Peter is a former shed master of the King’s Cross ‘Top Shed’ and he was largely responsible for the magnificent performances turned in by the King’s Cross main line locomotives in the late 1950s up to closure of Top Shed in 1964. He worked with all the LNER Pacific types, is a prolific author and the Trust is fortunate to be able to draw on such a wealth of practical experience of the Peppercorn A1s in service. You can read Peter’s analysis of the A1s in service here
BR engineering apprentice, Darlington Works and elsewhere; career in BR, responsible at senior level for diesel/electric traction. One of three to form Halcrow Transmark steam loco VAB in 1993. Retired.
David is responsible for the project’s engineering strategy and implementation. He is a professional engineer, ex-BR Graduate Engineer in traction and rolling stock. After a number of years in commercial and managerial positions in the aerospace industry, and subsequently as a project manager in the railway signalling industry, he is now an independent consulting engineer retained by the Trust.
In addition to his role as Financial Director, Barry is responsible for paying the bills, keeping the books of account and preparing the annual financial statements for external audit. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is a retired director of the trust and company management business of UBS AG in Jersey.
Graham is responsible for the day to day maintenance and editing of the A1 and P2 websites, managing The Trust Facebook pages and YouTube channels and editing ‘The Communication Cord’, ‘The Tornado Telegraph’ and ‘The Mikado Messenger’, ensuring that The Trust’s primary points of contact for covenantors and the public are kept up to date.
Graham’s involvement with the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust dates back to his first donation in 2002 and attendance at the 2004 Convention after which he got steadily more drawn into the machinery of Trust operations! Upon discovering that Graham was working with websites, in 2008 Mark Allatt ‘persuaded’ him to take on the day to day management of the Trust website, in line with an A1SLT policy of fitting ‘square pegs into square holes’.
You could say that steam is in Graham’s genes; his great-grandfather, Carl Langer, a chemist who developed the fuel cell, was a railway enthusiast, as was his son, Carl, who served with Welsh Regiment in WW1 before taking up farming, as was Graham’s father, Charles, who was a talented model engineer and President of the Tonbridge Model Engineering Society. Growing up on a farm in East Sussex in the 1960s with a 31/2” gauge railway in the garden ensured that Graham had little chance of avoiding the steam bug and regular trips to fetch cattle feed from Hodson’s Mill in Robertsbridge with his father allowed him to enjoy his first footplate rides on the SE&CR ‘P’ Class which had been acquired by the mill following the closure of the Kent & East Sussex Railway.
As soon as he was old enough (well, eleven actually) Graham started volunteering on the fledgling K&ESR at Rolvenden, initially helping in the Locomotive Department under the eyes of Colin Edwards and Jack Hoad, one of the original Colonel Stephens’ drivers. He remembers helping to repaint one of the Terriers, Sutton, and being the ideal size to be inserted into parts of a locomotive which adults couldn’t reach, including the smokeboxes of the Terriers! Involvement in the preservation movement brought him into contact with David Dore and this resulted in his making trips to Peterborough to work on the de Glehn Compound 4-6-0 No. 3.628 when she was active on the Nene Valley Railway (leading to a life-long admiration for the work of French locomotive engineers). In his late teens Graham’s railway modelling interests grew to encompass 16mm scale live steam in the garden and attending college in Tonbridge enabled him to enjoy travelling there on the Hastings line ‘Thumpers’, often in the cab if the driver was local.
A degree in Landscape Architecture was followed by a number of years working with horses, both in the UK and Ireland, then seven years in the wine trade before a complete change of course found Graham moving to Herefordshire to farm in the mid-90s. In 1999 he married Jackie, the daughter of a senior BR railwayman herself, and it was the arrival of their daughter in 2003 that led to a further change of career, Graham finding a role with a local online model railway retailer, a job out of which he was head-hunted by his current business partner, Ian Pearse of Accucraft, makers of small scale live steam engines! In 2018 he was appointed Managing Director of Accucraft UK Ltd. and is also involved in the UK distribution of Aster-Accucraft products.
To ensure he didn’t spend his entire life in front of a PC, Graham also joined Tornado’s support crew during her first few years on the mainline but pressures of work and the locomotive being based in London have prevented him fulfilling this duty of late. One consolation is that his firm was able to produce a limited run of Gauge 1, live steam models of No. 60163, allowing to him present the Trust with £10,000 commission from sales, a perfect way to mix business and hobby! In 2017 he was appointed a trustee and director of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust.
An experienced transport journalist, Tony was Steam Railway magazine’s longest-serving editor until his decision to go freelance at the end of 2006. Now associate editor of Tramways and Urban Transit, Tony has also written for Britain’s Railways, Model Rail, RAIL, Railways Illustrated and the general travel industry. He still regularly contributes to Steam Railway, among other things penning the influential ‘Down Main’ column. His name has now appeared in well over 100 issues of the magazine, which during his editorship was Britain’s biggest-selling railway title. Tony is a fluent German speaker and has also contributed to publications in both Germany and Switzerland.
Rob was originally responsible for creating and maintaining the Trust’s Project Plan, starting with the very first plan in 1994. In 2006, with the engine in the final stages of construction, Rob began the design of the A1’s electrical system, which he completed the following year. He and Paul Depledge built and installed the complete system on the engine and are now responsible for its maintenance and ongoing development. Rob is now leading the electrical work on the P2 along with Alan Parkin and Paul Depledge. Rob is a Chartered Engineer, a European Engineer and is Director of his own company, Astutim Ltd, which helps companies make money out of technology in the field of electronics and mobile communications. He has also been an active footplate volunteer on the Talyllyn Railway for over 40 years, and is related to railway preservation pioneer, the late Tom Rolt.
It is with great sadness that we have to record the passing of Dorothy Mather, widow of Arthur Peppercorn, on the 10th November at the age of 99.
Born Dorothy Patricia Louch, she grew up in a railway family near Doncaster and, following a stint of voluntary work during WW2 and working for the regional coal board, she ended up in the Doncaster Works drawing office; it was here that she met Arthur Peppercorn and they married in 1948. It was during this period that the A2s and the A1s entered traffic. Leaving the Eastern Region of BR in good shape, Arthur retired at the end of 1949, much loved and admired, only to die prematurely in 1951.
A few years later, she met Colonel W. H. Mather, OBE, TD and ex-LNER. In due course they married, bought a country house near Stokesley and settled down. As Bill’s health failed, they moved to a more modern house and Dorothy nursed him. He died and she became a widow again, albeit with an ever-wider circle of friends and Bill’s many nephews and nieces.
In August 1993, Dorothy was approached by the Trust about the A1 Project. She was sufficiently impressed to join us informally and from there her involvement grew. She was there at BSD Leeds on 13th July 1994 to start the CNC machine that cut Tornado’s frameplates, at the Trust’s first convention that September and at Tyseley in December for the ceremony marking erection of the frameplates. She attended many A1 Trust occasions since then, always immaculately dressed, always interested and courteous to everyone she met. In September 1995 she became joint vice-president, later president.
Not just a figurehead, she did a tremendous job for the Trust in countless interviews with press and television. She proved quite as vital as our ISO 9000 quality standard because, if Tornado was good enough for her, it would be good enough for Arthur Peppercorn. Those of us who knew her will miss her quiet dignity, kindness and valued contributions to any conversation about the work of her first husband.