Where did G. Cohen actually scrap 12046?

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The majority of disposal listings record Class 11 12046 as being scrapped on site at Bletchley by G. Cohen in December 1969. However, 12046 is recorded as present at the Cransley, Kettering scrapyard of G. Cohen by an enthusiast who visited on 19th April 1970!

12046 was allocated to Rugby between 1955 and the depot loosing its allocation at the end of 1968, when it was transferred to Bletchley, from where it was withdrawn in January 1969. 'The Railway Observer' for April 1969 (p.124) records 12046, along with 12045, awaiting disposal at Rugby, suggesting that 12046 may have actually been at Rugby when withdrawn. However, 'The Railway Observer' for September 1969 (p.302) records 12045 & 12046 as being located at Bletchley on 13th July 1969. Part Five of 'The Allocation History of BR Diesels & Electrics' actual records the pair as having moved from Rugby to Bletchley by 23rd February 1969. Thus, any observations of 12046 between December 1968 and July 1969 would be very useful in confirming movements during this period.

Norman Hayllar visited Bletchley on 6th September 1969 and recorded 12046 as present.  Norman also visited the Cransley scrapyard of G. Cohen on 6th December 1969 and didn't record 12046 as being present. However, another enthusiast who visited Bletchley on 21st February 1970 didn't record 12046 as being present.

‘The Railway Observer’ on pages 115-118 of its April 1971 Edition carried an appeal for details of information regarding the disposal of various locomotives. Included in the listing was 12046. It wasn’t until the July 1972 edition of ‘The Railway Observer’ that further information about the locomotive appeared. This being over a year since the initial appeal. On Page 246 it stated that in response to the earlier appeal “At Bletchley on 14th December 1969 12046 was in pieces, loaded on a wagon, after having been cut up by an unknown firm.” Subsequently in ‘The Railway Observer’, page 41 in February 1975 edition, an appeal was made for information about who did the cutting up. The information that this was "by G. Cohen, Kettering on site at Bletchley in December 1969" appearing on page 193 of the June 1976 edition.

Who provided the original references to the disposal of 12046 has not been established. Regretably though the lag between appeals and disclosures is a hallmark of ‘Zulu’ fabrications.

If, as seems likely, 12046 wasn't scrapped at Bletchley in December 1969, but survived for a further four months at least during which time it moved from Bletchley to Cransley then it is likely other enthusiasts would have seen it. Thus, any sightings or photographs of 12046 in this period would be welcomed. Please forward these to Peter Hall.

This page is maintained by Peter Hall.