1014 The G.W. County Project
July and August

For most of this period work has concentrated on preparations for 'County Day/Weekend', the results of which are outlined below.

On the personnel side, news was received that Keith Gilbert was in a poor state of health. Despite the gloomy initial reports, on Bank Holiday Saturday it was stated that he was making a slow recovery. It is hoped this improvement will continue and the County Set send their good wishes to this end.

Locomotive Progress:
By mid August springs had been fitted to the middle set of driving wheels, the culmination of considerable effort by the team aided by Alex and Ed. As a result, the frames were deemed fit to be moved. Meanwhile, good progress was made with painting the front of the locomotive. Work started on fitting the brake gear. Sadly neither time nor labour availability allowed painting the cabsides to be completed.

Centre driving wheel & spring

27/08/2016 - Left hand driving wheel, recently fitted spring visible through spokes. (T. J. McCarthy)

Inside view of spring

27/08/2016 - view of left hand spring beneath frames. (T. J. McCarthy)

Tender Progress:
County Day:

Following several weeks of preparation the GWS ‘County Day’ arrived.  The locomotive, i.e. the wheeled frames, were positioned on the Didcot turntable, while the new-build and also recently wheeled tender frames could be seen in the workshop.

1014 frames RHS

27/08/2016 - right hand side of locomotive frames positioned on turntable. Wooden replica nameplates fitted for the event. (T. J. McCarthy)

Left hand view of frames

27/08/2016 - view of the left hand side of the locomotive frames on turntable. (T. J. McCarthy)

1014 head on

27/08/2016 - head-on view of 1014's frames on turntable. (T. J. McCarthy)

Mike Cooper photo on running board

27/08/2016 - a rather nice touch, the late Mike Cooper's photograph placed on the running plate. When the rains came it was removed to a dry position on top of the tender underframe. (T. J. McCarthy)

Proceedings, scheduled for a midday start, were delayed because several of the guests travelling by train from south Wales and Bristol were diverted onto alternative, but longer route (re-signalling work around Bristol) and a thunderstorm!  The torrential rain abated and delayed guests arrived in time for a 12.30 start, whereupon GWS Chairman, Richard Croucher, called for members of the County Project Work Team (the County Set) to join him on the turntable.  Joining him too were Councillor Stuart Egan, Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, John Buxton, Cambrian Transport and Andrew Dakin, Welsh Development Agency, all of which played an important role in initiating the project.

1014 Turntable party

27/08/2016 - The turntable party. GWS Chairman, Richard Croucher addressing those who gathered around the turntable. The party included eight members of the County Set, Councillor Stuart Egan, Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan, Mr. John Buxton, Cambrian Transport, and Mr. Andrew Dakin, Welsh Development Agency, the last three gentlemen represent in the main authorities who made the County Project possible. Project Leader, Dicky Boast stands in front of 1014's right hand cylinder. (T. J. McCarthy)

Richard proceeded to introduce the principal guests; Pauline, Mike Cooper’s widow, their daughters and partners, plus two grandchildren, all eager to see and commemorate his leadership of and visible achievements of the County Project.   Thereafter, the Chairman, despite suffering audible competition from 6023 and the Steam Rail Motor working on demonstration lines and a 'reluctant' microphone, outlined the history of the project from its early days, when it was but an idea in David Bradshaw’s fertile imagination, up until today when all can see the progress made in recreating ‘County of Glamorgan’.  Mike Cooper’s role and leadership was emphasised, plus the regret shared by all present that he did not live to see even this auspicious moment.  Credit was given to the County Set and, especially Dicky Boast, for rising to the challenge of and achieving the wheeling of both locomotive and new-build tender, in the sad aftermath of Mike’s untimely death.

Cooper family etc

27-08-2016 - The late Mike Cooper's family, plus David Bradshaw and other guests. (T. J. McCartSteam Railway Magazinehy)

Mike Coopers immediate family

27-08-2016 - The late Mike Cooper's family with Pauline Cooper in the middle, flanked by granddaughter Poppy, two daughters and their partners, plus the latest arrival (a grandson)., in front of 1014's underframe. (T. J. McCarthy)

model of 1005

27-08-2016 - model of 1005 in Works, at the locomotive-end of the tender underframe and alongside 1014's number plate. (T. J. McCarthy)

Following more photographs, the main party retired to the works for a light buffet lunch and talk more about Mike Cooper's achievements and the project.  Meanwhile the wheeled locomotive underframe, coupled to the GWS’ 08 diesel shunter, ‘Phantom’ and was hauled to a display place of honour outside the Centre’s Buffet, in front of Burton Agnes Hall, where onlookers were invited compare County and Modified Hall underframes and note the necessary modifications and comprehensive nature of the work completed to date.

Thereafter, County of Glamorgan’s admirers dispersed, having enjoyed a good day and, perhaps, looking forward to the event, suggested for two years hence, when it is realistically felt, she could be on display, with her new boiler in position accompanied by a tender with a welded tank fitted. 

A significant outcome from the event was Steam Railway Magazine's offer to fund manufacture of a smokebox door for 1014. For this the Project Group and GWS are very grateful. In addition, Steam Railway issue 458 (September-October 2016), contains several references to 1014, including publication of an appeal to readers to help fund some of the work remaining to be undertaken, plus an article, contributed to by Mike Cooper before his untimely death, describing what has been achieved and future plans.

Consequently, to Dicky Boast and his team 'well done' and 'all the best' as they move forward to achieve the next goal, towards completing the re-creation of 1014 ‘County of Glamorgan’.