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Roll of Honour

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Dorothy Mather

Anyone who attended earlier A1SLT Annual Conventions would have seen the diminutive figure of the A1 Trust’s President, Mrs Dorothy Mather, but they might have wondered about her connection with the A1.  Her father was a hydraulic engineer with the LNER and she was an only child, born Dorothy Patricia Louch. She grew up in a railway family and naturally every holiday began and ended with a train journey. They lived in a village near Doncaster and she went to private schools. Life was uneventful until her father died, aged only 49.

When the Second World War began, she helped provide refreshments for the many military convoys that stopped in Doncaster at all times of the day and night. Like the other volunteers, she paid a weekly subscription towards the cost of the soldiers’ food and drink, as well as giving her time. That traffic had begun to slacken when she was invited to lunch one Saturday by her best friend, whose father was chairman of the regional coal board. When he found that she was not working, he invited her to come and fill one of their vacancies. Dorothy went home to tell her mother that she had got her first job, at the coal board office in an old manor house at Warmsworth. She rose to become Assistant Surveyor.

With that experience behind her, she moved to Doncaster Works drawing office. Long before this, though, she had already met Arthur Peppercorn socially. He was an able and engaging man who had every quality needed to reach the top, except for self-advertisement. Despite this, he succeeded Edward Thompson as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LNER on 1st July 1946. He was an effective but considerate boss who never raised his voice or swore. With their great sense of fun, he and Dorothy had soon hit it off, and they eventually married in 1948. Within weeks, the family doctor took her aside to say she should prepare for the worst, “Arthur’s heart might give out at any time. I don’t want to tell him, he’s got enough on his plate.” The post of CME was stressful anyway, even without the turbulence caused by nationalisation. By this time, the Peppercorn A2s and two A1s were already in traffic.

For two and a half years years Dorothy lived with the knowledge that her husband might die at any time. They were both very busy, attended railway occasions together and visited his family in Herefordshire; Arthur had several brothers and sisters. 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.

After the joy of being married to Arthur, life was bound to seem empty. Still, Dorothy pressed on with life. A few years later, through a friend 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, but now with an even larger circle of friends. She became a byword for a busy life among Bill’s many nieces and nephews.

In August 1993, David Champion wrote to Dorothy to suggest a meeting at which he could explain to her all 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 13 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 under the supervision of Bob Meanley. She attended every major A1 Trust occasion since then, always immaculately dressed, always interested, kind 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. Sadly Dorothy passed away on the 10th November 2015 and the Trust lost one of its greatest friends.

Mark Allatt

In late 2021 Mark retired from the Trust after 30 years involvement. In early 2017, after 16 years as Chairman of the organisation – and 26 years spearheading the Trust’s marketing, PR and fundraising – Mark stood down from the Chairmanship to focus on the construction of No. 2007 Prince of Wales as P2 Project Director;  in this role, Mark was responsible for strategy and the overall management of the project.  In addition to his leadership of the P2 Project, where he prioritised PR, fundraising and marketing, he also continued to have oversight of and contribute to the rest of the Trust’s PR, marketing and fundraising activities, as well as playing an important role in the Trust’s strategic planning across all of its commitments.

Mark was born in 1965 in Sheffield but raised and educated in Dronfield in north Derbyshire and Bottesford in North Lincolnshire, just outside Scunthorpe.  Family cine footage recorded Mark’s first encounter with No. 4472 (with Dave Court firing!) in 1967.  His interest in railways was further kindled by Triang-Hornby models, initially purchased second-hand but it was the arrival of a Flying Scotsman set for Christmas in 1970 that probably cemented his love of all things LNER.  Holidays usually included at least one day dedicated to the pursuit of steam or railways and found the young Allatt attending preserved lines as diverse as the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (he remembers that Standard 4MT tank No. 80135 was in traffic), Carnforth when Sir Nigel Gresley was in steam and Barrow Hill when Blue Peter paid a visit in the early ‘70s.

University education, initially at De Montfort, Leicester, saw Mark gain a degree in politics & economics while maintaining his interest in railways with membership of the Gresley and A4 Societies, even though he felt both needed a degree of modernising.  After experience in the world of politics with a foreign policy ‘think tank’ and running an election campaign (in addition to standing for Parliament in 1997), Mark moved into P.R., initially with Hoskyns, before progressing to ever more senior and demanding roles at the likes of KPMG, GVA, Deloitte and Bird & Bird before branching out on his own as a company chairman, director, NED, consultant and campaigner. Most recently he has been working independently offering experienced marketing, communications, business development and brand consultancy for the B2B sector.  Mark was also elected chair of the LNER Society.

Reading ‘Steam Railway’ magazine in 1990, Mark got wind of the A1 project, attending the second meeting at King’s Cross in March 1991; it was at this gathering that David Champion asked for volunteers and Mark put his hand up to help with the marketing, PR and fundraising – the rest, as they say, is history.  Mark’s busy life remains intertwined with the A1 Trust, keeping Tornado in the public eye and active on the main line as the organisation commences the construction of the seventh member of Gresley’s master class in engineering and elegance; After 30 years’ effort, Mark remains a Covenantor and supporter, long may he remain involved.


Malcolm Crawley

Malcolm was a Doncaster Works premium apprentice 1947–52 under Arthur Peppercorn, Tornado’s designer. A retired BR engineer, Malcolm worked on the design, construction and maintenance of the original class A1s.

Malcolm started paid railway life in May 1947 with the LNER as a Premium Apprentice in Doncaster Locomotive Works. Following National Service with a Royal Engineers Transportation Squadron, mostly doing leave train inspection in Hamburg, he returned to Doncaster to be offered either to become an erector in the Crimpsall shops, now sadly demolished, or to enter the Locomotive Drawing Office. His section leader was one who had been involved with many of the Gresley designs and of course those which followed. He had laid out the wedge front for the streamlined locomotives and was responsible for the design of the Thompson B1. Following this he became a Head Office Mechanical Inspector and spent three years riding around on the railway. He was responsible along with others for the acceptance testing of the new fleet of diesel electric locomotives from type 2 to type 5.  After being moved on, some years he was Training Officer until he escaped to a job in the new Divisional Maintenance Engineer’s organisation at Newcastle, involved mainly with footplate staff management. This was at the end of steam and he was able to use his training experience in ensuring that there were sufficient men trained on the various traction types. I was involved also in the planning process and staff consultation to close several of the steam depots and to change staffing levels for the lesser needs of the new age. When there was no longer enough work him he was moved on to the Divisional Operating Manager’s team.

Then an opportunity came to apply for an operating job back in Doncaster and Malcolm became Movements Assistant dealing with the development of the Doncaster Resignalling Scheme. When a chance came to return to engineering arose, and with some encouragement from the Divisional Maintenance Engineer, he moved to Area Maintenance Engineer at Doncaster, about 25 years to the day after he had left Carr Loco as an apprentice. Here he was involved with not only locomotives but with carriage, wagon and plant also.  After a about a year he lost the footplate staff to the Area Manager and he could concentrate on the engineering. One of the most satisfying parts of this job was his involvement in the development of our graduate and sandwich course student engineers, guiding them through the IMechE’s Monitored Professional Development Scheme. It was in this capacity that he became involved with the legendary Richard Hardy. Reorganisation was to disturb all this.

However, the railway was changing and when his boss asked him to compile a list of those who might be prepared to take redundancy, he suggested that his name be put on the top, leaving in March 1988 after almost forty one fascinating years. In the 1990’s Malcolm became involved with the team building Tornado and spent many hours at Darlington Locomotive Works.  A true gentleman, Malcolm was an inspiration to all those involved in the building and now operation of Tornado and was always available to share his wisdom and experience.  He was also Chairman of The Gresley Society Trust and President of the LNER Society.  Sadly Malcolm died on 19th February 2012.


Wreford Voge

Wreford Voge was President of the Institute of Taxation from 1984 to 1986 and a Member of Council from 1972 to 1986.  Wreford was a partner in the Edinburgh office of Ernst & Whinney, specialising in the business and taxation affairs of family companies and partnerships, when he became President of the Institute in 1984. His Presidency, the last to run for two years, was marked by eventful technical developments with many representations and a move
by the Institute to new premises.  Wreford had a special interest in education at both the CIOT and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland for whom he was a lecturer for 22 years and helped revise their education system.

Wreford became involved with the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust at an early stage and helped with accounting and taxation matters (bear in mind that through the proceeds of gift and the like, HMRC was one of the biggest donors to Tornado!).  Sadly Wreford died on 19th December 2008 but not before he had seen Tornado steam and prove that she was more than capable on the main line.  On 28th February 2009 Tornado hauled ‘The Auld Reekie’ on her first visit to the Scottish capital, carrying the headboard, ‘Wreford – this one’s for you’.

Barry Wilson

Barry was the Finance Director of the Trust from 1994 until 2013 but joined the Trust at its inception. He was one of the first  covenantors and attended the initial launch meeting held at King’s Cross in 1990. Born and raised in Hull he was a keen trainspotter in the 1950s along with many of his generation and naturally developed an interest in all things LNER. On leaving school he qualified as a chartered accountant and it was while on an audit that he met his wife, Linda. They have two sons and two grandsons. Barry’s career eventually led him to work for accountants in Jersey in 1978, later moving into the banking sector until retirement.  Apart from his activities for the Trust Barry was keen on most sports, particularly cricket, soccer and Rugby Union, and played the first two and squash until problems with his knees forced him to give up.

His qualifications and experience made him an ideal person to become the Trust’s financial director and the work he did, though not glamorous or in the public eye, was most crucial to the Trust. The day to day work involved maintaining the books, liaising with the banks, preparing cash forecasts, approving purchase orders, paying bills, raising sales invoices, debt collection and regular reporting to the Trustees. Preparation of annual budgets from information provided by the engineering, marketing and merchandising teams, reporting to HMRC, doing group VAT returns, making bond interest payments, preparation of the annual accounts and liaison with the Trust’s auditors were also part of the regular mix of activities. All these functions increased significantly following the completion of Tornado as there were now two active subsidiary Companies covering operations and merchandising.

Barry came up with the concept of dedicated covenants, which became a major source of donations in the early years of the project, and the idea of raising funds to buy the boiler by the issue of the bearer bond in 2004. This raised enough money for the Trustees to be able to order the boiler, which in turn provided the catalyst for a major surge in covenant income and therefore reduced the time to complete construction significantly. In the early years Barry very generously advanced loans to the Trust and he and Linda purchased and donated the support coach (which was renovated at the Works) to the Trust. As a volunteer he assisted with aspects of construction of Tornado and was also a member of the support crew.

Alexa Stott

By her own confession Alexa Stott was not from a railway background, however, born and raised in Settle, with the world famous Settle & Carlisle railway literally on her parents’ doorstep, she had many childhood encounters with steam locomotives and was always fascinated by their sheer size and power, smell and noise. Having spent several years in merchant banking in the City of London, until Alexa started work at William Cook Cast Products, the occasional visit to the National Railway Museum or a preserved railway with her children was about as far as her interest in railways went.

She had worked for Andrew Cook, Chairman of the company, for about a year and had noted early on, probably because it was at the front of the cabinet, a file labelled ‘A1 Trust’ but had had no reason to check its contents. A trip to one of the William Cook subsidiaries at Stanhope changed all that. On the return journey, the meeting there having finished early, Andrew announced that he wanted to check on the progress of a project the company was involved in. It took a while to find a nondescript building in a suburb of Darlington before being ushered through an unremarkable green door for the first time, avoiding the low ceiling, seeing machinery and lights through a doorway ahead of her and then….a steam engine, a HUGE steam engine hidden away from the public gaze, a sleeping giant.

Alexa’s first meeting was not with a complete engine, however, far from it. At that point Tornado had no boiler, no tender, only a shell of a cab but looking up at the smoke box and along the line of the frames and those enormous driving wheels and she was smitten. It wasn’t long before Mark Allatt realised this too and suggested that it would be helpful for her to act as a liaison between the company (WCCP) and the Trust and the position of Trustee soon followed. Alexa took on the roles of sponsorship coordinator and covenantor care, work which involved many hours of voluntary effort. Subsequently she also acquired responsibility for the ‘Tornado Team’ for younger supporters of No. 60163.  At the beginning of 2015 Alexa announced her intention to stand down as a trustee of the A1SLT after many years involvement. Now heavily involved with Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Alexa remains a Covenantor.

Gillian Lord

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.

David Burgess

For many years David was the Company Secretary of the Trust, responsible for the statutory and administrative affairs of the Trust and its associated companies and for the preparation and organisation of board and other meetings.  David was a Chartered Secretary retired after more than 20 years working in the finance industry.  A stalwart supporter of The Trust, he continues to spend time on the support crew.

David became Company Secretary of the Trust in 2001 and a Trustee in 2002. Born in Mitcham, Surrey in 1948 he was brought up in south London and was fascinated by trains almost from birth according to his mother.  On leaving school he had an unspectacular career for 20 years in the administrative side of the oil contracting industry but did qualify as a Company Secretary. Upon moving to Guernsey in 1989 he worked in the finance industry in Trust and Company Administration, retiring in 2011.

David has been a covenantor since 1994 .  When the Trust was seeking someone to replace Wreford Voge as Secretary of the Trust because of his declining health David stuck his head over the parapet and was appointed.  Following his appointment as a Trustee his work increased significantly over the years. David found that because of the way the Trust is structured, much of his work was done from home using email as the main form of communication which worked well considering those involved live all over the country. He admitted to being the least well known of all the Trustees as his work was largely in the background and covered not just the formal role of Secretary but such areas as insurances, purchasing and accounting functions, and all the boring but essential work that any organisation has to cover, but no one really wants to do.  He has been a member of the support  crew for some years and that provided the antidote to the administrative work.  David stepped down from the Board at the beginning of 2019 but still turns out with the support crew on main line runs with No. 60163.