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About the Trust

The 2874 Trust has been formed to ensure the restoration and then operation of the ex Great Western Railway 2-8-0 heavy freight locomotive number 2874. We are a registered charity (Number 1166258) and as such can obtain Gift Aid on donations which helps swell the coffers and speed up the restoration work 

The loco was built in 1918 to a Churchward design and remained in service until 1963. It has not run since but we aim to give it a new life working on Heritage Railways and giving pleasure to the thousands of passengers who each year enjoy the sight, sounds and smell of steam power.

We aim to ensure that all who assist in the restoration either physically or with other support gain both satisfaction and enjoyment from the experience.

Latest News

The 2019 AGM will be held on Saturday 2nd November – Tim Mitchell Building, Winchcombe Station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway at 3.30pm or as soon after as possible.

A calling notice has been issued to all members – one of the items of business is to accept the company accounts for the year ended 31st March 2019 – a copy of these accounts can be viewed HERE    2019 Trustees Report and Accounts



In preparation for shot blasting the frames and wheelsets we have lifted the frames off the wheels  – the loco then went on the rails (on accommodation bogies and very slowly!).

The attached clip shows the move – and there is a brief glance of 7820 ‘Dinmore Manor’ passing during the move – we look forward to seeing these two locos running together some time in the future.

Movie  – IMG_0680



The legal status

We are The 2874 Trust Limited – Company Number 9190414 – a private company limited by guarantee – our registered office is at The Railway Station, Toddington, Gloucestershire GL54 5DT – we are a Registered Charity (number 1166258) and are able to claim Gift Aid on donations from HM Revenue & Customs. The liability of our members is limited – every member of the charity promises, if the charity is dissolved while he or she is a member or within twelve months after he or she ceases to be a member, to contribute such sum (not exceeding £10) as may be demanded of him or her towards payment of the debts and liabilities of the charity incurred before he or she ceases to be a member and of the costs and expenses of the winding up

The Objects of the Trust The objects are specifically restricted to the following:

  • To acquire, restore, preserve, display, operate and maintain either directly or by lending out heritage railway locomotives, tenders, coaches, wagons and all manner of railway artefacts and in particular but without prejudice to the generality above, the heavy freight steam locomotive number 2874.
  • To provide arrangements for the education, training and certification of individuals in the practicalities, techniques and methods used in the objects described in paragraph 1 above.
  • To use the charity’s property to promote public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the historical, scientific and cultural aspects of the charity’s property , with particular regard to its historical significance, for the benefit of the public.

To put the objects into context – here we have a photograph of 2874 as it stood in early 2014

And now one from working days – this was taken by Brian England in April 1954 – the loco is hauling a goods train and is approaching Stratford on Avon

The People Involved

Honorary President  – Lady Judy McAlpine 

We were delighted when Lady Judy agreed to become our President and invited us to the 2016 Fawley Hill steam event where we were able to fund raise and publicise the Trust. Lady Judy is a prominent figure in Henley society and is known for her support for charities as well as caring for the many animals resident in the sanctuary that forms part of her and Sir William’s home at Fawley Hill. A look at the Fawley Hill website which shows the many activities that come under Lady Judy’s influence will best illustrate the breadth of interests and the support given to many organisations – we very much appreciate that support for our Trust.  We were honoured when Lady Judy’s late husband, Sir Bill McAlpine consented to become a Patron of the Trust in it’s early days – we are pleased that Lady Judy will preserve the connection.



Chairman – David Foster

David is a retired Civil Servant who worked for Customs and Excise and, post merger with the Inland Revenue for HM Revenue and Customs latterly as a manager in the “large business” division supervising teams looking after the UKs major Oil and Gas companies. Prior to this career he owned a road haulage company for many years. Since retirement he has become a volunteer on the West Somerset Railway and a director/volunteer with Dinmore Manor Locomotive Ltd – he saw loco 7820 looking very sad when awaiting overhaul and decided to help. Away from steam engines he enjoys dog-walking, classical music, reading and taking numerous holidays – primarily in the UK (which always seem to include a heritage railway or two).

Treasurer – John Sampson

John is a retired accountant who worked for the London Branches of an American and an Italian bank in finance and operations. He was involved with finance and administration at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre for 10 years and spent five years volunteering on the West Somerset Railway after moving to the West Country. Since moving to Gloucestershire, John now volunteers on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. Interests include working with charities, music and sport


Ian Shapter OBE

Ian was a Regular Army officer from 1953 to 1987 retiring as a Brigadier. He served in the operational areas of Aden, Borneo, Yemen, Oman and Northern Ireland (twice). Awarded Mention in Despatches in 1972. Seven years with Special Forces. Secondments by Foreign Office to Nigeria and to the Office of the President of Kenya. A second career from 1987 to 2000 as a Crown Servant based in Liverpool. Appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for County of Merseyside. Selected as a Non Exec Director of the NW NHS with the task of Lay Chair dealing with complaints against the NHS. Part of the team that purchased 3850 in 1983 and has observed amateur restoration develop into today’s professional DMLL Group with three locomotives. Hobbies of Bee Keeping, canal narrow boats and lecturing on the impact of the Longbow in the medieval period (1337-1453)


David Holmes

David gained a National Diploma in Hotel Keeping and Catering Management, more years ago than he cares to remember. Moved into the entertainments industry and then into purchasing and became a senior purchasing manger in the NHS.

He then changed direction to work as a retail manager and then a transport and logistics manager Finishing his working career as a broadcaster, creative writer and teacher. He has been involved in railway preservation for over 20 years, serving time in the past as Commercial director at a preserved railway and loco fireman. He has also been involved in most other aspects of railway preservation and operations , including loco restoration and track laying . His first live steam experiences were driving 5 inch gauge locos “when I were but a lad”. David has been Retail Manager at GWSR since 2014 and is often found doing other tasks on the railway.


Henry Howard

Henry is a retired Royal Air Force Navigator, having served for 40 years flying mainly transport aircraft and visiting nearly every nation on earth, as well as working with Special Forces at various hotspots. He spent some time as a Specialist Navigation Systems Instructor in the Department of Air Warfare at the RAF College Cranwell. A life-long lover of transport, Henry joined the GWR Loco Dept in 1995, passing out as a Fireman in 1996. He joined the board of GWR Ltd in 1998 becoming its Chairman in 2000. He was instrumental in its change to the GWR Trust in 2009 remaining as Chairman till December 2014, and is now its Projects Liaison Director. His other interests are the Steam Railways of New Zealand, World Geography and History, Gardening, UK Local Politics and his ever-growing tribe of Grandchildren.

Neil Carr

Neil grew up in Oxfordshire and graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1987 with a first class honours degree in electrical engineering. Training as a broadcast engineer with the BBC Neil spent many years working for BBC network and local radio and then commercial radio. In 2005 Neil decided that a change of direction was required and became self employed, still doing freelance studio and broadcast work and also maintenance and restoration of steam locomotives and signal and telegraph installations. Neil is currently employed by the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway as Operations Manager. Always a keen enthusiast of anything technical, especially railways, Neil was heavily involved in the overhaul of Collett 8F 3822 at Didcot Railway Centre. In 2003 this brought him to the GWR (when the GWR hired 3822). In his spare time Neil drives both steam and diesel locomotives, fires and signals at the GWR and enjoys cycling, walking and listening to music.


Angela Robotham


Martin Ginger


Keith Smith

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