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DONCASTER WORKS

PART 41  -  BOILER REGISTER

Throughout the Stirling era there had been no need for a boiler register.  Boilers did not have numbers but were treated as a component part of the engine.  Boilers were never transferred from one engine to another, serving in one engine only throughout their lives.  With the widespread use of steel in the manufacture of boilers, introduced at Doncaster with 4-2-2 No. 773 (8/1885), the time was approaching when the accepted tradition was ready for change.

 

When 4-2-2 No. 93 was reboilered (June 1896) its displaced boiler (new in October 1889) was afterwards fitted to No. 548 (October 1896).  This turned out to be a short-term expedient as No. 548 was reboilered again in March 1899 and its displaced 1889 boiler was scrapped.  When 2-2-2 No. 874 was given a new boiler (September 1896) its displaced 1892 boiler was fitted to No. 239 (December 1896) then later to No. 230 (March 1902).  There were two further examples of boilers being re-used in 1897: from No. 743 to No. 723; and from No. 206 to 864.  There were eleven further examples in 1898 so it had become established practice.

 

Keeping track of second-hand boilers which were not numbered was bound to lead to confusion.  So far, they were being as identified as "Ex 93" etc. Thus when No. 546 was reboilered (November 1900,  "Ex 778").  But prior to this its boiler had been fitted to No. 778 (November 1898, "Ex 3").  So 546's replacement boiler was in fact "Ex 778, Ex 3".  It was now realised that to keep track of boilers they would have to be numbered in their own series.  Around February 1901 a new system was introduced which was broadly:

 

Engine in traffic.  Its boiler was allocated on paper the same number as the engine.

Engine in Works.  If the boiler was changed, then it would be given the same number as the engine (unless the boiler already bore a number).  Otherwise the boiler it carried on entry would be recorded as having the same number as the engine.  This rule also covered engines that were withdrawn, with two exceptions.  The boilers in Sturrock 2-2-2s Nos. 265/68 scrapped in mid-1901 were ignored, as Ivatt needed their numbers for the boilers for his new 4-2-2s Nos. 265/68.

Spare boilers in stock to remain unnumbered for the time being

However, no boiler number should have an "A" suffix.  Boilers of engines on the Duplicate List to be numbered in a separate Boiler Duplicate List commencing at 1701

Any conflictions found would be resolved by using the Boiler Duplicate List. 

This meant that there were many engines whose boiler numbers were on paper only.

 

No. 546 which had drawn attention to this problem was withdrawn at its next Doncaster visit (November 1902).  Its final boiler was not used again so Boiler No. 546 only existed on paper.

 

The Works Manager maintained a Boiler Register, which I inspected about 1965 and made some notes, such as:

 

A brief description of the engine type was given, e.g. 4' 2" x 11' 5" x 6' 2" for the Stirling 8ft. Singles, or simply "standard" if it was the Ivatt standard boiler, viz. 4' 5" x 10' 1" x 5' 6".  Or "standard domeless" if appropriate.

 

Followed by its works identity if appropriate, e.g. 500/26 denoting 26th boiler of Ivatt Boiler Order 500.

Followed by engine number(s) to which boiler was fitted, together with fitment date(s).  Stationary Boiler use entered as appropriate and finally disposal details, scrapped or sold.

There were a number of blanks in the list chiefly because the engines bearing these number had been meanwhile scrapped,  One or two blanks were reused and referred to as Special Numbers, viz. 60, 67, 98, 254

The following numbers down to 1000 were blank: 251 to 253, 255 to 260, 271 to 274, 276/77/79/84/88/95/96, 370, 403-07/09/10/12-14/16/22-24/28/29/31/34/36-45/56/61/62/64-66/68/69, 781.  (In addition 945-48 were engine numbers never used.) 

Apart from the last four numbers quoted, these blanks were mostly due to withdrawals, and they were mostly Sturrock boilers.

Stirling 0-6-0ST No. 781 was reboilered in December 1901 and its original 1885 boiler (numbered 781 on paper) was not used again.  The case of No 370 is interesting and will be mentioned later.

From August 1901 new boilers were numbered at the end of the list to avoid confusion between engine number and boiler number.

 

I have recently seen a copy of Willie Yeadon's Doncaster Boiler Register so it is well to compare it with the "official" register.  His list has all the blanks mentioned above filled in.  This was based on his false assumption that boilers always had numbers and that these would have been the same as the numbers of their engines.  Doncaster's own references to Boiler Numbers in this earlier period were simply the numbers of the Engine in which they were fitted.  It is difficult to understand why Willie persisted in his ideas, as there was no Act of Parliament dictating the numbering of locomotive boilers; marine boilers yes.

 

Comparing his list of boiler allocations with the small sample I took from the original register  I noticed that Boiler 538 was fitted to No. 15 8/1902-11/1905 fitting in his gap from 2/1902 and 6/1906.  I suppose with such a small gap it wasn't worth the effort hunting down for something between.

 

The story behind boiler 370 is intriguing.  No. 850's old boiler (4/1892) was fitted to No. 370 (11/1901) but numbered 850. It appears that this boiler was given the number 850, then after being physically plated as "850" it was decided to fit this engine with a larger new boiler instead.  But it meant that this new boiler (fitted 11/1901) could no longer have this number.  It was thus given the number 1701, the first of many duplicate list boiler numbers.  Therefore there never was a boiler 370.  In the Repairs to Engines Book No. 370 is correctly shown as receiving boiler 850 (11/1901).

 

There are problems concerning engine allocations in the period 1896-1901 of second hand boilers of which there are about 70 or so examples in Yeadon's list, starting with Engine No. 1.  He shows No. 1 having Boiler 1 7/1889 - 9/1907. The Repairs Volume shows No. 1 receiving a second hand boiler in 9/1900 (ex-664).  This boiler became No. 1, so if you require the full history of Boiler 1 then you have to include details of its use in No. 664, viz. 8/1896 - 6/1900.  So its full boiler history becomes as follows, with years truncated to the last two digits,  There should be no confusion as all dates are in the range 1880-1930:

 

Boiler    1: 4-2-2:  Engines 664 8/96 - 6/00; 1 9/00 - 9/07.  No. 664's 1896 boiler was brand new, but we cannot go any further back with numbered boilers.

Likewise a few others:

Boiler    3: 4-2-2:   Engines 771 7/95 - 7/98; 3 8/98 - 1/03.

Boiler    8: 4-2-2:   Engines 546 8/92 - 11/00; 8 4/01 - 8/07.

Boiler    9: 0-4-2:   Engines 16 4/84 - 4/98; 9 7/98 - 12/04; 561 9/05 - 1/09.

Boiler   24: 0-4-2:  Engines 19 7/86 - 11/99; 24 8/00 - 10/04.

Boiler   32: 0-4-2:  Engines 562 1/92 - 2/99; 32 4/99 - 6/04.

Boiler   50: 0-4-2:  Engines 20 5/88 - 12/98; 50 12/98 - 4/08.

Boiler   62: 4-2-2:  Engines 7 5/92 - 6/99; 62 8/99 - 3/03.

Boiler   67: 0-6-0ST: Engines 1054 7/96 - 10/00; 970 2/03 - 11/21     "67" noted as being a Special Boiler Number.

Boiler   68: 0-4-2:  Engines 24 8/93 - 8/00; 68 3/01 - 5/07.

Boiler   75: 0-4-2:  Engines 539 9/89 - 4/99; 75 5/99 - 5/10; 108 8/10 - 8/16.

Boiler   87: 2-4-0:  Engines 562 1/92 - 8/99; 87 3/99 - 9/06

Boiler 112: 0-4-2:  Engines 107 6/85 - 4/01; 112 6/01 - 11/06

etc.

The boiler number was not physically applied to a boiler until its next Works visit after February 1901.  Meanwhile it was a boiler number on paper only, which means that in an unknown number of cases the engine was scrapped before it could be applied.  But if the boiler was used again, the number was physically applied.  Otherwise the number was not used again on another boiler.  There was a considerable number of boiler numbers not physically applied, but which ones these were went unrecorded.

 

In all but a few cases of second-hand boilers, the fitment dates recorded in the Repairs to Engines volumes around 1896-1901-ish are qualified by "Ex nnn" signifying the previous owner of the boiler.  These Repairs volumes were originally maintained in the Locomotive Engineer's Drawing Office and are now available for inspection at the NRM in York.  One entry not qualified by "Ex nnn" was the boiler fitted to 2-2-2 No. 239 in February 1901 and given the number 239.   It was noted as being second-hand and in any case by this date domeless boilers had ceased being built for these 2-2-2's.  It was the boiler removed from No. 872 at King's Cross shed and Yeadon recorded it as being removed from the engine there in October 1900.  This was the only spare 2-2-2 boiler in the fleet at this date.  The absence of the "Ex nnn" details for No. 239 means that the clerk was unable to trace (in the Works records) either the date it had become available or from which engine.  This is not surprising as the boiler had been received from King's Cross.

 

In Yeadon's Boiler List, treat early fitment dates pre-1902 with caution.  They may include earlier unrelated engine(s) with the boiler, and/or exclude other engine(s) with this boiler.  In particular the Boiler List was not concerned with pre-1901 changes, and the following table records all such changes as recorded in the Repairs to Engines volumes.  In general the boiler number was the same as the number of the engine in which it was fitted around 1901.  Two exceptions noted (BN and SN).  The case of the "third-hand" boiler (3-778-546) which caused the boilers to be numbered will be noted.  N denotes new boiler.

 

 

Engine
No.
Dates Engine No.
(Boiler No.)
Dates   Engine
No.
Dates Engine No.
(Boiler No.)
Dates
664N 8/96-6/00 1 9/00-9/07w   25N 5/99-2/00 486 6/00-2/14w
771N 7/96-7/98 3 8/98-1/03w   148N 3/87-5/99 490 7/99-12/09w
546N 8/92-11/00 8 4/01-8/07w   77N 5/87-6/98 524 10/98-3/12
16N 7/89-4/98 9 7/98-12/04w   778N 11/87-11/98 545 12/98-11/03w
524N
11/92-10/98

20

12/98-10/02

3N
778
6/84-8/98;
11/98-8/00

546

11/00-11/02w
19N 7/86-11/99 24 8/00-10/04w   221N 3/88-4/99 547 4/99-3/03
566N
11/91-12/00

29
ERR
7/01-3/05w

  670N
3/92-7/99

549

11/99-11/02w

562N 1/92-2/99 32 4/99-6/04   38N 9/83-12/98 562 2/99-8/05w
20N 5/88-12/98 50 12/98-4/08w   569N 3/93-9/99 564 7/00-2/06w
544N 6/89-5/97 62 1/98-8/99   76N 7/87-6/99 569 9/99-6/10w
7N 5/92-6/99 62 8/99-3/03w   68N 6/86-3/01 586 7/01-3/11w
24N 8/93-8/00 68 3/01-5/07   182N 12/92-5/00 648 8/00-5/12
539N 9/89-4/99 75 5/99-5/10w 95N 5/88-8/97 667 1/99-10/03w
566N
11/91-?/99
ERR
87

3/99-8/06

  707N
10/95-7/99

708

9/99-8/03

107N 6/85-4/01 112 6/01-10/06   811N 2/89-7/98 709 11/98-7/03
842N 12/91-3/99 148 5/99-6/12w   889N 9/93-3/01 710 7/01-3/08
263AN
X
11/86-4/00

181

7/00-2/10

  743N
10/82-5/97

723

12/97-8/09

832N 2/91-1/00 182 5/00-5/16   321N 9/88-10/99 739 3/00-10/07
87N 6/90-3/99 211 6/99-10/06   370N 10/90-7/01 742 2/02-12/19w
892N 11/93-6/99 213 8/99-9/12w 327N 12/93-6/99 747 10/99-8/19
871N 1/92-8/99 230 10/99-3/02   867N 6/92-5/98 811 7/98-5/06
876N 4/94-3/99 231 5/99-4/05w   898N 3/94-5/00 818 8/00-4/07
873N 3/92-4/98 235 3/99-8/02   848N 2/92-10/99 832 1/00-1/11
231N 2/88-5/99 237 5/99-9/10   382N 12/88-12/98 842 3/99-12/15
874N
5/92-9/96

239
BN
12/96-2/01

  206N
11/84-7/97

864

12/97-2/04

872N 2/92-10/00 239 2/01-7/07   819N 12/89-10/99 882 12/99-8/04
504N 7/92-12/99 249 6/00-1/09   754N 9/96-3/01 889 3/01-3/12w
243N 5/94-11/00 250 6/01-12/19w   752N 5/84-4/99 892 6/99-2/06
254N
Stk
2/87-9/98w

258
Stk
8/99-10/02w

  899N
4/94-3/00

898

5/00-2/08

864N 7/91-12/97 294 2/98-4/12w   882N 8/92-12/99 899 3/00-12/09
486N 5/94-6/00 380 3/01-11/12   928N 5/93-9/00 965 7/01-8/14
147N 12/87-3/01 389 6/01-10/14   927N 4/93-10/00 966 5/01-3/10
464N
Stk
8/88-4/00w

407
Stk
8/00-10/02w

  1054N
Iv
7/96-10/00

970
SN
3/03-11/21

490N 11/95-7/99 484 9/99-1/13w   862N 5/91-5/01 999 10/01-4/07

 

BN  Boiler number was 1712 on the Duplicate List as there was a Boiler numbered 239 (entry below)

ERR  Two boilers shown as being out of No. 566.  One was fitted (7/1901) to No. 29 and numbered 566 in error, so to correct this the boiler in engine No. 566 was given the duplicate list number 1705.  One had been fitted (3/99) to No. 87 and in due course numbered 87.  But No. 566 was not shopped at Doncaster around 3/1899 and this particular problem concerning No. 87's boiler was not solved at the time.  The LDO clerk was aware of the problem as far as it affected No. 29, particularly noting that No. 566's boiler was "on 29 Aug 01".  One possibility is that No. 566 had been shopped at, say, Peterborough in 1899 and the LDO were unaware of this fact.  As boilers had no numbers at this time, this would be hard to detect.

Iv  Ivatt engine

N  Boiler new
SN  Boiler number was "Special Number" 67, as there was a boiler numbered 1054

Stk  Sturrock engine

X  Entry in register states boiler "taken from 263", but was afterwards crossed out.  It was not realised that the error was simply that the engine number was 263A (Stirling engine) and not 263 (Ivatt engine)

w  Engine withdrawn at this date

 

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