With the frames for new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales
now in place at Darlington Locomotive Works and all eight driving wheels ordered and in the process of being cast at William Cook Cast Products (WCCP) of Sheffield, the fundraising for this mammoth project continues at pace. Key to its ongoing success is raising awareness beyond the core railway enthusiast community, securing support and donations from the wider general public. In an ambitious move for a new build steam locomotive project, The Trust have secured the services of a 40ft mobile billboard to help not only spread the message and drive funding, but secure a mutually beneficial relationship with one of the countries longest serving road hauliers as haulage partner, namely L Hunt & Sons of Basingstoke.
The trailer is designed to have a working life covering the duration of the seven year anticipated build for No. 2007 Prince of Wales
. During that time, it will cover hundreds of thousands of miles and be visible to millions of motorists and pedestrians across the country. Forming part of L Hunt & Sons haulage fleet, the trailer will be put to work immediately, but will be used for the first time by The Trust to transfer the driving wheels from William Cook Cast Products in Sheffield to Darlington Locomotive in the next few weeks.
Derrick Hunt, Managing Director for L Hunt & Sons commented, 'We are delighted to be a partner of this amazing project! The road haulage industry was largely blamed for taking freight off the rails following WWII, contributing in part to the demise of steam. As one of the country's longest serving road hauliers, its great to be in a position to help put steam back on the main line for the public to enjoy'. Derrick added, 'We are looking forward to playing our part in not only making sure the trailer is as visible as possible on the highways of Britain, but assisting where and when we can in the transport of parts to Darlington Locomotive Works for the production of No. 2007 Prince of Wales. Over the years we've moved many heritage items, including the world's oldest caravan to Buckingham Palace in 2007, so we are honoured to be able to add this significant Royal connection to our own varied and 118 year delivery history'.
Mark Allatt said, 'We are keeping our foot well and truly on the throttle of our fund raising for No. 2007 Prince of Wales. The trailer is specifically designed to raise awareness of this project, using Tornado as proof of our credibility and pedigree, driving the public to our website to find out more'. Mark added, 'A clear demonstration of how two industries can work together for mutual benefit, we are seeking partnerships from similar industry leaders to help make No. 2007 Prince of Wales a reality'.
Photos by Tim Beere