The supply of decent coal for steam locomotives is, so I am informed, becoming scarce and what there is is rarely thoroughly suitable for the engines’ furnaces and in that respect the GWR locomotives have a special diffculty. Their combustion chambers – otherwise  known as ‘fireboxes’ were designed to burn South Wales steam coal. I guess the number of people who can recall the look of this very special coal is growing less by the year. So I’m attaching this view of the tender of 7035 ‘Ogmore Castle’ taking water on Gloucester shed  in 1962 . It had brought in an express from Paddington for Cheltenham and I rode on the footplate from Swindon to Gloucester and back. When the train arrived in Gloucester station the tail lamp end of the train was facing Cheltenham and a large 2-6-2 tank engine backed on to that end to  take the coaches, or some of them, north to Cheltenham. 7035 went to shed to clean the fire, take on Welsh steam coal and water for the return trip. I think the  aspect of the shny, sparkly, Welsh coal will be a surprise to many. It was lovely looking stuff as befitted lovely engines.

7035 Ogmore Castle preparing for the next journey on Gloucester shed in 1962

7035 Ogmore Castle preparing for the next journey on Gloucester shed in 1962