Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Some J21 history.

I had an e-mail passed on from Sue today from Don Nicol who is a volunteer guard on the North Norfolk Railway (I had forgotten for a moment that there were even chillier places than Kirkby Stephen East!). The information he has provided answers some questions that have been puzzling people about the preservation of the LCLT-owned J21 '65033' which will be visiting us in August

Don worked at the Stooperdale Offices in Darlington and had open entry to North Road Works from 1960 until end of 1964. At that time two J21's were stored there, '65033' and '65099'. He confirms that people in the works thought that '65099'was in better general condition and was probably the one to be preserved. However when a thorough inspection was made of the locomotive it was found that one of the frames was cracked and so '65099' went for scrap (according to Yeadon's register in February 1966). However the boiler from '65099' was retained and swapped for the boiler on '65033' which was not in such good condition before the engine was rescued by Beamish.

Don comments that he was looking forward to the day when he would be guard on the NNR 'Quad-Art' set with '65033' at the head of the train. But it was good  to see her leave for Shildon knowing she was to be looked after by the LCLT. Let's hope that he soon gets a chance to be a 'guest' guard on the Stainmore line with '65033' in steam at the head of some of our own Gresley coaches ...

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