2016 Project Review and Message from the Chairman
Last year I wrote an end of year update and thought it would be a good idea if I repeated the exercise and demonstrated progress both from an engineering and fund raising perspective so far this year.
Most of you will be aware of engineering progress from The Warrior, our regular engineering updates on the website and our Facebook pages so I won’t go into detail on 2016’s achievements but it is worthwhile mentioning that we are now in a position where around 90% of the remaining components to complete the chassis are either complete, in manufacture or on order. The remaining items are relatively small but like everything to do with building a new steam locomotive expensive so there is a continuing need to keep funds coming in to pay for these items which will be required next year to allow Llangollen Railway Engineering to finish the job. On the boiler front, we wait only the delivery of the highly complex throatplate to complete the platework for the boiler. L&NWR Heritage at Crewe have nearly finished the door plate and once the throatplate appears will start assembly of the firebox, the most complex part of the boiler. Progress on the assembly of the tender chassis will progress as funds and time allow.
Fund raising is ahead of budget and ahead of last year. This year following our decision to issue hard copies of our really excellent magazine The Warrior, (thanks due here to Pete Sikes for his outstanding contribution) sponsorship of components in 2016 has been excellent. We have also made great strides in getting to our target of 500 regular donors, with 390 to date and rising all the time. What has also been notable has been the off the cuff donations from people who are not even members. Over the past two months I have written to three such individuals who have donated a total of £17,000 (£21,250 with Gift aid) a sure sign that we are attracting support from beyond our membership.
Next year will be our crunch year with the need to raise money as never before so if you have toyed with the idea of becoming a regular donor or making a one off donation 2017 would be the best time to help ensure that 'The Unknown Warrior' steams in late 2017/early 2018. I would like to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and commitment in 2016 year and to take the opportunity of wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2017 and my thanks for your incredible commitment and support to the project over the past twelve months.
David Bradshaw, Chairman