Open Meeting 11th November

The day of our Open Meeting, Saturday 11th November was blessed with some nice warm sunshine after a chilly start.  Sadly, the M6 had one of its bad days with a one-hour delay.  Nevertheless a select group assembled in the ground floor room of the old Crewe North Box.  After the usual technical hitches connecting laptop and large screen, the presentation got underway.  We had a very good discussion, touching on frames, cylinders, bearings, the boiler and many other parts of the locomotive.

Afterwards we toured the locomotive with further discussions.  Even our LNWR tool box got a bit of attention, on its first day of duty as our small parts and tool store.

It was good to see the Coal Tank back in the Hall, only a few hundred yards from where it would have been built.

This coming Saturday is the day of the LNWR Society luncheon, which we will be attending.

In a short while we expect to announce our plans for some further work to be carried out on the locomotive.

Christmas is coming, please don’t forget to include a gift for Prince George in your shopping list.

Terry McMenamin



Meeting on Saturday

Tool Box partly cleaned

Our open meeting is this coming Saturday, 11th November at 2pm in Crewe Heritage Centre’s former Crewe North signal box.  The gate will be shut, please open it to drive in and close it behind you.  There are facilities to make hot drinks, and possibly if Heritage Centre Volunteers turn up, the maybe a small snack like a toastie.  However the Centre is not otherwise open to the public; so that might not be possible.  We owe thanks to the Heritage Centre for permission to use the facility.

Our LNWR tool box will be arriving on Saturday to use as our store for small items.  It’s got lots of battle wounds from its long life, and unfortunately I painted it in fading light which combined with my lack of painting skills resulted in curtains.  At least it’s cleaned up now, it was a mess as you can see on the left.  At least it’s now clean. as the photograph below.

I’m looking forward to  meeting supporters (and any friends who might like to come) on Saturday, answering your questions and having a good discussion about all things about the George the Fifth, also to show you round the locomotive.  We have some new information about the class relating to George Hughes’s period as CME, which will be part of the presentation.


Hoping to see as many as possible of you on Saturday,.


Terry McMenamin  Engineer

Tool box as repainted

Looking forward to seeing you

Our Open Meeting at Crewe is coming up fast, please come and join us if you possibly can.  It’s on 11th November at 2pm in the old Crewe North signal box in the Crewe Heritage Centre.  There will be a talk with Questions and Answers after, then a walk round the locomotive in the Main Hall.

Our LNWR tool box will be delivered that day having been stripped of the old flaking paint and painted with fresh black gloss paint.  With a sturdy lock on it it will serve as our tool and small materials store for now.

We hope to start setting up our new online Trust document centre in the next few days.  We will be using, so we can keep all our records in one place and use its automated routines for authorisation of orders, payments and such like.  It will help us manage the Trust’s business and to be able to demonstrate to the Approvals body that we have followed the rules.  If you think it’s boring stuff, well yes it’s true but necessary.

Now I had better get back to that tool box and give it a coat of undercoat!

Hoping to see you at Crewe

Terry McMenamin


A date for your Diaries


We will be delighted to welcome our supporters and friends at our open meeting at 2 pm on Saturday 11th November at Crewe Heritage Centre.  There will be a presentation and question and answer session in the LNWR Society’s room on the ground floor of Crewe North old signal box, followed by an inspection of the locomotive in the Main Hall.  The meeting will finish by 4.30 pm at the latest. 

This is an opportunity to meet the team and put your questions to them.  We would be delighted to welcome any new volunteers, and look forward to meet our friends and supporters. 

Thanks to our friends at Crewe Heritage Centre and the LNWR Society for use of their facilities. 

Getting there 


Crewe Heritage Centre, Vernon Way, Crewe, CW1 2DB 

What3Words: tracks.basket.sits 

By Train 

  • The Heritage Centre is about 15 minutes walk from the station. 
  • Leave the station via the Nantwich Road exit and turn left towards the Royal Hotel.
  • Cross at the pedestrian crossing and continue past the Royal Hotel until you get to the ‘Cheshire Inn’ public house.
  • Turn right and walk down Mill Street and Continue past Costa Coffee and Lidl.
  • Once under the railway bridge turn right at the roundabout and continue along Vernon Way until you see the entrance to the big Tesco.  Follow the sign into the Heritage Centre behind Tesco. 
  • By Car
  • From M6 junction 16 with A500 if coming from East or South. Take A500 west as far as the first roundabout , take the third exit to B5472 signed for Weston, Crewe Hall and Enterprise Park, At the next roundabout turn left onto Weston Road signed for Crewe Centre. At the next roundabout take the second exit to A532 Town Centre.  Pass alongside Crewe station on the left, at the roundabout take the third exit to Macon Way, signed Crewe Town Centre.  At the next mini-roundabout take the first exit left onto Earle Street, then second exit from the roundabout soon after, finally at the next roundabout turn left to pass alongside the big Tesco to the Heritage centre at the far end.
  • From M6 junction17 coming from the North  take the A534 to Crewe Green.  After about 5 miles take the fourth exit of the big Crewe Green roundabout on to Hungerford Road.  After about ¾ mile at the roundabout carry straight on to Earle Street A532, and at the two immediately following roundabouts keep on Earle Street A532, then immediately left alongside the Big Tesco to the Heritage Centre
  • From the Nantwich and West, use A500 Shavington Bypass to RB3 roundabout.  Take the first exit to Jack Mills Way and stay on this for 1¼ miles.  At the cross-road with Nantwich Road carry straight on into Mill Street A5019.  At the roundabout take the second exit to Vernon Way A 5019/A532.  You will shortly come to the Tesco roundabout, where you take the third exit and keep on to the Heritage Centre at the end.


A Nice Day Out

By way of a diversion, our engineer joined the Crewe Dinner Association for a beautiful Sunday afternoon out on the 1903 tug Daniel Adamson from Acton Bridge to Sutton Weaver.  Due to lack of parking at these places we went to the Anderton Boat Lift for a bus to Acton Bridge.  Arriving early gave me the chance to tour the boat lift, a massive piece of engineering.  It was built in 1875 to link the Trent & Mersey canal with the River Weaver.  Boats are raised and lowered in two caissons.  It’s very interesting and worth an afternoon out in itself.   On to Acton Bridge and the Danny Adamson, for a lovely gentle cruise in wonderfully warm October sunshine along the scenic River Weaver as far as Sutton Weaver near Frodsham.

What, you may ask, has this to do with the George?  Perhaps only a little: firstly the commissioning owner of the Daniel Adamson was the Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Company, which just happened to be owned by the LNWR.  She was originally named the Ralph Brocklebank to honour an LNWR director.  She was renamed for new owners the Manchester Ship Canal Co.  The second connection is through the Crewe Dinner Association.  Originally this was for Crewe premium apprentices to enjoy a formal dinner with the  senior management.  Our engineer attended some 1960s dinners in London’s Cafe Royal, with such grand personalities as Sir William Stanier and Lord Nelson of Stafford, of English Electric fame, as guests of honour.  Things have changed, but then it was about 60 years ago.

The pictures show the Anderton Boat Lift and the final approach to Sutton Weaver, with the overbridge of the LNWR Chester-Warrington line ahead.

Now it’s time to get back to cleaning 100 years of paint off our LNWR toolbox before repainting it for use as our tool box at Crewe!

Crewe Heritage Centre – Exhibition Postscript


George and Terry at Crewe!

A great day was had by all with very many people coming to chat and showing great interest. Most were impressed by the SIZE of our loco!

We made many new contacts and hope some will support us either with donations or by offering their skills. WE ARE PARTICULARLY LOOKING FOR AN ‘IT’ PERSON TO HELP US WITH BOTH OUR WEBSITE AND OUR FACEBOOK PAGE – COULD THIS BE YOU?

Looking Forward to the Big Day at Crewe on Saturday 9th September

The big day at Crewe is drawing near, with a forecast of good weather for Saturday. Our team will be in attendance with identification badges ready to welcome the opportunity to talk to our supporters. It should be a great day out, and please excuse us if we take a few minutes out to admire the live steam passenger-carrying models, and maybe even take a ride on one.

Hoping to see as many of you as possible during the day, do please come and introduce yourself  to us.


Terry McMenamin


Contributed by Stephen Keay, a friend of the Trust

Locomotive lovers and family fun fanatics alike won’t want to miss out on visiting

the Crewe Heritage Centre this summer!


Throughout the summer holidays, it can become difficult to find activities that will be informative, fun, and cost-efficient for families of all shapes and sizes. For those with a keen interest in locomotives, railways, and the history of Crewe, there’s only one place to take the entire family.

Upon arrival you’ll be greeted by Charlie the Eagle,

legendary mascot of Crewe Heritage Centre.

The Crewe Heritage Centre has been an archive of local history since its opening by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in 1987. The present-day Heritage Centre boasts an impressive list of attractions perfect for a family outing.

Those visiting the centre can expect to see the following attractions; the Exhibition hall with numerous displays, the Harry Watson railway art collection, children’s play centre, steam locomotives, the American HO Gauge layout, 7¼” gauge miniature railway, 5″ gauge railway, signal boxes, special events and exhibits on loan from the National Railway Museum.

Can you guess the smells in the wooden containers? It’s harder than it sounds… and smells!

While visiting, dive deeper into the history of the LNWR and look towards the future with the help of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust and their current Prince George Locomotive building project. Breathing new life into an ageing industry, the once-extinct George V Locomotive class is reborn and is currently on display at Crewe Heritage Centre this summer.

The construction of No. 2013 Prince George is an ongoing process with a dedicated team of knowledgeable and passionate volunteers working together to create a truly special locomotive. A locomotive fit for a Prince, the George the Fifth Locomotive has been signed off by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, allowing the use of Prince George’s name to make an incredible endeavour even grander.

                                   The Sturdy & Stylish Smokebox

While on display at Crewe Heritage Centre, the LNWR community welcomes the general public to take up the opportunity to witness the Prince George Locomotive in its current work-in-progress state. For those interested in engaging with the project and becoming friends of the trust, the LNWR George the Fifth Trust is always looking for new members and ways to gather more donations to complete the project.

            The Left Side of Prince George with Name and Number Plates

The left side of the locomotive, complete with Prince George name plate approved by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In addition to exhibiting the Prince George Locomotive, the Crewe Heritage Centre has many other exciting child-friendly features to experience, such as engineer cosplay, life-size chess games, face painting by Cosmic Faerie, and even free Thomas the Tank Engine books! It’s also worth noting that visitors will receive free admission if they attend the Crewe Heritage Centre on Wednesdays throughout Operation Summer between 10:00 am and 15:00!

      Cosmic Faerie Face Painting – Triceratops Recommended!

For further information on the events and exhibits on display at Crewe Heritage Centre, please, follow the links below:


Crewe Heritage Centre:

LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust:

LNWR Society:

Cosmic Faerie:

Prince George at Crewe Heritage Centre

On Wednesday 28th June we were at Keyte-Smith’s Kirkby-in-Ashfield works to see Prince George winched on to a low loader for the two-hour run to Crewe. Our driver was very conscientious about making all secure. One last measurement was needed: the height of the chimney, which came in at just under 16 feet, so not a problem on main roads.

Once all was secure, it was time for Jamie and partner Paul to say goodbye their creation.

Our driver commented that some of the driving around him left a bit to be desired as drivers were admiring his load rather than the road around them!

Ready to unload

A 4-wheel steer JCB towed our loco off the trailer and into position. It was more than a little difficult to manoeuvre but eventually Prince George was in position.

Please support us & the Crewe Heritage Centre by visiting the exhibition over the next 3 months. See for opening times and directions.

Finally, what we aim to build: ‘George the Fifth’ class No. 2013 ‘Prince George’. From an official LNWR photograph of No. 2663 ‘King George the Fifth’. Stephen Arrandale kindly colourised and photoshopped the original for us.

Please come to see Prince George at Crewe


Terry McMenamin

1st July 2023

The family of Charles John Bowen-Cooke

Anyone familiar with the history of the London & North Western Railway and familiar with the LNWR George the Fifth class would know the name, Charles John Bowen-Cooke. For those unfamiliar with either, briefly then Bowen-Cooke was the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNWR – the largest joint-stock company in the British Empire and the largest railway company in Britain, directly or indirectly servicing most major centres in Britain – from 1909 until his untimely death at the age of just 62 in Cornwall in 1920.

During his stewardship through what proved to be immensely difficult and challenging times for the nation, for its people and for the company – a period of great upheaval, disruption and momentous change brought about not by the war but looming competition in the form of motorised road-transport, Bowen-Cooke unfailingly continued the work commenced by his predecessor, George Whales in transforming the LNWR from an essentially Victorian railway concern to one ready to meet the demands and challenges of the new century.


Of course his success and achievements were to some degree cruelled by the onset of The Great War – plans and designs were understandably shelved and the war took its toll on rolling-stock, infrastructure and not least, on its men and women. Many heeded the call and went off to war. Many didn’t return – slaughtered in the trenches on the western front and elsewhere. In commemoration to its fallen, the LNWR dedicated a one of Bowen-Cooke’s ‘Claughton’ class to their memory. The memorial engine was bored the name ‘Patriot’ and appropriately it sported the number, ‘1914’; the year that the first shots in the ‘war to end all wars’ had been fired. Inscribed beneath the name were the words:

In Memory of the Fallen L&NWR Employees. 1914 to 1918

The Great War had taken its toll on the railways of Britain and they never truly recovered – it could be argued that the great age of the railway was coming to an end. In the years following the war’s conclusion it was determined that the railways would be amalgamated into 4 great entities with the LNWR being the largest constituent of the largest of the post-grouping entities – The London, Midland and Scottish Railway, which came into being on January 1st, 1923.

Despite these odds, Bowen-Cooke achieved a great deal in his tenure. With your help, one of those achievements we intend to commemorate with a new-build of one of his and the LNWR’s most feted designs – a design that built on the successes of his predecessor and implemented the latest practice to meet the challenges of early 20th century. This new-build will be the singular representative of 20th century L&NWR engine engine practice, marking and commemorating an important, pivotal and yet under-represented epoch in Britain’s railway history.

It is with this in mind that we seek to make contact with surviving members of the Bowen-Cooke family and his descendants . Charles Bowen-Cooke was buried at St. Kust in Roseland, Cornwall. At the time of OS Nock’s book ‘The Locomotives of C J Bowen-Cooke’, published in 1977 there were four surviving children:

Victor R Bowen-Cooke who had been Assistant Road Motor Engineer of the LMS and three daughters about whom we know much less. His daughters were:

Mrs Faith Harris MBE
Mrs Erica Robinson
Mrs Eileen Tracy

Victor is believed to have died in the 1980s and at the time was living in Devon. It is also believed that one of his relations lived in Portsmouth at one time in a house called ‘St. Mawes’.

We welcome anyone of the family, or acquainted with it who might assist us in completing the picture or simply finding additional information. Any genealogists willing to take on this task are also welcome to do so. The Trust would be most interested in making contact with members of his family or at least fleshing out the story of the people connected to the LNWR George the Fifth class.