The Coronavirus pandemic continues to circumscribe our scope for making progress in most aspects of the Project’s activities, but I’m very pleased to be able to report that we are not yet, at least, at a complete standstill. 

Although all work at West Shed has ceased, HBSS continue, on a reduced work-basis, to work on the boiler cladding.  Further work has been approved, but will be on hold until HBSS can return to full-strength operations.  Whilst at Leaky Finders, work on the tender frames should be completed imminently.  A number of components - the dome and cover, heater-header and bracket, reverser assembly, among others, have been completed and are ready for delivery to West Shed from various contractors as soon as conditions allow. 

We have also obtained approval for the new driving wheel crank pins done by Riley and Son– a small but important step forward with a quality problem that has dogged us for 2 years. 

We expect West Shed to restart work in early July, but with strictly limited access; so our plans for a July Members Day are in abeyance.

Your continuing financial support is even more appreciated in these straitened times and, as we said last month, we’re most grateful for the generosity of those whose boiler loans have been repaid since they began to fall due in January.  So far, of the £2.5K repaid, £1.8K has been donated or promised, attracting a further £427 in Gift Aid.  Lockdown has pretty much put a stop to major expenditure, but the reality of the need for funds remains. Our retail stand fundraising has dried up for the foreseeable future. We are very keen to fund as much work as possible at West Shed, in the present parlous situation for the heritage steam world in general. 

We understand, too, that there will be even more constraints on your own finances, but anything you can do to help us build something of a ‘nest egg’, pending things getting back to normal will be really valuable.

Looking further ahead to happier times when we will be able to meet face to face, we expect, within the next couple of weeks, to be able to let you have details of this year’s Annual General Meeting in the Autumn. In the meantime, your Board has been embracing the wonders of technology, holding our April quarterly Board Meeting via Zoom! 

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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