A popular museum in the North East is gearing up to celebrate the birthday of one of its steam locomotives this weekend – Coffee Pot No.1

Beamish Museum, located in County Durham, is tomorrow (May 1) set to celrbate the 150th birthday of the steam locomotive that was first built back in 1871.

First built to be used by the Dorking Greystone Lime Company in Surrey, the locomotive will join four other locomotives tomorrow on Beamish’s Colliery and narrow gauge railways and the event will also be part of the national #TwitterSteamRally2 event.

“Reaching its 150th anniversary is impressive enough, given the relative obscurity of the locomotive, but to do so in working order is no mean feat, and really does reflect the basically sound design, enduring engineering and simplicity of concept evident in the locomotive,” said Paul Jarman, Assistant Director Design, Transport and Industry.

“We are proud to have such a resilient little machine in our collection – Coffee Pot being one of the oldest railway locomotives in working condition in the world.

“The locomotive is something of an acquired taste to operate, but it is so unusual and distinctive that it attracts attention wherever it operates.

“The survival of a machine built down to a price and intended to be one step up from the use of a horse is fascinating, as so few locomotives from that era, and of that lowly industrial status, have survived today.”

Coffee Pot is a 0-4-0 vertical-boilered geared locomotive and cost £462.9.6. when it was first built, and it was offered to Beamish Museum’s first Director Frank Atkinson in 1969 before it was then moved to the Beamish site six years later.

The latest revamp of the locomotive was unveiled in 2010 and it has also gone on to visit various other railway locations around the country since.

As well as the museum being open outdoors to the public to see Coffee Pot, other locomotives will features as part of the celebrations including the Peckett 1370 and No. 18 – both on the standard gauge railway – and Samson and Glyder, which will feature on the narrow gauge line.

The event is also planned to be live streamed online under the #TwitterSteamRally2 hashtag that hopes to see a large virtual steam rally take place for enthusiasts around the world to be a part of.

Beamish Museum has been able to reopen recently under step two of the government’s guidelines surrounding lockdown restrictions, however indoor attractions do currently remain closed.

Anyone wanting to visit Beamish must book online at www.beamish.org.uk