Morris Lubricants Pledges Support for National Memorial Steam Engine

Britain’s leading family-owned lubricants manufacturer, Morris Lubricants, is backing an exciting £1.75 million project to build a new national memorial engine.

The Shrewsbury-based company, the market leader in steam heritage lubricants, is enthusiastically supporting the project to build an LMS-Patriot Class steam locomotive to the original Sir Henry Fowler parallel boiler design, capable of running on the mainline.

The project team hope to complete the 81 tonne engine, named 'The Unknown Warrior', in time for the 100th anniversary of the Great War Armistice in 2018.

The in-progress steam locomotive is currently visiting Tyseley Loco Works, near Birmingham for assembly work where it will become a 4-6-0 for the first time after the bogie has been fitted. The locomotive is being assembled from a multitude of parts, many of which have been cast and machined in the West Midlands.

Failure to preserve any of the original 52 Patriot locomotives, which steamed from 1930 –‘62, has left a massive gap in the story of LMS express power.  'The Unknown Warrior' will provide the link between the Royal Scot and Jubilee classes and enhance the UK steam collection.

Morris Lubricants has contributed towards the cost of manufacturing the pattern for the bogie centre casing. In addition, the company is providing the metalworking lubricants during the manufacturing stage and all the specialist steam lubricants for the new locomotive when it’s running.

“We are delighted to support an exciting project of national importance,” said Morris Lubricants’ managing director Andrew Goddard. “As the new national memorial engine, The Unknown Warrior will be a locomotive close to the hearts of the nation.

“As the market leaders in steam heritage lubricants, our support for this project reinforces the company’s longstanding commitment to this sector.”

The engineering skills and facilities necessary to produce a new steam locomotive in the UK are in place and proven and many original LMS drawings have been obtained. New drawings have been created using CAD techniques where the original drawings cannot be found.

Parts for the new loco are being sourced mostly from UK suppliers and the project team has introduced pioneering manufacturing techniques. Assembly of the 'The Unknown Warrior' began in 2009 led by Dave Owen, Chief Mechanical Engineer at the Llangollen Railway Works. Other workshops around the UK involved include The Boro Foundry, South Devon Railway Engineering, L.N.W.R Heritage, Harco Engineering, Premier Patterns and Castings, Coupe Foundry and Tyseley Locomotive Works.

Most of the parts for ‘The Unknown Warrior’ are being made from new. However, two Fowler designed tenders from Barry scrapyard have been obtained. The best parts of both are being overhauled and a brand new tender body is being built.

Fundraising for the project stands at around £1.35 million, with another £500,000 needed. The new locomotive will serve as a permanent memorial to all those who fought and died in the First World War and subsequent wars. The project has been endorsed by The Royal British Legion, which will have its logo on the engine.

“The Unknown Warrior is making excellent progress,” explained David Bradshaw, LMS-Patriot Company chairman, who launched the project. “The engine is about on its wheels, then the next stage is to fit, amongst other things, the lubrication system which is quite complicated with a lot of pipework. There are two lubricators on the loco which pump oil around the system.

“We aim to finish the chassis, boiler and tender all around the same time and are currently on track to meet the steam date of autumn 2017.

“We were delighted when Morris Lubricants agreed to sponsor the pattern for the bogie centre casting and to supply all the lubricants for the loco when the engine is running. It’s great to be associated with a firm that is so committed to steam and we would like to extend the relationship further in the future.”

Mr Bradshaw, a key member of Didcot's Great Western Society 'County' project, is supported by a team of seven directors and around 30 active supporters. The project is being funded by public donations, regular contributions, legacies, commercial sponsorship and grants.

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