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.
During its industrial service with Corrall's it had been named 'Corrall Queen', but still carried its 30096 smokebox plate and an Eastleigh shed plate for a time.
It is seen in the photo on the left (© John H Bird/ANISTR.com), shunting coal wagons at Dibles Wharf, Northam, Southampton in (probably August) 1970.
Further photos on ANISTR.com show 30096 in BR days: at Eastleigh in 1952, in the company of 30083 in 1959, and again at Eastleigh in 1962.
During its second period in steam on the Bluebell 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.
Since the end of its last boiler certificate in 2006, 'Normandy' has awaited another overhaul, towards which its owners have amassed a good sum from donations and bequests. To cover the interim until it is overhauled, a series of diesel shunters have been used.
Following the announcement in the Autumn of 2023 that it is to be overhauled, hopefully it will not be too many more years before the locomotive can again be seen at work. It is planned for the locomotive to enter 'Atlantic House' for an "internal contract" overhaul, largely funded from the money already raised, with the work undertaken by the team who have built the new Brighton Atlantic.
Right: Nigel Sealey's photo shows 'Normandy' as first overhauled, shunting at Horsted Keynes on 7 September 1986.
Length: 24ft 101/2 in
Weight: 33 Tons 9 cwt
Water capacity: 600 Gallons
Coal capacity: 10cwt
Boiler Pressure: 140 lb/sq.in
Driving Wheels: 3ft 93/4 in diameter
Cylinders: (2, outside) 16" x 22"
Tractive Effort: 14,650 lbs
Engine Brake: Steam
BR power classification: 1F
Bulleid Society's Web Page for 'Normandy'