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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.



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Peter Allen Award

Windermere steam launch Osprey

Lakeland Arts Trust,now custodian of the vessels at the Windermere Steamboat Museum, for its restoration of the classic Windermere steam launch Osprey (Pic.1). Built by Shepherds of Bowness in 1902 with steam propulsion, she was used privately for 70 years and later converted into a diesel-powered trip boat before being returned to steam by the museum in 1991. Her anticipated resumption of action on Windermere next year will be widely welcomed.


Ron Wilsdon Award

1919 Albion A10 chain-driven truck

Andy Gibbs of Kirby Lonsdale has wide experience in the restoration of Albions and his work to bring back to working condition his 1919 Albion A10 chain-driven truck, a type originally designed for military use, was recognised with the year’s Ron Wilsdon Award with £1,500 (Pic.2). The truck was used by the Anglo American Oil Company for the delivery of two gallon oil cans and was acquired in derelict condition by Andy who has where possible acquired original components for his project which he is aiming to enter in the HCVS London to Brighton Run in 2012.


David Muirhead Award

1877 Lewin steam locomotive 0-4-0ST 

Beamish Museum in Co. Durham for the restoration of a unique locomotive built in 1877 by Stephen Lewin of Poole, a small manufacturer better known for the production of narrow gauge locos. The 0-4-0ST, known as ‘The Lewin’, was delivered new to the colliery railways of the 3rd Marquis of Londonderry and spent most of its working life hauling chaldron wagons at Seaham Harbour, the port built by the Marquis to ship coal from his Durham mines. Following withdrawal after 93 years’ active service, it was donated to Beamish where it saw limited use on the museum’s standard gauge system for a few years until it became apparent that major renovation was required. It is hoped that the Award will ensure that ‘The Lewin’ will return to action before long at a venue with such strong associations with the collieries of the North East (Pic.3).


Restoration Awards


1924 Cluley 10/20

Keith Champion is restoring this rare car that was once the property of the inimitable Bill Boddy who sadly died earlier this year. Bill, a Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2005, found it languishing in a field near his home in mid-Wales, it having been converted by a previous owner, a rural carpenter/undertaker/smallholder, to a flatbed pick-up and used for a variety of local tasks (Pic.4). It was last licensed in 1956 but was purchased from Bill Boddy by Keith in 1997. He has done an excellent job recreating the original bodywork and totally overhauling the chassis and mechanics. Cluleys were manufactured in Coventry from around 1921 until the end of that decade by which time about 700 had been produced. Only nine are known to have survived.


1931 BSA front wheel drive fourwheel car

Simon Barringer of Worcestershire is bringing back to working condition his 1931 BSA front wheel drive fourwheel car. BSA was better known for the production of threewheelers and this vehicle is thought to be one of only four survivors of its type. All the running gear is original but new bodywork was found to be necessary (Pic.5).


1937 Alta 61 racing car

Graham Galliers' Alta 61 racing car was built at Thames Ditton in 1937. This car competed widely in the immediate pre-war years in the hands of various sporting motorists including George Abecassis but it eventually became uncompetitive and was stored for about 40 years before acquisition by Graham whose careful restoration has included engine and gearbox rebuilds, manufacture of a new fuel tank and significant bodywork (Pic.6).


1932 four-seater Vale Special

PJ Donnelly’s unusual car is a 1932 four-seater Vale Special with sports Tourette chassis. It had been in hibernation since 1959 but rebuilding started in 2006 since when excellent progress has been made, although significant work to the engine still remains to be done (Pic.7).


1959 MFV Frances

A well known vessel in South Devon waters is Motor Fishing Vessel Frances, one of the last of a type of crabber built in 1959 and still powered by her original Gardner engine. Retired fisherman Bill Hitchins of Salcombe acquired the boat when decommissioned from fishing at Mevagissey in 2006 and his refurbishment has ensured that the vessel retains her original working configuration. Bill received an award of £500 (Pic.8).


1913 Steam Tug Kerne

Is familiar on the Mersey and its Preservation Society received the award towards essential restoration work. The vessel is a steel hulled coal-fired harbour tug, built at Montrose in 1913 for the Admiralty which, under the name Terrier, operated her on the Medway and at Chatham Dockyard until 1948 when she was sold into commercial ownership. Her last 22 years work were spent on the Manchester Ship Canal and the Mersey before being acquired for preservation in 1971 (Pic.9).


1932 Motor cruiser Merlin

Built by Borwicks in 1932, Merlin has spent her entire life on Lake Windermere and had an interesting war adapted as a Home Guard ‘gunboat’. With a machine gun mounted on the stern section of the aft cabin, she provided antiaircraft cover for the factory at White Cross Bay which manufactured Sunderland flying boats. Richard Thompson, a Windermere sailing enthusiast who is only the second owner of “Merlin”, was awarded £2,000 to help complete his restoration of the vessel. A new diesel engine is being acquired as the original was damaged when the vessel sank about 20 years ago and spent some time beneath the waters of the lake (Pic.10).


AEC Bridgemaster double-decker

under restoration by the volunteers of the Swansea Bus Museum. The museum is a relatively new organisation set up in 2005 which focuses on vehicles which operated in their area and this bus is the only survivor of its type from a once substantial South Wales Transport Company fleet (Pic.11).


1898 38ft gaff cutter Helga

William Connon of Cushendall first encountered the 38ft Helga in 1971 as she lay semi-submerged on a mooring in Portsmouth Harbour. The vessel was built in teak on oak as a gaff cutter in 1898 by White Brothers of Southampton for a Danish shipping merchant whose wife’s name was Helga (Pic.12). Subsequently she was sold to the Kinmonth family in County Cork who sailed her extensively for many years in Irish waters and as far afield as Norway and Spain. She is now undergoing her second restoration which, after various alterations to her sail plan, will see her back to her original configuration as well as renewing, inter alia, a cracked stem, rotted ribs and stern post (all of original construction) for which work an award of £1,000 was made.


1933 gaff ketch yacht Our Boy

Built along the lines of a sailing trawler having been built at Juphams Yard in Brixham in 1933. Robin Slater was awarded £1,500 to help complete his restoration of the vessel, his progress having been delayed by damage caused by a boatshed fire. When completed, Our Boy will resume her role as a charter boat and for sail training, operating from her home port of Brixham where she forms part of the Heritage Fleet of sailing trawlers. She has had an interesting history which is well documented. Her first owner sailed her with his wife and young son to South Africa where she was alleged to have been involved in illicit diamond smuggling. Taken to Cape Town for investigation, the vessel slipped away at night and was sailed back to Penzance in 65 days, stopping only once to pick up water in Dakar while the wife and child returned to the UK by steamer. Just before the outbreak of war, Our Boy was purchased by Lord Stanley of Alderney who in his book ‘Sea Places’ devotes a chapter to the vessel. Subsequently she was operated as a private yacht and charterboat before acquisition by Robin Slater (Pic.13).


Uffa Fox Flying 30 yacht Huff of Arklow

Eyemouth International Sailing Craft Association (EISCA) was awarded £2,000 for its work on Huff of Arklow, a 45ft ocean racer designed by Uffa Fox along the lines of his famous Flying Fifteen design. Huff is in fact designated as a Flying 30, one of only two built and designed for speeds of up to 18 knots. She is listed on the National Register of Historic Ships. The vessel was purchased by EISCA in 1999 and used for sail training until two years ago when it became apparent that significant work was necessary if she was to remain seaworthy. This restoration is in hand at Cremyll in Cornwall where EISCA operates a supervised training scheme giving young unemployed persons some work experience in the marine industry. At the conclusion of the project it is intended that Huff will resume sail training and participate in racing and classic boat festivals (Pic.14).


1948 5 ton yacht Maudelayne

Matthew Clay & Brigitta Richards’ 5 ton Maudelayne built in 1948 (Pic.15). At around that time, ‘Yachting World’ commissioned designs for a potential self-build family friendly yacht to kick start leisure sailing in the post war years of austerity. Maudelayne is a commercially-built example with an element of ‘utility’ about her but solid and user-friendly and it is thought appropriate that an example of its type should survive and be active in the 21st century.


1943 Harbour defence launch HMS Medusa

HMS Medusa is a harbour defence motor launch built at Poole in 1943 and she is now the last operational example of more than almost 500 similar vessels originally constructed. On D-Day+1, she served as the marker on a narrow cleared channel through the minefield accessing Omaha Beach and later saw action in Holland. After the war, she served as a survey vessel until retirement in 1965 and was later purchased for preservation. In recent years, Medusa has had an extensive refit supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund but there are a number of interior fitting out works necessary to bring her up to the required standard to represent Hampshire and carry the Lord Lieutenant’s party to the Royal Pageant on 3rd June 2012. To assist the completion of these works, The Medusa Trust received an award of £2,000 (Pic.16).


1928 Motor launch Folkstone Belle

Was built at Cowes in 1928 and used as a ferry at Hayling Island and various tourist activities around Portsmouth Harbour under the name of Southsea Belle. It was not until 1972 that one of her passengers on a harbour cruise recognised her as the vessel which had brought him and about 100 other men back from Dunkirk. This was the first her then owner knew of his vessel’s involvement and extensive enquiries were then initiated to confirm that, as Folkestone Belle, she was indeed active in the evacuation and she is now a member of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. An award of £1,500 went to Kes Travers of Berwickshire who is restoring the vessel with the intention of using her for tourist cruises on the River Tweed (Pic.17).


1911 Barford & Perkins motor roller

The Earl of Durham purchased from Barford & Perkins a motor roller which was delivered from Peterborough by train to Lambton Castle for use on his estate roads. In 1933, he donated the machine (along with the services of his chauffeur who was the only person able to start it) to a local cricket club at Burnmoor. The club used her until 1981 after which it was sold, eventually finishing up with a transport museum in Bradford which subsequently went into liquidation. Further transfers of ownership took place until Paul Wood of Newark acquired the roller in 2005 and he is now making good progress with his restoration for which an award of £1,500 was made. The machine weighs about 4.5 tons and is powered by a 16hp Albion petrol/paraffin engine. Paul has ‘christened’ the roller ‘John Bull’ after her long term driver and groundsman at Burnmoor Cricket Club (Pic.18).


1942 International Harvester TD6 tractor

Martin Williams’ machine was built in 1942 and shipped to Europe under Lease/Lend arrangements and has the unusual feature of a composite petrol/diesel engine. Martin, who is a former apprentice at Swindon Loco Works and writes a monthly column for a vintage plant magazine, will exhibit the tractor at local events (Pic.19).


Highly Commended Awards 


GWR 4-6-0 Wightwick Hall steam loco

The Quainton Railway Society for its restoration programme(Pic.20).


1924/5 Austin 12/4 

John Bedford for his project to restore his 1924/5 Austin 12/4 with bodywork by Thomas Startin.


1935 Small Northwich narrow boat Sculptor

The Waterways Trust for its work to Sculptor, now based at the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne. During the war, the vessel, which worked on the Grand Union Canal, was fitted with fire fighting equipment and saw active service on the Regents Canal (Pic.21).


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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National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR