Hello All,

They say that a week is a long time in politics and the same is very true in preservation ! We initially thought that a bi-monthly Newsletter would keep everyone up to date with our progress and would not put too much pressure on our postal account etc..!.….. However, with news coming in from day to day and with most of our correspondence now being carried out by e:mail, we are finding it necessary, and no more expensive, to produce a monthly update. From here on in then, I’ll try to get a Newsletter out to everyone during the third week of each month, please bear with me if some month’s carry more news than others !
I have received a confirmation e:mail from Andy Anderson, Commercial Manager of the Umgeni Steam Railway, that No. 196 is safely on site and stored undercover at Masons Mill Loco Shed. In return for the Umgeni’s assistance, we have agreed to make a token donation of £5 per week (R300 per month) towards the restoration of their own NBL (and Dubs) steam locomotives. All movement costs and the first 6 month’s donations have now been paid and we are putting some cash together towards preliminary restoration work and the casting of new numberplates etc.
We fully appreciate that the progress with this loco to date has only been made possible by our NBLPG membership so we would like all those who have who have kindly donated to the Dubs Tank Fund to take part in a vote to decide which livery the loco will initially carry. Mr. Reg Carter, the Librarian of the Stephenson Locomotive Society has kindly supplied a great deal of information about the early days of the Dubs Tanks on the Natal Government Railways and, coupled with what we already knew from later years, we have a choice of at least 4 authentic liveries that the loco has carried during her 107 years of existence !
Separate from this Newsletter, all ‘A’ Class Fund donors will receive a voting slip illustrating the various livery options we are considering and we would like this completed and returned by the end of May so a decision can be made in time for the next newsletter. I’m sure there will be much debate to follow and one of the main decisions will be whether to cast the new plates as South African Railways No. 196 or as Natal Government Railways No. 133. If you have not already contributed towards the Dubs Tank Fund and would like to vote, it’s not too late – please forward a donation and you will receive a voting slip by return of post !
Two of the most interesting facts turned up by Reg Carter include the original Dubs works builders date of 1899 (we have always thought that the engine was built in 1900) and comprehensive notes regarding the NGR dark green livery and lining details. Our loco emerged from Glasgow Works at the same time as Dubs were constructing large batches standard British 0-6-0’s for the Highland, Caledonian and Midland Railways – what an amazing design contrast it must have provided at the time !
An early Dubs 4-8-2 Tank in Natal Government Railways dark green livery at the turn of the last century – with round top firebox, open cab and stovepipe chimney.
Our membership continues to increase and I’m very pleased to welcome John Heath, who helped to get the NBL Society started, well known photographer Brian Dobbs and Martin Coombs who is currently working on the NGG16 Garratt’s on the Welsh Highland Railway.
Martin has kindly offered to make patterns for the replacement plates for our Dubs Tank – we need to decide if they will be NGR or SAR plates first though !
The Glasgow 15F project continues to move forward and the latest shipping date we have is the first week of June. No. 3007 will be shipped via Durban and Immingham and should be back in Glasgow by the middle of July.
We are currently exploring ways of working with South Africa’s Elgin Valley Railway to help them to preserve one of the North British Class 24’s scheduled for,scrapping at Voorbaai Shed. They intend to move the loco to Elgin for restoration and establish a regular steam service on their local branch line. Hopefully more news on this project next month.
If you would like to comment on our preservation activities or would like further information on any of our projects, please contact me by letter, phone or e:mail.
Thanks again for your support and interest : Best Regards, Ken
Please Address Correspondence to : Ken Livermore, Hon. Secretary, NBL Preservation Group, 112, Haddon Drive, Woodley, Reading, Berks, RG5 4LL.
Telephone : 01189 691 147 e:mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.