Known by their nick-name of Charlies this class of locomotives was designed as a wartime economy locomotive by Bulleid, making use of already existing patterns for many of their parts, as goods locomotives intended only for a short life. The photo on the right, from the collection of the late Harold Roy Pettit, shows this loco, the first of the class, in Southern Railway days.
Although the same weight as the Q-class, their predecessors, they were 50 per-cent more powerful, and proved to be fine machines, lasting much longer than originally intended. Considered ugly by some, they are very popular with enthusiasts.
It represents the final version of the goods 0-6-0 development on the Southern Railway (and for that matter, in the world) which can be traced through the examples preserved on the Bluebell Railway of the SER "O1", through the SECR "C" and SR "Q" classes.
This is the sole survivor of its class, and was restored to working order by the Bluebell on two separate occasions under successive agreements with the NRM.
In 2004 it was apparent that there was not a slot in the forseeable future for the Q1 to be overhauled in the Bluebell's workshop, and we also currently have a shortage of undercover storage space. Thus when the NRM asked if the Bluebell would be prepared to let the loco return to York for display after Railfest, the Railway readily agreed. The NRM wished to have the loco in York for two reasons, since it has very few locos relating to the second world war and even fewer of the 0-6-0 wheel arrangement. It is anticipated that after the departure of exhibits to Shildon there will be room in the Great Hall to display her. The NRM have indicated that the loco could return to Sussex in the future for display or another term of running. As C1 has been at Bluebell for 27 years and never been on display at the NRM it was expected that it would attract a large amount of interest at Railfest in May/June 2004.
Over its last few weeks on the Bluebell a concerted effort was made to prepare the Q1 for the event at York by a small team from the loco department.
The Southern E-mail Group (SEmG) has four pages of information and photos of Q1s.
John Russell has a large number of photos of this loco taken on 13 September 1998.
Numbers carried: C1, 33001
Last major overhaul: 1992
Arrived on Bluebell: 15 May 1977
Was on loan from the National Railway Museum.
Left Bluebell: 4 May 2004
Your ideal Film/TV location?