The Murdoch Flyer Project

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					The Murdoch Flyer Project

Issue Number 6                            Spring 2003

4” & 5” Scale Murdoch Flyers
To Appear In The
Streets of Redruth
A 5” scale conjectural replica of William Murdoch`s 1784 steam carriage will appear in the
streets of Redruth on Murdoch Day this year if plans currently being made come to fruition in
time. This phase of the project is due to be completed by the end of 2003 but the project team
hopes that construction of the locomotive will be completed by 14th June. However it is unlikely
that the certification of the boiler will have been carried out to allow it to be steamed in public.
Nigel Eden hopes to show his 4” scale version of the Flyer. This has already operated
successfully under steam but it will not be certificated for steaming in public. Arrangements are
being made with the Murdoch Day Committee for our project to be allocated a prime site in
Alma Place, near the town clock. We hope our display will be supported by a number of
miniature live steam traction engines. The theme for the children`s parade is to be “The Genius
of William Murdoch” and they will be learning about his inventions and other achievements. Ed
Hamilton hopes to be in Redruth with his group Fast Buck to perform “The Ballad of William
Murdoch” live on the podium in Green Lane.

Murdoch`s 250th Anniversary in 2004
William Murdoch was born on 21st August 1754 and 2004 will be the 250th anniversary of his
birth. In conjunction with several of our influential “friends” we have held discussions with the
Director of the Kew Bridge Steam Museum in London which we hope will host a seminar and
special displays about his life and achievements during the summer months. We hope soon for
confirmation of this. If we are successful, it will raise the profile of William Murdoch and that of
the Murdoch Flyer Project.

Annual General Meeting
At our AGM on 12th March, Keith Dinham was elected Vice-Chairman. David Trevena`s
business commitments prevented him from accepting the nomination this year but he remains a
member of the Committee. All the other officers and committee members were re-elected to
serve for a further year. Our project Constitution was amended to make the officers ex-officio,
enabling the following new Committee members to be elected : Pat Bridger, Sallie Dinham,
Gerald Odgers and Len Pascoe.
Kerrier District Council
We have applied to Kerrier District Council for financial support for construction of our miniature
steam carriage. Our letter has been acknowledged and we now await their decision.

Cornwall County Council
As suggested to us during a meeting with County Councillors Bert Biscoe and Graeme Hicks,
we have held several meetings with representatives of other projects in the Camborne and
Redruth area to investigate forming partnerships with a view to attracting funding for an
enhanced visitor attraction in the area. At present, Kerrier`s Working Party continues to address
this issue which will connect with the emerging Pool Masterplan recommendations. Our
meetings have included discussions with Kerrier District Councillors and representatives of the
Robinson`s Shaft Project. We have been informed that a display venue for a full size Murdoch
steam driven locomotive will be included in that project which appears to offer a home for our
full size steam driven carriage if a suitable display venue is not available in Redruth town.

Project team Contacts Descendants of William Murdoch
Peter Glass, who lives in Reading, is a descendant of William Murdoch and we were pleased
when he became a Friend of the Flyer. We were delighted to welcome him to Redruth on 23rd
and 24th February. Mr Glass, accompanied by his wife, visited our Tolgus workshop on the
Sunday afternoon and met members of the project team who demonstrated our test boiler under
steam. Nigel Eden showed him his 4” scale carriage. A useful exchange of information took
place and photographs were taken, some of which appeared in the local press. Peter Glass
and members of the project team were interviewed by Janet Eathorne from BBC Radio Cornwall
and we were live on air for about fifteen minutes. On the Monday morning, we accompanied Mr
Glass on a visit to Murdoch House where he was shown around and met staff and members of
the Murdoch House Management Committee. We then visited The Cornwall Centre where he
was shown around by the Custodian Terry Knight. Peter Glass inherited family documents
about William Murdoch which have been handed down over the years and he has generously
deposited these at the Cornwall Centre for the people of Redruth. These documents will
provide additional material for our research files.

We have also made contact with another descendant of William Murdoch. William Robert
Murdoch runs a coach company in Auckland, New Zealand. Paul Knight from Redruth kindly
took a presentation folder and copy of our compact disc with him when he visited New Zealand
at the beginning of February and presented them to Mr Murdoch on our behalf. We have since
received photographs of Mr Murdoch and a link between us is being established. We hope to
receive further information from him in due course.

Flyer Project Now Owns Carriage on Roundabout
Following the winding up of Redruth in Bloom, the Flyer project has received a donation of £250
from the group`s assets and become the owner of the large replica carriage which we built and
which stands on the Tolgus roundabout.

Flyer Project receives £500 from Hobby Club
A donation of £500 has been received from Mr Greg Woods of Hobby Club in Fore Street,
Redruth. The money is being used to help finance the construction of the miniature steam
carriage. A photograph of Mr Woods presenting the cheque to our Chairman appeared in both
the Packet and West Briton newspapers. Hyper-links are being established between our project
website and the Hobby Club website.

Further Support from Murdoch Bar
Our thanks again to the licensee and staff of the Murdoch Bar at Redruth Community Centre.
Around two years ago, a collecting tin for this project was placed on the bar and since then,
customers have been putting their small change in the tin to help finance the project. We empty
the collection tin every few months and we gratefully acknowledge a further £10.37.

Redruth Carnival
Pat Bridger and Doug Goodrich have volunteered to organize our float for the Redruth Carnival
this year. Please come and support the event which passes through Redruth town centre,
starting at 6.30pm on Saturday 21st June.

Redruth Fun Day
We plan to take part again in the Redruth Fun Day event to be held in Victoria Park, Redruth on
Sunday 3rd August. In addition to our usual project display including our miniature steam
carriages, we will set up our football penalty game which was such a success with the boys and
girls last year.

The West of England Engine Society Rally
We are planning to exhibit at the West of England Steam Engine Society Rally which is held
every year at St Agnes. The dates this year are Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th
August. This is a very popular event which attracts thousands of visitors and is a venue at
which we can gain significant publicity for the project.

Other Events
In addition to the events already mentioned in this newsletter, the project team plans to exhibit
at various other venues during 2003. We will have stands in the Cornish heritage marquee at
the Royal Cornwall Show in June, at the Kernow Old Vehicle Club Rally at Penhallow on 12th
and 13th July, at the Rotary Club Classic and Vintage Car Show at the Wadebridge
showground on 13th July, and again at the Bude Festival in September.

Flyer Project Website
Our website address is and it is linked to the Redruth Town

Murdoch Film to be Shown
In    1948, the Gas Board produced a 16mm black and white film about William Murdoch. A copy
of    this rare film is owned by Mr David Jewell who has kindly agreed to show it, with another film
of    local interest, to members and Friends of our project and anyone else who would like to see
it.    We will arrange this, probably at Redruth Community Centre, and will advertise details later.

Flyer Project Sales Items
Items which we have for sale to raise funds for the project include postcards, notelets, tee
shirts, badges, key rings, pastille burners and prints of our specially commissioned painting. A
Flyer weather vane, made by Nigel Eden, is also available to order. These items are sold at
events in which we participate and they are also available by mail order. If you or your friends
would like a copy of our mail order list, please send a stamped self-addressed envelope to
Sallie Dinham, Tolgus Vean Farmhouse, Tolgus Mount, Redruth TR15 3SS.

Compact Disc “The Ballad of William Murdoch”
Our cd, professionally produced by Ed Hamilton, was launched by Paul Wills on Radio
Cornwall on Saturday 2nd November 2002 and sells at £5.00 each. The cd is available from
various outlets in the town including Tesco, John Oliver, Second-Spin and the Cornwall Centre.
The project will receive a percentage from every copy sold. The sleeve features pictures of the
Flyer, contains a brief history of William Murdoch and gives details of the Flyer project. Copies
are also available (postage extra if applicable) from Keith Dinham Tel. 01209 215498.
Flyer Project to make Video Film
We have agreed terms with One Shot Films for the production of a video film about William
Murdoch and the work of the Murdoch Flyer Project. It will be around 60 minutes long. Filming
has been taking place over the past few months and it is hoped the video will be available for
sale by early next year.

Project Team Profile – Ron de Ruiter
Ron was born in Amsterdam, Holland and at the age of 16 years started as an apprentice
mechanic at a local garage. He studied to obtain certificates for technical manager and
workshop instructor. After working in various dealer workshops, he started his own repair
garage in 1980, mainly restoring classic British cars. From 1973 until 1979, Ron was very
successful in go-carting and was a member of the Dutch national team from 1976 – 1979. He
moved to Cornwall in 1994 and continued to restore classic cars in Redruth, mainly from clients
in Holland. He became involved in the Murdoch Flyer project because of a long-standing
interest in the history of Britain and, in particular, Cornwall.

Friends of the Murdoch Flyer
We were pleased to learn that Donald Trounson, one of our Friends in Australia, has been
awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to the community as the creator of the National
Photographic Index of Australian Birds. We have sent him our congratulations.
Thank you to all our Friends who have renewed their subscriptions for 2003. If you are one of
the few who have forgotten to send us your £5.00, you will have received a reminder with your
copy of this newsletter. Friends are welcome at any of our meetings and receive two of these
newsletters, in Spring and Autumn, each year. If you wish to join us, please contact the
chairman (address below) for an application form (stamped self-addressed envelope
appreciated) or visit our website. Club nights are on Tuesdays at our Tolgus workshop at 7pm.

Social Evening
We are sorry that, for reasons beyond our control, we were forced to cancel our social evening
which was to have been held on Friday 28th February. We were informed a few days before
the event that we could no longer use the venue. Ticket money was refunded and we are very
grateful to all those who gave us donations.

Fund to Build Full Size Flyer Launched – Further Sponsorship Needed
We have launched an appeal to raise £40,000 to build and operate a full-size steam driven
carriage. Already we have £1000 donated by Transco plc and £3800 by Redruth Town Council.
The project has recently received £1000 from a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous.
The total raised currently stands at £5800. The boiler and steam components will have to meet
modern safety standards and be professionally manufactured and these alone will cost an
estimated £20,000. Members of the project team will construct, commission and operate the
carriage. All sponsors are publicised in our project display which appears at public events.
Each sponsor of the project in cash or kind to a value of £500 or more will be acknowledged
by a plaque affixed to a coal and water tender which will be towed by the full size steam
carriage. We urge companies, local councils, funding bodies and individuals to please support
us now with cash or by supplying materials and/or services to enable us to build the full size
locomotive. Gifts in kind will reduce our cash requirement. We will provide relevant information
on request. Large or small sums will be gratefully received and acknowledged.
We also need more help to build the locomotive, particularly people with engineering or
woodworking skills. We always need help to organize fund raising activities.
Anyone wishing to become involved with this project, help by way of sponsorship or donation, or
to join our construction team please contact:
John Baughan, Chairman, 94 Albany Road, Redruth, Cornwall TR15 2HZ. Tel 01209 212971.
e-mail :

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