The Worcester Locomotive Society, which has its
rolling stock based at Buckfastleigh, outshopped its Wickham
Trolley PWM3767 after a comprehensive overhaul. It was damaged sometime
ago when it ran over a log that fell off a vehicle it was propelling and
which caused the chassis to be bent. A new chassis was fabricated by a
member in the Worcester area and the whole vehicle has now been overhauled
with a smart coat of maroon paint being added as a finishing touch.
In this photo the SDR’s other operational Wickham (belonging to the Glendower Locomotive group) is seen on its traditionally constructed lineside run-off. The SDR has a third Wickham owned by the London
Group of the South Devon Railway Association and which is currently
undergoing major overhaul.
All three have the Ford E93A side valve four cylinder
engines similar to the Ford Anglia car 100E engines driving through standard
three speed gearboxes to a final chain drive transfer gearbox which includes
the forward and reverse selection. The two working examples are running
on unleaded petrol with octane booster fuel additive.
In early DVR days the line boasted
several of the older Wickhams with two cylinder JAP engines and friction
drive via a large flywheel. Although the chassis and superstructure of
one of these survives the engine has long since gone.
The London Group have also preserved a modern version
of the JAP ganger’s trolley which is powered by a single cylinder Bernard
petrol engine. This has an alternator and battery start but can be
started by hand. It was purchased as scrap and so went to Kent for
restoration but the change of operator for the Ashburton branch has pushed
its usefulness down the stack because we now have access to diesel locomotives.
The trolley was moved to Norfolk in 2003 and has been restored following
sponsorship from its name sake; Bernard Wickham. For the story so
far click here.