No 3 - A Brief History
NO.3 BODIAM - A BRIEF HISTORY
The Locomotive is an A1X “Terrier” Class 0-6-0 tank engine No. 3 “Bodiam”, built in 1872 by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway to a design by William Stroudley. As L&BSCR No. 70 Poplar, she was the first of the Terrier Class constructed in 1872 and one of the first batch to enter service.
For nearly 30 years she worked suburban trains in the London area. By the turn of the century the Terriers were becoming too small for the many duties they had handled so well, and the LB&SCR decided to reduce their numbers by scrapping. It was quickly discovered, however, that they had a considerable potential on the second hand market. Thus No. 70 was sold to the Rother Valley Railway (later the Kent & East Sussex Railway) in May 1901 for £650 and with 664,108 miles to her credit.
Brighton Works repainted the locomotive in the blue livery of its new owners and fitted vacuum brakes. As No. 3 Bodiam she served the K&ESR well until 1931 when she was withdrawn together with the line's second Terrier, No. 5 Rolvenden (ex-LB & SCR No 671 Wapping) which had been purchased in 1905. The pair languished rusting on a grassy siding at Rolvenden until, in 1932/33, Rolvenden was cannibalised and various parts used to reconstruct Bodiam and restore her to working order. The name plates were removed at this stage but fortunately survived.
In February 1943 her boiler was condemned and one of the A1X pattern, bought from the Southern Railway for £725, was fitted at the Southern Railway's St. Leonards Depot. After nationalisation Bodiam was taken into BR Southern Region stock as No. 32670, although she continued to work the K&ESR, first remaining at Rolvenden and then at St. Leonards. Later, she moved westwards to work the Hayling Island branch. No. 32670 was withdrawn after that branch's closure in November 1963.
She was saved for preservation and ran under her own steam from Eastleigh to Robertsbridge, arriving on 10 April 1964 and was steamed occasionally in the 60's and early 70's. She re-entered revenue earning service on Easter Monday 1974 and for two years was the regular Saturday engine, hauling two coach trains. In September 1977 she was withdrawn because of a wasted tube plate, having been spare engine for some time and remained on static display until early 1983.
She was then stripped down and the boiler removed for repairs. After extensive work, she re-entered service in mid-1984 sporting BR 1950s-style lined black livery and carrying her old running number of 32670. Previously she had relied on vacuum and hand brakes, but a steam brake- fitted during overhaul and with the cylinder unobtrusively placed beneath the cab - much improved her stopping power.
The boiler was removed in January 1986 for the foundation ring rivets to be renewed but its condition was found to be worse than anticipated. and the locomotive was again withdrawn from service. After Bodiam had been stored for some years, The Terrier Trust was set up to secure the future of the locomotive for future generations.
The Trust was formed and raised funds to purchase No. 3 from her then owners and enable a new boiler to be obtained. An order for two Terrier boilers was jointly placed by the K&ESR and the Isle of Wight Steam Railway with Israel Newton Ltd of Bradford. No. 3 is owned 75% by The Terrier Trust CIO and 25% by the Kent & East Sussex Railway Company Limited.
She returned to service in 2006 in a version of its Rother Valley Railway blue livery and was later repainted in BR black. She proved a popular and reliable locomotive until the expiry of her "10 Year Boiler Certificate" which necessitated her withdrawal from service in January 2017.
She is currently at the Weybourne workshops of North Norfolk Railway Engineering being dismantled prior to overhaul. The work is a key part of the Terrier 150 programme of the Trust and K&ESR which should see her back in action for her 150th Birthday in 2022. £150,000 is needed for Terrier 150 - click to see details.