A NORTH East-built 4-8-2 donated to preservationists a year ago risks being scrapped – because the new owning group does not have the funds to bring it back to the UK.
Now a nationwide appeal has been made for other heritage organisations to take it on before it is too late.
South African Railways’ Robert Stephenson Hawthorns 19D 4-8-2
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No. 2767 (later Saiccor No. 3) was offered to the NBL Preservation Group free of charge by the country’s Sappi Pulp Mill near Umkomaas last January.
It was planned to bring the locomotive back to Darlington for static display in the town’s Head of Steam Museum, which is devoted to the local railway industry.
Hopes were high that there would be a good level of support from the Darlington area and the possibility of Heritage Lottery Fund grant aid.
More than £6000 was raised by group members in the first few months, but the anticipated level of support from the North East did not materialise.
The museum then told the group that no space will be available for the locomotive in the foreseeable future.
Since then, the group has approached several other UK organisations and museums in a bid to raise funds and find a home for the 19D, but without success. Group officials appealed to the National Railway Museum and also made a direct approach to the mayor of Darlington, but without success.
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