Since the previous Progress Report Maid Marian has been returned to service with the new saddle tank that was ordered from the Brunswick Foundry, Caernarfon, and a full cab with a new one-piece back sheet. Both items were paid for by the Fund as they were not covered by the Agreement with the Railway. New chopper couplings were fitted by the Railway as these are being introduced across the fleet of locos; the cost of these was met by the Railway. She has also had a complete repainting undertaken by the CME Rob Houghton in the same colours as when she was running in 2017 without a cab.
The new couplings meant that the Maid could be coupled directly to comparably-coupled stock and locos from other railways, particularly apt when Maid Marian visited Minffordd for the Ffestiniog Railway's Hunslet 125 Gala on 22 - 24 June this year. On the Friday, Maid Marian and Prince double-headed a special train from Porthmadog to Tan- y-Bwlch; Rob Houghton drove the Maid and was pleased with her performance on the uphill gradient and delighted to be able to drive her on a different railway. On the trip down from Minffordd to the Port, Prince set off at a speed much faster than Maid Marian has normally been operated; however when the axles were checked on arrival at Porthmadog they were not found to have run hot. As the FfR track is proportionally heavier than that on the BLR it had been an easier run for the loco. There was also an evening run down to the Port with Irish Mail from the East Lancashire Light Railway. Irish Mail had been turned beforehand and, as the two locos were both of similar appearance and colour and were coupled back-to-back, the pair looked very much like a Hunslet version of a double Fairlie.
The Committee would like to reassure subscribers that the cost of transporting the Maid to Porthmadog was met by the FfR and not the Fund. For as long as money is still owed for the cost of the 2006 boiler (the 2018 water tank and back sheet have already been paid for), the Fund will not be able to consider paying for the Maid to visit other lines, interesting though this is to experience. The previous visit to Bressingham in 2017 was sponsored by the Bressingham Steam Museum and an earlier trip to Llanberis in 2014 had been sponsored by the Llanberis Lake Railway. If any subscribers have any pictures of these events that they would like to share with others, please get in touch with the Honorary Secretary.
There has been some confusion between these two concepts, as a number of subscribers refer to their "share" in Maid Marian. A subscription of £30 purchases 2 votes in the Fund, which is not returnable; this is a one-off payment and does not need renewing annually. However, further votes can be acquired at any time up to a maximum of around 300 votes, to prevent an individual from being able to secure a majority vote-holding in the loco's management, to the possible detriment of the loco and the Fund (Rule 3d: "The maximum holding of any one subscriber shall be 15% of the total number of votes held at the time of the request to purchase or transfer any further voting rights"). The last occasion when a vote of all subscribers was involved was in 1992 over a proposal to widen the subscriber base as it had fallen to 35. The majority vote was in favour of the raft of proposals, including one to raise the cost of a unit of 2 votes from £1 (at the time the Fund was founded) to £20 (to reflect the relative inflation between 1965 and 1992). Subsequently the price was raised once more to £30 per unit of 2 votes, to reflect the further rise in inflation, though it is hoped that this level can be maintained for some years to come. A "share" might imply that the money paid could be sold back to the Fund and if sufficient subscribers were to ask for their refunds, the Maid would have to be sold to cover the cost, thus negating the Objects of the Fund (Rule 2 states the 3 objects of the Fund).
No subscribers have put themselves forward for the post of Chairman of the Fund, as our current Chairman, Ray Brooks, had indicated at the last AGM that he wished to stand down at the 2018 AGM. As Chairman, Ray is one of the 4 Trustees of the Fund, the other 3 being the President, Treasurer and the Honorary Secretary (Rule 7: "The Trustees of the Fund shall be the 4 officers of the Fund as elected annually, viz President, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer"). The main duties consist of conducting the AGMs so if you would like to discuss the matter further please contact the Honorary Secretary by letter or email or by telephoning 01302 539897. Alternatively when the AGM papers are received put your name forward with an appropriate seconder who must also be a subscriber. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the Rules, please send an SAE if you require a printed copy or email your request to the Honorary Secretary if you would like an email version (email@example.com).
So far this year the Fund's stall has attended the Bala Model Railway Show in May, and the BLS Penrhyn Gala and the FfR Hunslet 125 Gala in June. So far the total takings have been £1923, including subscriptions and the sale of 2 works plates by the Railway at a time when the Fund stall was not present. This is not all profit to the Fund as there is the cost factor of buying much of the merchandise but this is our main way of meeting the general public and recruiting further subscribers. The Fund is grateful to all the subscribers who offered to help out during these events. Our 2019 calendar is now available, along with a reprint of the popular Christmas card "The Maid in Winter". The calendar features a number of different Hunslet locomotives from both the Penrhyn and Dinorwic Quarries. The following are now available from the Honorary Secretary; all prices include P & P:
Please make your cheque payable to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and send it to the Honorary Secretary at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, South Yorkshire, DN4 7RG. A wider range of merchandise is available from the stall, which will be attending the BLR Autumn Gala on the Bank Holiday Weekend (25 - 27 August inclusive) and also for the AGM; the prices of the above items will, of course be less from the stall. Other items for sale will include MM mugs and coasters, name plates and works plates (both painted black which is the current colour of the ones on Maid Marian) and a selection of photographs and prints. Every purchase contributes towards the cost of replaying the loans made to acquire the 2006 boiler from Israel Newton.
It has been suggested that the Fund might consider having a presence on social media as a further means of remaining in contact with subscribers. This is a possibility but not one that the Honorary Secretary would be competent to host. If you would be prepared to organise a Facebook or other platform on behalf of the Fund, please get in touch with the Honorary Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussions about the viability of such a project.
Hugh Jones. Honorary Secretary. 15.08.18
There are still a few 2018 calendars left for sale; these have been reduced from their original price of £7.50 including P & P to £5.00, so take the opportunity to buy yourself one for the pictorial content, even if you may have a 2018 calendar from another railway organisation. We are also investigating the possibility of purchasing new Christmas cards to supplement the existing sales stock; watch this space for further details.
Other postal sales items include:
All quoted prices include post and packaging; the name plates and works plates are both brass castings and are relatively expensive to post, so they are £15 cheaper to buy from the stall. Please make your cheque payable to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and send it to the Honorary Secretary at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, South Yorkshire, DN4 7RG.
There are a number of events this year during which the Fund is hoping to provide a sales stall; this is your opportunity for seeing what is available for sale and for meeting with other subscribers, as well as seeing Maid Marian with her cab back on again.
The emphasis this year will be on narrow gauge exhibits, so it is hoped that there will be an increased interest in our sales items. As in previous years there will be the Bala Festival of Transport at the field next to Llanuwchllyn Station with an intensive timetable involving all the steam locos on the line. We are seeking help from subscribers to man the stall from 10.00 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and 10.00 to 3.30 pm on Monday. There will be plenty of opportunities to look around the exhibition as well as visiting the Festival of Transport.
This as been brought forward from the end of August with the theme around the Penrhyn Quarry. There will be visiting locos and an intensive timetable; the Fund hopes to provide a stall on the platform for the 3 days. Subscribers will be welcome to help to man the stall and take part in the Gala activities between stall duties.
Maid Marian, along with most of the other Bala Lake Railway locos, will be visiting this Gala event at the expense of the host railway. This has the attraction of seeing Maid Marian on a different railway, as well as being beside the sea, so this should be an event worth attending. The Fund is hoping to provide a sales stall, though details of this are not yet finalised. Once again we may be looking for support with the stall, though it will not necessarily involve staying for the full 4 days. At the same weekend one of the Ffestiniog locos will be visiting Llanuwchllyn so there will be different photo opportunities available there.
This will be an in-house event using all the Railway's locos, where the Fund will be providing a stall for the 3 days.
The AGM will be held at the usual venue at 2.00 pm and subscribers will be able to visit the stall and drive Maid Marian on the loop line in the station, as on previous years. If there is sufficient support the stall may be extended to the following day. Take the opportunity of meeting other subscribers and to ride behind Maid Marian, as well as helping to add to the Fund's account.
All offers of help with manning any of the stalls, for one day or more, should be made to the Honorary Secretary by email at email@example.com , by telephone at 01302 539897 or by post to 139 Stoops Lane, DONCASTER DN4 7RG. The stalls provide the Fund with vital opportunities to raise money still needed to repay the loans originally made in 2006 to purchase the new boiler for the loco and for any other expenses that might be involved in the longer-term maintenance of the loco. Whilst the Fund has an operating agreement with the Railway which covers normal operational expenses, this does not include special items such as the new tank which will be ready for this 2018 season.
As reported in earlier Progress Reports, the Fund's DVD has been extremely successful since it was launched in May 2017 at the 50th anniversary of the handover of the loco to the Fund. It has sold well and has also been bought by other railway organisations, with profits going towards repayment of the loans for the boiler. We are now considering producing a second DVD, this time using materials that have not been included on the first one, particularly those relating to her post-Quarry operational life.
Have you any footage of Maid Marian since the Quarry days (still photographs, video or film)? As a reminder, the loco has previously been at the Bressingham Steam Museum (1968 - 1971 and more recently for a weekend in May 2017) and the Llanberis Lake Railway (1971 - 1975). Since early 1975 the loco has been based at Llanuwchllyn and has had many modifications since her arrival there. For example she arrived with a full cab but ran with her original chimney from the Quarry days; this was replaced with one that was longer and matched the cab in height. The cab itself was subsequently given brass spectacle plates. On another occasion she ran in Penrhyn livery for a couple of years and in early days on the line she hauled the original style of coaches; all these changes have added to the variety of images that could be included in the second DVD.
Any material from the LLR days would be particularly appreciated as the loco rarely made an appearance on the line. At the other end of the time line, the recent Santa's train (December 2017) provided a unique opportunity to video and photograph Maid Marian in the snow (apart from a couple of views of the loco in the snow at Hafod Owen Pit in 1966, the Fund has no images of the loco in snowy conditions). If you have any materials that might be of interest please contact Roger Hine (firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 01341 250071) as he will be collating the materials for the new DVD. Roger had co- ordinated the production of the current DVD to its high standard and will be organising the production of the new one. All materials included in the new DVD will be acknowledged in the credits.
Maid Marian has now completed her year as a loco with a side cab, in as near to the condition as when she was running in the Dinorwic Quarry / Chwarel Dinorwig; she has steamed well and has not caused any concerns during the 2017 operating season. Her last appearance was in February 2018 prior to undergoing the winter overhaul. As noted in a previous Progress Report, her water tank will be replaced as it was beginning to leak. The full cab will be restored as the half cab was fitted for the 2017 season only, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the handover of the loco to the Fund. The back plate was in two sections and was beginning to corrode so a new one comprising a single piece has been ordered and will be fitted. The injectors will be replaced and chopper couplings will be provided as these are to be changed on all the locos in the fleet. Once the cab and tank have been replaced and lined out, Maid Marian will take her place as the other cabbed loco on the line (Holy War was the only loco with a full cab for the 2017 season). Although there was a lot of favourable comment about Maid Marian's appearance with the half cab, it was necessary to return her to a full-cabbed loco so that Holy War could have some attention during the 2018 season. Rob Houghton, the Chief Mechanical Engineer, will be overseeing the overhaul; as he is a Committee Member he is well-placed to ensure that the work carried out will be to the highest standard!
As noted in the previous Progress Report our current Chairman, Ray Brooks, has indicated that he will not be standing again for the post. Ray has been the Chairman since the 1991 AGM and has been a subscriber since the earliest days of the Fund. Anyone wishing to learn more about the role of the Chairman should contact the Honorary Secretary for further information.
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary 27.02.18
I would like to draw your attention to the Fund’s Christmas shopping list; please buy some of these items for yourself or for someone you know would like a souvenir connected with Maid Marian. It is with this kind of support that the Management Committee can continue with its task of ensuring that the Maid remains in good working order.
* The calendar has 6 images of different locomotives at work in the Dinorwic Quarry and is a strictly limited edition; it has been favourably reviewed in the Narrow Gauge World magazine but there are only 8 copies left for sale. Place your order now to ensure that you are not disappointed. Cheques should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and sent to Hugh Jones at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, DN4 7RG.
This was held at Llanuwchllyn Station on 16 September 2017 and was attended by 14 subscribers, with 25 apologies for absence. The outgoing President, Roger Hine, noted that he was pleased to have had the opportunity of preparing the recent DVD and that the sales figures had been very encouraging. He also reported that he had repainted the Maid following her winter overhaul and had been pleased with the overall standard of work carried out on her. He was thanked by the Honorary Secretary for stepping in as the temporary President and for his welcome efforts in ensuring that the long-awaited DVD had become a reality. Our new president is Bob Greenhalgh (known on the Railway as Bob Shell because he usually wore Shell high-viz clothing when working on the Railway). Ray Brooks announced his intention to step down as Chairman at the 2018 AGM. He had intended to do so at the 2017 AGM but decided against this as there needed to be a transition period between Trustee appointments; he had been the Chairman since the 1991 AGM. Rob Houghton who was a full-time employee of the Railway as well as being a Committee Member reported that the Maid was stripped down for the full 10-year inspection and boiler test. For the 2017 season the Maid had been returned to her half-cab condition and had dumb buffers fitted; this year she had worked for 36 days and not given any cause for concern. At the end of the operating season the full cab would be reinstated, though it needed the back sheet replacing as the present 2 sides to the cab were becoming badly corroded. The tank was also corroded and the AGM confirmed the Committee’s decision to pay for the new tank (in order of £3000) as this was not an item that would be covered by the Fund’s agreement with the Railway. It was also confirmed that the back sheet of the cab should be replaced.
This is to announce that as from the 2018 AGM the post of Chairman of the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund will be vacant; any subscribers interested in taking over this responsibility should contact the Honorary Secretary (details above) for further information.
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary 27.11.17
At the 2016 AGM our President, Dave Rowley, stepped down from his post after 25 years to allow the baton to be passed on to a younger subscriber. Dave had consistently supported the Fund by attending Heritage Railway Association functions and by sharing his expertise in a variety of subjects for the benefit of Maid Marian. The AGM thanked Dave for all his work over the years. As no candidate had been nominated, Roger Hine, who had been a Committee Member for many years, as well as being the former manager of the Railway, agreed to take on the post for only one year to allow more time for a longer-term President to be found. Roger's one-year Presidency is nearing its end and the AGM papers contain a nomination form that reflects this.
Since the previous Progress Report Maid Marian has had a full 10 - year mechanical overhaul and boiler inspection. Most of the work carried out was done by the resident mechanical engineer, Rob Houghton, who is also a Committee Member of the Fund following a resolution of the 2016 AGM. All the bodywork was stripped down, degreased and cleaned then repainted by Roger Hine in the red livery used for Alice and George B. To mark the 50th anniversary of the handover of the loco to the Fund, Maid Marian was fitted with her original cab sides for the season but will have her full cab returned for the 2018 season. Dumb buffers have also been fitted and will be retained, in line with the other Dinorwic locos on the Railway. The water tank was found to be badly corroded, though still operational; the Committee has ordered a new tank which will be fitted during the 2017 / 18 winter period. The Fund is very grateful to all those who have helped to return the Maid to such an excellent condition. In passing, Rob had kept a special look-out for any parts that were numbered 812, the number assigned to the loco when built by Hunslet in 1902. Sadly, he confirmed that there were none and that the largest number of parts related to King of the Scarlets (number 492), as had been discovered during an earlier mechanical overhaul. Maid Marian's original whistle has been spotted on Hugh Napier, the loco based at Penrhyn Castle Museum (presumably bought in the 1969 auction of spares when the Quarry finally closed).
The Fund will be manning its stand at the Railway's Gala from Friday 25 to Monday 28 August inclusive. If you are in the area please call in and help with manning the stand or visiting the stall to see what new sales items there are. Some of the sales items such as mugs and coasters, or the fine selection of prints, are not suitable for postal sales so must be viewed at the Gala or AGM.
*The works plates are a new venture and are ready-painted first- generation plates produced by Procast Foundry from original Hunslet patterns.
**The Fund's DVD, incorporating footage from the Dinorwic Quarry days, was launched on the Fund's 50th anniversary day (6 May 2017) when it was on sale at the stall in Llanuwchllyn on the day. It is available for purchase by subscribers (post-free offer for any subscribers who are not able to attend either the Gala or the AGM in September) and to the wider public through a number of different outlets. The DVD was reviewed favourably by the Narrow Gauge World magazine and has attracted a number of requests from its readers. The DVD contains digitally-mastered 8 mm film of the Dinorwic Quarry between 1965 and 1969 with a selection of stills from the same era. The production is highly professional and has led to offers of further materials for a later DVD. Thanks go to Roger Hine, our current President, who has brought the project to a successful conclusion and who will continue to oversee the production and distribution of the DVD. The Fund's 2018 calendar will be launched during the Gala and will cost £6 or £7.50 including P & P.
The two sets of Christmas cards are available; "The Old Waiting Room / Yr Hen Ystafell Aros" is from an artwork by one of our subscribers, Lesley Kahney, and is a snowy depiction of the old waiting room across the track from the main platform at Llanuwchllyn. The No.1 card is a photograph from the Doug Carrington collection; both cards are fully bilingual, as were our previous Christmas cards. These cards were available just before last Christmas but were announced rather late for purchase then, so please buy some now before stocks run out. Cheques for any of the above sales items should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and sent to Hugh Jones at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, DN4 7RG. Please buy some items for yourself or for someone you know who would like a souvenir connected with Maid Marian. It is only with this kind of support that the Management Committee can continue with its task of repaying loans and generally ensuring that the Maid remains in good working order. Whilst there is an agreement with the Railway over routine maintenance but there are always requests for expenditure over and above the normal running costs (the new boiler and water tank are major examples).
From 28 April - 1 May 2017 the Maid attended the Bressingham Steam Museum Gala by invitation of the Museum; the offer was accepted as Bressingham had been the first venue to which the Maid had been sent after hand-over in 1967. Several subscribers responded to a request for assistance in manning the stall, preparing the loco and on footplate duties. Immediately after the Bressingham event the loco was returned to Llanuwchllyn for a final coat of paint and lining out by Roger in time for the anniversary Gala celebrating 50 years of Maid Marian in preservation. This event was successful and 11 subscribers rode the special train (of whom 6 had ridden on the original in 1967!) which comprised the rake of 10 slate wagons resident on the Railway as well as one of the yellow coaches originally from the Quarry. Seating on the wagons was more comfortable than 50 years ago when simple planking was used; this time it was upholstered seats from one of the original coaches on the Railway. These were much appreciated by the older subscribers. After the replica ride there was a short speech and a celebratory cake at Llanuwchllyn Station. This had been made by Eleri from The Eagles; the beautifully-decorated cake top was carefully removed and will be available for inspection at the AGM (!). Maid Marian also starred during the remainder of the day, ending with a train that was top and tailed by Holy War and Maid Marian. Many thanks are due to all who helped to make the day so memorable. Finally, the Fund attended the Bala Model Railway Show on 27 and 28 May 2017, rounding off what was a productive month in terms of revenue; £1971 was banked after the 3 events, including £330 in subscriptions as a result of the publicity gained. Our thanks go to those subscribers who attended the stall and made it such a success.
The Fund was saddened to learn about the death of one of its oldest subscribers, Ken Hourd, at the age of 94. Ken was well-known for his involvement with the Festiniog Railway but had managed to attend most of the Fund's AGMs on a regular basis for many years. Latterly he found it impossible to attend the Fund's AGM because the date clashed with FR activities and travelling between the events had become too difficult.
Any donations or subscriptions will always be gratefully accepted as this money goes directly to the Fund; it costs only £30 to increase your voting strength by 2 votes. Or in multiples of 2 votes. Since the 2015 AGM resolution £6500 has been repaid to subscribers who had loaned money so that the boiler could be built. This had been built in 2006 so we hope it will take less time to repay the remaining £6500, to say nothing of the increased expense of the new tank.
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary
This was announced in the August 2016 Progress Report and will be taking place on Saturday 6 May 2017, 50 years to the day when the original hand-over was performed in the Dinorwic Quarry. At that time subscribers were taken along the lower level of the Quarry, with Maid Marian in charge of the rake of slate wagons with slats for subscribers to sit on. To replicate the experience as closely as possible for the Gala there will be a train of slate wagons for subscribers to ride from Flag Station to Llangower and back; this will take place after the first train of the day has left. For the Gala and the remainder of the running season, Maid Marian will be cabless as she was when handed over to the Fund.
All subscribers are welcome to attend and will not be charged for riding on this exclusive train; members of the public will not be allowed as this is not a service train. Please note that all subscribers riding on this train will do so at their own risk and will be asked to sign a disclaimer to this effect. Therefore it is ESSENTIAL that you produce your Subscriber Card on the day, otherwise you will not be allowed onto the special train, although you can still take part in the other activities which will include a special celebration cake, footplate rides in the station and trips down the line behind Maid Marian. If you cannot find your Subscriber Card, please contact the Honorary Secretary (details below) in good time with a covering £5 for any administrative costs so that a replacement can be forwarded to you. Note that you do not need to remember how many votes you have as this information is on file along with your address and email address (where appropriate).
To take part you should arrange to meet at Llanuwchllyn station by 10.30 a.m. at the latest on Saturday so that preliminary checks can be made and disclaimers signed. Please let the Honorary Secretary know if you are going to attend by Tuesday 2 May so that the Railway staff will know how many to expect and plan accordingly. The Management Committee looks forward to meeting as many subscribers as possible for this important landmark event.
This Gala will take place on the Bank Holiday weekend Saturday 29 April - Monday 1 May 2017; Maid Marian will be attending at the request of the Bressingham Steam Preservation Trust. This is especially significant as the Maid spent 3 years in Bressingham Gardens from 1968 immediately after being handed over to the Fund and before returning to Llanberis in 1971 to work on the Llanberis Lake Railway. The Fund will be manning its stall for the entire 3 days and helping to crew the loco in what is expected to be an interesting experience for all concerned. If you would like to see the Maid running in a different setting, any subscribers will be made welcome, though, of course, there will be the usual admission charges. There was an earlier call for volunteers to man the stand and crew the loco, so there will not be any charge for those who have already volunteered. The loco will be brought to Bressingham Gardens on the Friday morning and will be due to leave on the Tuesday, prior to being returned to Llanuwchllyn for the Maid Marian Gala.
There are plenty of steam activities for the whole family as can be seen on their website. Bressingham is near Diss, in Norfolk and the satnav entry is IP22 2AA.
Maid Marian is now being rebuilt in time for the Bressingham Gala after a thorough overhaul and cleaning. The boiler has satisfactorily passed its 10 year steam inspection with flying colours and has had new injectors fitted. New dumb buffers are being fitted and a new water tank is on order as the present one appears to have a limited life expectancy. The order has been placed with the Brunswick foundry in Caernarfon and will be fitted at the end of the season.
*The Fund's DVD, incorporating footage from the Dinorwic Quarry days, will be launched on the Fund's 50th anniversary day (6 May 2017) when it will be on sale at the stall in Llanuwchllyn on the day. It will then made be available for purchase by subscribers (post-free offer for any subscribers who are not able to attend) and to the wider public through a number of different outlets. Thanks go to Roger Hine, our current President, who has brought the project to a successful conclusion
The two sets of Christmas cards were produced too late in 2016 for most subscribers, who had already bought their supply for the year. "The Old Waiting Room" is from an artwork by one of our subscribers, Lesley Kahney, and is a snowy depiction of the old waiting room across the track from the main platform at Llanuwchllyn. The No.1 card is a photograph from the Doug Carrington collection; both cards are fully bilingual. There will be other items on offer on the stall but some, like mugs and coasters, are better sold at the time rather than through the post. Cheques for any of the above sales items should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and sent to Hugh Jones at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, DN4 7RG. All money raised will go towards the remaining repayment of the loans for the "new" boiler - it was new in 2006 but has passed its first 10 year test! Please buy some items for yourself or for someone you know who would like a souvenir connected with Maid Marian. It is only with this kind of support that the Management Committee can continue with its task of repaying loans and generally ensuring that the Maid remains in good working order. There is an agreement with the Railway over routine maintenance but there are always requests for expenditure over and above the normal running costs (the new boiler was a major example of this).
The article below entitled "50 years on" was written by one of our subscribers, Richard Roberts, who now lives in South Africa. Richard has asked for it to be printed in one of the Progress Reports in the hope that it might stimulate further discussion and perhaps encourage other subscribers to pass on their recollections of the Maid, not just on the handover day but on any other memories of the Maid. He mentioned the Maid's driver in a distinctive brown coat; this was indeed the Quarry's Chief Mechanical Engineer, whose name was Hugh Jones (no relation to your Honorary Secretary as Jones is a common surname in that part of the world)
As the Honorary Secretary, writer and editor of all the Progress Reports, I am very happy to hand over the writer's pen to someone else for a change! Does anyone else out there wish to rise to the challenge and email me some memories for inclusion in a subsequent Progress Report? The Progress Reports are always added to our website so you may be read by any number of interested parties around the world
2017 marks 50 years since we took over "Maid Marian" from Dinorwic Quarries at Llanberis. Perhaps even more sobering is the realisation that I must be one of the few remaining MMLF members who was present that day, May 6th, 1967, so I thought that I had better put down a few notes about the occasion. As might be expected, my memories have faded somewhat, but I do still have my black-and-white photographs from the weekend.
May 6th was an ordinary Saturday so we left our home, near Southampton, after school and work on the Friday and had to be back for Monday morning. The motorway network as we know it didn't exist then, so all the trips had to be made on ordinary roads. Some members may remember my Dad's yellow Bedford Dormobile - it wasn't the fastest vehicle around, but useful for a night or two away, although he was the only one in our family with a license so he had to do all the driving. I remember stopping in Ludlow for fish and chips late that evening, and being stopped in the shop by a man who had locked himself out of his car. We were, naturally, a little suspicious, but there it was, quietly idling with all the doors and windows locked. Dad lent him a large screwdriver and he had to break a quarterlight - remember those? - to get the door open.
We arrived in Llanberis early on the Saturday morning to find the "Maid" had been lit up but not much else by way of activity at that time of day. The weather was cloudy, but at least it wasn't raining, as is usual in that town. Then, as now, the Snowdon Mountain Railway wasn't noted for being enthusiast-friendly but Somebody knew Someone so we all trooped across the road for a look around. The first train of the day was ready to depart, locomotive no. 4 "Snowdon" with a flat truck loaded with coal for the Summit Hotel and an ancient half-coach, presumably for perishable supplies as well as water. Having seen no. 4 depart, we had a quick look around the running shed and found the chassis of no. 3 so I managed a photo of the unusual drive to the rack pinions. Two more locos were raising steam outside, preparing for their day's work.
Returning to the quarry workshops, we passed a pile of "spares" lying outside, notably the saddle-tank from "Wild Aster" complete with nameplates still fitted - wouldn't dare do that now! Our train was assembled for us, several passenger coaches, and slate wagons for the remainder of the party. The "Maid" was coupled on the front and off we went along the base level, past the workshops and to the limit of the quarry lines at a tunnel. Our driver for the day was an older gentleman in a tie and a brown duster coat, presumably the quarry company's Engineer, assisted by a much younger man in overalls, probably one of the few remaining fitters. The "Maid" was run round the train and we retraced our route back through the quarry yard to the limit at the other end of the line, where slate wagons had formerly been loaded onto 4' gauge Padarn Railway trucks for the run down to Port Dinorwic for onward shipment. Finally, the "Maid" returned our train to its starting point near the workshops and was then uncoupled and run forward to stand alone so that we could all take photographs. I don't remember there being any formal proceedings, no ceremony or speeches, although I'm sure there must have been a handshake at some time during the day. Indeed, the whole day was very informal by today's standards, no indemnity forms or photographic permits or hi-vis jackets.
After the morning's proceedings concluded at Llanberis we all adjourned to the Festiniog Railway's Harbour station at Portmadoc (apologies, I know that some names and spellings have changed over the intervening years) where the ex-Pen-yr-Orsedd Hunslet "Britomart" had been steamed for us, a half-sister to the "Maid". "Britomart" shunted up and down for us so that we could all take photographs and then we boarded a special train, hauled by "Linda", an ex-Penrhyn Quarry Hunslet tank, for a run up to Tan-y-Bwlch and back. By this time, the weather was closing in so I don't have many pictures of "Linda" and her train.
I have no recollection of our overnight stay but it was presumably at a campsite in the area. The next morning saw us on the road home, but not without a couple of stops along the way. We found a Clayton & Shuttleworth steam roller parked in a lay-by near Llangynog, ready for roadworks to resume the next day - again, one wouldn't dare to leave such a machine parked and unattended these days. Our final call was at the Golfa station site of the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway, track still in position but very overgrown. The preservation society has since opened the line through to the outskirts of Welshpool but in those days it was very much an out-and-back operation from the Llanfair Caereinion end.
In another 14 years - 2031 by my calculation - "Maid Marian" will have spent more years in preservation than she worked. Another anniversary for our committee to consider!
Richard Roberts Johannesburg February 2017
At the 2016 AGM no offers had been received for the post of President of the Fund (mentioned in the August 2016 Progress Report). Roger Hine, who had previously been a Member of the Management Committee has kindly agreed to take on the position for a year whilst further efforts are made to fill the vacancy. If you are interested in the post please contact the Honorary Secretary by post or by email toHugh Jones for further details. We are hoping to encourage "younger" subscribers to become involved in the Fund's affairs as some of us have been involved for over 50 years!
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary 17.04.17
The Fund's new Christmas cards are now available, albeit rather close to the season! The new cards are based on artwork from one of our subscribers, Lesley Kahney, whose work had featured in a previous run of cards ("The Maid in Winter"). See the below for the picture on which the cards are based - the cards are 15 cm x 10 cm. The scene is based on the old waiting room in Llanuwchllyn Station, which many of you will recognise from visiting the station, and the cards are fully bilingual with the message "Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda / Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" inside.
The cards come in packs of 5 cards and envelopes costing £3.75 including P & P per pack; send a cheque made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund to the Honorary Secretary at 139 Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, South Yorkshire DN4 7RG. All the profits will go towards repaying the loans on the "new" boiler, which is now not so new and about to undergo its first 10-year boiler test. If you already have cards for this Christmas, buy some now for next Christmas - they do not have a sell-by date on them!
As already noted in earlier Progress Reports, the Fund will be celebrating 50 years of the hand-over of Maid Marian by the Dinorwic Slate Quarry during a Gala on the weekend of 6 / 7 May 2017. On the preceding weekend, the Bank Holiday Weekend (29 April - 1 May 2017) there will be a Gala held at Bressingham Gardens, Norfolk on the theme of Hunslet locomotives. Maid Marian has been invited to attend - this is a happy co-incidence since Bressingham was the first venue the loco visited after its purchase by the Fund, and was its home for 3 years. The Gardens have an extensive 2' gauge railway on which their own Hunslet locos run, as well as a standard gauge collection, numerous traction engines and a steam round-about. The Gardens themselves are worth a visit in their own right but the combination of both gardens and steam makes the sum greater than its parts. The Committee is happy to accept the invitation on the basis that the hosts will be paying for all transport and associated costs and that the loco is returned to Llanuwchllyn in time for our own Gala on the following weekend. The Fund will be manning a stand during the event as well as crewing the loco, as the Bala Lake Railway is unable to provide any staff to accompany the Maid because of their own needs over that weekend. Any subscribers who are able to visit the venue and help out with the activities and join the stand will be most welcome. Please contact the Honorary Secretary on email@example.com if you are interested in taking part in this event and seeing the Maid in different surroundings. If you are able to crew the loco, it will be an opportunity to drive or fire on a different line!
This was announced in the November Progress Report; so far only one subscriber has expressed an interest in joining in and helping to rebuild the Maid. This would make a Working Party of 2, which is too small to be of any value by itself, so if there are no more subscribers interested in attending the suggestion will be quietly dropped. If you are interested please look at the November Progress Report again for further details and let the Honorary Secretary know as soon as possible. There is now no chance of holding the Working Party before the New Year and we do need to let the General Manager know whether or not the Working Party will take place.
The Committee has agreed to make Dave Rowley, our former President, an Honorary Member of the Fund in view of his extensive service to the Fund and to the loco. When Dave stepped down he passed on all his votes to a younger subscriber so that the baton could be carried forward; as an Honorary Member he will hold one vote and be entitled to attend any of the Fund's activities. Normally Honorary Membership is conferred at an AGM, so the Committee will be taking the decision to the 2017 AGM for ratification.
If you wish to transfer your voting rights to another person, this can be done by contacting the Honorary Secretary; there is an administrative charge of £10 payable to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund to cover any expenses involved.
As this will be the last Progress Report before the New Year, I would like to take the opportunity of wishing all our email subscribers Cyfarchion y Tymor, Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda or Season's Greetings, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary 25.11.16
Please note that there are only a few of these items left for sale, so if you have not already bought yours, please contact the Honorary Secretary at the usual address, 139 Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, South Yorkshire DN4 7RG, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . The calendar was recently given a favourable review in the October edition of Narrow Gauge World; as a consequence a number of calendars were purchased by readers of the Magazine. It is in the usual format of two months to a page and all the photographs in this special 50th anniversary of the hand-over of the loco are of Maid Marian from a number of different sources and at dates leading up to and including the hand-over on 1967. The price is £7.00 each inclusive of P & P; cheques should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund.
As noted in the September 2016 Progress Report, Maid Marian has been used only sparingly during 2016; her last appearance was at the AGM on 17 September when she was in steam for the benefit of visiting subscribers. Shortly afterwards she was dismantled and during a visit to the October Working Party Weekend, the major components of the loco were seen scattered about the site. There will be a complete overhaul down to the frames, followed by a full painting; the previous full overhaul was carried out 20 years ago. The wheels will be turned, new injectors fitted, the valve gear and cylinders will be overhauled; for the next season only the Maid will be fitted with the side cabs that were used in the Quarry (make a note of this as she will be returned with a cab for 2018!). The back sheet and 3 stanchions are missing but these can easily be fabricated at Llanuwchllyn. The boiler will have its 10-year test and the tanks are expected to last for a further 10 years. Dumb buffers will be fitted to replace the spring buffers with which she has been fitted for many years, as experience with Holy War in 2016 had shown that there were no problems with the coaching stock. There are a number of replacements to be made and these will be covered by the Agreement between the Fund and the Railway. Finally there will be a complete repainting of the loco from the frames upwards.
As noted above, Maid Marian will be stripped to her component parts for the first time in 20 years; this presents an opportunity for subscribers who are interested in being more familiar with the loco to take part in a working party where some of the less technical aspects of the overhaul could be carried out. This would be an opportunity for subscribers to be actively involved with the loco, rather than just being a spectator in how she is running. There are many tasks that are non-technical in nature that could be carried out, such as cleaning, de-rusting if necessary, de-greasing of the frames, preparation for painting, cleaning of brasses; completion of these tasks would free the Railway staff to attend to other tasks with the loco or start on other projects over the Winter. The General Manager, David Jones, will be providing a list of activities that can be carried out and will be able to offer accommodation in the Station, provided that the Working Party dates do not clash with the Railway's own Working Parties.
Would you be interested in joining a Maid Marian Working Party? Before deciding on dates, there are a number of variables to be considered and your responses would be helpful in organising possible timings for the event(s). Please contact the Honorary Secretary by email with your responses to the following questions:-
If there is sufficient interest to hold one or more working parties, further details will be sent out in the next Progress Report. Your Honorary Secretary will be attending any Working Party and will be pleased to welcome you to Llanuwchllyn. Take this opportunity to find out more about your Hunslet locomotive - we may even be able to find out the definitive answer to how many parts of the loco are actually stamped 822!
The AGM was held at the usual venue at Llanuwchllyn Station and was attended by 10 subscribers, with a further 24 tendering their apologies. The outgoing President, Dave Rowley, addressed the meeting for the last time as President and noted that the Maid was noticeably tired and due for the major overhaul that she would be getting during the coming winter. He repeated his warm thanks to everyone associated with the Maid over the past year, the footplate crews for driving her carefully and the maintenance staff and volunteers who had looked after her well-being and appearance. He was warmly thanked for all his support for the Fund and the loco over the years. Despite requests for candidates to put themselves forward there were no offers so Roger Hine, who had indicated that he would be standing down as a Committee Member, offered to fill the post of President for a year whilst a longer-term President could be found. His offer was gratefully accepted and he was unanimously elected. Rob Houghton was also elected to replace Roger on the Committee. The remaining 4 posts (Chairman, Treasurer, Honorary Secretary and Committee Member) were individually elected, with the same subscribers being returned unopposed.
The 2 proposed new Rule changes were discussed and agreed; one was a minor change to reflect the fact that Officers of the Fund should be subscribers (not previously specified at the time the Rules were initially drawn up). The other was an incorporation into the Rules of the statement that "The Fund will wherever appropriate conduct its activities with regard to the Code of Conduct for Members of the Heritage Railway Association." If you would like a copy of the Rules, please contact the Honorary Secretary.
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary 04.11.16
Click here for the AGM agenda and nomination form.
Our President, Dave Rowley, has indicated that he will be stepping down from this role at the forthcoming AGM. He has been our President since 1994 and has represented the Fund on many occasions in events organised around the country by the Heritage Railway Association (HRA). With his wealth of experience in a wide range of engineering situations Dave has been able to talk knowledgeably about boilers and locomotive maintenance with the Bala Lake Railway staff and with representatives of other organisations he has met via the HRA. He has taken opportunities to raise awareness of the Fund and of Maid Marian in a wider context, more especially as the HRA now comprises far more organisations than when the Fund joined up with the Association of Railway Preservation Societies (ARPS) that was the predecessor of HRA. As a result of his networking skills the Fund is a respected organisation in the preserved railway world. If you are interested in supporting the Fund's activities and would like further information about the role of President please contact the Honorary Secretary at the address provided after the Agenda, or by email to email@example.com. You do not necessarily need to have the same engineering skills that Dave has but you should be prepared to make yourself available to attend some of the HRA functions, to visit the Railway and to take part in Committee activities. There has been considerable stability in the Fund's personnel but all the Trustees are ageing and there is a need for younger subscribers to take over the baton of ensuring that the aims of the Fund continue to be met. The Fund has operated successfully for the past 50 years and hopes to continue to provide opportunities for subscribers to have an interest in maintaining a Hunslet locomotive.
Please make a special note in your diary for the weekend of 6 / 7 May 2017, when the Fund will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the official hand-over of Maid Marian by Dinorwic Quarry. Although details have yet to be finalised it is hoped that the Maid can be converted back to being cabless for part of the season (we still have the cab sides and stanchions) and that the hand-over train provided by the Quarry along the lowest level can be recreated for subscribers to ride. At the time seating was planks placed across slate wagons and the train was hauled by Maid Marian. A rake of replica slate wagons and an original Dinorwic Yellow coach are based at Llanuwchllyn and the Fund hopes to offer subscribers the opportunity to ride on them behind the Maid. Naturally the full cab will be replaced in due course as only Maid Marian and Holy War have cabs; whilst driving down the lake on a cabless loco can be a joy on a sunny day, the reality of driving four 4 ½ mile return journeys on a wet day is quite a different matter. The other locomotives at Llanuwchllyn are cabless, though Diana does have a roof but no covered cab as such. In the Quarry days the locos on the upper levels were cabless, because they needed to pass beneath the inclines where clearances were limited. The distances covered in a single journey were relatively short and there was ample opportunity to shelter under the inclines in between the trips or to await the rain subsiding before making the journey. On a timetabled passenger railway there is no luxury of waiting for the weather to improve!
This will be held over August Bank Holiday Weekend 26 - 29 August to celebrate Diana's first season on the Railway. Special guest locomotives will include Velinheli from the Launceton Railway and King of the Scarlets, from Statfold Barn. King of the Scarlets (named after a race horse) has a special resonance for the Fund as most of the numbered parts on the loco are stamped 822 which is, of course, Maid Marian's number. The swap over took place in the Quarry long before the Fund acquired Maid Marian, so the loco we all know as Maid Marian has relatively few of the original parts. Even Velinheli has some parts stamped 822, so the ghost of the original locomotive will be alive and well for the 4 days. The Fund will be manning a stall during the Gala and all visiting subscribers are invited to make themselves known there and inspect our merchandise. Even better, if you are interested in supporting the Fund in a practical way, please help to man the stall on one or more of the days, as I shall be alone on 3 out of the 4 days. Contact the Honorary Secretary (details given elsewhere) for further information; last year's Gala was a really worthwhile experience with plenty of action so come and join the fun!
This will be held on Saturday and Sunday 17 - 18 September 2016 at the Coed Parc site outside Bethesda. This is the same weekend as the Fund's AGM, which is on the Saturday, so if you intend to attend the AGM you could also make a long weekend and visit this Gala as well. The Fund will also be manning a joint stall there with the Bala Lake Railway and hopes improve on last year's sales at this venue.
New items this year include Maid Marian mugs at £6 each and slate coasters at £2.50 each or 6 for £12. These will be available at the Gala and the AGM, along with other items such as the few remaining name plates and works plates. The details of the 2017 calendar are being finalised; it should be ready for the AGM and subsequent postal sales. Other postal sales items are notelets and Christmas cards, costing £3.50 for a pack of 6.
These will be discussed in detail during the AGM but are relatively minor in nature. One relates to the Code of Practice recently published by HRA and the other to a previously-unrecognised anomaly that there is no requirement for Officers of the Fund to be subscribers! This has passed unnoticed for 50 years but needs to be addressed. In passing, all subscribers are entitled to receive the Rules of the Fund; if you would like one please contact the Honorary Secretary. If you are asking for a hard copy of the Rules, please send an S.A.E. large enough to hold 3 folded A4 sheets.
This will be made available at the AGM; any subscribers wishing to have their own copy should contact me after the AGM.
Any donations or subscriptions will always be gratefully received as this money goes directly to the Fund; it costs £30 to increase your voting strength by 2 more votes, or you can subscribe in multiples of 2. Since the 2015 AGM resolution, £6500 has been repaid to subscribers who had loaned money to cover the cost of the new boiler; this was purchased in 2006, so we hope it will take less time to pay off the remaining £6500. All cheques should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and sent to me at the address given above.
Hugh Jones Honorary Secretary
The Fund's AGM was held on 12 September 2015 in the caravan at the end of the station site. 10 subscribers attended, with 26 sending apologies for non-attendance.
Our President, Dave Rowley, was unable to attend but had sent a message to be read to the meeting. In it he noted that the past year had seen some changes in the Railway, not only to management personnel but to the locomotive stable. He continued by noting that the one thing that had remained the same was the care and devotion lavished on the Maid throughout the year. Whilst the Winifred inauguration ceremony had been a splendid occasion, he felt that Maid Marian had been particularly resplendent and had been a credit to the team who look after her. He concluded by giving a big "thank you" to everyone associated with the well-being of the locomotive, from the footplate crews to the cleaning and maintenance personnel, for doing such a magnificent job in keeping her spick and span and in good order.
The Honorary Secretary reported that, during the recent Winifred Gala over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the Fund had had a successful stall over the 4 days and had raised a total over just over £1600. This had been the largest single total raised in any one event during the history of the Fund; he thanked all those who had organised such a successful event and those subscribers who had helped to man the stand.
The Treasurer reported that the Fund's bank balance was at a considerably higher level than at the last AGM and it was agreed by the meeting that a total of £6500 should be repaid to those subscribers who had provided interest-free loans to the Fund when the new boiler was being built in 2006. This amount of repayment represented half of the outstanding debts but still left the Fund with a sufficient money to cover contingencies and the purchase of possible future sales items.
All the existing officers had been re-elected unanimously, which reflects either the satisfaction of the meeting with their efforts during the preceding year, or a reluctance to become involved with the affairs of the Fund! The Committee will be considering the question of succession over the coming year as no-one is immune to the ageing process and we need to plan ahead so that there are always possible Trustees available who have suitable skills to fill in any vacancies.
This item was led by Rob Houghton, who is one of our subscribers and who is the full-time employee of the Railway, responsible for the mechanical and operational sides. He reported that Holy War's repairs had been delayed with the result that Maid Marian had taken over the former's duties as well as her own. During the recent Gala she had been working hard with 6 coaches up the 1 in 70 Dolfawr Bank, with a good head of steam at the end of the rise. She was starting to leak in one of the bottom tubes but this would be addressed during the winter season. As the boiler had initially been steamed in 2006, when it was first built by Israel Newton, the 10 year inspection was due in 2016, so the leaking tubes would be dealt with as part of the process. Rob was asked about the possibility of acquiring dumb buffers for the loco, as these were being fitted to Holy War as part of the refurbishment programme. It would appear that costs for this would be relatively small as timber could be sourced locally and the steel plates manufactured by the Railway. However, the Committee wished to delay any decision on this as there had been difficulties with the coaching stock when the Maid previously had dumb buffers; there was a tendency for them to lock with the buffers of the coaching stock. The Committee agreed to await the success of the new dumb buffers on Holy War before making a decision about the Maid. Rob also noted that there were a number of MMLF patterns located in the Wood Store and that they could be inspected at any time. He was thanked for his contribution to the meeting and for his continuing care and attention to the Maid.
Since the previous AGM the Fund had replica brass Maid Marian nameplates and work's plates cast at the expense of a subscriber who had footed the risk involved - these had sold well at the Gala, along with the 2016 calendars and Christmas cards. The following sales items are now available from the Honorary Secretary:
There are only 4 calendars left, so if you would like one, please order immediately. Several subscribers have bought sales items since the previous Progress Report was sent out and we are very grateful for their continuing support. Please join them and buy something for yourself or for someone you know who would like something connected with Maid Marian. It is only with this kind of support that the Management Committee can continue with its task of repaying loans and generally ensuring that the Maid remains in good working order. There is an agreement with the Railway over routine maintenance but there are always requests for expenditure over and above the normal running costs (the new boiler was a major example of this). Once the loans are paid off, we might be in a position to look into other activities involving the Maid, such as visiting other railways, but until then we need to concentrate on raising money to repay the boiler loans.
Replica name plates and maker's plates have not been for sale for over 10 years and are not likely to be on offer for a comparable length of time so take the opportunity of buying yours now! Cheques for any of the above sales items should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund and sent to Hugh Jones at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, DN4 7RG. All money raised will go towards the remaining repayment of the loans for the "new" boiler - it was new in 2006 but will shortly be facing its first 10 year test!
As mentioned in the August Progress Report, if you have any original footage of the Maid that could be incorporated into the new DVD are asked to contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . This request also could include footage from other historic venues where the Maid has been, including Bressingham Gardens, the Llanberis Lake Railway and early scenes from the Bala Lake Railway, please get in touch with me. Similarly, if you know of anyone who has such footage and might be willing to share it, I would be pleased to contact them. Naturally all contributions will be acknowledged in the final version of the DVD.
Hugh Jones, Honorary Secretary Maid Marian Locomotive Fund
Roger and Bobby Hine will be retiring from their work on the Railway at the end of the current operating season. This will bring to an end the close working relationship between Roger and the Fund that has existed for many years. Roger has been a Committee Member during this time and his advice to the Committee has been invaluable. He has overseen the careful use of the Maid on the Railway and ensured that the terms of the Fund‘s Agreement with the Railway were being followed. The Committee wishes to record its appreciation of Roger‘s work on behalf of the Maid and looks forward to working closely with his successor.
The Maid is currently running well and causing no major concerns; very little work was required during the winter beyond the usual cleaning and draining of the boiler prior to the winter inspectin.
Email subscribers were offered the opportunity of purchasing a 2014 calendar; this year the offer of buying the Fund‘s 2015 calendar is being extended to all subscribers. The calendar comprises 6 sheets with 2 months on each sheetand has bilingual texts for each picture. The price will be £4.95 per calendar, including post and packing and the calendars are expected to be ready for early September.
There will also be a new Christmas card featuring a painting of ”The Maid in Winter• which has been commissioned from one of our subscribers. The card will be a standard A6 size with a fold at the top and will have a bilingual greeting inside, as well as details of how to contact the artist. The card will be based on the attached image, though, of course, somewhat smaller; the proposed price is £3.50 including P & P for a packet of 6 cards. If you are interested in the cards, please let the Honorary Secretary know how many you wish to buy so that an appropriate number can be ordered; it is expected that they will be available from early September. His contact address is 139 Stoops Lane, DONCASTER, South Yorkshire, DN4 7RG and cheques should be made out to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund. Subscribers on email will receive colour images of the card and calendar as a bonus!
As a result of the previous appeal a number of subscribers wrote to request that their AGM papers and Report were sent by email; many thanks to those who have done so and reduced the Fund‘s expenditure. We now have only 22 subscribers whose email addresses are not known, if they have one, so if you still receive your papers by post instead of email, please contact the Honorary Secretary at email@example.com.
Subscribers should note that any donations will always be gratefully accepted; if you donate in multiples of £30 this will increase your voting rights by 2 votes and you will be helping to increase the size of the Fund. Your new voting rights will be recorded by a new subscription card.
This was held in the usual venue, namely the caravan at Llanuwchllyn station and was attended by no less than 14 subscribers, including the whole Committee. This was a remarkably large turnout and there was a good deal of helpful discussion on a number of issues. I would like to thank everyone who managed to attend.
Please note in your diary that the next AGM will be at the usual time and venue and will be held on Saturday 13 September 2014. The month's formal notice will be given around the beginning of August as usual.
The third agreement between the Fund and the Railway has been agreed and both parties now have a copy of the signed documents. As expected, no changes were made to the draft version, which means that the Fund will now receive £250 rental p.a. for use of the loco for the next 10 years. This will give both parties to the Agreement a continued stability on which to build a continuing programme of support for the loco.
Some years ago, the Fund produced packs of notelets featuring 6 scenes from the collection of Doug Carrington's transparencies of the Dinorwic Quarry. They were bi-lingual and were made initially available to subscribers before copies offered to trading outlets.There are still a number of sets left so the Committee has agreed that they can now be made available at the greatly reduced price of £3.00 per pack of 6, plus 50p for post and packaging.This is £2 less than the previously-offered price and it is hoped that there will be sufficient interest to clear the stock as well as add to the Fund. As they are blank inside they would make ideal Christmas cards, so buy your stock in now! Please send your orders to the Honorary Secretary at 139, Stoops Lane, DONCASTER DN4 7RG and make out the cheque to the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund. If you would like to see thumbnails of the notelets please get in touch through firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fund now has 40 calendars for 2014 thanks to the generosity of one of the Committee members who has agreed to pay for the printing costs so that the Fund does not have to carry the financial risk of the operation. The calendar has 6 pages, each with a different image from the Doug Carrington collection and showing two months per page (see above for a view of the front cover). As with the notelets the legends to the images are bilingual and the calendars themselves are excellently printed in co-operation with the Penrhyn Railway Society. This is a limited edition only as a trial for a larger project for 2015 so make the most of this opportunity which is available to email subscribers only. If this float is successful the Committee will consider the possibility of printing larger numbers of calendars for 2015 to coincide with the beginning of next year's sales season so that a wider market can be tapped. Payments can be made as for the notelets - the calendars cost only £4.50 each, including post and packaging.
Subscribers should note that any donations will always be gratefully accepted; if you donate in multiples of £30 this will increase your voting rights by 2 votes per £30 and you will be helping to increase the size of the Fund. In this case your new voting rights will be recorded by a fresh subscription card. All money, whether from profits from sales items or from subscriptions, will go directly towards repaying those subscribers who loaned money to the Fund back in 2007 so that the new boiler could be purchased. Without their offer, the Maid would still be standing at the back of the shed at Llanuwchllyn, quietly gathering dust whilst sufficient funds were raised to pay for the commission. So please support the action of those subscribers and buy some of our sales items!
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 email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.