Chasewater Railway Museum Feb. 1965 Bits & Pieces 26

From the ‘Mercian’ – Newsletter of the Midland Area of the

Railway Preservation Society

February 1965 Vol.4 No.1

 

Last Day on the Churnet Valley Line

 

By R. A. Reed

In 1849, a line from North Rode, near Macclesfield, to Uttoxeter was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway Company.  This was known as the Churnet Valley line and was over 27 miles long.  The section from North Rode to Leek was closed a few years ago and some of the track is now lifted.

On Saturday, January 2nd 1965, the remainder of the line from Leek to Uttoxeter was closed to passenger traffic.  The day was cold but bright and sunny, and, accompanied by the Hon. Editor and friend, we set off from Stoke to Uttoxeter.  As we booked our tickets, from Stoke to Leek via Uttoxeter, 9/- (45p) single, the ticket clerk jovially remarked that it would be ‘cheaper by bus from Hanley – 1/10d (9p) single!’  Probably, these tickets were the first to be issued by this very devious route.

When we arrived at Uttoxeter, we had over an hour to wait, so we went to the waiting room where we found two seats of the North Staffordshire Railway, engraved with NSR and the Staffordshire Knot.  These were in excellent condition and one would be suitable for preservation.Uttoxeter Pic: Wikipedia

It was not long before the train arrived; three non-corridor coaches headed by Standard Class 4, No.75035 of Stoke shed.  The driver was J. Dickson and the fireman was S. Tabinor.  This was the last passenger train from Uttoxeter to Leek.  We occupied the first compartment nearest the engine and waited until the booked departure time at 11.18am, but this was changed to 11.30am at the last minute.  By now the train was filling up, most of the passengers being railway enthusiasts equipped with cameras and tape recorders.

As 11.30 approached the last photographs were taken, and carriage doors closed.  The Guard waved his flag and we were off, amidst shrieking whistles from the engine, detonators on the track and thunderflashes thrown by an enthusiast.Rocester Station Pic & Info: Genuki, Staffs Pasttrack

shannieslittleworld.co.uk

Description: Rocester Train Station 1905. This station was completed in the early 1850s. The North Staffordshire Railway Company’s Churnet Valley line ran through this station taking passengers to Leek and Macclesfield. Another service took passengers to Ashbourne and Buxton. The Ashbourne line closed to passengers in 1954, and regular passenger trains on the Churnet Valley line in 1960.

This picture shows signs on the platform for the Porter’s Room, Gentleman’s First Class Waiting Room, and a Ladies Waiting Room. There are also milk churns on the platform, awaiting collection .

All along the line people were waving as we passed, and the driver acknowledged this by long blasts on the whistle.  Soon we were speeding along and fast approaching the first stop, Rocester.  Here the train was well photographed and after a few minutes we set off again but only as far as the crossover, where we reversed onto the other track and back into the station.  A pilotman then boarded the locomotive and after much waving of green flags by hand-signalmen we finally set off, running on the ‘wrong’ line from here.Site of Denstone Station: Linda Bailey

We had a fast run to Denstone, the next stop, and again there were many spectators, and as we left the station, more firecrackers were thrown.  The section of the line from here to Alton is particularly beautiful and it is surprising that the line would not pay in the summer months.Alton Station: Humphrey Bolton

The next station was Alton, where we crossed back to the down line.  It was extremely tidy and well-kept and typical of NSR design.  The run from Alton to Oakamoor is continuous up-grade and the sound of the engine was music to the ears.  When we arrived at Oakamoor the platforms were quite crowded and many photographs were taken.  Just as we left, the last train from Leek to Uttoxeter passed, headed by a Stanier Class 4 (2-6-4T), and then we plunged into a short tunnel.Oakamoor Station: Rail37.com

Then on to Froghall, which is in an industrial area, but the factories between Leek and Oakamoor will not lose their rail connection.  This section of the line is to be kept open for freight and worked on the ’one engine in steam’ principle.Kingsley & Froghall Station: John ProctorConsall Station: Black Widow Productions

After leaving Froghall, we were soon in the beautiful country surrounding Consall.  This village has no public road to it and ‘outsiders’ cannot get in by car, therefore the railway was the only link (unless one prefers a long walk).Cheddleton Station: John Webber

We quickly arrived at Cheddleton, where most of the passengers left the train to take photographs, and the train waited until they were sure that everyone had finished and boarded the train.Leek Brook Station, Churnet Valley Platform: Wikipedia

The journey was almost over, and as we emerged from a short tunnel we could see Leek in the distance.  When we drew into the station, the engine rapidly uncoupled and ran round the train to haul the stock from the station.  As we left, the station was locked up – the last train had gone.

 

What a Comeback!  Churnet Valley Railway – 2010 version.Pic: Black Widow Productions

The first passenger services outside the confines of Cheddleton yard began on August 24th 1996, this being a “push and pull” operation of a little over a mile between Cheddleton and Leek Brook Junction, the latter being the junction with the mothballed Railtrack line between Stoke on Trent and Caldon Quarry. Trains were initially operated by hired-in “Jinty” tank loco 47383, this and resident 4F 44422 being the mainstays of the service for the first season’s operations. Although only a short run, this operation proved to be an ideal training ground for the railway’s staff, and got everyone used to operating outside the goods yard.

Saturday 11th July 1998 saw the first southward extension of the railway, when the section between Cheddleton and Consall was reopened for passenger traffic. This brought the railway’s operational length to approximately 3 1/4 miles. The next extension, to Kingsley and Froghall, opened to traffic on 11th August 2001, giving an operational length of approximately 5 1/2 miles.Pic: Black Widow Productions

Chasewater Railway Museum – From the Archives – February 1965

Chasewater Railway Museum

From the Archives – 1965 Feb. Bits & Pieces 25

Taken from The Mercian, February 1965 4.1

The front page shows the map of the line, including the amusement park and the go-kart track, both long gone.

Then follows an interesting Editorial about the future of the RPS movement after a change in government.

Editorial

Over the last few months of 1964, the winds of change swept through Parliament.  A Government which favoured the railways taking the form of a profit making concern was replaced by a Government which believes that the railways should provide a complete social service.

With this news came the resignation of Dr. Richard Beeching, Chairman of the British Railways Board.  What effect will these major changes have on our Society and its fellows?

Although the internal affairs of British Railways are nothing to do with our Society, their attitude – based on the policy of the BRB certainly does affect us.  Up to the present, the attitude has been somewhat cold, and certainly not what could be called encouraging.  British Railways appear to be trying to make a profit on anything that they possibly can, with no sympathy to museums or museum societies, as we have found.

We have been charged extremely high prices for coaches that would be sold to scrap merchants at one third of the price.  We do accept the fact that the railways are trying to work at a profit, but this exploitation of an historical society, in its first years and struggling to survive is surely uncalled for.

With the introduction of a socialist Government, we certainly expect the greater part of the Beeching plan to be abandoned, and concerning the connecting branch line to Brownhills and our Chasewater line, we would greatly appreciate a reprieve, but how does the remainder of the plan concern us?  Very little indeed!  It does affect some small branch lines for sale – at rather high rents, and on the other hand some well loved and beautiful branches which no society could afford to maintain or buy will be swept away.

On the whole, the RPS should look forward to the abandonment of the Beeching plan and perhaps a softening of BR policy towards us, although my personal feelings on the plan are the contrary to those of society in general.  Our own attitude seems rather selfish but we aren’t the wealthiest of Societies, and at this critical stage we must be selfish to survive.  As it has been said many times before in dealing with other problems, ’the world does not owe us a living!’

Hon. Ed. M.D.Willis

The Titfield Thunderbolt

It’s interesting to see that back in 1965 the Society held a film show at Walton Village Hall and 70 people attended in dreadful weather in January.  We have a copy in the Museum right now!

The Chasewater Project

As you will read in the Officers’ reports, work on the Chasewater line will begin in the near future, and a great deal of organisation will be necessary to make it the great success on which we are planning.  A great deal of hard work will have to be done by our members, and in order to discuss it openly, individual members will be receiving a visit from an official. (In long macs and dark glasses??!)

With this project will come a great deal of publicity for the Society, and in order to assure that this will be put to the maximum possible use for effect, we must have one united outlook.  In order to prevent any contradictions, however petty, will members please send any correspondence about the project to the Committee, via the Secretary so that any such ‘slips of the pen’ may be pointed out.

The Chasewater project was repeated in the Chairman’s report.

Hon. Secretary’s report

Due to wintry conditions, restoration work has temporarily come to a halt at the depot.  Work has been maintained on the smaller relics.  John Elsley has however continued working on the generator set in spite of the cold.  The TPO dynamo coupled to an Austin 6-cylinder lorry engine, donated by the President, comprises the set.  It is now in full working order and provides adequate power for our coach batteries.  Many thanks to John and his small band of helpers.

Hinges have now been cast for the Maryport & Carlisle carriage doors, an effort will be made to clean up these castings in the near future and fit to the doors.

Plans are now being formulated for our line at Chasewater, and the Committee will be discussing and drawing up plans for the project for some months to come.

A small party of members (7) braved the elements on Sunday 17th January to attend the last train run from Walsall to Rugeley.  Two members – D. J. and J. J. Bradbury – attended as official mourners, vintage MR and GWR caps were worn.  For our Treasurer, Frank Harvey it was a nostalgic journey, Frank having travelled on the line for some 7 years to and from school.

(The line from Walsall to Hednesford was reopened in 1989, and to Rugeley in 1997.)

D.A.Ives, Hon Sec.

Treasurer’s Report

Without doubt, 1965 will prove a most expensive year if all our plans are to be achieved.  For the benefit of our more distant members, (And for those of us reading this some 45 years later!) I would like to outline a few of these.

First we must consider the lease of the Chasewater branch.  Naturally, we have made preparations for this and the general fund is in a position to be able to settle this account without delay.  However, before any of the stock can be moved up there, a building will have to be constructed to provide accommodation.  The building which we have in mind will be large enough to house our present collection of large relics with room to spare for future acquisitions.  The estimated cost of such a building has been put at around £3,000.  This matter is urgent and the full support of all our members is needed. (As a comparison, a three bedroomed detached house in Hednesford at that time would have cost about £3,500, so the equivalent cost would be in the region of some £160,000).

Apart from this, repairs to the line and its accessories will account for another large sum of money.

The time limit given to us by the NCB to raise the money for the Stroudley E1 (Cannock Wood No. 9) has now been reached.  £100 out of the £300 needed has been collected.  We are hoping that negotiations with the Board to keep the locomotive for a further period of time will be successful.  I would like to thank those people who have donated to the fund, but generally speaking, I am rather disappointed at the response shown by our own members.  The attitude I am afraid has been rather apathetic.  Most of the money has been donated by people who live well outside our own area!

A branch line without a locomotive is a rather ludicrous situation.  It is up to us to rectify the position since we will require at least two engines.  The Stroudley E1 could so easily be one of these.

Sound coaching stock will also be required.  The stock we have at present will not be suitable for service until a vast amount of restoration work has been completed.  Carriages which require little or no repair work need to be purchased.  These will cost in the region of £300 each.

I realise that our expense problems sound formidable but they can be overcome.  After all, preserved standard gauge lines are still very few and far between.  There is certainly room for one in the Midlands.

With all the development work done by Lichfield Council on the Chasewater Country Park, the Chasewater Railway is better situated than ever in the heart of the West Midlands.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Dec 1964 Bits & Pieces 24

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Feb 1965, Bits & Pieces 25

 

Taken from The Mercian, February 1965 4.1

The front page shows the map of the line, including the amusement park and the go-kart track, both long gone. Then follows an interesting Editorial about the future of the RPS movement after a change in government.

Editorial

Over the last few months of 1964, the winds of change swept through Parliament.  A Government which favoured the railways taking the form of a profit making concern was replaced by a Government which believes that the railways should provide a complete social service.

With this news came the resignation of Dr. Richard Beeching, Chairman of the British Railways Board.  What effect will these major changes have on our Society and its fellows?

Although the internal affairs of British Railways are nothing to do with our Society, their attitude – based on the policy of the BRB certainly does affect us.  Up to the present, the attitude has been somewhat cold, and certainly not what could be called encouraging.  British Railways appear to be trying to make a profit on anything that they possibly can, with no sympathy to museums or museum societies, as we have found.

We have been charged extremely high prices for coaches that would be sold to scrap merchants at one third of the price.  We do accept the fact that the railways are trying to work at a profit, but this exploitation of an historical society, in its first years and struggling to survive is surely uncalled for.

With the introduction of a socialist Government, we certainly expect the greater part of the Beeching plan to be abandoned, and concerning the connecting branch line to Brownhills and our Chasewater line, we would greatly appreciate a reprieve, but how does the remainder of the plan concern us?  Very little indeed!  It does affect some small branch lines for sale – at rather high rents, and on the other hand some well loved and beautiful branches which no society could afford to maintain or buy will be swept away.

On the whole, the RPS should look forward to the abandonment of the Beeching plan and perhaps a softening of BR policy towards us, although my personal feelings on the plan are the contrary to those of society in general.  Our own attitude seems rather selfish but we aren’t the wealthiest of Societies, and at this critical stage we must be selfish to survive.  As it has been said many times before in dealing with other problems, ’the world does not owe us a living!’

Hon. Ed. M.D.Willis

The Titfield Thunderbolt

It’s interesting to see that back in 1965 the Society held a film show at Walton Village Hall and 70 people attended in dreadful weather in January.  We have a copy in the Museum right now!

The Chasewater Project

As you will read in the Officers’ reports, work on the Chasewater line will begin in the near future, and a great deal of organisation will be necessary to make it the great success on which we are planning.  A great deal of hard work will have to be done by our members, and in order to discuss it openly, individual members will be receiving a visit from an official. (In long macs and dark glasses??!)

With this project will come a great deal of publicity for the Society, and in order to assure that this will be put to the maximum possible use for effect, we must have one united outlook.  In order to prevent any contradictions, however petty, will members please send any correspondence about the project to the Committee, via the Secretary so that any such ‘slips of the pen’ may be pointed out.

The Chasewater project was repeated in the Chairman’s report.

Hon. Secretary’s report

ue to wintry conditions, restoration work has temporarily come to a halt at the depot.  Work has been maintained on the smaller relics.  John Elsley has however continued working on the generator set in spite of the cold.  The TPO dynamo coupled to an Austin 6-cylinder lorry engine, donated by the President, comprises the set.  It is now in full working order and provides adequate power for our coach batteries.  Many thanks to John and his small band of helpers.

Hinges have now been cast for the Maryport & Carlisle carriage doors, an effort will be made to clean up these castings in the near future and fit to the doors.

Plans are now being formulated for our line at Chasewater, and the Committee will be discussing and drawing up plans for the project for some months to come.

A small party of members (7) braved the elements on Sunday 17th January to attend the last train run from Walsall to Rugeley.  Two members – D. J. and J. J. Bradbury – attended as official mourners, vintage MR and GWR caps were worn.  For our Treasurer, Frank Harvey it was a nostalgic journey, Frank having travelled on the line for some 7 years to and from school.

(The line from Walsall to Hednesford was reopened in 1989, and to Rugeley in 1997.)

D.A.Ives, Hon Sec.

Treasurer’s Report

Without doubt, 1965 will prove a most expensive year if all our plans are to be achieved.  For the benefit of our more distant members, (And for those of us reading this some 45 years later!) I would like to outline a few of these.

First we must consider the lease of the Chasewater branch.  Naturally, we have made preparations for this and the general fund is in a position to be able to settle this account without delay.  However, before any of the stock can be moved up there, a building will have to be constructed to provide accommodation.  The building which we have in mind will be large enough to house our present collection of large relics with room to spare for future acquisitions.  The estimated cost of such a building has been put at around £3,000.  This matter is urgent and the full support of all our members is needed. (As a comparison, a three bedroomed detached house in Hednesford at that time would have cost about £3,500, so the equivalent cost would be in the region of some £160,000).

Apart from this, repairs to the line and its accessories will account for another large sum of money.

The time limit given to us by the NCB to raise the money for the Stroudley E1 (Cannock Wood No. 9) has now been reached.  £100 out of the £300 needed has been collected.  We are hoping that negotiations with the Board to keep the locomotive for a further period of time will be successful.  I would like to thank those people who have donated to the fund, but generally speaking, I am rather disappointed at the response shown by our own members.  The attitude I am afraid has been rather apathetic.  Most of the money has been donated by people who live well outside our own area!

A branch line without a locomotive is a rather ludicrous situation.  It is up to us to rectify the position since we will require at least two engines.  The Stroudley E1 could so easily be one of these.

Sound coaching stock will also be required.  The stock we have at present will not be suitable for service until a vast amount of restoration work has been completed.  Carriages which require little or no repair work need to be purchased.  These will cost in the region of £300 each.

I realise that our expense problems sound formidable but they can be overcome.  After all, preserved standard gauge lines are still very few and far between.  There is certainly room for one in the Midlands.

With all the development work done by Lichfield Council on the Chasewater Country Park, the Chasewater Railway is better situated than ever in the heart of the West Midlands.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Dec 1964, Bits & Pieces 24

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Dec 1964 Bits & Pieces 24

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ December 1964, 3.3

The Chasewater Branch Line

By Brian Kinder.

The Chasewater line is situated round half the perimeter of the Chasewater Pool.  The pool itself is now being extensively developed as one of the largest amusement areas in the Midlands, and to this end Brownhills Council is spending several thousands of pounds.  When development work is completed, it is hoped that a large proportion of Birmingham and area’s population will visit the pool annually.  It will therefore be appreciated, the great potential of a railway museum situated in this location, where there will be such a great concentration in the summer months, of day-trippers.

The proposed track itself was constructed in the main by the Midland Railway, and a small section by a colliery company.  The line was used for mineral traffic from the collieries, however a station was built at Brownhills, at which all passenger traffic terminated.

Due to our section of the line’s sole use for mineral traffic, the track is in a poor state of repair, the poorest part being from the marshalling yard to the north.  The main work therefore will be to relay the track in certain places, and clean out and in some places repipe the drainage system.

The work on the line will have to be completed by the end of 1965, if not sooner, depending on the closure of the connecting line by British Railways.  Therefore we will need everyone’s help to get the work done.

We will not be able to manage with the present sized work party of 14 or so members, as it takes these fellows every Sunday to keep the stock at the depot in order.  We are not asking you to attend every week, but if you could attend monthly or bi-monthly periods, it would help to clear up the situation tremendously.

The line is only one mile from Brownhills Station (BR – LMR) (Still a few months before closure!) and if you could see it, you would see its great potential if a success was made of it.  Success however can only be achieved with 100% help from YOU!!

Action in North StaffordshireNorth Staffordshire Railway – 1845/1923

NSR Signals

The National Coal Board has donated four NSR lower quadrant signals to the RPS.  They are in good condition, with only one exception, when on being removed from the site at the Pinnox Crossings (South of Tunstall Station in the Potteries), Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, left its base firmly implanted in the muddy ground.

The largest of the four has been erected at the depot at Hednesford – an excellent view of the surroundings being commanded from the top.  We hope to plant the other three on the Chasewater Branch.

NSR Rolling Stock

On a recent survey of the internal railway of Shelton Iron & Steel Ltd., several wagons and three box-vans of the North Staffordshire Railway were found.

After talks with the company, we agreed on the following:

  1. The company will save an NSR wagon until March or April 1965, when it will be purchased and collected by the Society.
  2. The company will inform us of the date of withdrawal of the box-vans, giving the RPS a chance to purchase one of them.

It is probable that early this year we may be able to have a tour of their railway, which should prove far more interesting than it appears at first sight.  There are 36 miles of internal railway and there are still several steam locomotives operating.  The most interesting is perhaps an 0-4-0, which has a crane mounted over the boiler. (Now at Foxfield Railway, by Dubs & Co Dubsy to his friends!)

North Staffs Area Meetings

It is hoped that in the new year, meetings of the members who live in or near North Staffordshire will commence at bi-monthy intervals.  Interesting lectures are planned as well as slides and cinematograph shows concerning railway preservation.  Will any members who wish to attend please send a postcard to the Hon. Editor, who will send full details when they become available (emails make life so much easier nowadays!)

The meeting place is at present being arranged, and we need a good turn-out to make them worth while.  A small fee for admission may be charged, and any  non-members will be very welcome.  If you live within reasonable travelling distance of the Potteries, do try to attend.  I assure you that you will not regret it!

Then followed reports on various social events, including the first Annual Dinner and Social Evening, held at the Eaton Lodge Hotel, Rugeley.

At Hednesford, members are still working on the Royal Saloon and the TPO, and, as ever, more help is needed!

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Nov 1964 Bits & Pieces 23

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Nov 1964 Bits & Pieces 23

Posted in August 2019 – still a lot of catching up to do!

From The ‘Mercian’ November 1964, 3.2

Due to the Editor Mr. David Bullock having other heavy commitments he resigned with Mr. M. D. Willis taking over.

The first annual Dinner and Social Evening was announced, to be held at the Eaton Lodge Hotel (demolished about 2006), tickets 12/6d each (62½p) on Monday 30th November 1964.

The Secretary thanked Mr. Bullock for his work over the past few years, wished Mr. Willis well and put out the usual appeal for members to help with the restoration work.

Treasurer’s Report

It is now some considerable time since my last report appeared in these pages and the financial situation has been through many changes.

At the present moment, I am pleased to be able to report that we have the healthiest bank balance there has been to date.  This does not mean, however, that we can afford to relax since much of our money is already committed to paying for such items as the lease for the Chasewater branch, outstanding loans and the E1 0-6-0tank locomotive.  Incidentally, over £200 is still needed to save this engine from the scrapyard.  The deadline is January, so the matter is URGENT.

A few weeks ago we held our AGM at which it was unanimously agreed that the subscription rates be increased from 21/-  (£1.05) to 25/-  (£1.25) for ordinary members and from 5/-  (25p) to 10/-  (50p) for student members.  I would like to state now, that this was done with some reluctance but with every good cause as many members are aware.

F.J.Harvey.  Hon. Treasurer.

General News

We are not responsible

One may have read in the Railway press that the ‘Railway Preservation Society’ is to attempt to purchase a 30 mile stretch of line between Uttoxeter and Buxton.  This is entirely due to a mis-use of the Society’s name.

The Society which appears to be responsible for this irresponsible scheme is the Derbyshire Railway Society, who used our name, and this month, November, has changed it to the ‘National Railway Preservation Society’.  We deplore such use of our Society’s name, or any name which might be remotely confused with ours.

Has this Society yet looked at current branch line prices?  A line of this size would cost at least £100,000.  How could such a line be purchased, and if by some miracle it was, how could any Society afford to maintain it, yet alone run their own trains over it?

Railway enthusiasm in this country does not justify such a hair-raising scheme, as that Society will find out – to their cost!!!

First in a Line?

On June 6th, British Railways held an auction at Stoke-on-Trent.   What was for sale?  The mourning remnants of stations in North Staffs. And South Cheshire, which were closed under Dr. Richard Beeching’s economisation programme.

A rare sight the auction room was!  Scores of platform seats of all types, lined up in two rows to seat their likely buyers.  Station nameboards of all shapes and sizes positioned around the room, intermingled with various types of Railway notices.

The bidding was unexpectedly fierce, two cast iron notices, which the present Hon. Ed. Attempted to purchase for 2/6d  (12½p) almost reached £5, and four well-rotted ‘GENTLEMEN’ notices reached the ludicrous price of 50 shillings  (£2.50).

As always the RPS was in the bidding!  The West Midlands District bought two North Staffordshire Railway Clocks averaging about £9.00 each, and a Midland Railway Lamp Standard, among various other things.  They were joined by Mr. Ken Vincent, Secretary of Dowty RPS and Mr. R. W. F. Smallman, of Yieldingtree Railway Museum Trust fame; their purchases including an NSR platform seat and a GWR short grandfather clock.

British Railways made over £1000 from the so-called ‘rubbish’, the bulk of which would normally provide heat for a cold workman on an icy winter’s day.

Another auction of this type is to be held at Derby on November 7th, and it looks very much as though fantastic prices will be reached yet again.

Recent Additions

The latest relics to arrive at Hednesford are as follows:-

  1. Two private owner wagons of the Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Company.      Bought from the NCB @ £5 each.
  2. A London & North Western Railway Brake/Third, the Guard’s compartment of which has been converted to a fully operational cinema.  It was purchased from the NCB for £10, but needs a lot of attention.
  3. A Midland Railway Crane.  £8.

Midland Railway Royal Saloon

This unique example of Midland Railway Regal coachbuilding has been purchased by the RPS (West Midlands District) from British Railways at a cost of £300.  This was only possible with a loan of £240 from a generous member.

The loan is being paid back at the rate of £10 per month to this fine member, who wished to remain anonymous.  His name was released at the AGM but to save further embarrassment, we will not mention it in these columns, but let it be ‘broadcast’ by word of mouth.Furnishings inside the Midland Royal Saloon

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Jan 1964 Bits & Pieces 22

Chasewater Railway Museum

More from the Archives

Jan 1964  Bits & Pieces 22

Moving along but still 55 years behind!

Photo:  M. Denholm

 

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ Jan, 1964 3.1

Editorial

We enter yet another year – and enthusiasm still seems to be very strong.  You will see from Frank Harvey’s report that we have not done too badly during 1963.  Let’s hope that we have an even better year this year.

There are a number of exhibitions and open days planned for this year, but to help them go really well we are relying on our own members’ support – so please come along if you can.  The cold weather is not, we know, the best for depot work, but work has gone on all the same with a faithful few.

We were all rather concerned to find vandalism striking the depot; we only hope it will not occur again, because our funds are limited to make damage of this sort good.  You will notice that the committee has decided to change this newsletter to quarterly to alternate with the Forum, mainly being due to insufficient copy for a bi-monthly and to help keep costs down.

Ed. D.B.

Hednesford Progress Report

Work has still been maintained during the winter, a few members have gone into hibernation but we hope to see them as the sun starts to warm up and the days draw out.

The Midland Royal Saloon has now arrived at the Hednesford Siding, and certain work has already been done on this vehicle, the ladies have been along with polish and given the saloon a much needed clean and polish.  Mike Lewis has removed and serviced all the carriage door locks, and of course replaced same; the whole of the vehicle is now burglar proof.  The Depot Master, John Elsley has fixed up the lighting in the saloon, the batteries are now being charged every weekend.  John has also designed a very useful mobile generator, it is hoped to run this set very shortly.  The set will provide power both for battery charging and welding, etc.

The LBSC E1 loco has arrived (No.9 Cannock Wood to the uninitiated), this loco requires a lot of cleaning down etc., before painting – may we again appeal to all members who are interested in this work.  The depot is open every Sunday afternoon, Please Help! put this loco into a respectable condition before Open Weekend at Easter.

Our Treasurer Frank Harvey still continues to work on the Maryport & Carlisle door which he has built up from scratch – well done Frank!   Perhaps members will note that there are still three more doors yet to be made, Frank would welcome some help from anyone who has first class woodwork experience.

D. A. Ives Hon. Sec.

Taken from the Treasurer’s Report

I am taking the liberty of turning the latter part of this report into an appeal.  An appeal on behalf of the ex-LBSCR Stroudley E1 loco 0-6-0 tank. As some members may know, this locomotive, the sole survivor of its type, was withdrawn from service by its owners, the National Coal Board, some months ago.  They have very kindly loaned it to us for one year giving us the option to purchase it at the end of that time.

Photograph of the loco in pre NCB livery from Barry Bull’s collection.

The sum required is £300.  This is most reasonable as a locomotive of similar size off British Railways would cost in the region of £650 – £700.  We are establishing a fine collection of items of rolling stock but we do need an engine.  Would it be too much to ask ALL members to make the following New Year resolution – to make a donation towards the preservation of this 86 year-old locomotive?  Unless something is done, by this time next year it will be in the breaker’s yard.

Finally, I would like to mention the Midland Royal Saloon.  This vehicle has arrived at the depot through the kind generosity of one member who loaned the balance required (£240) to complete its purchase.  This is enthusiasm at its greatest!

F.J.Harvey, Midlands Area Treasurer

London District

The LRPS are planning to open another depot at Luton under the charge of a very keen member, Mr. John Payn.

L44 a London Transport Met. Tank has been acquired and is awaiting delivery to the Bishops Stortford Depot.  Another appeal has been launched for a Beattie 2-4-0 Well Tank, 30585 – £750 will be needed for its purchase, £250 has already been raised.I love this photo, but where I got it from I haven’t a clue.  It is marked 30585 – Helland.  Can anyone tell me if this is Helland in Cornwall?  At our Spring Gala in 2004 at Chasewater we had a visit from her sister engine, 30587.Photo by M. Denholm.  The loco suited the Chasewater Railway very well!

Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire carriage

Working party members are contributing to the cost of moving this vehicle from Yorkshire to the Midlands.  A total of some £18 has now been contributed, this fund has also been contributed to by two London RPS members.  We are most grateful to all these members.

E1 Fund.

Approximately £7 has been collected to date, a very poor effort. Please! Please! Send donations to the Hon. Treasurer to help secure the future of this fine loco.

Midland Crane and GWR Signal Frame.

Arrangements are at present being made for the collection of the Midland Railway Crane which is at Repton and the GWR signal lever frame from Llanfair.  Both these items we hope to have at our depot for Open Day.One of the items that has stayed with us – rebuilt by Jim Twigge and Tom Mitchell.

A Day Out

Our very agile Hon. Sec. Dave Ives, Frank Harvey and Mike Lewis took a trip down to Wolverton Carriage Works on Saturday, February 15th to collect the bits and pieces that were missing from the Royal Saloon.

We gather, from a somewhat loaded Hon. Sec’s, car that they had a very good day all round.  Among the small relics acquired were a uniform, carpets, pictures from coach compartments, a Midland Railway Bible in very good condition (which has sadly gone missing over the years) to name but a few, down to a few coat hooks.

A trip was made to a few stations, one being Turvey where a few more relics were added to the collection.    As they sped back to Hednesford, the three gentlemen were no doubt very pleased with their days work for the Society.

Mr. Ives says that at Wolverton they are burning two or three coaches a week.  If other departments of BR are working as fast as this there will be nothing left for us to preserve.  So we must work very fast indeed to save what we can before Dr. Beeching has his final clear up or we will wake up one day and find the railways ‘modernised’.

Midland Royal Saloon

This vehicle is now safely stabled at our own siding at Hednesford.  Thanks mainly to a wonderfully generous offer of a member, who has provided an interest-free loan.  We still have a further £270 to pay off this vehicle, donations will be gratefully acknowledged by the Hon. Treasurer.

East Midlands District News

The activities in the East Midlands District have been dormant for the last few months.  A period of hibernation for those in the south of the region.  Future activities for the Northamptonshire members include: Excursions and Social Evenings.  It is hoped that a small party will travel to Holyhead and North Wales reviewing the branch lines en route sometime in March, whilst another party will visit Swindon and Gloucester.

With the opening of the London District Depot at Luton, it is hoped again that members from this area will be able to visit on Sundays to help with the practical work.

Members in Lincolnshire and East Anglia are invited to contact Mr. M. N. Gubbins for details of activities in the two areas, as it is hoped that the East Midlands will cover this area of the country also.

With the Spring and Summer months approaching we hope that all members in all regions will continue their vital work on various photographic surveys, as this is one of the most interesting and inexpensive works that can assist the RPS.

Finally a note to lapsed members.  Please renew your membership as your Guinea could save something from the dreaded ‘Beeching Axe’.

John M. Harvey.  (East Midlands District Organiser).

Chasewater Railway Museum – Taken from our Archived Publications – Bits & Pieces No.19

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Taken from our Archived Publications

I enjoyed this piece as it showed the stock available for preservation in the early 1960s – Princess Elizabeth would have looked nice in Hednesford and just imagine her in the Heritage Centre now!!

The Mercian – Sept,Oct, Nov,Dec, 1962

From the West Midlands District 3rd AGM

Held in Wolverhampton September 29th 1962

We were fortunate to have with us Mr. Bell, Secretary of the Princess Elizabeth Preservation Fund, and Mr. K Vincent of Dowty Sports.

Mr. Bell mentioned that No.46201 Princess Elizabeth must be purchased on withdrawal from service with B.R. for preservation.  As the money will have to be raised very quickly the Society concerned cannot possibly afford a site for the loco at the moment.

The W.M.D. said they might be able to help out for the time being by either accommodating the loco at the Hednesford Depot or with the help of Mr. Vincent to accommodate it at Messrs. Dowty’s Ashchurch or Tewkesbury factories. Not only is this going to save the loco but it would give added attraction to the R.P.S. and may even boost membership in both Societies.

Mr. Cotterell ( Hon. Treasurer of the 0-6-0 ex Midland Tank engine) reminded us that up until now he had not received any donations from any R.P.S. members!  He also mentioned that we are going to need a loco for our branch line to pull the stock that we already have, and at the moment this one (last off works) seems to be the most likely.  So it rests with us to support these funds and publicise them as much as possible as we all want to see our own train on our own branch line very soon.

The two loco funds were: 46201 Princess Elizabeth £2610 and ex Midland 0-6-0 tank £750.  Not much in 2010 but very large sums in 1962!

46201 was bought by the then Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society straight from BR service when withdrawn in 1962. Initially kept at the Dowty Railway Preservation Society’s premises at Ashchurch, Glos, and then subsequently at the Bulmers Railway Centre in Hereford. When the Bulmers Centre closed in the 1990s the loco moved to the East Lancashire Railway. Since April 2009 it has been based at the Crewe Heritage Centre Princess Elizabeth is one of two preserved Princesses; the other being 46203 Princess Margaret Rose.

News in Brief

Chasewater

Chasewater, the piece of line which the West Midlands District were negotiating for might now seem impracticable for our Branch Line owing to inadequate storage and water supply, etc.  This matter has been left pending from the A.G.M. for the new Committee to discuss.

The Mysterious “Gents”!!

In the Autumn edition of Forum it was stated that the W.M.D. of the R.P.S. were negotiating with B.R. for a Victorian cast iron vintage ‘gents lavatory’, its position was on the disused Stowe-by-Chartley station in Staffordshire.

While negotiations were still in progress for the purchase of the above relic, it disappeared mysteriously from the station.  B.R. were contacted about the disappearance, they are looking into the matter.  Whereas the RPS are of the opinion it was (to quote our Hon. Sec.) the work of some unscrupulous scrap merchant, and he certainly went to a lot of trouble for half a ton of iron by dismantling it and carrying it away.

The National Press did get hold of the story and it may have given us some much needed publicity!!

East Midlands District News

The result of our second membership has been 100% successful. A collection of small relics has been donated by a new member – Mr. R. J. Buckler, including a LNWR signal wire pulley.

The Nottinghamshire members have been very active during the last few months, especially P. Gibbons, who has been concerned with a written survey.  The Northamptonshire members too have not been idle.  Messrs. Webb, Popham and myself have been occupied with the membership campaign, and Messrs. Gubbins and Buckler have written an historical account of one of our local disused branch lines.

Membership in Leicestershire and Derbyshire is very low.  Could members in these areas possibly remedy this?

J. M. Harvey (East Midlands District Organiser)