From Arbroath to Eastleigh - Bullock Pacific Locomotive goes on Loan
No. 2005 is now once again with her sisters on long term loan to Eastleigh Lakeside Railway where she will be reunited with “The Empress”, her old stablemate at Billingshurst. At present she is undergoing a major overhaul and once finished will be named “Silver Jubilee” once again. She will return to active service at Eastleigh later this year.
This magnificent coal fired, live-steam pacific type loco was one of seven built by the famous builder, H.C.S.Bullock of Farnborough between 1931 and 1937.
2005 was built in 1935 by Herbert Bullock for a Mr. Cookson. It was the first example of his second design of Pacific, being larger and heavier than the previous type. Whilst under construction it briefly carried nameplates "Princess Marina", but prior to leaving the workshop these were replaced by new ones for "Silver Jubilee" to mark the concurrent royal celebrations.
Mr Cookson ran it on his line at Billingshurst, before short spells on the railway at Bramber Castle and later at the Shoreham Miniature Railway.
Around 1937 it was acquired by the wealthy city businessman Alexander Kinloch, who had it tested on Bullock's Foxhill Miniature Railway prior to it entering service on the Surrey Border & Camberley Railway in 1938, where it operated alongside four of its 'sisters'. This ill-conceived scheme only ran for the 1938 and 1939 seasons, in the process running up a significant deficit. In November 1939, after closure, it was placed in the hands of the Receivers by Barclays Bank who held a mortgage on the line.
The locomotives and stock were disposed of by the Receivers over the next few years, but No. 2005 was still available in 1942, when, partly on the advice of W.L. Jennings, Matthew Kerr Snr selected it for purchase. The big Pacific was a freelance design, intended by Bullock as a workhorse rather than a copy of a full-size locomotive, but could be described as something the Great Western might have designed had they opted for a 4-6-2 rather than a ''King'' 4-6-0, apart perhaps for the outside Walschaerts valve gear.
2005 worked all heavy traffic at K.M.R. from 1946 until 1960, when Matthew Kerr Snr decided that the line could be more easily operated by non-steam locomotives. Accordingly, in July 1960 the Pacific was sold to W. Hammond, a garage and haulage proprietor of Stourport, Worcs. Mr Hammond displayed the locomotive in steam at the Worcester Show in 1960 and again in 1962, but the following year all his railway equipment was auctioned off. No. 2005 was sold to a Mr Feeney who was planning a private line at his property at Barrow Hill, near Melton Mowbray, but sadly he suffered a stroke whilst helping to construct the line and the Pacific was dumped in a barn with only chickens for company.
Here it stood for several years until it was sold via dealers Cherry's to John Fowles, who in September 1970 took the engine to the Stonecot Hill Railway, a private line at Carshalton, Surrey; here it joined another Bullock Pacific, No. 1001, but was not used, as the boiler failed an inspection. Instead it was cosmetically restored before being moved by Mr. Fowles to Hayling Island in 1971.
Matthew Kerr Jnr, the second generation of the Kerr family, had to wait 32 years for the opportunity to re-purchase it - for a five figure sum! It had not run for almost thirty years and so was completely stripped over a four year period and given a new boiler at a cost of £8,000. When she started running again after being given her new boiler, she was sometimes very rarely used and at times not looked after properly, however, in October 2001 she visited two of her sisters at E.L.R where she was able to run ‘properly’ once again. Now she is in no fit state at all, so owner John Kerr thought it best that she was given a chance to spread her legs again down at Eastleigh.
Article written by Matthew Kerr Jnr, John Kerr and Clive Upton.
Photos from Kerr's Collection, Dave Holroyde & John Kerr