This wagon was introduced in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, hence the name. It was the NBR’s standard mineral wagon towards the end of the 19th century, being superseded by the slightly longer Diagram 26. Most were built in the NBR’s Cowlairs Works, with others supplied by R Y Pickering and Hurst Nelson. Originally dumb buffered, new builds from 1895 were fitted with sprung buffers. Many earlier wagons were upgraded similarly and this is the form represented by the kit.
Rather than tolerate private owner wagons on its rails, the NBR dedicated a large number of wagons to specific collieries’ traffic, by a process known as thirling. Such wagons carried both NBR and colliery insignia, and could be used on other traffic when coal shipments were light. These arrangements continued in LNER days. Some wagons are known to have been fitted with raves for coke traffic.
The total number built is not known, but was probably in the thousands. A few survived until the Second World War, and some were transferred to locomotive ash disposal duties, and lettered for the “owning” shed.
Whilst their main area of activity would have been the industrial areas of Scotland and the Border counties of Northern England, their use further south has been documented.