Commemorative Train Journeys

1938/39, historical background and That’s Life! 1988

In case you are not familiar with the story you can find it described here… in the 10 minute youtube video uploaded by bluescorpio.

The Winton Train 2009: Prague - Nuremburg - Cologne - Hook of Holland - Harwich - London Liverpool Street

This was not our train, it was organised by Czech Railways and sponsored by the Czech government but at the request of Czech Railways we helped organise the UK leg from Harwich to London. As it turned out our colleagues at Czech Railways had their hands more than full with the European leg from Prague to the Hook of Holland. There are many clips of this train on youtube and a wikipedia page here…

Exhibition at London Liverpool Street and presentation of headboard, May 2011

In 2011 an exhibition designed by Medialogue s.r.o. about the Winton Train was displayed at Liverpool Street station. Sir Nicholas was presented with the headboard from the 2009 train. His first impression was not altogether positive (“What the hell do you expect me to do with that?” I think was his initial reaction!), but am given to understand he later became quite fond of it and it even became quite a talking point amongst visitors.

A day out for Sir Nicholas from Twyford to Hereford behind Tornado, 12th May 2012

Sir Nicholas met the Winton Train arriving into Liverpool Street, as he had done with 7 of his 8 previous transports 70 years earlier. His first transport arrived in the UK at Croydon airfield, so that is why he didn’t meet all his groups at Liverpool Street! However, he did not travel with us. We learned that he had expressed the desire for a trip behind Tornado and this was duly organised for 12th May 2012, despite some misgivings that we may have left it too late. By this time he was a week off his 103rd birthday. He travelled with Tornado from Twyford, near his home in Maidenhead to visit his daughter, Barbara in Hereford for a day trip. The train was not ours, but the Cathedrals Express operated by our friends at Steam Dreams, who kindly assisted us with the arrangements. Sir Nicholas revealed that one of his great heroes was a Welshman: Aneurin Bevan, and his daughter Barbara can verify that another of his great heroes was the former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

London Liverpool Street to Harwich, 4th September 2014

A special train from London Liverpool Street to Harwich Parkeston Quay for the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of the Kindertransports. Amongst the passengers were several Kinder, one of whom had never to his knowledge met any other Kinder in the intervening 75 years and another who had not travelled first class on a train since her honeymoon some five to six decades previously!
Photos will be added here in due course.

The Red Rose, 7th July 2015

This trip was not operated by us but by the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, owners and operators of Tornado. Six days after Sir Nicholas passed away the A1SLT arranged for the locomotive to carry Czech and Union flags as a mark of respect to Sir Nicholas. R.I.P.
Photos will be added here in due course.

Maidenhead stop, 8th July 2015

Whilst undertaking a scheduled positioning trip from Southall to Bristol we organised for Tornado to make a brief stop at Maidenhead, Nicky’s home town, by the statue of him which you can find towards the east end of platform 3 on the central island platform there. His son, Nick (Sir Nicholas was always known as Nicky to family and friends) travelled on the locomotive footplate and you can find a youtube clip of this here… I told Nick at the time that it seemed hopelessly inadequate, but it was the best that could be done at such short notice.

Severn Valley Railway, 15-16th October 2015

Operating on a set of LNER teak carriages similar in appearance to that of the 1938/39 “Hook Continental”, the Harwich to London Liverpool Street boat train which conveyed arriving Kinder, guests included Henry Warriner (nephew of Doreen), Barbara Winton and several Winton children with their families. Tornado bore “The Hook Continental” headboard as a nod to the boat train on which the Kinder travelled, even though this headboard was not actually introduced until the 1950s.
Photos will be added here in due course.

London to Liverpool, 22nd May 2016

A journey from London to Liverpool in commemoration of the harrowing May 1940 five-day voyage of the S.S. “Bodegraven”.
For a summary of the facts and chronology of this remarkable refugee voyage, known as ‘the Last Kindertransport’, see here…
For details of our commemorative journey on this date see here… and for a PDF of the trip brochure see PDF FILE HERE, file opens in a separate window, you should be able to save to your local drive.
Photos will be added here in due course.