A former Colonel in the British Army, Steve has been a lifelong railway enthusiast, and is involved in a significant number of heritage railway projects both on a professional and voluntary basis. Born in 1959 and raised in Darwen in Lancashire, his youth and formative years were spent in the heart of industrial Lancashire in the dying days of steam on the main lines of British Railways, with his railway interests heavily influenced by his grandfather, a former driver at Lower Darwen engine shed. Steve joined the Army at 16 as an electronics apprentice, entering Sandhurst at the age of 18. Commissioned into The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment in 1978, his Army career saw him serve in a wide variety of countries, many on operations. He rose to become the Commanding Officer of his Regiment. He enjoyed two tours in the Ministry of Defence in London engaged at the military/political strategic level, and his final military appointment was as Chief of Staff of a Division with responsibility for military planning across 45% of the UK land mass.
It was whilst on secondment to the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces that he exercised his personal initiative to create the Country’s National Railway Museum. On retirement from the Army he subsequently served as Director of the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester then as Director of the National Railway Museum. During his time at the NRM, Steve achieved possibly the most incredible and imaginative project ever seen in the history of railway preservation by bringing together all six surviving Class A4 Pacific steam locomotives, two of which were resident on the other side of the Atlantic. This allowed the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s world record-breaking 126 mph run to be celebrated in considerable style, attracting literally hundreds of thousands of visitors to York and Shildon, some from the other side of the World.
A natural leader, organiser and communicator, Steve has had wide experience on TV and radio, notably appearing in the ‘Caravan Train’ episode of Top Gear, and his railway heritage consultancy also managed the development of the Channel 4 carriage restoration series fronted by Peter Snow. Steve has been working alongside the Trustees at The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust in an advisory capacity for some time, and recently formed part of the negotiating team at Meiningen resulting in the placement of the order for two new boilers, joining the Board in 2019. Steve was appointed Chairman of the Trust at the end of March 2020.
Huw was a serving Lieutenant Colonel with the Corps of Royal Engineers, which he joined directly from school through RMA Sandhurst in 1980 and was commissioned in 1981. He has held a variety of military appointments and seen tours of duty ranging from the Falkland Islands, Germany, Canada, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and the Middle East. Latterly, he has been based at the Defence Equipment and Support organisation in Bristol where he has primarily been responsible for Deployable Infrastructure, Protected Mobility and Logistic Vehicles.
Only just old enough to remember steam on the mainline, he has been told that watching trains from his pushchair gave his mother some respite from an energetic two year old! Born and brought up in Formby, he has memories of watching steam locos for hours (probably Jinties!) shunting the coal yard at Freshfield Station on the Liverpool-Southport line and having to be prised away from the chain link fence when it was time to go home! He was only five when he joined his father and uncle following No. 70013 Oliver Cromwell through to Southport and out over the Moss towards Wigan on one of the last days of steam specials.
Huw began his involvement within the Railway Preservation scene at Steamport Southport as the embryonic railway centre began to develop the ex-Southport MPD (27C) into a local transport museum. H&S rules were much more relaxed in those early years and he began as a very junior member at the age of 11. Along with members of the Liverpool Locomotive Preservation Group, he became involved with the restoration of ex-LMS Jinty 0-6-0T, No. 7298 after owner Derek Foster asked if he wanted a “little job”. Years of mentoring and encouragement by Derek followed, to say nothing of collecting up tools and chasing after a youngster who kept finding the next job before the first was finished! He took part in the Rocket 150 Rainhill Cavalcade celebrations, where No. 7298 became the yard shunter and helped to marshal locomotives and stock prior to the main event and the subsequent exhibition at Bold Colliery. He moved to the Llangollen Railway in North Wales when the Jinty visited there in 1981 and after a spell at the East Lancashire Railway with both No. 7298 and No. 76079, Llangollen became his home railway. After many years helping to look after No. 7298, often travelling back from Germany and other overseas locations to spend time with the locomotive, Huw eventually bought it from Derek in 1998 and operated the locomotive with support from the Llangollen until it was recently sold.
Huw first became involved with Tornado when the A1 visited Llangollen for the very successful Betton Grange ‘Steam, Steel and Stars III Gala’ in 2012 and he was the rostered driver for several turns during the locomotive’s visit. Tornado opened the first section of the extension to Corwen, which Huw and a small group of individuals had planned and built in the previous 12 months. Although not driving the first train, he enjoyed the experience so much that he took an offer to join them for a run on the Mainline. Since those first turns as a support crew member, Huw is now responsible for managing the database of A1SLT support crew volunteers. As Huw is the first to acknowledge, supporting Tornado is very much a team effort; our DB Cargo Footplate Crews, Support Crew, Merchandising Team and even the chef are key to ensuring that any trip is a success.
A career railwayman of some 39 years Paul comes from a family of rail workers dating back to 1841. Paul had an inevitable enthusiasm for all things rail and for steam in particular. After ‘A’ levels in 1979 he deferred the lure of university ‘til later in life and joined British Railways Operations Department in York. Initially in Signalling & Accidents he moved into the maintenance control looking after locomotive maintenance scheduling before taking an area operating role at Bounds Green depot in 1982. Here he met fellow A1 Trust member, Richard Peck, and in 1984 joined Richard at Thornaby depot. This was the period when DMU operations were transferred to Teesside after the closure of Darlington depot.
After marrying Sue in 1985, Darlington was once again playing a greater part in the Bruce life and they have made it their home ever since. In 1988 Paul took a role as Operating Manager at Heaton Depot, restructuring the cleaning and operations team to reflect the increasing move of the workload to nights. He set up a dedicated team to look after the presentation of the then Tees-Tyne Pullman. A similar venture yielded rewards, and awards, when he managed the postal fleet based there for Rail Express Systems.
After secondment to the Engineering HQ in Derby during the early 90s he became Fleet Commercial Manager for Regional Railway North East in Leeds. That caused paths to cross again with Richard during negotiations with First North Western for depot servicing. Responsible for managing stores and stock holdings as well as heavy maintenance and train refurbishments it was the period leading into privatisation. With a move to York he eventually became Head of Procurement and Head of Property in RRNE’s successor organisations of Northern Spirit, Arriva Trains North East and Northern Rail.
Having long hankered to ‘go it alone’, 2006 saw Paul finally taking the leap into being self-employed and with a specialism in procurement, rail franchising and the Access Regulations he has been kept busy ever since. His commissions have involved mobilising a number of new franchises including East Midlands Trains, Southern Rail, Anglia and more recently Caledonian Sleeper. He has also occupied various interim roles such as Head of Rail Procurement for Stagecoach, Lead Procurement Manager for Tube Lines as well as Lead Procurement and Head of Regulatory for HS1 supporting the sale of the High Speed rail network in 2010.
More recently he could be found around the Highlands of Scotland with Caledonian Sleeper delivering new facilities such as Guest Lounges, introducing wi-fi to Corrour (the UK’s highest and most remote main line station) as well as supporting the introduction of the new Mk5 overnight sleeper trains. It was this period in Scotland where he was working with Graeme Bunker, the Trust’s Operations Director. After a number of discussions over merlot, the link to the Trust grew and he took on the role of project manager for the Trust’s new Whessoe Road steam depot which will provide a new home for Tornado, Prince of Wales, the V4 and the new train, joining the board of Trustees in 2017. His key area of focus with the Trust is property management but he is also the Trust’s representative on Darlington Council’s Rail Heritage Steering Group Board. This is driving development of the North Road Railway Heritage Quarter and its part in the 2025 celebrations.
Mark is our Volunteer Coordinator. He is responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient people for each event that The Trust attends, and for the on-board teams that Tornado hauls. He then has to see to it that everyone turns up in the right place at the right time, and that they have their respective duties allocated. He liaises with various key personnel to make sure that all that needs to be in place for a trip/event actually happens. Not always an easy task! Mark also maintains the Volunteer Database.
Recently, he has implemented an online team calendar for our volunteers to sign up for duties. This makes his job of rostering somewhat easier. Along with this, he introduced an instant messaging system. This does away with emails for internal communications, and has streamlined how we contact each other.
Mark is in overall charge of the on-board train operations (Carriage Hosts & Support Team – formally Stewards & Merchandisers) whenever he is on that trip, and also takes on the role of Train Manager as required.
He joined The Trust along with his wife Mandy in October 2013. He has done merchandising and stewarding and helps to promote the P2 project at roadshows and events.
So lots of work for him to do – not forgetting a full time job as a Field Service Technician for Whirlpool – a career he has been in, and with the same company, for 38 years!
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is seeking to recruit a Chairman to lead and support the Board of Trustees. The Trust, formed in 1995, has seen great success in the completion and running of new build steam locomotive Class A1 No.60163 Tornado, and is continuing to build on this as well as undertake new and ambitious projects. The successful candidate will provide the strategic leadership and direction to enable these projects to be developed and delivered, whilst ensuring the sustainability of existing activities with particular regard to Tornado itself. It is the responsibility of the Chairman, working with the Trustees, to ensure not only the above, but that the charity continues to operate efficiently and effectively, and in compliance with relevant legislation.
Information for Candidates
The following information outlines the responsibilities and attributes that this role require. This is not an exclusive list but is designed to give candidates an indication of what the role entails.
Please note that this is a voluntary Chairmanship.
Management and leadership of the Board of Trustees
Upholding the goals and responsibilities of the Charity whilst ensuring its security and compliance with relevant legislation.
Providing financial oversight and ensuring probity
Chairing board meetings (typically 4 to 6 per annum)
Working with the Trustees to develop and deliver the Trust’s vision and strategy
Providing focus to define priorities
Communicating to the wider team developments and progress
Giving smart, stretching objectives but not breaking ones
Helping the organisation to grow by becoming more scalable and encouraging delegation
Ensuring application and maintenance of the Charity’s health and safety policy
Developing a succession plan for Trustees and advisors
Able to provide collegiate leadership of the team, whether Trustees or volunteers, be of strong character and able to collate information available and pull the team together to bring matters under consideration and discussion to a satisfactory conclusion.
Gravitas, easily able to engage with top people in industry, government, press and elsewhere
Able to motivate and lead a committed team
Working with the team, recognising people’s strengths, and weaknesses, getting the best out of everyone
Understanding of the challenges of running and developing a volunteer-run organisation which has responsibilities akin to many companies of full time paid people
Financial management, company and charity law
Commercial astuteness, an appreciation of risk and how to manage it
Leading successful teams
Organisations having a mix of paid and volunteer members
Interacting with government
To register your interest in being considered for the role of Chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, please submit a CV and cover email outlining your suitability to
Should you have any questions or require further information about the role please contact Sophie Bunker-James on 07929828014 or email
Closing Date Friday 9th June 2017
About the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust
No. 60163 Tornado
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a registered charity, built Peppercorn class A1 Pacific No. 60163 Tornado, named after the RAF aircraft, at its Darlington Locomotive Works. Fitted with additional water capacity and the latest railway safety electronics, Tornado is fully equipped for today’s main line railway. The A1 class was designed by Arthur H Peppercorn for the London & North Eastern Railway and 49 were built in 1948/49 by British Railways. However, following modernisation, all were scrapped by 1966.
After 18 years of construction and fundraising the £3 million locomotive was completed in August 2008. Tornado was named by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at York station on 19th February 2009. Frequently headlined in the press and on TV and radio, Tornado was the subject of a BBC documentary ‘Absolutely Chuffed: The Men Who Built a Steam Engine’ and featured in ‘The Race to the North’ on Top Gear. The Trust is still seeking to raise £200,000 through The 163 Pacifics Club to purchase the tender currently leased from principal sponsor William Cook Cast Products Limited.
100mph Record – Whilst undertaking test runs in connection with raising its permitted maximum speed, No. 60163 Tornado reached 100mph during trials conducted on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) between Doncaster and Newcastle on 12th April 2017. Tornado is currently limited to 75mph, but it has always been the intention to run the locomotive at speeds up to 90mph to better fit in with other trains on the busy UK rail network.
Plandampf –Tornado took to the rails on 14th, 15th & 16th February, pulling regular timetabled services (usually diesel hauled) over part of the Settle and Carlisle Railway (S&C), on what were the first steam hauled service trains in England since the 1960s. In three days around 6000 people travelled on these trains, all 12 of which were sold out.
No. 2007 Prince of Wales
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust is now constructing Britain’s most powerful steam locomotive – Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales.
The Gresley class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikados’ were the most powerful express passenger locomotives to operate in the UK. As the builders of new main line steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado, we have therefore decided to set ourselves a new challenge: to develop, build and operate an improved Gresley class P2 Mikado steam locomotive for main line and preserved railway use.
We are using the latest computer aided design and modelling techniques to realise the potential of the original design and estimate that No. 2007 Prince of Wales will cost around £5m to build over a 7-10 year period. As with Tornado, funds will be raised through regular monthly donations, donations dedicated to specific components, The Boiler Club and commercial sponsorship.
Tim joined the Trust as an advisor to the Board early in 2013. Since then, working alongside Mark Allatt, he has been instrumental in defining the ongoing marketing plan for Tornado as well as devising and executing the marketing strategy for Prince of Wales generating significant media coverage.
Tim is a professional marketer by trade with over fifteen years experience having held senior regional and global positions within some of the world’s biggest technology brands including Motorola and LG. He has also a wealth of experience with steam having held the marketing position at The Watercress Line for three years, one of the UK’s premier heritage railways.
Chris looks after the financial affairs of Tornado. Chris has had various responsibilities since he became an active volunteer with the Trust in 2008; prior to that he was ‘just’ a covenantor paying his monthly dues. He was born in Leeds to a Lancashire father and a Yorkshire mother. The result of that was that his father was an LMS man and his other relations were all LNER! The family moved to Derby from 1944 until 1949, before returning to Leeds. His father worked at Farnley Junction and later Holbeck shed until retirement. His favourite uncle was a signalman at Holbeck Junction and Beeston Station ‘boxes and visits to see him at work were the start of interest in Peppercorn class A1s.
Having finished school he spent time at Leeds Technical College. During this time he had a Saturday job at Boots in Leeds on the chemist counter. After finishing at the technical College, he got a full time job in the chemist stockroom at the Boots shop. Chris left Boots in 1963 and started a career in the bus industry, rather than rail operations like the rest of the family. He went to work at what was then Leeds City Transport (LCT) as a schedules clerk. LCT was one of the first operators to have radios fitted to buses and Chris was transferred for a spell in the radio control room so was one of the earliest radio operators.
After a spell back in the schedules office, he was offered the chance to go on the Municipal Passenger Transport Association’s (MPTA) Executive Training Course. This involved working at four different bus operators for six months each. After finishing the MPTA course, Chris returned to Leeds for a short period in the planning office but was then offered a job with what was now West Midlands PTE at Wolverhampton. Starting there as District Road Officer on 1st April 1970, he was responsible for all route operations. His first task was to merge the old separate trolleybus and motorbus routes into a more efficient network. In 1976 he moved to Walsall as District Traffic Superintendent and in 1980 became Operations Manager. With privatisation in 1986 he was seconded to the Information Technology Department on a temporary basis to develop systems that would be essential for viable commercial operations. As is the case with many temporary secondments, this one lasted until Chris left the PTE in September 1993. He was asked to set up a UK subsidiary company for a Canadian firm dealing with computer scheduling software for transport operations.
His first involvement in merchandising was when Tornado started running at the GCR at Loughborough. He volunteered for the sales stand at the station, selling a very basic selection of Tornado items. The money taken was just collected in a bag and taken home; no receipts or till balances. By the end of the first week, there was about £7,000 in cash in his car. It was eventually handed over to David Elliott for transport to Darlington to be banked. Chris was then approached to be merchandise volunteer co-ordinator, ensuring that teams of sales volunteers were available in the right place at the right time. Chris has done spells on the support crew and in 2010 project-managed the reassembly of Tornado after the boiler had been back to Germany for repair of the firebox. With the retirement of Barry Wilson as Finance Director, Chris was asked if he could take over the book-keeping role for the remaining parts of the Trust. In 2014, Chris was approached about becoming a Trustee and was appointed to this position in April of that year.
David was one of the principal architects of the A1 Trust and came up with simple idea of “an A1 for the price of a pint” which raised so much towards the construction of Tornado. Born in 1948 in South Shields, Tyneside, David grew up surrounded by steam railways of various sorts including a standard gauge light railway close by, and was fascinated by trains as long as he can remember. David modelled railways from the age of six, and along with his younger brother Phil watched the final heyday of the East Coast Pacifics and their sad rundown, particularly the elimination of A1 Pacifics.
He became infuriated with a ‘Railway Modeller’ editorial circa 1964 which said that the best way to preserve steam was to make models of them, and said to Phil that the best way was obviously to build new steam locos to replace what in time would be an ageing heritage fleet, and that some day people would do it.
David’s career commenced in1970 in Port Operations, and then Marketing for the Port of Tyne. In the mid-1970’s he moved to a large Building Society running the commercial estate management side of business, and while there carried out the Project Management of large Building and Engineering projects. In the late eighties he was headhunted to become a founder-partner in a new financial business headed by Lord Rothschild, and together with elder brother set up the Newcastle office.
Frustrated by ‘false starts’ of some new build projects, David was delighted to see Mike Wilson’s letter in Steam Railway News in early 1990 and after talking to Mike realised that this was the point to get involved. David offered to prepare a business plan and funding method capable of delivering a new A1. He recruited the initial professional team during 1990 and set up the launch at York where the Business Plan and the ‘A1 for the price of a Pint’ scheme was launched. This was followed by roadshows at London and Edinburgh where Messrs. Allatt, Elliott, Wilson and Voge were brought on board.
David took over as Chairman of the A1 Steam Trust in 1992 and oversaw production of the loco’s frames, wheels, cylinders, valve gear, cab, smoke box etc to the point of close to 50% completion by weight. Alas, his wife, Gillian, who was a great supporter, became terminally ill with cancer and David gave up work to look after her and passed the Chairmanship of the A1 project over to Mark Allatt. After the death of Gill in late 2004, he went to work for Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland, one the country’s largest secondhand and antiquarian bookshops with over 300,000 visitors a year, where he is now a Director of the company.
Sadly 2015 saw the death of our then president Dorothy Mather, widow of Arthur Peppercorn, designer of the Peppercorn class A1s and the last chief mechanical engineer of the London & North Eastern Railway, just six weeks short of her 100th birthday. Although no-one ccould directly replace Dorothy due to her unique link with Tornado, the Trust needed a new president and there was no-one better qualified to take up this mantle than David Champion.
Gillian was responsible for the procurement, distribution and sales of merchandise for the benefit of the trust from the time that Tornado entered traffic in 2009. Gillian retired as a bank officer in 1997 to set up her own genealogy research business covering all aspect of historical research. With the expertise gained, the opportunity came along to teach others genealogy and Gillian became a tutor for the Workers Education Association which enabled her to pass on her passion for history and heritage.