The beautiful photo of 115 in primer paint finish is one of the works photos taken in 1939 at Beyer Peacock in Gorton, Manchester, before the engine was sent to South Africa. You can see the Natal coupler on the front bogie, different from the Port Elizabeth chopper couplings.

The second is a scan of the other works photo of 115 which I obtained some years ago from the Manchester Museum of Science and Technology.

There are a couple of interesting things to mention in the photo.

In both scans you can see the sand box mounted on the front water tank. I always thought this was a crazy place to place it. The sand would only flow down the pipes to the rails if it were dry and unclogged. So, why place the sand box right next to the tank filler which would be heavily splashed every time the tank was filled from a water tower?

The other thing is that this batch of seven engines was fitted with cab side number plates without the NG prefix. So the engine was 115 rather than NG115, unlike the 1950 engines (NG125-NG131) and 1968 (NG149 to NG156).

Only a little detail, but there you are!

The diagram and dimensional information is from a SAR diagram which was circulated quite widely in the 1940s and 1950s (it does not list the 1968 NGG16s (149 to 156)). There are copies of this diagram and others in the Crittenden Archive of the NGRS.

The photo taken at Exmoor shows one of the more complete engines and I am not sure which it is. The loco bought by a private donor for the Welsh Highland is No. 87, one of the 1937 John Cockerill NG/G16s. It had no cab or steam dome and was in very stripped condition when it arrived in North Wales. I think that the engine in your small photo may be No. 115 which is at Exmoor. There are two others however, NG130 and No. 109. So, it could be one of these.

It is good to hear from you. Am I right in thinking that the tender has been offered for scrap narrow gauge equipment at Port Elizabeth? If so are you bidding for any of it? Last year Dave Richardson and I looked round Humewood yard and he thought that the NG15s and the ballast hopper marked as scrap might be offered?

With kind regards

David Payling