Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Diamond Gaz, Aug 11, 2017.
I'll bet that the NRM won't dispose of anything LNER (and previous Co's) lineage...
More selling of the family jewels and continued dumbing down of the NRM. Get rid of the Japanese monstrosity instead.
Now that I live close by the NRM, I had thought seriously about volunteering there, but they've now taken one of my faves away and it's all café and fewer exhibits. Still, I'm sure I could do a better job than the muppet who you bumped into!
Look , there is a very good reason the current NRM looks the way it does - namely the old LNER depot was suffering from the incurable 'Concrete Cancer' and had to be demolished pretty quickly in the early 1990s. Now, yes it would obviously have been possible to build an exact replica, but why would you when you can have a structure that has far fewer support columns, lets in lots more light and allows for the display of other things like signal gantries inside (so they don't get ruined by the British weather sitting out in the rain).
Yes its not a 'traditional locoshed', but when you consider that in the case of the NRM, it relies on attracting vast numbers of people who couldn't care less about railways and just want to see some pretty trains, preferably with a nice cafe and interactive things for the kids to do then the current building is what you need. Personally I like the open nature of the current NRM - looking out from the balcony over the locos on display or being able to wander round them while they are bathed in light is infinitely preferable to a dingy running shed (as is currently the case on the Bluebell).
Similarly when the designers of the Shildon building were given the brief, the priorities were to have a low profile, flexible building that catered for the needs of casual visitors at a modest cost - not replicate a traditional steam shed. In fact the big problem as far as I am concerned is precisely the way the building takes on the footprint of a loco shed - long lines of items which cannot be observed on all sides and a lack of natural light to properly appreciate the exhibits due to the low level roof.
FACT:- enthusiasts are a minority interest for pretty much all Heritage railways or museums and if they relied on such a market to fund them they would all go bust very quickly. Thus it is entirely natural to expect that such organisations (particularly those which the Government demands have free admission while at the same time cutting the grants they get form DCMS year on year in real terms) to be biased towards where the money is - i.e. the casual family market, after hiring out the venue for cooperate entertainment in the evening and generally being less concerned with the enthusiast market (other than special events).
In 50 years time that " Japanese monstrosity" will be very valuable in showing future generations the train that kick started the high speed revolution in rail travel that lies behind the construction of High speed lines across Europe and our own HS1, HS2 and hopefully HS3 as rail travel continues its renaissance.
The railway story didn't stop in 1968 or whenever it was BR withdrew its last steam traction, nor did it stop in 1994 when privatisation happened and most importantly nor did UK railways exist in complete isolation form the rest of the world. Many other counties have the UK to thank for a railway system in the first place and the UK was a massive exporter of railway equipment - demonstrated by the Chinese loco that was built in the UK for export. Two centuries on the UK is now learning from others - having domestically been left to stagnate (BRs successes like the HST being outnumbered by Treasury forced cuts and rationalisation of the network) during the 70s and 80s where 'managed decline' was the order of the day. The Japanese were the first to realise post WW2 that rail had a bright future if invested in correctly and as such the 'Bullet train is just as important as Rocket to UK railways - which must not only be about the past as too many enthusiasts seem to think - but the future of rail travel in the decades to come.
In any case STEAM is an excellent museum with plenty of visitors and well supported by the local authorities precisely because of the number of visitors it brings (plus those casual ones it attracts due to the designer outlet shopping centre next door). The big bonus as regards the disposal of 2813, is unlike the T3 down at Swanage, STEAM will be able to be displayed it inside in the warm and dry following its move from York. Thus while I share the concerns of others in the sense that surely a long term lease is better than an outright sale, that does not mean the actual relocation is a bad move.
Although I agree to some extent with those who don't like how the NRM is now, I also agree with both those posts from Phil-d259. I haven't visited Shildon so I have no view about that.
As for the disposals, I remain bemused by whatever kind of logic the NRM has been applying, but we are where we are. It would be interesting to know what conditions were placed on this latest disposal. If at some future date STEAM closes or otherwise ceases to be an appropriate home, what happens then?
Tbh the only time I visited Shildon I found it dull. Perhaps my expectations were too high?
The only concern I've got that a National collection without a single Churchward 2 cylinder standard would appear to have a gaping hole in it. 2818 ticks an awful lot of boxes in the history of steam locomotive development. Unlike the other case, with this one there aren't the same level of concerns about conditions of storage.
There's an illustrative lesson going on in my dinghy sailing world at the moment when it comes to donated items. There was a huge collection of historical craft assembled at the Exeter Maritime museum, which closed. A charity was organised which took them over. That has now gone bust, mainly I suspect because of a large collection requiring housing and not enough long term income. The whole collection has been sold off by the receivers, including an awful lot of historic craft donated by their original owners in the belief they would be safe. A lot of the collection is "Going to china" which I fear and suspect may be a euphemism for thrown in containers to go to recycling. The thing about receivers is they have no duty to the collection, only to the debtors so everything goes as fast as possible.
If displayed in the right context, i.e. alongside a run-down 1st generation DMU and a bus shelter, the Bullet Train can tell the story of how far Britain's Railways were falling behind the world leaders 50 years ago.
Given that the original York museum was set up by the LNER to display railway items of interest; given it took City of Truro on as an exhibit when the GWR wouldn't, given that all of the LNER locomotives within the collection (bar Mallard) are absolutely unique items (i.e. not duplicated anywhere else in the UK), you would think that gives them a level of security. LSWR 563 possibly proves this to not be the case.
This is the end of a review. I am unsurprised that the 28xx has gone in terms of its duplication elsewhere. However as mentioned, there's no Churchward 2 cylinder locomotives to represent the early years of GWR standardisation in the collection at York now.
I can however see that an argument could be made for Lode Star representing the GWR's early standardisation developments on its own, given its history.
The NSR tank I agreed with its disposal. 563 I sat on the fence but ultimately believe it will benefit. The 28xx seems to be a transfer to Swindon, but with a clear remit of it going back to the national collection under certain circumstances, unlike the latter two (unless my recollection is remiss).
I know that that the roof of the original shed was shot and I wasn't suggesting that an exact replica was built but it might have been an idea reproduce the atmosphere of a steam shed by having three or four roads off the turntable arranged as they would have been complete with smoke extractors notice boards and some of the other shed clutter. Would it have been that much more expensive to give the front of the Shildon building a more realistic facade?
Some of the public may be happy just to look at some brightly painted engines but by definition a museum is an educational establishment and I think a lot of visitors hope to go away with a better understanding of railway history, something lacking in the current setup.
I recently visited the Welsh Slate Mining Museum at Llanberis, another free government funded museum which makes the most of its setting to give an insight to the hard life in that industry. The workshops displays looked as if the last shift had just clocked off, no gimmicks and no intrusive fast food outlets and there were plenty of visitors on the day I was there.
This point came out on the 563 thread - see the NRM statement at http://blog.nrm.org.uk/managing-national-collection-gifting-t3/. The only condition there was that the recipient has to offer the loco back to the NRM (presumably at no cost to the NRM) before disposing of it. Clearly what the NRM has to be seen to guard against is the transferee turning round and selling it to someone else. Trying to draft conditions as to the loco's state of repair and conditions of storage/display would be difficult. If conditions were required to be attached, it is easier to make these work in the context of a loan as the remedy can presumably be along the lines of termination of the loan at the sole discretion of the NRM, to avoid going into pages of drafting and dispute resolution etc. Once the decision has been made to dispose of the item, the NRM's bargaining position may not be that strong as in reality there are few takers for such assets who would meet the NRM's Day 1 tests, and the transferee is unlikely to want to take on all the costs of ownership and find that the NRM is still calling the shots.
In answer to an earlier point, the benefit of a disposal is that the NRM gets rid of the asset completely with no further responsibility. As a loan item, if it rolls onto someone's foot, the NRM is an obvious deep pocket to go after, plus the NRM would be duty bound to do an annual inspection of the item's condition, and have to be involved with agreeing and monitoring overhauls etc.
More than that: The Saint and the 2800 were developed alongside each other, and were the pattern for the typical British steam locomotive took until the end of steam. The Star is lovely, and has extra Swindon provenance, but is also a development sideline.
If you want to really see the history of the GWR , I would say Didcot probally tells it better from the bread gauge , to the king class, Steam can only give you a potted history apart from being able to go under the castle, Didcot i would say is a better day out more to see, more to do
I fully expected one of the duplicate GNR Atlantics to go, but not surprised that no NER loco has gone, it seems to me that it's York first and National second (personal opinion)
Considering how many NER locos are at York now (1275 & Aerolite, hardly representative of the NER) that opinion is frankly laughable.
Still in the collection though, with two from the South given away.
One point to consider - how many ex LNER (and constituent company) locomotives are extant, compared with survivors from the other 'Big 4' companies and BR? That may have come into the NRM's reasoning?
it may but I don't think that's the way Museum Curaotrs think. That's what makes not having a Churchward 2 cylinder loco at the NRM odd.
I must admit, after reading that one further NRM Loco was going to be removed from the collection, 2818 was not remotely on my guess list of likely candidates. The NRM only owned two 2-8-0s in total, both with an important story to tell, yet it owns three four cylinder 4-6-0s all built by the same company! I must admit, deciding between 4003, 4073 and 6000 would have been a pretty tough one, but the case for one of these engines to change hands is stronger than that for 2818.
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