B17 Members Interim meeting – March 2019

A very successful meeting was held at the Holiday Inn hotel in Stevenage, with about 40 members in attendance.

Displayed around the room were:

  • Helmingham Hall nameplate reducedThe current publicity stand used at Heritage Railway and model railway shows; recently been refreshed to include information relating the 90th Anniversary of the first 10 B17s in service, along with the latest CAD drawings showing the designs for the Rolling Chassis components.
  • Display of the current items we have for sale.
  • Taking centre stage, the recently donated nameplate of ‘Helmingham Hall’ before it goes for restoration – see photo.
  • The raffle

The meeting started at 12.00pm with a brief introduction from our chairman, Brian Hall, introducing our guest speaker, member Mark Allatt, Project Director of the P2 project, The P2 Steam Locomotive Company Ltd. The talk was titled "Creating the P2 'Mikado' Prince of Wales and the Project Launch of LNER Class V4".

Mark took us through, using a series of PowerPoint slides and short videos, the history of the P2s, the progress so far with the new-build 2007 'Prince of Wales', the technical challenges and design changes made or expected, the production of the parts using both traditional, and very new casting techniques, and the various fundraising activities used.

It was fascinating hearing about the problems encountered and the solutions, and the learnings applied from their first new build, Tornado. The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust has a close working relationship with The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the P2 team, due to the commonality of LNER parts, suppliers, the sharing of some common casting patterns; by using the same design consultant, design learnings from 2007's development are being applied to 61673 'Spirit of Sandringham'.

Mark concluded his presentation with the planned next new build, a V4 and possible candidates to come after that. An interesting discussion was held as to how the A1/P2 method of fundraising can be applied to our own fundraising, adapting it to our own strengths. Our thanks to Mark for spending so much of his valuable time with us that afternoon. 

Mark Allatt 1 090319 Mark Allatt 2 090319
Mark describing the finer points of the planned P2's boiler B17 members listening intently to Mark Allatt

After a break for refreshments and cake, we resumed with the mid-year update from the directors. Highlights were:

  • The completed static chassis, now approved by the Rail Regulator, Ricardo Rail.
  • Membership continues to grow steadily, with regular donations now from threequarters of the membership and increasing.
  • 3 driving wheels now funded using the ‘Spoke in my Wheel’ campaign, with the 4th started. The latest complete wheel was funded in the fastest time so far.
  • STEM report outlining the moderation training process recently held to review the progress in the 5 Essex schools piloting the STEM material, and the Parliament Week attended by Larry Sampson. (delivered by John Pearson).
  • Financial update by Henry Mullens. Henry also introduced the new trading company set up to raise funds for the trust, called B17 Enterprises Ltd.
  • Peter Wright reported on the Commemoration on the 90th Anniversary at proposed venues across many stations in the Greater Anglia region during 2019, with the support of Abellio Great Anglia.
  • Marketing and PR update from John Peat, who outlined the regular inputs he now gives to the Heritage Railway press, and his successes. He then outlined the new range of products being designed for sale on our stands and online. These will be available shortly in trial quantities.
  • Richard Taylor gave an update on the events being planned for 2019.

A very successful afternoon concluded at around 4.00pm.

AGM 2018 report - 15th September 2018

AGM Report Opening Address 

The Chairman opened the 7thAGM and welcomed 35 members to the meeting. The Director’s report for the year ending 30th April 2018 was jointly presented using slides by the Chairman, Larry Sampson, John Peat, Richard Taylor, Peter Wright, John Pearson and Henry Mullens. The Chairman commented upon the achievements of increased contributions from members including sponsorship donations for the ‘Spoke in My Wheel‘ campaign, with funding well advanced to complete the second driving wheel. The launch of the 61673 Constructors Club had also received early support by members. A further 25% increase in new members during the year also played a significant part in this improvement. Additionally, with donations and sponsorship from our supporters, the general public and our voluntary team’s achievement with sales promotions, the overall total had established a new record level of income. Grateful thanks were expressed for all financial contributions and help provided to realise this achievement.

Area Groups 

Larry Sampson stated that two members had volunteered to be Local Area Group Leaders for each of The Midlands and Beds & Herts. areas. Expressing a vote of thanks to each volunteer, he emphasised improvements in communications whereby Local Area Group members felt that they are in closer touch with the work of the Trust. Meanwhile Larry would continue to handle communications with members in the North of England, Scotland and Overseas. For the future, Larry invited more two-way communication with members such as identifying promotional opportunities, links with other local community groups, ideas to visit places of local interest, ideas and issues that others think are important and general feedback.

As an aid to communication, Larry explained that the Trust had recently introduced a Facebook page to users of Facebook – do give us a look!! 

B17 SLT Open Meeting Report - 10th March 2018


As usual, the aim of this open meeting was to appraise the membership and guests of project progress and successes, explaining and discussing any concerns and to share with them plans and ideas for the future. This was achieved by both formal and interactive presentations by the directors on various topics. This was followed by a brief lunch break and then a presentation by a guest speaker.

The directors were pleased to report an increase in both membership numbers and revenue resulting from this and additional public donations for both general income and the Spoke in My Wheel appeal. 

The static chassis build is reaching its final stages with all but one (requiring rework) of the remaining frame stays at Llangollen ready for assembly. The Trust have also contracted with a new independent assessor, Ricardo Rail of Derby, who have completed what proved to be a successful initial audit of the engineering activities of the Trust and Langollen Engineering giving us confidence in the way that we conduct our design and manufacturing processes. In the period of review the Trust has also initiated the work to specify and cost the boiler design and manufacture.

In September, the Trust undertook a major event commemorating the 80th anniversary of the inaugural run of the East Anglian Express between London Liverpool Street and Norwich This involved simultaneous events at both termini and at Ipswich that were well supported by members, railway staff and the travelling public.

Members were also made aware of internal audit results that required some changes to our working practices on the management of the Trust including what was necessary to be compliant with the replacement for the Data Protection Act, now to be known as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

The directors then held an interactive session with the members discussing proposals and options on how to increase income to fund the next stage of the design and build. From these discussions the directors will now prepare new fund raising initiatives and review membership terms and conditions for the future.

After what was a very busy first session lunch was taken and then we all relaxed and enjoyed a photographic presentation by Ivan Finbow on railways of East Anglia in the 1950s including several photos of B17s in action before people started on their homeward journeys.

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust 2017 AGM

The above meeting was held on September 16th 2017 in Stevenage. It was a very successful event and well attended, especially by newer members.

In addition to all the formal business required of a Charitable Trust, there were several presentations from both directors and members on achievements and events of the previous year.

After the break our Guest Speaker, Mr Alan Hayward, gave a presentation on William Marriott, the Engineer and Locomotive Superintendent of the Midland and Great Northern (M & G N) Joint Railway. This concentrated specifically on his use of reinforced concrete for structures such as bridges and signal posts for both the M & G N and other railways.

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust 2016 AGM Notes and Salient Points

(All information relates to the period of April 1st 2015 to 31st of March 2016)

The director’s report for the year ending 30th April 2016 was jointly presented by Brian Hall (Chairman), Larry Sampson, Geoff Starns and Henry Mullens.

Membership and Income

The combination of increased contributions from members, increased donations from supporters and the general public, sponsorship for specific components and a 25% increase in membership had virtually doubled the level of income compared with the previous year.

The geographical distribution of the membership has resulted in area groups being created and put in place and that the Southend on Sea and Cambridgeshire & Fenland groups had already been established and their method of working agreed in conjunction with each Area Group Leader. The remaining groups are in the process of being rolled out.

Media and Marketing

Media coverage and news reporting about the project through the press and local radio once again featured although the use of paid advertising was reduced. To ensure topical content for the web site and improve the inputs to external media a combined editorial and media interface team Larry Sampson in the Editorial role and John Peat as Press Officer has been created to receive, edit and issue regular external news releases to the railway press, local media and internally the website and newsletter.

Promotional Activities

It has become obvious that the Trust can broaden the scope of promotional activities utilising member’s novel ideas and local knowledge emerging from the Local Area Groups.  These can be focussed on commemorative anniversaries, presentations, etc. and could be related to LNER B17s, general railway topics but may also embrace subjects of local interest and be non- railway related.

The promotional stand layout is putting a greater emphasis directed to promand progress to build up the static mainframe for the visiting publics benefit. There has been positive comment from visiting members and the general public regarding the attractive layout and interesting content contained within the information displays which helps to make each venture well worthwhile.

Discussions are also taking place looking at options for the mid- year meeting and members day out for 2017 including combining the two at the Llangollen Railway to view the progress being made on the static frame.

Election of Officers

All officers due to stand down offered themselves for re-election and were unanimously supported for a further term.

Design and Manufacturing progress

The attendees were given an up to date report on this topic and the information is detailed on the “Construction progress” page of this web site.

Guest Speakers

Two guest speakers were present for the informal part of the meeting.

Malcolm Root (FGRA) explained with examples, the key considerations he used to plan the subject, perspective and details including colour when preparing to paint “Sandringhamm at Home” showing 61600 Sandringham at Wolferton Station.         

Mike Stanbury presented “Aspects of Railway Preservation” and illustrated his personal memories and involvement from the beginning of steam railway preservation in East Anglia with some of the local pioneers and characters. Restored engines rescued from Barry also featured.                       


The pair of cast brass 'Spirit of Sandringham' nameplates have been completed at Procast of Cleckheaton thanks entirely to our joint sponsors John Dewar, Peter Wright and Ben Colson. They will used for marketing and display purposes but from time to time will also be fitted to the frames at Llangollen during special events. On Thursday, 21st. July, members Godfrey Smith, Peter Wright and Bill Ringham journeyed to Yorkshire  to collect them

The design closely followed that developed by our member Alan Smalley who produced the full size wooden replica which also incorporated the splasher and running board (plinth.) This also continues to serve a useful purpose at promotional events. 'Spirit of Sandringham' is representative of the longest B17 nameplate ‘Lincolnshire Regiment’ both consisting of 21 letters and spaces and 60 inches in length. Not a lot of people know that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Saturday, 23rd July, courtesy of 'Friends of March Railway Station', these were displayed on a specially constructed wooden frame on the 'up' platform at March station. In the bright sunlight they made an impressive sight and certainly drew admiring looks from local members and other visitors. They certainly helped promote the B17 project in the way it was intended.

The local press, the 'Cambs Times' supported the promotion with good advance publicity. One local high profile visitor was the Mayor of March, Councillor Donelley. Unfortunately the day was so hot that he was unable to wear his chains and robes of office.

The nameplates were subject to another 'Guess the Weight' competition which helped create involvement of the local public and hopefully raise useful additional revenue. 

The new nameplates were then displayed at the Sandringham Flower Show along with the Malcolm Root painting 'Sandringham at Home'.







Malcolm Root painting  'SANDRINGHAM AT HOME'

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust are delighted to announce completion of the painting 'Sandringham at Home' by Malcolm Root FRGA showing LNER class B17 No. 61600 Sandringham at the Royal Station of Wolferton in West Norfolk. Wolferton Station was situated on the line between King’s Lynn and the seaside resort of Hunstaton and was closed completely when all services were withdrawn on this once busy route by British Railways in 1969.

Signed prints by the artist of this very fine painting are now available suitable for framing; proceeds go toward 61673 Spirit of Sandringham. Each print including border is 28" x 22" (711mm x 559mm) and size of image is 24"x 17¾" (610mm x 450mm). The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust is most grateful to Malcolm Root for producing the painting and permitting the sale of prints to help provide funds for the new build B17 project.

Price per print is £70 including postage and packing.

Please order via Brian Hall: e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 07527 670436.

If Members and friends are interested in purchasing a copy, they would be well advised to place an order sooner rather than later as numbers are bound to be limited!