£1million lottery cash to restore ‘J21’ for Kirkby Stephen East

THE age-old adage that says ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’ has proved to be particularly relevant to the Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust (LCLT).

The group has finally secured almost £1million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the restoration of North Eastern Railway ‘J21’ 0-6-0 No. 65033.

The grant of £954,900 marks the culmination of two years of development, itself partly funded by HLF money, during which the LCLT has carried out a detailed assessment of the cost of restoring No. 65033 together with an ex-NER ‘H2’ stores van to act as a dedicated interpretation vehicle.

Cosmetically restored, but lacking items such as handrails and a cab window, the ‘J21’ No. 65033 stands inside the exhibition hall at Locomotion on July 19, 2016. The loco will now be returned to steam by the Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust. RICHARD PEARSON

The trust is working in partnership with the Stainmore Railway at Kirkby Stephen East station, where both the ‘J21’ and the van – No. 5523 – will be based.

The 1889-built loco is the last surviving example of a class of 201 examples and has strong associations with the Stainmore route; it famously hauled King George VI to Kirkby Stephen and also once took Winston Churchill on a visit to Barnard Castle.

It was withdrawn by BR in 1962 and last steamed in 1983, but has been the subject of several failed attempts at restoration. In recent years while under the care of the LCLT the loco has spent time on display at Kirkby Stephen East, but is currently located at Locomotion in Shildon.

Read more in the July 2017 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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