53808 – A Somerset & Dorset Engine


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The third edition of this book – first published by the Trust in 1985 – tells the story of our S&D 7F No. 53808 from the end of BR service in 1964, going to the scrapyard, the rescue from Barry and the 17 years spent restoring the engine culminating in the return to steam in 1987.

Covering the move to the Watercress Line in 2020 and bringing the story right up to 2023, the book contains a blend of recent and archive photos – including many by Ivo Peters – and features a section on firing and driving written by well-known S&D driver, the late Donald Beale.

A5 size, 48 pages; printed in the UK on high quality silk paper with laminated card cover.


1. The History of 53808 – by David Milton

2. From Bath to Evercreech with the Goods – by John Barber

3. Rescue and Restoration – by Mike Palmer

4. 53808 back in steam

5. 53808 after restoration

6. How to drive the ‘Big-Uns’ – by Donald Beale

Sample pages available – click on the thumbnails below the cover image to see inside the book.

ISBN 978-1-7395088-1-4