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Welcome to the Operation Oliver pages - dedicated to charting the progress on the overhaul of 'Oliver Veltom'.
In brief, 'Oliver Veltom' was built by Peckett of Bristol in 1951 as works no.2131. Delivered new to the Co-Operative Wholesale Society‘s Irlam Soap, Candle and Starch Works, near Manchester, it worked alongside sister no.2131, and was later joined by Peckett‘s one and only entry into the fireless market, no.2155 in 1955. For further information check out this Industrial Railway Society article.
Nos. 2130 & 2131 were sold to Dunlop for use at Fort Dunlop in Birmingham (part of which now forms 'The Fort' shopping Centre between junctions 6 & 5 on the M6). Sold again, this time to Mr Mr. J. Hunt who moved them to his Hunts Mineral Water factory at Hinckley, Leicestershire who stored the pair. 2130 was preserved in 1974 at the Battlefield Line in Leicestershire, whilst 2131 was acquired by Henry Williams of Gresford, a CRS official, and moved to the nascent Cambrian Railways Society in Oswestry, and later acquired by the CRS. Our engine was named 'Oliver Veltom' in honour of the former British Railways Oswestry Area Manager, who was instrumental in ensuring the survival of a number of artefacts.
'Oliver', as the loco affectionately become known by CRS volunteers, worked on brake van rides along the society's Oswestry Light Railway to Middleton Road Bridge. With the expiry of the boiler certificate in 2001, the engine was dismantled for overhaul.
Work is now underway to complete the 10 yearly overhaul of the engine, returning a steam presence to Oswestry. The locomotive is in remarkably good condition - it is 55 years old, yet has spent 35 of these in preservation at Oswestry. The mechanical work on the chassis is largely complete. The main work now outstanding is the boiler, tank and cleaning and painting around the chassis/ cab area.
Upon completion, the loco will emerge in original lined Peckett green, as carried by fellow Peckett 'Annie' on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway in Yorkshire.
>>>...How can YOU help?...<<<
The principal expenditure on the boiler is a new set of tubes. Therefore, we are urging supporters and well wishers to Sponsor a Tube at £20 each in order to help us steam this delightful engine ASAP. If you have any queries about 'Oliver Veltom', please e-mail Gareth Evans, Operation Oliver Team Leader.
.....For the very latest news on Operation Oliver, check out the Operation Oliver News Page & CRS Newspage.
Media enquiries, including requests for full-res pictures on any of the above should be directed to Press & Publicity Officer Gareth Evans by e-mail.
...hits since the evening of 17th August 2006.