Oxfordshire Ironstone closure commemorated

THE 50th anniversary of the sudden closure of the Oxfordshire Ironstone Company (OIC) system in 1967 was remembered at Rocks by Rail on September 17.

The three former OIC Rolls-Royce Sentinel 0-4-0DH diesels now resident at the Rutland railway were featured.

Betty, as Grace, spent the day shunting in the quarry, while the other two were displayed outside the loco shed. All three were later posed for photos by the shed (from left to right): Jean (carrying the original name plate from the steam loco Mary); Graham masquerading as Frank; and Betty becoming Grace. ALISTAIR GRIEVE

They took on the identities of former members of the OIC fleet for the gala, with Betty (Rolls-Royce 10201 of 1964) becoming Grace, Jean (Rolls-Royce 10204 of 1965) was Mary, and Graham (Rolls-Royce 10207 of 1965) being renamed Frank.

OIC locos were named after company officials and relatives, and initially carried by steam locos; the names were transferred to their replacement diesels.

The ‘girls’ were 30-ton, 325hp locos used for quarry shunting, while the ‘boys’ were 38-ton, 325hp locos, which hauled trains to and from the exchange sidings.

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