15th April 2019 · “Building the New Memorial Locomotive”

Presenter: John Hastings-Thomson

At Coventry on 15th April John Hastings-Thomson gave a very enlightening talk on “Building the New Memorial Locomotive”.

John has been a leading part in the project from its inception in 2007 and this expanded on his talk to the Branch in 2013. He outlined in some detail the reason for choosing 5551 “The Unknown Warrior” as carrying on the long tradition of the LNWR for a memorial locomotive beginning with Claughton named “Patriot” in 1920.

His comprehensive selection of illustrations, including details of technical items, followed the inception of the project, the production of the required parts up to the present. Fully explained were the many pitfalls and problems with new build and the reasons for it being moved from various sites, particularly the recent one from Llangollen, to its present location at Crewe.

Originally intended to steam for the celebrations to mark the end of the Great War it is now hoped that it will grace the main line during 2020. Funds are being raised to acquire a BR Mk1 brake second as a support coach. Quotes are in the process of being evaluated from contractors to complete the building although the group many decide to do it themselves.

As an aside the New Zealand Memorial locomotive was illustrated, appropriately named “Passchendaele”.