Chasewater Light Railway
8th October 1978
In recent years the final steam day of the year, on the second Sunday in October, has taken a different form from the normal twice-monthly summer season steaming. Amongst popular attractions with photographers has been the freight train run pasts at intervals during the day and this will again feature.The success of the first steam spares and tools sale held at Chasewater last February has prompted the organisation of another similar event to coincide with this ‘Gricers’ Day’. The idea of the sale is to provide an avenue for preservationists to get together, discuss mutual problems and conduct exchanges or sales of parts and tools surplus to their own requirements, but perhaps much sought after by other preserved lines.
Alfred Paget with Asbestos and one of the Kent Construction diesels – 1976
At least two locos will operate during the day – ‘Alfred Paget’ built by Neilson & Co., Glasgow (works no. 2937 of 1882), the oldest loco regularly at work in the Midlands, and ‘Invicta’ built by Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd., Kilmarnock – 2220/1946. It is likely that one of the two Kent Construction diesel locomotives will also see use during the day, as well as the 5-ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane (formerly steam powered).The ex Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump will also be steamed and a 1929 ex West Bromwich Corporation single decker bus has been booked to attend.
Apart from the Chasewater Light Railway Society sales stand which enjoys a good reputation locally for reasonably priced Railwayana, we would ask you to support the other stalls attending today; at the time of writing these are expected to be Mercian Model Rail, selling both new and second-hand model railway items and who also enjoy a reputation for fair prices, Walsall Railway Museum and Winchcombe Railway Museum who specialise in relics, the Princess Elizabeth Society who are in urgent need of funds for re-staying their famous LMS Pacific, and finally the Worcester Loco Society who carry a reasonable range of books.
We hope that everyone attending has an enjoyable and interesting day out, perhaps even an amusing one – how about a real ale tombola for instance?
For those wishing to partake of liquid refreshment, opening hours are 12.00 – 14.00 hours, the nearest hostelry being the Pear Tree Cottage Inn (Ansells) on the Hednesford Road where excellent cheese flans, etc., can be obtained, or the White Horse almost adjacent to the A5 road heading south which serves an excellent pint of Banks’.
Review of the Year
The year has been both happy and sad for the small but faithful band of followers of the Chasewater Light Railway, January was a disastrous month as vandals broke into the compound and set fire to our former Easingwold Railway MSLR coach, completely burning out the brake end and destroying materials contained therein, as well as partially damaging the exterior of the LNWR brake third which thoroughly deserves the nickname ‘the football special’. Our grateful thanks go to the Transport Trust who have granted the Society £275, being approximately half the cost of materials needed for renovation, although this cannot take into account the number of man hours needed to restore the vehicle.
Following the fire, thought was given to moving one or two of the wooden bodied coaches elsewhere for safekeeping, but as the obvious answer lay in providing covered accommodation at Chasewater this matter was pursued with renewed vigour and two buildings have since been acquired. Both are of agricultural type – one has been dismantled and removed to Chasewater; the other, larger, building has still to be dismantled.
New arrivals during the year included S100, a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T No.1822/1949, privately owned and previously preserved on the Yorkshire Dales Railway, Embsay. The loco is presently being dismantled to enable firebox repairs, de-tubing and wheel turning to take place. The whole project will probably take another three years to complete (still counting!).
Through the kindness of the Directors of Albright and Wilson Ltd., Peckett 0-4-0ST, 917/1902 arrived on loan together with coal, 27 spare boiler tubes and various tools.
The day following the arrival of the Peckett saw the arrival of the Smith’s of Rodley 5-ton diesel crane, a purchase from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Victoria Dock, Birkenhead. The crane’s first job on arrival was the lifting of the two tanks off S100.
To enable the purchase of the BR owned 600 yards of double track immediately beyond our present operating limit to be effected, the former LBSCR E1 loco was sold to the Lord Fisher Loco Group, Cranmore (see previous post). The monies from the sale of the loco together with that put aside from donations, etc., has given the railway a financial security never enjoyed previously, although this will be greatly depleted when the £5,400 purchase price of the track is paid.
Current projects include the erection after repair of the former Manchester Ship Canal water tank, and the preparation of the oil-fired Peckett (The Colonel) for a major boiler examination. The Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ is being de-tubed and the boiler sent away to Park Holland for the raising of the foundation ring about four inches to overcome the problem of badly wasted corners at the bottom of the firebox. A complete retube with tubes purchased earlier this year will follow.
It is hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will be able to take advantage of the Government Special Temporary Employment Scheme whereby lads of nineteen plus, out of work for a period of at least six months can be employed and paid their wages by the Government.
1979 promises to be a year to look forward to and it is to be hoped that some of you visiting us today will return again next year.