While construction of County of Montgomery is the primary aim of the Churchward County Trust, it is not the only one. One of our parallel goals is to create an online digital database for all Great Western spares and patterns held in different locations around the country.
The Swindon practice of standardisation has proven to be a great advantage to preservation, and is effectively what has made schemes such as No. 3840, No. 6880 Betton Grange and ‘Saint’ No. 2999 Lady of Legend possible. However, over the years GWR loco restorers, owners, owning groups and other new-build projects have spent time and effort identifying sources of parts, or having parts manufactured, only for this to be duplicated by other groups at a later date.
Good relations exist between these various groups, and there is a willingness to share information and help each other out by the way of pattern loans or the sale of spares. Yet at the moment there is no centralised source listing which group has which patterns or spare parts available. That is something we want to change. Our online database, known as the Swindon Parts & Patterns Store, will enable us to make known which components we are having manufactured should any other group require similar parts, as well as listing which patterns/spares we have available for loan, hire or sale.
Furthermore, we hope that it will provide a one-stop shop where railways and loco owners can post details of the parts and patterns they have available for loan, or parts they intend to have produced – a Western ‘Swap Shop’ of sorts.
Having such a resource available will not only benefit the CCT, but also countless other organisations involved with GWR loco preservation, and hopefully save precious pounds lost through duplication. If you or your group/railway have any parts or patterns that you would like to add to the database, please contact us directly.
The 6ft 8 1/2in diameter driving wheel pattern originally made to cast the wheels for the Great
Western Society’s ‘Saint’ will be used to produce the drivers for No. 3840. GARY BOYD-HOPE