BACHMANN HELPS NELPG RETURN ‘JOEM’ TO STEAM!
On Tuesday 18th April 2023, Bachmann Europe Plc visited the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group (NELPG) at their Hopetown Workshop in Darlington to present models of the J72 Class locomotive ‘Joem’ and a cheque for £504 to help with the completion of ‘Joem’s’ overhaul. The OO scale model of No. 69023 ‘Joem’ was released by Bachmann in 2020 as a Limited Edition for the Bachmann Collectors Club. Available to purchase exclusively by Club members, just 504 models were made and £1 from each sale has been donated to help with the ongoing overhaul of the real locomotive, which is being returned to steam in time for the 200th anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025.
The cheque was presented by Richard Proudman, Bachmann’s Rail Brand Manager, to John Hunt, Chairman of NELPG. Stephen Tooley, Research & Development Manager for Bachmann was also present and handed over the very first model to the Group’s Archivist, Chris Lawson. Two further models were provided: for NELPG member Fred Ramshaw, who recently stood down as the long serving caretaker for ‘Joem’ and for Maureen Howe, partner of the late NELPG member Allan Toomer, whose bequest has helped significantly with the overhaul of the locomotive. Several of the volunteers who are working to return ‘Joem’ to steam were also in attendance during the presentation.
John Hunt said: “Can I take this opportunity to thank Bachmann for their generous support of the overhaul of ‘Joem’ through the sales of their superb model of the locomotive which, with the presentation of this cheque today, has now exceeded £1,600. It is very much appreciated. I am pleased also that, with their help, we have been able to mark the contribution of Fred Ramshaw and the late Allan Toomer to our efforts to keep this historic, Darlington built, North Eastern locomotive operating into the future for the public to benefit from the sight, sounds and smells of steam at work. We all look forward to seeing ‘Joem’ back in action in 2025 as we celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway”.
Richard Proudman said: “NELPG helped us immensely during the development of this Bachmann Collectors Club model of ‘Joem’, even supplying paint samples to ensure the colour of our model was spot on, and we are delighted to reciprocate that help with this donation to help get ‘Joem’ over the line. Today’s visit has been a long time coming as the pandemic halted our plans shortly after the model was released, but it has been a privilege to meet the NELPG team and see the amazing work going on to ensure the locomotive steams again in time for the 200th Anniversary of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 2025”.
The Bachmann Collectors Club Limited Edition model of ‘Joem’ is still available to purchase, but with less than a dozen remaining, prospective buyers should act quickly to avoid disappointment. More details can be found at www.bachmann-collectorsclub.co.uk.
The North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group has recently been awarded with a grant of £124,000 by the National Heritage Memorial Fund for repairs required to ‘Joem’s’ boiler before the locomotive can return to service. For more details about NELPG and the locomotives in its collection, or to support the Group, please visit www.nelpg.org.uk.