Ribbon cut on new railway workshop in Wirksworth

A special new workshop has been opened to aid the work of the Ivatt Diesel Re-creation Society. 

The workshop was opened on Friday, December 6, by the charity’s president Stan Fletcher. 

It is named Centenary Works to mark Mr Fletcher’s 100th year. 

Situated in Wirksworth, the base will enable the society to refurbish and construct parts as part of the project to construct to re-create 10000, Britain’s first main line diesel locomotive. 

The original locomotive 10000 was built in 1947 by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in Derby Works and scrapped in 1968 despite official attempts to preserve it. 

Mr Fletcher was one of the team who constructed 10000. He was a commissioning engineer for English Electric, who contributed the 16SVT power unit and electrical control system. 

He then went on to accompany the locomotive during the initial years in which it and its twin 10001 proved that diesel traction could haul express trains. 

Upon cutting the ceremonial ribbon, Mr Fletcher spoke to the assembled members and industry representatives, saying that he was “heartened to have seen the rail industry supporting us and it is encouraging now we are that point that we are now going to achieve something.” 

He added that “the workshop was another achievement” for the society, which, in the last 12 months have obtained a large number of parts, including former EM2 bogies to go with the 16SVT power unit and class 58 chassis – and have obtained a sleeper coach, donated by Porterbrook, for use as accommodation for volunteers. 

Coach 10597 arrived at Wirksworth on November 12 for use by LMS10000 and EVR volunteers. 

The coach was latterly in use in the Caledonian Sleeper train.   

Stan’s former colleague at GEC, Garry Brookes, stated his enthusiasm that the workshop has been prepared in such a professional manner. 

He said: “It shows that this is not simply a group with enthusiasm but determined to make the locomotive a top quality job and that the group means business.”

Centenary Works will be used initially to refurbish parts.