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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 42 - Autumn / Winter 1980 / 81

Andrew Barclay 0-6-0ST No. 2138 Swordfish

Swordfish - Our First Barclay Six-coupled Tank

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J R Fairman - Swordfish at Quainton, 25th August 1980

When I first saw this handsome Barclay saddle tank it was scarcely visible under a forest of bushes and greenery at the scrap yard of Goodman Bros. Limited, at New Bradwell, Wolverton. So it was with special pleasure I learnt that Roger and Sandy Wornham had rescued her from possible oblivion and delivery to Quainton down yard had taken place on 15th August.

I hadn't realised Barclay 2138 had once carried a name, Swordfish, so my first question to Roger was 'Why Swordfish?'. Well, it seems that the engine was built in December 1941 for the Ministry of Supply to a standard design of Stanton Ironworks and the exploits of the wonderful old torpedo biplane in World War II were legend at that time. So Swordfish is a tribute to those gallant flyers of the Fleet Air Arm and to the Stringbag, as the plane was fondly referred to. Perhaps we could have a re-dedication of the name at the first public steaming?

The working life of the 0-6-0ST at Stantons continued until it was sold in 1947 to Stewarts and Lloyds for use in their Glendon North and later their East Quarries. When displaced by diesels, Swordfish was sold again (in August 1962), still in good condition, to Goodman Bros. and they planned to export it, but the deal fell through. It is known that the engine was overhauled by the BSC in 1956 and it did little work before it was withdrawn from service. Incidentally, a sister engine, Barclay 2139/1942, called Salmon, is preserved at Market Overton Society's Cottesmore Depot, after eleven years on the North Yorkshire Moors Line.

Swordfish weighs 26½ tons empty (33 tons in working order) and was delivered from New Bradwell by Brackmill's Haulage of Northampton on a low loader. It has a 10ft 3 in wheelbase, divided unequally into 4ft 9 in between rear and centre coupled wheels and 5 ft 6 in to the leading axle. The driving wheels are 3ft 5 in diameter, cylinders 14 in dia and 22 in stroke, boiler heating surface 599 sq ft, boiler working pressure 160 psig, grate area 9½, sq ft, water capacity 720 gals, coal 1½ tons and overall length 26ft 9 in.

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J R Fairman - Owner Drivers by 1987 - Roger and Sandy Wornham

Sandy and Roger have a five year restoration programme in mind and they have only one major problem : missing side and connecting rods. A detailed inspection cannot, of course, be carried out until dismantling takes place, but a few tubes have been removed and the tube plates look good. The firebox is steel, as befitting a wartime locomotive, but everything is solid Barclay construction and the very heavy special S & L's buffers will be noted in the picture. On the front of the tank will be seen the container from water treatment briquettes, an internal softening process which necessitates an extra large blow down valve and wash out plugs.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1981 and so does not reflect events in the 33+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Swordfish - Our First Barclay Six-coupled Tank - Quainton News No. 42 - Autumn / Winter 1980 / 81

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 17 November 2017