Some of our group at the entrance to the NELPG compound at Hopetown as the J72 passes, crossing over to the running line.
With all points locked and secured, the J72 begins running up and down to test various bits. It runs very smoothly, with nicely set up valves, but as ever a few niggles have shown themselves! These were not bad enough to stop play, so in the pouring rain, a few cab rides were offered.
During the course of my ride, our driver was Fred Ramshaw, NELPG stalwart and one of our Shildon volunteer team. Below, Fred eases open the regulator and sets off to the other end of the demonstration line.
The view from the fireman's side as we approach the limit of run, with a group of NELPG members and the folk from Locomotion looking on. The quote "Best Day Ever" comes from Locomotion's Events Officer Pam Porter, after having a drive. She now tells me that 69023 is her favourite engine, even beating "Oliver Cromwell"! Well, I think everyone has a soft spot for this little loco - I certainly do as my first train set was a J72, thirtysomething years ago...