Canton Depot - Class 08/09 Shunter Namings

Longsight Depot (formerly 9A), was the first depot to attach unofficial name plates to the engine room inspection doors during the late 70's and their names depicted their locations of shunting operation.

During the 80's, Tinsley Depot (formerly 41A) unofficially named each of their Class 08's after former depots within the Sheffield area. These names were handpainted complete with border and Tinsley Depot logo in a similar position to that of the Longsight Depot ones.

In the early 90's Class 08/09's operating in the Newport area were embellished with female names, hand painted in white beneath the cabside windows.

The first instance of an unofficial naming of a Canton Depot Class 08 took place in early '96 when 08801 was named T L Hannay after the 'A' shift supervisor. 

During May 2001, Canton Depot formed a mobile Shunter Gang, with the specific objective of maintaining the Great Western fleet of Class 08/09's in prime working order and minimising the need to move locomotives to Canton Depot by road for attention. The Shunter Gang use a dedicated service van to undertake maintenance work work as far east as Old Oak Common and west as far as St Blazey. The gang consists of John Sadler - Team Leader, Martyn Williams, Bob Aspinal, Phil Darroch, Mal Smith, Rus Davies and Susan Deakin whom were all ex level 5 / F exam staff. The Shunter Gang normally provided a two shift, five day a week service with weekend working as required.

The formation of this small group of excellence created pride in workmanship and EWS achieved improved reliability for its aging fleet of locomotives that were being required to work under more arduous conditions than ever before. The close knit of the gang never forgot the skills and talents of their fellow and former workmates and in recognition of this they decided to unofficially name each locomotive after their nicknames. When the names first began to appear on the locomotives, each member of staff that I spoke to kept tight lipped in the uncertainty of how management would respond. The namings appear to have the support from most of the depot staff and mangement of EWS and Allied Steel & Wire.

Three members of the gang have been carrying out the namings and these have been undertaken whenever it is safe and feasible to do so, with the name being selected on the day by mutual agreement. EWS liveried locomotives have names painted in gold below the cabside windows and locomotives in both grey and blue liveries have their names applied similarly in white paint. During the course of namings "Ivor" was inadvertently applied to a second locomotive 09017, but this was quickly removed before being returned to traffic following an A exam at Canton Depot. The status of the namings of Canton Depot's fleet of Class 08/09's is shown below, including the rationale behind them.


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08466 Brillo

Named after Mike Edgeworth, retired Painter, who used Brillo Pads for his paint preparation work.

08480 Ray

Named after Ray Giles, retired Gantry Crane Driver.


08481 Louis

Named after Louis Grech, retired Fitter

08651 Fitzy

Named after John Fitzgerald retired Fitter


08653 Vernon

Named after Vernon Williams, retired Fitter.

08752 Lenny

Named after Len Tage, retired Maintenance Controller and formerly named Brian after Brian Hammacott, retired Fitter.


08770 Benny

Named after Steve Watkins, retired Fitters Assistant.

08801 T L Hannay

Named after T L Hannay, retired 'A' shift supervisor.


08854 Bradshaw

Named after Alan "Bradshaw" Hill, retired Fitter.


08856 Lenny

Named after Len Tage, retired Maintenance Controller.



08907 Sid

Named after Sid Davies, nicknamed Black Sid.

08913 Hywel

Named after Hywel Lewis, retired Fitter.



08921 Pongo

Named after Andy Lynch, retired Fitter.

08941 Viv

Named after Viv Davies, retired Fitter.



08951 Fred / Bugle Nose

Named after Fred Billet, retired Fitter. The locomotive also carries the name Bugle Nose, the nickname of his friend Bob Purnell.

08993 Clive

Named after Clive James, retired Fitter.




08994 Scuba's

Named after George Mabbat, a scuba diving fanatic, retired Fitter.

09003 Tattoo

Named after Paul Keedwell, who looked like Tattoo, retired Fitters Assistant.




09008 Smudger

Named after John Smith, retired Plant Fitter.

09011 Gully

Named after Ron Gully, retired Fitters Assistant.



09013 Val

Named after Val Newman, retired Fitter.

09015 Robbo

Named after Arthur Robertson, retired Fitter.



09016 The Sniper

Named after Vince Dench, retired Service Shed Electrician.

09017 Leo

Named after Leo Phillips, retired Fitter.




09101 Ivor

Named after Ivor Thomas, retired Fitter.

09102 Hento

Named after Ron Henty, retired Fitter.



09105 Cocker

Named after Ron Seagarm, who always greeted you by saying, "Hello Cocker", retired Fitter.

09203 Wrighty

Named after George Wright, retired Boilersmith.



    Last Updated 27/07/22