This has been a strange year so far. It’s been tragic for anyone directly impacted by the virus. And it’s been frustrating for those of us keen to get back to our pre-COVID life.
At the end of June we’re unable to restart our normal activities on no. 2807. The indications are that it will be at least August before we can get back to work. The railway is restarting operational activities preparing for a re-opening during August. The railway’s priority is reopening, and not locomotive maintenance.
Fortunately for us, we were able to get our boiler to Riley & Son before the lockdown, and they have indicated to us that they are re-starting work in a limited way. The foundation ring has received attention, and the smokebox has been removed from the boiler barrel. So it’s not all doom and gloom. And some of our volunteers have been carrying on with their ‘homework’, working on parts of the locomotive that they took home before lockdown.
Meanwhile there’s still been plenty to do. We still have a company to operate, Cotswold Steam Preservation Ltd (CSPL). CSPL owns no. 2807, which is why it is possible to purchase shares in the locomotive, and a team of volunteers keep the company running.
Much of the work is not dissimilar to any other UK company. We have a chairman (Brian G), a secretary (Gilbert K), and a treasurer (Roger M). The remainder of the board is made up of Geof A, Fred L, Stuart F, John G, Ingo S, and myself. The directors of the company are Brian, Fred, Geof, Gilbert, John, Stuart, and myself.
The board members look after such things as publicity, marketing, engineering, siphon restoration, and internet presence. Other members of the team are David S who is responsible for health and safety, Andy B the “2807 News” editor, Sue S who looks after friends of 2807, and Karen F who looks after the 100 club. So operating a locomotive isn’t just about the engineering side, there’s a commercial side to it as well.
Having said that, many of these people are also directly involved in the maintenance and support of 2807, and there are ten to fifteen additional members of the maintenance/support team. Some are also involved with our charity, “The Freight Locomotive Association”.
Something else that’s been ongoing during the lockdown is boot scraper sales. Some of you will know about our boot scrapers, and they remain as popular as ever. They are available via online sales despite lockdown. To find out more please follow the “Our Shop” link from our web site, www.GWR2807.co.uk, or email Roger M at treasurer.GWR2807@outlook.com.