30096 was built at Nine Elms works in Battersea in 1893 and was initially based at Nine Elms before moving to Southampton Docks in 1905. Here it was given the name Normandy and worked exclusively on the docks until 1948 when it was replaced by a surplus USA tank and transferred to Ashford. Whilst at Southampton Docks it was housed in a shed within the docks perimeter and for many years was maintained at the dock’s workshops.
30096 moved to Ashford in 1950 for a few months before returning to Eastleigh where it spent its last years shunting at Winchester goods yard. It was withdrawn in 1963 and sold to a subsidiary of Corralls, fuel merchant, at Southampton where it was named Corrall Queen. In December 1972 it was sold to the Bullied Preservation Society and transferred to the Bluebell Railway.
An overhaul was started in the late 1970’s, but could only proceed slowly since the engine was given low priority as it was not really suitable for hauling passenger trains. The overhaul was therefore largely undertaken by volunteers. The engine was first steamed in 1986, fully restored to Adams Goods Green, as a powerful shunter fitted with vacuum ejector it quickly found plenty of employment on pilot use, works and goods trains. It also put in sterling service on our works trains for the construction of the northwards extension.
When its ten-year boiler certificate expired in 1995 it was given a very rapid overhaul to put it straight back into service, carrying Southern (Bulleid Period) black livery.
It had been used most weeks for shunting on the Bluebell Railway, the only regular steam shunting turn in the country. It is not suited to high speed, and was only rarely to be found on passenger trains.
The boiler ticket expired in 2006 and 30096 is now stored awaiting overhaul. As a result of this a diesel shunter had to be hired before a suitable steam shunter could be identified.
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