In the early morning of Sunday 15th July 2018, our neighbours at Jewson's builder's merchants suffered a major fire. We suffered too, and this page gives explains how, and what we are doing about it.

What Happened

Early on the Sunday morning, Jewson's builder's merchants suffered a major fire, as the result of an arson attack. This fire gutted their site, and also forced the evacuation of residents of Lake Terrace, on the other side of their site.

The fire also affected the railway, in various ways.

  • Our pallet van (code name "Palvan") caught fire, and was partly burnt out, along with many of the tools for work on the track that were stored in it.
  • Our ballast wagon (code name "Dogfish") suffered major damage to its paintwork.
  • The side of our Engine House building was scorched, and seemed likely to need repairs.
  • The front of our platform shelter was also scorched, and needed some repair.
  • Some external wiring was damaged, and in particular the PA system which served our platform was destroyed.
  • On police advice, we had to abandon the operation on Sunday of our special event Leeds Diesels on Display.

By Monday 16th July we were able to start making plans for repairing the damage, and in particular for rebuilding the Palvan and repainting the Dogfish wagon. To give you an idea of what would be involved, the two photographs below show the Palvan running on the Saturday as part of the gala event, and as it was on Sunday morning.

Palvan crossing Moor Road

The Palvan in a train crossing Moor Road

fire damage to wagons

Fire damage to the Palvan and the Dogfish

Fortunately we found that the chassis and the steel framework of the Palvan had suffered very little damage, so that the main work in repairing it would be replacement of the wooden panelling, including the floor, the doors and the roof. This would, though, involve significant costs, which were estimated at about £15,000, of which only £4,000 would be covered by the insurance.

By contrast, the only real damage to the Dogfish was the scorching of the paintwork on the body, and the insurance would cover the work of repainting it.

We therefore set up an appeal for donations towards the cost of repairing the fire damage, and in particular the cost of rebuilding the Palvan.

How You Can Help

If you wish to help like this, then there are four ways in which you can do so:

  • online;
  • in person at our shop;
  • via our donation form; or
  • by telephone.

Details of these are as follows.

Online donations are handled for us by PayPal: please click the button below to go to their page for donations to us.

In person at our shop: more information about the appeal is available in the shop, and our shop staff will be happy to help you with the details.

Via our donation form: this can be accessed by clicking here (and will open in a new browser tab or window). When you have completed this, then please return it to us either in person, or by post to: The Station, Moor Road, Hunslet, Leeds, LS10 2JQ.

By telephone: we can take the details by telephone (0113 271 0320), and can accept payment by credit or debit card. (We accept most payment cards, except American Express & Diners Card, but only for payments of more than £5.)

Gift Aid. In addition, if you are a taxpayer, then you can use Gift Aid to increase the value of any donation that you make. The donation form includes a Gift Aid declaration, and if you are able to complete this and return it to us we can then claim back the standard rate income tax that you have already paid on the amount of your donation - and this does not cost you a penny! Indeed, if you have to pay income tax at higher rate and have to complete a tax return, then including the details of donations that you have made under Gift Aid will reduce the amount of higher-rate tax that you have to pay.

Progress With Repairs

We contacted our insurers, who appointed a loss adjuster, and with his help we were able to put together a claim for the damage. In particular, we were quickly able to start the process of replacing the tools that had been damaged in the Palvan.

To repaint the Dogfish wagon we had to decide on a livery, and since we were preparing for our "Last Coals to Leeds" event the obvious choice was to paint it in NCB livery, and give it the (fictitious) running number MB 150, as shown in the picture below.

the repainted Dogfish

The Dogfish repainted in NCB livery

We replaced the PA system for the platform and repaired the major damage to the buildings, and this just left as the main item the restoration of the Palvan. After negotiations with various firms that can do this kind of repair, we appointed Stanegate Restorations of Haltwhistle to do the work, and the picture below shows the van leaving our site at the beginning of June 2019.

Palvan leaving Moor Road

The Palvan leaving for Stanegate Restorations

They are making good progress with the work, and the two pictures below show the van with some of the new panelling in place.

Palvan partly rebuilt

Work in progress on rebuilding the Palvan

new panelling on the Palvan

New panelling on the Palvan

Other work that is having to be done on the van is to refurbish the floor plating, and to construct new wooden roof sticks to support the metal ones that are still in place. The two pictures below show the progress with these components.

A refurbished floor plate

A refurbished floor plate

new roof sticks

New wooden roof sticks

Summer Wednesday Trains

From 31st July until 28th August 2019 we will be running a Diesel Service on Wednesdays from 11:00 until 15:20. Anyone under the age of 3 travels for free, and the special child fare is just £1.00: normal adult fares apply.


More Information

Other pages provide more information about:

 

Summer Wednesday Trains

From 31st July until 28th August 2019 we will be running a Diesel Service on Wednesdays from 11:00 until 15:20. Anyone under the age of 3 travels for free, and the special child fare is just £1.00: normal adult fares apply.

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