5080: Defiant Club


“The peoples’ main line engine”

  • Defiant is an original pedigree Great Western Railway express locomotive, not a new build! She will haul express trains at speed on original sections of the Great Western Railway main lines. What could be more historically authentic and thrillingly evocative than that?
  • Defiant already has the advantage of being in the Tyseley Collection, based at an original top 50 GWR locomotive shed with a well-equipped workshop and proven excellence in restoration, operation and maintenance. Being an authentic GWR express engine to a world-famous design, she will significantly add to the Vintage Trains brand.
  • Defiant will be welcomed into the Vintage Trains locomotive fleet with open arms and assured of a main line future on our steam hauled express dining trains and The Shakespeare Express. Everything is in place to secure her operational future except the funds. In return for donations, we are inviting subscribers to become shareholders in our venture, learn about what we do and participate in Defiant’s success.

Download Membership Leaflet <here>


From: Michael Whitehouse, Chairman, Vintage Trains

Thank you for expressing interest in The Defiant Club.

What is The Defiant Club all about?

This is an imaginative adventure for you to participate in. You will help us to:

  • restore 5080 Defiant, an authentic original pedigree Great Western Railway single chimney Castle Class express locomotive, to operating condition to run express trains at speed on the national network;
  • operate Defiant as ‘The People’s Main Line Engine’, by actively sponsoring the restoration and spending time helping bring Defiant back to life, in the process learning and participating in Vintage Trains’ activities running a heritage railway company;
  • continue to develop the expertise and skills of Tyseley Locomotive Works, one of Britain’s heading heritage railway workshops, in repairing, maintaining and operating main line express steam locomotives;
  • involve a greater number of people, as trustee shareholders of Defiant, in understanding and participating in our charitable activities.


What benefits will I receive?

  • You may become a Trustee Shareholder for your lifetime in Defiant, an authentic GWR Castle class express steam locomotive running on the main line. What this means is explained in more detail below.
  • You will be given a decorative Share Certificate for your trustee shareholding in 5080 Defiant Limited.
  • You may participate in Defiant’s restoration, operation and conservation, subject to Tyseley Locomotive Works’ procedures.
  • You will receive a quarterly newsletter about Defiant and her restoration.*
  • You will be invited to the Defiant Club AGM ‘Castle Day’ at Tyseley, with a Castle in steam and a behind-the-scenes tour of the workshop and Defiant under overhaul. We will explain to you what is involved in repairing, maintaining, operating and promoting heritage trains running at speed on the national railway network, and you may see and experience our operation at close quarters and talk with the experts who run it.* After Defiant has been commissioned, you will continue to be entitled to come to the 5080 Defiant Limited AGM free of charge whilst you remain a shareholder.
  • You will be given a free standard class ticket on Clun Castle’s inaugural Shakespeare Express trains in 2019, with the option to upgrade to Pullman dining.
  • You will be given an invitation to Defiant’s commissioning ceremony party at Tyseley.
  • You will be given a free standard class ticket on Defiant’s inaugural Shakespeare Express trains, again with Pullman dining upgrade available.
  • You will be given a Defiant Club badge

*This benefit will cease once Defiant has been commissioned.


What is my contribution?

We ask you to donate the equivalent of £1 a day for three years in one of two ways:

(a) £1,001 up front; or

(b) £101 initial sum, with 30 subsequent payments of £30 each by monthly standing order.

In either case we also invite you to sign a Gift Aid form, if you are a UK taxpayer, in favour of 7029 Clun Castle Limited, so our Charity can reclaim the basic rate tax you pay and so add to the restoration and maintenance fund. In return we will enrol you as a Trustee Shareholder for life in the company which will own Defiant.


What if I can’t afford to donate such a sum?

There’s another way of enjoying this unique opportunity to participate in the future of both Defiant and Vintage Trains, by forming a group of up to ten people who contribute a share of the £1,001 donation. This option may well suit young people who would like to join our enterprise and participate in an imaginative way, but only have limited funds.

If you would like to form such a group, you are welcome to do so. However, note that only one nominee may become the Trustee Shareholder.


If we gain 1,000 trustee shareholders then Defiant will have a secure working life on Vintage Trains tours, once she has been fully overhauled in our workshops.

What is the Tyseley Collection?

The Tyseley Collection is a significant grouping of mainly Great Western Railway locomotives, late BR carriages, GWR wagons, workshop equipment, spares, drawings and knowhow, all based at an original GWR top 50 depot near the heart of Birmingham, where steam power was originally harnessed to enable mass manufacture which changed the world for ever.

The Collection is one of the earliest main line heritage railway collections and founded by the original world pioneers of heritage railway preservation. It is all vested in a charitable company.

The founders of the Tyseley Collection were amongst the original pioneers who saved the Talyllyn Railway in Wales, the world’s first preserved railway, then went on to scale greater heights. The second and third generations of these visionary forerunners are still innovating in heritage railway preservation for the 21stt Century.

At the end of steam on British Railways (Western Region) the founders of the Tyseley Collection were involved in establishing the Dart Valley Railway in Devon and began collecting GWR branch line engines for it, such as 4555, 1420 6435 and 1638. Several of these came first to Tyseley depot in Birmingham and Worcester Works for repair and repainting. Whilst the DVR was being set up these engines ran excursion trains around the Midlands and some of them even ran public service trains! For example, 4555 was often seen on the 5.25 from Birmingham Snow Hill to Knowle & Dorridge!

In 1964, Ian Allan promoted the Great Western railtour as the swansong of the GWR Castle Class and several were put through their paces beforehand so that the best ones could be selected for the trip, mainly on the Cathedrals Express from London Paddington to Worcester. 7029 Clun Castle was one of the engines selected and, on the excursion, she put in a magnificent performance, setting a record point-to-point timing from Plymouth to Bristol and reaching 96mph. Following this achievement, 7029 went on to be the last Castle in BR service and hauled the last steam train from Paddington in 1965 and the last steam train from Birmingham Snow Hill in 1967.

Two Cornishmen set up a fund to preserve her but failed to raise the purchase price of some £3,000. They appealed to the DVR to assist and two of its directors, Pat Whitehouse and John Evans, put up the balance of the purchase moneys between them to secure the engine on the basis that it was put into a trust for perpetuity. This trust was converted into a limited company and later gained charitable status. The company is 7029 Clun Castle Limited (Registered No.910443; Registered Charity No. 505793). It has owned Clun Castle ever since.

Following the success of initial railtours with Clun Castle, it was agreed to keep the engine in working order at Tyseley and not send it to Buckfastleigh to become a museum exhibit. In order to develop the depot at Tyseley for heritage purposes, a second charity was established which has since evolved to become Vintage Trains. Further locomotives, carriages and workshop equipment and machinery were acquired to develop the heritage steam centre and these were all either acquired by or given to 7029 Clun Castle Limited.

Following good museum and charitable practice, the Tyseley Collection has always remained owned by 7029 Clun Castle Limited and lent to Vintage Trains for display, repair, maintenance and use. The reason for this is simple. 7029 Clun Castle Limited does not trade so it never incurs debt or liabilities. Consequently, the Tyseley Collection is kept completely safe and ringfenced from commercial risk. Moreover, Vintage Trains has agreed obligations to repair and keep the collection in good order (as far as it is able) and takes out insurance against public liability and other risks. The foundation of the Tyseley Collection is secure and it is intended that it will remain so.

The locomotives in the collection comprise: Clun Castle, Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, Defiant, Rood Ashton Hall, Kolhapur, 7752, 7760, 9600, 13029,47773 The Queen Mother, 50021 Rodney and 670, the reproduction Bloomer. Additionally the entire fleet of Vintage Trains’ carriages and wagons and the majority of Tyseley Locomotive Works’ machinery and equipment are also vested in 7029 Clun Castle Limited.

All the locomotives (apart from 670) have operated on the main line since being owned by the charity. Our policy is to repair items in the collection for a 20 year life. This helps ensure that the maintenance & overhaul policy established by Tyseley Locomotive Works can provide the locomotives with a sustainable future as their operating costs are met from Vintage Trains’ annual income budget. However, the capital cost to restore locomotives is increasing due to their age and cost of engineering services and materials. For example, the cost of the current heavy general overhaul of Clun Castle will be in the region of £800,000 plus many voluntary hours – and she came into the workshop as a complete workable engine!

By 2017 we will have restored Clun Castle, Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, Rood Ashton Hall, 7752 and 9600 in accordance with our policy and Vintage Trains will maintain them. Next we wish to repair Defiant so she too can rejoin the operational fleet on the same basis to provide more resilience, enable us to grow our activities and use another authentic Great Western express engine on the main line.


What is involved in restoring Defiant?

Defiant was purchased from Barry scrapyard as part of a deal to rescue all the remaining Castle Class engines from Barry so that some could run again and some would be used as donor locomotives for spares. It was always assumed that 5080 would be used for spares as the trustees originally intended to restore and operate Clun Castle and Thornbury Castle only. However, after many successful runs by Clun Castle during the GW150 celebrations in 1985, funds were found through a Community Programme employment training scheme to restore a further Castle locomotive. The trustees decided to restore Defiant instead of double chimney Thornbury Castle as it was desired to have an authentic GWR single chimney working Castle in the Tyseley Collection.

Defiant was examined and found essentially to be a sound kit of parts. 5080 was rebuilt under the guidance of Don Green, formerly Works Manager at Worcester, who had a lifetime’s working knowledge of Castle locomotives and knew what was required to keep them in tiptop condition to run the demanding Cathedrals Express in the British Railways era.

Defiant was outshopped from Tyseley Locomotive Works in 1987 after a heavy general overhaul to restore her from Barry scrapyard condition to main line operating order. She ran several excursion trains most successfully and also performed on heritage railways such as the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway. Defiant then featured as the main locomotive on our own ‘Drive a Loco’ programme until her boiler certificate expired.

Defiant is complete and in basically sound condition but requires a further heavy general overhaul if she is to return to the main line. The work required will need to be carefully assessed and, until she is dismantled, it will not be possible to say with certainty what work will be required. However, with the experience Tyseley Locomotive Works has gained in repairing both Clun Castle and Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, we have a good idea of the work ahead.

The locomotive will need to be completely stripped and every part examined and refurbished to the standards set out in Tyseley Locomotive Works’ maintenance & overhaul policy. The boiler may need new tube plates. It will certainly require new tubes and superheater elements throughout and many new firebox stays. The axleboxes and motion will require examination and re-metalling. The wheel tyres are expected to be sound but require re-profiling. Some platework and pipework will require replacing, especially in the tender. There will no doubt be many more items which will require attention.

The locomotive will need to be fitted with modern train control apparatus to Network Rail Group Standards, followed by complete repainting in late 1940s GWR livery (as currently carried), which is authentic for her name, and given extensive trials before being released for service. Our budget for all this work is £1,000,000, on the basis that Defiant will be treated as a contract repair by Tyseley Locomotive Works and so should be repairable within three years from work commencing, provided all the funds are raised. Those donors who wish to assist with the repair work may do so, subject to Tyseley Locomotive Works’ procedures and their own abilities.

Defiant is currently on display at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. If this appeal appears likely to succeed by the end of this year, we have agreed with them that Defiant will be returned to Tyseley during the winter months of 2017. Once Clun Castle has been commissioned, expected to be by the summer, we will then assess the work required on Defiant, produce a report and begin to plan the overhaul. We will not start the overhaul until our thorough assessment is complete and at least £500,000 has been raised through this appeal.


What will happen to your donation of £1,001?

The £1,001 donation will be paid into a designated bank account held by 7029 Clun Castle Limited and ringfenced for Defiant. Any gift aid reclaimed from HM Revenue & Customs will also be paid into the same bank account which will then form the fund used to repair Defiant.

7029 Clun Castle Limited will contract with Tyseley Locomotive Works to repair Defiant to comply with Network Rail Group Standards for operation on the national railway network and also to Tyseley Locomotive Works’ own maintenance & overhaul policy as regards quality of repair, processes and maintenance arrangements. Overhaul charges will be the same as applied to any contract engineering work undertaken by Tyseley Locomotive Works and these will be monitored and approved by independent directors from 7029 Clun Castle Limited and 5080 Defiant Limited before any payment is made.

Once Defiant has been accepted as fit to run on Network Rail, she will join Vintage Trains’ pool of locomotives in operation on its charter trains. Exactly the same policies, processes and procedures will apply to Defiant as to any other locomotive in the Tyseley Collection. These will be explained to you as the overhaul progresses and also once Defiant joins the operational fleet. That will be the main purpose of the AGM and the newsletter.

If there is any shortfall between the overhaul and commissioning costs and the funds raised through this appeal, the balance will be paid or raised by 7029 Clun Castle Limited, assuming this is practical. In the event any surplus remains after the overhaul and commissioning are complete, then any balance will be placed into a sinking fund available for the overhaul and maintenance of any item in the Tyseley Collection.


What is involved in becoming a trustee shareholder for life rather than just making a donation?

You will be involved as a shareholder in the company which will own Defiant, assuming you wish to be. This is not compulsory and some donors may simply wish to make a donation and receive newsletter information and the other benefits.

Being involved as a Trustee Shareholder will mean you will be a registered shareholder in 5080 Defiant Limited. You will have no liability or obligations other than as a shareholder. You will be a trustee holding your legal and beneficial interest in such share on behalf of 7029 Clun Castle Limited.


How will that work?

We will form a new company, called 5080 Defiant Limited, which will be wholly owned by 7029 Clun Castle Limited. The authorised share capital of 5080 Defiant Limited will be 1,000 A shares of £1 and 1,500,000 B shares of £1. An A Share will be available for allocation to you as a Trustee Shareholder by 7029 Clun Castle Limited once your full donation has been fully received. The A Shares will not confer rights to vote or to appoint directors or to any benefit in a winding up.

The B shares will be held by 7029 Clun Castle Limited, which will always have legal and beneficial ownership control of 5080 Defiant Limited and will have all the rights to vote and appoint directors, so as to ensure Defiant remains inviolable within the Tyseley Collection. As is usual for a holding company, 7029 Clun Castle Limited will be able to appoint and remove directors of 5080 Defiant Limited. Initially it is intended that the existing charity trustee directors will be the directors of 5080 Defiant Limited, but there is no reason why Trustee Shareholders approved by the charity cannot also be appointed directors. Indeed, the charity is open to involvement of a wider and more diverse range of people subject to status, commitment and contribution ability. This is how we hope to secure succession for our enterprise in the long term.

5080 Defiant Limited’s constitution will have the usual charitable restriction on distributions on a winding up. This means that the company will be ‘not-for-profit’, will never pay dividends and, if it is ever wound up, the locomotive Defiant will be transferred back to 7029 Clun Castle Limited so that it is always owned and controlled by a charity.

Once 1,000 Trustee Shareholders have donated £1,001 each, 7029 Clun Castle Limited will transfer Defiant to 5080 Defiant Limited in exchange for 375,000 B Shares, representing current aggregate book value of Defiant in 7029 Clun Castle Limited. As the locomotive is repaired its value will increase. Currently, 7029 Clun Castle Limited values a fully working Castle Class locomotive at £1,500,000 in its books and accounts. So we expect that, once Defiant has been restored and commissioned into service, the directors will revalue her at that figure. Further B Shares up to the value determined will then be issued by 5080 Defiant Limited to 7029 Clun Castle Limited.

5080 Defiant Limited will issue one A share to each qualifying individual who has agreed to be a Trustee Shareholder and 7029 Clun Castle Limited jointly. That is what the extra £1 is for. 7029 Clun Castle Limited will use £1 of the £1,001 you donate to subscribe for the A Share which will be issued to you and the charity jointly. You will be the first named in the share register and so entitled to receive notice of and attend general meetings but not to vote. You will be required to execute a declaration of trust confirming your interest in the relevant share is held on behalf of 7029 Clun Castle Limited and also to sign an undated share transfer in favour of 7029 Clun Castle Limited, which will only be completed in the event a qualifying individual commits a default (ie dies, becomes bankrupt, of unsound mind etc). On the default of an individual, the A share will thus vest in 7029 Clun Castle Limited.

An individual qualifies subject to status and his or her donation of £1,001 having been made in cleared funds to 7029 Clun Castle Limited. Status is to be confirmed by 7029 Clun Castle Limited, but will be so confirmed if you are over 18, not in default (ie not bankrupt and of sound mind) and subject to an introductory meeting with the charity trustees to ensure everything in this explanatory note is clear and understood and all relevant papers are properly completed. In the event either you or the charity trustees are not satisfied for any reason, then the £1,001 donated will be refunded in full and gift aid will not be claimed on your donation.


What if I can’t afford £1,001 but still want to contribute?

You can always donate any sum and, if you are a UK taxpayer, you can agree we can reclaim the basic rate tax you pay. If you seek the benefits we offer then you can consider a group donation, which we welcome, especially for groups of younger people who are interested in participating but who perhaps cannot afford the full amount individually.

If a group of individuals wish to contribute £1,001 between them they may do so in any number up to ten people, with nine contributing say £100 and one contributing £101, or any combination you wish. The donation process for that will be the same as for a single donor for each donation.

5080 Defiant Limited will only be obliged to communicate with one qualifying individual trustee shareholder who, in turn, will need to make arrangements for involving the other group contributors which will need to be disclosed and agreed by 7029 Clun Castle Limited. We will discuss these arrangements with any groups of people who wish to apply so that all members of the group can be involved if they so wish.


Can I donate more than £1,001?

Yes, and for every £1,001 you donate, you will be issued with one A Share in 5080 Defiant Limited, subject to status.


What do I do to donate?

Please send an email to defiant@vintagetrains.co.uk, and register your interest in this exciting offer.


Thank you very much for your interest and contribution. We hope you will enjoy your participation and we are sure you will be helping give enjoyment and satisfaction to thousands of people as well as enabling Defiant to haul Vintage Trains’ expresses well into the future.


7029 Clun Castle Limited

670 Warwick Road



B11 2HL


Web: www.vintagetrains.co.uk/defiant

Mail: defiant@vintagetrains.co.uk