Category Archives: Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 70

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 70

From the ‘Chasewater Express’ April 1976

A poem which follows on from the previous post

The Neilson without nameplates and Asbestos

Neilson  – complete with Alfred Paget nameplates

One of the ‘Puddings’

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No.69

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 69

More from the ‘Chasewater Express’ January 1976

Editorial

The Editor wishes to state that he is in no way responsible for the ensuing passages, which emanate from the pen of a Black Country ex- butcher who nowadays works (?) for the only railway company in the country which is known to have in its stocklist a few hundred Brush 4s, a couple of dozen class 87 locos, etc.  Spelling and grammatical errors are his, not mine.

The Restoration of a Rusty Beast

Or

The Gospel According to Keith Sargeant

One particularly wet and generally normal Chasewater morning whilst shovelling (rubbish!) out of one very rusty coal bunker, I thought ‘will this thing ever go again?’ ‘’Course it will’ cried D.Luker, as he walked by for the tenth time that morning.

Well, it does go now and I will attempt to show how it was done.

In the winter of 1973/74, the boiler was stripped down and cleared of all the rotten lagging upon it, the firebox was cleared out in the space of one Sunday, the smokebox, however, was a completely different matter.  A very crude but effective spark arrester was cut out, never to be replaced; the next four hours (was!) were spent devoted to the removal of the blastpipe which was only held in with two taper cotters.  Evidence of neglect was showing through, on removal of the blastpipe a cup of tea was summoned and obtained.  ‘I’m not working on that thing in the rain any more’ Derek grunted through a sort of mist that arises off Chasewater tea.

The next weekend was devoted to building a ‘Tent’ upon the loco and fitting electric lights up to work on the loco in the dark.  Once it was completed, three weeks were devoted to clearing off the front tube plate.  To our horror, Derek’s clearing off of this revealed that the tube plate was less than half its original thickness for most of the lower 3” and non-existent at the flange with the barrel.  The smokebox bottom, which is formed of an extension of the boiler barrel, was also gone without trace.  A very awesome sight that left us wondering if the knuckles we had lost were lost in vain.

Work was suspended while Derek went cap-in-hand to the man with the money to ask for £300 which the Society had not got.  The remarkable thing was, they gave it to him.  He then got in touch with a bloke what mends boilers and after lengthy discussions with our boiler inspector and the boiler mender it was decided that the boiler was in such a good state that it was worth spending money on expensive repairs to it.  The contractor’s job was to replace 13 1” rivets and build up the smokebox tube plate to its original thickness and build up the corners of the firebox likewise.  This work was carried out in the space of three days, and restoration by Society members then re-commenced.

During the repairs, 10 flue tubes were replaced – bloody good ones they were too.  All boiler fittings were overhauled and replaced.  The regulator valve was taken home by Derek to Stafford where his neighbours were worried at the sound of him grinding ‘IT’ on the hearth rug.

The boiler was hydraulically tested and passed with flying colours.

Now with the boiler out of the way, the mechanics were looked at – ‘Boy, what a mess!’

4 tattered main bearings, 2 seized pistons, no side rods brassed, 2 valve spindles worn like egg-timers, and a partridge in a pear tree – PEAR TREE! Oh yes Boyo, we spent a few hours in there sampling the delicious tremblings, Boyo!

Work was suspended from the summer of ’74 to the winter of 74/75 fro work to be done on ‘Asbestos’, and also we built a workshop containing several mechanical works of art enabling Derek and Brian to while away the winter months machining the main bearings.  When they were done and fitted, the loco was lowered back on its wheels, the boiler was lagged and the tank was found to have more holes in it than a hairnet!  Six weeks were taken filling these in – we found the rest when it was on the loco!!

The loco was re-mated with the tank and the (Barkeus? Sorry, can’t decipher – Editor) nicely patched up and painted a delicate shade of black and red.  Now we had what looked almost like a steam loco, it was then decided to borrow the lubricator off of the Hudswell-Clarke.  This is where Brian Hames came into his own.  His short, Coal Board figure was just the ticket for getting round the little bits of engine that get in the way when you are laying lubrication pipes all over the place.  After that was done a steam test was made, the boiler steamed well and the injectors worked like two humming birds.  After eight months derelict and 18 months stripped down, only one leak in sight – and a very tiny one from a blown joint at that!

Now the moving parts.  As she stood they listed two seized pistons and valves, two weighbar shaft bearings (ready for a gallop) and one very rusty steam brake valve, complete with bent brake gear (a relic from Bruno days).  Something tells me I have (Sorry about this next bit of indecipherable script – Ed.) Wol’t fhat Bit a £ove –

After re-metalling the four main bearings and weighbar shaft brasses we set to putting it together again, first the pistons and valves, the valves took a lot of buggering about with and a great deal of patience on Derek’s part.  The siderods took about twelve weeks to fit as we had to make all the brasses from a similar but younger loco.

When Alfred Paget (as we had decided to call it) was back together again and had been made to look respectable with the aid of two gallons of black paint, we steamed it – what a day!!

06.30 we lit the fire and raised steam Lewis fashion (slowly – Ed).  By 11.00 we had got 50 lbs of steam, and it would not budge – what had we forgotten to do, I thought?  ‘Give it a nudge’ said a very dirty and unhygienic NCB Brian.  So we did.  Chuff, chuff, wheeze she went, like a ‘Super D’ with not a bit of trouble.  The brakes didn’t work  for a few weeks until they were worn in – but now we have one beautifully repaired Neilson 0-4-0ST loco of 1882 vintage and it was in steam for the 150th Anniversary to boot!

No mention yet has been made of the carriage and wagon tapping fraternity who are a body of MEN?? Who delight in making life difficult for us engine bashers.  Still, as I haven’t mentioned them before, I won’t bother now!!

Jotted by the most photographed driver at Cheesewater and published by the Keith Sargeant Appreciation Society.1975 Open Day – He’s in the middle! Andrew Louch on the right, with Brian Hames on the left.  Thanks Bob.

Summary of dimensions

Neilson standard 14” design

Weight: 28tons

Overall length: 23’ 7”

Height: 10’ 10”

Boiler Pressure: 120 lbs/sq.in.

Tractive Effort: 8885 lbs.

Cylinders (Outside) 14” x 20”

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 68

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 68

From the ‘Chasewater Express’

January 1976

Editorial

Steve’s Bit

Here we are, into 1976, and once again the Society is crying out.  Crying for cash and for help.  Once again it is up to members to try and help us over the winter patch, which, as in other years, is hit by poor attendance of volunteers.  Our Society is by no means unique in this respect.

I ask you then to do this:  there is enclosed in this mag a loose membership form: persuade a friend to fill it in and send it to us.  If each member gets just one new member, then our workforce should double.  Sounds glib – but is it too much to ask?

Hope you like the new magazine.  This is the ‘cheap’ winter edition, with duplicated insides, but the summer edition – in April – which will be on wide sale to non-members, will be a classier affair altogether.

Your adverts are welcome – send them to me.  I intend to widen our circulation by acting as a ‘Notice Board’ for vendors and collectors of Railwayana.

Steve Organ, Hon.Editor

Steve Organ has now taken over the editorship of the newsletter, though he tells me that he is going to modify the format slightly.  I must thank Steve for relieving me of the job, which has at times been rather difficult to achieve due to business commitments,

We are in the winter now and a difficult time to try and maintain our stock and locomotives at Chasewater due mainly to a lack of covered accommodation.

We are now in our sixteenth year, and can be fairly called a viable society; we do emphasise, however that we must have all the help that anyone can give, to continue to be viable.

Laurence Hodgkinson and I made a very enjoyable trip to Ludgvan, near Penzance, during November, and collected six gas lamps intact from an old GWR clerestory body – this entailed a lot of hard work, particularly for Laurence, who had to cut through all the plumbing.  We returned through fog, gale and rain to offload the lamps at Chasewater around midnight that evening.

Our sincere thanks to Mr. Davey Thomas who owned the coach body for his generosity and hospitality.

May I wish everyone a prosperous and happy New Year – Dave Ives – President.

I hope that at least one of these lamps will be restored and on the exhibition stands this year – Editor.

Recent Happenings at Chasewater

A pump handle trolley (YES, BUSTER KEATON STYLE!) has been restored to working order after many years of use as a timber stand.  Already, since being commissioned around 1st January, it has claimed two victims.  First Rob Duffill, who has a wrenched arm, and now Barry Bull, who the Machine’s handle lifted from the platform and hurled him through the air, to be deposited, muttering oaths and obscenities, into the Chasewater quagmire. (No photographs are available so I may ask them for an action replay!!). Thanks are due to John Elsley for the restoration of this museum piece for our torture-chamber exhibit.

The line has now been relaid and ballasted to the BR Boundary, but much packing is needed.

Negotiations twixt BR and the Council continue – developments hoped for very soon.

The compound is now fully lit by 240 volt lighting equipment – thank you Brian Hames.

Invicta arriving July 1975 – D.Bathurst’s collection

Invicta, the 0-4-0ST Barclay, ex Chatham Docks, has passed its hydraulic test – steaming soon.

Staging has been erected alongside the MSLR coach for public viewing.

Harold Wilson, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister has made a donation to Society funds (true!)

Original Stones lighting equipment for the ‘Paddy Train’ LNWR bogie brake compo is on order – thank you J.C.James

The TPO has been re-roofed and glazed.

Chairman’s Message

Once again we are well into the closed season, a time when the Railway has to be made ready for the next season of passenger operation.  This is a vital time for the Society, for if we are to operate trains we must make good the wear and tear of last year and make improvements where necessary, and whenever possible, and to do these things, we need YOU!  You are the Society’s greatest asset – without you we do not exist!

Working members are about 5% of the Society’s membership – a good percentage when compared to other Societies – i.e. SVR’s 4%.  Unfortunately for us, our membership as a whole is much less than the SVR, so I would urge you to take up the Editor’s scheme – with the enclosed form get just one new member, more if you can, and really help the Society in this way – if you can’t help on site, is this too much to ask?

We will start the season with two steam locomotives and soon there will be three, next year probably another will be added – these are as well as diesels – never before has the Society been in a position of such strength, but this alone is not enough.  We need track to run on, serviceable vehicles, coaches, to carry fare-paying passengers and station staff.

Come and help us then.  Make 1976 a year to remember.  If you cannot come to Chasewater but can offer us some other service, or have constructive proposals to make, please write to us via the editor.  Best wishes for the New Year – Albert Haywood, Chairman.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 67

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 67

RPS Newsletters No. 14, 15 & 16  May – Oct 1975.

From No.14

I am pleased to report a fair influx of new members these last couple of months, several of these members have already proved their worth and capabilities.  I only wish that a few of our absent, long-standing members could pay a visit to the site now and again, I am sure that they would enjoy the odd weekend.

Trackwork

A very good effort has been done by our track laying gang, the bed has been levelled, sleepers and rail relaid almost to the underbridge.  A splendid effort by the usual stalwarts!!

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Work is progressing slowly but surely towards the final repaint of this vehicle, this carriage is being shown at the Stockton & Darlington 150th Railway Anniversary Exhibition at Shildon, Co. Durham.  It is going to be a race against time to finish it by the end of July!!  A few more skilled painting volunteers would be very welcome.  Messrs. Pomlett Sen & Jnr, I am pleased to report have answered the call, but further help would be very much appreciated.

Horizontal Single Cylinder Engine, Staffordshire Industrial Archaeology

This engine has been collected by the RPS and is now undergoing restoration on Chasewater site.  Staffordshire Industrial Archaeological Society have promised help in this work.  During this excursion the Midland Railway horsedrawn box van was loaned to Shugborough Museum.  (It’s still there – Jan 2011).(Back home for a couple of years now – 2020)

The horse-drawn box van can just about be seen to our left of the building

Spring Bank Holiday – Sunday and Monday

Thanks must be expressed to all members running the trains over this period, the effort was quite fruitful.  Thanks to Andrew Louch, Albert Haywood and helpers who prepared the site and erected the Birkenhead Railway Bookstall, this bookstall has great potential.

The bookstall is top left in the picture – above ‘BROW’ of Brownhills West

Thanks again to Mr. J.C.James for purchasing same.  A large number of visitors also went round the compound.  Many thanks to the stewards who held the fort in the TPO and LNWR brake.

LNWR, TPO & 60ft Brake

Urgent maintenance work is required on the roof of the TPO during the dry summer months.  Volunteers please!!  Rob Duffill has also made a start on the painting and restoration of the second half of the LNWR brake, he would appreciate help in this venture, also painting of the exterior of both vehicles.

Dave Ives.  President & Editor.

 

From No.15

We are still in the midst of this marvellous weather, what a glorious summer indeed.  We have had a long run of steaming and train running these last two months, but takings, alack, have been sadly down on last year, also lack of members to run the trains, the task of running the trains has fallen yet again on the same old crew.  May I appeal for members to get over to Chasewater and give a turn, we shall be running until October.

This month of course sees the 150th Anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, I expect and hope most members will attend.  As most members are aware, we are exhibiting the Maryport & Carlisle carriage, also we are manning a sales stand.  Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. is in charge and would appreciate a little help, he will be on duty all week from 25th August to the 31st – a long stint.  We shall appreciate a little help in this direction.  We also look forward to a good attendance at the AGM in September, see separate notice from the Hon. Sec.

Maryport & Carlisle CarriageM & C  on show at Shildon

Andrew Louch has truly done a first class job getting this vehicle ready for the Anniversary.  I am sure it is really credit due to him and his few helpers!  All members will be sorry to learn that Andrew’s mother has broken her ankle, with an unfortunate accident at their home.  All members, along with me, will I’m sure wish her well during what will be a drawn out recovery.

Neilson Locomotive

Work continues to progress on this engine.  I understand that we should see her moving, possibly in service, before the season ends.

Pump Action Mechanical Trolley

Keith Sargeant has spotted and bought a trolley for the Society.  We are however having a members’ whip round to offset the cost for Keith.  The total amount being £30 + transport.  £19 has been donated to date.  Please don’t forget to add the odd £1 next time you renew your subscription.  The trolley will be a valuable acquisition.

Dave Ives – President & Editor

From No.16

Several events have now come and gone since the publication of the last Newsletter.  The 150th Anniversary at Shildon was probably amongst the most memorable.  The Cavalcade at the end of the week was to me the most memorable and unforgettable experience.  A lot has already been said and reported on this subject, but I still have my personal experience, one that I would not have missed!!  Our very sincere thanks to our Hon. Sec., his friend Ken, Adrian Pearson, Iain Patterson, Andrew and Richard Louch and Bob Ives, Mike Wood and Gerald Wildish for manning the RPS Stand at Shildon through a long and somewhat arduous week.  I understand that a clear profit in the region of £350 was made.  A truly excellent effort on the part of the above mentioned members.

My wife and I also had an invitation to attend the Official Opening of York Railway Museum by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh.  This again was quite an impressive ceremony, and of course yet again, a chance to meet several old friends and colleagues.  I understand that a visit to York Railway Museum is being planned by one or two Chasewater members; it is certainly well worth a visit.

AGM

The meeting was quite well attended this year, the highlight event being after the meeting and members were able to participate in trips behind the Neilson down the line.  I am sure that all members were thrilled to make this trip and sincere thanks to loco staff and operating staff for the wonderful effort put into getting this loco back in working order.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage Exhibited at Shildon

We are all justifiably proud of the fact that this carriage was duly exhibited at Shildon.  We must again thank Andrew Louch and his helpers for making this possible.  We had the misfortune to have two door handles stolen by a ‘souvenir hunter’; these were replica handles but will cost the Society something like £10 to replace.  We must all agree that this was a despicable act!!

Progress at Chasewater

The running season has now come to a close.  Passenger receipts this year were a little down on last year, but this is to be expected with the expensive, inflationary times we live in.

Miniature Railway

Albert Haywood very successfully negotiated with the Council (Walsall) for the RPS to run and maintain the 7½” gauge railway in the park.  This has been operated and run by our members during the closing weeks of the season.  This should prove a very worth-while project, the Society receiving 50% of passenger receipts.  Our very grateful thanks to Albert and his operating staff, Ted West and Colin Finch.

(I haven’t managed to get a photo of this yet – can anyone help, please?)

Trackwork

This arduous but necessary work continues, thanks to our general Manager Derek Luker and his gang of stalwarts.

Platform

The slotted signal at our original Brownhills West Station

Steve Organ (that’s the first time that I’ve seen that name mentioned!) has made good progress with the station platform, he intends to extend it to its full length during the winter season, weather permitting.  The Cannock Wood Colliery signal has been installed, a start signal, this is all good progress, thanks to Steve and his helpers.

Cannock Forum Theatre RPS Exhibition

This exhibition was held again fro the third occasion and was a great success, financially and publicity wise.  Our sincere thanks to Andrew Louch, the organiser, Barry Bull, our energetic Hon. Sec. and all other members who helped with this successful event, in particular to the non-stop catering team led by Rob Duffill.  I understand that a profit of £125 was made.

Nigel and Helena Hadlow

Our very sincere congratulations to Nigel and his wife on their marriage in September.  Nigel is one of our stalwart members, having served the Society for some 15 years.  I am sure that all members will join in wishing them a long and happy marriage.

Obituary

Eric Haswell.  It is with sadness and regret that I write these lines.  Eric died suddenly whilst on a visit to our old friend Teddy Boston at Cadeby Rectory on Tuesday 14th October.  I am sure that all members will sadly miss that tall figure at the exhibition, with that wonderful talent for locomotive drawing.  Thus passes another Gentleman.

Dave Ives – President and Editor.

After something like 30 years outside, the Maryport & Carlisle could do with another Andrew Louch!!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.66 April 1975

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.66 April 1975

RPS Newsletters No. 12 & 13, Jan – April 1975.

Again two for the price of one! – But sadly no number 11!

From No.12

Neilson 0-4-0ST

This locomotive has had a stationary steam test and the reports prove very favourable.  Derek Luker informs me that the next step will be valve gear and motion.  We should see this loco in steam with ‘Asbestos’ this season.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Work steadily progressing but more help is needed as the carriage must be ready for August this year for the Stockton & Darlington Anniversary.

Track Laying

Work has now commenced lifting track.   The track bed will be re-aligned and the rail relaid, sleepers will be replaced where necessary.  This job must be completed before commencing the season’s running.

North Eastern Railway Van

A hasty repair job was done to the roof of this vehicle.  The canvas roof loading flap was ripped to shreds during the weekend gale of Saturday 25th January.

Mr. J.C.James of Liverpool recently acquired a station bookstall from the Birkenhead Railway.  This has been delivered to Chasewater and should prove a useful item.  Our grateful thanks to Mr. James.

Notes from Barry Bull, Hon. Sec.

The two meetings already held were quite well attended with 25/30 people on each occasion.  There were to be two further meetings at Aston University , one in March about ‘Main Line Steam’ and the other in May about ’Spanish Steam in 1963’. This to include both main line and industrial steam, and some real antique British built locos.

Sales Stand

With another season ahead we have been busy obtaining items for the sales stand.  In the past we have had to rely very much on the generosity of members in donating second-hand mags, etc. for resale.  In recent weeks our thanks must go to Nigel Canning, Rob Duffill and Laurence Hodgkinson for giving many suitable items for resale.  If any other members have any photos, relics, magazines, etc. which they would like to donate or perhaps sell at reasonable prices, would they please contact the Hon.Sec.  It is worth recalling that sales for the last 12 month period to July 1974 together with social activities raised £274 – remember ‘Sales Support Steam’.

From No.13

We are now attempting to get ourselves geared up for the season’s running, the actual news will follow in items listed below. All members will sympathise (after a period of considerable and very cruel laughter!!) with Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. who unfortunately broke his ankle playing football during February.  Barry, although partially immobile, has managed to get over to Chasewater and cleared the decks for action in the sales portion of the LNWR brake (It takes more than a broken ankle to keep Barry away from his vacuum cleaner!!). He is of course doing an immense amount of work on the correspondence side for the Society.  We all wish Barry a speedy recovery.  I know he is itching (!) to throw those crutches away.  Just a final word on this matter, may we advise Barry, in future, it is far safer at Chasewater RPS site than playing football on Sunday afternoons!!

Asbestos

I understand from the loco dept that this engine will be in trim for the forthcoming season, let us hope that it will be a busy one!  PS Two tubes were hastily fitted on Easter Monday morning!

Neilson

I am also assured that this locomotive will also be assisting with the season’s traffic later this year, a few last minute snags have yet to be sorted out.

Trackwork

In spite of the inclement weather, our usual stalwarts have been very busy lifting track, the bed is being levelled by Colin Vincent with his bulldozer and should be relaid during April. This effort is very praiseworthy, our sincere thanks to all participating in this hard graft.

Birkenhead Rly Bookstall

It is hoped to assemble this bookstall as a ticket office and sales stand this season.  We are of course short of volunteers for this operation, more about manpower appeal in a later item.

Maryport & Carlisle CarriageMaryport & Carlisle Carriage with No.21 – D. Bathurst Collection

Work is going ahead slowly with this vehicle, due in the main to the weather, and the call for manpower on other jobs.  The carriage has to be ready for the 150th Anniversary at Darlington, by the end of July at the latest.  Volunteers for painting please!

DMU Trailer Coach

A thorough cleaning of the interior is taking place, in readiness again for the 1975 running season, this should be completed by Sunday April 6th.

Manpower, Womanpower Appeal!!

May we once again appeal most earnestly for manpower during this special year, viz. the 150th Anniversary of Passenger Railway Travel (Stockton, Darlington 1825).  We have plenty of restoration jobs, and in particular, a list must be drawn up for the train operating crews.  Vacancies for firemen, Guards, Stewards on trains, sales stand and ticket issuing and collector staff.  Members should report to the General Manager and Chairman Derek Luker or any senior member deputising in his absence.  Please come and help if only for a couple of times this season, we desperately require extra help this season!

NCB Slotted Signal, Cannock Wood CollierySlotted signal at our old Brownhills West Station, 1978 – D. Bathurst Collection

This signal has been kindly donated by the NCB, it will eventually join our collection of NSR and LNWR signals at Chasewater.  The NSR signals came from Pinnox Crossing, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent and were also donated by the NCB several years ago.

Discussion at Chasewater

Loco spares, carriage spares, etc., this will be held on Saturday afternoon 3.00pm , 19th April 1975. All members are invited to attend and comment.

Littleton Colliery Visit – Engine in Steam

Saturday 17th May 9.30am.  Brake van trip down the line.  Members wishing to attend contact Albert Haywood.Littleton No.5  Manning W ardle 0-6-0ST

Canal Boat Rally

Birmingham Navigation Canal Society, 10th and 11th May 1975.  Catshill Junction, Lindon Road, Anchor Bridge, Brownhills.

Dave Ives, President.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces 65 RPS Newsletters No. 9 and 10, July – Oct 1974.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 65

RPS Newsletters No. 9 & 10, July – Oct 1974.

Again two for the price of one!

From No.9

As we are all aware, the summer operating season at Chasewater is drawing to a close.  Passenger receipts are down on last year; this is due to not operating the diesel service on the second and fourth Sundays, due in the main to weather conditions and lack of operating staff.  We must all bear in mind that money made in the summer enables the Society and the Company to pay its way in the winter.

Our President Charles Ives was struck down with a coronary attack some five weeks ago.  I am pleased to report to members that Charles is making a good recovery back to normal health.  I am sure that all members will wish Charles a speedy recovery back to full health, and that we all hope to see him back to his cheerful and witty self in the chair at the AGM in September.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Andrew Louch, ably assisted by Roger Pomlett, is pressing on steadily with the painting and restoration of this vehicle, time presses on!!  We still assume that this vehicle is going to the Stockton & Darlington Anniversary.

MS & LR Carriage

John Elsley is now painting the exterior in gloss paint in preparation for the S & D Anniversary.  This carriage is now a pleasure to behold!

Neilson 0-4-0STJune 1978 – Pic from D. Bathurst’s Collection

Excellent progress has been made on this loco, it is now back on all four wheels, the tank has been repaired and painted.  The coupling rods have yet to be fitted.  It is understood from sources that we may see the Neilson steamed before the winter sets in.  A really great show on behalf of our Chairman Derek Luker and committee members Keith Sergeant and Brian Hames, as I have said before, real teamwork!  A vote of thanks to all members who have helped on this project!!

Renovation of Small Relics

A start has been made in both tidying up the compound, and the painting of station seats and nameboards, etc., this is indeed a vast improvement.  Thanks are due to Colin Marklew, Barry and others.  Keep up the good work!!

The date for the proposed dinner to celebrate the fifteenth Birthday of the Society was given as Thursday, 17th October at 8.00pm at Eaton Lodge Hotel, Rugeley.

From No.10

This edition of the Newsletter is a special one, it is, as most members are aware, the Society’s Fifteenth Anniversary.  The RPS was inaugurated at a meeting in October 1959 at the Station Hotel, Stafford (now sunk without trace).  Six people were present, including myself.  I had the honour of being elected the first secretary, a job which I continued holding through the formative years, standing down in 1968.   The actual founder of the RPS movement was also present at the meeting, D. Noel Draycott.  Noel was a man of endless enthusiasm, writing letters to the railway press, to the daily press and holding meetings up and down the country.  Noel took over the job of General Secretary of the RPS.  The West Midland District, as it was then known, had the honour of being the first group formed, closely followed by the London District RPS and Scottish District RPS.  These groups are now known as Quainton Railway Trust and Scottish District RPS respectively.  Noel Draycott acted as General Secretary over all the groups and edited the RPS Newsletter, getting news from the groups.  Each group was autonomous and as most members realise, grew apart, particularly after Noel’s death at the early age of 38.  Noel did however sow the seeds of a National group before his death, a body now known as the Association of Railway Preservation Societies eventually evolved.

We are proud of still carrying the RPS name, the original name of the old National Society.Stafford Station (the third one) and the Station Hotel – from staffspastrack

Then followed the usual progress reports on the Neilson, M & C carriage and the MS & LR carriage – all making steady progress and needing more volunteers!

Site Work

A very good start has been made in tidying up the site with lamp posts erected, signs and train indicators painted.  The public as well as the members themselves have been impressed; we must maintain this standard and even improve on it.

RPS Model Railway Exhibition

This was held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock on 14th and 15th September.  This was a huge success, and we must congratulate Andrew Louch, the organiser, for a splendid effort.  Our grateful thanks to all those members who participated, fetching and carrying, working all hours and even staying the night.  A special vote of thanks to Margaret Duffill and the other ladies who so ably assisted our refreshment manager Rob Duffill.

1975 Vintage – Pic from D. Bathurst’s Collection.

Peckett 0-4-0ST

This locomotive arrived on Friday 4th October from Wallsend.  I understand it was late arriving due to tractor gearbox trouble!  It was finally unloaded by the light of Tilley lamps at the crossing and finally hauled to the compound limits by our Worthington diesels.  The locomotive has been bought by our Hon. Secretary Barry Bull, very many thanks Berry, for a very useful addition to the stud.
Worthington diesels 1969 – Pic from D. Bathurst’s Collection

There was to be more news about this loco and about the Fifteenth Anniversary Dinner in the next Newsletter.  I think that this was about the first time that the following Newsletter was referred to.  When I first started my Bits & Pieces from Newsletters and magazines, I knew that there were about two or three missing from 50 years worth.  Sod’s Law dictates that No.11 – the next one – was one of them!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

RPS Newsletters No. 7 & 8, March – June 1974.

Again two for the price of one!

From No.7

Spring is now with us and with the longer evenings, so the work at Chasewater increases.  In spite of the bitter cold snap just recently, it was blowing a strong easterly across the lake, it did not deter our usual band of stalwarts working on ‘Asbestos’ getting her ready for the Easter steaming.  The Society should be very grateful to this tough stalwart crew working in these conditions; we have no warm engine shed like some of the larger groups.  I am sure that absent members will join me in a warm ‘Thank You’ to these chaps.

Asbestos

Asbestos was trial steamed on Sunday March 17th, two tubes blew during this trial, and work is now going ahead fitting new tubes and other minor repairs, prior to another trial steaming on Sunday, 31st March.  As stated previously, Derek Luker and his team worked in bitter conditions to complete this essential work!

General Spring Clean

A general tidy up has now begun on the site, but further volunteers are required if we want the compound really tidy, ready to receive visitors at Easter.

MS & LR Carriage

John Elsley is still pressing on steadily with this vehicle, another compartment has been restored, and we should have a splendid vehicle ready for display this season.

LNWR Passenger Brake

A start has been made cleaning down the other half of the brake by Rob Duffill; the restored half has been repainted in gloss by Barry Bull and Rob Duffill, and looks very respectable.

Track Maintenance

A start has been made clearing the track of heavy vegetation, the bushes at the north end of the line have been cut back to allow easy passage of trains.  We do require more volunteers to keep our track in good working condition.

Among ‘Dates for the Diary’ was a reminder to members who wished to attend an Open Day at Littleton Colliery on 18th May, 1974.Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

From No.8

We are now running a regular train service on Sunday afternoons, the first and third Sundays are steam hauled and the second and fourth Sundays diesel hauled – Bank Holidays will be steam working.

We had a record number of passengers over the Easter holiday, Easter Monday broke all records I’m pleased to report, our grateful thanks to the train operating staff and booking office staff for a really splendid effort.  We were very short of members over the Easter, this was probably due to members being on holiday themselves.

Collectors’ Fair

Held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock on April 13th and was a huge success.  Our very grateful thanks to Andrew Louch and Barry Bull, organisers, and to the members and ladies who helped in no small measure, a special mention to Paul Mason, who provided the P.A. equipment.  A truly great effort all round.  Thank you to everybody concerned.

Sunday, April 7th

A double deck bus load of enthusiasts from M & GN descended on the Light Railway, it was a case of stretching the manpower again, some members being involved with the stand at the Stafford Railway Circle exhibition, which was again well-attended.  I understand that the visit was enjoyed by all the visitors.

Neilson 0-4-0ST

Work is still progressing well on this loco.  The bearings have now been re-metalled and skimmed, the boiler has been re-clad.  Final work on repairing and painting the saddle tank is progressing well.  Thanks to our dedicated band of workers: Derek Luker, Brian Hames, Keith Sergeant, plus several of our junior members.

Asbestos

Continues to do sterling service, a few minor repairs have been affected, namely a spring hanger which broke during running, this has been welded and replaced.  Also leaking clack valves have been repacked.

Diesel Locomotives Nos. 20 & 21

No.20 is now looking quite resplendent after a complete clean-down and repaint.  The team responsible for this splendid effort is:  Nigel Canning, Steven Foster, Ian Patterson and Adrian Pearson.  No.21 is now receiving similar treatment, the start being made by Iain Smith on one of his weekends from Edinburgh.  It is a pity that a few more local members do not follow his example.

Coaching Stock

The MS & LR carriage is looking very resplendent, John Elsley informs me that he intends to install the original seats recovered in new maquette, this will cost in the region of £150, just a little idea of the inflationary spiral and the way it hits us all!  The Maryport & Carlisle carriage – Andrew Louch is replacing a few panels, the guttering has been refitted, and a complete repaint is envisaged this summer.  It is anticipated that this vehicle will go on show at the Stockton & Darlington Centenary and a Half celebrations in 1975, providing that the necessary funds are raised.

The Open day at Littleton Colliery has been postponed until 17th August.

Congratulations  to Rob Duffill on his forthcoming marriage in July.  May we wish Rob and Margaret every happiness for the future.  Rob is one of our stalwart members, serving on the committee and in a truly practical way.  Also congratulations to our hard-working treasurer Lawrence Hodgkinson on his promotion to the board of the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd., with this goes the directors’ fee of £0.00, as a fellow director I forecast that we can easily double that next year!!

Compiled by Dave Ives and printed and published by Lawrence Hodgkinson.

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 62 – July & October 1973

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 62

From RPS Newsletters Nos.3 & 4, July – October 1973

One short newsletter and one a bit longer so I thought I’d put them in the same post.

From No.3

Due to the grand summer weather our train running operations have proved very successful, this of course has also been enhanced by having the DMU trailer unit now in regular service, our train crews have carried out the job of keeping the wheels rolling most efficiently.  Members wishing to participate in train duties should report to Steve Allsopp for instruction.

Neilson 0-4-0 Locomotive

This locomotive has now passed its boiler test successfully and is now in the process of being re-assembled.  I understand that the main bearings are being re-metalled.  The whole project is in the capable hands of our General Manager, Derek Luker, with Keith Sergeant acting as chief assistant.  We are heavily indebted to these two members for sticking to the job.

MSLR CarriageMSL at Easingwold – R.Cromblehome

Restoration of this vehicle still continues, also a long slog by John Elsley. John would appreciate a little more help with this vehicle.  Anyone who is reasonably skilled in woodwork should report to John Elsley.

The platform building had been slowed down due to the train operations, and the Railway held a very successful Railway Exhibition at the Forum Theatre in Cannock. Very many thanks to all the people who set up the stands, acted as stewards, and in particular, to Rob Duffill and his team of ladies who manned the refreshment bar.

From No.4

The running season had been a good one, helped by an excellent summer.  Restoration work and maintenance will now continue throughout the coming autumn and winter months, weather permitting.  Priorities, I understand, will include trackwork, embankment restoration and completion of the platform.

Restoration work on the Neilson continues – should be in steam next year.

Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Asbestos

This loco has finished for the season, and now enjoys a well-earned rest.  Boiler fittings have now been removed and the boiler washed out.  The fitting flanges are to be reseated prior to the forthcoming boiler tests.  This work again is in the hands of Derek Luker, our hard-working General Manager.

MS & LR Carriage

Excellent progress is still being maintained by John Elsley, Nigel Hadlow and Albert Haywood, cracked panes have been replaced with new ¼” plate glass (at a prohibitive price), painting still continues, the teak centres can actually now be seen on the Mansell wheels.  John tells me he hopes to restore the compartments to the original as far as possible.  This vehicle is proving well worthy of preservation and is a credit to John and his team.

Maryport & Carlisle Railway carriage

Work has now started on the panelling of this vehicle, under the capable hands of Andrew Louch.  It is indeed gratifying to us all that our historic ‘Maryport’ is at last receiving restoration attention.  After being in service for a full season last year, the vehicle is undergoing a refit and later a repaint.  More about this at a later date.

Worthington Diesel No.20

This vehicle has now received attention from Brian Piddock and is again in working order, after lying idle for many months, it is a very good job done and I’m sure we are all grateful to Brian.

Chasewater Terminus Platform

Work still continues on this very vital asset.  Lawrence Hodgkinson is in charge of this project, the Council have helped with a good graded red ash approach to the platform, and provided car parking facilities.  I’m sure the Society is most grateful for this help.

Derailment of No.21 Diesel

A derailment occurred this month (Sept) during the hours of darkness, the above diesel came off the road when towing the DMU into the compound around 8.00pm.  Two slabs were loosened on the platform and the driver, Lawrence Hodgkinson, somewhat shaken.  A team of stalwarts (6) worked until 11.30pm by the light of Tilley Lamps to re-rail the locomotive, this was finally achieved and both loco and carriage shunted safely into the compound.

A.G.M.

The AGM was well attended this year, it was followed by the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd. AGM.  A special train took members a trip down the entire length of the line, this consisted of the L & Y No.1 Petrol Loco and the GWR 16 ton brake.  Slides were later shown in the DMU carriage, this depicted work done over the season on and around the site.

Compiled by Dave Ives and Printed and published by Lawrence Hodgkinson.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Correction

Chasewater Railway Museum

Correction to Friday’s Post

Just seen the blog but there’s a slight snag.  The photo is of the former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway van Cadbury No 144, which arrived at Chasewater in 1970, having been at Hednesford for several years previously following a donation from Cadbury’s.  The 1973 acquisition, also a kind donation, was the North Eastern Railway box van number 100 684, this being the last wooden-bodied box van left at Bournville amongst a fleet of steel bodied vans. The van had been kept for the storage of permanent way equipment.  I recall the road transport bill to bring it to Chasewater was £28.  Not long after the van arrive a photo of it’s unloading at Chasewater was published in Railway Forum.

Barry Bull

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No 60 March 1973 and No 61 May 1973

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ of December 1970

There doesn’t appear to have been another ‘Mercian’ for some time.

 

The Railway Preservation Society produced a newsletter, starting in March 1973 – Here are extracts from the first one.

 

‘This newsletter is not intended to replace our Society journal ‘Mercian’, we (the Committee) must apologise for the non-appearance of ‘Mercian’, but this has been due to technical hitches, etc.  We shall endeavour to maintain a newsletter at least every two months, and may we all hope that ‘Mercian’ will put in an appearance before too long.’

 

The remainder of the newsletter covers various on-going renovation work, including the overhaul of the Neilson, in the very capable hands of the General Manager, Derek Luker, ably assisted by Keith Sargeant and Colin Thomas – repairs to the smokebox and fire box – further expense is envisaged for retubing the engine.

Restoration of the MSLR carriage was continuing, with one compartment beautifully restored, fitted with new seats and original GC pictures re-hung.  This vehicle has been completely re-roofed and original ventilators and gas lamps refurbished and fitted.  A lot of work still has to be done to complete the vehicle and more volunteers were needed.

 

Other work included the relaying of track to the crossing from the Hednesford Road, another 300 yards needs to be done.  Work was progressing on the new platform at the Chasewater Terminus (now under the M6 Toll!).  Work had been started on tidying up the site, ready for the 1973 running season.  The Worthington Diesel No.20 (now on loan at Coors Museum, Burton-on-Trent) was having an overhauled replacement engine fitted and should be ready by the end of March 1973.

 

The final piece of news was regarding  a Railway Exhibition to be held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock, on the weekend of 30th June and 1st July.  It will consist of Model Railway Layouts, our own ‘Railwayana’ display, plus other preservation stands, Model Engineering Society stands refreshments and bar.  As usual, more help was needed.

Compiled by D.A.Ives (Chairman)

Also taken from the ‘Mercian’ of December 1970

 

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.61

 

RPS Newsletter No.2 – May 1973

 

Since the last newsletter (March) we have been pleased to see a few members turn up at Chasewater as a result of the appeal for more support.  We would like to see a few more however.  There is an interesting variety of jobs, i.e. trackwork, platform building, locomotive and carriage restoration, installation of signals and signalling equipment. (Sounds familiar!!)

There was a successful Easter Weekend Steaming in spite of awful weather, and a thank you to the members who stayed overnight to light up, and those who operated the service in such vile weather.

DMU Trailer UnitPic – Lawrence Hodgkinson

This vehicle has now arrived at Walsall from March, Cambs. And is now awaiting collection and transportation by low-loader from Walsall to Chasewater.  This should prove a spectacular operation (albeit a costly one). We deserve to get maximum publicity from this enterprise.  As most members will realise, this carriage has been purchased to give maximum seating capacity for the summer season’s running, also to replace our vintage Maryport & Carlisle coach now in service.  The M & C now needs some restoration work, new panelling and a complete repaint.Pic – Lawrence Hodgkinson – Top of Pleck Road, Walsall

Stop Press – 3rd May!!

This vehicle is now safely in the compound at Chasewater, after a hectic day by a small party of members and being filmed going through the streets of Walsall by ‘ATV Today’

Pic – Lawrence HodgkinsonComing through the farm gate at Chasewater.

NER 8 Ton Box Van

Due to the efforts of our Hon. Sec. Barry Bull, the Society has acquired the last wooden bodied Box Van used by Messrs. Cadbury of Bournville.  Messrs. Cadbury have very kindly donated the vehicle to the Society, arrangements have now been made for collection of this vehicle on May 5th.  Our grateful thanks to both Messrs. Cadbury for donating this vehicle and to Barry Bull for negotiating the deal.