For many years the active Growler Group (GG) volunteers have restored, maintained and operated our locomotives from the yard in all of the usual weather conditions that we are so familiar with in the UK. This is challenging for the persons involved but more damaging for our fifty year old machines that are subjected to the extreme temperatures (-16 degrees Celsius last winter), wind, rain and sun (ultra violet light).
We have long wanted to be able to have a dedicated shed for the diesel locomotives but the GWR have been unable to afford this, and given the current challenging circumstances that the railway finds itself in, is unlikely to do so for a very long time. With this in mind, the various resident diesel groups have long talked about funding and building a shed for ourselves that would be dedicated to the diesel locos. We have now reached a point where the GG (37215 & 37248), Brush Type 4 Fund (BT4F) (47105 & 47376), Class 24 Group (24081) and Andrew Goodman (shunters and track machines) have joined together in partnership with the GWR to bring this project to fruition for their assets.
A two road, 6 loco shed has been designed and an order placed for construction. Much of the preparation work, demolition of an existing old and dilapidated storage shed and ground works will be carried out by volunteers but there is still a very large cost of purchase and erection to cover. In addition, the GG and BT4F will be purchasing and installing storage, workshop and mess facilities.
The owners of 37248 will be fully funding the space for that loco but the GG needs to find additional funding for the project and although some funds are available, that would eat into money allocated for future repairs to 37215, so we want to try and raise as much extra cash as possible at this time to help pay for this new and much needed facility.
If you can help in any way, large or small, please write a cheque payable to The Growler Group and fill out the attached Shed appeal donation form and return. If you are a UK tax payer, please fill out the second section that will allow us to claim back from the government the tax you have already paid on this amount as the GG is a registered charity and hence eligible for Gift Aid. If you wish to make a donation by some other means, please let me know. The GG will fund the shed by purchasing shares in the GWR that will guarantee a right of access to the facility for an extended period (30 years minimum with subsequent reviews and extensions).
The plan is to carry out all of the preparation work during the latter part of 2011 with construction during early 2012, so hopefully we will have a shed ready to move into during next spring.