Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Logo

BRC Website Home
Quainton Virtual Stockbook
Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 72 - March 1993

Sentinel 0-4-0 No. 9537 Susan

Sentinel Loco Susan 9357 - by Gary Wooley

In 1992 Susan celebrated her 40th birthday; Susan and brother engine Timothy were built in Shrewsbury 1952. Both worked at the Chesterfield Tube Co. Ltd. in Chesterfield until the mid 1960's, and were named after the children of the then marketing director of that company. Susan was later sold and was moved to a museum at Lytham St. Annes owned by a Mr Morris.

Timothy was later converted to a diesel but Susan was sold in 1984 to a private owner and brought to QRS where before long she was steaming again, running frequently on open days. She was sold again in 1986 and remained at QRS.

In 1987 she received new boiler cladding sheets and chimney wrapper, and was re-painted in her present colour. In 1989 it was decided to renew her corroded bunker, and a quote was obtained from Banbury Fabrication (the firm which built the water tanks for the pannier 7715 and the up yard water tank). They were asked to do the job, and when the new bunker was received we set to to de-rivet the old. We also removed the back of the cab as it too was found to be rotten. I cut, fabricated and fitted a new plate for the back cab. The new coal bunker was lifted into position by the rail crane and secured with much drilling, bolting and riveting, then finished with a good few coats of paint.

Susan carried on running until Easter Monday 1991 when unfortunately a boiler tube blew. Within a week we had her boiler stripped and her inner firebox dropped into the ashpit for de-scaling, in preparation for re-tubing, replacement of some 96 studs and building up of weld around the bottom flange. In May the boiler tubes were ordered from Willingales, and I took a trip over to Sudbury to see them. In June we got set to cut out the old boiler tubes; this proved interesting as 14 of them were screwed-in stay tubes, the rest plain expanded ones. Within a month we lifted off the cab roof, and on 11/5/91 we lifted out the rest of the boiler for an overhaul. This gave us the chance to clean out the cab and to paint it thoroughly inside. The roof was sent away in November '91 to be shot blasted and primered. During the course of the year all boiler fittings and attachments were overhauled, cleaned and painted, ready for re-assembly. Also in November the welding on the firebox flange was done by a coded welder. Subsequently I spent many a happy hour grinding it flush. Come January '92 I had started to tap out the 2¼" BSP holes in the firebox, and to re-tube the box. Much hard work and sweat went into this!

qn_72_08.jpg (42,218 bytes)

Phil Marsh - The return to steam of Susan - with a happy Gary: August '92

The firebox passed a hydraulic with flying colours, in the presence of a N V boiler inspector in Feb - Mar '92. On the outer shell of the boiler I replaced many studs and set bolts, then cleaned and painted all surfaces ready for re-assembly. On 28/3/92 inner and outer boiler shells were reassembled, 96 cap nuts secured: then it was a case of replacing all boiler fittings and doing a hydraulic test to 480 psi. The latter was successful so all fittings were removed, and the boiler drained down.

The weekend of Easter '92 was used to lag the boiler with fibreglass and to replace the steel cladding sheets. The latter job was a terrible struggle by myself, involving tying lengths of rope round the boiler and pulling them in. When these sheets had been painted the boiler was ready to go in the frames but first we bad to finish painting (Tekaloid) the cab walls and floor.

On 16/5/92, using the rail crane, we lifted the boiler back into the cab and bolted down the feet. The fittings were then put back ready for the final hydraulic test by a N V inspector on 8/6/92. The cab roof was painted and replaced using the rail crane (if anybody doesn't know, winding that jib up and down isn't an easy job especially with the sun beating down on your head). The roof was bolted down and pipework then coupled up.

Susan had her first steam test on 4/7/92, some 15 months after her boiler blow. The only problem proved to be that the boiler feed weir pump valves were sticking but we soon put this right.

Her first public appearance was on August Bank Holiday '92. She is now being vacuum fitted to run 1 or 2 coach passenger trains on open days in the not too far distant future.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those concerned in helping and advising over those 15 months in returning 9537 Susan back to steam.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1993 and so does not reflect events in the 20+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Sentinel Loco Susan 9357 - by Gary Wooley - Quainton News No. 72 - March 1993

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Email Webmaster
Page Updated: 01 December 2017