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7027 Thornbury Castle

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by svrhunt, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. green five

    green five Resident of Nat Pres

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    I used to visit the GWS at Didcot regularly in the not too distant past but lost interest as I found it so depressing seeing the impressive fleet that they have sitting dead, out of ticket for years and years while they obsess over the not quite correct new build / recycled projects.
    Events that have happened with loco's that have steamed in recent years show the Society has lost it's way as others have mentioned. 5322, a popular loco in the collection only operated for six years after extensive overhaul before being withdrawn when boiler problems occurred. Were the repairs required really expensive or did the new build projects soak up the funds?
    The Railmotor was a great success (although I did hear rumblings about the wrong wood being used for the body) but this has now entered the Didcot stuffed and mounted collection. The Railmotor is perfect for use on the demo lines. Are there any plans to return it to steam in the future?
    The 6023 saga went on and on. It was going on the Main Line they preached during the overhaul with major alterations made to the exhaust and cab to facilitate ML operations. And then it wasn't going ML. Then it was again but only to be towed to an open day by 70013. And now that has also joined the Bob Marley part of the collection (Waiting in vain for another overhaul).
    Some of the smaller tank loco's in the collection could have been overhauled and steamed in the time that has been spent on the Frankenstein projects. So far only 4144 has emerged to do this in recent years with Trojan a recent addition to the working fleet.
    The larger loco's in the collection could have been excellent hire loco's bringing in much needed funds for the GWS throughout the year with the loco's returning to base for special events.
    The broad gauge line is silent with two out of ticket loco's gathering dust in the station building. Why has this asset of the GWS collection been left like this? It was always very popular during steam days. New build projects taking up the resources/funds for the broad gauge fleet perhaps?
    Apologies for this mini rant. It has been a long day and the news about the fate of 7027 has added to my frustrations today. Something really stinks to me about the plans to use 7027 for more of these vanity projects especially as they will probably end up sitting around for years to come when the tickets run out. I even had visions earlier of the GWS breaking up some of their "new-build" projects in the future to turn them into other long lost classes.

    Sent from my XQ-BT52 using Tapatalk
     
  2. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    Its not hard to imagine money coming into the GWS and then being disbursed into separate accounts. Although I cherish my ignorance on matters of financial management in charities I might guess this would be good practice. It would certainly be much less clumsy and more secure than giving every sub project access a single bank account. Obviously I don't know, but in the case of ring-fenced funds might it even be a legal necessity?
     
  3. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    The GWR continued building 2-cylinder mixed-traffic locos but preferred 4 cylinders for express locos, until very late on with the Hawksworth Counties, the rationale for which was never very clear.
     
  4. ChuffChuff

    ChuffChuff Member

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    Fair point. But if one individual holds two roles, and is acting in one capacity, I don't think we can automatically assume the other group know.
    But if that has happened, then I'd expect to see him step down as Vice President, or be removed.
     
  5. MellishR

    MellishR Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    If "Frankenstein" projects are bad, what about the broad-gauge single? Internally that is very different from the original that it represents.
     
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  6. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    7027 is technically a 5098 series Castle. There were many improvements made to the Castle design over the period they were built. Stars and Castles up to 4093 plus Star rebuilds had an offset pressed into the frames to give more clearance for the bogie leading wheels. Later Castles had the frames left straight with a dish pressed into them to provide the clearance. This required different pattern cylinders. 5098s had mechanical lubricators. Earlier wheels had the crank aligned with a spoke, later ones had it aligned between them, Castle style outside steampipes were rare on Stars and so it goes on. To do as good a job of back revving 7027 to Churchward era Star configuration would be easily as big a job as Maindy Hall -> Lady of Legend was.
     
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  7. Jimc

    Jimc Part of the furniture

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    And if I count it right there are at least 8 GWR built 'Frankensteins' in preservation.
     
  8. ChuffChuff

    ChuffChuff Member

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    Ring-fenced contributions to locos like you list are actively discouraged for exactly that reason. Any made are challenged before being accepted. But if it's eg a bequest it's hard to alter. I don't know if you are a member, but if you look in the annual reports, you can see the ring fenced funds are basically static. The bigger issue is that people don't donate to a hall or manor in the same way. Let's face it, you can (usually) go to the SVR or WSR or GWSR and get a ride behind a either class.

    If only you had contributed your knowledge of exhaust passage flows :) Seriously - once the rebuild issues were resolved it steamed pretty much every month and went to - what - 4 other preserved lines? Not sure what you are complaining about? I think you will see it steam again unless you are very unlucky with life expectancy.
     
  9. Lord Belborough

    Lord Belborough New Member

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    This is incorrect. I suggest you go on to the Companies House website and find the last filed accounts for GWS. Note 21 will provide all the information you require on unrestricted and restricted funds. 4709 is a restricted fund with its own bank account.
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I don't believe there is any such requirement - if so, many charities would have dozens of bank accounts. (The Bluebell Railway Trust I believe has about 40 ring-fenced accounts, some of which only have fairly small amounts of money in them).

    Essentially, AIUI, separate ring-fenced funds within charity are maintained just within the accounting process, and the controls on ensuring that money in one fund isn't spent for another come down to the robustness of the charity's processes, coupled with the audit process.

    Obviously, I don't know precisely how the GWS is structured, but it would surprise me if the 4709 project could simultaneously raise funds within the overall charitable umbrella of the GWS (thereby benefiting from Gift Aid) yet at the same time spend money without the direct authority of the GWS. Even if they wish to spend funds within their own ring-fence, the charity has a duty to ensure that what is proposed does meet the restraints of that ring fence and also is within the charity's own articles.

    Tom
     
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  11. steam_mad

    steam_mad Member

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    Where do you see that? Note 21 sets out a statement of funds, no mention of separate bank accounts (which would be extraordinarily unusual for an organisation with as many restricted funds as the GWS).
     
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  12. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Where does it say that 4709 has its own bank account? I read it that it is a restricted fund within the overall GWS charity, but I can't find anything about separate bank accounts.

    Tom
     
  13. Musket The Dog

    Musket The Dog New Member

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    I am inclined to agree with you regarding the probable fate of 7027 but is it only too difficult because the end product wouldn't be significant enough for the trouble? Building a new boiler is a task that has been done several times already and something that we will be repeating for ad infinitum if we want to continue to run steam engines into the future. If the resource and the interest is there a missing boiler is a surmountable problem. What has kept 7027 from being a running locomotive is that for more than 50 years, one of those two resources hasn't been forthcoming in the volumes necessary even when the boiler was still with the rest of it. That changed in the last few years, but from what is being said here it was all still being driven by the money and interest of one person.

    So yes, in 5 years time the parts that don't get used elsewhere will probably be doing the same amount of useful work they have done since they left Barry. However at least 1 significant part will have gone to be used to create something now unique and probably more interesting to most than another Castle ;)

    Maybe I am being a little cold, the locomotives do have a social history and individual members of the class will feature prominently in people's memories. Although ultimately in service, components were replaced, boilers moved around, tenders swapped, the GWR were famed for their broad ability to do exactly that. What we're left with is the specific collection of parts that were with the frames that carried 7027's number and name on the day it was withdrawn. We're fortunate that we happen to have several similar examples of those collection of parts.

    You raise another good point though; We probably can't restore them all, so what do we do with all the ones with little prospect? Let them rust beyond any sort of salvage for fear of breaking up the set? Take the useful pieces or fill precious undercover space with their carcasses to display and conserve the remainder?
     
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  14. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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    nothing suggests separate bank accounts , just the money is held for that project

    upload_2022-8-12_22-25-26.png

    it does point albeit at Jan 21 that the fund didn't have sufficient to cover the purchase of 7027 unless sold at an absolute discount which begs the question, where is the money coming from ?
     
  15. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator

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  16. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    I hesitate to get involved in this discussion. Except for the fact that my old friend the late Don Ashton was very enthusiastic and a supporter of the 'Night Owl' project to recreate a GWR 47XX.

    Thornbury Castle apparently has a boiler that is restorable. Until recently no progress has been made in over 50 years.

    I suppose one could argue that Collett ought to have standardised the 10 47XX class members with his 'new' Castle boiler.

    It would have made sense. I am aware of what went on with the standard 7 boiler.

    Building a new standard 7 boiler cannot be compared in cost to a new round top wide firebox LNER boiler. That tapered belpaire narrow firebox will be much more complicated.

    And Thornbury Castle's boiler has the advantage of a copper firebox apparently in good condition.

    Add in that a lot of motion parts were stolen when owned by JJP's company apparently, it would be an extremely expensive Castle to restore.

    Just my initial thoughts.

    Cheers,
    Julian
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
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  17. Bulleid Pacific

    Bulleid Pacific Part of the furniture

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    Not a GWR/BR(W) fanatic by any stretch, but looking at the whole thing dispassionately, this particular locomotive seems to have, in general, either played second string to other restoration projects, or has been in private hands.

    What I mean by this is while it might seem as though it's had several chances of restoration, I don't think there has been much in the way of opportunities for interested parties in the wider community to put their money towards a restoration. Put another way, I don't recall specific public fundraising activity regarding this locomotive in, say, the past decade.

    I'm not saying this would have necessarily altered the outcome, while life happens in private ownership. Very happy to be corrected on all these points, though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2022
  18. clinker

    clinker Member

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  19. GWRman

    GWRman New Member

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    I found myself agreeing with everything you've said. It's a sad situation.

    Loved the Bob Marley reference, I needed that laugh after today's news.
     
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  20. KHARDS

    KHARDS Well-Known Member

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    Erm - They P2 lot have raised about £2.5m in under 10 years. It can be done. With With interesting project and good management.
     

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