We were very sorry to learn that Pannier Tank 7714 has suffered a mechanical failure and will not be able to appear at our Autumn Steam Gala. However thanks to an agreement with our friends at the Severn Valley Railway a replacement in the form of 0-6-0PT number 1501.
1501 is the sole survivor of a class of 10 pannier tanks that emerged from Swindon Works at the start of the British Railways era. They broke new ground for Great Western design by having outside valve gear and indicates where design matters might have gone in Wiltshire if nationalisation had not occurred.
The 15xx class locos spent most of their mainline lives based at Old Oak Common in West London moving coaching stock in and out of Paddington station for cleaning and servicing. Displaced by diesel locos in the 1960’s, a trio was purchased by the National Coal Board. 1501, 1502 and 1509 were refurbished in Kilmarnock by Andrew Barclay & Co and then were sent to the Coventry Collieries for shunting and the operation of a mining line in the Nuneaton area.
Come 1969 and with the arrival of NCB diesels the three were withdrawn again and 1501 was purchased by the 1501 Fund based on the Severn Valley Railway where it is still based. This is its third visit to the West Somerset.