Our veteran J15, no.7564 bowed out with a final week of steaming, culminating in her last turn on Monday 6th May 2013. Driver Ben Boggis and Fireman James Redburn took the privileged last turn and gave the locomotive a fine send off.
The J15 was one of the first locomotives purchased by the M&GN Joint Railway Society from BR and arrived at Sheringham on 2nd June 1967 along with the B12. The J15 was the most logical locomotive for the Society to restore and returned to steam in August 1977. She went on to work many trains and hauled the first passenger train up to Holt on the opening of the Kelling extension in 1989 before withdrawal.
It wasn't until 2002 that the J15 finally steamed again, thanks to the efforts of John Durrant and the late Roger Heasman. She returned with a virtually new boiler, manufactured by Pridhams and with the BR number 65462. The loco earnt a good reputation as a reliable performer and visited many other heritage railways during her 10 year ticket. The non-exhaustive list included the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway (2002), Beamish Museum (2003), Great Central Railway (2003), Barrow Hill Roundhouse (2005, 2007), Kent & East Sussex Railway (2007), Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway (2007), North Yorkshire Moors Railway (2008) and Avon Valley Railway (2011).
During the J15's last ticket, she has appeared in a number of guises. She was first outshopped in BR Black with a small BR emblem, which soon gave way to signwritten "British Railways". On two occasions she was repainted into NE black for the 1940s weekend events on the NNR, before settling back into BR Black with a small BR emblem. Following the granting of a boiler ticket extension and retubing in December 2011 she was repainted into LNER black and numbered 7564 and looked the part alongside the B12 and with the Quad-Art set.
Sadly the J15's time came up in May this year and her boiler ticket extension expired on the 6th May. She now sits in Weybourne Yard, waiting for overhaul to commence.
If you would like to support the J15, there are a number of ways you can do this. You canJoin the Society,Join the Loco Club,Join the J15 "200" Clubor make a donation (Cheques made payable to "M&GNJRS"). We're also always open to helping hands, so please considervolunteeringwith the Society. Help can be gifted in a number of ways, from practical mechanical labour through to fundraising and promotion. All help is gratefully received and will help to see our J15 steam once again.