We’ve been busy filling our calender with events for the remainder of the year. Here’s the busy schedule we’ve set for ourselves thus far…
On the 28th October, the Trust will be present with a stall at the ‘Tyseley Steam Open Day‘. We encourage all our supporters to make their way to Tyseley for a wonderful day of steam. Tyseley will be throwing open the doors of its magnificent workshops and depot so the open day is rare opportunity for the public to glimpse behind the scenes including a chance to see the progress on the restoration of 7029 Clun Castle. While there, drop by and have a chat with us and show your support with a donation or by becoming a member.
On the 9th November, Trustee Paul Hibberd along with Brian Hall of the B17 Trust will be presenting a talk on the aims and challenges of building a new build steam locomotive to the technology group of the U3A (University of the Third Age) – ‘a collection of self-help, self-managed lifelong learning co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups and to pursue learning not for qualifications, but for fun’.
Paul will of course be discussing our new build project. There is a wealth of technical and practical knowledge out there, as well as unbridled enthusiasm amongst Britain’s seniors – knowledge and experience that is scandalously under-utilised in today’s society. We will of course be encouraging those interested to join us on this project.
Finally, on the 17th November the Trust will present the project at a luncheon held by the LNWR Society in Crewe. A number of the LNWR Society’s members are either actively involved or supportive of the Trust’s endeavours. We will be presenting progress and outlining plans for the future.
The luncheon is open to LNWR Society members only, however membership provides access to a wealth of knowledge and the rare archival material on the endlessly fascinating LNWR – 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, which is some 700 strong.
An update on the build itself. As it can be inferred from the previous blog post (below), the part we’ve selected for fabrication is the smokebox door. This will be the first new component of a new-build LNWR George. Building a new-build locomotive of an extinct class is like archeology. It’s proving both fascinating and enlightening to dig down through the layers and glean a better understanding of the history of a locomotive class, with all the incremental changes during the course of its working life.
The detailed plans we’ve obtained from the NRM were produced by the LMS’s Drawing Office in 1930 (signed off by Hewitt Beames – the last CME of the LNWR and successor to Charles Bowen Cooke, the designer of the LNWR George the Fifth class) and entail a few small changes to the original design, notably a door-mounted MR/LMS style lamp-iron, which differs markedly from the square-slot LNWR-style lamp-iron (these were mounted above the door with the handrail integrated in LNWR days). Checking this detailed drawing against the original LNWR drawings in our collection and against photos of Georges in service under the LNWR confirms that the door in the detailed LMS drawing is the original profile and design sans the addition of the lamp-iron and the placement of the dog-bolts (which we won’t be fabricating at this stage).
We’re currently double and triple-checking everything before proceeding as we want our George to be ‘as-built’ but things are looking good to go for the door and we hope to have more news in the coming weeks.