In the early morning of Sunday 15th July, our neighbours at Jewson's builder's merchants suffered a major fire. This gutted their site, and also forced the evacuation of residents of Lake Terrace, on the other side of their site.

This fire also affected the railway, in various ways.

  • Our pallet van (code name "Palvan") caught fire, and was partly burnt out, along with many of the tools for work on the track that were stored in it.
  • Our ballast wagon (code name "Dogfish") suffered major damage to its paintwork.
  • The side of our Engine House building was badly scorched, and will need repairs.
  • The front of our platform shelter was also scorched, and will need some repair.
  • Some external wiring was damaged, and in particular the PA system which served our platform was destroyed.
  • On police advice, we had to abandon the operation on Sunday of our special event Leeds Diesels on Display.

By Monday 16th July we were able to start making plans for repairing the damage, and in particular for rebuilding the Palvan and repainting the Dogfish wagon. To give you an idea of what will be involved, the two photographs below show the Palvan running on the Saturday as part of the gala event, and as it was on Sunday morning.

Palvan crossing Moor Road

The Palvan in a train crossing Moor Road

fire damage to wagons

Fire damage to the Palvan and the Dogfish

Fortunately it appears that the chassis and the steel framework of the Palvan have suffered very little damage, so that the main work in repairing it will be replacement of the wooden panelling, including the doors and the roof. This will, though, involve significant costs, for which current estimates are about £15,000, of which only £4,000 will be covered by the insurance.

By contrast, the only real damage to the Dogfish was the scorching of the paintwork on the body, and the insurance will cover the work of repainting it.

We have therefore set up an appeal for donations towards the cost of repairing the fire damage, and in particular the cost of rebuilding the Palvan.

If you wish to help like this, then there are four ways in which you can do so:

  • online;
  • in person at our shop;
  • via our donation form; or
  • by telephone.

Details of these are as follows.

Online donations are handled for us by PayPal: please click the button below to go to their page for donations to us.

In person at our shop: more information about the appeal is available in the shop, and our shop staff will be happy to help you with the details.

Via our donation form: this can be accessed by clicking here (and will open in a new browser tab or window). When you have completed this, then please return it to us either in person, or by post to: The Station, Moor Road, Hunslet, Leeds, LS10 2JQ.

By telephone: we can take the details by telephone (0113 271 0320), and can accept payment by credit or debit card. (We accept most payment cards, except American Express & Diners Card, but only for payments of more than £5.)

Gift Aid. In addition, if you are a taxpayer, then you can use Gift Aid to increase the value of any donation that you make. The donation form includes a Gift Aid declaration, and if you are able to complete this and return it to us we can then claim back the standard rate income tax that you have already paid on the amount of your donation - and this does not cost you a penny! Indeed, if you have to pay income tax at higher rate and have to complete a tax return, then including the details of donations that you have made under Gift Aid will reduce the amount of higher-rate tax that you have to pay.

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