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Plaque To Mark 50 Years Since Guildford’s Engine Shed Closed

Published on: 5 Jun, 2017
Updated on: 5 Jul, 2017

It will be 50 years ago this July that steam trains were withdrawn from regular service in the Guildford area.

The plaque that will be officially unveiled on Sunday, July 9, 2017.

Now, a plaque has been made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closing of Guildford’s motive power depot and the end of steam on the Southern Region of British Railways.

The design is very similar in style to other plaques placed at historic points throughout Guildford and will be a fitting tribute to all those who worked at the depot (engine shed).

Two of the etchings on the plaque, one showing two class 700 locomotives and the other, U Class 31633 departing Guildford station are from a photograph taken by Richard Greenwood MBE with his kind permission.

The third etching is from a photograph taken by the late Guildford photographer David Salmon which was actually taken on the final day, July 9, 1967.  It  was the last locomotive to leave the depot, USA class tank No.30072.

Artist’s impression of plaque’s position.

The unveiling ceremony will take place at the entrance to the multi-storey car park off Farnham Road (the site of the motive power depot) on Sunday, July 9, at 11am and anyone is invited to attend this historic occasion.

The plaque will cost £850 and half of this expense has already been raised from generous donations.

However, should anyone wish to contribute to this worthy cause, contact retired railwayman Geoff Burch, who started his railway career at Guildford, via his email at


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Responses to Plaque To Mark 50 Years Since Guildford’s Engine Shed Closed

  1. John Lomas Reply

    April 23, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    So nice to see the Bullied Q1 honoured there as well (bottom picture).

    Many considered it ugly. Personally I say it is so ugly it becomes beautiful.

  2. John Lomas Reply

    June 6, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Has a picture been changed or removed since the article first appeared in April?
    I can’t see the Q1 now.
    Or did I imagine it the first time?

    [Geoff Burch has had to change one of the images for reproduction technical reasons. The image that has been withdrawn was of a Q1 class locomotive. The story has also been updated as the date and time has now been confirmed for the unveiling of the plaque.]

  3. Geoff Burch Reply

    June 17, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    We are hoping for a large turn out at the 50th anniversary unveiling ceremony – a fitting tribute to all the men that worked at Guildford Motive Power Depot over the years.

    There are at least 60 of us ‘old steam men’ still alive (oldest being 93) that either started their railway careers at the depot (or came from other depots to gain their appointments) as well as other shed staff that are still alive.

    All are welcome and look forward to seeing you!

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