As reported on our website under 'News', we have at last been informed that drilling of the frames is under way, completion expected within the next couple of weeks. By the time you read this, we should know when the frame plates are due back at Bridgnorth.
The delay has been stalling our plans to some degree, but work has proceeded while we have been awaiting their return to the SVR, and Tony and Chris visited the Tinsley premises of Trefoil Steel Co Ltd on 8th November to deliver the patterns for the horn ties, pony truck centres and buffer beam brackets for casting. Primer and undercoat are ready and waiting at Bridgnorth, and as soon as the weather permits, the frames will be cleaned and painted. Funds are in hand to press on with a fair amount of work on the frame assembly, and it is hoped to have a fairly eye-catching piece of loco on the ground in a few months' time with front and rear buffer beams and buffers mounted and the first frame stretchers in situ.
Tony has written to an engineering company in regard to producing further frame stretching items, some of which will require bending in order to fit correctly on to the inside of the frames. We are at present awaiting a quotation for this work, and a member has very kindly offered to sponsor one or two of the stretchers.
Brian Oldford has now virtually completed his superb pattern for the driving wheels, and you may have spotted a photograph and short article about this in the hobby press. As soon as practicable, a quote will be obtained for casting this major item.
Membership stands at 81 at the time of writing. The Fund’s AGM on 13th September was fairly well-attended, and a stimulating discussion ensued among those present. Thank you to all those who attended, and a particular vote of thanks is due to member John Gupwell, who had done a considerable amount of research into printing costs pertaining to future publicity and fund-raising. The information was very useful and greatly appreciated.
Amongst the topics discussed was that of the membership fee. It has been widely acknowledged that a £20 'lifetime' membership fee is totally unrealistic in terms of building a new steam locomotive. It is proposed therefore that £20 should become an annually renewable subscription commencing 1st January, 2009. Existing members will not be affected, but of course further donations are always most welcome. It was also suggested that a new Life Membership fee be introduced. Further details will be posted on the website before the end of the year.
Support for 82045 is steadily growing, with new members recruited following our attendance at the Barrow Hill Rail Power event in August and the SVR Autumn Gala in September. We obtained, via ebay, some exhibition panels earlier this year, and Tony's wife Barbara produced an attractive display illustrating the 82045 project which proved to be quite an eye-catcher. Thanks also to Brian Butterworth and Brian Oldford for their help in manning the stand. The recent global financial chaos has caused us to hold back on the forthcoming fund-raising plans, but as the situation seems to be at least stabilising at the time of writing – albeit with the threat of recession looming – we intend to get under way with these as soon as practicable. Some of our members have been very generous indeed, and we hope they will not be offended when we say to the membership at large that we need as much financial support as we can get. If any of you feel able to set up a monthly standing order in favour of 82045, this is a most effective way of accumulating funds as well as being relatively painless for the subscriber! You can download a standing order form from here, or get in touch with Chris. Monthly income is at present about £220-00, and sufficient funds are in hand to pay for the frame drilling, transportation of the frames to Bridgnorth and the castings mentioned above. This expenditure will still leave a reasonable balance in our account to fund forthcoming publicity as well as enable us to progress on the frame assembly front.
The 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust was accepted as a member of the SVR’s Rolling Stock Trust in September, and Tony and Chris attended the Trust’s AGM at Bridgnorth on 25th October. Although we will still need to seek charitable status in our own right, this is an important further step in our acceptance as an integral – if self-funding – part of the Severn Valley Railway. We were told that our membership gives us access to the Heritage Railway Association’s charities advisory officer, and we will be seeking the appropriate advice in the near future. Among the potential advantages of having charitable status is the facility to qualify for Gift Aid where donations are made by UK taxpayers. We are also looking at ways around the bitterly resented matter of paying VAT on our purchases!
Finally, please have a look at the new Sales page for details of the Fund’s new customised merchandise. This part of our fundraising will, we hope, grow in the future, but in the meantime, can we (as the first proud wearers) recommend the 82045 polo shirt. The colour on the photo does not really do it justice, as the real thing is not far from the BR green livery that 82045 will soon be wearing!
The drilling has been completed at The Boro' Foundry and the frame plates are coming off the machine today (19th Nov) and will be ready for collection thereafter.
We are now arranging transport to Bridgnorth ASAP!
Delivery now organised for Monday 24th Nov.
UPDATE: Delivery now Tuesday 25th Nov