November 19th, 2016

Meet the Team


The Festival of British Railway Modelling 11-12 February 2017                              

Volunteers required to staff the Holden publicity stand at this exciting event.  A great opportunity to publicise our work and show off our O gauge display.

The Festival of British Railway Modelling returns to the Doncaster Racecourse on 11th-12th February 2017 for its 21st year.

Visitors can enjoy browsing over 30-handpicked layouts with a ‘Best of British’ theme and purchasing must-have items in a variety of major scales and gauges from over 80 quality traders.

There will be expert demonstrations popular with modellers, giving you an opportunity to learn about new techniques or ask any questions you might have.

Whether you’re looking to stock up on essentials for your hobby or enjoy a family day out, our Doncaster Show offers something for everyone.

November 16th, 2016

Wrenford Thatcher Limited Edition Print of GER 789 at Stratford Low Level

003A limited edition of signed, numbered and mounted prints of Wrenford Thatcher’s GER 789 at Stratford Low Level, East London are available. These high-quality prints  measuring 21 cm x 15cm  retail for £14.90 plus £2.50 postage. Please apply to “The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust” 49 Beech Avenue, Halstead, Essex, CO9 2TT.  Cheques made payable to “The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust.” For further information email  [email protected]

October 31st, 2016

Engineering News 31st October 2016

October Engineering Report

Behind the scenes, engineering has been progressing steadily.

To ensure that what we manufacture is fit for purpose a considerable amount of time and CAD work has gone into design and test fitting so as to avoid unnecessary and expensive mistakes.

Following research of our drawings, the Trust has decided that, unfortunately, we can’t go for the cheaper original option of running Joy valve gear as we’d originally hoped but instead, we will have to run with the later Stephensons valve gear. As a consequence, we will have to manufacture all of the additional eccentrics, straps and rods which we’d hoped to have avoided.

All the drawings for the additional frame stretchers, angles and buffer beam brackets are finished and Tyseley Locomotive Works will be adding the manufacturing costs to the build quote. In addition, the drawings for the bolts and rivets required to fix the frames together have been put out for quotation for CNC manufacture to keep the costs down to a bare minimum.

The original hornguides were of an angled construction, this was to allow for adjustment during service to take up any slack in the assembly.


It was decided at an early design stage that all was really required for 25mph running were parallel hornguides hence a new design has been generated instead. These are going for quotation this week and hopefully casting in early November.

Following a visit to Tyseley on Oct. 28th a plan of action has been drawn up to start the process of frame erection. At the moment Tyseley is coming to the conclusion of several large projects and once they are completed and out of the works our job can start in earnest. In the mean time Tyseley will make a start on the additional bracketry as previously described and hopefully, the frames can move indoors for the first time for assessment and a start to be made on the hundreds of holes needed to create the assembled frames. I’ll be visiting Tyseley again on Nov’ 13th to catalogue exactly what’s there and make sure everything is in place to make a start late this year, early 2017 (current projects depending).

Also a start has been made on quotations for the wheelsets. This is a huge undertaking as a crank axle is required which will need massive expenditure from the trust so once we have quotations in from Ian Rileys and SDR Engineering we can see exactly what’s needed financially.


We also have a price for the driving wheel pattern, this will be a traditional pattern and cost in the region of about £3000.00


Coupled to this we already have the pattern for the leading and trailing wheels so along with three plain axles we have a good starting point for getting the loco on its wheels as soon as money provides.

Whilst we looking at patterns we realised we hadn’t got one for the heart of the loco, the nameplate. A CAD model has been completed and a local manufacturing company has offered to machine the pattern FOC. Once this has been done its off to get two castings done so we can display them on our stand for all to see and once the loco is finished they’ll take pride of place on the loco itself. If someone would like to sponsor the brass castings then please feel free to contact us.



October 12th, 2016

Engineering Update 12th October 2016

img-20161005-wa0001CME Elliot Powick has invited quotes for the motion bracket and gussets that attach the buffer beams to the frame plates. A more detailed and significant Engineering Report will be published soon.

September 7th, 2016

Meet the Team


The National Festival of Railway Modelling

The GER 789 Information stand will be present at The National Festival of Railway Modelling at the East of England Showground, Peterborough, PE2 6XE during the weekend of 15th – 16th OCTOBER 2016

Once again the event, the largest model railway show in the East of England, will host over 30 layouts from a variety of major scales and gauges plus over 100 quality traders and demonstrators. Whether you’re looking to stock up on essentials for your hobby or enjoy a family day out, our Peterborough Show offers something for everyone.

Advance booking will ensure you save up to £2 on your entry, receive 30 minutes early entry, a free show guide on arrival and entry into our exclusive BRM competition to win a goody bag worth over £230!

For further information visit

September 2nd, 2016

Book a Talk



The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust has a dedicated team of “guest speakers” ready and available to attend your university, corporate event, society, school or club. Our informative and entertaining illustrative programmes can be tailor-made to suit your requirements thus facilitating the maximum benefit to your organisation for a  minimum cost.

For further information or to survey how the Trust can be of benefit to your organisation  please in the first instance contact us via [email protected].uk

August 29th, 2016

Engineering News August 2016


The Holden F5 Locomotive Trust is making preparations to erect the frames and create the ‘rolling chassis’ of its Great Eastern Railway 2-4-2T No. 789, with the completed cylinder castings delivered to Tyseley Locomotive Works, and design work well in hand on the rest of the ‘bottom half’.
The CAD (Computer Aided Design) patterns for the driving wheels have now been finished and will be sent out for quotations in the coming weeks, along with those for the axles and axleboxes. The modified  axlebox horn guides and their infill plates have also been designed.
The last remaining large part to be produced for the frames will be the motion bracket – but because the drawings for the Stephenson valve gear have not survived, a new design will have to be produced from scratch and modelled to ensure that it fits together.
Project Manager Elliott Powick of Stafford Road Design Ltd said: “Once this is finalised Tyseley can put together a plan and costing for the frame erection, so the kit of parts that the group already have can be turned into something more than a large Meccano set.”
The frame plates were cut in 2012 and the cylinders cast in 2014, while the Trust has also produced the ‘star stay’ (a star-shaped frame stretcher beneath the cab), the smokebox and door, chimney, bunker and bufferbeams.
For more details or to make a donation (payable to Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust) write to 49 Beech Avenue, Halstead, Essex CO9 2TT
The group’s sales stand will be in attendance at The North Norfolk Railway on 3rd September 2016 and the Festival of British Railway Modelling, held at Doncaster Exhibition Centre on February 11/12 2017. For additional information please click on “Meet the team”

August 21st, 2016

Wrenford Thatcher GER 789 Commission.

Wrenford Thatcher is one of Britain’s most successful railway artists, currently creating stunning artworks depicting accurate records in railway history.

Wrenford Thatcher was born in 1944 in Hertford and led a happy childhood on the footplate, around both grandfathers who were engine drivers,  working on the former GER, LNER and finally for BR. From the war years onwards, Wrenford lived in Hatfield and spent his spare time at the line side sketching trains.

He attended St Alban’s County Grammar School where he excelled in sciences and the arts, winning a number of awards for his artworks. He attended London University and studied Mathematics and Physics where he achieved a PhD in Physics. Wrenford became a teacher of Electronics and Astronomy at various Universities, entailing extensive travelling in America and Europe.

Throughout these journeys, paintings flowed whenever time permitted. Two subjects dominated his interest; the stunning scenery of the west coast of Scotland and most importantly, steam locomotive and railway scenes, no doubt stemming from his grandfathers.

His railway paintings are always met with great enthusiasm and has perfected a style that encompasses precision, accuracy and attention to detail, tackling the complexity of perspective. Each painting faithfully represents an historical account of a golden era, reflecting Wrenford’s unquestionable passion for railway engineering.

GER 789 at Stratford station low level.

Although it is generally not recommended that paintings are hung in direct sunlight Wrenford Thatcher’s paintings will withstand it more than most because he uses natural pigments such as raw umber, yellow ochre etc which will not fade. Only red buffer beams are at risk as the use of arsenic red is no longer permitted! The painting is spectacular in sunlight-the shaft of light on the locomotive makes the blue livery stand out from the grey surroundings. This is a technique which Wrenford Thatcher has copied deliberately from the old grand masters such as Rembrant through to Canaletto who knew all about this. The technique was lost by the impressionists and has never resurfaced.

A limited edition of signed and numbered, high-quality prints of Wrenford Thatcher’s GER 789 will be available for purchase in the near future. For more information please contact [email protected]

August 18th, 2016

Meet the Team

logo1Nene Valley Railway East Coast Revival 27th, 28th & 29th August 2016

The GER 789 Information stand will be in attendance at the Nene Valley Railway on Sunday 28th August 2016.

Join the NVR for a unique opportunity to travel behind East Coast Giants A1 No 60163 Tornado and Deltic No 55007 Pinza.

August 7th, 2016

Meet the Team

DONCASTER 11th – 12th FEBRUARY 2017

The GER 789 Information Stand will be in attendance at The Festival of British Railway Modelling, Doncaster Exhibition Centre, The Racecourse, Doncaster, DN2 6BB