Before we get into our look at the Star Tugs Trust's Bigg Weekend event at the Midland Railway Center, lets find out just who these people are.
In 2012, A selection of models, buoys and containers containing face masks from the TV series TUGS was placed on eBay. In december of that year, the buyer traded with the people of the Sodor Island Fansite to ensure that these props would end up in the hands of the right collectors, so they could be protected and preserved for future generations. The models were handed over in January of 2013 and later that same year, the Star Tugs Trust was born, later changing it's name to Star Tugs Company Ltd.
In 2014, the trust set up a Kickstarter campaign to help pay for refurbishment of 18 models they currently have in their possession. It was also to pay for a permanent exhibition site at the Midland Railway in Butterley. The company raised over £11,000 thanks to 79 backers. They finally moved into their new permanent home earlier this year. The company will house it's 18 models there and on a rotational basis, as they will also be showing of the models at other events.
The models the trust currently owns:
- Ten Cents
- Big Mac
- O.J./Lakesider III
- Lillie Lightship
- Boomer/Sea Rogue's Uncle
- Sea Rogue/Bluenose
- Billy Shoepack
- Burke and Blair
- Fire tug
- Sally Seaplane (as Phoenix)
As above shows the condition that many of the models were found in. Sadly, a lot of the models from the series are missing and presumed destroyed. The only two main ones missing are Grampus and Top Hat. Though, they do have the character's face masks and molds, so do have all they need to recreate them.
If you are interested in the company, then you can visit their facebook page here. There is all kinds of information available, as well as directions to the center, if you live in the UK.