The 1501 Pannier Tank Association was originally formed in 1969 by members of the Warwickshire Railway Society and Severn Valley Railway Company (as the 15XX Pannier Tank Fund) in order to purchase and preserve the former GWR 0-6-0PT No.1501 which at the time had been working at NCB Coventry Colliery (having been sold by British Railways in 1961) but which was now surplus to requirements - replaced by a diesel locomotive.
1501 was moved by rail from Coventry to Tyseley (via Leamington Spa) for its wheel tyres to be re-profiled in July 1970. From here the locomotive was again moved by rail to Bewdley (via Stratford,
Honeybourne and Worcester) finally arriving in October 1970. A month later 1501 arrived at Bridgnorth
being towed up the Severn Valley by LMS 2-6-0 No.43106.
In 1971 restoration work started with a partial dismantling of the locomotive (tanks, cab & bunker removed with the aid of SVR steam crane). In 1972 the Fund
was reformed and became the 15xx Pannier Tank Trust with five Trustees (three to be elected annually and two nominated by the WRS). Further restoration (mainly cleaning and painting) was
performed at Bridgnorth until 1976 when following an EGM in May 1977 the locomotive was transferred down to Bewdley for the serious restoration work to take place. In 1978 a new Constitution was
drawn up and circulated to all Shareholders.
In 1982 the boiler was lifted and the wheels and axleboxes were removed and sent up to Bridgnorth for repair (wheel tyres turned to correct BR profile and same diameter, journals trued up and axleboxes machined after being re-metalled). At the same time the crane was also used to turn the frames through 180 degrees to enable the locomotive to face North. In 1984 wheels and axleboxes were returned to Bewdley and trial fitted to both axles and in hornes prior to frames being replaced onto wheels. The slide bars and expansion links were sent away for regrinding. In 1985 the coupling and connecting rods were overhauled at Bridgnorth and the boiler tubes were removed so that the boiler could be inspected buy the SVR. It was later determined that boiler repair work would cost in the region of £6,000.
The boiler was removed from the frames in 1992 and transported up to Bridgnorth by road for assessment of the work required. The frames remained at Bewdley and many
parts damaged during its years in NCB use (such as spring hangers) were removed for straightening and refurbishment. The frames were towed up to Bridgnorth and reunited with the boiler in August
1993 prior to being towed back down to Bewdley.
In April 1996 the rolling chassis was towed up to Bridgnorth (by D3022) and in June the boiler was refitted. A hydraulic test was performed in July followed by a steam test. In august the locomotive (frames & boiler) was towed back down to Bewdley by HE686 (in Thomas livery) and co-incidently MW2047 was passed at Hampton Loade - all three locomotives have been financially supported by the Warwickshire Railway Society. Once the boiler had been lagged and the new cladding fitted the locomotive was towed up to Kidderminster Carriage Works in December (again by D3022) for painting to take place undercover prior to tanks being refitted.
In January 1997 the locomotive was propelled back to Bewdley by 5764 and the tanks were refitted by the end of the month. Once complete the locomotive was successfully steam tested in May, and after some local running in was moved into the goods shed at Bewdley for painting of L/H side. Following this 1501 was towed up to Kidderminster and turned on the new turntable to once again face South before entering the goods shed at Bewdley once again, this time to allow the R/H side to be painted (August 1997). 1501 was accepted into SVR traffic in early September, and in late September a Special Shareholders Train ran between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth hauled by an imaculate 1501 (return trip).
In January 2006 the Trust was transformed into a Registered Charity and re-named '1501 Pannier Tank