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No. 60118 Archibald Sturrock

The fifth of Peppercorn’s A1s, No. 60118 was built at Doncaster as works No. 2035.  It was one of a pair to emerge in November 1948.  On the 12th it entered service from Copley Hill shed resplendent in LNER apple green with black and white lining, ‘BRITISH RAILWAYS’ on the tender and with a plain chimney.  Number 60118 was one of five A1s to enter service from this shed when new, working were between Yorkshire and London.  The first recorded train was the up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ on 4th August 1949.  Repainting into BR express blue came when it visited Doncaster Works for general repairs in May 1950.  Eleven A1s had already been so painted; No. 60118 was one of a batch to be repainted that month.  On 13th July No. 60118 was named Archibald Sturrock at Doncaster after the early Great Northern Railway locomotive superintendent whose tenure was from 1850 to 1866.  In previous months nine A1s had been named but No. 60118 was one of no less than seven named in July.  Several detail changes took place about this time; the fitting of a lipped chimney, the removal of the Flaman speed recorder (driven off the right-hand coupling pin) and the fitting of the Hudd system of ATC – one of twelve A1s fitted.  Workings noted show No. 60118 at Hull on 23rd March 1951 and leaving Stockton two days later at 18:13hrs with the twelve coach Newcastle – Manchester train.  As well as its home shed it was also noted at Ardsley on 18th February 1951.

Another change in appearance came in January 1952 when it was one of four repainted into BR green; although it was fifth in the class, another 18 had previously been repainted.  In September 1953 No. 60118 was prepared for the Doncaster Works centenary exhibition.  Through the 1950s Archibald Sturrock continued to stride between Yorkshire and the capital.  Named trains included the up ‘Bradford Flyer’ in 1954 and 1956, ‘The Queen of Scots’ on 2nd February 1954 when it failed at Peterborough, the down 12:00hrs departure from King’s Cross on 20th October 1956 and the 11:50hrs down train on 11th July 1959.  Other workings noted include the 12:20hrs down ‘Northumbrian’ on 23rd January 1957, the down ‘Aberdonian’ nine days later and the 11:40hrs up ‘Yorkshire Pullman’ on 4th July with a return working on the 17:52hrs down ‘West Riding’.  Other mainline trains hauled in 1956/7 were the 07:50hrs King’s Cross – Newcastle / Leeds returning into the capital at 19.58hrs with a train from Glasgow, the 15:40hrs and 18:15hrs from the ‘Cross to Leeds.  The latter two trains were usually balancing workings of the Leeds / Hull trains which had arrived at 11:43hrs and 14:34hrs respectively.  Trains from Wakefield featured with an arrival in London at 13:30hrs and arrivals at the ‘Cross at 22:09hrs with a Newcastle / Bradford train were noted a number of times in May and June 1957.  As well as passenger work, freight work was also noted with No. 60118 passing through Newark with the 05:55hrs New England to Worksop goods on 22nd November 1956.  In the mid-1950s the smokebox numberplate and handrail were transposed and  Archibald Sturrock was one of the first A1s to receive the later BR crest on its tender in 1957.   A working away from the usual haunts must have occurred for No. 60118 to be sighted on Cambridge shed on 19th November 1958.

No. 60118 at New Barnet – Richard Greenwood

The early 1960s opened with a generally similar pattern of working.  Of note is that on 1st May and 8th it was on ECML diverted traffic via Cambridge.  On 9th September No. 60118 was failed at Barkston on the 18:12hrs King’s Cross – Leeds, being replaced at Newark by WD No. 90131 running tender first.  Other named trains were ‘The White Rose’ on 29th April 1960, the 15:40hrs up ‘Harrogate Sunday Pullman’ of 25th June 1961 and the 16:40hrs down ‘Tyne-Tees Pullman’ on 5th August.  A rare sighting at Newcastle followed by servicing on Gateshead shed was recorded on 25th August 1962.  During the early 1960s a Smith-Stone speed recorder, driven off the left rear driving wheel was fitted.  Several parcels workings from King’s Cross featured in late 1962 and early 1963; 18:26hrs to Hull with nine coaches on 30th August 1962, 14:55hrs to Leeds with 11 vehicles on 1st September and the 3N10 18:28hrs to York noted on three occasions.  Also the 3B21 Newcastle – York parcels was hauled on 23rd January 1963.

No. 60118 Archibald Sturrock, spare engine at Darlington Top Bank in 1964 – Michael Denholm

After many years based at Copley Hill, No. 60118 moved twice in the last years of its life.  A transfer to Ardsley heralded a wider sphere of operations.  As well as pulling 38 vans on the 4N09 King’s Cross – Ardsely on 22nd February 1963, Archibald Sturrock worked the 08:15hrs goods ex Millerhill past Riccarton Junction on the Waverley route on 16th July.  Twelve days later it was re-allocated to Neville Hill shed, one of five A1s transferred to substitute for diesels on Leeds – Newcastle trains as well as covering Holbeck turns to Glasgow via the Settle and Carlisle line.  Examples of the former are the 1S37 Leeds – Glasgow into Newcastle (from where, after servicing at Gateshead shed, it powered the 1S51 ex Hull forward to Edinburgh) on 10th August; instances of the latter include taking forward the Marylebone to Glasgow car sleeper from Leeds on 28th August and hauling both the down and then the up CTAC Leeds – Carlisle to Leeds on 27th June 1964.  It was now often recorded on Gateshead shed for servicing although a trip south on 26th July saw it on New England shed.  An evocative image of No. 60118’s power from this period is heading down Beattock with empty coaching stock after the Glasgow Fair holiday on 1st August.  After visiting Doncaster Works for repairs for many years, in September it entered Darlington Works, emerging nearly a fortnight later after casual light repairs including attention to a fractured cylinder.  The end came for No. 60118 on withdrawal on 4th October 1965.  Throughout its life this west Yorkshire-based locomotive only had five boilers, all to Peppercorn’s Diagram 118.  In the following month it was sold to T. W. Ward of Beighton for scrap.

No. 60118 at Gateshead in 1964 - Chris Nettleton

This history was compiled by Phil Champion based on a database compiled by Tommy Knox and with reference to the RCTS book “Locomotives of the LNER Part 2A” as background. Revised and updated by Graham Langer, May 2020.