EASTER’S HERE – COME AND SEE PRINCE GEORGE

Our locomotive moved back into the Crewe Heritage Centre Hall Hall yesterday (Tuesday 26th March) and will be open to Public Viewing from Friday 29th March .  The Heritage Centre will be open on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays till  the end of October.

See Crewe Heritage Centre | A Great Day Out For All The Family (crewehc.co.uk)  for details of events and opening times.

Come and see our locomotive, the only pre-First World War express locomotive intended for main line use.

If you can possibly afford it, please contribute via the Donate Online Button on the Home Page.

Prince George is joined by family!

Yesterday our locomotive Prince George was joined by the LNWR Coal Tank for at the Crewe Heritage Centre. It’s a long time since two Crewe locomotives were last seen together. Sadly, the Coal Tank has a date at Blaenavon on the weekend of 9th & 10th of September, so it will not be at Crewe for the gala and Steam Up.

We have to admit though that it will be a big event for the Coal Tank to revisit its old area of work, so we hope the team at Blaenavon have a really good weekend.

Summertime Activity

After the frantic activity of getting our exhibit ready for display at Crewe we have been taking stock of our situation and preparing for our next steps. As ever, finance is a major consideration; outgoings connected with preparation for the exhibition including rental, transport, approvals, the unavoidable VAT as well as the actual metalwork are about £30,000.  A big thank you to all our donors and supporters who made it possible to get this far.

We recognise a need to get out and about more, and made a start at the LNWRS open day at Kidderminster Severn Valley Railway on 29th July. A small but enthusiastic audience attended our presentation, and we hope to do more such events.

One big event we will be attending is the Gala Day at Crewe Heritage Centre on 9th September. We be on hand to speak with visitors during the day, and will be holding a couple of open sessions in the old Crewe North signal box. Of course, being children at heart we might well take a ride or too on the live steam railways there as part of the LNWR Society’s annual ‘Steam Up’ event which is being held at the Heritage Centre that day.

At that event we intend to unveil two sponsorship campaigns, one at under £100 per subscription, and and a bigger one for the permanent frame assembly, a big ticket item indeed.

We look forward to seeing more progress over the coming year.

 

Terry McMenamin

Event at Kidderminster on Saturday 29th July

We plan to attend the LNWR Society’s event at Kidderminster’s SVR station on Saturday.  The Society’s event is being held in the Nursery (on the right of the road to the SVR car park, opposite the station buildings). It will open at 10.00am and close at 4.30pm.  One room of the building will show LNWR-related material: photographs, plans, books, models and trade stands, the other room will feature a programme of talks.  These schedule for talks is:

  • 10.15-11.45:  Modelling LNWR Buildings and Structures – Tim Birch
  • 12.00-12.40: The George the Fifth Project – Terry McMenamin – Your chance to hear about the project and have your say
  • 13.00-2.30pm: Webb’s 4-Cylinder Compounds – Peter Davis
  • 2.45-4.15pm: LNWR Influences Still Remaining in the Early 1950s – Ken Wood

As well as the LNWRS event, the magnificent Barrett Engineering Gauge 1 track will occupy the main concourse, and will hopefully be open to any visitors with compatible models to run on it.

It should be a really good day out, specially if combined with a trip on the SVR.

For those perhaps further north who find it too far, don’t forget the ‘Forging History: 180 years of Crewe Works’ exhibition at Crewe Heritage Centre, open at weekends from 10.00am till 3.30.  There are lots of exhibits, with the LNWR Society stand and model railways in the former Crewe North signal box, a passenger-carrying miniature railway, and in the main Hall  a Crewe Works themed area with our locomotive as the centre-piece.  Visitors can go right up to it, it’s not fenced off, so you can examine it really closely.

The Hall also has a seating area to rest weary feet, and material for children – can they find every the Thomas the Tank Engine?

Come and enjoy the fun!

Terry McMenamin

Engineer

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 https://www.crewhc.co.uk 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 latest photos of work at the Keyte Smith Locomotive Works.  It’s been another busy day, and tomorrow the chimney will be fitted and other minor work will be carried out.  We need to agree timings for transport and we look forward to seeing No. 2013 Prince George arriving at Crewe where she belongs.  She will be on public display at Crewe Heritage Centre from 1st July to the end of September.

Thanks to you, our supporters for making this possible.

Terry McMenamin

26th June 2023

 

 

Getting Near – 23rd June

Assembly Continues

Frames and Running Plates Assembled

Having taken delivery of the splasher brackets and the frame outriggers, plus the vital nuts and bolts to hold it all together, we have been able to carry on with assembly of our loco.  The photograph shows the left side running plates looking on the rear outrigger.  Over the next few days we will be fitting the splasher, lower cab panels and smokebox, and finally the cab top.  Our contractor Keyte Smith ltd  are doing a magnificent job for us, overcoming the problems that always arise with late deliveries or errors.

Today or tomorrow we will set the date for the low loader to take our loco to Crewe Heritage Centre.  Visit the exhibition if you possibly can, it is free to enter and will be open at weekends from 1st July through to the end of September.

Mention of free entry reminds me: our contractors’ work for this exhibition is not free of charge, far from it!  We’ve spent heavily for this exhibition and ask that if you can afford even the smallest donation, or increase in an existing donation, please give via the link on this website.

Thank you for all your support, which is what makes this all possible.

Terry McMenamin

Engineer

22nd June 2023

 

A HISTORIC DAY FOR THE ‘GEORGE THE FIFTH’

Main Frames 1

A HISTORIC DAY FOR THE ‘GEORGE THE FIFTH’

Thursday 20th April 2023 was a historic day for our locomotive.  For the first time in 108 years two new George the Fifth main frame plates were set up.  These had been delivered drilled and machined by Boro Foundry the previous Monday.  A quick survey revealed that the front edge of the plates would foul the running plate, and we had to trim off a very thin slice.  Consideration of the bare metal of the machined edges and holes suggested a quick trip to buy some spray primer.  Two cans turned out to be different colours, but never mind, we just needed protection.   By about 4pm we were ready to move the plates to our erecting shop (the open air in Keyte Smith’s yard!) and the fork lift gently lifted each plate to vertical and placed it in position behind our front end plinth.  Laying down the frames is traditionally the creation of a locomotive. With the plates lined up we put some temporary bolts in the joints, and admired our creation.  It certainly looked big, obviously not as big as some new builds, but magnificent just the same.  After taking a few photographs, we covered the assembly with sheets.  A bottle of something for the Keyte Smith team was well earned!

Keyte Smith are now welding up steelwork for the axle beams for our fork truck wheels.  One axle will be a steering one with turntable  and Vee towbar.  A temporary structure will support the frame on the rear axle, again manufactured by Keyte Smith.

We have ordered the two splasher support brackets that bolt to the outside of the frame plates and support the front corners of the cab as well as the splasher.  Two outriggers are needed to support the cab rear corners, and these are with the trade for prices.

Over the next couple of months we will be building up our exhibit comprising the smokebox and front end including the buffer beam on its existing plinth, the main frame plates and running plates, the existing lined left splasher and the cab.  The left side of the cab is fully lined out, and with our number and nameplates should make an impressive display.

With our wheeled structure loading on to a low-loader and final location at an exhibition site will be relatively easy and avoid the need for heavy lifting equipment.

We now have a number of work packages that can be progressed from late this year onwards as funds permit: dragbox, frame stretcher, motion plate, and four hornblocks.  Our front frame plates can then be completed, and finally the permanent assembly of the frames can begin.

Our promised open day for donors to view the cab has been delayed; the cab will not be assembled until the supporting corner brackets arrive, which may be in June.  We will do our best to organise a viewing before the locomotive leaves for its summer exhibition.  We apologise for the delay, but when the open day comes there will be much more than just the cab to be seen, so it should be worth the wait.

Behind the scenes we have been busy: we now have a much better understanding of the Acceptance process, and must pay tribute to the Main Line Steam Builders’ Group.  It is a great forum for sharing experience and expertise, and particular thanks to Graham Nicholas of the P2 Team, formerly of RSSB,  who has shared template documents to help with the approvals process.

We are now seeing great progress, and as ever we are ready to welcome new team members to build the team and accelerate the progress.

 

Terry McMenamin

 

 

Happy Christmas!

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We are moving forward with frame drilling and finalising designe for the motion plate and dragbox – signs of great things for us in 2023!