Bon-Accord and Distemper, does anyone use ‘distemper’ today, do people even know what it is? The scene is Beamish open air museum’s Rowley Station, the signal box is just visible behind the foot bridge. Bon-Accord has been  a guest at Beamish for several weeks and is one of the attractions in the Great Northern Steam Festival, which came to a close on Sunday.  Built in Scotland, by Andrew Barclay of Kilmarnock, she spent her entire working life there before making a trip to Locomotion at Shildon, in 2016.

Bon-Accord began her railway career, in 1897, at Aberdeen Corporation Gas Works, where she remained, until 1964, before being  replaced by  a diesel; the gas works themselves were closed and demolished in 1975. Under her skirts she’s an 0-4-0 with 3’2″ wheels and 12″ x 20″ pistons. The skirts were fitted because Bon-Accord’s day job was hauling coal, through the streets of Aberdeen, from the docks to the  Gas Works. Saved for preservation in 1972 she was, initially, stored at Ferryhill along with Mr. Therm and No.3, before being moved to Brechin. I believe No.3 went to Alford and Mr.Therm became a static display in Aberdeen’s Seaton Park..

Bon-Accord returned from Brechin to Aberdeen, in 1999, for restoration work to be undertaken by the  Bon-Accord Locomotive Society, she was returned to steam in 2008 and in 2010  moved to the Royal Deeside Railway’s base at Milton of Crathes.

If you have enjoyed my blogs – I have written a book about my 60 years involvement with railways, from trainspotter, via steam age footplateman, to railway author and photographer, this is a link to it:

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