Rescued From Barry by Alan Warren with Dust Jacket 1983 175 Pages

Rescued From Barry by Alan Warren with Dust Jacket 1983 175 Pages

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Rescued From Barry by Alan Warren with Dust Jacket 1983 175 Pages
Rescued From Barry by Alan Warren with Dust Jacket 1983 175 Pages
Who would have believed on that fateful last day of steam in August 1968 that various groups and individuals would still be acquiring more locomotives for preservation 15 years later in 1983! The average enthusiast at that time would have probably cast serious doubts on your sanity, even more so when told that some of the locomotives had already been on the scrap lines for the previous eight years! Nevertheless this is just what has happened thanks to the existence of the now famous scrapyard at Barry Docks in South Glamorgan with its long rows of derelict steam locomotives.
However, this is not a book about Barry as such. Several volumes have already been published which admirably cover the story behind the development of the yard from 1959 onwards, together with the many theories why Dai Woodham decided not to cut-up most of his purchases straight away. Instead, the aim is rather to give an individual account of each locomotive that has been rescued from its ultimate fate in this sometimes aptly named 'graveyard of steam'. I have tried to achieve this by splitting each one's story into three main sections. The first provides brief historical details of the particular class involved and any other interesting related facts. It is not intended to be a full account of the class development, as there are many books available which cover this subject in far greater depth. The second section attempts to portray the range of duties carried out by the locomotive concerned. Allocations are quoted together with examples of the sort of workings it would have dealt with, whilst for additional interest any special or unusual trains that were recorded in the railway press have also been given. Of course, locomotive rosters are extremely complicated affairs and in the space available it is quite impossible to list every route that would have been worked, so I apologise in advance for any errors or omissions. The final section tells of the fate that has befallen each locomotive since leaving Barry. Once again, this deliberately has been left brief as most people will be well aware of the current situation from reading the numerous railway periodicals.
The locomotives are listed in the order they left Barry rather than being grouped together into classes. Not only does this add an extra dimension to the whole story but it will also help the reader to appreciate the contrasting popularity of some classes with preservationists - for example 92 other locomotives had already departed from South Wales before the first of the extremely successful BR Standard Class 9F 2-10-0s was purchased! Also listed for the sake of completeness are those locomotives acquired purely as a source of spares, and although one or two have already been dismantled the majority of them can still be seen quietly waiting their turn in some rusty siding.
One particular topic that I have tried to avoid in this book is what is frequently refered to as the `Barry Controversy' ie whether any more locomotives should be dragged out of the yard for preservation or whether the finance would be better allocated amongst existing schemes to ensure their future. This argument is really outside the scope of the book but judging from the volume of correspondence that has recently appeared in the columns of our monthly railway magazines it is quite clear that the money spent by an individual or group on any particular Barry locomotive is unlikely to have been donated to an alternative project anyway. They want to own that specific locomotive and if this is not possible then their money will probably stay in the bank. What is certain is that without the existence of Barry scrapyard many of our current or projected private railways would be seriously short of suitable motive power to operate their services. Perhaps what would be even more controversial is to try and guess just how long it will take before some of the locomotives featured in the following pages are steamed again!
As a personal comment about Barry, I should state that it is my intention to donate a proportion of the royalties from the sale of this book to the Barry Steam Locomotive Action Group, an organisation that has done so much to promote the cause of the locomotives in Woodham's Yard as well as trying to secure a brighter future for one or two of those that have already been saved. It is appropriate therefore that a book about the Barry locomotives should in a very small way be able to help ensure their existence for future generations. I will thus allow a few words to Francis Blake, one of the founder members of BSLAG in 1978: -
"It was in the late 1970s that I wrote to the Editor of The Railway Magazine expressing my concern in respect of the fate of the Barry locomotives and advocating that as much as possible should be saved; the result of this was the formation of the Barry Steam Locomotive Action Group. To achieve our aims we 'prodded' anyone and everyone who might be able to help in securing the locomotives, as well as liaising between the various groups and individuals intent on purchasing them. All of the Groups with reservations are however fighting against the calendar to raise their purchase money before the cutter's torch destroys the reason for their existence - it does not matter how long it takes to restore them just as long as they are there to restore. In the years to come the unique phenomena of Barry, which to us today is commonplace, will be as remote as the days of the Rocket and this book of Alan's will bring the whole scene to life for those less fortunate than ourselves who have been able to experience it first-hand. We must all be grateful for the problems and pleasures that Dai Woodham has enabled us to experience - a fitting tribute to his part in this emotive subject is the scheme by the Churchward Society to rescue 4277 and name it Dai Woodham."
If nothing else, I hope this book will spark-off further interest in the Barry locomotives and thereby encourage one or two people to visit the preservation sites concerned. If they then go for a ride on the trains, or buy something from the souvenir shops, it will have all been worthwhile.

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