Letter From The Chairman

Despite the pandemic 2021 has been a year of very constructive changes within the Trust.
In March Terry McMenamin and Tom Mainprize resigned and the Trust thanks them for their past services, which were much appreciated. It has however cleared the decks for a major reorganization as follows:
David Costello, Graham Connelan and Alasdair Hibberd have been appointed as trustees, bringing the total to five, a common figure with newbuilds. This has greatly increased our expertise in marketing, project management and digital skills. We have also benefited from guidance on fundraising from Oliver Edwards who runs his own consultancy, his fee ultimately being paid by the National Lottery. We have also appointed Jack Eagles from Keele University to a Summer Student Internship financed by the University. He has a background in Customer Relations and communications and is around five years older than most students. He also has the advantage of living in ‘George country’ (within the Stoke-on-Trent conurbation). He starts on 1 June.
In respect of engineering it was decided to put engineering services onto a contractual basis. We have therefore engaged Martin Shepherd who has long been associated with the A1 and P2 projects (besides us he is also working on the cylinder design for the P2). We have also separated out the engineering from a responsibility for engineering compliance. We also think it very relevant to point out that it is written into our contract with Keyte Smith Ltd our principal contractors and recognised suppliers to the modern rail industry that they carry the responsibility for the locomotive meeting the required vehicle acceptance body standards.
We have also started conversations with Technical Connection, a rail consultancy based in Eastleigh. These make clear that obtaining clearance is a multistage process. There has been clarity on rules for steam since 2017 even though a careful study of the small print is crucial. Our first step will therefore be a meeting between us and Technical Connection and the Office of Road and Rail in London. A by product of this is expected to be acceptance by a leading train operating company. We will also work on approval for the boiler from British Engineering Services and finding an insurer for the locomotive as a whole.
This obviously represents an immense amount of invisible work but we felt we should spell this out to avoid any apprehension that nothing was happening.
In fact my chairmanship has largely coincided with the period of pandemic and followed the retirement of Bruce Nixon on health grounds. Despite this the Trust has been notably active producing both the upper parts of the cab and the cab roof and the rear main frames.
Paul Hibberd, Chairman, LNWR George the Fifth, Locomotive Trust
May be an image of train and railway
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