The Boiler : Where do we need to be – at Working Pressure!

Our aim is to get the boiler to “Working Pressure” – so that will be the theme for our fundraising over the next few months, and we will arrange a pressure gauge to show our progress.

Some time ago we arranged a full “Non Destructive” examination (NDT) by specialists Fraser Nash.  This confirmed that the boiler is in generally good condition despite the fact that it has lain unused and in the open air for 60 years.  However, we do know that the lower firebox sides, throat plate and lower door plate will require replacement and of course all tubes and a new front tube plate are required - along with many stays (both steel and copper).  This will mean a significant 6 figure sum will be required before we can light our first fire.

We plan to undertake the work in stages – and the first one is to get to a position of knowing exactly how much we will need to spend (and therefore raise!).  This will involve some investigation to establish a work programme – for this we will require FOUNDATION FUNDING (all boilers start at the foundation ring).

The plan is that this first stage of fundraising will pay all the costs of our investigation and start to build the pot of cash that we will need when the boiler restoration starts in earnest.

Once we know exactly the extent of work required and a realistic price tag, we intend to seek external grant funding – the detail of applications will come once we establish how much of the work we can do utilising volunteers.  Our success at external fundraising has been on the back of the preservation and development of heritage engineering skills and we will try to build on that experience.  But we do know that whatever success we achieve, we will have to inject “match funds” and the bigger the pot we can demonstrate the better our chances.

The Boiler – how do we get there?

We want to be as inclusive as possible in our fund-raising – that is to provide a menu of ways to help that has something for as many of our existing friends as possible – and provides opportunities to attract new supporters.  Our aim is to ensure as many people as possible can be an active part of the heritage movement.

Match funding.  For the last three years we have taken part in “The Big Give” each December and raised some very useful sums.  Unfortunately, last year we did not get a champion to provide external match funding and with the current national and international issues we think we may again struggle to get a champion against bigger and better-established charities.  So, we have decided to “do our own thing” and go for a month-long match funded campaign.  

We already have around £2500 pledged to match fund donations – we will run our event from Monday 8th May to 5th June this year and use the GWSR Gala to try to attract external donors.  Full details will be on our website in early May but we can confirm that we will able to accept donations both on-line, by cheque and by cash or credit/debit card at the Gala.  We would, of course be happy to accept further pledges for match funding to ensure more donations are “worth double” – please contact as below if you would like to pledge.

Could you give 20p per day? We already have a several supporters giving in this way – we promoted the initiative some years ago and this is a way of providing a regular income for the Trust.  Of course, the availability of Gift Aid bulks up the donation.  We are re-launching this initiative – full details on the website very shortly..

Can you recruit a member?  The more members we can demonstrate to external grant funders, the more seriously we will be taken.  

Can we  double our membership?

Will you “upgrade” your membership ? – the income from this source is a great help – we can accept standing order payments for either 5 year and life memberships.  

You can join or amend your membership on line on the membership page.

Click HERE 

At a later stage we will have further initiatives which could include:
a shopping list of missing parts that we will have to source - ensuring there is something affordable for everyone who wishes to support us in this way. 
Sponsored Activities - We are investigating the possibility of a sponsored walk, perhaps between sheds that our loco worked from – this is work in progress so watch this space!

Help – we do need additional assistance at public events to promote our project – suitable for anyone who likes meeting people (and those who don’t want to get “hands on” with the restoration work).  We can provide all the information needed – how about helping at the GWSR Gala in May?

We hope there is something in our list that you can help with – if you have any questions , please give David Foster a call on 01643 706943 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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