50/50 Auction Saturday 23rd July – Eastwell Village Hall

Please see the details of our 50/50 auction on the ‘Events’ page.  We look forward to support from our friends to make this day a success.

The Spring 2016 Newsletter

Our latest newsletter has been produced by Graham and is shown below.  We hope you find this interesting.

As part of our fundraising programme Eastwell History Group is holding a 50/50 auction on Saturday 22nd July in Eastwell Village Hall LE14 4EH at 1:00pm – .

The idea is that goods offered for auction will see 50% of the sale price returned to the vendor and 50% donated to EHG funds. Vendors wishing to donate 100% of the sale price are doubly welcome. We will accept most items but regrettably not uncertificated electrical goods, underwear or nightwear, perishable foods etc. If you have something large that you would like to include please call us on 01949 861766 or email to determine whether we can accommodate it.

Items for sale will be accepted from noon on Friday 21st until 11:00am on Saturday 22nd. Full details will be published on the Lord Granby website in the near future.

Lord Granby News Spring 2016 (min)  Click on the link for the newsletter.


History Group Meetings

Visit to Rocks by Rail

We recently had a group visit to our partner organisation Rocks by Rail at Cottesmore in Rutland.  The active members of the Lord Granby conservation project were welcomed by Gary Brown of GB Restorations (who operate to produce bespoke restorations of locomotives and rolling stock) and were given a guided tour of the new exhibition shed there. The engineers in our group also discussed the restoration and repair of several components belonging to Lord Granby with Gary. A very enjoyable visit was had by all and we would like to thank Gary and all the volunteers at Rocks by Rail for their hospitality.

"The recently completed new exhibition shed at Rocks by Rail."  "Our engineers discuss our badly corroded spring hangers with Gary."  "Our group examining some narrow gauge track fittings dug out of the ground at Rocks by Rail."  "Group members discuss the restoration of a steam locomotive."

 Recent Discoveries

Stop press:- information learned whilst cleaning up our wheel-sets prior to despatch for re-profiling.  Neither of our wheels actually was originally fitted to Lord Granby. They each belonged to “The Scot” a sister loco long since scrapped.  We knew our rear axle was from “The Scot” but now markings discovered on the front axle also show that it came from “The Scot”.  Underneath later layers of green paint we also found a patch of maroon, indicating the original colour of the loco to be maroon.

Lord Granby at Eastwell's photo.
Lord Granby at Eastwell's photo.

Vulcan to the Sky

The illustrated talk by the Vulcan to the Sky Trust was a great success.  The event, held on 29th March, attracted over 80 people to the superb new Eastwell Village Hall.  Presenter Steve Ware kept everyone fascinated throughout the evening and I am pleased to tell you that we raised over £300 for Eastwell History Group funds as well as supporting the Village Hall through bar sales.

The Ambulance Train

The 27th January 2016 meeting heard a very interesting presentation by Margaret Hill relating her grandfather’s experiences as a team leader on a WW1 ambulance train.  She was able to quote from the diary he kept and gave an insight into the circumstances surrounding the return of wounded service men to England.  Extracts from diaries were also read by Jim Simpson on behalf of Colin Darby and by Geoff Goodson.  Forty people attended and the evening was considered a great success.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the history group was held on 20th October 2015.  The officers and trustees were elected en-bloc.  It was reported with sadness that Honorary Life President David Stanley had died during the year.  He will be missed by all, both for his personality and his knowledge.

 Leicestershire Legends talk followed by a business meeting

The 14th July meeting hosted a talk by Colin Crosby, a specialist on Leicestershire Legends and Traditions.  It was followed by a business meeting at which it was decided to make an annual presentation of a silver cup dedicated to our former President David Stanley who recently died.  The cup will be awarded for the individual considered by the Trustees and Officers of the Group ‘To have made the most significant contribution to Eastwell local history during the year’.  For 2013/14 it was agreed that the award should be made to Michael Stanley to reflect his years of contribution to local history, supported by his late wife Wendy.  For 2014/15 the award was made to Graham Doyle for his work both in the conservation of ‘Lord Granby’ and in the various areas of historical research he has undertaken.  The June and July draws for the 100 Club were made and details are on the 100 Club page.

Company of Artisans

Karen Slade from Company of Artisans, who specialise in mediaeval restoration, spoke on 28th April in the brand new Eastwell Village Hall.  Company of Artisans are currently working on restoration projects associated with the Richard III re-interment at Leicester Cathedral and on stonework restoration at Hampton Court Palace . A demonstration was given of the techniques of mediaeval tile making.

Lords of the Manor

The Eastwell History Group meeting was a success with forty people attending from across the Vale of Belvoir.  We were addressed by archivist Peter Foden who gave an insight into the complexities of the Manorial structure going back to the Norman conquest and in some cases beyond.  Peter then answered a number of questions from the floor resulting in interesting discussion. We are grateful for Peter presenting history in a way that we could understand and highlighting the significant number of unresolved questions still to be explored.

 Conservation and Restoration of Lord Granby

On 5th November 2015 we had our long awaited boiler inspection to determine the true condition of Lord Granby’s boiler following it’s many decades out of use and exposure to the elements. This is a crucial inspection for it is one of the vital pieces of information we need to formulate our future activities in the restoration of the locomotive.  Parts of it are clearly in poor condition, but some parts are quite suitable to be repaired , and some parts are missing altogether.

If you can help with regular donations, why not join our 100 club draw and have a bit of fun into the bargain? Details can be found on our webpage

Photograph shows the boiler stripped of fittings and tubes ready for the inspector.  The prospect is that Lord Granby will most likely be restored to static exhibit status for display as part of a heritage centre for the village.  There is little prospect of Eastwell History Group raising sufficient funds for steaming in the foreseeable future.

As the results of the inspection are available they will be posted here.

The boiler awaiting inspection

The boiler awaiting inspection


A working group meets each Wednesday at 6:00pm at the workshop.  Anyone who feels that they can make a contribution to the work will be welcome and is asked to contact where full details will be provided.

Project Team Meeting

A meeting of the project team was held on 3rd November at the Plough Inn Stathern.  Members were brought up to date with conservation progress and discussed the next stages of the process.  It was agreed that the running gear would be the next project as it can be undertaken without waiting for a decision whether or not Lord Granby will be returned to steam.

New whistle

Thanks to Graham Doyle’s eagle eye a Hudswell Clark whistle, suitable for Lord Granby, was spotted for sale.  We have managed to negotiate the purchase of this which is another small step towards conservation and restoration.

The Lord Granby Spring Newsletter

Please click on the link to see the newsletter  Lord Granby News Spring 2015 (min)

100 Club – More Members Please – we need your support 

Now that work is starting on ‘Lord Granby’ we need funds urgently.  The 100 Club continues to grow and prizes have now reached £60 per month  This is an important source of funds for the venture and new members are very welcome. 

Details of the latest winners are shown on the 100 Club Appeal page.   This is an important source of revenue for us and if you are not a member and would like to take part please click on this link and follow the instruction  Full details are on the 100 Club page with additional pages of information on setting up payment and a Banker’s Order form.

Lord Granby Work Drawings

We now have the PDF files of the Hudswell Clarke works drawings for Lord Granby. The drawings are fascinating, and we can see that many details have changed on the locomotive over the years, e.g. the back of the cab has been reworked to remove the awkward ‘pocket’ for the brake handle. The drawings also clarify the various missing steam fittings, and where these were located, e.g. the sight feed displacement lubricator in the cab.  Working copies are being made and the group is grateful to those members providing help in this respect.  The drawings were available through the foresight of Statfold Barn Railway and a group visit to their open day is likely in September – see ‘visits’ below.

Visit from Alan Keefe and Co

Wednesday 9th April saw a visit from Alan Keefe and Co who  undertook another inspection of the locomotive.  Boiler drain cocks were removed, with a little encouragement, and things appear to be well in that respect.  The inspection of the firebox has, however, revealed that there is substantial work to do so we must be prepared for that.  It appears that soon before withdrawal from service ‘Lord Granby’ received a substantial overhaul and as a result the wheels, tyres and brakes are in excellent condition so that is a real bonus.  The report has now been received and we have a clearer idea of the costs associated with the various options of conservation or restoration.  Whichever route we take we shall need massive fundraising so there is now some substantial thinking to do.  As we are a Heritage Group, not a railway, most of this is new ground to us and therefore identifying the funding channels and best methods of raising awareness will be a challenge.  We are grateful for any advice or guidance available.


The archive continues to grow and we look forward, at some time in the future, to having the facility to display it.  We have recently been offered an Eastwell Ironstone Co. pay packet dating back to 1941 and a history of Stanton Ironworks.  We are always grateful for this sort of support.

Recording system

A system for recording components, their history during restoration, and tracking their locations is seen to be a priority for the project.  Some information would need manual recording, e.g. signatures on records for parts going offsite, but it is envisaged that a computer database would form the core of the system.  Graham brought the group up to date on this at the 18th March meeting.  Graham and Alan Shaw have started the painstaking process of numbering and cataloguing the parts.


We still need loads of funding support for the project.  100 Club has proved successful and more contributors will be very welcome.  Some members have been extremely generous and we sincerely thank them.  Now that ‘Lord Granby’ is relocated we will be able to determine the options for fund raising events.

Local Authority

It is believed that Melton Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council may be supportive of a heritage project of this nature that would in the medium to long term attract tourists and enthusiasts to the Vale of Belvoir.  It was agreed to keep them informed of progress.


Next meetings

Please see this information elsewhere on this website.


2 thoughts on “News

  1. Top item above states that the October 2014 project meeting will be at the workshop, it actually be at The Plough on 21st Oct at 7.30pm.


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