A Warm Welcome!

These pages are recording the restoration activities and background of the world's only remaining coal-fired, standard gauge, balanced, double-engined Sentinel steam locomotive (and a few other things).
Something like this!
'Blog or Web-site? Sentinel Steam Loco 7109 is a web-log. 'Blogs and web-sites differ in a number of ways. Once designed, a web-site can remain static for a long time with only occasional updates for news or additions. A blog is more dynamic and better suited to rapidly changing situations with frequent updates. Blogging tools, such as Google's 'Blogger' as used here, include features that enable readers to interact with the content and be kept up to date automatically. This contrasts with a web-site on which the onus is on you to have a look when you remember. Thus blogs encourage readers to become involved and contribute their own ideas.

For readers who have not read many 'blogs before, these notes should help you to find your way around.

Searching: There is a search box in the banner at the top of the blog page to help you find what you are looking for.

Pictures: Click on a picture to zoom to a larger version.
Click your browser's back arrow or equivalent to return to where you were.

Centre column: The blog postings
Each article will appear in the central column either when it is first published or when selected from a left hand column hyperlink.

Commenting: Yes you can!
Under each posting is a section for comments where you can contribute your own information, questions, suggestions or whatever you like. (I reserve the right to remove unsuitable material!). So, if you think I've missed a trick, let me know!

Left hand column: Navigation
Each blue text item is a hyperlink to more information. Click on the blue text and the target page will appear in a new browser tab or window. Articles can be found by subject, archive date or by using the search box. The blog is set to show the five most recent articles. Sixth and older articles go into the archive but remain accessible for all time. The archive catalogues articles on a monthly basis.

Right hand column: Subscribing (and other general stuff)
If you put your email address into the box under 'Follow 7109...', you will receive an email asking for authentication to ensure it is really you. Reply to this and each time a new article is posted, an email will let you know. It is very easy to unsubscribe so don't be put off.

If you have a Google account, you can click in the 'Subscribe to 7109' boxes for updates of article postings or comments.

Getting back Home: Click a 'Home' hyperlink and all will be reset

Hopefully, the above should help you get the best from this and other blogs. Send me a comment if you need more help!


  1. I used to work opposite Croydon Gasworks and saw Joyce occasionally. One Sunday I was able to get on to the footplate (she was not in steam) and don't remember seeing any cladding so it must have been pretty hot with the small space between boiler and cab back.
    As you know this is not the original boiler as trials on the railways showed the boiler fitted was too small and a larger one was asked for. And supplied!

    W Bareham

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      I like receiving comments like this as they can sometimes lead to all sorts of new information about Joyce before preservation.

      I'm only aware of a new boiler being fitted in 1951 and it is the one we have had refurbished. It was only used for about 10 years until Joyce stopped being used in about 1960. I don't believe she was steamed after that although I once heard a rumour that she was used during a seamen's strike in the mid 1960s.

      I do have some old correspondence about the boiler replacement but it is rather long and tedious and not very 'blog-worthy. One day maybe!

      Do you by any chance have any photos or details about Joyce? I'm also the loco officer for the Sentinel Drivers' Club and am always on the look-out for archivable material.

      I live in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and have yet to visit Croydon on a fact-finding mission. I did contact the Croydon reference library but they, surprisingly, had nothing of interest about Joyce.

      I hope you enjoy the 'blog.

  2. Thanks for the chat and opportunity to take photos this morning. I've posted a couple of wikicommons at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sentinel_Loco_7109_at_Midsomer_Norton_2.JPG and https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sentinel_Loco_7109_at_Midsomer_Norton.JPG

    There are loads of others from my station visit at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Midsomer_Norton_railway_station

    I used one of the photos at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%26DJR_Sentinels and more about the station is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsomer_Norton_railway_station

    If you (or anyone else) wanted to improve these articles please just click "edit" on the pages

  3. I am modelling midsomer norton as it is now in n gauge and so have modelled 7109, when I have got the motorised chassis for the rebuild I will also repaint it. So, when it is fully restored, what livery will the real thing be in?

    1. Thanks for your comment Art.
      I've had a go at building a Radstock Sentinel model in 00 gauge and that is small and fiddly. N gauge - an extreme exercise in manual dexterity!
      Most of the time, I expect 7109 to be black in sympathy with the Radstock Sentinels but not with the original authentic Gas-works green with black edgings. However, don't hold me to that as it's not a decision as yet and there may be changes over time for the fun of it.
      Have you any pictures of your N gauge model?
      Keep up the good work!

  4. Hello Andy

    If you keep an eye on my website you will have seen that I have just added a page on vertical-boiler locomotives.

    Seems like time I added one on Sentinels- and I would like to discuss that with you.
    If you care to contact me you will find my email address on the front page of my site.

    Douglas Self


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