General Steam Navigation welcomes visit by Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon

General Steam Navigation CIC (GSNCIC) welcomed Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, who visited Blunsdon at the Swindon & Cricklade Railway to view 35011 General Steam Navigation and discuss the current application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The application is focussed around the reconstruction and restoration of the Merchant Navy Pacific to original Bulleid condition, making it unique in preservation. Whilst the work on 35011 meets the “Saving Heritage” element of the bid, the other key Heritage Fund investment principles will be partially addressed with a new building at Blunsdon (which will be a Swindon & Cricklade Railway asset) to encompass engineering facilities together with training and education spaces.

L to R – Jon Netting (Treasurer – General Steam Navigation), Cllr Matt Vallender, David Tucker (Heritage Consultant), Justin Tomlinson MP, Robert Battersby (Architect), Nigel Willoughby (Trustee S&C Rly), Cllr Mark Clarke, Cllr Jason Mills, Gerry Leyman (Chair – General Steam Navigation CIC), Mike Abbott (Chair – S&C Rly).

Justin was accompanied by 3 local councillors, Mark Clarke (Cricklade Town), Matt Vallender and Jason Mills (Swindon Borough).

Following the visit Justin said “We will all be working together as they prepare their National Heritage Lottery fund bid. The Swindon & Cricklade Railway is a much loved and popular local service, so I have no doubt there will be strong local community support for this bid.

I have fed in a number of suggestions on how to strengthen the bid including working with a wide a range of local community groups, including all the local schools, Parish Council’s and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

As someone from a family of steam enthusiasts, I am very excited to be supporting this fantastic bid”.