34052 - 'Lord Dowding'If you have any photos, stories, or further information about the locomotive 'Lord Dowding' 21C152 / 34052, please email them to the Nine Elms website Shedmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Whiting, from Fréjus France, has sent these notes and photos:
I was still at school when my mother and I took the early morning steam train from Tunbridge Wells Central to Charing Cross. On arrival my future stepfather, who used to help me with my Hornby electric train layout on his visits to our home, was waiting for us. We went by underground train to Waterloo Station - an exciting first experience. On arrival we made our way to platform 11 where the first 3 Battle of Britain class locomotives were to be named. My stepfather named the first two 21C151 and 21C152 and after the 3rd naming he was invited to go for a short ride on the footplate down the track. To my dismay, I was not invited as well.
I wonder if 21C152 / 34052 was a Nine Elms locomotive?
34052 heading 1130 Waterloo to Bournemouth through Deepcut at milepost 31, 30th April 1966. Photo © 1966/2010 John McIvor
34052 nameplate at Nine Elms. Photo © 1966/2008 Alan Newman
34052 at Salisbury, 8th March 1964. Photo © 1964/2010 Barry Austin
Barry Austin writes:
Jim Arkell has sent the following information:
34052 was one of only six rebuilt light pacifics to be given a general repair (and boiler change) subsequent to re-building, and the only BoB. The others being 34001/4/13/21/25. It was the last one to get a fresh boiler, and that boiler was number 1379. The last but one to be made and as far as I know had only been on one other engine. Boiler 1380 survives and is now on 34101, having previously been on 34044, but I don't have the information to hand at the moment regarding the exact history of 1379. These two boilers were made as spares to bring the spares float of WC/BB boilers up to ten. This being the minimum requirement to avoid delays in shops waiting for fresh boilers. There were five spare MN boilers.
The last time I saw it, 34052 was in Cashmores scrap yard in Newport on 20th August 1968. It had already been stripped of fittings, and was about 3rd or 4th in line for final cutting up. At that time the firm was doing about one engine per day. So it would have ceased to exist by the end of that month. There is a photograph of it in the yard in one of the steam for scrap series, taken on its day of demolition, but no exact date. I have heard recently that Cashmore kept a very detailed record of the locomotives that passed through their hands, and that this will be published. So further information on this morbid side of the engines history will probably emerge in due course.
If there had been a fund in 1967 to preserve a rebuilt lightweight, I should think 34052 would have been a prime candidate - along with 34021. These two seemed to me to have been in about the best condition at the end, but I suppose the real enginemen would be able to confirm that or otherwise. To the casual observer both of them seemed reasonably well maintained, and the paintwork was good.
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