Great Western Society Saint Project • Didcot Railway Centre, Oxfordshire OX11 7NJ • Registered Charity No 272616
Archive News 2007
It is time to look forward and let the restoration begin and complete the Saint Project and see “Lady of Legend” in action as soon as possible. Although the majority of the large items required for No.2999 have now been acquired there are a number of new items which still need to be manufactured including the new reversing rod and lever, the front cylinder covers, new brake hangers (it is interesting to see how little room there is between the leading and centre driving wheels), the brake rigging needs some alteration to conform to the Saint Class specification, new boiler cladding needs to be manufactured and new fittings and pipe work made. The motion needs restoration and refurbishment, the 3500 gallon tender needs a complete rebuild and restoration.
We also have to repay the short term loan which a member has kindly put up to complete the rebuild at Ian Riley’s works to ensure No.2999 returned to Didcot without any unnecessary delay. And, finally, we need to manufacture new axleboxes and springs as well as two coupling rods so that the locomotive can additionally operate as a 4-4-2 Atlantic.
So 2007 will be a year for consolidation and preparing to move forward and to get the next stage of the Project under way we are re-launching the Saint Project appeal and we hope that you will feel able to support this ground braking project at this time. It has been a long time coming and we should like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.
For all the doubters we now have a faithful reminder of Churchward’s classic original 2 cylinder 4-6-0, from which all other two cylinder locomotives in the UK and arguably across much of the world, especially the British Empire, descended. It is different and it looks different from anything else we have at Didcot.
Restoration is now well under way and we shall soon be starting to acquire all the various fittings needed. A Society member has sponsored the reversing mechanism and we shall start to machine the forgings. If you would like to become a Society member and join the team we should be delighted to see you. There is still plenty of restoration work to do. The restoration team remains a compact group of people, most of whom have been with the project from the start, with some very welcome additions along the way. They handled all of the hard grubby work of dismantling a locomotive that had not been touched for forty years and that had spent a good few of those in the open at Barry suffering the ravages of salt laden air.
Over the last few months the working party, which meets every other Saturday, has given the Lady several coats of paint which has helped to cover up the scars from the surgery and a start is being made in readiness to begin fitting the motion and we expect very shortly to take delivery of the new reversing lever. We also hope shortly to purchase the cladding for the boiler. If you would like to join the working party, Martin Breakspear and his team will be pleased to see you.
This year's Society Summer Draw was held to raise money for the acquisition of fittings for the locomotive and work can now get under way manufacturing all the various fittings required.