In May the ETH locos returned home, “rancido the tram” not being quite so
wonderful as first thought! The writing was however on the wall for steam heat,
and slowly over the year a start was made on gathering the locomotives that would
ultimately form the GE core ETH fleet.
8th Demands on the ETH fleet saw 47541/2/3 all return to York, partly replaced by
47160/7 from Immingham. Although not obvious at the time the future “County of
Essex” was now back to stay. Its arrival also gave Stratford an xbs loco once more.
Crewe Works released 47010, 47425 and 47461 from their 6I overhauls, the former
losing its silver roof for blue.
Silver roof painted: 47018
D.ML fitted: 47006 now both ends, first fitted one end only in January 1976.
47542/3 return to Stratford (47541 was by now a Scottish locomotive), and were
balanced by the loss of 47100/2 to Crewe.
Crewe Works released 47458 and 47460 from their 6I overhauls.
Silver roofs painted: 47017, 47115, 47457.
D.ML fitted: 47167 (now both ends, was modified at one end only on transfer), 47255.
Silver roofs painted: 47160, 47458, 47460.
Stratford exuberance then took one step too far when they made up “Great Eastern”
nameplates from car numberplate letters and applied them to 47460. Popular with
everyone but the authorities, who demanded their early removal, which was met.
Crewe Works released 47006 and 47011 from their 6I overhauls, both losing silver roofs for blue.
Silver roofs painted: 47003, 47426, 47543.
At the start of the summer timetable the brief interlude with ETH traction ended,
and all nine locomotives returned to the GN. 47425 went to Gateshead, ironically
as this was the one which had not served from that depot in recent years, while
47426/31/57/8/60/1, 542/3 all went to York. Immingham provided the
replacements, but only six, these being 47158/62 (xb) and 47165/70/2/84 (xbs).
The fleet was therefore restored to pretty much what it was before the ETH
incursion seven months earlier.
Crewe Works released 47014 (6I) and 47019 (6G) both losing their silver roofs for
blue, along with returnee 47158 (5L).
Silver roofs painted: 47116, 47156, 47165.
Crewe Works released 47018 from its 6I overhaul, and gave it a blue roof.
Silver roofs painted: 47167, 47170.
21st The fleet that would eventually become Stratford’s core ETH fleet was starting to
take shape. Already allocated were 47167 (47580), 47170 (47582), 47172 (47583)
and 47184 (47585) and on this day two more – 47169 (47581) and 47180 (47584)
were added from Tinsley. In exchange 47093 left for Thornaby, and strangely
47165 left for Tinsley. This latter, which should have become part of the core ETH
fleet was never to return. Some unknown event put its overhaul sequence out of
sync so that it wasn’t due 6I at the same time as the rest.
Crewe Works released 47135 and 47255 from their 5L overhauls, both losing their
Silver roofs painted: 47006, 47019, 47158, 47184.
Silver roofs painted: 47010, 47169. The latter being only the second (the other our
own 47255) to have a silver roof and no marker lights.
8th Another future ETH machine in the form of 47164 (47571) returned from exile at
Healey Mills. As previously noted the loco had regained standard blue livery.
Crewe Works released 47009 (6I) and 47114 (5L) from their overhauls, both with
blue roofs restored.
Silver roofs painted: 47007, 47011, 47164, 47172.
Stratford also found / replaced the “Mammoth” nameplates which had been missing from 47085 and refitted them, but at the now standard BR height.
Silver roof painted: 47018.
Crewe Works released 47150 (5L) from its overhaul with blue roof restored.
Silver roofs painted: 47014, 47135, 47180.
End of Year summary
xb, blue roof: 47004/9/16, 114/50/5/62, 255 (8)
xb, silver roof: 47003/5-7/10/1/4/7-9/85, 115-8/30/5/56/8/60 (20)
xb, silver jubilee: 47163 (1) remains out of use.
xbs, silver roof: 47164/7/9/70/2/80/4 (7)