‘Patriot’s’ latest platework goes on show
One of the largest remaining pieces for the boiler of ‘Patriot’ No. 45551 appeared at Tyseley Locomotive Works in May, with the completion of the outer firebox doorplate. It leaves only the outer firebox throatplate still to be produced (also by Tyseley) to complete the platework for the first LMS G9 ½”S parallel boiler since 1934. It will also leave behind formers worth £14,000 that will never be used again unless heavy repairs are required on The Unknown Warrior’s boiler or if, quips LMS Patriot Project Chairman David Bradshaw, “someone wants to build a new ‘Claughton’,” the rebuilt LNWR 4-6-0s sharing the same boiler design. With a target completion date of January 2017 for the boiler, the next stage of construction at Crewe will be to unite the inner copper firebox and outer wrapper, with the foundation ring being welded together and already drilled for riveting. After this, the platework can be drilled for the 350 copper stays and 950 steel stays, which can be sponsored at £20 and £7 each respectively, in the ‘Support our Stays’ appeal (see lms-patriot.org.uk/ sos-appeal). Further new platework is to be produced for the Fowler tender, with the decision to completely replace its outer frames, which had wasted to half of their original one-inch thickness in places. Explained Mr Bradshaw: “They would still have been passed as fit by the Vehicle Acceptance Body - they could get down to a quarter of an inch before we’d have to replace them - but we decided to bite the bullet. “It made more sense than perhaps having to do more repairs in five or six years.” Quotes are being sought for the new frames, while the wheels, axleboxes and springs for the tender have already been restored. Falklands War veteran and charity worker Simon Weston CBE has become the LMS Patriot Project’s first Patron.