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May news roundup

Given that it has been over a month since the last update this post will cover a number of recent developments and upcoming events in one go.

The auction at Crewe Heritage Centre
Founding member Bruce Nixon attended the auction held at Crewe Heritage Centre on Saturday 26th April where we successfully sold the whistle once belonging to the last operational Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway class 4-6-0; a historically significant item that was generously donated to the Trust to be auctioned. We are of course grateful to the donor and to the buyer who paid £760.00. This provides a real fillip to our funds and greatly assist us in moving forward with the build.

During his visit, Bruce also had the opportunity to meet with a number of people from the South Cheshire Model Engineering Society and the LNWR Heritage Co Ltd. where he also was given a tour of the works. Bruce managed to spread the word about our build a little wider and received many expressions of support.

Matched funding and a Legacies
Donations such as the whistle and the invaluable financial contributions from our growing band of supporters has led us secure our next tranche of matched funding from our kind benefactor. I should also note that we have received our first Legacy. On behalf of the trust I would like to express our sincere and profound gratitude to the donor for this considerable and generous gift.

If you would like to make a one-off donation, a Standing Order, or provide a Legacy you will find links to the relevant forms at the top of this page and remember, it you’re a UK taxpayer, your contribution receives matched funding through Gift-Aid and additional funds from our good friends, the tax-people (HMRC). For example, a donation of £40 secures £10 from the HMRC, which when matched with Gift-Aid, results in a £100 donation to the trust!

Your contribution matters and it is through your generosity that together we can complete this build sooner rather than later. Month-by-month the momentum is building and together we will recreate one of these beautiful and powerful machines, filling a hole in the preservation ledger (an operational early 20th century express type and an LNWR engine at that), to be enjoyed by present and future generations on heritage rail and certified for mainline running. Fabrication has commenced, parts have been donated and I’m pleased to say that we now have a place to call home so why not be a part of (re)creating history?

A home-base
We’ve held back from committing ourselves to fabricating anything substantial until we could secure a home for the parts, however temporary. While we’ve had the funds to commit to works that are far more substantial than the smokebox door, there has been the matter of storage.

We are therefore pleased to announce that the completed parts will be held in secured storage at a work in Heckmondwike in Yorkshire (next to a former LNWR trackbed where some new build LNWR fish vans are being constructed). Erection will occur elsewhere at a site that’s yet-to-be-determined but having secure storage within the works of like-minded friends provides us with the opportunity to commit to the next significant stage of fabrication.

Regarding this, while I would love to share the details, contractual agreements and pending discussions over the final details prevents me of sharing it just yet. Very soon. Suffice it to say, the next stage will be substantial and during the course of June and July, all will be revealed so stay tuned!

Upcoming events
The Trust will be at Kidderminster on the Severn Valley Railway this year for the annual LNWR Society event. All are invited and welcome to attend and more details with be forthcoming.

Easter weekend at Quorn
To conclude, the newly fabricated smokebox door was on display at the Great Central Railway’sEaster Vintage Festival’ at Quorn station over the Easter long weekend from the 18th to 21st April. As you can see, the door made for quite a sight as it traversed the East Midlands from Bingham to Quorn! The tractor (in keeping with the vintage theme) is a 1953 Turner with V4 diesel and the LMS dray has been painstakingly restored by the talented chaps at Keyte Smith Ltd. We thank Jamie and his crew for their sterling work on the door and for transporting in such style to and from the event.

Easter Festival Quorn 01Easter Festival Quorn 02Easter Festival Quorn 03Easter Festival Quorn 4Easter Festival Quorn_5Easter Festival Quorn 6

A new smokebox door for a new LNWR George the Fifth!

Well here is it and I’m sure you’ll agree that even with a temporary coat of paint, the result is fantastic and it’s worth noting that this is the first large LNWR smokebox door with original fittings seen since the 1920’s. The work is a credit to Jamie and his team at Keyte Smith Ltd.

Since we posted this on our Facebook page, we’ve received over 100 hits on the photos in the first 20 minutes. As mentioned in the previous blog update, the door will on display at the Great Central Railway’s ‘Easter Vintage Festival‘ at Quorn Station from tomorrow through to Mondat 21st. So come along, be a part of something special and help us create a legacy for present and future generations by donating or volunteering your time!

Door-Outer-1Door-Outer-2

Smokebox door on display this Easter!

At last, the newly fabricated smokebox door will be on public display at the Great Central Railway’s ‘Easter Vintage Festival’, with the festivities taking place across the Easter long weekend from the 18th to 21st April and centred at Quorn Station.

There’ll be plenty for everyone – from steam-powered gallopers and a big wheel, traction engines, drays, steam powered farm equipment, live music, craft stalls, real food and real ale and of course timetabled steam-hauled rides along the GCR line with events at every station.

The LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust will be there from noon Friday and our stand replete with smokebox door – on public display for the very first time – will be adjacent to the “Edwardian Saw Bench” Steam Powered Wood Sawing demonstration at Quorn.

For more information and to book tickets, visit the Festival website here. Note that parking at Quorn Station is strictly limited. We do hope that our supporters and followers can make it for an exciting and entertaining three days. Tell your friends, tell your family and we hope to see you there!

Matched funding and Legacies

In addition to the steady progress being made with fabrication, we are also making steady progress on the fundraising side of things. Your continued support now means that we have recently met the conditions to secure our next tranche of matched funding from our anonymous benefactor. In addition to your generous and indispensable support, these tranches constitute a considerable fillip to the project and mean that we can press on in a concerted fashion with the next phase of fabrication, which promises to be substantial.

Regarding this, we are presently in the final stages of signing contracts with contractors and to hope to soon commence fabrication beyond the smokebox door, which is nearing completion. Due to the sensitive nature of these contracts we regrettably cannot reveal further details at this point in time but rest assured it will be significant and the announcement will take place within the coming months.

In other news, we have recently secured our first legacy. We humbly thank the donor for this most generous gift. If you would like to know more about legacies, subscriber donations (otherwise known as a Standing Order Mandate) or even how to make a one-off payment we kindly invite you to visit the links at the top of this site, and remember that each donation option qualifies for Gift-Aid if you are a UK tax-payer. Standing Order Mandates, payments are monthly and can be easily cancelled at any time. It is only with your support that we can push ahead with the task of building a new example of these magnificent machines – a prime example of an early 20th century express type – something poorly represented in preservation – to inform and delight for generations to come.

A rare piece of railway memorabilia to be auctioned.

The London & North Western Steam Locomotive Trust was recently the recipient of a historically significant piece of railway memorabilia.

A supporter of the Trust, who at the time of receipt was a young 16 year old lad living near Blackpool and who now resides in Australia has most generously donated the whistle once belonging to the last operational Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway class 4-6-0 in service. The engine in question was a Hughes design (one of the rebuild ‘Dreadnoughts’), BR no. 50455 of the class pictured below, and was withdrawn from Blackpool shed in 1951.

A Hughes Dreadnought in LMS livery.

A Hughes Dreadnought in LMS livery.

The donor was verified the providence of the item, also pictured below with an accompanying letter, a handbill for the last passenger train hauled by the loco (a Blackpool to York excursion) and even a piece of coal from the day! A photo of the engine on the day can be found in Barry Lane’s book ‘Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Locomotives’ published by Pendragon Press. This special excursion took place on sunny Sunday, 1st July 1951 in conjunction with the Stephenson and Manchester Locomotive Societies.

The L&Y whistle donated to the trust is to be auctioned at the Crewe Railwayana Auction at Crewe Heritage Centre on Saturday 26 April. It is expected that a free vintage bus service will be available from Crewe Railway Station on the day. We invite all our readers and supporters to attend and to spread the word.

We hope that the sale of this most important historic relic of a handsome and sadly long lost class will  raise a good sum that will go towards the building of our LNWR George the Fifth!

Whistle from the last LYR 4-6-0.

Whistle from the last LYR 4-6-0.

 

Stage 3 progress of the Smokebox door.

While it’s been relatively quiet here on the announcement front, work has nonetheless continued on the smokebox door as this post will testify. The Trust has also been working to establish the foundation for future progress; a task that has occupied us considerably of late.

Our supplier, Keyte Smith has commenced stage three of the smokebox door. Here are a collection of photos taken at the commencement and during fabrication.

*The 20mm thick hinge plate has been pressed to follow the contours of the outer door – it only took 30 tons! It is now being prepped for welding.

*The hinge tube has been made from solid bar. This has had the hole put through it and is now away having the bush seats bored.

*The outer door profile has been marked out and the holes for the plug welds drilled in it.

*The handle has been bent up. This was made from a piece of profiled plate, 20mm thick, and was bent hot over a former. It has been trimmed to size and welded onto the base plate. The base pate was pressed to follow the curvature of the door prior to welding. The handle is also set at an angle to the base (6 degrees) so it projects true to the smokebox front when installed, as per original design.

*The bosses are all turned ready for fitting.

*The next few stages are to trim most of the excess from rim of the outer door, weld in the hinge plate and fit the inner profile.

We of course are immensely thankful for the continued support of our supporters. We kindly ask you to spread the word in whatever manner possible.

Stage 3 kit of parts.

Stage 3 kit of parts.

Formed Hinge Plate

Formed Hinge Plate

Handle 3

Handle 3

Handle 2

Handle 2

Handle 1

Handle 1

Drilling Plug Weld Holes

Drilling Plug Weld Holes

Hinge Plate Plug Holes

Hinge Plate Plug Holes

Handle Parts

Handle Parts

 

 

The procurement of a LNWR Vacuum Gauge

Along with the LNWR whistle kindly donated by Mr Robin Dean, the Trust has now procured another authentic component to be fitted to the completed build – a Simplex Vacuum gauge from a LNWR class locomotive, which was originally procured directly from British Railways by the husband of a widow who, upon his passing, then donated it to the GCR. This information narrows the potential donor class down considerably (almost certainly a goods class such as a Super D). Fortunately, identical vacuum gauges were to be found in the George the Fifth class.

Andy Lowe of the Great Central Railway kindly offered the gauge to us on the condition that it would be used in a suitable engine. As this is an authentic item and a necessary part we certainly couldn’t pass up this great offer. The gauge still registers and so with calibration, cleaning and a check, it will easily be fitted to the completed loco and as the manufacturer (Budenburg, formerly Budenberg & Schaffer until World War I) still exists and is located at Irlam, Manchester, a service shouldn’t be a problem. And so, while air-brakes will be required to conform to modern mainline running, a vacuum brake is required for running on heritage lines and this gauge will do its part on a completed engine.

Andy also kindly donated a number a number of copies of George drawings including engine side, tender side and birds eye views, centre bearing dimensions, and various views illustrating both cab fittings and the front end. Andy is a fireman on the GCR and WSR and thus there was much to discuss with him on the gauges’ suitability from the tender diagram he provided. Moreover, being a bit of an LNWR fan himself he is building is own George, in 5 inch scale!

Tom and Paul were there to meet Bill Ford, the General Manger of the Great Central Railway for a small handing over ceremony at the GCR on the 30th November. The photos show Bill (left) Tom and Paul receiving the gauge in front of a rake of Gresley teak coaches, earing the legend of the principal stops from London (Marylebone) to Manchester. Among the other people we met were Bill Carr who discussed their engineering with us in depth and showed Tom and Paul round their works. They were also privileged with a a ride on the line and the driver turned out to be ex-BR Nuneaton where he had experience of the Super Ds. He’d also driven the Super D on the GCR in preservation and was very complimentary.

We of course would like to thank everyone at the GCR for a wonderful day and for giving us first refusal on this gauge, which takes us ever so slightly closer to our goal. We would of course like to remind everyone that the GCR is currently undertaken a massive operation to ‘bridge the gap’ between the two extant parts of the old GCR mainline. Barely 500 metres is missing at Loughborough crossing the Midland Mainline however once completed, the united halves will provide over 18 miles mainline heritage line running, which would be eminently suitable for an engine such as a LNWR George!

To support this endeavour and to find out more, go to Bridge to the Future the GCR’s website. And don’t forget, for us to build an engine capable of running on a unified GCR or indeed for mainline running, your donations are vital. We are rapidly drawing close to fulfilling the required amount for our second tranche of £5,000 from our benefactor but require your support to get us over the line. Links to information on how to donate can be found at the top of this page.

AndyLoweGCR01AndyLoweGCR02GNR_N2classGCR_02class

Bridging the gap.

Bridging the gap.

GP Neele was a LNWR Prince of Wales class 4-6-0, built in March 1914 and scrapped in October 1933.

GP Neele was a LNWR Prince of Wales class 4-6-0, built in March 1914 and scrapped in October 1933. Neele was a superintendant of the LNWR and retired in 1895. He however lived on until 1920 by which time he was the ripe old age of 95. He also wrote a famous book of railway reminiscences.

 

Successful weekend at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition

To begin with, we’d like to express our thanks and gratitude, both to the organisers of the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition for organising this excellent event and for the support they’ve shown to us, and to the many visitors who paid us a visit at our stand over the two days of the exhibition. We are truly humbled by the enthusiastic interest and many epxressions of support the project including dozens who signed on as ‘Friends of George’. We would also like to thank those existing supporters who dropped by for a chat. Thanks one and all! (Incidentally, if you would like to become a ‘Friend of George’ it’s of course never too late. There’s absolutely no cost and you will receive periodic news updates from us on the progress of the build – so to become a ‘Friend of George click here!)

While we manned the stand, it was gratifying to have people came up to tell us how important our project is; ‘an iconic British locomotive’ and how different it is, a pre-First World War engine and an 4-4-0 for mainline running. As one person put it ‘Of all the new build projects this is the one where success is most important.’ Who are we to disagree!

Additionally there were a few invitations from various societies inviting us to give them a talk on the build. One gentleman told us of his grandfather who used to drive Georges and that at his home in Crewe he had a picture of a George on one side of his mantelpiece and a 4-6-0 on the other – he called them his ‘ladies’! In addition to the usual team Mrs Hibberd had a go on the stand on the Sunday and in the end was putting up a very credible solo performance -as she puts it ‘you just need to say the word superheat every so often and it goes down very well!

In no small part, part of the pleasure derived from this project arises form the people you meet and the personal stories they share, either of dim personal memories or of close family members and loved ones, often now passed, who had some association with the class and the London & North Western Railway or London, Midland & Scottish Railway. These personal stories enthrall us. They mean as much to us as your support and each account paints a picture of the life of the class and of the men and women who worked on the LNWR and the LMS.

We hope that this project will be a testament to their stories and their legacies.

If you would like to share a personal account – a personal reminiscence or a family story involving the LNWR George the Fifth class or more generally, of any London and North Western class, we’d like to hear from you. With your permission, your accounts will be published here and we’ll open these accounts to comments from our readers. To share your story, send it to GeorgeVtrust@gmail.com.

It would be remiss of us not to mention the fine chaps at ‘The Unknown Warrior’ who had a stand close to ours and with whom we have a strong rapport. Their project is an inspiration to us, and their advice has been invaluable.

Members of the LMS Society

Members of the LMS Society, David Hunt and Adian Tester, both authors of several definitive works with Tom and Paul from the Trust.

Our Stand at Warley with Tom and Paul discussing the project with a visitor.

Our Stand at Warley with Tom and Paul discussing the project with a visitor.

Paul and Tom manning our stand at Warley with 'The Unknown Warrior' looming in the background!

Paul and Tom manning our stand at Warley with ‘The Unknown Warrior’ looming in the background!

These photos taken by Bruce Nixon, who was in attendace and is one of our trustees.

Warley National Model Railway Exhibition.

The George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust will have a stand at the Warley National Model Railway Exhibition, which takes place at the National Exhibition Centre Birmingham on Saturday 23 November 9.45am – 6pm and Sunday 24 November 9.45-5.00pm.

The turn out for this event is expected to be huge with layouts representing a diverse selection of periods and scales, British and foreign practice. Numerous traders, preservation groups and societies will also be present in what promises to be an exciting weekend and a real display of the model-makers art.

Tickets to the exhibition can be booked online or bought at the door. We hope you can make it!

 

October Newsletter now available.

We’re now making our October Newsletter generally available to all to download. This was sent out to our supporters and friends in October. You will require Adobe reader installed to view the document. If you don’t have it installed (and most people do), you can download it for free here: Adobe Reader

Get your copy of the October Newsletter here:

LNWRGeorgeV_Oct2013_Newsletter

To view if you have Adobe Reader installed just left click on the link. If you wish to save it first, right click on the link and select ‘Saved Linked Content As’