More from December 1977
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 81 – Dec 1977
The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter
Chasewater News 22 – Part 2
We are well into the close season on the railway and as usual the volunteer force has dropped, leaving the real ‘hard core’ of members to wade about in the mud and watch their fingers turn blue with cold. Despite these hardships some work manages to be done. However at the present moment in time we need money, more than anything else in the world – we need money! In fact we need £5,400 by March. If we don’t have this money by then we shall be in debt to the amount we have failed to raise, as the bank have promised a loan of £4,000 to be repaid over a twelve month period from the day the loan is taken. Now it is blatantly obvious to even the most starry – eyed member that there is no way that our Society can raise up to £4,000 to repay a bank loan in twelve months. This is the sixth Newsletter I have written in the past twelve months (in itself something of a record) and in each issue there has been an appeal for money to buy the line and each time the response has been minimal. Gentlemen, I put it to you this way, unless each and everyone of you (and I mean everyone) donates (or loans) the Track & Development Fund £40 then the ambitions of the Company and Society will fail to have been realised and we will be confined forever to running over 500 yards of single line from nowhere to nowhere, that is until the members get fed up with the lack of expansion that would be possible and then the Society would fold – a miserable reflection upon members past and present.
So the task is simple – £40 from every member (pay it in over a year and it’s less than £1 per week) or tear up your membership card as the Society will fold.
All monies to be paid to the Hon. Treasurer.
News from the line
Another season has come and gone before we’ve noticed and it came as rather a shock on the 9th October to realise that this was the last steaming until March of next year. However the past season has been the most successful one ever, over 12,000 visitors having come to the railway and despite the worries over money, etc., next year should be even better.
Work going on has centred mainly on the tractor which has suffered a worn out cam shaft which cost the Society £50 it can ill afford. Apart from that, work has been of the routine maintenance variety, ‘Invicta’ and ‘Alfred Paget’ being put into store until next March when they should pick up where they left off in October. The fate of ‘Asbestos’ remains undecided until a hydraulic test in undertaken to ascertain the condition of the boiler tubes. If many tubes blow then the engine will surely become a static exhibit until such time as the necessary money can be raised. Negotiations for further motive power proceed on three fronts, however mums the word as they say (at least until the next issue).
This took place on 17th September at the Pear Tree Cottage Inn in Hednesford Road. The meeting was opened by the President, Dave Ives, who pointed out that it was action, not words that were needed and that £5,400 must be raised by March, 1978. Unless positive steps can be taken, then we can forget the rest of the line. Around £40 was needed from every member and if this was not forthcoming not only would we lose the line but we would also lose the backing of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, which would be extremely sad as the Society is 18 years old this year and should have ‘come of age’.
The Meeting went on through the Agenda, the next item of importance was when it was unanimously decided to change the name of the Society from the Railway Preservation Society to the Chasewater Light Railway Society, as this was more in keeping with the aims and interests of the membership as represented by the meeting and would avoid confusion when dealing with the Press. It also strengthens conformity between the Society and the Company.
The motion to sell theE1 locomotive to the Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary Restoration Fund was scrapped due to their inability to say that they would provide the necessary money by March 1978.
From AGM of the Chasewater Light Railway Company
Mr. MacMillan stated that it was not proper to appeal to the public for money until concrete proposals for the end of the line had been drawn up and planning permission had been obtained. These plans were in the course of preparation and planning permission was 99.9% as Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council sees the railway as the biggest draw in the park and, apart from money, they would give as much help as they could. For this reason alone it was ESSENTIAL that the loop line was purchased by the Society to prove to the Council that we were worthy of support and it is up to the membership i.e. EVERYONE READING THIS NEWSLETTER to pay for the line if the membership are fully behind the plans for the future.
Without determination the project would fail and the onus is on YOU.
We are at the end of the beginning – and hopefully it is not the beginning of the end
.Pictures from Lawrence Hodgkinson’s Collection.