The South Devon Railway Enthusiasts' site

Gary Churchward with the Original GWR Weymouth Tramway BellPhoto © 2002

The South Devon Railway Association has purchased the bell originally used on Great Western Railway 0-6-0 Pannier Tank locomotive 1369 during its working time on the Weymouth Quay line in Dorset. The 1934 built steam locomotive is now restored and at work hauling trains on the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh.

The purchase was made at the Kidlington Auction sale in Oxfordshire at the end of January by two members of the South Devon Railway Association. It will be the first time locomotive and bell have been reunited since the engine worked boat trains through the streets of Weymouth in the early 1960s.

Brass bells were fitted to all engines that worked the Weymouth Quay line as a safety measure: the railway line threaded its way alongside the harbour amongst cars and pedestrians and all trains had to proceed at walking pace and sound the bell. Locomotive 1369 worked the line from 28th April 1960 to 23rd June 1962.

The South Devon Railway will adorn the locomotive with the bell on special occasions whilst it will be put on display in the railway’s museum at Buckfastleigh at all other times.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the bell is coming to Buckfastleigh to be reunited with the locomotive that carried it,” said the then general manager, Richard Elliott.  “It will be a most historic moment when they are reunited!”.

NO. 1369 is believed to be one of only two preserved steam locomotives to have carried bells in service in the UK – the other being Great Western Railway locomotive NO. 6000, King George V, now preserved in Swindon.

The railway is looking for former drivers and firemen who crewed engine no.1369 when she was shedded at Weymouth to invite them to the ceremony when the bell is once again fitted to the locomotive, later this year. They should contact Richard Elliott at the South Devon Railway on 01364 642338.

The SDRT published a book on the Locomotive in 2000. Details can be found by clicking on this link.

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© South Devon Railway Association 2002-14

Home Page B0-B0 33 002 2-8-0 3803 RM1872 W55000 95979 W2180 Drive a locomotive 0-6-0PT 1369 Location