21C110 Sidmouth, was built at Brighton Works by the Southern Railway in 1945 and, following trials and testing on local duties around Brighton, the locomotive was allocated to Exmouth Junction shed in December of that year. Its duties at Exmouth Junction would have seen it operating over the Southern’s North Devon and Cornwall routes as well as the main line to Salisbury. It travelled to the town of Sidmouth to be formally named on 27th June 1946.
Sidmouth was renumbered 34010 in the BR numbering scheme in 1950. In March 1951 it was transferred to Nine Elms for service over the routes from Waterloo to Bournemouth and Exeter. In 1955 its cab was widened and remodelled with the angled front windows. Having run 578,944 miles it was rebuilt in 1959 and remained a Nine Elms engine until August 1964 when it was transferred to Eastleigh.
The locomotive was withdrawn in March 1965 having run a total of 922,906 miles in BR service and sent to Barry Scrapyard to await its fate. There it lay until 1982 when it was bought by privately and moved to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The plan was that the NYMR would restore the locomotive and use it on the line, however the resources to do this proved to be unavailable.
After 15 years at Grosmont it was acquired in 1997 by Norman Taylor who was a shareholder of Southern Locomotives Limited (SLL) to who he donated the engine. The locomotive was moved to Sellindge in 1997 where work commenced.
In 1999 all remaining motion, brake and sanding gear was removed. The chassis was jacked up for the difficult task of freeing the axle boxes and the wheelsets removed. Bulleid Pacifics use steel axle boxes rather than brass or bronze; there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, though after 30 years of neglect they do tend to seize in the horn-guides. A crane was hired to do more heavy lifting, and the frames were lifted from the wheels. The frames, boiler, front and rear trucks were grit blasted and painted.
Subsequently Sidmouth was leapfrogged in the restoration queue by 34053 Sir Keith Park because of the strong historic associations of this engine, which led to generous support being offered towards its restoration.
SLL was in the process of concentrating all of its operations at Herston, and the locomotive moved there in 2006. The frames were moved to Swanage and remain adjacent to the railway. During the year the tyres on Eddystone slipped while in use on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway; Sidmouth’s were fitted to Eddystone temporarily, and were then sent to Buckfastleigh for re-tyring. Subsequently these were used on Sir Keith Park, whose will be used on Sidmouth.
Given SLL’s need to overhaul its operational fleet little work can be done on Sidmouth unless new funding and resources are available. Meanwhile the locomotive has a steady stream of supporters (not least in the town of Sidmouth), and attracts a surprising amount of interest in the wider community.
Currently Sidmouth’s frames are in Swanage, the boiler is at Bridgnorth, and many components (in various stages of restoration) are at the Herston works.
In May 2019 it was reported that a Southern Locomotive Limited sponsor had agreed to fund the £200,000 cost of restoring the boiler from 34010 Sidmouth so that it can be swapped with that from 34053 Sir Keith Park when the latter’s boiler ticket expires in 2021/22. The boiler from 34010 is being worked on over the period until 34053 is ready for the replacement boiler to be fitted. The boiler from 34053 will subsequently be fitted to 34010.
In June 2021 it was reported that the frames of the locomotive would be returned to Sellindge for grit blasting using the facility set up to undertake the same task on 35025 Brocklebank Line. It was hope at this time that the boiler would be ready in early 2022 to be swapped with the boiler of 34053 as noted above.
The frames were dispatched to Sellindge in November 2021and by April 2022 work was almost complete on cleaning them and they were being painted.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Swanage Railway||Under restoration||Southern Locomotives Limited|
- 34007 Wadebridge (SR 21C107, BR s21C107 & BR 34007)
- 34016 Bodmin (SR 21C2116, BR sc1C116 & BR 34016)
- 34023 Blackmoor Vale (SR 21C123 & BR 34023)
- 34027 Taw Valley (SR 21C127 & BR 34027)
- 34028 Eddystone (SR 21C128 & BR 34028)
- 34039 Boscastle (SR 21C139 & BR 34039)
- 34046 Braunton (SR 21C146, BR s21C146 & BR 34046)
- 34051 Winston Churchill (SR 21C151 & BR 34051)
- 34053 Sir Keith Park (SR 21C153 & BR 34053)
- 34058 Sir Frederick Pile (SR 21C158, BR s21C158 & BR 34058)
- 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair (SR 21C159, BR s21C159 & BR 34059)
- 34067 Tangmere (SR 21C167, BR s21C167 & BR 34067)
- 34070 Manston (SR 21C170, BR s21C170 & BR 34070)
- 34072 257 Squadron
- 34073 249 Squadron
- 34081 92 Squadron
- 34092 Wells/City of Wells
- 34101 Hartland
- 34105 Swanage