Event Reports

Llangollen Railway – Autumn Steam Gala 13-15/10/17 

 'Along South Western Lines' 

The above event featured visiting Locomotives Sir Keith Park (Rebuilt Battle of Britain) and GWR 2-8-0 No 2807. Other locos running included a Standard Class 4MT Tank and a Great Western Prairie together with a GW Pannier Tank which had been out on Charter to the Epping and Ongar Railway all summer. A full programme was run on all three days for the enjoyment of the visitors. 

The B17 Stand was on Platform 1 under the Canopy although the weather was generally fine, with limited showers and a breeze developing on the Sunday. The number of visitors picked up slowly on the Friday and we were very busy on the Saturday. Sunday morning was quiet but the afternoon produced a strong spurt of interest. In all a good three days realising significant funds for the Trust.                  

Over the weekend our Chairman, Brian Hall, was able to conduct four Guided Tours of the Workshop enabling visitors to see all the new build activity including 'Spirit of Sandringham'. These tours were appreciated by the visitors and realised significant donations for the Llangollen Railway. It was also satisfying for us to be able to assist our 'Host' Railway in this fashion as we are grateful for their support with our Chassis.       

Altogether a successful event and we look forward to our next visit to the Llangollen Railway. 

 East Anglian 80th Anninversary – September 2017          

The 27th September 2017 saw the 80th Anniversary of the East Anglian named train from London to Norwich and return. This luxury service was introduced in 1937 to try to compete with road travel before the war. The train was hauled by 2 streamlined B17 locomotives which looked very similar to an A4 and the trains consisted of new 6 carriage sets providing restaurant service at every seat. A taste of luxury targetted at a new generation of discerning travellers.

 In order to mark this anniversary including the role played by B17 locomotives, the Trust decided to stage the biggest event yet. This involved a 3 day display Stand on Norwich, Ipswich and London (Liverpool Street) Stations simultaineosly. The planning for this event involved getting permission from Network Rail and Transport for London as well as providing enough volunteers for all 3 Stands. This was a remarkable effort, never mind the production of all 3 stands. As part of this Brian hall produced an 8 page Booklet to commemorate the Event. This was printed on glossy paper and was well received  by everyone including the public at large who were allowed to take a copy

Whilst we were allowed to collect donations from the public in Norwich and Ipswich, we were not allowed to do so in London because of the restrictions imposed by Transport for London. However the Stands were  generally open from 7am to 7pm each day requiring considerable volunteer effort. We were fortunate enough to meet a wide range of people, many of whom would not have come into contact with the Trust before. Thus we gained considerable new exposure to the Public and , hopefully, we may see an increase in Membership over the coming weeks/months.

We received considerable attention from the media including Radio Norfolk, Radio Suffolk, and the Network Rail twitter feed. The event also allowed us to make contact with some people of particular interest to the Trust like Driver Mace's daughter ( he was one of the Drivers on the first day of the service). Another example was Tony Alston who owns the land on which the Mid Suffolk Light Railway runs and we were fortunate enough to have an extensive conversation with him. In all, many interesting people including one elderly Member who decided that the best way to celebrate the Anniversary  was to retrace the journey undertaken by the original train. This he did in one day visiting all 3 stands at the same time.

No account of this activity would be complete without thanking all the Staff at the 3 Stations who went out of their way to be helpful and made the whole  undertaking so much more effective. I am afraid that Security is always paramount in public places and the Staff were extremely helpful in allowing us to access their systems and procedures.

Altogether a very successful event and showed that the Trust could organise a sizeable and effective promotional celebration. We look forward to repeating the exercise at some time in the future. This is a precis of the full Report which will be distributed to all Members with a copy of the 8 page booklet produced for the event and this 'send' will occur after the next Newsletter. The full Report contains details from all 3 locations together with information on contacts made.

Finally, many thanks to everyone who manned our Stands including at least one new Member attending  a B17 Stand for the first time!


B17 SLT Day Visit to the Llangollen Railway 12/5/2017

Friday 12th May dawned as an overcast morning with drizzle in Llangollen but not to be deterred, 41 Members and friends gathered on the platform at Llangollen station at approximately 10am.(see photo below). Everyone received a personalised programme for the day and the first group departed with Brian Hall, our Chairman, in order to complete the first shed visit. The remainder boarded the train for our first return trip.

The shed visit provided the opportunity to see 'Spirit of Sandringham' for real together with 4 other new build projects. All of these locos are in a different stage of completion and it was greatly encouraging to see the dragbox fitted to the Frames – albeit with temporary fixings. Brian was able to give an update on the current state of progress with regard to the frame stays etc.

During the return train trip we held our raffle (4 prizes including a signed print from Malcolm Root) and this was supported by members, friends and the general public on every one of the 3 return trips that day. As a result the raffle raised a record sum for the Trust. The winning raffle tickets are listed below.

The whole party reunited for the second trip and buffet lunch was served on the train including tea and coffee. This was enjoyed by everyone and was concluded with scones, jam and cream.

The third and final trip of the day was followed by the second shed visit and finally a number of members and friends retired to the Hand Hotel for an evening meal. Everyone agreed that the day had been very interesting, informative and greatly enjoyed by all.

Winning Raffle Ticket Numbers               

1st Prize       Yellow 613  To be claimed!                         2nd Prize      Green 753  Mrs c. Latham

3rd Prize         Pink 651     Mr. C Perceval                       4th Prize        Yellow 635  Mr. M Scott


                Some of the Members and Friends at Llangollen

Members and Friends around the frames with Chairman Brian Hall 


National Garden Rail Show - Saturday 8th April 

This year was the 40th Anniversary of the 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers Association and the Show was held at the East of England Showground at Peterborough. It was attended by a record number of visitors and Fiddlers Green was exhibited on behalf of the Trust. We werre lucky enough to win one of the Awards and we generated interest in the progress made with 'Spirit of Sandringham'. The Collection tin certainly feels heavy and we are very grateful to all those people who contributed.

Midland Garden Rail Show, Warwickshire Exhibition Centre, 17th - 19th March 2017 

'Fiddlers Green' was invited to appear at the above Show and took along all of the appropriate B17 literature. The Show was well attended with visitors up on previous years. The smell and sound of live steam engines generated a lot of interest increased this year because of the use of R/C Steam whistles. It was interesting to see some of the people we met in Solihull in February and, of course, they were already aware of the B17 message! We hope to continue to spread the message in this way and our next venue is the National Garden Rail Show in April.

Great Central Railway Winter Steam Gala

We are off! First major promotional event for 2017 at the GCR Winter Steam Gala during the final weekend of January. Truly an atmospheric event aided by typical weather conditions for the time of year with the sights and sounds courtesy of 10 engines of which 9 represented the home fleet, the other being Q class No. 30541 from ‘The Bluebell.’ So plenty of action despite the cold winds with visiting members, supporters and sponsors calling by to speak to us - that’s Keith Crawford and Brian Hall during the whole 3 days. Always a worthwhile railway and event to support.

Home Locos operating 6990, 30777, 45305, 46521, 47406, 48624, 70013, 78018 and 92214. 6990 failed on the Friday with collapsed firebars but was repaired overnight and appeared in the line up from the Saturday morning and all day Sunday too.

Great Central railway Autumn Steam Gala

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust Stand assumed its customary place on Loughborough Station Platform for the Autumn Steam Gala held over 4 days from Thursday 6/10 until Sunday 9/10/2016 inclusively. There were at least 8 engines in steam throughout the Gala including Witherslack Hall, Oliver Cromwell and a BR Class 9F.The stand was manned by Directors and Members of the Trust and we would like to thank them sincerely for all their effort.  A great deal of interest was shown in the latest Malcolm Root print of 'Sandringham' at Wolferton station and this resulted in a number of sales.


Enfield Transport Circle

On Tueday October 4th Geoff Starns and Larry Sampson gave a Presentation to the Enfield Transport Circle on the work of the Trust and progress with the 'Spirit of Sandringham' Project. This was attended by 35 Members of the Circle and was illustrated with pictures showing the history of the B17 Class of locomotives as well as progress with our new build project. The presentation was interrupted by a Tea Break at 9pm and this also provided an opportunity for informal questions. When the meeting finally closed Geoff and Larry were thanked by all those present for an informative and entertaining evening.

If you would like a presentation for your local Area Group or Club please contact any of the Directors and we would do our best to meet your request. 


National Members Day Out 

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust held its member’s day out on the North Norfolk Railway on Wednesday 1st June 2016. Members, family and friends had a grand day out once again. The day started at 10am and included lunch aboard one of the two trains we boarded; we also got a tour of the Engine shed!.

We had a wonderful day, the food was excellent, the journeys on the trains were great. We loved the Vintage set as this is where we had our cream scones & I was able to stand on the viewing platform on 'Eileen', & film the journey both ways.

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust would like to extend its grateful thanks to all at the North Norfolk Railway for giving us a great day out again this year; their hospitality is much appreciated. 

Watch our video of the trains, the steam and experience the train trip there and back for yourself on our You Tube channel.