Dear Members,

Everyone in the LMS Patriot Project team wishes you a very happy New Year. We thank you sincerely for your continuing support and we are looking forward to demonstrating good progress with The Unknown Warrior in 2020.

We finished 2019 in much better shape than a year ago. The memorable image in November 2018 of what looked externally like a substantially complete locomotive concealed a large number of technical issues that required attention. The facilities at Crewe were limited, and although a number of tasks were progressed or completed it was only once the locomotive had arrived at West Shed in August, that real progress became possible by tapping into the vast experience of the PRCLT engineers. Simon Scott and his team at West Shed lifted the locomotive and the bogie and carried out a full assessment of the locomotive to create a comprehensive work list. This assessment took some time but was essential to ensure we have a locomotive second to none in quality and suitable for use out on the main line. By Christmas, a whole range of components (such as buffers, brake fixtures and lubrication pipework) had been variously cleaned or removed for rectification or modification; material obtained for new components such as brake and spring hanger pins, new rear cylinder covers cast; and patterns borrowed for other new components.

From here on, parts that go back on to the locomotive will be to the correct standard and specification and ready for use.

Away from West Shed, significant progress continues to be made on the boiler and tender.

At HBSS, the boiler barrel is now on the firebox and work continued into December on interior pipework pending the return of the boiler dome after re-manufacture (see Issue 43 of the Warrior).

Leaky Finders are still progressing on the tender frames – new drag boxes have now been fitted and other components such as horn guides mounted on the frames.

Looking forward, we are establishing priorities and a work schedule for 2020 with our West Shed partners.

The first milestone is to have The Unknown Warrior back on its wheels for the final time by Spring 2020. We will keep you informed as the year shapes up – to follow progress look out for monthly bulletins on our website.

On the finance side, we are delighted that the latest appeal on our website and in The Warrior has produced funds into our account in excess of £107,000 just for December. Donations via the website through PayPal include single donations of £5,000 and £1,000 plus many individual smaller amounts which take the total through this individual source to well in excess of £8,000. Total income for November amounted to £36,000, up from £34,000 in October. However, engineering expenditure for November and December almost topped £100,000, so this large injection of funds in December was most useful. In addition, it helped offset repayment of a short-term loan of £35,000 at the end of November. The bills keep on coming and the income must keep up if we are to continue progress and make up for some lost time. These figures do show however that both members and non-members continue to support our efforts in even greater numbers. Thank you, keep it coming and we will deliver.

A more detailed finance report and breakdown will be provided in the February edition of The Warrior.

Our sales team advise that if you’ve not already purchased either of our two publications that there is a limited quantity of The Patriots, A Pictorial Record, Volume 1 and plenty of Volume 2 still available, plus if you haven’t purchased our 2020 fund-raising calendar there are a few remaining, so don’t miss out. Reviews of these publications appeared in The Railway Magazine, Steam Railway, Steam Days and Steam World.

Last but not least, our magazine, The Warrior, has been nominated for an award in the Communications category at the 2020 HRA Annual Awards at the Burlington Hotel, Birmingham on Saturday 8th February. We are proud of the contribution that you make to the magazine and would encourage you to keep sending your articles to us to share among the membership. You may have noticed that we have now scaled back our advertising so that we can put all of our funds into the completion of the loco and would kindly ask that as members if you could promote The LMS-Patriot Project at every opportunity to spread the word about this fantastic locomotive we are building.

Once again, a happy 2020 to you all.

With very best wishes,
The LMS-Patriot Project Team.

The LMS-Patriot Company Ltd. • The Hub, 17 Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ
Registered in England & Wales No. 6502248 • Registered Charity No. 1123521
Tel: 01785 244156
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