Category Archives: Fabrication

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.

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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



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Smokebox door – nearing completion.

Greetings to all our followers and supporters for 2014. We hope that you all had a restful and joyous festive season.

The trust has signed off on the next phase of work on the smokebox door. This phase is the most expensive and extensive so far and it moves the door on a long way from just being a pretty face to an important component of a working locomotive.

The work will include the fabrication and assembly of key components of the door including the central hinge, hinge plate, hinge tube and stop. The fabrication schedule also includes the inner door profile and inner ring, handle and baffle stand-off.

At the completion of this work, the door will undergo non-destructive testing to satisfy and comply with National Rail standards. This testing is critical for certification for mainline running and will be undertaking throughout the fabrication process.

We will of course provide photos as the work progresses.

LMS Drawings showing LMS period modifications and original LNWR features.
LMS Drawings showing LMS period modifications and original LNWR features.


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Hand-wheel and dart handle photos

We thought we might share with you some of the small progress recently made on the smokebox door, which is nearing completion with our supplier Keyte Smith Ltd.

The first image shows the dart handle on the lathe. There is a little bit of hand fettling to finish off and the turning centre to remove. The second image is the hand wheel post welding. Note over size boss at both ends to allow it to be turned. The third image shows the door boss welded on the inside of the door and the final images shows work commencing on the profiling of the hand wheel in the lathe.

Dart Handle




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Further progress on the Smokebox door

We thought we’d take this opportunity to share a collection of photos of the work currently being undertaken on the Smokebox door at the workshops of AJB Engineering. We have to thank Jamie Keyte of Keyte Smith Ltd for the photos and his work and also the fellows at AJB Engineering.

Photos 1 and 2 shows the dart being heated up ready for forging. The bar is 50mm diameter and the end needs to be thinned to a thickness of 25mm and 75mm across.  The chap doing the heating is Tom, Keyte Smith’s coded welder with Jamie at the hot end.

Photos 3 and 4 show the dart in the press having the end forged. This gets the initial thickness close to 25mm. The next stage is to upset forge the end to get the required width 75mm, followed by a final thickness setting. We needed about 20 tons to get it flat.

Photo 5 shows the material profiles for the hand wheel and the dart handle prior to machining.

Photo 6 shows the door mounted on the radial arm drill for opening out the hole to the required diameter of 90mm to accept the boss. The door profile was supplied with a 27mm pilot hole from Purdie. A temporary boss was made (just visible behind the top of the wheel on Photo 12) so that the hole saw had a true centre to pick up on. The hole is then prepped ready for welding in the boss. The door has also been marked out with horizontal and vertical centrelines (where the cross of red oxide paint is) so there are datums to work to once the centre has been cut away.

Photo 7 is more for general interest (although the door does feature in the background) and I put it in due to the railway connection. It is a wheel from an LMS dray (probably built at Wolverton) that is currently being restored. One of the Ed, one of the fellows at AJB Engineering is an expert in the ancient art of making things from timber and he owns the saw seen in this clip from the recent country show at Harby:

Thanks again to Jamie Keyte and the teams at Keyte Smith Ltd, AJB Engineering and Purdie. We’ll be sure to keep everyone up-to-date with the progress on the door and on other developments as and when we’re able. As stated in an earlier post, the frame-plates will be the next parts to commence fabrication and we hope to have more information in due course.


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First tranche of matched funding!

Glad tidings of great joy!

If yesterday’s news wasn’t exciting and promising enough, in yet another piece of fantastic news I can hereby confirm that the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust has successfully met the required conditions for our first tranche of matched funding from our anonymous benefactor.  Originally the agreement specified that the Trust was to receive matched funding at £10,000. That is, for every £10,000 that we raised through our own fundraising efforts minus Gift Aid, our generous benefactor would match it with a Charities Aid Foundation voucher.

However, recently he agreed to lower that threshold to £5,000. What this therefore means is that the project will be receipt of an additional £5,000 through a Charities Aid Foundation voucher. We are of course immensely grateful to him and to all our donors and supporters in assisting us get to this point.

And just to reiterate, there is a commitment to match our funding until a £50,000 is reached! As you can imagine, this is a real filip to the project and means that we can begin to initiate our plans beyond the fabrication of the frame-plates!  We therefore ask that all our readers and supporters help spread the word. You’ll find a button at the top of this very post which will enable you to forwards the details to others through a number of platforms, from email to various social medias such as Twitter and Facebook.

I think this news deserves a good and proper British Ale or two!

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Building a full head of steam!

On the 3rd August, the LNWR Society held its 40th anniversary celebrations at Kidderminster Railway Museum, kindly hosted by the Severn Valley Railway. The event was well attended and proved to be enjoyable and informative with a good deal of lively discussion and debate ensuing on all matters ‘Premier Line’. The presentations included the Crewe to Shrewbury Line by Bob Yate (author of The Shropshire Union Railway, The South Staffordshire Railway volumes 1 and 2 among other titles) and the restoration and operation on ‘Coal Tank 1054‘ by Peter Skellon (who wrote the book on the Coal Tanks, Bashers, Gadgets and Mourners.)

Trustee Paul Hibberd and young Trust supporter Tom Mainprize were also there presenting the project and outlining the plans to the gathering in an hour-long Q&A session, which was warmly received. Indeed, I think we can safely say that the response we received far exceeded our expectations – to wit, thanks to the generosity of the members of the LNWR Society and other visitors, on the day we received in excess of £3,000 excluding the Gift Aid that will arise from the bulk of these donations. This places us in a position to order the frame plates.

On behalf of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust, we would like to humbly thank the many individuals who gave their financial and moral support for the project on the day. We firmly believe that this day constitutes a real inflection point for the project and a gathering of momentum, and that with your support, together we will build a new LNWR George the Fifth! As to the progress on the door and the intention to commence fabrication of the frames-plates, we hope to make further announcements soon. We also hope that we can soon confirm a number of other related developments underway that will no doubt please our members and supporters and provide a real filip to the project.

Watch this space as they say.

It should be noted that since the inception of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust, we have enjoyed a strong working relationship with the 700 strong membership of the LNWR Society, who have been tremendously supportive of our endeavours. That support arose under the auspices of the previous Chairman, Peter Stanton and continues with the personal support of the current Chairman, Brian Hayes.

We were of course, very happy to be a part of the LNWR Society’s 40th anniversary celebrations and we heartedly recommend becoming a member to anyone with in interest in the London & North Western Railway or even in Britain’s rich railway history and heritage generally. Membership provides direct access to a wealth of knowledge, artifacts and rare archival material – material that has been painstakingly preserved and collated over the years by the Society’s members to become the largest single repository of information and relics pertaining to the London & North Western Railway and its constituents. This tremendous depth of knowledge also extends to the membership and social events are a regular occurrence. More information on the LNWR Society can be found on their website here.

A sample of this rich collection was showcased on the day with the LNWR Society displaying a number of artifacts including nameplates, which helped to bring a past era alive again. The nameplates included Sirocco, the last LNWR 4-4-0 (a Precursor rebuilt to the George specification) – an engine that our trustee Bruce Nixon snapped as a young lad at Chester in 1949.

As mentioned, the bonds between the LNWR Society and the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust are strong and abiding. The previous Chairman of the LNWR Society, Peter Stanton has been a redoubtable supporter of the project since its inception.  As a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer, Peter has been actively involved with the minutiae and the nuts and bolts of the project particularly in relation to mainline access. He is our ”Competent Independent Person’.

In addition to Peter Stanton and Richard Coleby, who was the subject in February 2013 of this post on this very blog, Peter Skellon of the Coal Tank Group (mentioned above) has long been tirelessly at hand in answering our many inquiries (and trust me, we’ve had a few in relation to the fabrication of the smokebox door!). Finally, it would be remiss of us not to again mention the invaluable support provided by Ted Talbot, who only recently has made available to the Trust a copy of the June 1911 pamphlet produced by Schmidt’s Superheating Co (1910) Ltd. entitled ‘The Application of Highly Superheated Steam to Locomotives‘ which specifically refers to the successful results achieved with the Georges. We would like to thank these gentlemen for their efforts and in bringing their great experience and knowledge to bear on this project.

All our members and supporters whether that support be financial, knowledge and expertise or moral are the very lifeblood of this project and we again thank you. Support which I should hasten to add, increasingly extends far and wide, including Australia and New Zealand, where notably one benefactor ‘downunder’ recently donating the sum of £500 to the project! So to our supporters (financial and otherwise) in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, we also extend a warm thanks. Wherever you are in the world, you are a part of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust family. Momentum grows and with it, so does our support-base, which is now widespread extending to all corners of the globe and across a broad-cross-section of the community in terms of age and profession.

Finally, here is a collection of photos from the LNWR Society day at Kidderminster. The first shows young Trust member, Tom Mainprize manning our  booth surrounded by the magnificent artwork of  Gerald Broom, Roger Markland, John Wardle and others. The second shows two LNWR nameplates including that of the LNWR George the Fifth class ‘Coronation‘, a photo of which can be seen on our main website. The third shows Peter Stanton while the fourth shows Mrs Muriel Higgs, is the widow of a driver/fireman.




Posted in Australia, Coal Tank, Fabrication, Frames, Fundraising, General News, LNWRS Society, New Zealand, Peter Stanton, Public Events, Richard Coleby, Social Media, Tad Talbot, Ted Talbot | Leave a comment

July update.

We thought it high time to inform our followers and supporters of the pending developments with the LNWR George the Fifth new-build project.

Work will now commence on stage two of the smoke-box door with our supplier Keyte Smith Ltd of Bingham, Nottinghamshire undertaking the completion of the central boss, dart, dart handle, hand-wheel and dart-collar. The completed components will then be fixed to the already completed door profile, which will give us the first full-sized LNWR smoke-box door with the original hand-wheel and dart seen since the 1940’s!

And if this wasn’t exciting enough we are also very pleased to announce that we are now receiving quotes for both the front and rear frames from various suppliers. Beyond this we cannot say more at this stage but we hope you agree that the commencement of the frames will herald a significant milestone for the project.

As ever your support is vital not least for this critical phase. We kindly ask our readers and followers to make a one-off donation or better still, be become a supporter of the trust with a standing order. Monthly standing orders can be made for any amount and can be cancelled at any time. Please help spread the word among your friends, colleagues, family and through social media. Details on how you can help can be found at the top of this site.

Last but not least, a reminder that we will be present at The London & North Western Railway Society at Kidderminster Railway Museum on the Severn Valley Railway on the 3rd August.The details can be found here. It should prove to be an enjoyable and informative day, with an opportunity to take a ride on the magnificient Severn Valley Railway. We hope to see you there!

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Gift Legacies

On behalf of the trust I apologise for our silence of late. Negotiations are currently taking place concerning the completion of the smokebox door, which when completed we hope to display publicly, and concerning the next phase of fabrication, which promises to be a more substantial task than anything to date.

Partnerships and alliances are also under detailed discussion and negotiation, and given the often sensitive, long and convoluted process involved with such negotiations it would be unwise to broadcast anything without absolute clarity nor without concrete decisions and agreements in place. To do so would jeopardise the generous trust that you, our supporters place in us as well as the trust of those who donate their time and expertise and those individuals, firms and societies which enter into partnership with us. When and only when the time is right will we make an announcement even if results in weeks or even months of silence. We will of course, do our utmost to keep you informed wherever and whenever possible and we are working as quickly as possible to secure critical agreements and build on the momentum we have to date.

So on behalf of the trust I would like to assure everyone that behind the scenes steady progress is being made and assure everyone that the Trust is thinking well beyond the mere production of a smokebox door without the rest of the locomotive to attach it to or a place to store it (the door or indeed an entire locomotive!). The task of building a new example of an extinct class of engine is as you would appreciate, a substantial one, and one that will undoubtedly take many years and require the tremendous generosity in money and time from many individuals such as yourself.

With this in mind that I would like to announce that the Trust now offers an additional method of providing support to this project. A method that revolves around a sensitive topic, which few of us like to discuss let alone think about. This involves Gift Legacies. None of us likes to consider the process of writing a Will and Testament or the implication of what that decision entails. Yet, a Will is an undoubtedly crucial document, which serves as a lasting  testament to our values, concerns, beliefs and interests.

The act of charitable giving is tremendously selfless act. We therefore kindly and humbly ask that you to seriously ponder whether your legacy; your values and interests would be served by the creation of a new locomotive – an example of one of Bowen-Cooke’s magnificent LNWR George the Fifths – a testament to the ingenuity and artistry of our ancestors that will serve to educate, inform and delight generations to come?  If your charitable interests accord with this vision and our aims then perhaps you might consider gifting a legacy to this project? Your great generosity will help ensure the completion of this project and the creation of a glorious LNWR George the Fifth to delight and educate future generations.

Further information can be found on our Legacy Form (PDF format. Left click to view and right click to download and save) including information on legacy options and on options for making a one-off or regular donation in the memory of someone dear. If you are considering a Gift Legacy, we invite you to contact us at or at the address provided on the form and we will seek to answer your questions.  We also encourage you to discuss it and the process of charitable giving with your solicitor or financial advisor. Click on the ‘How to Help‘ button above to see the myriad of ways you can help.

On behalf of everyone at the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust we humbly thank you for your tremendous support and for choosing to be a part of this project. Together we will build a magnificent locomotive to be enjoyed by generations to come.

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We’re in the latest issue of Heritage Hub

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Rowan and the lads at Heritage Hub for the write-up in their latest issue of their excellent digital magazine. If you’re unfamiliar with Heritage Hub we strongly recommend checking it out. The UK Heritage Hub exists to foster interest in the wide diversity of heritage available within the UK. Galas, open days, and themed events. A group of dedicated volunteers, the lads at The Heritage Hub provide a vital service to the heritage rail movement as well as a cracking good read. You can find the current issue (featuring us) and back issues here:

Heritage Hub download page.

You can also follow them on Twitter here: @UKHeritageHub

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