Barry Scrapyard Sleeping Giants
The very existence of preserved railways in Britain today is solely due to a miracle occurring in the town of Barry in South Glamorgan. It all began in 1959 and lasted for 30 years until 1989.
Barry was content with it's life as an important South Wales port for the export of huge quantities of coal and the import of grain and bananas. But working within the dock area was the firm of Woodham Brothers known for the recycling of ships materials.Dai Woodham saw the potential at this time of a potential goldmine as British Rail decided to faize out the trusty steam locomotive for more modern types of traction. "We must get on the gravy train here" Dai Woodham once said and he readily took up the invitation with other scrap merchants to go to Swindon Works to witness how the breakup of the steam locomotive was done.
Barry received the first 5 locomotives in 1959 and were quickly broken up, but of the 297 engines they received only 84 were scrapped, owing to the lucrative wagon breaking contract that kept the company occupied.
i personally visited the scrapyard in 1964 as a twelve year old with my school chum. Robin Pinnock has captured this wonderful moment in his latest painting for Rothbury Publishing, the locomotives devoid of name and numberplates still retain some colour at this time, but the effects of the sea air was beginning to show. The main subject 34070 Manston of the Battle of Britain/West Country class is now rebuilt and working on the Swanage Steam Railway in Dorset, a testement to Dai Woodham and his family.