Historic engines reunited at Beamish

Keeper of Transport at Beamish, Paul Jarman takes Coffee Pot for a ride ahead of the Great North Steam Fair.

Keeper of Transport at Beamish, Paul Jarman takes Coffee Pot for a ride ahead of the Great North Steam Fair.

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TWO antique steam engines – more than 130 years old – have been reunited for the first time in 60 years.

Beamish’s Coffee Pot engine and the Bluebell Railway’s Baxter locomotive last steamed together in 1949, at the Dorking Greystone Lime Company, in Surrey.

Locomotive Demonstrator, David Watchman and Keeper of Transport at Beamish, Paul Jarman reunite Beamish's Coffee Pot and the Bluebell Railways Baxter after more than 60 years ahead of the Great North Steam Fair.

Locomotive Demonstrator, David Watchman and Keeper of Transport at Beamish, Paul Jarman reunite Beamish's Coffee Pot and the Bluebell Railways Baxter after more than 60 years ahead of the Great North Steam Fair.

Now the pair are back together again, working the Colliery railway at Beamish Museum for the Great North East Steam Fair, which runs until Sunday.

Jacki Winstanley of Beamish Museum said: “When the locomotives were no longer required, the quarry manager was keen that these splendid locomotives were preserved.”

The Coffee Pot was built in 1871 by Head Wrightson on Teesside, and was the first engine purchased for the quarry.

The Baxter was bought from Fletcher Jennings in 1877 after production increased.

The two workhorses remained steaming side-by-side until Coffee Pot went out of service in 1949.

It was sold back to Head Wrightson, who donated it to Beamish in 1970.

The Baxter was retired in 1960, and moved to the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex.

Ms Winstanley said: “Baxter was fully restored by the Bluebell Railway and is in regular use there.

“A full restoration of Coffee Pot was completed by Beamish just last year.

“These two magnificent engines will be in steam on the Beamish Colliery railway for The Great North Steam Fair.”