Wednesday, 27 February 2013

York 26th February 2013

It has been a year since one of us was in York. Fiona was in this month in 2012. Does'nt time fly when aunts die, illness strikes and museum director's change. I managed to York and met Tim Procter the archivist who cares for The Forsythe Collection. It was very worthwhile. It is all now in a new roller shelving home. Two gentleman from Harwich were there for the day working on NRM materials including The Forsythe Collection. I used my time to make 250 pictures of items which will appear probably in various Facebook locations. Tim is preparing a detailed Collection Development Plan. Graham Cornish has been continuing to work through the binders making A4 descriptive sheets. It being 2013 it was difficult not to take a picture of A4s.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Mallard 75 Date

This just in from the NRM

Date is announced for the Great Gathering, part of Mallard 75 celebrations.

We're delighted to announce the date for our Great Gathering of all six surviving A4 class locomotives. On 3rd July, 75 years to the day since Mallard became the world's fastest steam locomotive, you can see all the remaining members of Sir Nigel Gresley's iconic class gathered around our Great Hall's turntable.

For the first time all six locomotives will be together to commemorate Mallard's historic achievement in style. Two of Mallard's sisters have even traveled 2,527 miles across the Atlantic to join in the celebrations with Dwight D. Eisenhower and Dominion of Canada coming from the U.S.A and Canada respectively.

One of these repatriated machines, Dwight D. Eisenhower, has just gone on display in our museum. Both Dwight and Mallard have recently been given a fresh coat of paint to get them on top form for the occasion and can be seen side by side in our Great Hall. Dominion of Canada is also currently undergoing cosmetic restoration which can be seen at our sister museum in Shildon.

The Great Gathering will be free entry and there is no need to book. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for more details and images in  the build up to the event.

Find out more:

Monday, 4 February 2013

Repatriation stops where?

The Railway Magazine March 2013 p49 a letter from John Cousins which I reproduce by typing it all in in full "Canada was obviously incapable of maintaining A4 60010 in an acceptable condition for which they should be ashamed, and, as a result, relinquish custody to the UK". A head of steam is being built up of which this is an example to campaign for one or both of these A4s to stay in Britain.

My take is that this approach is shameful on our nation and it disappoints me that a magazine as august as this would even print the letter, presumably it reflects their postbag.

Anyone who takes time to think this through will realise the North American institutions did as well by these two as many of our own operations including the National Railway Museum have done. An international deal was negotiated by the National Railway Museum on our behalf. You can argue about the merits over whether this was money well spent but there are no grounds whatsoever (within the boundaries of good taste and diplomacy) to undo the deal. We restore cosmetically the locos, we enjoy them this year, they go home in 2014. Four other A4s are in the country to enjoy anyway. Now find something more important to talk about or fund raise for in railway heritage. There is no shortage of choice.

 Also posted at
(BTW an interesting exercise would review all the Deltics (their lineal successors) in preservation in Britain and comment on their varying states).