QUIET NORTH EAST ANNIVERSARY AS ‘J27’ OVERHAUL HITS SNAGS
Hopes of having ‘J27’ No. 65894 running to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of North East steam this autumn appear to have been dashed. The overhaul of the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s Worsdell 0‑6‑0 appeared to be on the final straight in late June, when the boiler was returned from LNWR Crewe and lowered into the frames, but it has subsequently been found that the front boiler support and the new smokebox did not fit properly. Although the problem is being resolved, the locomotive is not expected to be ready for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s steam gala of September 29‑October 1. It is still hoped that ‘Q6’ 0‑8‑0 No. 63395 will be back in steam for the event. Contract work on its boiler had been delayed as efforts were concentrated on finishing ‘Schools’ 4‑4‑0 No. 926 Repton, while additional work was also required on the wheelsets, although these were expected back at Grosmont in late August. None of NELPG’s four locomotives are expected to be in steam on the actual North East end of steam anniversary on September 9. Peppercorn ‘K1’ 2‑6‑0 No. 62005, currently at Fort William for working the ‘Jacobite’, is scheduled to be undergoing a boiler washout; and while ‘J72’ 0‑6‑0T No. 69023 ‘Joem’ is operational at the Wensleydale Railway, September 9’s timetable is diesel‑only. ●● For evocative pictures of the end of North East steam, see pages 48‑51.
On September 8 1967, ‘J27’ No. 65894 blasts past Ryhope tip with the famous ‘Blue Star Special’ on the Silksworth branch.