Canton Depot - Class 08/09 Shunter Namings
   

The humble Class 08 / 09 locomotive, more commonly known as "Gronks" have never really featured in either British Rail or EWS plans for naming, with only a handful being undertaken. However, many more unofficial namings have taken place throughout the network, usually of a personal nature relating to staff directly associated with the shunting operation.

Longsight Depot (formerly 9A), was the first depot to attach unofficial cast name plates to the engine inspection doors during the late 70's and the names depicted their locations of shunting operation. Image 08915 illustrates Longsight Depots style of unofficial nameplate.

During the 80's, Tinsley Depot (formerly 41A), went into overdrive unofficially naming each of their "Gronks" after former depots within the Sheffield area. These names were handpainted complete with border and Tinsley Depot logo in a similar position to that of the Longsight Depot "Gronks". Image 08308 illustrates this style of unofficial nameplate.

In the early 90's "Gronks" operating in the Newport area were embellished with female names, hand painted in white beneath the cabside windows within the cab.

The first instance of an unofficial naming of a Canton Depot Gronk took place in early '96 when 08801 was named T L Hannay the name of the 'A' shift supervisor. 

During May 2001, Canton Depot formed a mobile Shunter Gang, with the specific objective of maintaining the Great Western fleet of "Gronks" in prime working order and minimising the need to move locomotives to Canton Depot by road for attention. The Shunter Gang use a dedicated service van to undertake maintenance work work as far east as Old Oak Common and west as far as St Blazey. The gang consists of John Sadler - Team Leader, Martyn Williams, Bob Aspinal, Phil Darroch, Mal Smith, Rus Davies and Susan Deakin whom were all ex level 5 / F exam staff. The Shunter Gang normally provide a two shift, five day a week service with weekend working as required.

 

The bringing together of this small group of excellence created great pride in workmanship and EWS achieved outstanding reliability from this strategy, for its aging fleet of locomotives that are required to work under more arduous conditions than ever before.The close knit of the gang never forgot the the skills and talents of their fellow and former workmates and in recognition they decided to unofficially name each locomotive after their nicknames. When the names first began to appear on the locomotives, each member of staff that I spoke kept tight lipped and would not divulge any information about what was happening in the uncertainty of how management would respond. The namings appear to have the support from most of the depot staff and mangement of EWS and Allied Steel & Wire.

Three members of the gang have been carrying out the namings and these have been undertaken whenever it is safe and feasible to do so, with the name being selected on the day by mutual agreement. EWS liveried locomotives have names painted in gold below the cabside windows and locomotives in both grey and blue liveries have their names applied similarly in white paint. During the course of namings "Ivor" was inadvertently applied to a second locomotive 09017, but this was quickly removed before being returned to traffic following an A exam at Canton Depot. The status of the namings of Canton Depot's fleet of "Gronks" is shown below, including the rationale behind them.

 

08466 Brillo

Named after Mike Edgeworth, retired Painter, who used Brillo Pads for his paint preparation work.

     

08480 Ray

Named after Ray Giles, retired Gantry Crane Driver.

     

08481 Louis

Named after Louis Grech, retired Cleaner.

     

08651 Fitzy

Named after John Fitzgerald, retired Fitter.

     

08653 Vernon

Named after Vernon Williams, retired Fitter.

     

08752 Lenny

Named after Len Tage, retired Maintenance Controller.

Note: This locomotive was formerly named "Brian" after Brian Hammacott, retired Fitter.

     

08770 Benny

Named after Steve Watkins, retired Fitters Assistant.

     

08801 T L Hannay

Named after T L Hannay, retired 'A' shift supervisor.

     

08854 Bradshaw

Named after Alan "Bradshaw" Hill, retired Fitter.

     

08856 Lenny

Named after Len Tage, retired Maintenance Controller.

     

08907 Sid

Named after Sid Davies, nicknamed Black Sid (locomotive carries black livery), retired Fitter.

     

08913 Hywel

Named after Hywel Lewis, retired Fitter.

     

08921 Pongo

Named after Andy Lynch, retired Fitter.

     

08941 Viv

Named after Viv Davies, retired Fitter.

     

08951 Fred / Bugle Nose

Named after Fred Billet, retired Fitter. The locomotive also carries the name Bugle Nose, the nickname of his friend Bob Purnell, whom were always seen together.

     

08993 Clive

Named after Clive James, retired Fitter.

     

08994 Scuba's

Named after George Mabbat, a scuba diving fanatic, retired Fitter.

     
09003 Canton Depot 7th August 2001

09003 Tattoo

Named after Paul Keedwell, who looked like Tattoo, retired Fitters Assistant.

     
09008 Burrows Yard 1st September 2002

09008 Smudger

Named after John Smith, retired Plant Fitter.

     
09011 Margam Depot 7th August 2005

09011 Gully

Named after Ron Gully, retired Fitters Assistant.

     
09013 Margam Depot 25th April 2004

09013 Val

Named after Val Newman, retired Fitter.

     
09015 Tidal Sidings 30th December 2003

09015 Robbo

Named after Arthur Robertson, retired Fitter.

     
09016 Canton Depot 7th october 2002

09016 The Sniper

Named after Vince Dench, retired Service Shed Electrician.

     
09017 Tidal Sidings 20th February 2010

09017 Leo

Named after Leo Phillips, retired Fitter.

     
09101 Margam Depot 12th May 2007

09101 Ivor

Named after Ivor Thomas, retired Fitter.

     
09102 Margam Depot 7th August 2005

09102 Hento

Named after Ron Henty, retired Fitter.

     
09105 East Usk Yard 13th December 2008

09105 Cocker

Named after Ron Seagarm, who always greeted you by saying, "Hello Cocker", retired Fitter.

     
09203 Canton Depot 10th May 2000

09203 Wrighty

Named after George Wright, retired Boilersmith.

    Last Updated 19/06/16