THURSDAY, June 21 was a special day for members of the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group as it marked the official return to traffic of 1923 North Eastern Railway-designed P3 (BR J27) 0-6-0 No. 65894.
A special train for members and patrons who had helped financially or helped with the overhaul at the Hopetown workshops filled the five-coach Gresley set for a journey from Grosmont to Pickering on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
When bought from BR in December 1967 the engine cost £1400 – a huge sum at the time – but the recent 10-year overhaul cost is more than £450,000, much of it for the complete renewal of the inside cylinder block, a new tender tank and boiler work at Crewe.
After a speech by chairman Chris Lawson, in which he thanked all the members, patrons and hardworking volunteers, the J27, carrying the famous Blue Star just as it did on its last working for BR in September 1967 when the well-known Newcastle Brown Ale was a popular drink for enthusiasts, departed Grosmont.
The day proved to be a huge success.
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