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Norwich Horse Dray Progress

19th October 2013

Work has been continuing at a steady pace on a Midland & Great Northern Railway Horse Dray, understood to have come from the former Norwich M&GN City Station.

The dray is currently undergoing overhaul under contract in a private wheelwright's workshops and is being restored using traditional techniques and skills.

Work to date includes the retyring of several wheels, the manufacture of new spokes for the wheels and new wood for the dray deck, representing long term investment in this unique artifact of railway history. The dray would have originally been used to make local pick-ups and deliveries from Norwich City station. It was donated to the M&GN Joint Railway Society by the Norfolk Museums Service, who held it within their collection at Gressenhall working life museum near Dereham.

Once restored, the dray will be on display at Holt station with the long term intention being to use it on special days for shunting and goods train demonstrations. Click on the thumbnail, left for more photographs of the restoration to date.

Appeal Reaches New Milestone

19th October 2013

The Y14:2014 Appeal has reached another milestone, with the £35,000 mark being reached a month and two days after the appeal was launched.

Thank you to all who have donated to the appeal so far. This massive boost to the appeal in the first month ensures that the overhaul can continue at a productive pace, with much work ongoing. So far the locomotive's boiler and tender tank have been lifted from their frames and all axleboxes have been removed. A pictorial update of works will be added to the website shortly.

Whilst the appeal has got off to a fantastic start, there is still a long way to go to ensure our centenarian 0-6-0 can steam again. We must raise a further £65,000 to avoid a long and drawn out overhaul funded by conventional means. If this happens, then it may take several years to return 7564 to steam. So please dig into your pockets and donate to this worthy cause!

You can support the appeal by making a single donation, making a monthly donation or joining a supporting club, such as The Loco Club or the J15 '200' Club.

Supporters of the overhaul can also elect to sponsor components for overhaul. These range from small parts, such as Axlebox oil pads, through to the overhaul of the whistle and valve and the construction of a new cab. You can specify which parts you would like to sponsor on the donation form. We have devised a sliding scale of rewards for supporters of the appeal. More information, including downloadable donation forms can be found on the Y14:2014 Appeal Page.

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'Wandering 1500' Members' Day

8th October 2013

Thank you to all M&GN Joint Railway Society members who came out to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 'Wandering 1500' railtour on Saturday 5th October, exactly fifty years to the day since the pioneering tour ran.

The tour, run on the 5th October 1963 was the first tour to use a privately owned steam locomotive to haul a steam passenger charter train on British Railways. At the time of the tour, 8572 was owned by the Society, although BR authorities were not aware at the time. The tour's original fireman, David Butcher was a guest of the Railway for the day and rode on the footplate of our B12 with Driver and Society Engineer Keith Ashford and Fireman David Harris.

The day began with a sharp 9.20am departure from Sheringham, the exact same time the tour left Broad Street in London for the midlands via the East Coast Mainline. The original tour ran to Stratford-upon-Avon and returned via the West Coast Mainline. The Railway Touring Company ran a slightly different route, heading from Liverpool Street station via the Great Eastern Mainline to Norwich, with 7MT 4-6-0 70013 Oliver Cromwell.

On arrival at Sheringham, 70013 detached to allow our LNER B12, No.8572 take the train forward to Holt and return. In the meantime, Oliver Cromwell worked light to Weybourne for servicing.

Class 31 D5631 was also working throughout the day, bringing together three former Norwich Shed (32a) locomotives for the first time. Both the B12 and D5631 hauled the Quad-Art set and Mk.I set, which included the Muddle and Go Nowhere bar which was making it's last appearance of the season.

A selection of photographs from the day can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail, left.

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Appeal Passes First Quarter

4th October 2013

The Y14:2014 Appeal has breached another milestone - in less than three weeks, £25,000 has now been raised for the overhaul of J15 7564, which will see her returned to steam with the appearance of a Great Eastern Railway Y14.

Thank you to all who have so far donated to the appeal. To those of you who have yet to do so, please consider digging into your pockets to give whatever you can, so we can return the M&GN Joint Railway Society's oldest steam locomotive to the rails to steam again for ten more years.

The overhaul of the J15 is already underway at Ian Riley's Bury workshops in Lancashire, but we need to raise a further £75,000 to ensure the overhaul can be completed. They are making good progress on the overhaul, and a selection of photographs showing work to date can be viewed by clicking the thumbnail, left.

If you would like to support the Y14:2014 Appeal, you can Make a Donation. Leaflets can be picked up on the North Norfolk Railway which contain details on our plans for overhaul. Alternatively, you can consider joining the Society Loco Club to show your support.

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The Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society is the supporting charity of (and major shareholder in) the North Norfolk Railway, which operates a 5¼ mile heritage railway from Sheringham to Holt.

The Society actively works to preserve, display and operate a wide range of historical artefacts which include four steam locomotives and many unique carriages and wagons.

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