The team rebuilding steam locomotive 4709, along with Richard Croucher, has called for donations to help complete the project.
Richard Croucher said: “No enticements. No promises of future benefits. Not even a footplate ride when it’s finished. This is just a 100% call for donations.”
The team are currently rebuilding the locomotive from a mountain of donor parts from Barry and new components are not making much progress, and not fully down to the coronavirus pandemic.
Richard said: “4709’s recent history is littered with issues we’ve had to deal with before any new work could start,” he explains. “When the initial lockdown started, we waited and waited and finally got to move the loco’s chassis from Llangollen to Leaky Finders’ workshop in Exeter, at the beginning of August. That move also included several loads of refurbished components, that had also been stored at Llangollen for years. Then in another long-awaited move, the pony truck, horn blocks and many other items were also moved down to Exeter from Tyseley.”
Initial efforts to cast the cylinders were full of problems, the coronavirus pandemic and then the foundry where they were being cast went into liquidation. More information on the cylinders on the RailAdvent website.
The first cylinder has been cast, with the second one due shortly.
Richard continued: “If you thought we’d given up, I’d have hardly blamed you. But we didn’t. Paul Carpenter’s engineering team has worked throughout, easily put in many hundreds of man hours, possibly thousands – no-one’s been counting, although we probably should have been. I have no doubt there’ll be a book appearing about it all, someday.”
“We’re fast getting back up to speed and anyone visiting the 4709 Web site will see there are now buttons requesting donations on every page. The more we collect, the faster we can get the essentials back under way and eventually, 4709 completed.”
“This initial appeal is simple; give us some money and we’ll build you a great locomotive.”
Fundraising has now started and will run until the locomotive is complete.
To donate and help bring 4709 back to service, please visit the donation page.
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