LMS Route: Rugby to Wolverhampton
Tile Hill Station: lnwrth715
LMS 5XP 4-6-0 Patriot class No 5523 before it was named
'Bangor' passes north of Tile Hill station with a down express in November
1938. This photo was originally captioned as being No 5538 'Giggleswick' but
the incorrect caption, which derived from the notes on the back of the
photograph, was challenged by Michael Byng who wrote 'I am having trouble in
accepting the Patriot 4-6-0 in picture 'lnwrth715' is 5538 "Gigglewick".
Firstly the locomotive in in the short-lived 1936 livery which No 5538 did not
carry from through records currently available. I think the engine may be No
5523, later named "Bangor"; this engine received a heavy general overhaul
between 8th October and 7th December 1936 in which it would have been repainted
and the 1936 insignia applied; secondly the shed plate appears to be 3B - the
code for Bushbury at the time.
No 5538 was last shopped for heavy overhaul in April/May
1935 and would not have had the 1936 livery, this is perhaps born out by a
picture of the engine at Derby in May 1937 awaiting a heavy service still in
the more normal LMS passenger locomotive livery for 1935. Finally No 5538 was
allocated to Leeds Holbeck - code 20A - from 25th July 1936 until it was loaned
to Willesden in 1948 after nationalisation.
With at least 11 coaches behind the tender No 5523 is
passing the site where a refuge siding was built in the 1950s. The refuge
siding was built to accommodate locomotives travelling to collect oil wagons
from the oil distribution depot off Torrington Avenue a little to the south of
Tile Hill Station.
This involved the locomotive running from Coventry or Rugby
to the siding, sometimes light engine, sometimes with full tank wagons. When
with a train it would run into the siding, unhook, run forward before running
around the train via the down line. Then the engine would then take the train,
tender first, cross to the up line and run back towards Coventry into the
siding. Number 5538 was built at Crewe in July 1933 and withdrawn in September
1962 from Nuneaton Shed and scrapped at Crewe in December of the same year.
Reg Kimber writes. 'On the other side of the line opposite
the siding was a football pitch. I happened to be playing there one Saturday
afternoon and we received some vocal support from the crew of a Jubilee 4-6-0
which was in the siding. I happened to score a goal (a very rare occurrence as
I played full back) and the goal was greeted with cheers from the crew and a
number of hoots from the loco. A memorable moment. The trouble was I wasn't
wearing my glasses and never knew which locomotive it was'.