Emergency Appeal launched to keep GWR prairie at Minehead

An emergency appeal for £120,000 to save GWR large prairie No. 4110 for the West Somerset Railway has been launched by members of the line’s mechanical engineering department after it was offered for sale by the line’s own plc.

No. 4110 is seen waiting to depart from Minehead in 1962. The group of prospective new owners is hopeful that this scene can be recreated in the not too distant future. LAURIE TANDY/TANDY FAMILY

When the announcement of the sale offer was made before Christmas, the story was immediately posted on Heritage Railway’s website, www.heritagerailway.co.uk, helping to boost support by raising awareness of the project to secure the Minehead branch veteran for future operation on the popular heritage line.

As we closed for press however, group spokesman Chris Ruddick said: “The speed of the response has far exceeded our expectations and we now have £120,000 (£100,000 plus £20,000 in the short-term for VAT) pledged to the fund from 105 people.

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The plc asked us to us to raise this amount and purchase the locomotive by the end of January 2019. The fact we have now reached 100% of the required funds in pledges has given us the confidence to proceed with the formal establishment of a limited company and begin the process of setting up a company bank account.

“The company has been registered with Companies House as GWR4110 Ltd. To ensure a swift set-up, model articles of association have been used.

These will be replaced shortly with a revised version, which will include articles that will, as far as possible, ensure the locomotive, when acquired, is protected for use on the WSR; limit individual shareholdings; and require the agreement of a large majority of shareholders prior to any disposal of the locomotive.

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt