Bury Standard 4 Group - Restoring 80097 and 46428

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Our History

The idea for buying a BR Standard 4 Tank locomotive was decided on October 23rd. 1984 by the late Colin Wrangles, a meeting was held by interested people on November 22nd. 1984 in the Castlecroft meeting room, a total of eight people attended the inaugural meeting. A trip was arranged to go to Barry Island in South Wales to view the three remaining BR Standard 4 Tanks, the best of the three was 80097, which was confirmed by a good report from the Barry Action Group.

This led to the start of “Tankie Travels” named by the late John Bolton who was driving the minibus for all our visits. A decision was made, all we had to do now was to raise the money to buy it, and the asking price was £9000.00 + vat. This was a considerable amount of money to raise in 1984.

In January 1985 our group had grown to forty members, but we still had very little money so we decided to take out a bank loan to purchase the locomotive. This enabled us to beat off other groups who were also interested in purchasing the locomotive; fortunately our bid was accepted and at last 80097 was ours!

The next problem was the transport to take the locomotive back to Bury, we still had very little money, our Chairman the late Colin Wrangles, kindly took a loan against the mortgage on his house. Once the money was in place and transport had been arranged, some members were asked to go down to Barry for a “weekend by the sea”. It sounded like a good idea!

Keith Savory & John Greenhow set off on Friday afternoon, 17th. May 1985 with a tent for our luxury accommodation, this would accommodate the six members who were giving up their time working on the locomotive. The team was made up from, John Bolton, Colin Wrangles, Graham Thornton, Dale Bolton, John Greenhow & Keith Savory.
On Saturday we painted the locomotive and prepared the loco for transportation back to Bury. On the Sunday morning Tony Clough and Alan Schofield (Senior) arrived to help and by Monday 20th. 1985 the locomotive was ready to go. By Tuesday 21st. May the transporter carrying 80097 set off to Bury or at least that’s what we thought! Having got lost on its way up to Bury, it didn’t arrive until Wednesday 22nd. May.


Work on stripping the locomotive was progressing slowly mainly due to the imminent opening of the East Lancashire Railway line from Bury Bolton Street Station, through to Ramsbottom which took up most of the time of our volunteers, however some work was completed and we removed the side tanks in 1986 and the boiler was removed from the frames of the locomotive, along with the bogey and pony truck in October 1987.

In 1987 we completed fitting out our sales coach, number M93918 NKV and with Graham Kelly running the shop in Platform 4 it meant we had a good source of income coming in. This meant that when Colin Wrangles heard from reliable sources that 46428, was going for a good price, we were able to call a meeting and put forward the idea of purchasing it which was duly agreed. The idea being we would have another project after the completion of 80097, a bid for the locomotive was put forward which was accepted in May 1988.


Once again all we had to do was transport it from Aviemore in Scotland back to Bury, but lack of money was proving to be an obstacle again. Fortunately Keith Savory found a trailer which would accommodate the loco, the owner of the trailer had a customer in Aberdeen who wanted to buy the trailer a deal was struck, we would take the trailer to Aviemore allowing the purchaser to inspect it. All we needed to do now was hire a lorry; we had a driver Jack Atherton who was a member of the group.

Keith Savory, John Greenhow, Steven Buckley and Colin Wrangles all set off early one Saturday in August 1988 and arrived in Scotland in the rain to build a loading ramp. Exhausted we tried to sleep but the rain which was bouncing off the roof of the carriage we were sleeping in prevented this. Loading started early on the Sunday morning and by lunchtime the Strathspey pipe band had turned up to see us off, but we were only half way through the job. It wasn’t until early evening that we were ready to depart, heading south down the A9.

We stopped at Beattock on the old A74 for a rest, although once again little sleep was had by all, but after a good hearty breakfast we were refreshed and set off again, arriving at Bury by 4pm. We had to build another ramp so that 46428 could be unloaded onto ELR metals, before the trailer and lorry could be returned and all of us returning back to our “normal” day jobs.

By 1989 both locos were parked up under the Jubilee Way Road Bridge in Bury and out of the rain, but this meant little work could be done due to the running of the railway. However, a vacant plot of land by Platform 1 became available and we put in for planning permission to build a locomotive shed, Malcolm Vickers did all the paperwork. This took time but in December 1989 we were told the building could go ahead in 1990, luckily one of our members, Dave Mills worked in the local planning department.

A suitable building had to be found and fortunately a shed was found in Norden, the building had to be dismantled first and then moved to Bury where it had to be modified to fit our plot of land. In February 1990 the real work began and the site had to be cleared before the digging could start, thirteen holes had to be excavated for the concrete foundations to accommodate the stanchions that would hold the roof up. This meant concrete being delivered to the car park where it was placed on tarpaulin sheets so that we could fill wheelbarrows and wheel it along platform 1 to the work site. This work took seven consecutive Saturdays, and when the foundations were completed the stanchions needed taking to

the site from Castlecroft by hand truck, up the main road and through the car park, they were each twenty foot in length!

The shed has the following dimensions sixty six feet long by fourteen feet wide and twenty feet high. Once everything was in place and the walls built up, the roofs A frames were erected, cladding was added, doors fitted, the floor laid and finally the electrics where completed. The shed was now ready for 80097, the people who helped with the construction of the shed were Malcolm Vickers who did the design work, Graham Kelly who did the building side, Peter Winstanley, Steve Diggle, Phil Ellis. The following also helped in some way or another: Keith Savory, John Greenhow, Martin Tetlow, Phil Spendler, Mike Devine, Matthew Vickers and Jonathan Vickers. On October 19th.1992, 80097 was then hand pulled into the new shed.

Once the engine was in the shed a lifting frame was built to lift the engine from its wheels this was due for completion by Christmas 1993.
All 1994 was spent needle gunning the frames and checking for damage, none was found, so painting could be done and other jobs on the frame completed. By the time this was done, we were into December 1996 when we had to lift the engine again to replace the wheels. Work then started on the pony truck which needed a lot of work to put right, it required completely rebuilding as it was in a sorry state, once the pony truck was completed we turned our attention to the bogey which didn’t require as much work doing to it.


In 1999 the pony truck and bogey were replaced back under the locomotive and other work on the engine was completed.


In 2000 the next thing demanding our attention was the boiler and firebox.

By 2008 it was decided that the original boiler barrel was life expired and that a new two piece tapered boiler barrel would have to be ordered and rolled by contractors. This has since been welded and riveted together and the salvaged parts from the old boiler have been fitted to the new boiler.

2012 and the outer firebox lower sides were deemed to be too thin these had to be cut out and new boiler plate welded in by a coded welder, all the welding has also now been NDT tested.

2013 saw the copper inner firebox made good along with the copper tube plate; all the work was done again by a coded welder. The outer firebox now needs drilling to accommodate the hundreds of new stays that will have to be made and fitted.

2014  saw the completion of the bending of the large diameter copper pipes for the injectors along with the machining of the flanges to which the copper pipes were brazed.


In March 2014 we moved the rolling chassis of 80097  from The Bury Standard 4 shed to Baron Street shed, with the help of the ELR staff. This enabled us to propel the Weltrol wagon on which rests the firebox of 80097 into our workshop. Now we will be able to work on the firebox during bad weather, as previously the firebox had been outside the shed.

Work continues on marking out and drilling the hundreds of holes in the sides of the firebox required for the new stays, which have still to be manufactured. The ashpan/hopper has been united temporally with the foundation ring to ensure that everything fits correctly. Many new parts have been fabricated and fitted to the ashpan/hopper.


Keith Savory. March 2014.