Wolverton Works online

Recording the history of the World's longest continually operating railway Works

Now on twitter @marshrail

Gemini Rail Services has been formed to operate Wolverton Works and Springburn in Glasgow from November 2018, but closure plans for the latter were announced the following month. Knorr Bremse Rail Services Ltd accounts lodged at Companies House show that a loss in excess of £50million was reported in the five years of their oeration. We wish the new owners of the business every success and Gemini is contacting the local community, a welcome development.

 

 

Welcome to Wolverton Works online. Site updated 10 June 2019.  ANNOUNCEMENT! Phil Marsh is delighted to have John Kitchen, Wolverton Works artist in residence, with him at the Great Linford Community Fun Day on Sat 7 July. Follow this link for details: www.great-linford.gov.uk/events/community-fun-day/

The Full Works book will be available at £5 and photographs of the Royal Train and the Works also available in addition to John's artwork.

The Full Works is the official book published to commemorate the Works' 175th anniversary in September 2013. It is available from the author priced £6.50 including P&P from: P Marsh, 14 Milton Road, Willen Village, MK15 9AD.

 

War Memorial fund

Working with Dave Hilliard from Wolverton Works, Phil Marsh has donated £1000 from the anniversary book to the World War One War Memorial fund. Dave has raised several thousands of pounds working tirelessly towards the project completion.

 

This commemorates each of the 213 Wolverton Works men who gave their lives in this conflict. For some reason, the LNWR did not erect a War memorial to them. and we resolved to rectify this omission.

 

Dave Hilliard, supported by Knorr-Bremse, raised the required amount and the memorial (seen below remains to be unveiled being actively blocked by St Modwen who do not respond to questions about the project while Gemini Rail have pedged to  make it happen.

 

 

 

St Modwen's active blocking of the Works War Memorial prompted Mike Boyd to take direct and public action and has displayed a full sized replica of the Memorial in the Square at Wolverton with the following inscription:

WOLVERTON WORKS MEMORIAL 1914-1918

This is a reproduction of a marble memorial. It was created several years ago following research by David Hilliard, a training manager at the Works, with support from Knorr-Bremse RailServices.

The memorial is a panel displaying, in six columns, 214 names based upon the LNWR Roll of Honour of those employed at the Wolverton Works.

The plaque is large, about 8 feet by 4 feet. Its weight demands an appropriate permanent installation. It had been intended that it be sited next to the current works entrance, on the Stratford Road. But negotiations with St Modwens, the site’s owner, failed to agree this placement.

It is currently held in storage by the makers, RGR Memorials.

Representatives of Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council are negotiating a suitable

location.

This memorial is

significant to many in

Wolverton and its

surrounding communities.

 

 

 

 

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IMG_2708 1 2017-02-24 Wolverton Works building in situ Phil Marsh 006 2018-01-20 ITN news Wolverton Phil Marsh Ref 095 1900 bloomer blue bridge 1990 eric clapton  wolverton station demolition244x 2018-02-23 wolverton wall Phil Marsh ref 195 2018-02-23 wolverton wall Phil Marsh ref 168 2018-02-28 wolverton wall c2c 357 2 002 2018-02-28 wolverton wall c2c 357 2 018 IMG_2456 1 2008-04-11  east repair shop no exit track

 

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The latest chapter in the Works 180 year long history:

 

Knorr Bremse bought the rail vehicle renovation businesses at Wolverton and Springburn on 26th August 2013 from Railcare’s

Administrators for £6.6million. The new company was named Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (UK) Ltd  after initially being named

Pimco Ltd, registered at Companies House on 19 August 2013 with just one share issued.

The initial set of accounts covering the purchase to the end of 2014 showed that the turnover was £34.115million with an

operating  loss of £18.39million and the shareholder deficit £13.193million. In this initial report, Managing Director Paul Goodhand

wrote: “Profitability of vehicle refurbishment projects has initially been poor, but as a result of intensive work to improve tendering

and purchasing procedures and project management, it is now improving”. It clearly didn't!    

 

The next financial year showed a turnover of £53.97million, and a slightly increased shareholder deficit of £13.393million. Year three ending 31 December 2016 accounts report an operating loss of £15million explained by …significant losses on a number of contracts and provision of £1.8million against obsolete stock…. Parent company loans were reported as reaching £46.5million, up from £39.6million a year previously.

 

The final trading year ending 31 December 2017, KBRS reported a loss of £5.3million against a turnover of £67.9million with the parent company loan now at £53.8million. The Annual report says that “We anticipate and improvement in financial results in2018.”

But accounting note 1.3 in the report says that the parent company is considering selling the Company and is at an advanced stage of negotiation with a prospective purchaser. It also outlined the poor financial position stating …..the company has a history of losses and net current liabilities of £35,067million at 31 Dec 2017. The intercompany demand loan was £53.818million at the end of 2017.

 

On 9th November 2018, KBRS was officially renamed Gemini Rail Services UK Ltd and the takeover was legally completed at Companies House. The KBRS Cessation certificate was lodged at Companies House on 31st October 2018 and five years of heavy losses for them came to an end and Gemini Rail Services was in business.

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Above: The new Gemini signage at the entrance. Details of the Great Linford Parish Council Fun Day where you can also meet Phil Marsh and John Kitchen at their Royal Train & Wolverton Works stand.

Below right, The Works in Sept 2016.

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John Kitchen at work and one of his paintings

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