Customer Projects: Ian Holt from I C Steam

Driving a steam train and a fire engine are typical dreams for many a boy but for 59 year old Ian Holt it was more than just dreams.  Previously a boilermaker, Ian went on to become a Fireman based in St Neots and qualified to drive fire engines on emergency calls eventually transferring to Norfolk Fire Service in 1992.  As a regular volunteer on the Nene Valley Railway at Wansford, Peterborough, Ian qualified as a steam train driver  so by the time he was 30 years old, Ian had achieved both of these ambitions.  One of Ian’s proudest moments was when he got to drive the largest steam train in the Nene Valley Railway collection, “Britannia” – the train used for the funeral of King George VI.

The Nene Valley Railway has often been used as a backdrop for television dramas and films.  Ian found himself at the controls when a Mosquito “bombed” the train for “Secret Army”.  He was also driving when James Bond was tackling one of his baddies on the roof of the train for the filming of “Octopussy”.

Ian Holt holding a piece of the new locomotive - photo by Stella Gooch

Ian Holt holding a piece of the new locomotive – photo by Stella Gooch

However, Ian also has a passion for building and restoring steam engines and since he”retired” from the Fire Service in 2006 he has developed his interest in steam engines and is now building a small business in bespoke steam engine projects.  Ian develops steam engines using the following rail sizes:

1/12th, 1/16th,  1/8th, 31/2 inch, 5 inch and 71/4 inch rails.

Note – Some Scale Sizes Explained:
Scale  1/16th” to the foot is 1/12th the size of a full size locomotive – eg 5″ gauge rails

Scale 3/4″ to the foot is 1/16th of a full size locomotive – eg 3 1/2″ gauge rails
Scale 1  1/2″ to the foot is 1/8th” the size of full size locomotive – eg 7 1/2″ gauge rails

Ian’s current project is the same engine used in the very famous “Flying Scotsman” locomotive – London North Eastern Railway, Class A3 Pacific Express Steam Locomotive.   Ian has tenderly moulded the bodywork, boiler and trims in his workshop at the bottom of his garden and is close to completing the engine for a private commission.  (This loco is a 5″ gauge locomotive and fitted with vacuum brakes, a copper boiler working at 90 psi.  Also fitted with a water scoop in the tender. )

Hunstanton Models is delighted to have been able to supply Ian many of the materials used in his project and have observed progress with interest.  We cannot wait to see the finished engine.

Ian has recently begun work on the design of a new locomotive  which was also involved in the funeral of King George VI – a LNER B17 Class 4-6-8 wheel arrangement in 6″ gauge.

Commenting on his work, Ian said: “I am pleased to use Hunstanton Models for their paints, wood and small metal items.  Tony and Stella are always helpful and willing to supply items on request at competitive prices.  Being situated not far from where I live in the delightful town of Hunstanton is a godsend when I need that little item to finish a project.

With reference to my new locomotive an LNER B17 Class locomotive in 1/12 scale for a 5″ gauge – I will be guest blogging throughout the design and construction of the locomotive.  Currently I am in the process of producing a set of full working drawings prior to commencing construction in the near future.  Hopefully this will be of interest to visitors to the Hunstanton Model website.   If anyone wishes to approach me about a commission for a construction of this locomotive or any other steam project I would be pleased to discuss individual requirements by arrangement.  Please contact Hunstanton Models on 01485 533324 or myself on 0751 1198943.

I wish Tony and Stella good luck and good fortune in their impending move to their new premises on Hunstanton High Street.”

Ian at the drawing board - photo by Stella Gooch

Ian Holt at the drawing board – photo by Stella Gooch

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