The Maid has now attended the 40th Anniversary celebrations at the Llanberis Lake Railway, thanks to the initiative of the General Manager, David Jones. This was the first occasion when the Maid has travelled to another railway since she was transferred to Llanuwchllyn from the Llanberis Lake Railway. The expenses involved in transporting the loco to Llanberis had been met by the host Railway, as is the usual arrangement. The loco was prepared for removal earlier in the week so that the crews could learn the road and Railway make any necessary arrangements to modify couplings and any other practical matters. The Friday before the celebrations was used to rehearse the movements and the celebrations were on Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 3 July 2011. The weather on both days was excellent, so there was a good deal of activity for everyone to enjoy. It was perhaps a little disappointing that so few subscribers availed themselves of the opportunity of seeing the Maid in a different setting; this was also a general pattern as the numbers of visitors to the event were rather low. The event itself was excellently organised, with the available locos double heading the trains, with a regular change of loco combinations to ensure that all permutations were on display. As well as Maid Marian, Challoner, Helen Kathryn and Una were also present as well as the Railway‘s own loco stock. There was also a display of vintage vehicles, including an original steam roller previously owned by Anglesey CC and now in private ownership. There were locos of other gauges, including the Fairbourne Railway‘s Darjeeling loco, and a number of miniature gauge locos. The Fund maintained a presence during the whole activity in the form of a stand with sales items and those members who attended were also able to enjoy footplate rides and trips down the line at a favourable rate! The Fund recruited another subscriber during the weekend and sold off some of its stock of materials, though it has to be noted that there was a limited sales market because most of the members of public were not enthusiasts. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking David Jones for organising this event and look forward to other initiatives that bring together the Llanberis Lake Railway and other Railways in the North Wales stable.
The Sales of Christmas cards were rather slow, perhaps because most subscribers had already purchased their own cards by the time that the notification arrived. However, if you are still interested in buying some of the cards for this year‘s Christmas stock, they will be available at the same price as last year. The cards have a bilingual greeting inside and the cost of these cards will be 40p each, including post and package. These cards will not be available at any retail outlets so take the opportunity of buying some unusual Christmas cards as well as supporting the Fund. There is still a considerable amount of money (a five-figure sum) owed to two subscribers who loaned the Fund the money to pay for the boiler up front so your support is still needed. The cards can be ordered by contacting the Honorary Secretary, Hugh Jones, at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, DN4 7 RG (or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible so that we know how many to order from the printer. Please indicate how many of each set you would like and enclose a cheque for the correct amount made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund. There were two sets, of which set A was the more popular of the cards which were sent out in the previous documentation.
This will be held at Llanuwchllyn Station, Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid, Bala at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 10 September 2011. Please make a note of this now.
Click here for the AGM agenda and nomination form.
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary
This Report has been circulated to all subscribers early in the Fund's year so that 2 important dates can be announced, namely the Maid's visit to Llanberis and the 2011 AGM.
STOP PRESS: The Maid has been invited to attend the 40th Anniversary celebrations at the Llanberis Lake Railway and negotiations are in hand with the General Manager, David Jones. This will be the first occasion when the Maid has travelled to another railway since she was transferred to Llanuwchllyn from the Llanberis Lake Railway. The visit will be on Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 3 July 2011 so make sure that you enter these dates in your diary now!
URGENT: The 2010 AGM agreed that the Committee should go ahead and produce two Christmas cards using images from the Doug Carrington collection. The cards have a bilingual greeting inside and the cost of these cards will be 40p each, including post and package. These cards are being offered as a service to subscribers and will not be available at any retail outlets so take the opportunity of buying some unusual Christmas cards as well as supporting the Fund. There is still a considerable amount of money (a five-figure sum) owed to two subscribers who loaned the Fund the money to pay for the boiler up front so your support is still needed. The cards can be ordered by contacting the Honorary Secretary, Hugh Jones, at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, DN4 7 RG as soon as possible so that we know how many to order from the printer. Please indicate how many of each set you would like and enclose a cheque for the correct amount made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund.
Since they were advertised in the previous Progress Report a grand total of 19 sets have been sold to the 78 subscribers in the Fund! The Committee is a naturally more than a little disappointed in the lack of interest shown by subscribers to the offer, especially as this is one way in which you can actively support the Committee's fund-raising efforts. The notelets are now on sale at the Bala Lake, Llanberis Lake and Tal-y-Llyn Railways and it is hoped that they will be on sale at the Welsh Slate Museum, the Mosley Trust (Apedale) and the Launceston Railway in the New Year. If you know of an outlet that will take them on a sale or return basis, the Honorary Secretary would like to hear from you and will give further details of costs and arrangements for providing a sample to show the outlet.For subscribers, the notelets cost £6 per set of 6, including post and package so why not buy some for Christmas presents along with some Christmas cards! Please be generous in your support and send payment by cheque made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund to the Honorary Secretary, Hugh Jones, at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER DN4 7RG. Remember that all profits will go towards repayment of loans for the new boiler; without the loans the Maid would still be at the back of the shed in Llanuwchllyn awaiting sufficient money to be raised for a new boiler!
An alternative way of supporting the Fund is to increase your holding of votes; we would like to remind you that the current rate is 2 votes for £30 following the changes made in 2007. Contact the Honorary Secretary (details above) now to register your support in this way.
This will be held at Llanuwchllyn Station at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 10 September 2011; please make a note of this now.
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary
This is the first email interim Progress Report for those of you who have elected to be contacted by email. It will supplement the annual Progress Report that all subscribers receive, and which you will shortly receive. The publication was delayed as we were waiting for information about the new cards; work on these took longer than anticipated (see later in the report for details). In future versions we hope to have a wider variety of information for you and perhaps a different format for this report; we also hope to publish items more frequently.
10 subscribers, including the existing Committee, attended the AGM in the Railway's caravan at Llanuwchllyn Station. Some AGMs have been held in a coach in a siding or during an actual trip down the line, but the seating does not lend itself to comfortable meetings as it is difficult to hear those who were at the further end of the coach. However the AGM closed in time for subscribers to join the last train of the day at 4.00 p.m.
A brief summary had been circulated with the AGM papers but the Honorary Secretary reported on a number of other issues. There had been correspondence with the Penrhyn Railway leading to the sale of the remaining Penrhyn postcards that were left over from the fund-raising activities in 1965. There had also been an enquiry from the publisher of Delving in Dinorwig for photographs for a new edition of the book for the Welsh Slate museum; this was in hand. It was reported that BLR had received an enquiry about the possibility of the Maid going to the Llanberis Lake Railway to celebrate its founding.
No new subscribers had been recruited since the last AGM.
All the existing Committee and the Independent Examiner had indicated that they were prepared to stand again and were re-elected. The Committee also co-opted Robert Jones, who lives in Llanberis, in order to expand its skills pool. John Rogers was also co-opted after the 2008 AGM but unfortunately this was not reported in the 2009 Progress Report. I would like to welcome both to the Committee and hope that they will be gainfully occupied during the coming year.
Subscribers were shown examples of the cards that will eventually be used as sales items and it was agreed that 2 sets of 6 cards would be selected from Doug Carrington's collection for the initial orders. There was also further discussion about the on-going saga of the Fund's DVD. Bev Woolner outlined the discussions he had recently had with James from MP Video and the possible costings. After a year of relative inactivity the Committee has resolved to pursue these activities more vigorously.
All the brass name plates had been sold but, unfortunately, the previous foundry which had made excellent castings of the batches of name plates and maker's plates was no longer available. For little more than the actual cost of the brass itself, these excellent brasses were sold mainly for the benefit of subscribers who wished to acquire an excellent casting relatively cheaply. However, the foundry's last casting was an excellent aluminium pattern taken directly from the original Quarry wooden pattern. This will provide any future replica name plates. The wooden one, as mentioned in the last Progress Report, was too frail to be used any further but will be retained as a historical artefact.
A suggestion from the floor of the AGM was that the Committee might wish to consider producing moulded plastic name plates if the cost of brass ones becomes prohibitive. As the Railway did not have a card reader at thetime, sales items over £100 were not often transacted in cash. Any readers with a knowledge of a sympathetic local foundry are invited to send details to email@example.com at any time. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the good news is that the Railway has acquired a card reader, so more expensive items could be considered.
These have now been printed and will be advertised on the website; they are also on sale at Llanuwchllyn Station. The first series comprises 6 blank notelet cards (6inch x 4inch); Click here for a PDF file so that you can see what the illustrations are. The cards are now available from the Honorary Secretary, Hugh Jones, at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, DN4 7RG at the price of £6 per set, including postage and packing.
All the profit from the sales of the cards will go towards repayment of the loans that were made by two subscribers so that the new boiler could be bought without having to wait until sufficient funds were available to purchase it. The Committee would like to think that all subscribers would wish to avail themselves of at least one set of cards and that you would try to sell as many as possible to friends. Please be generous in your support and send payment by cheque made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund. If Series 1 sells well, the Committee will be considering the production of Series 2; this should be slightly easier to organise now that we have had the experience of doing it once!
You will note that this email has been sent blind to all email subscribers for reasons of confidentiality. However, some of you might wish to have a more interactive arrangement whereby you can also opt into an email group where your messages can be circulated to all other members who have also agreed to share their email contact addresses. This would be the first time that interaction became possible, apart from at the AGM. If you wish to take part please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can see if there is any interest in starting up yet another strand of correspondence.
As a subscriber you would be more than welcome to volunteer to work on the Railway in whatever way is most appropriate for you. There is a symbiotic relationship between the Fund and the Railway in that the Fund has anagreement with the Railway about the running of the loco and the Railway has an additional loco at its disposal. Whilst this means that subscribers do not now need to carry out work on the loco itself, as they did in the early years at Llanberis, for instance, it does mean that any different support is welcomed by the Railway. I have spent many weeks in previous years on jobs in and around the works; the Llanuwchllyn loco shed has excellent views over Arrhenig Fawr and Aran Benllyn. The reward is the satisfaction of completing a task and being able to point to it and say "I did that". To gain your satisfaction points contact the manager, Roger Hine, on 01678 540666.
The Railway website is: www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk if you have not yet been and would like to see more about the line.
The AGM this year will be on Saturday 11 September at the usual venue; the weather is usually warm at that time of the year so why not make a point of attending? You can take the opportunity of having a ride down the line and meeting other subscribers at the same time as well as seeing the Maid in action. After all, that is why you became subscribers, to ensure that she does remain in working order
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary 23.07.10
Once again there has been little to report as the loco has been working well on the whole. This year the Maid had worked on 66 days up to the end of July, mainly in the early part of the year when the work on Holy War was being concluded. There had been a minor weep from a boiler seam but this was rectified following advice from Gordon Newton, from Israel Newton, the makers of the boiler.
The Railway has also had to deal with a broken spring; at present the valve setting seems critical as any change in the springing appears to put the loco off beat. It is hoped that this can be investigated further during the winter when the steam chest covers can be removed to check the condition of the faces and valves.
The Fund has one brass nameplate left from the batch cast from the original patterns; once this has been sold there will be no further ones cast directly from this pattern. It has been used once more to prepare an aluminium pattern which will be used to produce any further nameplates. This will save having to wait until the winter before taking a nameplate from the side of the Maid to use as a pattern. The quality of the aluminium pattern is excellent and it will produce cleaner casts than the existing nameplates would provide.
The Fund has been looking at the possibility of a set of blank cards, more of a useful sales object than seasonal cards but they are not on sale yet. Unfortunately, no progress has been made yet with the DVD but subscribers will be informed when this becomes available.
In passing, a quantity of Penrhyn Quarry postcards that have lain unsold for a number of years have been sold to the Penrhyn Railway, which is carrying out its own fund-raising towards opening a stretch of the former main line. Some of the photographs, with appropriate acknowledgement, have appeared in this year‘s calendar and the most recent edition of their Journal, Y Llechen (The Slate).
After the last AGM, an impromptu MM Working Party was convened and painted the inside of the windows of the signal box. The levers were also painted which left the inside of the box looking very smart for the staff who use it and for any visitors who take the opportunity to inspect a working signal box. Many thanks are due to those who undertook this work; it is hoped that another Working Party can be convened around this year‘s AGM. If you would like to take part, it is one practical way of thanking the Railway for the way in which it is looking after the Maid in such a professional manner. Please contact the Honorary Secretary so that he can give the Railway some idea of how many will be available, as this will ensure that the piece of work will be of an appropriate size.
The last report of July 2007 noted Maid Marian's successful return to steam towards the end of May 2007. At the AGM in September our Chairman, Ray Brooks, opened the meeting by declaring "Well, we did it!". This simple statement summed up many years' worry on the part of the Trustees about the future of the loco, whether it should be offered to the national locomotive collections of both England and Wales (in the event neither showed an interest, though both curators had been enthusiastic), how the Fund could be revitalised after losing members for so many years and the subsequent effort spent in trying to raise funds for a new boiler by accessing Heritage Lottery and other funding streams. With the future of the loco secure, the Fund has now reached another chapter in its existence and is now in the position of having to raise more money to pay off the generous loans from two subscribers so that the new boiler could be purchased and fitted.
As was noted in the last report, the subscription rates were raised at the beginning of October to £30 for 2 votes. In the last financial year, £2720 was raised in subscriptions and £945 in donations (mostly raised through the sales of the special offer of castings made from the original patterns). This year the corresponding figures have been £90 and £128 respectively, so there is still a considerable amount of money to be raised. If you have ideas about how more can be raised, please share them with the Committee and also feel free to undertake some of your own fundraising activities. You can also put yourself forward for nomination to the Committee; the existing trustees and Committee members have worked hard behind the scenes and for a number of years have carried the burden of ensuring the future of the loco.
Your Honorary Secretary has for a number of years worked on the Railway, particularly during the Working Weekends, as a way of supporting the Railway, which has done much towards maintaining the loco in working order and in superb condition. This is another way in which the loco can be supported, as well as giving yourself the opportunity of working in a friendly railway environment.
As might be expected with a new boiler, Maid Marian been steaming freely and the many drivers who have taken her down the line have commented favourably on the benefits of the new boiler. She has been a treat to drive and has taken a major part of the rostering duties. The only glitch occurred when the Maid lost a split pin from the pin that holds the die block in place. The die block pin moved sideways and caught the lifting arm which bent, so the loco had to be towed in from the bottom on the bank. A new die block and pin were made, the bent arm straightened and the loco was once again ready for action with only a couple of days lost.
If you would like to join the email group, please contact the Honorary Secretary. It had been hoped to provide more contact through emails but pressure of other activities has prevented this from happening. The website needs refreshing so anyone who has the opportunity of adding to it should contact the Honorary Secretary with suitable text or photographs; all contributions are welcome.
This will be held at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 13 September 2008; please make a note of this in your diary now.
At the AGM in September, the Honorary Secretary was pleased to announce that, as a result of the call from the Committee, a total of £4120 had been donated to the Fund by existing subscribers, with further sums promised in the near future. The Committee would like to express its gratitude to the following subscribers for their financial support:
|G Baxendale||R Brooks||D Carrington||Mrs J Carrington||A Doran|
|J Downes||J Firth||R Greenhalgh||B Hill||R Hine|
|H Jones||R Mason||Mrs. J Pearce-Langton||Mrs P Ross||D Rowley|
|D Scotson||P Towers||B Woolner.|
Since that time indefinite loans have been made by 2 subscribers who wish to remain anonymous, so that work on the boiler could continue without delay. The amount raised has been short of the total cost of around £25,000, so further fund- raising will be necessary to repay these loans. It is not too late for other subscribers to add to the Fund and increase their voting strengths at the same time (£20 will buy 2 votes). If you know of anyone who might wish to join the Fund, please contact the Honorary Secretary whose address is on the cover of the envelope; if every subscriber recruited at least 1 new subscriber with the minimum of votes this would bring in a further £1200.
The loco has now been rebuilt at Llanuwchllyn following the arrival of the boiler from IsraelNewton at the end of last year. The boiler test was scheduled for Wednesday 25 April 2007 and the Committee has decided that there should be a Grand Return to Steam on Monday 28 May 2007 (Spring Bank Holiday Monday). 3 locos will be in steam, Maid Marian, Holy War and Alice; Holy War will run the 11.15 a.m. train, then Alice will head the 12.50 p.m. train. There will be other activities provided by the Railway, including a confetti gun and the official ceremony will take place before the 2. 15 train with Marian Gwyn, the curator of Penrhyn Museum, officiating. Maid Marian will then head the final two trains of the day (2.25 p.m. and 4.00 p.m.). In recognition of their contributions, those subscribers who responded to our call for funds will be able to drive the loco on the day, or if this is not possible, they will be able to call at the Llanuwchllyn during a working day and claim their drive at a time convenient to them and to the Railway. Please ask for Roger Hine when you make your arrangements. We hope that as many subscribers as possible will join us on this eventful day and welcome the Maid back to her rightful place in the running of the train services. The Committee would like to record its sincere thanks to all those on the Railway who have contributed to the return of Maid Marian to steam and look forward to having many trouble- free years' service on the Railway.
If you would like to join the email group and be kept up to date more quickly with events, please contact the Honorary Secretary.
This will be held at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 15 September 2007; please make a note of this in your diary now. The AGM papers will be sent nearer the time of the meeting.
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary.
At the AGM, the Honorary Secretary was pleased to announce that, as a result of the call from the Committee, a total of £4120 had been donated to the Fund by existing subscribers, with further sums promised in the near future. The Committee would like to express its gratitude to the following subscribers for their financial support:
R Brooks, D Carrington, Mrs J Carrington, A Doran, J Downes, J Firth, B Hill, R Hine, H Jones, R Mason, Mrs P Ross, D Rowley, D Scotson, P Towers.
Since that time an indefinite loan of £10,000 has been made by a subscriber who wishes to remain anonymous, so that work on the boiler could continue without delay. The amount raised has been short of the total cost of around £25,000, so further fund-raising will be necessary. It is not too late for other subscribers to add to the Fund and increase their voting strengths at the same time (£20 will buy 2 votes). If you know of anyone who might wish to join the Fund, please contact the Honorary Secretary whose address is given beneath the AGM Agenda. The Committee will be considering ways in which its appreciation can be extended to subscribers who have responded to the call for donations.
A second round of negotiations with the Heritage Lottery Fund was considered but was finally discounted by the Committee. This was because the uncertainty of whether funding would be approved would seriously have delayed the progress of work on the boiler. The Committee is considering means of raising money and is always pleased to hear from subscribers who might be prepared to take part in fund-raising activities or to assist in any other way.
Since November 2004 when the old boiler was taken to Israel Newton for measurement, work has continued steadily, though not as quickly as had been expected. The original delivery date was April 2006 but this has slipped to late August, delaying the return of the Maid to service until the end of the season at the earliest. The President and Honorary Secretary visited Israel Newton in April 2006 (located in Bradford, not in Warrington as was indicated in the last Report) to check on the progress to date and to discuss any outstanding issues. They met George Newton, who is the 6th generation of the family to run the business and were impressed by the progress of the work and by the individual attention that was being given to all their boilers. With a workforce comprising George and four skilled boilermakers, the company has to juggle its priorities and capacity. When the loco is finally back in service, subscribers will be invited to a special ceremony at Llanuwchllyn Station, but the final details of this will depend upon when the new boiler is delivered.
16 subscribers have currently forwarded their email addresses to save on postage; if you would like
to join the group and be kept up to date more quickly with events, please contact the Honorary
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary.
We are sorry to announce the death of Fred Dunster earlier this year after a long illness. Fred was one of the founder members of the Fund who had been at the WHR working party in Bolton in 1965. He was our Honorary Treasurer for many years and threw himself energetically into the initial fund-raising period leading to the purchase of the Maid. Fred sold numerous badges, slides and postcards from home and also built an impressive sales stall that could be folded away into a Mini-van (many sceptical onlookers watched with incredulity as it was packed away at the end of the day!). We extend our deepest sympathies to his family.
At the 2004 AGM, the Committee accepted Brian Wills‘ resignation on health grounds; he had been on the Committee since the 2002 AGM and had also served on the Bala Lake Railway Society Committee. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Brian for his support during his stay of office. He was replaced by Bev Woolner, who lives in Norwich and who will be the most far-flung Committee member (three out of the six Committee members now live in Gwynedd). Bev has recently been mentioned previously in connection with his generous provision of a Minutes Book for the Fund.
Towards the end of 2004, a historic event took place away from the usual glare of publicity. Maid Marian‘s boiler was removed and put on one side awaiting collection by Israel Newton, the Warrington boiler maker; the Committee had agreed that this course of action should be taken. The current boiler will be used as a template for a new boiler, along with the plans that are already in existence. Her final trip out was during the day of the AGM, although she was not steamed but was hauled out for inspection. The tubes were leaking at the firebox end and the Manager had been regarding her as an emergency loco only. Other than the boiler, the mechanical condition of the loco continues to be excellent, thanks to the care shown by all those who are connected with her use and maintenance. The Maid had been used a few times during the year and fortunately had not suffered the indignity of having to be towed back to Llanuwchllyn. At present we do not have further details but will keep subscribers informed about progress at the AGM.
The decision to de-commission the loco was taken by the Committee at a meeting shortly after the AGM in September. By that time it was clear that the boiler‘s effective life had ended and that either a new boiler was to be ordered or arrangements made to put the Maid into storage; the circumstances surrounding this were detailed in the last Progress Report (July 2004). The Heritage Lottery Fund did not appear to be a realistic source of funding because the Fund may not be able to conform with the requirement that the local community should be involved in the project. A request was made to subscribers to give an indication of how much money they would be prepared to pledge towards the cost of the boiler. A total of just under £3000 was pledged, for which the Committee was most grateful. Although this is much less than the estimated cost of a boiler, this will form a significant part of the total cost, and members who have generously offered money will be contacted separately from the Report. All monies contributed will, of course, be recognised in the form of additional votes in the Fund, which will therefore increase in size accordingly. If you have not already pledged support for the boiler in this way, the Honorary Secretary will be pleased to hear from you. All cheques should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund.
Further discussions have taken place about other fund-raising possibilities but details are not yet available for general release.
So far, 8 members have emailed to ask to be included on the email contact list and will receive their Progress Report and other papers several days before the second-class post arrives. If you have not signed up yet (or have done so but your name has inadvertently been omitted from the list!) please contact the Honorary Secretary Hugh Jones.
There are still 2 aluminium castings left for sale ("A4 INCLINE — MAXIMUM 4 LOADS") priced at £50; these can be acquired at Llanuwchllyn Station. There are also 4 brass replica name plates from the old stock at £70 each. No new castings will be made from the original pattern until these name plates have been sold. There are now no more maker‘s plates available until a new batch is cast over the Winter period.
The formal notice for this year‘s AGM is enclosed as usual, with apologies for the relatively late notification of the date. The Committee was disappointed that, apart from themselves, only one subscriber attended the 2004 AGM. We hope that more members will be able to attend in 2005 and contribute to the discussions about the future of the loco. Naturally, Maid Marian will be in a dismantled state, but will be available for inspection of those parts that are not visible under normal working conditions.
Click here for the AGM agenda and nomination form.
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary. 08.08.05
It is with deep regret that the Fund records the death of Douglas Carrington in March 2004 after a long period of illness. Doug was one of the 4 or 5 founding members of the Fund who originally met in Bolton to paint some bogie wagons belonging to the Welsh Highland Railway. His energy and enthusiasm for the project were infectious, both at the fund- raising stage and later, when the loco was at Bressingham and Llanberis and a considerable input of time was needed. After the loco moved to Llanuwchllyn there was less need for hands-on involvement so he spent more time on his wider interest in slate quarrying, writing Slates to Velinheli and Delving in Dinorwig, both of which will be known to subscribers. He served as one of the Trustees for a number of years once the Fund had been established but in his later years he dropped quietly from the affairs of the Fund, content that the management of Maid Marian remained in good hands. Doug was a man who cared deeply about his family and managed to walk the careful tightrope between the competing demands of the different parts of his life. He will be sadly missed by his family and all those who knew him; we extend our deepest sympathy to Jean and to his children David and Janet.
The Fund made application to the Welsh Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) earlier in the year for a grant to cover the cost of the imminent reboilering of the loco but was unsuccessful on the grounds that there was no community involvement in the project. There has been subsequent discussion with the Grants Officer about what steps the Fund could take to present an application that would meet the requirements of the HLF. As a consequence steps are being taken to contact local schools and possibly local organisations in the Bala area with a view to drawing up a plan of action; however this is still at an early stage and the Fund does not wish to reveal any further details at present.
As a result of his winter inspection of the loco, the Boiler Inspector had recommended that the working pressure should be reduced to 100 p.s.i. for the present season, suggesting that the life of the boiler was coming to an end. Since the season began Maid Marian has had frequent failures because of leaks between the tubes and the front boiler plate and can now no longer be regarded as being reliable. Because the holes in this plate have become elongated there is no means by which a permanent solution can be found to this problem without major work to the plate itself. For this reason the Trustees have reached the conclusion that the loco should be withdrawn from service and that steps should be taken to order a new boiler, whether or not the application to the HLF is ultimately successful. This is a major decision to take in the history of the Fund and further details of this course of action will be discussed with subscribers at the AGM.
The Trustees are agreed that every effort should be made to provide a new boiler for the loco so that the Fund‘s aim of maintaining it in working order can continue. The timescale is not known but it may be some 18 months after an order is placed before work could commence; the expenditure is likely to be in the region of £K25 — 30. In the short term, two subscribers have agreed to loan the Fund money if necessary so that an order could be placed for a replacement boiler; quotes had already been obtained as a preliminary stage in the original HLF application and a suitable manufacturer identified. At this stage in the proceedings, the Trustees would like some idea of how much money could be raised by contributions to the Fund from subscribers, if they were called upon to do so. If sufficient money can be raised through pledges, an order for a boiler could be made almost immediately without the need to make an HLF bid. Obtaining money via the HLF is not an automatic process and if an application is made, no order can take place until the application is finally agreed or turned down. The time scale for this would be lengthy and uncertain as the community project would necessarily involve groups of people who do not know the loco at all. Having the ready money available would mean that this source of delay could be eliminated.
We would be most grateful if you would let the Honorary Secretary know in confidence how much money you would be prepared to pledge the Fund; at this stage we are NOT looking for the actual cash but the promise of such should it be necessary in the future to call for financial support from subscribers. This is the first time when the Trustees are looking to subscribers for indications of concrete support in the 36 years of the Fund‘s existence, so we hope that you will feel able to assist if necessary. The deadline for your replies is the beginning of September so that we know the likely amounts by the time of the AGM.
A small number of nameplates and maker‘s plates are still available for sale at the favourable price of £70 for the nameplate and £30 for the maker‘s plate. When the present stock of nameplates has been sold, the Fund will produce a number of replica nameplates cast directly from the original MM pattern, which has recently come to light. The existing castings have been made from an actual nameplate and could only be made out of season as the nameplate has to be removed from the tank. The copies were slightly smaller than the original casting but the replicas made from the pattern will be the correct size. There are also a number of aluminium castings of one of the quarry signs "A4 INCLINE — MAXIMUM 4 LOADS" which are priced at £50. These are light enough to be mounted on a wall and are attractively finished in red lettering on a white background. If you have not got your castings yet, please get in touch with the Honorary Secretary at the usual address or visit Llanuwchllyn Station and buy one there.
If you would like your Progress Report sent to you by email, this would be a saving on the postal expenditure. Please email Hugh Jones, the Honorary Secretary so that your email address can be included on the contact list.
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary.
The Centenary Celebrations were held at Llanuwchllyn Station during the weekend of 12 / 13 July 2003 and were unanimously agreed to be a resounding success. The weather was exceptionally good, with an even hotter day on Sunday than on Saturday. Perhaps unfortunately, the crowds must have chosen to visit the seaside on the Sunday, as there were not as many present as had been expected. Both Maid Marian and Irish Mail were immaculately turned out and steamed beautifully, taking it in turns to lead the double-headed trains. Holy War was also in immaculate condition and contrasted well with the red liveries of the two other locos.
There were birthday cakes on both days, with a piece for all the passengers and volunteers, as well as balloons for the children. The finale was the confetti cannon, which blasted a variety of colours and shapes about the station precincts. There were Maid Marian nameplates and maker‘s plates on sale, and several were bought on the spot, as well as a variety of drawings, both framed and unframed, which had been produced by one of our members, Robert Jones. On Saturday evening a small party of intrepid enthusiasts took the photographers‘ special down the line and were rewarded by a number of fine shots of the double-headed train in a number of locations, complete with the evening sun on the correct side of the train for lakeside views.
The Management Committee would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Railway and all the Society volunteers who helped to make the event such a success as well as those Fund members who helped or visited during the 2 day event.
A small number of nameplates and maker‘s plates are still available for sale at the favourable price of £70 for the nameplate and £30 for the maker‘s plate. The Festiniog Railway recently started a Fund raising campaign for a new boiler for Blanche and are charging £1000 and £500 respectively for replica plates, which makes the Fund‘s offer seem very reasonable. If you have not got your nameplate yet, please get in touch with the Honorary Secretary at the usual address.
Also enclosed with these papers is an application form that you could use to recruit a member to the Fund; any cheques should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and sent to the Honorary Secretary. If every member succeeded in recruiting just one new member, the size of the Fund would be doubled. The Fund could make a further saving if you were prepared to receive any future information by email instead of through the post. If you would like to receive your Progress Reports and AGM papers this way, please get in contact by email to: email@example.com so that your email address can be recorded.
Please note that the AGM for 2003 will be on Saturday 13 September at the usual time of 2.00 p.m. and at the usual venue (Llanuwchllyn Station). Maid Marian will be in service on the day and there will be opportunities for members to ride the footplate and drive the loco within the station limits as part of the activities. If you were not able to attend the Centenary Celebrations, make this your opportunity to see the "Maid" in her new livery!
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary.
In the March Progress Report details were given of the forthcoming MMIII celebrations. During a recent Committee Meeting, finalised plans have been drawn up for the weekend‘s activities. These are as follows:
Although the activities for both days will be the same, the Photographer‘s Special will only be run on Saturday evening, as the Railway will shut down after the end of the celebrations on Sunday evening. If you intend to take part in this special trip, you will need to come on Saturday, although you can still visit on Sunday as well if you like!
There will be a Maid Marian stall from 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. which will be manned by at least one member of the Committee. Please feel free to come and have a chat or to buy something from the stall; make this a unique opportunity to meet other subscribers, or to renew old acquaintances.
Irish Mail will be arriving at Llanuwchllyn during the weekend of 7 July and will be departing on the weekend after the celebrations. Please note that whilst this loco will be in steam for the Centenary weekend, there may be a day or so during the week before or after the weekend when it is steamed, depending upon availability of West Lancashire Light Railway crews. To be certain to see the loco in steam you should attend on either the Saturday or Sunday of the Centenary weekend. Unfortunately, Alice will not be available at the Centenary celebrations; this information was not known before the Report was sent out, but you will still be able to see 3 Dinorwic locomotives in steam on the same day!
This is proceeding slowly but surely as there are a number of hurdles still to be overcome in making the application. We hope to have more information available in time for the AGM.
It is with deep regret that the Management Committee learned that Hugh Robert Jones, who was the Mechanical Engineer at the Quarry at the time Maid Marian was purchased in 1967, died recently at the age of 91. Hugh featured in many photographs of the Maid as he was the driver during the handover celebrations in 1967. He was a friend of the Fund and took a keen interest in the locos that had been in his care for so many years. His last trip to Llanuwchllyn was last year when he attended the celebrations of Holy War‘s centenary. Our deepest sympathies go to his family.Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary. 26th March 2003
There has been little to note up to the end of another successful running season; the loco was in regular service throughout 2002. Over the winter the loco was prepared for the usual boiler inspection, which has now taken place. There was some wastage around the mud hole door and the stays were reported still to have life in them so the boiler was cleared for a further year‘s work. As ever, the Management Committee is grateful to the Company and the Society for the care with which the loco is used and maintained. The Fund‘s current agreement with the Company to keep the "Maid" at Llanuwchllyn runs out this year and another agreement for a similar length of time is currently being negotiated.
The most visible change to Maid Marian‘s appearance will be her new livery — back to the nearest equivalent to her former Dinorwic livery as is possible with today‘s paints and the difficulty of being certain what the original colours actually were. The "Maid" looks really splendid in her new livery and our grateful thanks go to Roger Hine, the Manager of the Rheiffordd Llyn Tegid, for his excellent work in preparation for the Big Event.
The Management Committee is pleased to announce that the Centenary Celebrations will be held at Llanuwchllyn Station during the weekend of 12 / 13 July 2003. Although this is somewhat earlier in the year than Maid Marian and Irish Mail were delivered to the Dinorwic Quarry, this is considered to be the more opportune time to give everyone the chance to join the celebrations without shivering! In view of the fact that two locomotives were delivered, Irish Mail will also be in attendance during the celebrations, so there will be an extra dimension to the weekend. Irish Mail normally runs on the West Lancashire Light Railway at Hesketh Bank, near Southport and will be providing opportunities to photograph another loco on Rheilffordd Llyn Tegid. In addition, Alice is expected to be present, following her comparatively recent complete rebuild so, along with Holy War which is the stable mate of Maid Marian at Llanuwchllyn, this will be your chance to see 4 Hunslet locomotives, all from the same quarry, in one place.
There will be a locally-made celebration cake on both days as well as stalls run by the Fund and the West Lancashire Light Railway. The full programme of activities has not yet been finalised but this will be forwarded once the details are available — however, make a space in your diary for a once-in- a-lifetime experience now! We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
We have not yet been able to assemble a collection of photographs on a CD, as we had originally hoped, but negotiations about this are still in hand. An order has been placed for a number of replica name plates and works plates, in case you wish to make an impulse buy when you see the quality of the castings.
The Fund is continuing its efforts to raise money through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and is putting together a package of proposals to be sent to the Fund. Naturally this is a technical task, one that our Chairman, Dave Rowley, is undertaking on the Fund‘s behalf. Dave has knowledge of the workings of the HLF through his own work in the Civil Service and has already had some negotiations in Cardiff. The original plans had been to seek funding for a new boiler through the National Lottery Fund, but were abandoned when it was learned that the NLF would not consider such an application.
Instead, the HLF has been approached on the basis of providing funding to rebuild the boiler since this Fund cannot consider applications for new equipment. This poses a more difficult set of considerations including estimations of how much of the original boiler needs to be used as the basis for the rebuild and the effect that this will have on the final product.
There is still time for you to help the Fund to raise money by:
Please get in touch with me at:Hugh Jones if you would like further information and can help in any way.
This popular book has been reprinted by the Bala Lake Railway Society and will be is available from the Station or can be purchased for £4.50 (including post and package) from Llanuwchllyn Station, LLANUWCHLLYN, Gwynedd, LL23 7DD. Cheques should be made out to the Bala Lake Railway Society and please mention that you are a member of the Fund when you make your order.
Please note that the AGM for 2003 will be on Saturday 13 September at the usual time of 2.00 p.m. and at the usual venue (Llanuwchllyn Station). Maid Marian will be in service on the day and there will be opportunities for members to ride the footplate and drive the loco within the station limits as part of the activities. Take the opportunity of making your acquaintance with new members of the Fund or renewing your contact with others with whom you may have lost touch. If you were not able to attend the Centenary Celebrations, make this your opportunity to see the "Maid" in her new livery!
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary. 26th March 2003
There has been little to note since the last Progress Report was despatched; the loco has been in regular service since the season began. There have been no problems so far and the Centenary Celebrations for Holy War which were advertised in the last Progress Report have been and gone. These were a great success and have reminded us that we need to finalise our own arrangements for the Maid‘s Centenary.
The Fund was recently presented with a hand-made AGM Minutes Book by one of our subscribers, Bev Woolner, who is a book-binder; this is a handsome volume covered in Midland Red leather and will hold the Fund‘s Minutes for the next 25 years. Our grateful thanks go to Bev for this vote of confidence in the future of the Fund; the Minutes Book will be available for inspection at the AGM.
The remaining castings have now been sold; there will not be any further ones available until the end of the current season. If any members would like to own their own particular reminder of the loco, please get in touch with the Honorary Secretary so that orders can be placed accordingly.
The maker‘s drawings of a number of locomotives have now been scanned onto disk for permanent record. A catalogue of drawings will be drawn up and we have now been given permission to use them for the basis of poster-sized copies, provided that they are not for engineering purposes. We hope to have further details in a special Centenary Progress Report which will give details of the offers which will be available.
The Management Committee has been considering ways in which the Celebrations can be carried out and how more money can be raised towards increasing the Fund. One suggestion has been to have a maker‘s drawings available (see above), another to consider the production of a disk with photographs of quarry locomotives and settings. The speed at which the last batch of original photographs and transparencies was snapped up was a measure of how saleable these items continue to be, especially as the Quarry is now slowly disintegrating. If you have any photographs or transparencies of the Quarry and its locomotives that you would be prepared to let the Fund use, please get in touch with the Honorary Secretary at the earliest possible opportunity. It would be helpful if you could produce a list of the photographs and prepare brief descriptions of the scenes at a later date. We are hoping to present the photographs in chronological order, possibly by decades if there is enough response to this request.
Activities under consideration include joint celebrations with ”Irish Mail• on the West Lancashire Light Railway, as both locos were purchased by the Quarry at the same time, and a repainting programme to return the Maid to her Midland Red condition. If any members have suggestions for other activities these will be carefully considered by the Management Committee. Please send any suggestions to the Honorary Secretary.
All members have an important part to play in these activities and the essential element in any activity is a commitment to increasing the Fund‘s resources so that a boiler can be purchased. The Management Committee can plan activities but does not have the capacity to carry them all out without support from members, nor should it be expected to do so. Although an approach will be made to various bodies for funding, this is not a guaranteed source of income and the Fund needs to be seen to be actively raising money from a variety of sources.
The remaining items from the original stocks held by the Fund in 1967 are now available for sale at 50p per item plus SAE. Please contact Hugh Jones the Honorary Secretary by email.
|16||Ogwen at Penrhyn Quarry||7|
|40||Holy War at Penrhydd Bach||5|
|102||Charles leaving Port Penrhyn||3|
This popular book has now being reprinted by the Bala Lake Railway Society and is available from the Station or can be purchased for £4.50 (including post and package) from Brian G Wills. Chairman Bala Lake Railway Society, 37 Vulcan Street, Holyhead. LL65 1TL. Cheques should be made out to the Bala Lake Railway Society and please mention that you are a member of the Fund when you make your order.
Please remember that the AGM for 2002 will be on Saturday 14 September at the usual time of 2.00 p.m. and at the usual venue (Llanuwchllyn Station). Maid Marian will be in service on the day and there will be opportunities for members to ride the footplate and drive the loco within the station limits as part of the activities. Take the opportunity of making your acquaintance with new members of the Fund or renewing your contact with others with whom you may have lost touch.There will be much to discuss about the forthcoming Centenary Celebrations and your presence will be most welcome.
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary. 29 July 2002.
The last AGM was a great success and was well-attended. The amendment to the Rules was debated and agreed; there will now be a limit to the number of votes that any one subscriber can hold (15% of the total of voting strength of the Fund held at that time). This does not affect any existing subscriber‘s votes as no individual share of the total voting strength exceeds 15% but the step was taken to preclude the possibility of a "hostile" take-over bid by an outside agency or interest. The Rules have now been amended accordingly; any subscriber wishing to obtain an up-to-date version can have one by writing to the Honorary Secretary.
The Maid has been in the workshops for the Winter overhaul; there is re-assuringly little to report. The boiler inspector was happy with the condition of the boiler and the General Manager has noted that the loco is mechanically in excellent condition.
Whilst the Maid was in the workshop the opportunity was taken to remove one maker‘s plate and a name plate to provide a mould for castings. These have now been made and subscribers who had placed orders have been informed. However, there is one name plate still available for £32 and a maker‘s plate at £18; please get in touch with the Honorary Secretary if you are interested.
A number of maker‘s drawings have been unearthed from the Archive and have been saved electronically, thanks to your Committee‘s contacts. A catalogue of drawing will be drawn up and we are investigating the possibility of printing poster- sized copies of some of these unique documents if the issue of copyright can be resolved.
The website has continued to flourish although there have been no additional subscribers recruited as a result of visiting the site. However the site has proved valuable for one of our original members who had lost touch with the Fund many years ago and who used the site to re-establish contact.
The Management Committee has designated the first century of the new millennium as "The Century of Maid Marian" and aims to ensure that the loco is available for use for a further century. Your Committee is aware that talk of centuries might appear a little pretentious but in 2003 (MMIII) the loco will have completed its first century of operation. Steam locomotives are essentially low-technology machines that are capable of prolonged operation if carefully driven.
The maker‘s plates record 1903 as the date of the original building of the locomotive called Maid Marian but the evidence from the loco herself suggests massive cannibalisation by the Quarry at various times between 1903 and 1965, when the loco was purchased by the Fund. Many of the parts now on the loco belonged to "King of the Scarlets", as came to light at the last major overhaul in 1989. Furthermore, since 1965 there have been continuous "improvements" to the loco which have included, for example, the fitting of a cab to a previously-cabless loco, the removal of the original dumb buffers and the fitting of a more effective lubrication system.
The result is that the "Maid" is not all she was in 1903 but this will not prevent your Committee from preparing celebrations for the occasion. Details are not in hand yet but we hope to have more in the July Progress report. In the meantime, those of you who need an excuse to go and visit the line can take the opportunity of attending the centenary celebrations of "Holy War" which will be held this year. There will be a centenary birthday cake on 29th May and more celebrations on the weekend of 1 / 2 June; both Holy War and Maid Marian will be in steam on these days. We are grateful to the organisers of the Holy War celebrations for allowing us to have a dry run of our own celebrations!
The following items from the original stocks held by the Fund in 1967 are now available for sale at 50p per item plus SAE. Contact theHugh Jones Honorary Secretary for further details of how to make payment.
|18||Bernstein on incline 1967||3|
|21||Ogwen at Penrhyn Quarry 1964||2|
|13||No.1 at Woburn 1968||5|
|25||No.1 at Port Dinorwic 1961||4|
|27||No.70 at Port Dinorwic 1961||13|
|BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS:|
|16||Ogwen at Penrhyn Quarry||10|
|40||Holy War at Penrhydd Bach||9|
|102||Charles leaving Port Penrhyn||6|
|106||George B at Dinorwic Quarry||3|
|113||Winifred at Penrhyn Quarry||3|
This popular book is now being reprinted by the Bala Lake Railway Society and it is hoped that it will be available from the end of April. Full details will appear in the next Progress Report but in the meantime any queries can be made to the Commercial Manager c/o Llanuwchllyn Station, LLANUWCHLLYN. Gwynedd, LL23 7DD.
Please make a note in your diary that the AGM for 2002 will be on Saturday 14 September at the usual time of 2.00 p.m. and at the usual venue (Llanuwchllyn Station). Further details will be made available in the July Progress Report.
Maid Marian has had the regular Winter overhaul and is expected to be ready for the new season and another year's work. A lid has been provided to fit the chimney to stop cold air entering the smokebox at the end of the day. Some pipework has also been annealed to prevent leakage. The boiler inspector has visited and found no further problems; the rate of deterioration is not causing concern. Next year will see the 5-year hydraulic test when the boiler will be taken off its frames and subjected to pressurised water to test for possible leaks and to find any weak points in the boiler.
The Committee is grateful for the continued care and attention that has been provided by the Company and for the particular care with which the loco is regularly driven. All these factors contribute to the smooth running of the loco and to the longevity of the boiler (now 50 years old).
The last progress report was accompanied by a request to subscribers for a volunteer to act as Funding Co-ordinator. The Management Committee was disappointed that there was no volunteer from the membership and sent out a Press Release to see whether anyone nationally with appropriate experience might come forward to undertake this task. In the event no suitable volunteer came forward and the Committee has subsequently resolved to undertake this task from within its own resources. Members will be kept informed of the progress of negotiations.
The Committee wishes to report the retirement of Roy Hardiman as Manager from the end of January 2001; he has been replaced by Roger Hine, who is a member of the Committee. We would like to extend our thanks to Roy for the support that he has provided the Fund over the years in his position as Manager and to wish him well in his retirement. As might be expected, Roy will not be far from the Railway but will be continuing to work there in a voluntary capacity as this will allow him more time for his personal commitments as well.
We are pleased to announce that there is now a Maid Marian website which has been established by one of our members, Geoff Baxendale. Geoff volunteered after reading in the July Progress Report that no-one had come forward to undertake this task. Those members who wish to visit the site can do so by logging on to: www.maidmarian.org.uk and sample the contents. Geoff is to be complimented on the quality of the site; there are many photographs of the Maid from different times in her history and the Committee will be helping Geoff to extend the information that is available. The website will hopefully introduce new members to the Fund.
This year's AGM will be held at the usual venue, Llanuwchllyn Station, at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 15 September 2001. Last year's AGM was blighted by the petrol rationing but 5 hardy members struggled through to make the meeting quorate. Please make every effort this year to attend; there is always an opportunity to see the Maid in action and to ride down the line. Those members who have not yet seen her in the black livery should visit the line before there is any change in her appearance.
There is very little to report at present as "The Maid" is running as reliably as ever. There is some slack in the reversing lever latch to be sorted out as it tends to rattle; this part wears out quite rapidly. There will be some investigation into imp roving the oil distribution in the steam chest, which may make the slide valve move across the port face a lot more easily. Apart from this there is only the hydraulic test to face in the winter. The Committee is grateful for the continued care and atte ntion that has been provided by the Company and for the particular care with which the loco is regularly driven. All these factors contribute to the smooth running of the loco and to the longevity of the boiler (now 50 years old).
There has been little further to report on progress towards obtaining Charitable Status. The work needed to prepare for this will be considerable and time is not available at present. The Honorary Secretary will be working half time from the end of July and hopes to be able to progress this work subsequently. As noted in the previous Progress Report there were no volunteers forthcoming to undertake this task so it has had to wait.
At the last AGM, the casting of the locomotive nameplate was brought for inspection. This will be available once again in case there are other interested members who wish to inspect the casting and order one for themselves. Your attention is also drawn to the flyer giving details of drawings that are available through the Fund. A sample of the drawings will be brought to the AGM for general inspection — the quality is excellent.
The website has continued to expand under the watchful eye of Geoff Baxendale; unfortunately, in the last report the address of the website was wrongly transcribed. This should have been www.maidmarian.org.uk and not as previously given; apologies are of fered to anyone who has not been able to contact the site because of this. It is hoped to expand the site to include new features of the Maid from different times in her history and to include drawings and other items of interest to the loco enthusiast as well as to the quarry enthusiast.
One development has been the advertising for new members via the website. There will be an Rule change proposed at the AGM to limit the total number of votes that can be bought at any one time to a maximum of 15% of the total votes held by all subscriber s at the time of the purchase. Whilst we are keen to raise funds by selling further votes it was decided that a degree of caution was needed to prevent the worst case scenario where the loco left the country or was put up for sale.
The Fund is pleased to record its congratulations to its Committee Member, Roger Hines, who was appointed General Manager of the Bala Lake Railway Company on the retirement of Roy Hardiman last year. Roger is the third General Manager and his appointment will strengthen the ties between the Company and the Fund.
This year‘s AGM will be held at the usual venue, Llanuwchllyn Station, at 2.00 p.m. on Saturday 15 September 2001. Details of the agenda are included separately as usual. Please make every attempt to attend as it is always worthwhile to see the loco and meet other subscribers. There is always an opportunity to see the Maid in action and to ride down the line.