Month: February 2019

Fundraising update

A combination of online and offline fundraising and donations, together with associated Gift Aid, has so far yielded just over £4,500 towards this project.  Thank you very much.  We are determined to have this locomotive running on the West Somerset Railway for the Summer season.  Can you help?

The 2019 WSRA  AGM for members is to be held on Saturday 13th April at 2:00pm at Crowcombe village hall.

Nominations for Trustee are now open and the form is available HERE

Please note that the closing date is 14th March and all completed forms must be received by that date.

The requirements for serving as a WSRA Trustee can be found in the WSRA Articles of Association and also the Trustees Code of Conduct recently agreed by the current board.

More general information is available from the Charity Governance Website


One Eccentric strap installed, lock nuts and split pins to complete, then install the adjacent strap, then ready for the eccentric rods. Photo:Josh Chivers









Preparations being made in the firebox to install the much-praised and appreciated by loco crews, Minehead-pattern drop grate. Photo:Josh Chivers

Rear Right hand coupling rod on crank pin with retaining collar fitted. Eccentric strap on the floor awaiting fitting


Front buffer beam. New shackle forgings closed onto trunions after threading through draw hook forging


Smoke box drilled for hand rails, oil feed pipes and the banjo cover


Rear Left hand coupling rod on crank pin, retaining collar not yet screwed on. 2 pairs of eccentric straps on floor awaiting fitting

Lovely surprise today – A cheque for £1000, plus gift aid, arrived in the office this morning, to be put towards reassembling 9351.


Another week’s progress…..

New coupling shackle ready to be closed onto threaded trunnion


Expansion link being finished on surface grinder


Smokebox bolted down onto saddle casting


Stay bars set up for drilling bolt holes in smokebox


Ground expansion link and finished die block side plates


Coupling rods with machined white metal bearings pressed in. Now waiting for felt pads.


Some folk have been asking about the 9351 appeal

West Somerset Restorations had originally quoted the WSR plc £14,000 for the work to get 9351 back into traffic. Given the difficult financial situation the WSR plc finds itself in this winter, there was a risk that the WSR plc would not be able to afford this work and so 9351 would not be back in traffic for the season. At their January Board meeting the WSRA Trustees decided to fund this work themselves, as it is important to strengthen the home fleet for the 2019 season and reduce the loco hire charges that were part of the WSR plc’s difficulties in 2018. The Trustees also decided to appeal for assistance with these funds as paying the whole cost from the limited WSRA central, unreserved funds will deplete the Charity’s reserves.

If you are enjoying these updates and would like to support 9351’s return to traffic, please donate via the link at the top of this post or for offline donations please follow the instructions HERE. Remember, if you are a UK tax payer and make a gift aid declaration, for every £1 you donate, the UK government adds 25p.


It is with regret that we have to announce that even with the 3 organisations working closely together we have been unable to find a way to keep 4110 on the WSR. As late as 25th January 2019 we were still in joint discussions to try to find a way to deliver this objective.

The WSR plc finds itself in a position where it needs cash immediately and its Directors have no choice but to maximise the return to the company in such a circumstance. The Directors of GWR4110 Ltd and the WSRA Trustees understand this is the reason the locomotive cannot be made available at a lower price.

The internal bid, led by GWR 4110 Ltd and supported by the WSRA (who would have taken a shareholding) worked hard in a short period of time to secure sufficient funds but in the end for a number of reasons, including the actual cash sum that might have been raised, were unable to make a competitive bid within the required and limited timescale.

We encourage WSR supporters including many loco crew and others who pledged financial assistance not so see this as a defeat. Everybody involved in the bid was greatly encouraged by the passion, commitment and enthusiasm shown. Although not obvious, it was always a moving target as other bidders were involved.

As part of the sale it has been agreed with the Paignton and Dartmouth Railway that 4110 will make a return to the West Somerset Railway to appear at a future gala at no cost to the WSR.
There is still plenty to do on the WSR before the start of the operating season, 9351 nears completion at Williton and more help is always welcome. Minehead are busy preparing other members of the locomotive fleet including 53808, and there much work to do in all areas.

Paul Orrells, Chair of GWR 4110 Ltd said “To all our friends and colleagues, on the WSR and further afield, who took the trouble to offer their encouragement and support we offer our thanks”

Jonathan Jones Pratt, Chair of WSR plc said “It was with regret that the decision had to be made to dispose of 4110 but such was done in the best interests of the overall Railway and where we stand today. The collective buy in has been tremendous and I wish to thank every one of you who have tried to help, sadly the decision had to be made as we were unable to bridge the gap between offers.”

Paul Whitehouse Chair of WSRA said “It was hugely encouraging to see so many WSR supporters come together to try to keep 4110 on the railway”


The WSRA has  received over  £13,000 in donations towards the purchase of 4110.  Any donor who would like their money refunded should advise Jacquie Green of their bank details.  Alternatively you could ask for it to be put towards the refurbishment of 9351 or 4561, which would be a great help to the whole railway.