A deceptively powerful but compact shunting locomotive, it spent most of its working days at Southampton Docks. After disposal by BR it was used, again at Southampton, shunting a private wharf, from where it was purchased by members of the Bulleid Society who later moved their stock to the Bluebell.
Remaining out of use for many years, only after it received an overhaul was it realised just how useful an engine it was. 'Normandy' has been called "the reason we didn't need a diesel", and 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.
Mike Esau's photo on the right shows 'Normandy' at Southampton Docks for the 50th anniversary of D-Day, with the USS Guam as a backdrop, on 3 June 1994.
It was used most weeks for our Monday and Thursday shunts, 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.
With the end of its boiler certificate on 6 July 2006, we must now wait and see whether the steam-shunt mantle passes to this loco or the North London Tank, and to cover the interim until one of these locos is overhauled, a series of diesel shunters have been used.