Thursday, 20 September 2012

Bressingham Days

When Sentinel 7109 left Croydon Gas Works in 1968, it spent some time at Bressingham Steam & Gardens at Diss, Norfolk. Whilst there, it was still in its original working livery of bright green.
Original Livery at Croydon Gas Works
I visited Bressingham in Summer 2009 to see if anyone remembered 7109 and if they still had some of the missing parts. One or two people did remember it saying that it had not spent long there as some visitors had remarked unflatteringly that it 'looked like a diesel'! Seemingly it never steamed at Bressingham and hence it's understandable why it might be thought of as resembling a diesel. Believe me, underneath its skin, it's not a diesel! Also, despite being made very welcome, the missing parts were also missing there.

Whilst many pictures exist of Sentinel 7109, most of them are in monochrome and very few in colour. However, on Sunday 16th September 2012, I spent an afternoon at the Bedfordshire Steam & Country fayre somewhere not far from Biggleswade.

It was the annual big outing for the Sentinel Drivers' Club to show off their road waggons together and there was an impressive turnout.
Sentinel Waggons at Bedford (1). (Click picture to enlarge).
Sentinel Waggons at Bedford (2)
Amongst the Sentinel exhibitors, I met Neil Matlock, the Sentinel Drivers' Club's diesel waggons officer. In conversation, he mentioned that he had a small number of colour photos of 7109 in 1973 and the he could email them to me. This he did kindly and, with his permission, they are here below.
7109 at Bressingham (1)
7109 at Bressingham (2)
7109 at Bressingham (3)
7109 at Bressingham (4)
From the above, it would seem that 7109 had not steamed for some time. Bearing in mind that its new boiler was installed in 1951 and that it was taken out of service around 1960 and then not moved to Bressingham until 1968, five years later in 1973, it does not look like it had had a recent overhaul.

So, should it have red highlights to its lower features? Hmm.


  1. Oh, yes! The red nicely sets off the green, even though she looks really sad while at Bressingham.

    1. I wondered if my question would raise a comment!
      There is a dilemma here. 7109 was acquired for Midsomer Norton because of her strong resemblance to the pair of locos that worked at Radstock. The only colour photo I have shows them in black with no obvious red highlights (although this could be simply due to a generous covering of steam-age muck!). So perhaps red highlighting might not be too authentic to the Radstock loco theme.
      However, restoration should show items at their best so you never know and I envisage various colours & guises in the future - but initially black!


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