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Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.

This year’s restoration awards were presented at the Transport Trust annual awards lunch, held at Brooklands Museum on Monday 4th June 2018, the awards being presented to the winners by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.  The winning projects cover a range of transport interests and are worthy winners. For details of this year’s award winning projects, see below.


Chris Lawson and Laura Kimber - 1911 8hp Marshall traction engine 55924


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manhal engine


Engine 55924 left the Marshall Britannia works in 1911 and was shipped to Australia. She is one of only a handful of 8hp Marshall traction engines to have survived in to preservation. The owners purchased the remains of engine 55924 about 8 years ago as nothing more than a few worn out components. Since then Chris and Laura have restored the existing parts and manufactured the missing parts. They have now reached the stage where they can drive and use the engine, however restoration is still ongoing to make her as original as possible.  Chris and Laura have carried out much of the restoration work  themselves using the works drawings and her build sheet in order to make the engine as original as possible using a combination of traditional engineering methods like hot riveting and hand scraping bearings and modern engineering methods like wire erosion and CNC  plasma, water jet and laser cutting.  Chris and Laura have both been members of the National Traction Engine Trust’s Steam Apprentice Club from a young age, and met through the SAC. They are the next generation of steam engine owners and the efforts by this young and enterprising couple have resulted in a magnificently prepared and presented engine which will be widely seen by the public. For these reasons the Transport Trust is delighted to make this award. 


Matthew Green - restoration of 1960s Austin Minis 


austin mini

Matthew is in the process of restoring two Mk1 Classic Minis, a 1964 and a late 1967 model, which would have been one of the last Mk1s to have been built. Both projects are being  restored in his  single garage but what sets Matthew's efforts apart from others is the extent to which he has used social media in general and YouTube in particular to publicise his sterling 

efforts.  To some of us the original Mini does not seem very old, but these two are a half century each and require inordinate effort to bring back to life.  That Matthew has done, and continues to do, this whilst at the same time sharing his experience with thousands of others, is testament to his determination and imagination.  In his application, Matthew told us that he had 2000 followers of his YouTube restoration channel: checked on the day of the awards ceremony, this had trebled with 6000 followers and 1.6 million views of his videos. Work is progressing a-pace and he hopes to have at least one car ready for Goodwood 2018.  Because of both his determination to complete the restoration, and his sterling efforts to use modern media to publicise his efforts to a worldwide audience, the Transport Trust is delighted to make this award.



Neil and Colleen Blake - restoration of a 1963 Buchanan yacht


buchanan yacht


yachtmergeNot too far from Bristol lies a small boatyard, and in that boatyard sits a tall plastic covered edifice. Inside that edifice is an epic project, the complete restoration of a classic sailing yacht of a design by the late Alan Buchanan who was famous for his aeroplane and yacht designs. This restoration is ensuring the preservation of a beautiful classic boat for the future. After 12 years of hard work this determined and talented couple are now completing the fit out and the pilot house. The restoration has been an immense undertaking; the couple removed all bar the hull, replacing and steaming in 59 new timbers, renewing keel bolts, then replacing or restoring everything else with a view to launching this year. Colleen also tells me that it took her 6 months to hand-sand the hull, which I can assure everyone, is jaw droppingly beautiful.  This unassuming couple have passionately worked towards restoring this beautiful yacht to the very highest standard and in so doing, have ensured that the Alan Buchannan design is appreciated and viewed by many for years to come.   In recognition of their unstinting determination to restore to the highest standard whilst maintaining the spirit of this wonderful vessel the Transport Trust is delighted to make this award.

Nick Jackson - restoration of 1950 Leyland PD2 Titan double decker


leyland titan

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This restoration is of the sole surviving ex-Bournemouth Corporation Transport PD2 that still has its twin staircase/twin door original configuration.  In 1975 it was extensively restored by the Bournemouth Passenger Transport Association, incorporating the restoration of some original features that had been removed over the years.    But that was over 40 years ago, so when the current owner bought the bus in 2014 he was faced with considerable amounts of work to reverse decades of neglect.  Reg. KEL133 was originally one of 30 buses bought in 1950 to re-equip Bournemouth Corporation Transport with new buses after the war.  It has a full-front design that was a radical departure from the usual half-cab designs.  It is has its original twin staircase/twin door layout but lacks some of its original features that weren't restored in 1975.   Although 2 others from this batch survive, they have been unrestored for many years, don't have the twin staircase layout and lack may original features.  Nick has concentrated on bringing the bus back to being mechanically reliable, restoring the brakes and other running  gear to the extent that It now has an MOT and has been re-certified for commercial use. Nick intends furthering his efforts by replacing poor panels and tidying the vehicle cosmetically before getting her professionally painted.  Once this one is done, Nick hopes to continue with restoration of a number of other vehicles with a view to operating them commercially where they will gain wide public exposure.  In the light of the efforts and progress made thus far, and the prospect of continuing public exposure, the Transport Trust is delighted to make this award.



Graham Smitheringale - restoration of 1942 DUKW Amphibious truck



 dukwIn 1947 Geoffrey Searle of popular Hunstanton company Searles Sea Tours was the first in the UK to purchase a war-surplus DUKW, the famous amphibious truck from WW2. For many years, two DUKWs affectionately known as Dervina and Ike operated on the sunny Hunstanton sands, taking thousands of day-trippers safely around the bay.  On retirement they were parked up in Searles’ yard, and left to decay.  Graham Smitheringale has now got to grips with the restoration of “Ike” using some parts drawn from some unusual sources, such as a Swiss fire engine  and the hull from 12 RN 28, the last DUKW in UK military service at the Royal Marines training school in Instow, Devon. It is a massive undertaking, not least the hull itself which is both large and unweildy and made of rust prone steel which has spent most of its life in sea water.  In the past, Graham has successfully restored tractors, horse carts, and agricultural equipment in general. He hosts an experienced team of mechanics, welders and painters - but this is a first even for him. His extra motivation is clear. In addition to remembrance of the D-Day sacrifices,Graham’s last childhood outing with his Dad was on a Searles DUKW Seatour in 1978, so to see Ike drive and float again will be an emotional and uplifting sight.  As well as displaying his work at Hunstanton, he intends taking the DUKW to Normandy for the D Day 75th anniversary commemorations next year.  Unfortunately Graham was unable to attebnd the awards ceremnoy, but his colleague David Cahill received this well deserved Transport Trust Award on his behalf. 



 Commemorative Awards:


The Commemorative awards are named after key founding members of the Transport Trust and represent the very best of the years nominated projects:


The  David Muirhead Award

Stephen Middleton - LSWR Queen Victoria's Golden Jubillee Saloon


lswr saloon

LSWR mergeStephen is no stranger to the awards process having been a previous winner and he is certainly no stranger to the Transport Trust where his unwavering support both at Council level and around and about spreading the good word about the efforts of the Trust has been most appreciated. In this case, however, he is recognised for his hands-on restoration of what has been, until very recently indeed, something of a trade secret. Under a cloak of secrecy, against an almost impossible timescale, with the almost constant presence of TV cameras and staff and all under the watchful eye of Channel 4, Stephen, his family and his team have performed a modern miracle.  As an aside we met earlier this year in London at a Council meeting and he definitely looked like someone who had re-defined the expression “burning the midnight oil”.  Such determined efforts, combined with the exciting prospect of seeing the transformation on TV in the very near future is a testament to Stephen's skills and tenacity, as well as the patience and support of his family.  One of the things that is looked for in assessing applications for awards is the extent to which the public will be exposed to the results; well in this case we have Channel 4 to thank for recognising both the importance of the skills involved in completing a restoration of this type and the general public's interest appetite and appreciation of our transport heritage.  Thus the Transport Trust has enormous pleasure in recognising Stephen's efforts and achievement by selecting him and his project to receive the David Muirhead Award.



Alan Moore Award              

The 1995 Association - 1895 Aveling and Porter Traction Engine


aveling porter

 1Although at first glance this seems to be a typical agricultural traction engine, it is in fact very rare due to its age and type – only one other exists and that is in the Science Museum. Originally part of Aveling Barford's own collection because it represented such a milestone in traction engine design, it is now owned, and has been restored, by the 1995 Association which was at the award ceremony in some strength.  Originally the engine had a wrought iron boiler but, for reasons of modern pressure vessel inspection and insurance, this had to be replaced with boiler plate. The wooden front axle however remains!  This is a very early example from what became a well known maker - Aveling and Porter.  At the time makers were experimenting with a range of approaches and designs – this one is important because it comes from a period where the design and layout of traction engines starts to firm up.  This is a lovely restoration as much effort has been made to preserve the original features and the look and feel of the engine. The 1995 Association (1995 is the works number) a team of 9, ranging from young to not so young, has done the lion's share of the work themselves to a lovely standard and has added a period water cart restoration to complete the outfit. The engine recently passed its steam and hydraulic tests and will be out and about at rallies and gatherings in 2018 where it will be seen by many members of the public.  To tackle any restoration of this nature would be a challenge; to do so on such an early engine is testament to the skills and cameraderie of the members of the association and the Transport Trust is delighted to give the project the Alan Moore Award.


Sir Peter Allen Award                      

David Riley - 1924 Robey Tandem Steam Roller


robey roller

P1010006This particular engine operated in Greater London where its manoeuvrability and ease of use were well suited to the busy streets of the capital.  Restoration of a rare Tandem Steam roller would always be problematic as it has a very complicated boiler, and the potential cost and complexity would put many people off. It was this reason that caused the previous owner of the roller to pass it on to David, who decided to take the plunge - "I enjoy a challenge". Over the next 5 years he has completely remade the boiler, with a new barrel, tube plate and tubes, and replaced the firebox, which is stayless, and self supporting through its complex shape.  He has made new gears and rubbered the rear roller for safety, completing the vast majority of the work himself, learning as he went.  Although running well, there is still work to do but David intends to be out and about with the engine where it will create much public interest.  With a well – documented history this engine is a rare survivor of an effective and significant addition to the development of steam power to improve the higway infrastucture. Robeys were at the forefront of innovation and examples worked well into the 1960s and the “tandem” layout is now commonplace.  This is a little gem of an engine, beautifully and carefully restored to a very high standard indeed. All the work, including boilerwork, has been done by the owner and i sodoing he has pioneered boiler repair schemes for other Robeys which puts David's contribution to saving these engines in a different league.  In restoring such a rare and unusual engine, developing the hardware and processes necessary to assist others, and then sharing that knowledge, David has clearly demonstrated all that is good about the preservation movement and the Transport Trust is delighted to recognise that contribution with the Peter Alan Award. 



The Ron Wilsdon Award

Ben Hawkins - 1914 Dennis Delivery Van


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Ben's 1914 Dennis delivery van was originally purchased by Ernest Shentall of Chesterfield for his wholesale fruit business. Ernest would later be elected mayor of Chesterfield and Kknighted at the end of the first world war. This is the only surviving Dennis 2-ton lorry of this type and one of the earliest Dennis commercial vehicles. It was found as a farm trailer in 1997 in  Lincolnshire by Mick Giles, a friend of Ben's.  About 10 years ago Ben commenced the restoration of the Dennis.  Between 2012-14, he and his partner converted an Edwardian printing works so they would have enough space to start reassembly. Since then the list of achievements in terms of restoration has been huge, with the lion's share of the work being undertaken by Ben himself. In doing so he has overcome numerous technical problems and, again, using the power of the world wide web, has shared his experiences with other enthusiasts.  This is a wonderful example of a rare early commercial vehicle, the restoration of which has tested the determination and expertise of the young couple who own it to the limit. They have overcome many technical hurdles but have done so in a way which is entirely in keeping with the overall look and feel of the vehicle and they have taken the trouble to share their experiences with others.  The enthusiasm, determination and results are plain to see, and the Transport Trust is delighted to recognise the achievement with the Ron Wilsdon Award. 



The National Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.


The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.


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