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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prince George Frame Cutting

We are delighted to announce that the front frame-plates have been cut by Tata Steel in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton. We hope to have more photos and information to share in the near future but in the mean-time wed like to share this photos of the cutting process. The frames will thence be stored at Heckmondwike.

Our thanks goes to Gillian Hibberd for taking the photos.

The final photos shows from the left: Paul Hibberd – LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust. Centre Brian Hayes, Chairman of the LNWR Society, on the right Tom Mainprize from the Trust. New front frame on the right of the picture.

We are also delighted to announce that our most generous mystery donor has forwarded another tranche of matched-funding, given the success of our fund-raising efforts to date. This would of course not be possible without your support and remember you donations are matched not only by these tranches of matched-funding but by Gift-Aid so each contribution makes a world of difference to the build.

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A daughter’s love.

We’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and to thank Mrs. Vivian Stewart, who has recently made a generous donation to the Trust of £84 in memory of her late father, Mr Alfred Gilbert Laundon. Mr Laundon was an ardent enthusiast for all matters London and North Western most fittingly, each pound represents a year of his life.

We are touched and humbled by this gesture and this donation in honour of the late Mr Laundon will contribute to the completion of the build. This of course provides us with an opportunity to remind everyone of our acceptance of Legacies. For the ardent rail enthusiast there could not be a more fitting tribute than the completion of a new-build steam locomotive to be appreciated for generations to come.  Our website (under the How to Help tag) and the link (Legacy Form) at the top of this page provide a downloadable form in PDF format (Adobe Reader required) with all the necessary information on our to make a legacy donation to the Trust. If you require further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: GeorgeVtrust@gmail.com.

If you would like to donate in honour of a loved one, please contact us directly at GeorgeVTrust@gmail.com with the particulars, and with your consent we will acknowledge the donation as we have done here for Mrs Stewart and her father, Mr Laundon. If the idea catches on we will look to list these honorary donations permanently on the main website.

 

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Liverpool Pals Memorial unveiled at Lime St Station

With 2014 marking the centenary year for the commencement of the Great War, all across the country memorials have been unveiled and solemn ceremonies held to commemorate those who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in ‘the war to end all wars’. The Great War has recently passed from living memory but such memorials will ensure that the service and sacrifice shall never be forgotten.

One such memorial is the Liverpool Pals Memorial, which was unveiled at Lime Street Station by the HRH Prince Edward on the 31st August.  ‘The Liverpool Pals’ were a collection of volunteer battalions from Liverpool, specifically  17th, 18th, 19th and 20th service Bn. The Kings Liverpool Regiment. These men were not regular soldiers but  volunteers mainly from Liverpool and the surrounding areas, such now Wirral, North Wales and Lancashire.

Many were never to return.

George Jones of the Llangollen Railway Trust attended the ceremony and reported the following:

I made the effort to get to Lime Street this morning to see the
Liverpool Pals memorial as dedicated and unveiled by Prince Edward.

Arrived off Merseyrail just in time to see the official crowd disperse to St George’s Plateau and later access the Hall for the assorted militaria stalls.

The two friezes are hung high up above the entrance to the Wirral Line escalator on the station concourse. You need to be aware of their elevated position, otherwise you might miss them. Lots of people taking pics and the occasion attracted a lot of attention.

With his trusty little Canon, George managed to take a number of photos of the ceremony and the friezes, which include a frieze depicting the homecoming of those who survived with a London & North Western Railway Precursor Class bearing them home. Designed by George Whale, the Precursors were the antecedent class to the Georges, which were in essence a superheated variant with a number of front-end improvements.

All photos taken by George Jones.

 

 

 

 

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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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An update on the Family of John Charles Bowen Cooke

A few days ago we were contacted by an amateur genealogist who has kindly taken up our challenge and commenced ‘the chase’.

The search has just barely commenced but already he has managed to shed light on some new information and tantalising leads. We now know that Faith Francis died in 1980 in Cambourne Cornwall and tantalisingly had at least one child. Bowen Cooke’s eldest son Charles was born 1886 and died in 1929 (Birmingham). Victor may have been married and died 1988 in Kingsbridge, Devon.

The search will continue for more relatives with an emphasis on finding those living. We are indeed excited to know more and grateful for his efforts. If anyone can assist, please to contact us.

Will will of course keep all our followers and supporters updated with developments as they transpire and we will soon put up the photos from the 22nd July celebrations at Quorn.

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Fabrication of the left splasher, valance and running plate, lower-cabside, number and nameplate.

We can finally reveal something that we’ve had to hold back on until this day – the day of the first birthday of HRH Prince George.

A report from the day at Quorn will follow in due course but I thought I should post some images of the fabrication of the left splasher, valance, lower-cabside, number and nameplate.

Late last year, soon after the young prince’s birth, we sought consent from the Royal Family to commemorate his birth by naming our new build, ‘Prince George‘ (fitting for a class where the first of the class bore the name of his Great, Great , Great Grandfather and all subsequent members of the class were thereby known by the name, George the Fifth).

The eponymous member of the class, 2663 George the Fifth in works-grey
The eponymous member of the class, 2663 George the Fifth in works-grey

Consent as granted on condition that the name would not be revealed until the date of his first birthday, at the earliest. Given this wonderful news, as we placed the order for the front frames and completed the smokebox door, we decided to have the left-splasher, valance, lower cabside, number and nameplates fabricated to mark the occasion but we had to keep in under wraps to honour the conditions set down by the Royal Family.

These parts will of course be used in the final build – this is the left splasher, valance rear-running plate, lower-cabside, name and number plates that you will see on the completed engine.

The number 2013 of course signifies the year of HRH’s birth, which we think you’ll agree is fitting. Now the name was borne by an Experiment Class 4-6-0, number 1135, which emerged from Crewe in September 1907 so technically a George would not have borne them name but given this is a new build and given the wonderful opportunity to bear the young prince’s title, we think you’ll agree that it is a fitting choice.

We hope you’ll enjoy these images, which we think you’ll agree are an evocative taste of what can be. We should point out that as a rule we won’t be fabricating more cosmetic parts until much later in the build. The frame, spacers, wheels, hornblocks and eventually moving towards a rolling chassis are is priority from here on in but the importance of the occasion warranted something to fire the imagination!

Enjoy!

splasher01splasher02splasher09LowerCabside01procast_plates01Procast_numberplate_2013Splasher03Splasher04Splasher05Splasher06Splasher08LNWRcoatofarms01

 

 

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The Trust celebrates the first birthday of HRH Prince George.

On Tuesday 22nd July the GCR will be operating a special Teddy Bears’ Picnic event for children. At Quorn there will be an event which celebrates the first birthday of HRH Prince George.

The LNWR George the fifth Steam Locomotive Trust is inviting guests to this celebration at 11.30 a.m. At 12.15 p.m. the name and number plate of the new George will be unveiled by Noah Cull (aged 5) and Poppy Cull (aged 3) revealing the name to be Prince George and the number to be 2013. This is being done by kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who stipulated that the locomotive should receive its name on the first birthday of HRH Prince George.

The unveiling will be followed by a reception in the ‘Tin Shed’ at Quorn at which drinks and canapés will be served. There will be a rolling power point presentation in the Tin Shed showing the history of the Georges. Jamie Keyte is also bringing a gazebo which will feature photographs and other documents of engineering interest relating to the new build.

In addition to providing an enjoyable sociable event for our subscribers it is hoped that the profile of our project with the general public will be greatly enhanced.

Posted in Fabrication, Galas, GCR, General News, Great Central Railway, Prince George, Public Events, Royal Family | Tagged | Leave a comment

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!

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The family of Charles John Bowen-Cooke

Anyone familiar with the history of the London & North Western Railway and familiar with the LNWR George the Fifth class would know the name, Charles John Bowen-Cooke. For those unfamiliar with either, briefly then Bowen-Cooke was the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNWR – the largest joint-stock company in the British Empire and the largest railway company in Britain, directly or indirectly servicing most major centres in Britain – from 1909 until his untimely death at the age of just 62 in Cornwall in 1920.

During his stewardship through what proved to be immensely difficult and challenging times for the nation, for its people and for the company – a period of great upheaval, disruption and momentous change brought about not by the war but looming competition in the form of motorised road-transport, Bowen-Cooke unfailingly continued the work commenced by his predecessor, George Whales in transforming the LNWR from an essentially Victorian railway concern to one ready to meet the demands and challenges of the new century.

Charles_Bowen_Cooke

Of course his success and achievements were to some degree cruelled by the onset of The Great War – plans and designs were understandably shelved and the war took its toll on rolling-stock, infrastructure and not least, on its men and women. Many heeded the call and went off to war. Many didn’t return – slaughtered in the trenches on the western front and elsewhere. In commemoration to its fallen, the LNWR dedicated a one of Bowen-Cooke’s ‘Claughton’ class to their memory. The memorial engine was bored the name ‘Patriot’ and appropriately it sported the number, ‘1914’; the year that the first shots in the ‘war to end all wars’ had been fired. Inscribed beneath the name were the words:

In Memory of the Fallen L&NWR Employees. 1914 to 1918

The Great War had taken its toll on the railways of Britain and they never truly recovered – it could be argued that the great age of the railway was coming to an end. In the years following the war’s conclusion it was determined that the railways would be amalgamated into 4 great entities with the LNWR being the largest constituent of the largest of the post-grouping entities – The London, Midland and Scottish Railway, which came into being on January 1st, 1923.

Despite these odds, Bowen-Cooke achieved a great deal in his tenure. With your help, one of those achievements we intend to commemorate with a new-build of one of his and the LNWR’s most feted designs – a design that built on the successes of his predecessor and implemented the latest practice to meet the challenges of early 20th century. This new-build will be the singular representative of 20th century L&NWR engine engine practice, marking and commemorating an important, pivotal and yet under-represented epoch in Britain’s railway history.

It is with this in mind that we seek to make contact with surviving members of the Bowen-Cooke family and his descendants . Charles Bowen-Cooke was buried at St. Kust in Roseland, Cornwall. At the time of OS Nock’s book ‘The Locomotives of C J Bowen-Cooke’, published in 1977 there were four surviving children:

Victor R Bowen-Cooke who had been Assistant Road Motor Engineer of the LMS and three daughters about whom we know much less. His daughters were:

Mrs Faith Harris MBE
Mrs Erica Robinson
Mrs Eileen Tracy

Victor is believed to have died in the 1980s and at the time was living in Devon. It is also believed that one of his relations lived in Portsmouth at one time in a house called ‘St. Mawes’.

We welcome anyone of the family, or acquainted with it who might assist us in completing the picture or simply finding additional information. Any genealogists willing to take on this task are also welcome to do so. The Trust would be most interested in making contact with members of his family or at least fleshing out the story of the people connected to the LNWR George the Fifth class.

 

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