London. It was initially named “Blackmoor Vale” in August 1947, and renumbered by BR to 34023 in April 1948. The name was of a part of Dorset, and eventually BR decided it should be spelled “Blackmore Vale” instead, with the nameplates changed in April 1950. It subsequently was based at Salisbury, then Nine Elms again, and Exmouth Junction in May 1951 to work west of Exeter.
During a heavy intermediate overhaul at Eastleigh Works in October 1954 the cab was modified to a “streamlined” V shape. At some time the forward valancing in front of the cylinders was also removed.
It was fitted at Eastleigh Works in April 1960 with AWS equipment. Its home shed which was Southern Region 72A passed to the Western Region as 83D, but in September 1964 34023 went to Eastleigh shed, Southern Region. Back at Nine Elms in May 1967 it saw the end of Southern Region steam on Sunday 9 July 1967, having covered 921,268 miles.
Purchased for preservation at a cost of £1,900, it eventually arrived at the Bluebell Railway after storage at the Longmoor Military Railway.