The work is likely to be undertaken by South Devon Railway Engineering and it’s estimated that the trailing truck axle will be sent down to the SDRE in late 2020. This is where we need your help we are fundraising to help cover as much as the cost as possible with the target being set at £3,500.
Work on 35011 will now be directed to the restoration of the chassis, trailing truck and the front bogie and further fund-raising campaigns will be launched in due course.
You can help support us in many ways if you are not already a Society member you can sign up for membership for only £12 per year here, or donate to the Society here or even better join us as a shareholder here.
We are pleased to announce that our range of General Steam Navigation branded merchandise is now available to purchase via our brand new online shop here.
Items initially available include excellent quality etched pint glasses and mugs with versions of the Society logo, and also pens, fridge magnets, key rings and pin badges.
These items were previously only available from our society stand at selected preserved railway galas or certain events at our home the Swindon and Cricklade Railway, but are now available to all conveniently online.
The draw for prizes was made at significant points during the boiler lift and winners are:
Crane set up and ready to lift – GSN Pint Glass – Shaun Bradbury
First Inch lifted – GSN Mug – Ian Comley
Maximum lift point of the boiler reached – A years free Society Membership – Alex Clements
Boiler lifted clear of frames – A Graham Farish N gauge Merchant Navy Pacific model – Michael Hampton
Last inch of lift completed – GSN Mug – Andrew Charmer-Stevens
Boiler in new resting place – A Bachmann 00 gauge H2 Class locomotive – Alex Clements
Crane released from boiler – GSN Pint Glass – Simon Shutt
Boiler lift success – Bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne – Andrew Stokes
All the winners will be contacted by email on the next few days to make arrangements to send the prizes.
The major boiler lift milestone allows the project to more onto the next exciting stages of restoration and details of how you can get involved with future fund raising campaigns and be a part of the success of the project will be announced soon.
As always any support would be gratefully appreciated. You can sign up for membership for only £12 per year here, donate to the Society here or even better join us as a shareholder here.
On 2nd October 2020, the boiler of Ex-SR Bulleid Merchant Navy Class, 35011 “General Steam Navigation” was successfully lifted from its frames for the first time since 1959.
The boiler was built by North British in Glasgow in January 1941 and has been attached for a total of 61 years since its last overhaul in July 1959.
The lift of the boiler followed a successful fund raising “sponsor and inch or more” campaign and prize draw to cover the cost of the suitable crane hire to lift the boiler. A fully tubed boiler weighs 24 tonnes, however the tubes, despite the restrictions due to Cocid-19, were removed by volunteers of the society reducing the weight to around 20 tonnes.
“It’s a very exciting time for everyone involved in the 35011 General Steam Navigation restoration project,” said Andy Collett Chairman of the CIC. “The removal of the boiler is a big turning point as it allows us to commence the restoration of the chassis, which will be a big project in itself, taking several years to complete.”
Today marks 75 years since Victory in Europe Day or VE Day.
VE Day is the day on which Allied forces formally announced the surrender of Germany, which brought the Second World War to a close in Europe. The military surrender was first signed on May 7, but a slightly modified document with the final terms was signed on May 8 in Berlin. Celebrations immediately erupted throughout Britain and more than one million people celebrated in the streets. In London, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth appeared on the balcony alongside Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Our very own 21c11 featured on the front cover of the VE Day May 1945 edition of the Southern Railway Magazine.
At the outbreak of war the Southern Railway had 1,819 locomotives, 61 were built during the war comprising of: 1 Q Class 0-6-0, 40 Q1 class 0-6-0, and 21c11 was one of 20 Merchant Navy Class 4-6-2 and 4 West Country Class 4-6-2. Whilst only 1 locomotive was destroyed by enemy action, 189 were damaged. We remember the 387 Southern Railway staff killed whilst on active service and 170 killed whilst on railway duty. A further 687 men and 59 women were injured by enemy action on duty.