Stat­fold Barn trust launched

char­ity es­tab­lished to en­sure a se­cure fu­ture for spec­tac­u­lar mu­seum col­lec­tion.

Steam Railway (UK) - - Contents -

Four­teen years af­ter the Stat­fold Barn Rail­way was launched on an un­sus­pect­ing rail­way world, the Stat­fold Barn Nar­row Gauge Trust has been es­tab­lished as a char­ity to pro­tect the col­lec­tion’s fu­ture, un­der the slo­gan, ‘pre­serv­ing the best of our past for our fu­ture’. The rail­way grew out of what was in­tended to be a gar­den line on a pri­vate site just out­side Tam­worth, Stafford­shire. Un­der the guid­ance of owner Gra­ham Lee, it has grown to be one of the most sig­nif­i­cant nar­row gauge rail­way sites in the UK. With two op­er­at­ing lines just short of a mile long, the 360-yard gar­den rail­way and a 560-yard tramway, it is home to a col­lec­tion of over 30 steam lo­co­mo­tives and many in­ter­nal com­bus­tion ma­chines, rep­re­sent­ing most ma­jor Bri­tish and sev­eral over­seas man­u­fac­tur­ers. They are stored in a dis­play area/mu­seum set around a turntable in the for­mer grain store. Many of the lo­co­mo­tives have been re­stored in the rail­way’s own work­shops, re­cently di­vested to Stat­fold En­gi­neer­ing Ltd, and a good num­ber have joined the col­lec­tion from over­seas. En­joyed by hun­dreds of en­thu­si­asts and their spouses, the SBR’s three-times-a-year open days have be­come an es­sen­tial part of the nar­row gauge scene. Es­tab­lish­ing the trust en­sures the col­lec­tion’s fu­ture be­yond Gra­ham Lee’s life­time and means that the mu­seum will be opened to the pub­lic on sev­eral non-op­er­at­ing days a year. To pro­vide the trust with an in­come, part of the grain store build­ing has been adapted as a func­tion venue. Fea­tures of the event room in­clude Pakis Baru Oren­stein & Kop­pel 0-4-0WT No. 1 mounted on a stan­dard gauge wagon frame some 15ft above the ground and a lift-ac­ces­si­ble mez­za­nine dis­play­ing three Hun­slet 0-4-0STs, in­clud­ing the sec­tioned Gertrude, and a Hun­slet-made mo­tor car. As well as Gra­ham Lee, the trustees are Mar­tyn Ash­worth (op­er­a­tions ad­viser to sev­eral rail­ways and lo­co­mo­tive restora­tion pro­ject leader), Paul Ingham (driver on the Ffes­tin­iog, Welsh High­land and Vale of Rhei­dol Rail­ways), Paul Lewin (gen­eral man­ager of the Fes­tin­iog Rail­way Com­pany), Henry Noon (sec­re­tary) and Nick Noon (di­rec­tor, Stat­fold En­gi­neer­ing Ltd). The mu­seum is also home to the Hun­slet En­gine Com­pany’s archive and the In­dus­trial Rail­way Society’s li­brary and archive.

ALL: PETER JOHN­SON

the ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of nar­row gauge steam lo­co­mo­tives based at Stat­fold.

IN­SET: Stat­fold Barn rail­way supremo Gra­ham lee with the plaque com­mem­o­rat­ing the launch of the new trust.

‘Quarry hun­slet’ 0‑4‑0Sts Michael and King of the Scarlets take pride of place at the Stat­fold Barn rail­way on March 10, at the launch of the Stat­fold Barn nar­row Gauge rail­way trust.

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