Cliff King, of Spencer Close, Potton, wants to donate as much money as possible to a project which could see the Shannon – which dates back to 1857 – return to the railways once again.
Mr King decided to start collecting money after Steam Railway magazine published an appeal asking readers for donations in association with the locomotive’s owners, The National Railway Museum and its custodians, the Great Western Society.
Since then the Heritage Railway Association has donated £1,000 towards the £14,000 target set by the Didcot Railway Museum in Oxfordshire, where Shannon is being kept.
Mr King, who has set up a donation sheet at the George and Dragon pub in King Street, said: “I’m very interested in the railways generally and when I saw the appeal I knew it was a cause worth supporting, especially as the Shannon used to run along the old branch line to Sandy from the old Potton railway shed in Biggleswade Road.
“I don’t know how much I’ll be able to raise, but the list will be up at the pub until the end of the month, and even a few hundred pounds would make all the difference.”
It is also thought that the train may be totally unique, giving the campaign to restore it extra momentum.
Mr King added: “It is not known for certain but it is believed that Shannon could be the only standard gauge George England steam locomotive in the world.”
For the full story see the Biggleswade Chronicle of Friday, May 20.