Harsh Thoughts on a Tender Subject

With so much work and attention currently being made on 499’s tender it seems a good time to look back at an article from the Urie Society’s Autumn 1991 newsletter:

…I want to push home the need to do what we have to do, regarding 499’s tender. The tender cost the Society £2,500 net of VAT, back in 1980, which is less than we paid more recently for the bogie and wheelsets ex-825. The tender was the better of the only two left at Woodham’s, and already has yielded a set of bogies and wheelsets for 506’s tender, without great expenditure.

We could have chopped the rest up straight away, but have picked away in the hope that some portion ofthe underframe will be restorable. We won’t be the first by a long way to have chosen a new tank as opposed to patching the old, and with 5,000 gallons of water and 5 ton of coal, we were not prepared to take chances.

The tender was the better of the only two left at Woodham’s

As might be expected with a Urie design, the tender is built like a battleship, 3/8th thick plate for the tank bottom for instance; on average this has been reduced by two thirds through corrosion, and in some places to a webby set of holes, patched by BR. There’s a lot of non-original material, so we are not scrapping any great original.

Oddly, the lettering and numerals from the earliest days, (1927) are still to be discerned, but the steelwork overall is beyond reasonable restoration. A new tank will eliminate a lot of potential corrosion points, and there are hordes of these. We have tried for a photograph of the degeneration; perhaps that accompanying will give some idea of the countryside view through the frames, and what should be a solid web.

An example of the condition of Urie S15 N0. 499's tender
An example of the condition of Urie S15 N0. 499’s tender

Learn more about the restoration of our oldest Urie S15, No. 499

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