Restoration of Sentinel 10165 Joan

Maud and Joan at Panteg in 1974

Joan vandalised and abandoned in the undergrowth at the end of a siding on the Dean Forest Railway, 2002. Photo credit Colin Girle

Joan at the former Long Marston MOD depot in 2005, destined for use as spares before being scrapped. Thankfully we saved her from this fate but sister loco Maud behind was sadly not so lucky. Photo credit Colin Girle

11 year restoration of Joan nearing completion in the shed. Work on the final parts - cab doors and sliding engine bonnet panels - is underway, some of the lining is done and all the badges are away being chromed. Photo credit Colin Girle

Just three years after being purchased for preservation at the Dean Forest Railway, Joan became disused and for thirteen years lay vandalised and derelict at various sites around the railway and later at the former MOD site at Long Marston. Although now in poor condition she was still complete, in totally original condition and looked basically sound. After a thorough inspection she was purchased and moved to Cranmore in November 2005. Joans long road to recovery began with the power unit. After many years lying dormant, the Rolls-Royce C8 engine was carefully checked over but would not turn. The fault was traced to the supercharger and after fitting a replacement, the engine was successfully started up and ran surprisingly well. However a noise from the transmission indicated all was not well here. The unit was removed from the engine and a seized spigot bearing found, quite possibly the reason she was sidelined at the DFR in the first place. This was actually a relatively simple fix and with a new bearing in place, the transmission was fitted back to the engine and test run with no further problems. Next the badly damaged front and rear buffers were replaced with ones we salvaged and refurbished from scrapped sister loco Maud. Many other parts were also saved from this loco. Work on Joan continued intermittently while restoration of Sentinel Cattewater, Hudswell Clarke loco No.45, and the construction of our shed all intervened . In between times work progressed on the frames, brake rigging, springs, control desk, radiator, rear buffers, drawhooks, vacuum brake, fuel and air systems. As things developed, all the bodywork had to be removed to attend to numerous broken bolts which should have attached the floor, side skirts, steps and ballast weight. Some of these had broken due to corrosion jacking the plates apart but many were due to the battering she took working at Panteg. The result meant stripping the loco down to just the frames and wheels. The power unit was also removed to replace a broken engine mount. All of this was attended to, the bodywork de-rusted and repaired where necessary, painted with primer then reassembled on the loco. And so the restoration moved steadily on…. In November 2013 a milestone was reached – after 6 years the engine, exhaust, intake filter and fuel system were all in and connected again and the engine successfully started up. By the following February the control desk was rebuilt and the loco was able to move under her own power for the first time in over 20 years. Work continued in the cab to rebuild the control locker and battery boxes, and to repaint the cab interior and control desk. We then fitted the cab glazing, rebuilt and fitted the two wingplates and completely re-wired the electrical system. By late summer 2016 work began in earnest on the paintwork, and restoration of the final panels – the cab doors and sliding engine casings. Many small jobs remain to be done but the end is finally in sight with completion by the end of 2016. Joans hard industrial life at Panteg and the subsequent years lying derelict, have meant almost every aspect of the loco has received attention. What began as a normal restoration has developed into a painstaking and detailed rebuild to original condition, bringing what was once an absolute wreck back to her former glory.