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