Spa Valley Railway » Fund Raising » SOS - Steam Our Sutton
Running numbers - 50 'Whitechapel', 650, B650, W9 'Fishbourne', 2650, 515S, DS515, 32650
Withdrawn from BR service - Monday 4th November 1963
50 'Whitechapel' was built in 1876 as part of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railways A1 fleet which had started being constructed in 1872 and designed by William Stroudley. 50 members of the class were built between 1872 and 1880 and outshopped in 'Improved engine green', the first was a batch of six built in 1872 and a second batch of 44 followed from 1874 to 1880 bringing the class total to 50 locomotives. Designed as passenger locomotives the first six were highly successful at the time due to their ability for high acceleration between the closely spaced station stops combined with the then lightweight trains.
Withdrawn in November 1963 the locomotive was purchased by the London Borough of Sutton and Merton after missing out on the original No.61 'Sutton'. The intention had been to display the locomotive at the new civic centre, but in the mean time the engine was offered a home at the Kent and East Sussex Railway. Repainted into lime green and renumbered No.10 and gaining 'Sutton' nameplates she hauled the opening service on the KESR in 1974, running services till the early 1990's when it was put into store following cylinder block damage.
In 2004 the locomotive was moved to the Spa Valley Railway following on from the successful overhaul of LMS 47493, and restoration commenced not long after arrival. Much work has been done so far including;
• New cylinder block purchased, machined to 13" bore and fitted
• Frames shot blasted
• New frame stretcher below cab floor
• New cab and bunker floor
• New bunker built to IOW specifiation
• Tanks and shrouds rebuilt
• Large quantity of platework replaced on cab
• Repinned and bushed brake gear now fully fitted and tested
• Axleboxes white metalled, machined, fitted and engine re-wheeled
• Spring hangers rebushed and pinned along with refurbished springs
• Rebushed and pinned cylinder cock linkage and fitted
• Wheels sent to South Devon Railway to have tires turned
• Eccentric straps white metalled and currently being machined
• Lifting links rebushed
• Valve spindle guide white metalled, machined and fitted to motion bracket
• New coupling rod bushes machined and fitted
• New little ends machined and fitted to connecting rods
• Rebushed and pinned reverser reach rod now fitted
• Slide bar slippers white metalled and machined
• New steam heat and vacuum pipe runs fitted
• Westinghouse pump being refurbished plus air tank pressure tested
• New smoke box saddle cast and currently awaiting machining
• Boiler stripdown commences in TWW shed - outer wrapper replacement in localised areas, smokebox tubeplate refurbishment, re-studding, patch screw renewal on inner firebox, re-tubing
• New ashpan fabricated
Although the restoration is progressing well and it’s hoped ‘Sutton’ could be able to play a part in the Terrier 150 celebrations in 2022, the loco will be finished when it’s finished. Unfortunately the completion date will be affected by the COVID crisis. But when it is complete it will be a fine asset to the railway, basing a Brighton built engine in a Brighton steam shed again.
Fundraising is still open for this project so if you have any spare change, please consider donating to this gallant engine to help it steam for the first time in 25 years.
The repairs are now drawing to conclusion but we need your help to complete the job and ensure 'Sutton' is steaming for her iconic birthday. To do this we need to raise £20,000
If you would like to make a donation towards Sutton's repairs, you can donate online using the link below, any excess funds will be used to support our 'Securing the Future of Steam on the Spa Valley Railway' project which covers Society Steam locos and facilities.
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