Which Class 21's (D61xx) were scrapped at Coatbridge?

Diesel Dilemmas - top page

This mid July 1968 picture taken in the Shettleston, Glasgow scrap yard of J. MacWilliam shows D6139 (front), D6120 (centre) and D6142 (rear) awaiting scrapping.

Other than for D6122 and D6146, the whole of Class 21 are recorded in disposal listings as being scrapped at either J. MacWilliam, Shettleston, Glasgow or Barnes and Bell, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. However, although sightings and photographs of some of these in the yard of J. MacWilliam have been published, as far as we are aware, none have been published for the yard of Barnes and Bell. Whilst the accuracy of these disposals is occasionally queried, little had emerged suggesting otherwise until October 2020.

The excellent book ‘THE NORTH BRITISH TYPE 2 BO-BO DIESEL ELECTRIC CLASSES 21 & 29’ published in 2019 and authored by Anthony P. Sayer identifies nineteen locomotives for which the accepted disposals are 'not proven'. Thirteen (D6105/09/11/18/28/35/41/45/47/48/49/52/57) of the J. MacWilliam disposals and all six (D6104/25/27/34/36/43) of the Barnes and Bell disposals. No scrapyard sightings or photographs having emerged for these.

The last known sightings of the Barnes and Bell locomotives were at:-

Aberdeen Ferryhill depot - D6104 (14 April 1968); D6134 (1 June 1968); D6143 (1 June 1968)

Corkerhill depot - D6125 (11 April 1968); D6127 (11 April 1968)

Eastfield depot - D6136 (14 April 1968) - 'Pronounced Life Extinct' listed this as a J. MacWilliam disposal unlike all subsequent listings.

However, Jim Howie has been in touch to tell us that he personally saw all six in the part of the former Dundyvan Iron Works, Coatbridge used by Barnes and Bell. D6104, D6125, D6127 & D6136 in April 1968 and D6134 & D6143 in June 1968.

It should be noted that the part of the former Dundyvan Iron Works used by Barnes and Bell was not the yard in which steam locomotives had been scrapped.  That yard was sited off the South side of the former North British line about 300 yards West of Coatbridge (Sunnyside) station adjacent to the former Caledonian line overbridge.

The last known sightings of the J. MacWilliam locomotives were at:-

Corkerhill depot- D6135 (11 April 1968)

Eastfield depot or thereabouts - D6105 (26 August 1968); D6109 (12 January 1969); D6111 (24 September 1969); D6118 (25 May 1968); D6152 (25 August 1968)

Keith depot - D6128 (13 May 1968) - RO (p.263 7/68) reports this leaving Aberdeen Ferryhill on 20 May 1968 with D6138 which was subsequently seen in J. MacWilliams' yard; D6149 (13 May 1968) - RO (p.263 2/78) reports this leaving Aberdeen Ferryhill on 16 May 1968 with D6139 which was subsequently seen in J. MacWilliams' yard;

Perth depot - D6148 (1 June 1968); D6152 (1 June 1968)

Pictured at what is believed to be Whifflet in mid July 1968 are D6141 with D6147 and D6145 behind.

The other three are D6141, D6145 & D6147 which were reported  as still being at Perth on 1 June 1968.   It is presumed that very soon after they were moved to Motherwell as the Railway Magazine (p.502 8/68) says "Withdrawn  NBL  D6141, D6145, D6147  have  been  stored  outside  Motherwell  shed."  Unfortunately the report is not dated.  However, in October 2020 Graham Ledger kindly made available several photographs he had taken on a Scottish Rover w/c 14 July 1968. These included a photograph of these three taken at, what we believe to be, is Whifflet. This being very close to the Barnes and Bell yard in the former Dundyvan Iron Works. Interestingly none of this trio are reported as being present at the J. MacWilliam yard subsequently. Whilst it is possible they subsequently moved to Shettleston this does suggest that they might have actually been scrapped by Barnes and Bell.

Sightings of the nineteen locomotives at dates later than those quoted would be extremely useful as would any reports of visits to the J. MacWilliam or Barnes and Bell yards when Class 21 locomotives were present. Please forward any information you might have to Peter Hall

Looking in the opposite direction at what is believed to be Whifflet. D6145 with D6147 and D6141 behind were photographed c21 July 1968

D6145 next to D6147 at what is believed to be Whifflet with the town in the background on c21st July 1968


This page is maintained by Peter Hall.