A relic from the great era of railway engineering in Crewe and which once provided transport for King George V, has been lovingly restored and is about to be rolled out by a team of volunteers.

Known as the Crewe Cab, it still boasts the original flanged wheels made by pioneer Robert Stevenson’s company at Edge Hill in Liverpool, and was used to ferry dignitaries from the town’s railway station the short distance to the vast engineering works where locomotives and rolling stock were built.

Well greased and fully- restored in glossy black and red paint, the 15 tonne four-wheeled converted tender was saved from the scrap yard by a local rail enthusiast who paid £4,000 to rescue it and give it a new temporary home at the town’s Railway Heritage Centre.

‘The Cab’ was also used to deliver the wages of the Grand Junction Railway Company’s 10,000 workers, travelling some three miles on tracks around the huge site, stopping at the various workshops to hand out their pay, a practice that continued up until the late 1960s. ‘The‘Cab’, as it was known, is a four-wheeled open-sided trolley, built of wood and steel and it’s most famous passengers were King George V and Queen Mary who visited the engineering works in April 1913.

On Saturday it will carry a party of VIPs on a short journey around the heritage centre to celebrate the completion of the 18-month long restoration project.

Ken Johnson, one of the group of volunteers involved in the restoration, said: “It will be a day of celebration but also one of great sadness because David, who saved this great piece of local history, is seriously ill and may not be here to witness this exciting event.

“We also don’t know what its future will be because we don’t own it and it may not stay at the centre to become one of our many exhibits as much as we would love to keep it here.

“It has a fascinating history. When businessmen visited the factory to buy locos and rolling stock for their railway companies, they would be collected at Crewe station and brought here in The Cab. This saved them the embarrassment of being carried in horse and cart.

“Also, the steel used to build it came from the same company that built the Tyne Bridge.”

King George V and Queen Mary travelled in ‘The Cab’ when they visited Crewe in 1913 and photographs of the visit are on display at the heritage centre. The photographs also captured the grandfather of Joy Hassal standing upright in his position as Postilion at the front of the cab. She will also be present at Saturday’s event along with the Mayor of Crewe.

The event begins at the Crewe Railway Heritage Centre at 11am on Saturday 5 May 2018.