"The Diver"

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Malcolm
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"The Diver"

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:19 pm

I've seen pictures of the Wheatley 4-4-0 No 224 built 1871 that was involved in the Tay Bridge disaster, but never one as clear as this.

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Re: "The Diver"

Post by 52D » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:25 pm

Thanks for posting the Diver ive seen pics of it working but never in ex Tay condition. It looks as though she survived the plunge pretty well.
I suppose subscribers know that the NBR sent it to the Border branches because the thick skinned Northumbrians would drive it whereas the supersticious Jocks wouldnt. Does any one have her allocation history.
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Malcolm
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Re: "The Diver"

Post by Malcolm » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:31 pm

Got another one of the Diver (and the bridge on the morning after).

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Re: "The Diver"

Post by third-rail » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:Got another one of the Diver (and the bridge on the morning after).

Malcolm
sorry to query these two pictures but the dome is a different shape and is foward of the leading driving wheel in one picture and behind the leading wheel in the other, also the leading bogie wheels are spoked on one and disc on the other so it must not be the same loco

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Re: "The Diver"

Post by CVR1865 » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:40 pm

I did wonder if one was re-bogied but the running plate is a different shape around the drivers. Which is the real diver? or was the train double-headed.
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Re: "The Diver"

Post by 52D » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:01 pm

Class D51 No224 is the real Diver. I wonder if the other loco is a D50 there are no numbers to help, the class was withdrawn by 1925.
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Re: "The Diver"

Post by Kingfisher » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:05 am

Hmmm ....

Sorry to take this off-topic; but I think it's a MR Johnson (or Deeley rebuild) 7' 4-4-0. This from position of reversing lever, boiler mountings, lubricator,clacks & ejectors; no of wheel spokes & shape of balance weights; & mainframe profile ahead of the smokebox. The rear of the footplate valance might look like that after major trauma; some photos of the marque show valancing behind the bufferbeam similar to that of the wreck (others a sharper profile).

The Derby Register records several official photos of a loco or locos damaged in the Hawes Junction disaster (24 Dec 1910). (This should be followable-up at the NRM.)

If this ID is correct, the wonder is that there's only 1 bloke in the picture, & looking like a big game hunter with his day's bag. Whereas, given the Midland's predilection for pampering its locos, it's a wonder you could see anything for swarms of fitters, nurses etc applying bandages, splints, poultices & cold compresses to the poor thing, hoovering, dusting ...

As thousands of folk nowadays claim that their great-grand-whatsit went down with the Tay Bridge, I've sometimes wondered if the unco-tight NB ran several relief trains over the edge, to satisfy demand (hey, it's revenue ...). In which case, there may be divers Divers still down there, awaiting salvage ...

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Malcolm
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Re: "The Diver"

Post by Malcolm » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:40 am

Yes, Gentlemen, I agree. The second photo came to me just recently and I posted it to see what you guys thought. I had always harboured a few suspicions about the first photo (it came to me from a friend in NZ). Nothing definite, but the buildings in the background and the footplate had me wondering. However, I could never be sure, and after I received the second photo (with the number clearly showing), the suspicions became more of a fact. As for the identity of the loco in the first shot, I can't be sure, but a Deeley loco would seem to be a good candidate. Will look further into this. Thanks for the comments my friends.

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Re: "The Diver"

Post by 52D » Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:16 am

I like these detective stories. After a good look at the photo and comparing the general outline of the loco with 4-4-0s of the NER in a reference book it seems as though our mystery 4-4-0 has some similarities to NER locos although i am prepared to concede to kingfisher above on its true identity. The buildings in the background could be Derby or even Gateshead works.
Malcolm as always has managed to spark debate now lets see if we can get a result on this one.
The NBR was cash strapped and usually its locos were rebuilt at least once in thier lifetimes, the divers final shape was a bit different to that shown. She ended her life in Northumberland based on the NBR lines in that county. I will try to dig up a picture of her in her final condition for a comparison with the ex Tay condition.
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Re: "The Diver"

Post by Malcolm » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:01 am

"Kingfisher"]Hmmm ....

but I think it's a MR Johnson (or Deeley rebuild) 7' 4-4-0. This from position of reversing lever, boiler mountings, lubricator,clacks & ejectors; no of wheel spokes & shape of balance weights; & mainframe profile ahead of the smokebox. The rear of the footplate valance might look like that after major trauma; some photos of the marque show valancing behind the bufferbeam similar to that of the wreck (others a sharper profile).

If this ID is correct, the wonder is that there's only 1 bloke in the picture, & looking like a big game hunter with his day's bag.
I think Kingfisher is very probably right about the class of loco and the date. I have looked at photos of Derby during this period and the buildings in the background match (I know for certain it's not Gateshead). He is also correct about the description of the loco. Finally, I decided to concentrate on the style of dress of the gentleman standing there. His clothes are too late a style for the 1880s, but an almost perfect match for the period of Hawes Junction (ie: late Edwardian).

What does everybody else think?

Malcolm
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Re: "The Diver"

Post by Solario » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:59 am

I agree. Whilst I am not an expert on Midland locos, I have been looking them up in one of my books and the extension to the running plate sweeping down under the cab seems to match the Johnson/Deeley 4-4-0s one of which was very badly damaged at Hawes Junction.

The chap wearing the straw boater is very Edwardian in appearance.

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Re: "The Diver"

Post by 52D » Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:00 pm

I've found a picture of the Divers classmate No73 on the turntable at Morpeth pre world war 1 it shows the difference between the original and the rebuilt version. It was probably stationed at Reedsmouth at this time.
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Re: "The Diver"

Post by Kingfisher » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:14 am

The detective story continues ...

The loco nicknamed 'the Diver' should've been a tank, specifically 0-4-4 No 89, Ladybank, which usually hauled the train which came to grief with the Bridge. It was a Drummond P class (LNER G8), built 1877, scrapped 1925. But on the fatal night No 89 was poorly, & No 224 was subbed.

However, No 224 was a 4-4-0 tender loco, before & after its adventure & subsequent rebuilds; & its only classmate was No 264. The tank loco in the pic is actually a Drummond R class (LNER D51), built 1880, scrapped 1925.

I have to say I'm no sort of expert on any of this - the above is all cheerfully cribbed from John Thomas, The Springburn Story (2nd ed 1974, p 129) & the RCTS Bilious Bible Pt 7. I've been hunting up pics of the (actual) Diver in its various conditions, & picked up the odd fascinating fact on the way!

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Re: "The Diver"

Post by Kingfisher » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:34 am

Some pics of No 224 in its various states.

1) Supposedly as built; so 1871 x 1879; apparently it looked much the same after its post-dive rebuild, though I've not seen a photo of it in its 1880-85 condition. I find it hard to believe that even if Mr Drummond left the dome on the firebox, safety valves & all, he'd not have replaced the Wheatley 'spoot' with his shapelier chimney.
diver1.jpg
NBR No 224, as built. Source: T Middlemass, 'The Scottish 4-4-0' (1994), p 12, citing 'Author's Collection'.
2) Ditto: model of the Diver, raffled for charity in 1913 (when the much-altered real thing was still on the go).
diver2.jpg
Model of NBR No 224, raffled in 1913. Source: J Thomas, 'Scottish Railway History in Pictures' (1967), p 96, crediting A G Dunbar.
3) On the 'table (evidently) at Cowlairs, post dive, opposite side from view posted by Malcolm. This image was used as a postcard, but presumably isn't the one referred to by John Thomas, in The Springburn Story (2nd ed 1974), p 126: 'Two more days' [salvage] work saw [No 224] safely beached near Tayport lighthouse. Before it was dispatched to Cowlairs it was photographed by a famous Dundee manufacturer of holiday view postcards [presumably Valentine's].'
diver3.jpg
NBR No 224, at Cowlairs, after Tay Bridge disaster. Source: J Prebble, 'The High Girders' (rep 1966), opposite p 119.
4) Diagram of No 224 as rebuilt by Matthew Holmes in 1885 as a tandem compound. Although commentators suck their teeth about this arrangement's lack of success, the loco was left as such until 1897 - 12 years later if you please. With all that metal plunging about up front, the fore-and-aft motion imparted to the leading coach must've been awesome: if the cash-strapped NB directors didn't use the loco on special trains for inducing childbirth, they surely missed a trick.
diver4.jpg
Diagram of NBR No 224 rebuilt as a tandem compound, 1885. Source: C Fryer, 'Experiments with Steam' (1990), p 67, crediting 'The Engineer'.
5) Final form, c 1900 & at least 1897 x 1919 (when it was scrapped - fully 4 decades after its dive!)
diver5.jpg
NBR No 224 in final form. Source: H C Casserley, 'The Historic Locomotive Pocketbook' (1960), p 52, crediting LPC/Ian Allan.

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Re: "The Diver"

Post by 52D » Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:10 pm

Just checked my references one is a small handbook which seems to get the diver and the D51 confused im off piste with NBR locos but remembered i had the Scottish 4-4-0 book and concede that my previous information was erronous.
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