Trust Chronology

14 February 2024

The Trust signs an initial 10-year agreement with The Royal Scot Locomotive and General Trust Limited based at Crewe. This will see the Duke join the steam fleet based there and will work mainline tours and appropriate running on heritage railways.

27/28 January 2023

The Trust attended the Great Central Railway Winter Steam Gala at Loughborough Central station.  We had a stand on the platform to raise awareness of the Duke’s imminent return later in the year.  Our stand was supported by a number of the Trust’s members and raised over £1,400 from donations and sales of memorabilia.

2 November 2023

Duke passed its boiler hydraulic test.

22 November 2023

The first fire was lit in the Duke’s grate since 2012.  The Duke continued in steam until 3rd December 2023 for the Trust’s Members’ Day. During this time the boiler pressure reached 150 lb/ sq in before the fire was allowed to go out.

3 December 2023

The Trust’s third annual Members’ Day was hosted at Tyseley Working Mens Club, with visits to Tyseley Loco Works for everyone to see the Duke on the turntable, in steam.  Around 70 Trust members attended the event and over £5,000 was raised.

18 December 2023

The boiler was taken to 250psi with the boiler inspector present, the result is good, the boiler has passed its initial steam test!  Dave Oliver also hydraulic pressurised the air tanks to 225psi, again a good result subject to an internal examination which will be done at the final steam test.

January 2022

Significant progress was reported on the driving wheels having been returned from South Devon Engineering, enabling the Trust’s Working Parties to work on cleaning them (and removing old paint) ready for primer to be applied and the tyres being profiled. Work on the pistons has also progressed with the core plugs fitted to the piston heads and the slide bars connected to the new rear cylinder covers.  Good progress was also noted on the overhaul of the Support Coach at Rampart Engineering, Barrow Hill.

3 April 2022

All members of the Trust were invited to a Members’ Day at Tyseley. Around 70 members attended and were updated on the loco’s overhaul. The members attending were escorted through the Loco Workshop to enable them to witness first-hand the progress that had been made on the Duke’s overhaul.

18 May 2022

The Trust’s support coach was returned to Tyseley from Rampart Engineering, Barrow Hill, fully overhauled and freshly painted (with the Trust’s logo on its side).  The support coach is now almost ready for mainline use.

17 August 2022

The Duke’s crank axle was returned to Tyseley from South Devon. Work will now continue at Tyseley to profile the axle’s tyres after which our Support Crew will remove all the old paintwork before repainting them. We can now look forward to the remaining driving wheels being reunited with the loco and the motion being reattached.

11 October 2022

The remaining driving wheels have now been reunited with the loco’s frames, pending the refitting of the motion to reconnect the pistons to the driving wheels.

19 November 2022

The Trust held its second Members’ Day of the year, when attendees were able to see the loco with all driving wheels and cab reattached. The fully overhauled support coach was also on display and major progress on the overhauled and refitted tender could be seen.

December 2022

Looking forward to the steaming of the Duke in 2023 with new souvenir items available (Overhaul Scrapbook/DVD and Members Day DVD), plus half page adverts place in three railway magazines highlighting the forthcoming return of the Duke.

January 2021

Towards the end of 2020 articles about The Duke appeared in numerous magazines and when coupled with an enhanced social media presence the Trust attracted some new members as well as some old ones back. Total Trust membership passed 400 reaching a record level.

February 2021

To capitalise on the excellent media coverage The Duke has received and is receiving the Trust launches a membership recruitment campaign in Railway Magazine, Steam Railway and Heritage Railway magazines. A half-page advertisement has been placed in each of these magazines running for 3 consecutive issues and in the case of Steam Railway next to the Ian Murray articles when possible.

March 2021

The Trust announces that the Duke will be available for hire to Train Operating Companies, railway tour operators and mainline connected heritage railways from Q1 2022.

Membership recruitment campaign is bearing fruit with the number of new members in the first two months of 2021 exceeding the total for the whole of 2020.

The Trust Management Committee, having been made aware that a dual-braked Corridor Brake First support coach was on the market, unanimously decided to put in an offer which was accepted. BFK W17015 requires some work to bring it up to The Duke’s specifications. This purchase coincided with the relaunch of the Support Coach (Renovation) Appeal. Funds raised will go towards the new Support Coach whilst BFK W17041 will be put up for sale.

April 2021

Membership recruitment campaign coupled with the printed media coverage The Duke is currently receiving is most certainly bearing fruit with 37 new members joining the Trust in the first quarter of 2021.

As the lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted along the roadmap to normality Working Parties recommenced at Tyseley Locomotive Works on Wednesdays and Saturdays with 4 and 6 Trust members maximum allowed respectively.

South Devon Railway Engineering begin to put together The Duke’s unique crank axle.

May 2021

After responding to a posting in the National Preservation Forum about where to acquire a coach the Trust successfully negotiated the sale of the original Mk2 support coach BFK 17041. As the sale was taking place the Support Coach Appeal first launched in 2018 was re-launched to assist with the refurbishment of the ‘new’ Mk1 BFK 17015.

With one member stepping down the Management Committee was restructured as shown on the Trust Officers webpage.

As not all Trust members pay much attention to the internet and social media it was decided that a postal reminder of the appeals currently running would be sent out along with a history of the Trust’s ‘new’ Support Coach research by the Trust’s Archivist, Michael Hughes.

The 5th of Ian Murry’s ‘The Duke Story’ articles was published in Steam Railway magazine (issue 519) and entitled Mission Complete at the end of this month.

June 2021

After an inspection and testing at Tyseley Locomotive Works the driving wheels were returned to South Devon Railway Engineering and preliminary work began to assemble wheel sets.

The response to the mailed out Member’s Appeal brought in approximately a further £10k of sponsorship. This total was far in excess of the Management Committee’s expectations – a wonderful result.

The Trust Chairman, Trevor Tuckley made it known through a number of channels but firstly through the members Duke News that when The Duke returns to service he will step down from his current position. He announced his decision now to allow the Trust to go through a smooth and well thought out transition.

The 6th and last of Ian Murry’s ‘The Duke Story’ articles was published in Steam Railway magazine (issue 520) and entitled All in the Family at the end of this month.

July 2021

South Devon Railway Engineering have put together the 3 driving wheel sets including the new crank axle.

The number of days  Trust volunteers have put into the Working Parties at Tyseley since they started in March 2016 now totals 1,491. This is equivalent to £149,100 saved by the Trust on The Duke’s overhaul. Thanks are due to all those Trust members who have willingly given their time and effort in this regard.

At a meeting of the Trustees, and after having taken legal advice, it was decided that it was unnecessary to form an operating company to manage The Duke when in service as it can be done by the Trust itself.

August 2021

The Trust will be led by a Strategic Board of Directors numbering 5 or 6 who will meet on a regular basis with the Management Committee taking its direction from this Board. It is intended to recruit specific skills such as good business, compliance, finance, industry knowledge and communications to mention a few. This new structure will be implemented over a period of time.

The Support Crew are taking the opportunity to work on the new Support Coach prior to it moving to Rampart Rail for refurbishment in September. They are concentrating on emptying the Guard’s compartment, refurbishing the dividing wall for electrical equipment to be mounted and installing a well-provisioned kitchen.

An Overhaul News page has been added to the member’s area of The Duke website which is being updated regularly.

Tyseley staff have provided the Trust with a copy of an original list of all British Railways Class 8 Locomotive drawings. This will be most useful in the weeks and months ahead during The Duke’s second heavy overhaul in preservation.

October 2021

The new Trackside magazine publishes a major five-page article about the future of the Duke.

November 2021

The Duke’s MK1 Support Coach is transported to Rampart Engineering, Barrow Hill for its overhaul to commence.

December 2021

At a meeting between the Trust, Vintage Trains and Tyseley Loco Works, all parties commit to ensuring that the overhaul of the Duke will be completed in 2022.

All members of the Trust receive the traditional Duke Christmas card, which also provided a summary of the progress on the loco’s overhaul.

February 2020

The Trust now has a clear path to completion of the overhaul, following agreement on the specification of the material to replace the stub axles and the big end crank pin on the crank axle.  Approval by the rail VAB clearing the way forward.

March 2020

The order for the crank axle replacement parts has now been placed.  However, the lead time for the manufacture and subsequent re-assembly means that it is now impossible to get the overhaul completed by September 2020.  Our new target date is to have the Duke operational again by mid-2021.

17 March 2020

In accordance with Government guidelines on the Coronavirus, all Trust Working Parties have been temporarily suspended.  These will be resumed as soon as it is safe to do so.

3 June 2020

The Trust achieves a breakthrough to more than 400 members, contributing an annualised income of over £83,500.  Additionally, almost 50 members have upgraded their membership contributions making an effective membership total of 450.

September 2020

After an appeal in the last of 21 weekly Duke Newsletters during the Covid-19 pandemic UK lockdown the Management Committee is strengthened with 3 new members. A Support Crew Principal, a Projects Principal and a Social Media Principal.

September 2020

Member Michael Hill paints The Duke hauling 21 coaches travelling at 80 mph on the GWR mainline in 1955 gifting it to the Trust to auction.

October 2020

A determined effort by the Management Committee to ensure The Duke returns to traffic with a comfortable bank balance gets underway with a Boiler Tube Appeal.

28 October 2020

Boiler is returned to frames and printed media coverage runs over several magazine editions. Impact on Boiler Tube Appeal noticeable.

November 2020

The new Management Committee has settled down and working in unison. Boiler Tube Appeal passes £10k of sponsorship.

11 December 2020

The Trust auction of Mike Hill’s original painting finishes and raises the magnificent sum of £700. But there is a sting in the tail – the winner was a Trustee who very generously donated it back so that the second highest bidder could buy it. After contacting the underbidder the painting went for an additional £660 to a Trust Member.

31 December 2020

The Trust ended 2020 in a really good position with The Duke’s overhaul picking up pace. The strengthening of the Management Committee has paid dividends by broadening the expertise and skill sets available. Recent fundraising initiatives have been well supported by the Trust members.

The Trust has come a long way since its inception and with the completion of the overhaul anticipated in the autumn, 2021 will be the year The Duke steams again.

12 February 2019

Target date of September 2020 set as the completion date for the Duke’s overhaul.

10 April 2019

Dave Oliver appointed Engineering Manager in additional to Team Leader responsibilities.

8 June 2019

Members and Support Crew open meeting at the Tyseley Working Mens’ Club.

23 June 2019

Andrew Bailey appointed a Team Leader.

July 2019

The Duke’s tender is lifted off its wheelsets, to enable a thorough assessment of the wheels and bearings to commence.  TLW express an opinion that the crank axle for leading driving wheel needs to be rebuilt.

September 2019

A crack was found in the centre cylinder, which needed to be thoroughly investigating.  The treatment was found to be metal-stitching, which was completed later in the year.

Different fundraising initiatives commenced, to fill the funding gap that was clearly required to complete the overhaul by September 2020.

October 2019

The tender bearings were inspected and were found to require replacing.  The CAD design work for adjustments to the pistons and slidebars was completed.

At the end of October, the audited financial statements and annual report were submitted, on time, to the Charity Commission.

November 2019

The Trust’s membership numbers were approaching 400 individuals.  However, we had also had 44 members that had upgraded their membership contributions at various stages.  The total ‘effective’ membership therefore stood at 435 members, with an annualised income of almost £79,000.

8 December 2019

The chairman’s end of year review was circulated to all members, of which 323 were sent by e-mail and 62 by post.

January 2018

Action taken to extend the Trust’s lease from 50 to 100 years. The Trust will now be the custodian of The Duke until 3rd December 2117

24 March 2018

Latest Crew Support meeting held at LRMCA Tyseley with 22 in attendance.

April 2018

Agreement reached between the Trust and Vintage Train CBS for the Duke to operate under the new Vintage Trains TOC w.e.f. 2019

22 August 2018

Dave Oliver is appointed as the fifth Trustee for the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust, cementing the link between the Management Team and the Working Parties

25 August 2018

Ian Murray leaves his position as Membership Principal for personal reasons. We wish Ian well in his future endeavours and know that he will continue to support the Trust.

30 September 2018

John Cousins has retired as a trustee. John has been a loyal and generous supporter of the Duke for very many years and will continue with his membership along with making his counsel available to the Trustees. We express our sincere thanks to John.

16 December 2018

The Chairman’s End of Year review was distributed to all members.

7 January 2017

Meeting of Support Crew at LMRCA Tyseley.

March 2017

Ken Grubb resigns as Engineering Principal, to spend more time with his family and also to take more care of himself, due to ongoing health issues

4 March 2017

Meeting of Duke Support Crew at LMRCA, Tyseley to consider the new working arrangements following Ken Grubb’s resignation.  Phil Sanderson becomes the Engineering Liaison Principal, supported by David East.

7 April 2017

Trevor Tuckley resigns as a Director of 71000 Steam Locomotive Ltd in order to focus solely on the needs of BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust.

26 July 2017

Phil Sanderson takes on the role of Trust Secretary to complement his work as Engineering Liaison Principal.

1 October 2017

Phil Sanderson is appointed as a trustee.

4 December 2017

Long-term agreement reached between the Trust and 71000 Steam Locomotive Ltd for the custody of the Duke to rest with the Trust for 50 years.

6 January 2016

Chairman’s End of Year Review (2015) published for all Trust Members.

26 January 2016

Membership of the ‘Duke Trust’ exceeds 250 individuals.

3 February 2016

Richard Holt appointed Support Crew Manager.

February 2016

Extended management/organisational structure published.

March 2016

HRH Duke of Gloucester becomes the Patron of the Trust.

6 April 2016

The Duke’s boiler is lifted from the frames for the boiler overhaul work to commence.

Ian Murray agrees to become the Membership Principal for the Trust, allowing Ken Grubb to concentrate on the task of Engineering Principal.

July 2016

Income from members exceeds £50,000 per annum (including GiftAid) as the number of members approaches 280.

9 August 2016

A joint meeting of the Trust and the loco owning company met to review the progress on the Duke’s overhaul. The meeting received the positive news that the overhaul was progressing to plan, the membership continued to grow and the support crew team had expanded to 22 members.

16 – 18 September

Tyseley Open Days – 21 members of the Trust help with a sales and technical stand. The event is a big success for the Trust with 15 new members signed up.

4 December

Chairman’s End of Year Review circulated and in the first two weeks is read by 80% of all members.

29 December

Membership of the Duke Trust exceeds 300 – the target set for membership for the end of the year.

8th January 2015

a) Treasury responsibilities added to Steve Wakeland’s portfolio who becomes Media and Treasury Principal
b) Copper for tube plate is invoiced to the Company

February 2015

Jim Burrows resigns as Engineering Principal due to increasing external commitments.

March 2015

Mike Hill joins the Management Committee as Commercial Principal

Membership annual income increases from £14842 on day one of the new Trust to £23440 at the end of the new Trust’s first year, a 58% increase.

April 2015

“Prospectus for the Duke” launched with the objective to increase funding.. An A5 document will appear in Heritage Railway – April edition, Steam Railway – May edition and The Railway Magazine – June edition.

June 2015

Membership of the Duke Trust exceeds 200 individuals.

27th July 2015

New Duke of Gloucester website opened with enhanced capabilities and completely new ‘look and feel’.

24th August 2015

LNWR Heritage contacted the Duke Trust Chairman to advise that they would be unable to overhaul the Duke in the forseeable future.

1st September 2015

Emergency meeting of the Duke Trust Management Committee to examine alternative contractors for the locomotive’s overhaul.

10th October 2015

Discussions between the Duke Trust and Tyseley Works resulting in an agreement that the Duke would be moved to Tyseley as soon as possible for the overhaul to commence before the end of the year.

12/13th October 2015

The Duke, tender and support coach were moved to Tyseley.

24/25th October 2015

Tyseley Works open days: Duke of Gloucester on display and a stand was available for members and prospective members to obtain further information.

November 2015

Michael Hill resigned as Commercial Principal.  Stuart Sladdin appointed as Procurement Principal.

27 November 2015

First order placed with Tyseley Locomotive Works to commence the overhaul of the Duke.

16th January 2014

An EGM was held by the original Trust at which the members present were asked to approve two motions. Firstly to approve the transfer of the residual assets of 71000 (Duke of Gloucester) Steam Locomotive Trust Ltd over to the new trust, B R Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust. This was carried unanimously.

Secondly the members were asked to approve the formal dissolution of the original Trust. This too was carried unanimously.

29th January 2014

Inaugural meeting of the new CIO at which the following Trustees were formally appointed:

A R Mitchell
J Cousins
D Martin
J Bennett
S Wright
I Murray
T R Tuckley

The following officers were appointed:

T R Tuckley – Chairman of Trustees
A R Mitchell – Secretary
I Murray – Commercial Principal
D Martin – Treasurer
S Wright – Sales Principal
J Bennett was asked to focus, in the short term, on the work necessary to execute the decisions taken at the original Trust’s EGM.

The Trustees also agreed to delegate the day to day management of the new Trust to a working party which would have additional members.

This working party was charged with setting up the basics required to manage the day to day business of the Trust. This committee carried out an enormous amount of work in a short period of time setting up membership, website, structure etc.

During this period some members of the original Trust began to show dissatisfaction with the style of management of the new CIO and working party, finding its robust style very different from the one that existed in the old Trust. Despite explanation that there needed to be clear focus on functioning in a totally business like manner, with clear lines of responsibility and accountability, some individuals from the original Trust decided that they did not wish to remain part of the working party. This was shortly followed by John Bennett and Stuart Wright resigning as Trustees.

The new Trust and Management Committee continue to work hard to ensure that they have in place all of functions that are required in order to professionally manage the Duke through its pending overhaul and on into the future. This requires the help of committed, skilled and qualified people in all areas of business and the Trust is encouraged by the stature of the people who have committed to the cause and are only too happy to talk to anyone who feels they may be able to assist in whatever way possible.

The journey towards getting the Duke back onto the main line in a reliable and dependable condition has started and we are greatly encouraged by the professional help already in place to achieve this.

17th July 2014

Ian Murray resigned from his role as Commercial Principal as a result of pressures on his time from other areas but he continues as a Trust member.


Nicola Warwick was appointed as Media Principal with responsibility for the day to day running of the website and online activities.

2nd October 2014

Nicola Warwick resigned due to the increasing work load involved in her full time job

29th October 2014

Steve Wakeland appointed Media Principal

August 2013

At the Trust’s AGM an item was included on the agenda seeking support for the removal of this member from the board. Such support was not forthcoming from the members who attended and the motion was lost. The Trust board therefore took the view that they could no longer effectively manage the affairs of The Duke going forward.


In the light of this the Company indicated to the Trust board that they could not progress further with the draft operating agreement upon which the Trust and Company had been co-operating.

4th September 2013

The Trust Board, at a council meeting took the decision to surrender full control of the locomotive back to the owning Company.

5th September 2013

The Trust board wrote to the Company and requested that the Company take back control of the locomotive.


The Company responded by accepting the return of its asset and set about discussing the best way of taking care of The Duke going forward.


The Company decided that the best way to secure the Duke for the future was to set up a new Trust and an application was duly made to set up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, or CIO as it is more commonly known.

30th October 2013

Formal application made to the Charities Commission.

21st November 2013

Approval of the application received from the Charities Commission with the registration of the new CIO, charity number 1154700.



The Charity Commissioners recommended that there should be five Trustees for a charity of this type, but the Company decided that, in order to ensure that members ofthe original Trust would feel fully part of the new venture, it would appoint seven Trustees. These were two from the Company, two from the original Trust and three outsiders.

71000 (Duke of Gloucester) Steam Locomotive Trust had, for some time, been experiencing difficulties in both the financing and the management of the Trust due to its board’s inability to act in a cohesive and united manner. In addition a gulf had been allowed to open between the Trust and the locomotive’s owning Company.

12th December 2012

The Trust Board wrote to the owners of The Duke, 71000 Steam Locomotive Ltd, asking for their help. This letter was signed by all the members of the Trust board. The owning Company responded indicating that they were willing to help but that there needed to be significant changes to the relationship between the Company and the Trust. To this end a paper was produced entitled “A plan for the future of The Duke”. This document was accepted as a basis for going forward.


The Trust advised the owning Company that in order for them to function effectively it would be necessary for them to make changes at their board level. This would involve the removal of one board member who it was felt was not a team player and who would not abide by corporate decisions.