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This project has been on the back boiler for 16 years but everything comes to he who waits.

Locomotive nameplates reunited at last - it's a long story

Before and after

In 1998 English Welsh & Scottish Railways presented the Museum with the nameplates and citations from a Class 47 Diesel locomotive that had been named Bemjamin Gimbert G.C. in September 1981.

The picture shows from the left: EWS representative, Derek Robinson, Barry Howlett, Richard Munns (holding a citation plate), EWS representative and Tom Paghett (born 3 August 1903) steam driver colleague of Ben Gimbert.

At the time EWS were hoping to also donate the James Nighall G.C. nameplates but soon found the locomotive had been decommissioned some time earlier and the plates sold. This was the start of a long search.

It didn't take long to locate one James Nightall G.C. plate at Mangapps Farm Museum, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. We went on an expedition to meet John Jolly and discuss an exchange for a Ben Gimbert G.C.plate. It was a good trip to a great Museum but the plate was so firmly attached to the wall that moving it was out of the question.

We wrote to the auction house that sold the other plate hoping to make indirect contact with the owner. No replies were obtained.

Years passed then, out of the blue, we were emailed by Paul Hodgson who now owned the missimg James Nightall G.C. plate and was willing to swap. Nothing happened for ages and we thought Paul had changed his mind but unknown to us Paul's father was very ill so his attentions were elsewhere.

However, earlier this year, we were contacted again and on 14 July 2014 an official exchange took place.

From the left: Peter Wright, Richard Munns both of March Museum, Ben Gimbert's daughter Joyce Dedman aged 87, her daughter & Ben's granddaughter Jenny Amps and Paul Hodgson.

Briefly all three plates were together; the fourth is still very firmly attached to Mangapps Farm Museum.


The old cycle shed display area is now finished

The displays and interpretation is now complete.

One item in the new display has its original instructions.

Patent Nos. 3090, 226368, 371606, 318077

Instructions for use:-

  1. Shave about ½lb. good household soap into the machine and fill with boiling water up to the mark, first making sure the tap is off.
  2. Close lid and move handle backward and forward until soap is dissolved and heavy lather produced.
  3. Put in clothes:- washer works best with full batch i.e.2Blankets or 5 sheets or equal bulk.
  4. Work handle backward and forward for full distance for 3 minutes – about 150 double strokes.  Do not press down on the handle.
  5. Thoroughly clean and dry the machine after use.  Paraffin may be used for cleaning.



  1. When placing washer on legs the drain tap should project over cross stays fitted on inside of legs.
  2. When fixing wringer on washer the clamping screws should face front of the washer.
  3. The metal shute should be hung on clamping board facing out.
  4. The wooden stick is for lifting clothes out of the water.

Made by – Press Caps Ltd.,
(Home appliances Dept.)
Gorst Road
Chase Estate
Park Royal LONDON. N.W.10


ASLEF Banner

ASLEF, the Associatied Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen was founded by William Ullyott along with 55 colleagues on January 3rd 1888, we have been lucky enough to be given this wonderful silk banner with heavy painted designs which has been consolidated by the Textile Conservation Centre of The University of Southampton. 

The vivid green silk is in a very delicate condition and the banner has been attached to a supportive substrate to enable us to display it.

The banner is over 10 feet square (over 3m) and we have identified an area for a display case; a former March Grammar School pupil is building a suitable case for it. The Pilgrim Trust and Cambridgeshire County Council have given generous grants towards this costly project.

In the mean time we are still raising funds of our own (see Railway Slide Shows page) and have received donations from many individuals and ASLEF Branches.

We are grateful to the following branches for their generosity:

The face with the locomotive will displayed whilst a photograph of the reverse will be shown alongside with some information about the banner and its conservation.