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The Trust

The Waterman Railway Heritage Trust

The trust was established by Pete in the mid 1980’s to preserve artefacts and skills from the BR era, 1947-1990, a period that had been sadly neglected. Pete thought it important not to repeat the errors made at the end of the steam era in 1968, so the trust was dedicated to preserving the first wave of what was the modern era - the 1950's onwards. This period, in particular, included the first diesel electric and electric locos.
The national collection repeated the same bad decisions it had made in 1968, only to preserve certain samples of the genre. Pete did not believe that this portrayed the real story of how the railway had developed as it omitted to show that politics was a major part of engineering decisions that were taken in the 1950's and 60's. In particular, the fudging in engineering terms of decisions that cost the nation its greatness. He therefore purchased one of each of the original West Coach electrics, which were to be the future of the nation. These were classed AL 1-5. It started there but when a few people got to hear what he was up to, they called him for help. One of the first diesels that came to the trust was a Class 25. BR had wanted to save this loco but the National Railway Museum turned the loco down. 25909 was the last ever loco to be built at one of the world's most famous loco factories, Beyer-Peacock in Manchester. It was also the last ever loco to be built in Manchester. This marked the end of an industry that had lasted over 100 years in the north west of England.
In 1990 Steve Latham joined the trust and this meant that the trust could embark on another aspiration - to preserve and enhance skills in the railway engineering industry. It was clear as early as the 1990's that steam locos were coming to the end of their usual lives, as the metal would soon be time expired and, as such, would have to be totally replaced. Some locos were still being used hard with their boilers coming up to 80 years old and with part of their working life having been spent in a scrap-yard rusting away. Pete saw that there would be a need for a really skilled team. At that time, the old Crewe Works was shedding its more mature staff as work started to move away from Crewe. This meant that the last of the 1950's and 60's boiler-smiths were being made redundant. Being in their late 50's, most of them feared that their working lives would be over. Pete took them on and started a “Buddying” Scheme. He took on 2 youngsters for every “buddy”, who then started a full apprenticeship scheme. Now, after 15 years, the buddies have retired or, in some cases, become tutors as most of them are now in their 70's, and those first youngsters are now buddies themselves.
The trust is committed to supporting apprenticeships in engineering for the future and in 2010 it established a unique partnership with several key stakeholders including Cheshire East, the North West Development Agency, Job Centre Plus and the Future Jobs Fund, to give 20 young people the opportunity of participating in a one year apprenticeship scheme. The trust’s role is not just about protecting the past, it’s about protecting the future too, and that, as much as anything else, involves investing in training.

Going forward

As well as preserving locos and carriages of historical significance, the trust is dedicated to continuing its active role of education and training in the railway engineering area. These objectives are wholly complementary. The experience we have gained over the last 20 years defines the trust as being unique and with our own locos that are hired out to private railways, we have gained a well deserved reputation for quality and reliability. It is the trust's mission to continue broadening the skills and knowledge base in the railway engineering sector, through a combination of established practices supplemented by modern techniques and machinery, to include a major commitment to the training of computer skilled draftsmen in engineering principles.



Pete Waterman
Helen Dann
Steve Latham

Registered Address:

The Open Studio
County Hall,
Belvedere Road,
London, SE1 7PB.

Contact Address:

The Railway Age
Vernon Way,
Cheshire, CW1 2DB.

Contact Details:

Steve Latham
Rosa Watts Lynch

Tel: 01270 250912

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