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Scrap to Steam in Twenty Seven Days
Y Maes, Caernarfon
August 3rd to 29th 2009
The NG15 restoration team ran a month's long fund-raising event at Y Maes (Castle Square), Caernarfon from the 3rd to the 29th August 2009. The event was run with the help of D J Williams & Son, Brunswick Ironworks Limited, Caernarfon and in conjunction with Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri, the Welsh Highland Railway's supporting society and the organisation behind the restoration.
Central to the event was sister NG15 №133. This Loco is not the subject of any restoration appeal itself and is normally kept at Dinas station however it was used to demonstrate the condition №134 was in before work started. №133 was prepared for it's move during the working party weekend on the 18th & 19th July 2009. Photographs of these preparations are available in the Gallery on the July 2009 Working Party page. It was then moved to Caernarfon over the weekend of 1st & 2nd August and was be there for the duration of the event as can be seen by the photo below courtesy of Peter Johnson. For ease and logistical reasons the tender was detached and only the Loco unit taken.
№133 at Y Maes, Caernarfon, for the
Scrap to Steam fund-raising event for №134.
Photo: Peter Johnson,
Scrap to Steam was opened by the Town Mayor, Councillor Hywel Roberts on August 3rd 2009, who also made the first donation of the event towards the restoration of the Loco.
The first few days saw the fund-raising get off to a good start, however during the first week a fair arrived in Maes, as can be seen on the Scrap to Steam Gallery pages, and this did detract from the overall receipts. It was only after this had left that the takings increased again, however, they were still subject to the vagaries of the weather. One volunteer reported around £350 taken on a sunny day then less than a tenth of that the following day when it rained all day!
presence of NG15 number 133 on the Maes certainly generated a lot of
interest amongst both the local community and tourists to the town.
What became very evident is that many of the visitors to the town were
not aware that Caernarfon had a station and that steam trains ran from
there every day. We gave out lots of timetables and pointed them in the
right direction down to the station.
The Railway’s fund-raising team of Andy Savage and Gordon Rushton stepped in to provide some leaflets for the event and these proved to be very useful as they gave the history of the engine. Hopefully of all the people who took one away some might actually sign up to the sponsorship options. Thank you Andy and Gordon for your support.
In addition to the collections in Caernarfon, envelopes were also placed on the trains going out of Caernarfon to target those visitors who were arriving at the railway by coach. We are most grateful for the support of Daron Lodge and his team who will continue this for us until the end of the season.
We have had the opportunity to meet and talk to some very interesting people who expressed a wish to see the engine steaming as soon as possible. We collected some volunteers for the railway as well and certainly raised the railways overall profile through local press coverage. We kept a daily log and this will be made available to the NG15 team - watch this space.
We would like to thank those members who gave us their support, it was much appreciated. Brunswick's had hoped to target local companies, however, with Meurig and Pamela from there having to cover seventeen of the twenty seven days this meant there was insufficient time left.
It's realised that it is
essential that 134 is
steaming on the line as soon as possible so that all those people who
donated money can see a return for their efforts and so to this end we
an idea for Phase two and even Phase three so that we can continue to
build on the local community involvement. Phase two should hopefully
become an annual event and will help to generate much needed revenue
for 134. It will of course mean much more help is required from
interested parties and individuals toward any fund-raising.
As a first step in engaging the local community and visitors to the area, this event it was a success.
We are very thankful of Brunswick's involvement and help with this event. Brunswick's are already well known to the Welsh Highland Railway through their work during the re-building of the railway itself. They were the main contractor for all the steel based structures such as water towers and bridges. They are also already involved with the restoration of №134 as they are currently overhauling the rear stretcher from the frames.
The following chart shows the ambitious target the team set itself , very easy at the start but very difficult at the end.
The question asks: If I save a penny on day one, double it on day two, double on day three, double it again on day four and so on, how long would it take to save one million pounds?
The answer being: Twenty seven days.
The first few days, up to day 20 or 21, are expected to be easy. The remaining few days were always going to be a challenge to all concerned!
This is the source of the full name of
Scrap to Steam in 27 days
So after all that above the event raised at least £5,500 for the restoration before gift aid, cheques and other sources are added. Whilst more would have been hoped for it has set in motion further fund-raising ideas.
Many thanks for Pamela at Brunswick Ironworks for help in compiling this report.