THE JOHN BENSON PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
Through the kind efforts of Dave Hill we have been granted permission to show some of John Benson's (of Hereford) photographs taken in Worcestershire. John will be well known to members of the Worcester Locomotive Society and the Industrial Railway Society.
The 1600 Class of 0-6-0 Pannier tank engines was introduced by British Railways in 1949 and was designed for light branch lineworking and shunting. A couple of the seventy engines of this class (Nos.1600 to 1669) could usually been seen on these duties in the county. Th photograph shows No.1647 of Worcester on its home shed. This locomotive was only based at Worcester for a year before being withdrawn shortly after this photograph was taken on 17th March 1961. This historic photograph might be the last (and possibly even the only) photograph of it in steam at Worcester.
The 5100 Class 2-6-2 tank engine was built in 1946 and had two spells at Worcester, the first bring in the later 1950 and the second in 1961/62. The 85A shed plate is clearly visible on the locomotive. Standing in the Passenger Train shed on the left hand side of the photograph is Worcester's 0-6-0 pannier tank engine No.3775 which was amongst the few remaining ex-GWR designed locomotives to last until the end of Western Region steam operations, being based at Gloucester at that time. The photograph was taken also taken on 17th March 1961.
Photographs of ex-GWR "Grange Class" 4-6-0 steam locomotive No.6877 "Llanfair Grange" are not uncommon as it was based at Worcester shed throughout its working life. In the last of a trio of photographs that John took at Worcester on 18th March 1961 it can be can be seen in light steam on the shed. On the right-hand side of the photograph is Stanier designed steam locomotive No.48475 which was one of the few many of the class allocated to St Philip's Marsh (82B) in Bristol. This locomotive was actually built in the GWR workshops at Swindon.
This historic photograph was taken by John at Kidderminster shed on 9th January 1952. The locomotive is "8100 class" No.8105 whcih was a Collett rebuild of a Churchwood designed "5100 class" 2-6-2 tank engine No.5126 and was allocated at this time to nearby Worcester shed.
This photograph is a real delight to the eyes. It was taken at the south end of Bromsgrove Station and shows ex-Midland Railway Johnson designed (built by Sharp, Stewart & Co Ltd in Glasgow) "class 2P" 4-4-0 No.40438 (as rebuilt by Fowler) of Nuneaton shed on a stopping passenger. The locomotive had probably been borrowed for the day by the foreman at Saltley shed and is probably working a stopping train from Birmingham New Street to Gloucester Eastgate stations.
The oldest photograph by John is the nice view of three-cylinder Compund 4-4-0 "class 4P" locomotive No. 40928 at Worcester on 3rd April 1951. This locomotive was allocated to Saltley shed in Birmingam at the time that this photograph was taken.
This photograph was taken at the CEGB's Stourt Power Station on 28th April 1974, over eight years after the closure of Worcester shed to steam. On the left is Andrw Barclay No.2088 "Sir Thomas Royden" whilst on the right is Greenwood & Batley No.2000, a battery electic locomotive that was formerly at Worcester Power Station. Sir Thomas Royden was a politician.