Category Archives: Monthly updates

June 2021 Update

June 2021 Update

 

Progress continues with removing the castings on the frames that were used to support the Walschaerts valve gear.  A number of bolts from the larger frame castings were cleaned up and removed, unfortunately all the remaining bolts have been tack welded by BR and will required to be ground or burnt off.
The brake cylinders between the frames were freed and removed, and the front brake cross arm and brake support were dropped onto the floor under the loco. This has to be removed as it gets in the way of removing the two large front brackets which also need to come off. The two front brake arms and blocks on the frames were also freed up, but three nuts on one side require the split pins removing before we can get them off.
Also removed was the front left hand side bogie splasher, which has been marked up and stored. The plan with the frames is to get all the larger castings ready for removal, then at a working weekend later in the year draw the chassis forward and use a small crane to lift them off safely.

Work continues with converting the BPLA drawings of the frames & valve gear into CAD to allow us to have replacement parts manufactured. This is a lengthy process, but one that is vital for our goal of re-engineering the existing frames to a condition where they can accommodate the original chain-driven valve gear and replacing the middle cylinder. In time we will also have the drawings of the smokebox and air-smoothed casing transferred to CAD for the same reason. At this point the CAD of the replacement frame stretchers has been completed, a significant milestone for this project, as it allows us to look towards costing and manufacturing these vital new parts. Whilst 35011’s frames have the existing stretchers, these would need detaching to replace the middle cylinder, and they were heavily altered during the rebuilding process and would need significant alteration to accommodate the Bulleid chain-driven valve gear and oil-bath, so the decision has been taken to replace them. You can donate to our work on the frames by contributing to our ‘Putting funds into the frames’ appeal.

Following the boiler lift last October, the remains of the tubes have nearly all been removed. At the working weekend on the 10/11th April the mud door was removed to enable the removal of all the built up debris and rust, whilst 50 of the remaining small tube ends were also removed, leaving just a few to clear now. The focus in the forthcoming working weekends will be to complete the small tube end removal, removing rust from inside the firebox and general cleaning of the boiler and firebox prior to a planned inspection later this year.

The Trailing Truck Transformers funding group continues to be our primary fundraising campaign with its objective of funding the restoration of GSNs trailing truck. The Society is pleased with the initial number of members who have signed up for ‘Lots’ but are under no illusions that its still along way from being funded. We are offering a maximum of 30 members the opportunity to purchase a ‘Lot’ for £500. Members are welcome to purchase as many ‘Lots’ as they wish up to the maximum target amount.

Members of the Fund Group would receive a number of benefits including:

  • Certificate of membership of the ‘Trailing Truck Transformers’
  • Name engraved on a suitable brass plaque attached to the refurbished Trailing Truck
  • Regular updates on the refurbishment of the Trailing Truck
  • An invitation to a VIP day at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to see the completed Trailing Truck once it is returned to the railway.

For details on how to become a Trailing Truck Transformer click here.

We understand that £500 is a lot of money and for people who wish to support the trailing truck but are unable to join the Trailing Truck Transformers club you can help us by donating to our Wheel Set appeal on our JustGiving page here.

Bossman Games

Earlier in the year Bossman Games kindly sponsored the cost of a new regulator handle for General Steam Navigation. Now Bossman Games, purveyors of quality add-ons for Train Simulator, have released a new addition to enable you to get behind the regulator of an Original condition Merchant Navy locomotive. The pack which feature all 30 members of the class, authentic liveries with 3 build variations, 3 different tender types and much much more will keep players entertained for hours. You can purchase the add on from their website here.

Smoke & Steam.
Looking for something new to read?
Have a look at this brand new publication Smoke & Steam. Join us across some of the most famous – and not so famous –routes, featuring locomotive legends. with in-depth articles, explaining some of the most important moments of Britain’s railway history from a variety of eras and regions, accompanied by rare or never-before printed photography.  35011 General Steam Navigation is the topic of an article written by one of our Trustees. Order you paper copy here  or to download the digital copy click here .

Exclusive Weekend break to Preserved railways lines

Join the Travel Club on this exclusive weekend break to raise funds for the General Steam Navigation Locomotive project and Swindon & Cricklade Railway.
Your day begins with a journey from Cricklade to the East Lancashire Railway before continuing to our hotel for 3 nights the Best Western Guide Post Hotel on a half board basis. We include excursions to the Bolton & Embsay, North Yorkshire Moors Railways & East Lancashire Railway + National Railway Museum (York)
Joining points for this coach will be Devizes, Melksham, Chippenham and Blunsdon on the Swindon & Cricklade Railway.

 

The Society has been paid £49.68 through EasyFundraising. Thanks to everyone who helped to raise these funds. If you’re not supporting 35011 General Steam Navigation, please sign up now. It takes 2 minutes & 4,300+ shops will donate to us for free every time you shop with them! You can sign up using the link here. By signing up to EasyFundraising you’ll be able to help restore GSN without any costs or hassle to you.

 

Annual General Meeting
As mentioned last month the fifth Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on Saturday 31st July 2021 at Blunsdon railway station on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway at 1pm. Following the cancelation of last years physical AGM due to Covid 19 and the need to switch to a proxy event the Society are confident that this year’s event will go ahead, although this is still depend on Governmental guidance.  The AGM will be the first that most of you will have had the chance to get to see the engine following her boiler lift last Autumn and to view the work that has continued since that time. It is planned that once the society AGM has been completed the CIC’s will take place with the shareholders. Shareholders will be contacted separately in this matter. We would appreciate those considering attending the AGM to contact the Society so that we can gauge the likely numbers of attendees to help ensure a Covid safe event for everyone.

The 35011 Twenty Twenty Club winners have been drawn for May.

Congratulations go to:
May 2021- 1st Prize – Andrew Collett,
2nd Prize – Chris Mileman,
3rd Prize – David Oborn

The Twenty Twenty Club is a great way to help raise funds for the locomotive and at the same time have a little bit of fun. We still have the last few places remaining find out how to join here.

As always thank you for your continued support.

May 2021 Update

May 2021 Update

 

The fifth Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on Saturday 31st July 2021 at Blunsdon railway station on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway at 1pm. Following the cancelation of last years physical AGM due to Covid 19 and the need to switch to a proxy event the Society are confident that this year’s event will go ahead, although this is still depend on Governmental guidance.  The AGM will be the first that most of you will have had the chance to get to see the engine following her boiler lift last Autumn and to view the work that has continued since that time. It is planned that once the society AGM has been completed the CIC’s will take place with the shareholders. Shareholders will be contacted separately in this matter. We would appreciate those considering attending the AGM to contact the Society so that we can gauge the likely numbers of attendees to help ensure a Covid safe event for everyone.

Issue 15 of the Packet is at the printers and due to be sent out to our members by the end of the month. The 28 page issue features a huge update from the engineering team looking at the trailing truck, frames, boiler and crank axle. The issue has the latest news on our AGM, membership, podcast, fundraising coach trip, our 00 gauge wagons, more 35011 performance logs and an article looking at the early days of the GSNLRS. 2021 is shaping up to be a very important year for the project with some big goals in mind. You can help support us in many ways if you are not already a Society member: you can sign up for membership for currently only £15 per year here, or donate to the Society here or even better become a shareholder here.

The Society have recently received a donation of several scaffolding boards to help our volunteers to work safely on the locomotive. Allen and Foxworthy Ltd based in Swindon are Her Majesty The Queen’s scaffolding contractor with a royal warrant. The Society would like to thank Allen and Foxworthy for their support.

Work on the engine at Swindon has resumed with efforts focusing on the boiler and the trailing truck. A full update will be featured in the Packet. The weekend did see two of our newest recruits Jack and Geoff continued cleaning the boiler and inner firebox. If you’d like to get involved no matter what skills you have we can use your help. Please contact our volunteer liaison officer Mr Andrew Collett at andrew.collett@35011gsn.co.uk.

The Trailing Truck Transformers funding group continues to be our primary fundraising campaign with its objective of funding the restoration of GSNs trailing truck. The Society is pleased with the initial number of members who have signed up for ‘Lots’ but are under no illusions that its still along way from being funded. We are offering a maximum of 30 members the opportunity to purchase a ‘Lot’ for £500. Members are welcome to purchase as many ‘Lots’ as they wish up to the maximum target amount.

Members of the Fund Group would receive a number of benefits including:

  • Certificate of membership of the ‘Trailing Truck Transformers’
  • Name engraved on a suitable brass plaque attached to the refurbished Trailing Truck
  • Regular updates on the refurbishment of the Trailing Truck
  • An invitation to a VIP day at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to see the completed Trailing Truck once it is returned to the railway.

For details on how to become a Trailing Truck Transformer click here.

We understand that £500 is a lot of money and for people who wish to support the trailing truck but are unable to join the Trailing Truck Transformers club you can help us by donating to our Wheel Set appeal on our JustGiving page here.

The 35011 Twenty Twenty Club winners have been drawn for March and April.

Congratulations go to:

April 2021- 1st Prize – Steve Rapley, 2nd Prize – Andrew Stokes , 3rd Prize – Simon Strachan

March 2021- 1st Prize – Paul Millard, 2nd Prize – Simon Strachan, 3rd Prize – John Anthony Jackson

The Twenty Twenty Club is a great way to help raise funds for the locomotive and at the same time have a little bit of fun. We still have the last few places remaining find out how to join here.

As always thank you for your continued support.

March 2021 Update

March 2021 Update

 

The membership fees for 2020/21 have risen slightly, to £15 for single members and £25 for joint  membership (two members, same address and receiving just one Packet). This as a result of ever increasing costs and brings us in line with fellow projects of our size. Following several requests, the Board have agreed to offer Life Memberships. The costs of these are shown below;

Under 60 Over 60 Under 60 Over 60
Single £500 £300 Joint £800 £500

If you’re interested in a life membership or have any membership queries please contact our Membership Secretary at C.mileman@35011GSN.co.uk

As mentioned separately earlier this month The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society feature in the latest Railway Mania podcast, episode 17. The 90-minute podcast features three of the Society Trustees,  Andrew Collett, Steve Rapley (CME) and Graham Muspratt with Corwin Bainbridge discussing our project to restore General Steam Navigation back to original condition complete with Bulleid’s chain driven valve gear and air smoothed casing. The podcast has received some incredible feedback and is highly recommended that everyone interested in the project do take a listen.

 

Our brand new Limited Edition 00 Gauge Conflat wagons, with two different colour container options, produced in cooperation with the Medway Queen Preservation Society, are now available to purchase via our online shop here.

The Society has added to two articles sent by Alan Peake to our website.  His father, Bill, was MD of New Medway Steam Packet Company which had been taken over by the GSN Shipping Line before the last war.  The first tells the story of Bill’s life associated with Company and the second is a talk given by Bill to the London and Home Counties branch of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1961 about living with the ‘Paddlers’. If there is any interest amongst the membership (or others known to the group, perhaps) in purchasing photos of the Shipping Company’s ships, Alan has many that he can supply and has kindly offered the proceeds to our Society’s funds.  Please contact Alan directly via email here for further details. You can find Alan Peake’s articles in our Memories and Recollections section here.

Crested Eagle (pictured right with the Royal Eagle on the left on the buoys off Tower Pier on 19th May 1934)

The Society has started sharing  #OnThisDay posts marking significate anniversaries in General Steam Navigations history. February featured two historical dates with her naming ceremony at Waterloo in 1945 on the 20th and her return to service in 1955 following modifications resulting from the Crewkerne incident on the 19th. These posts have proved popular and the Society will continue to post them over the coming months when such anniversaries appear.

Work has continued on the CAD modelling thanks to the hard work of James Pearce and James Conway. We are concentring on the bogie in preparation for restoring it later on the year subject to funding and the completion of the trailing truck.

The Trailing Truck Transformers funding group continues to be our primary fundraising campaign with its objective of funding the restoration of GSNs trailing truck. The Society is pleased with the initial number of members who have signed up for blocks but are under no illusions that its still along way from being funded. We are offering a maximum of 30 members the opportunity to purchase a ‘Lot’ for £500. Members are welcome to purchase as many ‘Lots’ as they wish up to the maximum target amount.

Members of the Fund Group would receive a number of benefits including:

  • Certificate of membership of the ‘Trailing Truck Transformers’
  • Name engraved on a suitable brass plaque attached to the refurbished Trailing Truck
  • Regular updates on the refurbishment of the Trailing Truck
  • An invitation to a VIP day at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to see the completed Trailing Truck once it is returned to the railway.

For details on how to become a Trailing Truck Transformer click here.

We understand that £500 is a lot of money and for people who wish to support the trailing truck but are unable to join the Trailing Truck Transformers club you can help us by donating to our Wheel Set appeal on our JustGiving page here.

The 35011 Twenty Twenty Club winners have been drawn for February.

Congratulations go to:

1st Prize – Allan Bott, 2nd Prize – Paul Millard, 3rd Prize – David Taylor

The Twenty Twenty Club is a great way to help raise funds for the locomotive and at the same time have a little bit of fun. We still have the last few places remaining find out how to join here.

2021 is shaping up to be a very important year for the project with some big goals in mind. You can help support us in many ways if you are not already a Society member you can sign up for membership for currently only £15 per year here, or donate to the Society here or even better become a shareholder here.

As always thank you for your continued support.

February 2021 Update

February 2021 Update

Whilst Covid19 has been affecting both our financial and engineering efforts, the Society is delighted to report that new parts continue to be constructed. Recently the front bogie spring beams were delivered by Ashbrook Engineering Ltd; the Society is extremely grateful to Mr Alan Dixon who sponsored their construction. Along with the efforts of Mr Tony Simmonds who is machining the spring hangers for the Society, work on the bogie is progressing at a good pace.

Work continues with converting the BPLA drawings of the frames & valve gear into CAD to allow us to have replacement parts manufactured. This is a lengthy process, but one that is vital for our goal of reengineering the existing frames to a condition where they can accommodate the original chain-driven valve gear and replacing the middle cylinder. In time we will also have the drawings of the smokebox and air-smoothed casing transferred to CAD for the same reason.

The Trailing Truck Transformers funding group continues to be our primary fundraising campaign with its objective of funding the restoration of GSNs trailing truck. The Society is pleased with the initial number of members who have signed up for blocks but are under no illusions that its still along way from being funded. We are offering a maximum of 30 members the opportunity to purchase a ‘Lot’ for £500. Members are welcome to purchase as many ‘Lots’ as they wish up to the maximum target amount.

Members of the Fund Group would receive a number of benefits including:

  • Certificate of membership of the ‘Trailing Truck Transformers’
  • Name engraved on a suitable brass plaque attached to the refurbished Trailing Truck
  • Regular updates on the refurbishment of the Trailing Truck
  • An invitation to a VIP day at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to see the completed Trailing Truck once it is returned to the railway.

For details on how to become a Trailing Truck Transformer click here.

We understand that £500 is a lot of money and for people who wish to support the trailing truck but are unable to join the Trailing Truck Transformers club you can help us by donating to our Wheel Set appeal on our JustGiving page here.

Alternatively you can make a donation however large or small into our newly launched Putting Funds into the Frames campaign here…

The 35011 Twenty Twenty Club winners have been drawn for January.

Congratulations go to:

1st Prize – David Oborn, 2nd Prize – Simon Shutt, 3rd Prize Allan Bott

The Twenty Twenty Club is a great way to help raise funds for the locomotive and at the same time have a little bit of fun. We still have the last few places remaining find out how to join here.

2021 is shaping up to be a very important year for the project with some big goals in mind. You can help support us in many ways if you are not already a Society member you can sign up for membership for currently only £12 per year here, or donate to the Society here or even better become a shareholder here.

Finally some of our trustees will be making a guest appearance on the “Railwaymania” podcast and will be answering questions from members and the general public.  If you have any questions you’d like answering please send them to us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or through our website and we’ll ensure as are answered on the podcast as possible.

As always thank you for your continued support.

January 2021 Update

Work on the 35011 project has continued despite the latest national lockdown putting a halt to all working parties on the engine. Members will soon be receiving on their doorsteps or inboxes the latest Issue 14 of our membership magazine ‘The Packet’
This issue is over 25% larger than the previous issue with lots of exciting news from the engineering, fundraising, PR and membership teams. If you’re not a member and would like to receive a copy and be among the first to know you join our Society for just £12 by clicking here.

At our final working weekend of 2020 we were filmed & interviewed by a TV crew for a program to be aired in late 2021 which will be great publicity for our project. We have more volunteers waiting to join our working parties once social distancing becomes a thing of the past which will speed up the rate of restoration. At this moment in time GSN is a dormant creature, waiting for its time to live again and with your help we can do just that. No matter what skills you have we can use your help. Please contact our volunteer liaison officer Mr Andrew Collett at andrew.collett@35011gsn.co.uk if you fancy getting your hands dirty.

At the start of the month Hornby announced that a new model of General Steam Navigation will be joining the Hornby Dublo range. The model will be limited to 500 models and feature a diecast boiler. The locomotive is wearing the BR Brunswick green livery and looks brilliant. You can find out more on the  Hornby website here.

The 35011 Twenty Twenty Club winners have been drawn for November and December.

Congratulations go to:

December 2020 – 1st Prize –  Chris Mileman, 2nd Prize – David Oborn, 3rd Prize – Andrew Collett

November 2020 – 1st Prize – Chris Mileman, 2nd Prize – Steve Raply, 3rd Prize – Simon Strachan

The Twenty Twenty Club is a great way to help raise funds for the locomotive and at the same time have a little bit of fun. We still have the last few places remaining find out how to join here.

2021 is shaping up to be a very important year for the project with some big goals in mind. 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.

As always thank you for your continued support.

November Update

Work on the locomotive  progressed at a great rate prior to the start of the latest government lockdown. The weekend before the lockdown saw the project pass another important landmark with the removal of the final tube from the boiler that contained 40 large diameter tube and approx. 100 small diameter tubes. Once the current Covid restrictions have been relaxed our volunteers will carry on with their efforts to prepare the boiler for inspection and NDTs in early 2021.

The trailing truck was also the focus of the efforts of our volunteers in October. The trailing truck is being cleaned up and assessed prior to restoration next year. We are currently seeking donations towards the cost of the transportation and overhauling of the trailing truck axle and the front bogie axles. You can donate to the appeal on our justgiving page here, any funds would be extremely appreciated.

Ian Ferguson one of our skilled volunteers has completed the machining of the shut off valves that attach to the main steam manifold. The amount of skilled put into them is impressive and we are extremely grateful for all his hard work.

The Society has been paid £49.92 through EasyFundraising. Thanks to everyone who helped to raise these funds. If you’re not supporting 35011 General Steam Navigation, please sign up now. It takes 2 minutes & 4,300+ shops will donate to us for free every time you shop with them! You can sign up using the link here. With Christmas and Black Friday coming up by signing up to EasyFundraising you’ll be able to help restore GSN without any costs or hassle to you.

The winners of our first 35011 Twenty Twenty Club have been drawn for October.

Congratulations go to:

1st Prize – Dereck Preece

2nd Prize – Simon Strachan

3rd Prize – David Oborn

We still have the last few places remaing find out how to join here

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.

As always thank you for your continued support.

Summer Engineering Update

Summer engineering update

In June a few select volunteers restarted  stripping down work on GSN. Numbers are being strictly limited to begin with to comply with social distancing so it may be a little while before we can welcome new members to our working parties. Thank you to those that have recently sent in their volunteer forms to join the ranks of our working members, we will welcome you to Blunsdon as soon as we are able.

Most of the work focused on getting our container set up which included the installation of the container lights and electrical sockets, at the request of the railway painting the outside green and various other small tasks. Work did progress on the locomotive with the removal of the springs that attach to the centre driving wheels. A preliminary visual inspection suggests they are good condition considering their age.

The removal of the lower piston and cover

Although we await the installation of a permanent electrical feed, we have a temporary connection to our newly installed consumer unit to give us both lighting and a ring main in the container. We have included RCD protected sockets for external tool use, sockets by the desk including USB charging points and sockets for the kindly donated microwave oven, fridge and kettle!

The stripping down also saw the right hand side piston and cover being removed. These have now been put into storage and will their condition will be assessed.

Removing some of the more stubborn bolts

The Society is happy to report that it was able to purchase some new components for the locomotive in the form of a Speedo drive, cut off indicator quadrant & part of the steam turbo generator. The components were from an enthusiast’s collection who offered them to the Society for an incredibly reasonable price.

Work in July was mostly focused around preparing for the boiler lift with some of the more troublesome boiler mounts being removed. The front boiler mounts proved especially resistant to being removed but after some head scratching a plan was devised and carried out that saw the mounts being separated.

 

Front end casing complete with lamps and disks

The main engineering highlight for this issue was the new front end casing which was successfully test fitted in July. The casing was originally built to be a surprise for our members at the cancelled AGM earlier in the year. The casing was built by the team at Leaky Finders who did another fantastic job for us.

Front end view of the casing

The two outside pieces are slightly bigger then they were originally built, we felt it was a sensible decision to make them bigger then we need to allow us trim them down during their final fitting and make a perfect joint to the rest of the casing. For the same reason none of the fitting holes were drilled, this meant we had to use some wooden props to display the pieces on the locomotive. The most complex part of the casing manufacture was the lamp irons which required machining to get the side profiles right before beginning to be bent into their into the final shape.

Boiler lift

CanPacs boiler lift inside Eastleigh works

The “Sponsor an inch or more” campaign that was masterminded by  Graham Muspratt was a huge success with the Society raising just under £2,000. The Society would like to thank Graham and all those who donated to the appeal. Getting the funding in place so quickly has made the planning for the boiler lift far simpler. At the time of publication a date has been agreed for the lift prior to the rearranged AGM although for health and safety reasons the Society will not be publishing the exact date.

With the relaxation of lockdown rules our volunteers have been hard at work preparing for the boiler lift. Our aim is to get all the remaining small boiler tubes cut and removed from the boiler before the day of the lift. The majority of the securing bolts have been removed with the remaining ones being left in for safety reasons. Our volunteers will remove all the final securing bolts the day before the lift.

Preparing the trailing truck for removal

The Society have been debating the possibility of removing both the trailing truck and front bogie whilst the crane is on site for the boiler lift. The agreed plan is to attempt to remove the trailing truck but we’ll leave the front bogie in place.  There are several reasons for this decision with the main factor being the Society is not in a position where we can make the locomotive immobile. The weight of the front end of the locomotive would require us to pack behind the bufferbeam in order to prevent the possibility GSN pivoting on her front drive axle. If GSN had a crank axle in place along side the rear drive wheel would have created a counter weight to balance the locomotive without either the bogie or trailing truck needing to be in place. The safest option we are taking is to remove the trailing truck and leave the bogie in place as this will allow us to push the locomotive back under cover once the lifts have been completed.

All the generous people who donated to the appeal will be entered into a free draw to win a number of prizes, including: a star prize of a Graham Farish N Gauge Merchant Navy Pacific locomotive, a years free membership to the GSNLR society, GSN merchandise and other prizes.

The raffle will be drawn at random at pivotal points during the boiler lift such as: The moment the first inch has been lifted, point of maximum lift, being clear of the chassis and then lowered to its new location. If you have donated and not contacted us to confirm your raffle entry with us please do at the earliest opportunity in order to ensure you don’t miss out.

How you can help us.

With so much engineering progress being made with the restoration of 21c11 / 35011 back to original condition complete with air smoothed casing and chain drive valve gear you can help us in several different ways:

Membership

The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society Membership costs £12 for the year click here for more details on how to join us.

Shareholding

The General Steam Navigation C.I.C. offers our supporters the opportunity to purchase shares in the locomotive. To find out more about becoming a shareholder and the levels of benefits click here.

Volunteering

No matter what skills you have we can use your help. Please contact our volunteer liaison officer Mr Andrew Collett at andrew.collett@35011gsn.co.uk.  If you are considering a donation to the project or buying some shares today is the perfect time to do it.

The project is heading into some very exciting times and any financial contributions would be greatly appreciated.

As always thank you for your continued support.

August 2020 Update

Issue 13 of the Packet

 Members of the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration have been receiving their copies of issue 13 of the Packet in the last few days. Full of information and updates on our progress despite Copvid 19! If you are not already a member you are missing out, only £12 per year join online here 35011gsn.co.uk/membership.html we welcome your support.

Proxy Annual General Meeting 2020

The Coronavirus lockdown has caused an unprecedented amount of disruption to our way of life this year and led to us having to cancel our AGM which was scheduled earlier in the spring. The Society had hoped a physical AGM could still take place in 2020, unfortunately in the last few weeks it has become clear that it wouldn’t be possible.

The option that the trustees have decided to take going forward is to hold the Society and CIC (for shareholders) Annual General Meeting by proxy for this year with the expectation of being able to return to normal and hold a physical AGM in March 2021 subject to the relaxation of restrictions to enable us to host a safe event. The proxy AGM will take place on 1st October 2020 and will deal with the Society’s financial year that ended in February 2020 and the CIC financial year that ended in November 2019.

Included with the latest issue of the Packet members will find a booklet which contains all the financial statements for the last financial year, a report from the Society chairman, an agenda for the meeting and a proxy voting form. Please read the booklet carefully and return your proxy voting forms by Friday 25th September. Please note that votes arriving after this date will not be registered, so please send them in at your earliest convenience.

We are living in very uncertain and unusual times but its key that all the legal business of the project is completed correctly, on time and in a transparent manner. This does require a certain amount of flexibility which has been provided to us by the Government.

Twenty Twenty Club

(c) Geoff Dowling
www.flickr.com/photos/geoffsimages/

We are pleased to launch our TWENTY TWENTY CLUB – a great way for you to support the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society whilst having a bit of a flutter!

Here’s how it works…

You complete and sign the membership form and Standing Order mandate for £5.00 a month (or £60.00 annually) available for download from our website at https://35011gsn.co.uk/about-us-1/35011-twenty-twenty-club/

Fundraising Coach Trip Postponement

35011 at Southampton (Copyright P Rowlands)

Sadly due to the continuing Covid 19 situation in Lancashire & Yorkshire we have made the tough decision to postpone our joint

fundraising trip with the S&CR. With the current uncertainty and with our member’s welfare in mind we feel this is the best option. The new dates will be 21st-24th May 2021.

We intend to have the same itinerary as planned ( NRM York, North York’s Moors Railway, East Lancs Railway & Bolton & Embsay Railway) but this can’t be confirmed until the railways concerned release their 2021 timetables.

Those of you already booked will be contacted directly. Thank You for your understanding.

 

July Update 2020

Engineering

The Society is pleased to report that we be restarting working parties in July. Numbers will be strictly limited to begin with to comply with social distancing so it may be a little while before we can welcome new members to our working parties. Thank you to those that have recently sent in their volunteer forms to join the ranks of our working members, we will welcome you to Blunsdon as soon as we are able.

In June a few select volunteers restarted  stripping down work on the GSN. Most of the work focused on getting our container set up which included the installation of the container lights and electrical sockets, at the request of the railway painting the outside green and various other small tasks. Work did progress on the locomotive with the removal of the springs that attach to the center drive wheels. A preliminary visual inspection suggests they are good condition considering their age.

The Society also gained a new component in June that was originally fitted to sister Merchant Navy 35023 ‘Holland Afrika Line’. Not many parts of 35023 survived the scrapyard, but luckily after the last fires were dropped from the engines at Nine Elms, souvenirs from the locomotives were recovered, this includes the boiler pressure gauge from 35023, which had recently resurfaced from an old drivers collection. This historic component has now been secured for future use on GSN thanks to the very kind donation of one of our members.

Clothing

You can now look great whilst supporting the restoration of 21c11 / 35011.

The Society is pleased to partner with our friends at Universal Uniform to provide a range of quality 21c11 / 35011 GSN branded clothing items, in a variety of colours, such as:

 

 

 

 

With manufacturing processes having been made fully Covid-19 secure,  all items are made to order and usually despatched within 7-10 working days.

All proceeds from the sale of these clothing items will directly benefit the restoration of 21c11 / 35011.

To visit our dedicated clothing online shop and make your purchases click here

New Dates for Fund raising Trip.

As you are probably aware we have had to reschedule our four day fund raising coach trip to Yorkshire,which subject to getting sufficient numbers will now take place on Friday 16th October.

Profits for the trip will be split between GSN & The Swindon & Cricklade Railway.In my professional capacity as a coach driver I will behind the wheel for the trip so it will be a great way to meet fellow members & raise money at the same time.

We will travel on 3 steam railways,visit the National Railway Museum* at York & generally have a fun weekend. We will be based at the Best Western Guide Post hotel on the outskirts of Bradford for 3 nights on a half board basis.

The program is as follows:

  • Fri 16th Oct. Travel from Blunsdon to Bradford
  • Sat 17th Oct Steam Journey on the Bolton & Embsay Railway followed by a journey from Rawtenstall to Bury on the East Lancs Steam Railway.
  • Sun 18th Oct Steam journey from Pickering to Whitby on the North Yorks Moors Railway.
  • Mon 19th Oct Visit to the NRM York (Subject to NRM reopening after corona virus shut down) before returning to Blunsdon.

Price £299pp. This includes all train fares. There is a £50 single Supplement.

This trip is run in conjunction with Holidays & Cruises in Melksham . To Book please call them on 01225 865725 option 3.

 

How you can help

You can help with the restoration of 21c11 / 35011 back to original condition complete with air smoothed casing and chain driven valve gear in several different ways.

Membership

The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society Membership costs £12 for the year click here for more details on how to join us.

Shareholding

The General Steam Navigation C.I.C. offers our supporters the opportunity to purchase shares in the locomotive. To find out more about becoming a shareholder and the levels of benefits click here.

Sponsorship

The Society does have a few components available for sponsorship.

Gauge glass protector (1 available for £80 – 1 already sponsored)

Safety valve castings (1 available for £250 – 2 already sponsored)

Front end cladding and lamp irons are also available for prices

To register an interest in sponsoring any of the components please contact us directly via email, social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or using the contact us form.

As always thank you for your continued support.

 

May Update 2020

May Engineering Update

In January and February work progressed on the locomotive at the Blunsdon site. The majority of the effort was focused on preparing the boiler for the lift later in the year. This saw our volunteers removing tubes from the boiler and the various bolts securing the boiler to the frames. The Society is happy to report that all the large boiler tubes have been removed with work now starting on the smaller tubes. It had been hoped the smaller tubes would be all removed before the boiler lift but with workings cancelled until further notice that might not be possible. Whilst our volunteers have removed the majority of the bolts securing the boiler to the frames, several have been left in for safety reasons. Once the boiler lift gets closer the last of these bolts will then be removed and the remainder of the smokebox will also be removed.

Exposed frames after ash pan removal

The stripping down of the locomotive has also seen progress with the ash pans on both sides now removed. Whilst the crane is on site for the boiler lift the Society also plans remove the front bogie and trailing truck. Once these have been removed the bogie, which appears to be in better condition then the trailing truck, will become the main focus of our restoration efforts. It is the aim to restore the trailing truck at the same time although his will depend on the cost effectiveness of the exercise.  It is believed once the Society has delivered a major restored component our credibility will improve and more serious investment will come in.

CAD Boiler support and inside slide bar bracket

During the shut down the Society has also been able to agree a very good value-for-money deal that will see our entire frames, stretchers, bufferbeam and both the front and rear dragboxs drawn up in CAD. Once the boiler has been lifted and the frames stripped back this CAD will then be used to check the frames. The Society has had some CAD produced in the past such as the boiler support which forms the back of the oil bath that contains the chain driven valve gear, mounts the inside slidebar and holds the plunger that transfers the valve motion to the piston valves (see right). The Society will need to check that the locomotive’s frames actually match the CAD and the drawings. Once the frames have been scanned to ensure they are in good condition (and fingers crossed, no cracks or damage) the CAD will then be used to cast any stretchers that will need replacing, along with a new dragbox and the boiler support. The cost of getting the frame CADs done was agreed for a price for £1,500. With funds being very tight after the AGM’s cancellation if anyone would like to contribute towards the cost of the CAD project please do get in touch using the contacts details on our website.

The Society had also hopFront end casinged to unveil some of the front cladding with fitted lamp irons at the AGM in March. The cladding had been produced in order to give the locomotive her face and the start of the outline unique to an original condition Merchant Navy. To create the look some wooden frame extensions were fabricated in order to temporarily fit the new cladding. The cladding had been completed in time for the AGM but with the Covid-19 lock down the Society have been unable to send someone down to collect the finished project. Until the big unveiling the completed cladding will be kept under wraps. The Society would just like to thank Leaky Finders for there hard work constructing the cladding in record time.

The Society was able to acquire a new original electric headlight  for the locomotive.  At this point the Society now has 5 brass lamps and 1 steel one. The Society has also agreed a price for a Smiths speedometer axle box generator and a cut-off indictor plate for the steam reverser which we will be collecting later in the year.

At this moment in time GSN is a dormant creature, waiting for its time to live again & with your help we can do just that. No matter what skills you have we can use your help. Please contact our volunteer liaison officer by email to Andrew Collett or write to him  with your contact details if you fancy getting your hands dirty.

Issue 12 of the Packet

The latest issue of the Packet went out to our members this month and was another bumper issue. The issue features the latest news from the engineering team, the boiler lift appeal,  GSNs backplate build up and much much more.

If you are not yet a member, it’s only £12 per year, you can sign up here. Membership in the Society ensures you’ll be kept up to date with the latest achievements, via our members magazine ‘The Packet’ published three times a year with progress reports on GSN and articles about Merchant Navy’s and the Light Pacifics, access to the locomotive when possible and the ability to get involved with the Society.

With the Covid-19 lockdown in place the Society’s finances are under great strain following the lose revenue generated from our sales stand visiting heritage railway gala events over the year. To help ensure work can continue following the lockdown the Society does ask to consider supporting us if your able to and 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.

As always thank you for your continued support.