In January 1935, the depot code changed from C27 - in the early LMS system of coding
the ‘C’ denoted a depot on the
Central Division - to 23E, but now under the control of the parent depot of 23A Bank
Hall in Liverpool.
During 1937 facilities at the shed were modernised, when a new 90ft concrete coaling
plant was erected (identical, incidentally,
to those erected at around the same time at nearby Rose Grove and Lower Darwen, as
well as at many other depots). Being
provided with 2 hoppers, one was intended initially for low-grade and the other for
high-grade coal - the latter obviously intended
for passenger engines and others destined for the more important freight duties.
The actual coal supply came directly from
fully-laden 16T wagons that were each individually
raised to the top of the plant to then be rotated to disgorge their contents into
the hoppers below.
Albeit taken in later BR days, these photographs do clearly illustrate the 1937-built
90ft coaling-plant and the 1938-built 70ft vacuum-operated turntable. Notice the
recently emptied coal wagons on the right, awaiting collection by the shed pilot.
At the same time, an extra loco-finishing pit and a steel-construction ash-disposal
plant were constructed – the latter, again being identical in design to others in
the locality, possessed its own narrow-gauge railway to transport tubs, into which
ash from the pits was manually shovelled. The plant straddled an adjacent dead-end
road with narrow-gauge tracks along both sides from which the tubs were raised in
order to decant the contents directly into 16T mineral trucks waiting underneath.
Usually one or two additional empty wagons would always be waiting further down the
same siding, ready to be filled.
The following year, with much larger engines now requiring servicing at the depot,
a modern vacuum-operated 70ft turntable was also installed, this being in roughly
the same location as the earlier 50ft manually-worked example.
A mainstay of the allocation, from ever since the opening of the depot, were the
various types of passenger tank engines. Large-bunkered Class 2P 2-4-2T No 10844
seen here was actually thought to be a 23D Wigan (L&Y) engine when photographed on
Lostock Hall shed in around 1946, but could well have arrived in the area on a local
passenger working from Liverpool, Blackburn, Southport… or even from Blackpool. In
the original picture, the L&Y Loco classification code (“5”) can be clearly seen
still affixed to the upper cab side, some 24 years after the Grouping!
Hughes LMS Class 5P 4-cylinder Baltic No 11116 was a far more interesting visitor
to Lostock Hall depot in 1936 and, given that none of this much larger type of tank
engine were ever allocated here, it had evidently also arrived in Preston on a local
passenger working. Actually being the tank version of the L&YR Class 8 ("Dreadnought"
Class 4-6-0), the type naturally became known as "Dreadnought Tanks". As all of the
class actually came to be built by the LMS in 1924 (albeit at the L&YR's Horwich
Works), they were not allocated L&YR class numbers. Another 20 were ordered, but
ultimately came to be turned out as further examples of the L&YR Class 8 - orders
for yet another additional 30 being cancelled. Like the Class 8s, they were not particularly
successful and, in 1938, No 11116 itself came to be one of the first to be withdrawn.
Now with also a growing number of Hughes and Fowler 0-8-0s, 'Crab' 2-6-0s and LMS
4F 0-6-0s making up the numbers, in a sadly ever-decreasing complement of otherwise
ex-L&Y machines, the allocation had steadily grown after the Grouping to attain an
amazing total of nearly 60 by the 1930s.
During the Second World War, with much military traffic passing through Lancashire,
demands upon motive power over the ex-L&Y routes naturally were particularly high
and it is of some significance that virtually none of the surviving, but by now out-dated,
Victorian-era engines still around came to be withdrawn until the end of the War.
Indeed, a small number were to survive for a great deal longer!
Examples of the Aspinall Class 27, the standard goods engine of the L&YR in its original
form with a non-superheated round-top boiler. LMS 2F Nos 12156 and 12455 were but
two of many finding themselves on the allocation over the years and are both seen
here stood on No 8 Road at different times in around 1946. By 1948 they had moved
away, to Newton Heath, but others of the type replaced them and soldiered on until
at least 1961.
Nevertheless, at the cessation of hostilities, the depot tally fell to a mere 42
engines, with the by now ubiquitous Derby-designed Fowler 7F 0-8-0s outnumbering
other types, all of the older L&Y versions of that wheel arrangement having been
rapidly dispensed with. It really was a question of settling for the ‘lesser of two
evils’, as the new arrivals soon achieved a reputation for developing hot-boxes during
some of the lengthier journeys that they operated.
Despite this, some 14 of the class were on the allocation as Nationalisation approached.
They being ably assisted by a roughly equal number of former ex-L&Y Class 27 2F 0-6-0s,
the arrival of the first modern 8F 2-8-0s was, however, just over the horizon.
Unfortunately that’s all we have in this section for now, so before you continue
on to the next page, please do consider the following. What you have just been reading is, of course, only a small part of the story of
Lostock Hall MPD …. all of it having been gratefully received from a mere handful
of contributors who have so generously assisted us to-date. There are obviously many more stories out there just waiting to be told … only these
haven’t as yet been passed on to us! Therefore, in order to start filling-in many
missing pieces in this, still very incomplete, jigsaw, please do now consider making
a contribution of your own. Items of information and scanned photographs would be
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