Category Archives: LNWRS Society

Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition

The London and North Western Railway Society recently had an exhibit at the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition at Leamington Spa from the 16th to the 19th October where our George the Fifth new build was promoted.

This was the 37th year of this marvelous event, which happens to be one of the largest modelling exhibitions in size and scope in the country. The show featured nearly 1000 beautifully hand-crafted models, as well as demonstrations, indoor and outdoor displays and a host of exhibitions from model and engineering societies, model manufacturers as well as resource, material and suppliers.

A few such examples of the model makers art were on display at the London and North Western Railway Society exhibition stand. The accompanying photos, taken by Kenneth Wood include three superb models of LNWR types including a representation of  the George the Fifth engine, 1681 PTARMIGAN, which was built by Nigel Thompson in 1974. This model accompanied our brochures and provided attendees with a concrete example of what’s possible, albeit in miniature of course. Nigel Thompson was also responsible for the Class D Goods Engine, completing it in 2009 while the Problem-class ‘OWL’ under construction is the work of Chris Rayward.

As ever, the show was well attended and many visitors stopped by the LNWRS stand. We wish to thank the LNWR Society for kindly displaying our brochures and for fielding questions on the Georges and the build.

In other news, we have been featured in the latest issue of Steam Railway in a terrific and comprehensive 6 page article! We hope to have more about this soon but we want to thank the team at Steam Railway for the feature and we encourage everyone to support the preservation railway press, which has been pivotal in fostering and sustaining the rail preservation movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Exhibition, Fabrication, Fundraising, Galas, General News, LNWRS Society, Public Events, Social Media | Leave a comment

August Roundup

This gallery contains 22 photos.

As we enter the final months of 2014 we’d like to briefly reflect upon the developments thus far and upon what is yet to come. Without question, the highlight was the official naming ceremony at Quorn Station on the Great Central Railway on a warm and sunny 22nd July and the overwhelmingly positive response to the announcement in rail preservation circles and amongst a broader audience. This response was far beyond anything we anticipated as the news reached a global audience especially on social media, reaching an audience beyond those interested in rail preservation, not least among many who have a keen interest in the House of Windsor. We would … Continue reading

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Kidderminster SVR on the 2nd August

A quick message and and a reminder to say that as with last year, the Trust will again be at Kidderminster Station on the wonderful Severn Valley Railway on the 2nd August for the LNWR Society annual event. The day kicks off at 10;30AM and all are welcome. You can read about last year’s event, which marked the 40th anniversary of the LNWR Society, here.

Also expect a significant announcement and presentation from the Trust on the 22nd July. We wish we could say more now but we expect you’ll understand the reason for the secrecy when all is revealed!

Posted in Exhibition, Fundraising, General News, LNWRS Society, Public Events, Severn Valley Railway | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Crewe, Crewe Heritage Centre, Exhibition, Fabrication, Fundraising, GCR, General News, Great Central Railway, Heckmondwike, Homebase, Legacies, LNWRS Society, Matched Funding, Public Events, Severn Valley Railway | Leave a comment

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

The London & North Western Railway Society 40th Anniversay Meeting

The trust will be present at the 40th Anniversary meeting of the The London & North Western Railway Society at Kidderminster Railway Museum on the Severn Valley Railway on the 3rd August.

Admission is free and open to the public. Events kick off at 10:30AM and will continue through to 5:30PM.

10.30am-12.30pm – “The Crewe – Shrewsbury Line” by Bob Yate, author of The Railways and Locomotives of the Lilleshall Company, By Great Western to Crewe” (the Wellington – Market Drayton – Nantwich line), The Shropshire Union Railway and Canal Company and The South Staffordshire Railway, plus numerous articles in magazines and journals. 

1pm – 2pm – The Build a George the Fifth Project – A Progress Report.

2.30pm-5.30pm – “Coal Tank 1054 – its Restoration and Operation” by Pete Skellon, author of Bashers, Gadgets and Mourners, the Life and Times of the LNWR Coal Tanks.

 Exhibition of paintings by Gerald Broom, Roger Markland and John Wardle. 

There will also be a number of stands, including our own displaying LNWR artifacts including nameplates, memorabilia, archives and models. The LNWR Society will also host a stand.

We cordially invite our followers, supporters, their families and friends to come along.  Please drop by to say hello and while you’re there be sure to check the exhibits at the Kidderminster Railway Museum and take a ride on the marvellous Severn Valley Railway.

Posted in Coal Tank, Fundraising, Galas, General News, History, LNWRS Society, Preservation Steam, Public Events, Volunteers | 1 Comment

An update on the smokebox door

We apologise for the recent silence but we can report the following and we hope to have more updates very soon, hopefully with photos over the coming weeks.

Due diligence on the smokebox door has taken us longer than we anticipated but we are finally underway. The down-payment has been made with Keyte Smith Ltd of Bingham, Nottingham. Peter Stanton, the Chairman of the LNWR Society and Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer was appointed by the Trust to ensure that we confirm to the appropriate certification especially as we want to be eligible for mainline running. Along with Jamie Keyte of Keyte Smith, all the necessary due-diligence for the smokebox door has being undertaken.

A materials certificate is to be provided and the door will be made of Boiler-Plate, which is stronger and more resistant to corrosion than the ‘Crewe Steel that’ the LNWR employed, which was made by the LNWR for its own use. Keyte Smith have also done calculations to demonstrate that the door will be able to withstand the partial vacuum behind it. The outer door profile is being produced by a process known as ‘metal spinning‘. You can read about the process on Wikipedia here. The original doors were fabricated by pressing, which only makes sense if you are producing large quantities of the same item (as Crewe Works was undoubtedly doing) and really isn’t practical or cost-effective for one-offs. I should stress that the result will be indistinguishable from the original.

Internal discussions are currently taking place to finalise the next stage. We are all reasonably certain about the next part to be fabricated next however we’ll hold off announcing it until the decision is definitive. To this end we hope to soon begin running simulation software and following due diligence to again ensure mainline running. What I can say is that we are considering a more structurally integral part of the locomotive, which we hope will be a serious demonstration of intent. It has made sense for us to hold back on structurally critical parts of a new locomotive until we felt ready to tackle them but we are coming to grips with the fabrication, tendering and certification processes and we are attracting invaluable support from knowledgeable and experienced individuals such as Peter Stanton, Richard Coleby and Ted Talbot.

We are also steadily gathering interest and support and we have you, our donors and supporters to thank for getting us the point where we can finally cut metal. Of course it perhaps goes withing saying that much more is needed and so we humbly ask for your assistance in raising sufficient funds for the next stage of fabrication. And remember, once we reach the £10,000 mark matched funding from a kind benefactor will kick in, helping to expedite the build. At £20,000, another £10,000 in matched funding will be made – all the way to £50,000 – which will give this project a real fillip. People like you will make this happen so please consider becoming a regular donor or if you’re not comfortable with monthly contributions, then a single donation is of course also greatly appreciated. A reminder that UK taxpayers can match their donation through Gift-Aid so remember to tick the Gift Aid-box and fill out the appropriate details when filling out the donation form. Monthly donations can be cancelled at any time. You’ll find a link on ‘How to Help‘ at the top of this page including the form in doc and PDF formats. Single donations also can be made securely through Paypal on our main website.

We thank you for your support!

Speaking of assistance, the LNWR Society is in the process of digitising the drawings it holds in its collection and we shall be receiving a full collection in a digital format soon. We kindly thank the LNWR Society for this gesture.

Posted in Fabrication, General News, History, LNWRS Society, Research | 1 Comment

23rd Annual Crewe Luncheon of the LNWR Society

On Saturday 17th November, Paul Hibberd, Bruce Nixon and Tom Mainprize attended the annual Crewe Luncheon of the LNWR Society. There, they presented the project to the attendees. Young Tom (only 21) gave a rousing speech that was well-received by the audience. Here is the speech in full:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for allowing me a little time to speak to you.

I am Tom Mainprize and work for and with the LNWR GVT in many aspects!, I am also a trainee fireman at Didcot Railway Centre, and I help at PRCLT in the engineering works with 46233 and others., They of course have the LNWR Royal Special Saloon 5000, built at Wolverton in 1923.

Your are all probably wondering why someone aged 21 is about to talk about matters relating to the LNWR!… I do not wish to talk so much about the History of the LNWR, there are many far more informed and distinguished people in this room than I who can do the subject justice. The subject I wish to speak on, is my experience of the LNWR as someone who is from a different generation, someone who has no recollection of Steam on BR as the norm.

I may therefore perceive the LNWR and the future of the LNWR and to some respect the LNWRS in a slightly different light…

I wish to tell you the story of how I have become interested, and why I am actively involved in building of an LNWR engine that I can neither remember, nor have ever seen!
Railways are in the blood of my family. I still have a granddad who remembers streamlined red and gold, silver and blue Princess Coronations speeding though Lichfield Trent Valley ..super Ds, Big Bertha and even the occasional clanking George! I was aware that the North Western had been a really great British institution, but living in Reading it was some years before I had a firsthand experience of its territories.

It wasn’t until the age of 8 or 9 that I finally ventured to Euston. My family and I were heading to Scotland on the ScotRail Caledonian sleeper.

Arriving at Euston, by taxi you’re thrown into a concrete box, a monolith of ‘Beeching Rail’ and the world of modernisation (something of which I knew little about- apart from the obvious axing of railways). It did not occur to me that this place had ever looked different, but there was something , that for some reason in my mind set it well above Paddington, maybe it was the vast scale of the place, 18 platforms and the Caledonian sleeper, the length of which I had never seen before! Maybe it was the fact this place didn’t reflect its size and importance with a grand structure like Paddington, it just didn’t add up, and I put it to the back of my mind not thinking much of it for many years to come.

This experience which I have told you about has precious little to do with the LNWR bar the metals and places we were on. And that was the problem – I’d been to Euston but not found Euston!. It was through my readings that I finally found the conclusion to my tale, the callous wanton destruction of such a Historic and Iconic terminus. More reading followed and led me to the sad story of the LNWR, second best not only in 1923 but in 1961-2, it left a vivid impression on me: The Doric Arch- Gone, The Great Hall- Gone, Old Euston- Gone, Old New Street- Gone. Curzon Street- my only tangible link to LNWR infrastructure.

Of the locomotives it’s a similar story- the famous picture of a Precursor, Prince of Wales, and Claughton lined up at Crewe ready for the cutters torch says it all. What we have left we must cherish and appreciate them, they really show the glory of the ‘Premier Line’- the best coaches in the country (IMO) many survive thankfully, Cornwall, Hardwicke, and the only two working examples; the Super-D and the resplendent coal tank.

There is something telling me, ‘although we are very lucky to have these pieces, the LNWR faces becoming a distant chapter in our railway history’ … Why you ask? The LNWR was once the largest joint stock company in the world, but how many people actually know or remember anything about the LNWR? Even here in Crewe I’m sure average Joe couldn’t tell you why there is a road named ‘Claughton Avenue’. Maybe I am overly sceptical, but through my own experience within railway circles I heard very little about the Premier Line and I wonder how many railway enthusiasts of around my age know much about the LNWR? … I want to help correct this.

This leads me to my final words, the LNWR George the Fifth new build project is the perfect project to do this. We have an opportunity to build an LNWR express locomotive of the 20th Century and fill a big gap in LNWR heritage. It is not that other LNWR projects aren’t worthy projects; far from it they are hugely important. But this can be the flag bearer for the LNWR- a mainline engine, capable of feats not seen since Wild Duck, Deerhound or any of the other Iconic names that disappeared as it seemed for ever. An engine that will not only be of national importance but one that ‘average Joe’, railway enthusiasts and the like will come and see, I have seen it first hand with Tornado.

This George will in my eyes help revive the LNWR- the Premier Line to greatness. The commitment, along with an engine must be to excite and educate people… most importantly the next generation… on the LNWR so that this George will be seen to be deeply entwined into its history along with the other surviving locomotives and all that has been lost.

We thus achieve many things with one project, these are things that the preservation movement is grappling with and reaching inadequate answers to thus far. We can lead the way. Just like the LNWR of old. My message is therefore simple; join the George the Fifth new build project; donate if you can through subscribing or a one off donation and be part of the revival of the LNWR- and its new chapter in history!

Tom at the LuncheonMembers signing.

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Behind the scenes work continues on finalising the contract to manufacture the smokebox door and plans are well underway regarding the next parts of the locomotive to fabricate. I know what it is and it’s very exciting, however regrettably I’m unable to share it at this stage. I know it’s very unfair of me! Finally we should have the newsletter going out shortly.

 

Posted in Fabrication, Galas, General News, History, LNWRS Society, Public Events, Volunteers | Leave a comment