Camelot at Eastleigh with a Bournemouth - Waterloo train, August 1961. MIKE PEART. Mike was painting his great uncle's kitchen in Winchester but preferred watching Camelot to watching paint dry.
Construction, and Mainline Operations with British Railways
Camelot at Axminster, Nov 1965, ANON.
73082 Camelot was built at Derby in 1955 and ran on the Southern Region of British Railways until 1966. After withdrawal, it was removed to Woodham Bros. scrapyard at Barry, near Cardiff. However, it was not scrapped and, along with many other withdrawn
locomotives, remained in the yard, where its condition slowly deteriorated.
Saved from Scrap
Buried at Barry, Nov 1978, S DESMOND
The Society was founded as an Unincorporated Society in 1974 to purchase and restore Camelot. The locomotive was purchased in 1979, and, later in the same year, was taken to the Bluebell Railway.
The locomotive arrived on the railway without
a tender, because the tender originally attached to Camelot had been purchased by another group. The Society purchased a tender frame from a steel mill in Briton Ferry, where it had been used as an ingot carrier, so that a new tender could be constructed.
Also purchased was a British Railways Mark 1 Covered Carriage Truck (CCT), to be used as a parts store.
General Overhaul and Restoration, and Operation on the Bluebell Railway
Re-enters traffic on Poppy Day, 1995
After arriving at Sheffield Park the Society started restoration, beginning with repairing the tender frame and comissioning the construction of a new tender body by contractors. The locomotive was then dismantled for a general overhaul of all its components.
73082 Camelot returned to steam in 1995 with a new ten year boiler certificate, and was in regular service on the railway until 2005. During this time, the Society worked to raise money to pay for the next major overhaul. Fund raising was done through the
Society's retail Sales Stand and Mail Order operation, and by the sale of shares in 73082 Camelot to Society Members
Second General Overhaul and Return to Service
Test run on relaunch day, 21 October, 2015, JULIAN HEINEMANN.
The Locomotive was withdrawn for another general overhaul in June 2005, but returned to service with another new boiler certificate on 31 October 2015, at the "Giants of Steam" event. In September, 2018, the locomotive visited the West Somerset Railway
and took part in the railway's Autumn "Cross Country" Gala Event.
The Unexpected Overhaul
Steam Test, 15 September 2021, PETER GIBBS.
In late 2020 the firebox foundation ring developed a serious leak. The Bluebell Railway Workshop recognised that it would have to lift the boiler to access the leak. The Workshop Manager and the Society agreed that it would be best to perform an Intermedate
Overhaul and recertify the boiler for another ten years, as the boiler would be out of the frames anyway.
The overhaul was completed and the boiler recertified in September 2021, this was followed by test runs to Kingscot and East Grinstead. The locomotive
hauled a public passenger train for the first time on 29 September, and appeared at the "Giants of Steam" gala on 8, 9 and 10 October.