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Summer 2011 Newsletter


Now available to download, the Summer 2011 Newsletter with all the latest news, and info on SSS3.

June 2011 News Update

Rapid progress being made on the restoration of the front bogie from ex-GWR ‘Hall’ No. 5952 Cogan Hall, which is being renovated by locally-based Betton Grange Society members at Williton works on the West Somerset Railway. A similar programme is underway with the buffers and front buffer beam. Continue reading

Grange Finds its Feet

Agreement has been reached between the 6880 Betton Grange Society and the GWR(SVR)A for the loan of the spare driving wheels from Collett ‘Mogul’ No. 7325 for use under 6880 Betton Grange which is being constructed at the Llangollen Railway’s workshops.

6880 Chairman Quentin McGuinness and Mick Haynes of the Severn Valley Railway-based owning group, exchanged contracts on 27th April in an agreement that will see the set of 5′ 8″ drivers released for refurbishment after 30 years of storage at Bewdley for the unlikely eventuality that they might be needed as spares for the out of ticket ex-Great Western ‘Mogul’, which is currently on display inside the Engine House at Highley.

“The wheels have been hidden out of sight since the early 1970s” Quentin told Heritage Railway, “Our next task is to get them craned out from their storage area on the ‘Stourport triangle’ and moved to Bewdley yard where we can get them NDT tested and assessed for suitable use under 6880”.

Although the wheels have been untouched since being acquired by the GWR(SVR)A they are thought to be in reasonably good condition and restoration and adaptation for use under 6880 isn’t thought to be a major problem. It is planned to get a quotation from the South Devon Railway to have the wheels refurbished later this year, which along with the overhauled bogie truck, currently stripped for repairs at Williton on the West Somerset Railway, will allow Betton Grange to become a rolling chassis at Llangollen by next spring.

The final major components required to complete the new-build ‘Grange’ is the casting and machining of a new pair of cylinders, the appeal for which was launched in Heritage Railway (No. 148) and already over £10,000 of the £60,000 required has been raised.

Extension Frames Drilling

The extension frames are now being drilled, with completion due on Tuesday 29th of March.

They are due back at Llangollen before the Gala.

Video, D. Huntbatch. (Mr Belhurst)

Extension Frames Machining

The two extension frame profiles are now undergoing machining at GH Stone, Street, Somerset.

Here are three photo’s and a short video of the work in progress.




We will soon be able to show the drilling work that has yet to be carried out.

All photos and video by D. Huntbatch. (Mr Belhurst)

February 2011 Newsletter


Now available to download is the latest newsletter.

All our members should have now received their printed version.

Dates Announced for Steel, Steam and Stars III

The 6880 Betton Grange Society, pioneers of the ‘super gala’, have announced the dates for their next nine day extravaganza as being set for 21st to 29th April 2012.

Plans include a sumptuous line up of guest engines to supplement the Llangollen Railway’s growing fleet of residents, the first opportunity to travel along the extension towards Corwen, a beer festival at Llangollen, steam and vintage rally at Glyndyfrdwy and narrow gauge and miniature railway rides at Carrog.

An intensive timetable will operate on the weekend days, including Friday 27th, with special themed events on the four days in between.

The events are held to raise funds to help build 6880 Betton Grange. Last time enough money was raised to have the extension frames made, this time the target is to raise enough money to get the brand new cylinders cast and machined, which it is estimated will be around £60,000.

The last Steel, Steam & Stars event was in 2009 and was an outstanding success, receiving rave reviews in all quarters. This was one of the first nine day events to be staged anywhere, following on from the first event in 2007 which operated over two consecutive weekends.

Full details will be available here on the society’s website, and on the Gala web site with regular updates as guest locomotives and attractions are confirmed.

Progress Update January 2011

On Sunday 9th January the AGM was held at Llangollen. Fourteen members were present. The formalities completed, three new Board members were voted in. We now have the following people in position on the Board and a group of people designed to carry the project forward at an increased pace.

Quentin McGuinness –  Chairman and a founding member. Also the Treasurer

Richard Cadge – Membership Secretary

David Huntbatch – Sales and Marketing

Paul Appleton – Publicity.

Pete Thomas – Engineering.

Alan Naylor – Company Secretary


Meanwhile at Llangollen, the cab is being erected onto the rear of the locomotive, with the detailing of the running plate curvature now apparent. The hornguides are being fitted and the front four are nearly fixed. The Extension Frames are now on order and below is a photo of the two profiles as delivered to our supplier, Stones of Street. They will shortly be machined to our drawings and are expected at Llangollen in March.

Extension Frames
Hornguides fitted

Finally, we are planning a General Members Day this Spring. There are over 150 people to invite to what should be a lively day with the extension frames fitted, progress on the construction of the locomotive will be there for your inspection. The date is to be announced.

7th Annual General Meeting

Tying up with the first working weekend of 2011 is the 7th Annual General Meeting of the 6880 Betton Grange (Society) Limited, this will be held at 11 am on Sunday 9th January in the Henry Robertson Suite at Llangollen station (directions).

We look forwards to seeing our members on this date.

Further details of working weekends for 2011 can be found here. Additional events will be added as the year progresses.

August 2010 Working Weekend

Whilst Llangollen Railway was hosted the Thomas the Tank Engine specials, a number of 6880 members were busy working away in the C&W sheds. The aim of this working weekend was to prepare our recently purchased box van for outside storage, as at present it is not in the best of condition. The Van was moved down from the loco shed to Pentrefelin Shed by Quentin and Graham Hoyland during the previous week.

Van 1

On Saturday Mick, Jeff and Q started by removing all the remains of the old roof canvas. There were numerous old nails to be removed before the roof boards were ready to be sanded down. Two boards had sprung and required coach bolts to pull them back down. Once the roof had been sanded, a sealant was applied.

van 2

The two sliding doors required repairs. A new set of T&G boards were cut and fitted to replace a poor set on one door. The frame on the other door required two new main timbers. The same gang, now assisted by Richy P and myself fresh from Thomas duties, and Hank, did this on Sunday. Due to the joints this proved a lengthy job but was completed by the end of Sunday. Further vertical planks were replaced and a start on sanding the remaining planks down prior to painting was made.

van 3

Next working weekend we plan to fit a new roof canvas and make a start on painting the exterior and fitting of shelves inside.

Below is a brief history of this van, courtesy of Steve Best from Preserved Railway Stocklist.

Box Van 30454 was purpose built for the MOD by Chas Roberts in 1940, and is loosely based on a LNER diagram 094 box van. 30454 is its ROF Glascoed ID number, & wouldn’t have had a ‘M’ pref. They were also 10t not 13t as in your photo. It was registered by the GWR in the 85xxx range as all privately owned wagons, MOD included, were registered by one of the main operators in pre nat days and later by BR. The registration would have been plated on the frame. These were not the running number the owners applied. In 1994 the Van was purchased by a Mr Mimms and it moved to the Dean Forest Railway, where it was used as a stores van. The 6880 Society recently bought the wagon from Mr Mimms and intend to use it for storing all the parts for 6880 that they have acquired over the last few years.