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.