THE Churchward County Trust (CCT) has placed the order for the four 6ft 8½in coupled wheels for No. 3840 County of Montgomery. The wheels are to be cast by Trefoil Steel in Sheffield using the pattern generously loaned to the CCT by the Great Western Society at Didcot, which has previously been used to cast the wheels for ‘Saint’ 4-6-0 No. 2999 Lady of Legend; these being identical to those of the Churchward ‘Counties’.
Each wheel will be made of high quality cast steel, with those for the leading axle differing slightly from those of the trailing wheelset. This is because the ‘Counties’, like the ‘Saints’, had two different designs of wheel; the leading driven wheels having a 5¾in centre boss and the rear wheels a 4¾in centre boss. The pattern as loaned has the smaller boss, and therefore first two wheels for No. 3840 will be cast from the pattern as it is, but it will then have to be altered to allow for the larger 5¾in boss. The modification work will cost £2,700 to complete.
Funding for the wheels has been provided via the CCT’s ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’, which was set up in early 2019 to raise the £40,000 required to pay for the casting of the wheels and their assembly onto axles. The club allows supporters to ‘adopt’ one (or more) of the original 40 ‘County’ 4-4-0s, which were all named after British and Irish counties with which the GWR had connections, albeit obscure connections in some cases. To date more than half of the 40 locomotives have been adopted, paving the way for the placing of the recent order.
Membership of the ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’ is set at £1,000 (payable in one lump sum or in eight payments of £125 by standing order), and comes with a string of incentives including:
- An invitation to the launch of County of Montgomery
- A seat on the locomotive’s first train
- A special certificate acknowledging the ‘County’ being adopted
- A framed and mounted photograph of the ‘County’ being adopted
- A mounted print of No. 3840 by artist Jonathan Clay
- Your name on Roll of Honour
- Life membership of the CCT
Additionally, the names of all ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’ members will have their names put into a ballot; the winner receiving a wooden replica of the nameplate of the ‘County’ of their choice. ‘Counties’ still available for adoption in the scheme are:
3801 County Carlow 3802 County Clare 3803 County Cork
3804 County Dublin 3805 County Kerry 3806 County Kildare
3809 County Wexford 3810 County Wicklow 3812 County of Cardigan
3813 County of Carmarthen 3818 County of Radnor 3822 County of Brecon
3823 County of Carnarvon 3828 County of Hereford 3838 County of Glamorgan
3839 County of Pembroke
NOTE: Each locomotive may only be adopted once!
Commenting on the order, CCT chairman Gary Boyd-Hope said: “Ordering the coupled wheels marks another major milestone in the construction of County of Montgomery, and I’d like to thank all members of the ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’ for helping us get to this position.
“With the main frame assembly now complete at Tyseley Locomotive Works, the rear dragbox currently under construction and the locomotive’s cylinders also on order, we are well on the way towards our goal of completing the rear portion of No. 3840’s frames as a rolling chassis. We would therefore be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to adopt one of the remaining ‘Counties’ to push us closer to our £40,000 target.”
Further information on the ‘Forty 4-4-0s Club’ can be found by clicking the ‘Adopt a County’ link or by writing to:
Churchward County Trust Ltd
c/o 4 Green End Barns