Now that all the plate work for assembly of steam locomotive ‘County of Montgomery’s’ mainframes either now cut or being cut, the Churchward County Trust is now looking to the next stage of the project, which is progressing the frames to the rolling chassis stage.
The generosity of the Great Western Society has seen the trust receive the two 3ft 2in wheelsets (plus horns and axleboxes) that will be used in No. 3840’s bogie, and also the pattern for the four 6ft 8.5in driving wheels. The pattern had been previously used to cast the wheels for ‘Saint’ No. 2999 ‘Lady of Legend’.
To raise the £40,000 required to cast the coupled wheels, the trust is launching their Forty 4-4-0s Club. The Club allows supporters to ‘adopt’ one (or more) of the original 40 ‘County’ 4-4-0s, which were all named after British and Irish counties with which the GWR had connections.
Membership of the Forty 4-4-0s Club is set at £1,000 (payable in one lump sum or in eight payments of £125 by standing order), and comes with a number of benefits, including:
- An invitation to the launch of ‘County of Montgomery’
- A seat on the locomotive’s first train
- A special certificate acknowledging the ‘County’ being adopted
- A framed and mounted photograph of the ‘County’ being adopted
- A mounted print of No. 3840 by artist Jonathan Clay
- Name on the CCT Roll of Honour
- Life membership of the CCT
Furthermore, the names of all Forty 4-4-0s Club members will have their names put into a ballot; the winner receiving a wooden replica of the nameplate of the ‘County’ of their choice.
What did the officials say?
Project Leader Gary Boyd-Hope said:
“Most of us have a town or county with which we have affection, and we hope that in launching the Forty 4-4-0s Club supporters of No. 3840 will get the opportunity to adopt one of the original ‘Counties’ whose name may have meaning to them, and help us get No. 3840 onto its wheels. Perhaps they were brought up in Leicestershire or Middlesex, or holidayed in Cornwall or Devon. They might even have family connections in Monmouth or Wicklow, support a football team in the area or just simply live in the county in question.”
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