Now Meet Our People…..

Let’s introduce you to our working Members, especially those who come from far and wide to make the restoration work happen – at times against some ticklish attitudes and aggravating road traffic.

Pat Sumner and Tony Keeble have won very many  well deserved accolades for leading the long term restoration of the MS&L 6 wheeler, bringing Bob Hanson with them from Cambridgeshire, no mean journey in itself.  And the big pluses are the combination of their engineering knowledge, the wood working capability and the deep-seated railway experience.

2012-12-16 Tony Keeble and Pat Sumner working on 946

On site and more local is Clyde Pennington, applying the glue that puts the coordination effort into enabling it all to happen, with the maintaining of a treasure-trove of expanding archive material.  But much more than that, Clyde is actively involved in the realities of conservation.  His installing of a dummy gas lighting supply run for compartment lighting in no.946 is quite excellent, but he is constantly out and about the exposed vehicles in the yard attempting to prevent or slow the decay together with Andrew Horrocks-Taylor (who also leads the GCR 567 Locomotive Group) canvas sheeting over the wooden bodies to protect from vandalism and theft.

2016-09-25 – 946’s 1st outing with Clyde Pennington

We are concerned for Doug Atkins at this time as, not only the mainstay of the woodworking team, he has been house moving.  He has been a regular on site and with Clyde very much the face of the restoration effort, who works in concert with Company Secretary Mike Firth who has transformed our accounting and governance needs.  Yes, it is a small band, and we are delighted to be joined by Mick Charlesworth, a Ruddington-based local “chippy”, and multi-skilled Andrew Coalwood but it is the developing skills in restoration, project management and delivery which are entirely self-evident and to be envied.  Still we would really enjoy more joining us.

Aiding Pat in particular on the mechanicals – wheels, springs, drawbar, buffers – are Melvyn Rowthorne (former BR carriage and wagon inspector) who too has been suffering the surgeon’s knife, and his pal Wilf Ankers We very much missed our budding author in heritage rail matters, Andrew David, who spent hours on his flat out on the concrete scraping ancient layers of bitumen and detritus from the wood/metal Mansell wheels.  Andrew is now an essential link between Ruddington and the Buckingham Railway Centre at Quainton Road and a potent GCR promoter as a heritage rail writing specialist.

Joining in the research and recording for the major tasks confronted by the four Barnum carriages, translating of original GCR works drawings is engineer Keith Stimpson who has come to our aid in a big way, using his skills to transfer to electronic record all our technical engineering drawings – the original elevations and plans of GCR rolling stock and those created by the North Yorks Barnum Group’s set as directed by Mark Lloyd.   Keith is at the heart of the Barnum research group being led by Trustee Roger Penson. Keith has already extracted from the engineering records to enable some fine proof model making, on a 1:4 scale Barnum seat and table set.  He is also engaged in the setting out of the restoration plans for the Barnum saloons with spread sheet and flow charts.

Our GCR history guru and eminent model maker of GCR originals is Trustee John Quick who, as an analytical chemist, researched the not just the colour but also the paint composition to produce as near an authentic livery of French Grey and Dark Oak for no.946, including the tracing a reproducing of the identifiers, He is following up now with similar work on the brass numerals and identifiers for the Barnums.

Meanwhile in the land of the softer more genteel arts of seating our future passengers comfortably, are Roger Penson and Francis Bailey, the latter recently coming round from a replacement hip procedure.  As a specialist in all aspects of upholstery, Roger has already proved a crucial and invaluable member of the MS&L no.946 6-wheeler restoration team, having completed the transformation of the interior voids into fully furnished passenger compartments with the able assistance of Francis and the woodworking team.

2013-10-20 Happy with progress – Francis Bailey & Roger Penson

Close by in the GCRN machine shop is Jeff Cox who provides a very wide repertoire of metal workings skills as a tool maker and chemist – and Peter Wilson, a former Trustee, who is an invaluable source of practical advice and support, as well as the king pin in the construction of many key features on the Heritage Centre site, including the infill Building no.4 in which the Trust has made useful grants against occupation by the Trust’s vehicles. 

Andrew Coalwood is delving into the conversion of the GCR Suburban no.799, in cahoots with Clyde Pennington, Francis Bailey and Doug Atkins.  The quartet have started by extracting the BR or Hull Docks modifications which had enabled the carriage to be utilised as a works welfare van.   New floor timber, revised partitions and doors, will soon be accompanied by stainless steel shelving.  We have so many items needing a tidy home. The exterior is to be galvanised steel sheeted to complete the vehicle.

Miranda Maton-Jenner is aiding and abetting the Barnum seating project, creating exquisite manikins to match the quarter-inch scale model of the Barnum seats built by Keith Stimpson, to be used to help the estimating of material quantities for the padding and coverings as well as the construction and assembly of the structures.

John Rodmel of Big Tops fame is a quite excellent occasional support, especially in supplying and placing weatherproof materials over the otherwise unprotected carriages in open storage.

Kate Tilley has just joined the team from Loughborough where she fulfilled a very exacting sales, marketing and PR function for GCR PLC.  She is now engaged in the sorting the PR and marketing of the Trust.  Her PR company is called Dream Big Marketing (website coming when she gets a chance!).

Phil Hetherington supports the Trust with the recording and updating of the historical records of all surviving GCR relics.

The RST Trustees are as follows:

Francis Bailey – Trustee – 2016   Worked for a number of companies in the motor and caravan trades as well as computer manager in a manufacturing company in the early 1970s. In 1975 he moved to Nottingham to work for the County Council as an Administrator dealing with Finance, Computing and Personnel as well as general administration. Then in the late 1980s when he became IT Manager for Highways and Planning dealing mostly with computing for technical purposes, he stayed until retirement. He was heavily involved in canal restoration between 1990 and 2006, in particular for the Grantham Canal and was Chairman of the Grantham Canal Partnership for several years until 2006.  He is a key support with Roger Penson.

Arthur Barber – Trustee – 2002    Formerly employed on British Rail as locomotive crew (King’s Cross and Colwick….) and latterly as field staff member with British Telecom.   Passed Locomotive Fireman and Driver, steam and diesel, and with GCRN.   Founder member of GCR NDA, GCRN and President of Heritage Centre Model Railway Society.  Fund raiser and team organiser of site events at the Centre and Carriage restoration,especially BR Mk 1 carriages, and facilities maintenance.

Andrew David – Trustee – 2017  Technical Author, Lecturer and Editor.  Leading light in Quainton Rail Preservation Group.   Andrew is a recent volunteer on the 6-wheeler restoration team.

Mike Firth  – Treasurer and Company Secretary – 2010   Chartered Accountant.  Formerly with Boots the Chemist.  EMRT Trustee and Treasurer, former GCRN company secretary and Chairman NSMEE.

Andrew Horrocks-Taylor – Trustee – 2012  Qualified Engineer and Marketing specialist.  In aerospace employment.  Lead in GCR 567 Locomotive Group. Aids the preservation of Trust’s exterior stored vehicles.

Tony Keeble – Trustee – 2006   Born into a family of railway people over three generations.  Formerly in various Commercial roles in the national rail system and latterly with the Anglia rail franchise, based in King’s Cross, Cambridge.  Source of rescue of 6-wheeler no.946 from British Rail, removing to the Drage farm in Cambridgeshire and then to Ruddington. Lead in the Trust’s restoration of this vehicle.  Rail modeller in Gauge 1.  Key restoration project manager.

Roger Penson – Trustee – 2015   Gained his B. Ed (Hons) at Nottingham University. Specialist in fabric design,manufacture and use. Key member leading research into the Barnum restoration programmes and planning of finishings.  Lead in upholstery operations with 20 years’ experience in Antique Furniture restoration, including running his own business and teaching age ranges from Young adults to Mature students;  then 30 years’ experience in management development – working with Senior Management (level 5) to shop floor staff, focusing on effective process and quality management skills’ development, both in UK and abroad; also much concerned with skills’ development in the workforce, and in planning for the future, including transfer skills to younger workers, and that new skills are identified and developed.   Past-chairman of a regional group supporting a national Charity.

Richard Potter – Trustee – 2002   Mechanical engineer and formerly owner of Engineering and metal working business and works in Nottingham.  Problem solving of mechanical issues and recovering key metal items – springs and bolts – for reproduction.

John Quick – Trustee – 2012   Retired Analytical Chemist.  Has had an interest in railways for well over 60 years and was a keen train-spotter at an early age with interest in the former GCR beginning in 1960, deciding then to build scale models of GCR subjects to an increasingly high standard.  Over the years several layouts, based on GCR prototypes, have been exhibited many times.  As a GCR modeller and historian, first published in 2013 title featuring liveries applied to GCR locomotives, now researching a history of GCR passenger carriages.   Sought-after presenter of illustrated talks and lectures to railway and local history societies.   Former Chairman – Great Central Railway Society.   Key adviser on GCR historical accuracy and carriage liveries.

Pat Sumner – Trustee – 2006    Present CME. Formerly in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.  Former British Rail carriage and wagon specialist, at Peterborough, King’s Cross, Bounds Green…..  Co-mover in the rescue and delivery of 6-wheeler no.946.   Crucial engineering adviser, practitioner and adviser in the restoration to operation of no.946 and the planning of the Barnum carriages.

Richard Tilden Smith – Trustee – 2002   Journalist (specialist subjects – transportation and construction).  Involved in Public Relations, Secretariat for Trade Associations. Former Director of GCR PLC, Chairman/Director GCRN Ltd, Trustee – EMRT and a founding Member of GCR RST.   Practitioner – long term National Trust volunteer/GCRN worker.  Rail model maker. Trust administration.

Front row (l to r) – Melvyn Rowthorne, Francis Bailey, Roger Penson
Back row (l to r) – Andrew David, Tony Keeble, John Quick, Wilf Ankers, Keith Stimpson, Clyde Pennington, Andrew Horrocks-Taylor, Pat Sumner. Flanked by (left) Mike Firth and (right) Richard Tilden Smith.