Category Archives: Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 45 More Aug 1968 Mercian

Chasewater Railway Museum

Photo: Robin Stewart-Smith.

More from the August 1968 ‘Mercian’

Turner’s Asbestos Cement Co. Ltd ‘Asbestos’

Hawthorn Leslie 2780 of 1909

By Gerald Wildish

Many of you will by now have seen our splendid new locomotive.  Two years ago exactly to the day that she left Trafford Park, I first found ‘Asbestos’ – 15th June 1966.  She was not working on that particular occasion and had been specially hauled out of the shed for me and put in a photographic position.  She appeared in excellent condition.  On the occasion of my visit I learnt that she was likely to finish working that September, and I duly put in a bid for the RPS.  I was informed that the Society’s interest had been noted.

A little over a year later a letter arrived from Turner’s asking me if I would care to bid for the engine – I made an offer of £50, and shortly afterwards received a telephone call informing me that a scrap merchant had offered £100 – we could have her if we could reach that figure.  By this time we were in October and I was already engaged in trying to raise funds for the Neilson.  My reply said that if they could hold the locomotive until after our Christmas raffle, we would do our best, but I did not hold out a great deal of hope.  Considering all things, the raffle was a success, but we did not raise the sums necessary to allow us to move in two directions and I informed the Company that we would have to let her go.

My surprise could not have been greater, when Mr. Francis, the manager of the buying department, rang me to say that we could have ‘Asbestos’ free of charge.  Without doubt this was one of the happiest days of my life.  I made arrangements to go to Trafford Park to arrange the handover and had an excellent morning.  The handover was arranged for a date three weeks later when the presentation plaque could be fixed to the locomotive.

I could not have been dealing with nicer people throughout the negotiations, right from the time of my first visit to the works.  Our thanks must go to Mr. A.H.Wailes, the Works Director, Mr. T.Noble, the Purchasing Director, Mr. T.N.Chadwick, the Works Manager, who also arranged for the locomotive to be ‘done up’ for us during the week before the handover, to Mr. W.D.Francis, the Purchasing Manager, who dealt with most of the negotiations and Mr. S.McCormick.

Little is known of the history of ‘Asbestos’.  She was built by Hawthorn Leslie in 1909, for the Washington Chemical Co. in County Durham, where she became No.2, along with two other Hawthorn Leslies and a Fox Walker engine.  A further Hawthorn Leslie was added in 1918, and presumably replaced the Fox Walker.  In 1920, the Company became part of the Turner and Newall group.

In 1933, two of the locomotives were transferred to the Turner’s Asbestos Cement Company works at Trafford Park, becoming ‘Turnall’ and ‘Asbestos’.  Turnall was scrapped in 1965, leaving ‘Asbestos’ with two diesel locomotives (Planets).  ‘Asbestos’ was placed in store as the reserve engine in 1966 and presented to the RPS on 25th May of this year(1968);  she was transferred to Chasewater on 15th June, and started work in revenue service eight days later.

Photo: Oct 1985 – Tony J.Griffin

Photo – Russ Hillier

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 44 Aug. 1968

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 44 Aug. 1968

Latest Arrivals at Chasewater

People living in the houses adjacent to the line have by now become used to seeing various types of low-loaders arriving with miscellaneous items of rolling stock, in fact on one memorable day two vehicles arrived at the same time.  One often wonders what the thoughts of these people are as more and more large relics appear at Chasewater.

Several items have arrived over the last two months.  The first and in many ways the most important was the Midland Railway crane from Hednesford.  Without this, our track laying project could not have been fulfilled and over the last eight weeks it has more than made up for its three years of inactivity at Hednesford.  Apart from being a valuable historic item, it is a most useful piece of equipment.

The Whitsuntide holiday saw the arrival of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway 6-wheel full brake from the Derwent Valley Light Railway at York.

Pic: http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk

SECR Brake No.1601

This six-wheeled van, built in 1905, is unusual in that it has both a “birdcage” lookout on the roof and side duckets for the guard. In addition to accommodation for the guard, the rest of the space was used for luggage. On withdrawal it was transferred for service use as an ARP Cleansing Van, based at Bricklayers Arms Locomotive Depot in London.

With no further use for it after the war, in 1947 it was sold to the independent Derwent Valley Light Railway in Yorkshire. On its second withdrawal from service it was bought by the Southern Locomotive Preservation Co., who moved it, with the rest of their stock, to the Bluebell in late 1971 and early 1972.

The van’s eventual restoration will require, as its first stage, the complete reconstruction of its wooden/flitch-plated underframe.

It was at Chasewater for five years before being transferred to the Bluebell Railway.  It had to be left outside for the haulage company to make an early start, and in those few hours every window was smashed. ( I know there aren’t many but…..)

This was most eventful since it arrived a day early.  The usual entrance was locked and the haulage contractors came through the main entrance.  This involved a considerable amount of shunting on their part and eventually necessitated the complete removal of the main gates.  After becoming entangled with overhead power cables the vehicle was finally unloaded without a hitch!  The carriage is in the nature of a joint venture between the Society and our good friends the Southern Locomotive Preservation Company, the latter having purchased the coach while the RPS provided the bulk of the money needed for transportation.

The next arrival, on June 15th, was the Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST ‘Asbestos’ from Turners Asbestos Cement, Trafford Park, Manchester.  In contrast to the previous item, this arrived about five hours late and completely disrupted work for the day.  However, the sight of this immaculately maintained locomotive more than made up for any inconvenience.Pic: DM Bathurst

This was followed one week later by our most distant acquisition, the Neilson 0-4-0ST from Glasgow, vandalised the day before collection, as posted elsewhere.

Before the next influx of new items, more track will have to be laid into the compound. As soon as this is done, the peace of the neighbourhood will once again be shattered by the noise of heavy haulage vehicles.

Frank Harvey

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 43.1 – Neilson on its way – most of it!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 43.1 – Neilson on its way – most of it!

A not very satisfactory day

By G. Wildish

June 16th 1968, we were on our way to collect the Neilson locomotive – ‘we’ being Mary Grisdale and myself, Gerald Wildish.  The 4.00am train landed us in Glasgow shortly before 8.00am and after breakfast we arrived at Gartsherrie at 8.30.  Since our last visit, the works had been completely taken over by the scrap merchants, T.W.Ward, and this was the beginning of our trouble.

Reporting at the works – the manager said ‘Oh yes, the engine is there – go up and I will join you later.’  I went to the shed and was disgusted.  Some scrap thieves had removed all the brass clack and water valves.  The coupling and connecting rods had also been removed and cut up by oxy-acetylene equipment and were lying in pieces around the engine.  I returned to the manager and told him the story, ‘Oh yes, that happened yesterday, the police have been told’ – but why hadn’t he mentioned it to me earlier!

There was one locomotive with its motions still intact – No.3, and the manager agreed that we should tale these rods.  The next job was to remove them, they were stuck fast!  Mary traced some welders nearby with some cutting equipment and I gave them a back-hander to remove these for me – it took two and a half hours to get these pieces off satisfactorily. (It is highly probable that these men were the culprits from the day before).

Meanwhile the other problem was to remove the locomotive.  The line which we were to use for the removal – which it had been promised would be left for us – had been taken up!  At 9.00am the Wrekin Haulage people arrived and I took the driver on a tour of the lines and eventually we found one road-level stretch of line, but this was a mile and a quarter away.  The problem was to get the loco there.  The diesel loco of T.W.Ward was also in trouble and was unlikely to work.  However, I prevailed on two men to start and operate the diesel, but the brakes failed.  We agreed that I should operate the Neilson as a brake.  At 11 o’clock we succeeded in getting the Neilson to the low loader.  Two hours later we had got the coupling rods off the other Neilson and taken over to the low loader by a dumper truck.On her way!

Just before 4 o’clock the Neilson was loaded, but on arrival at the works entrance, the driver estimated that he could not get out!  Half-an-hour later, with the police controlling the traffic, the lorry nosed its way out and we set off for home.

Despite all our efforts, we are still two water and clack valves and injectors short.  New piping will be required to connect them with the loco and screws holding them to the boiler will have to be renewed as these have been mutilated by the acetylene equipment.  However, we have the loco – I pray that No.3’s rods fit.  Now that Millom Haematite Iron Ore Co. is to close down, we may be able to obtain spares from their Neilson, I sincerely hope so – I have written to them in anticipation.

Steaming at Chasewater

That is the end of Gerald Wildish’s article, but just to conclude – the Neilson locomotive took a while before it was used at Chasewater but was steamed successfully from 1975 till 1982.  After some years in storage and in the Heritage Centre it has now been moved into the workshop ready for renovation work, probably after the Hudswell Clarke S100 has been completed.In the Heritage Centre workshop

PS from Barry Bull – steamed September or October 1982 for her 100th birthday together with McLaren traction engine ‘Little Wonder’, also 100 years old, owned by the late John Mayes.Picture from http://www.steamscenes.org

Chasewater Railway Museum – More about the Neilson Loco – 1968

More about the Neilson Loco

A Trip to Gartsherrie

From 1968 Mercian Vol.1 No.3

By Trevor Cousens

On Friday, 16th February at 6.00pm a small party consisting of Lawrence Hodgkinson, Mike Lewis and myself, departed from Chasewater in Mike’s 30 cwt. Van en route for Gartsherrie, near Glasgow.  The purpose of this trip was to purchase spare parts from the three Neilson locomotives remaining at Bairds and Scottish Steel Ltd.

A stop was made in Derby to pick up Steve Allsop, then we cut across to the M6 motorway.  The speed of Mike’s van was limited by a governor to 45 mph so the going was slow.

It was quite a relief when a stop was made at a service area for refreshment.  We made full use of the transport drivers eating facilities – in our overalls we did not really have much choice.  Back on the motorway we continued our journey northward.  I retired to the back of the van to try to sleep.  After rolling my sleeping bag out amongst several hundredweights of tools, bars, rucksacks and other bric-a-brac I tried persistently to sleep.  The noise of the engine and the tyres on the road, coupled with a sharp drop in the temperature precluded this.  I heard someone groan ‘snow’ from up front.  This is what we had dreaded.  A climb up Shap with eight inches of snow on the ground!!  After this, sleep was impossible.  I lay on my back and watched icicles form on the van roof.  About 3.30am on the Saturday morning the van halted.  After many gear changes, reverses and sliding of doors up front there was silence for a moment.  When I looked out we were parked on a small snow-covered country lane; fir trees on one side, a railway above us and the moon shining across snow-covered fields.  They had had enough for the evening, and Steve, Lawrence and Mike came aft for sleeping bags, blankets, camp beds and other items necessary for comfort!!  While the three sorted themselves out I got out with a camera and had a prowl around.  I found that we had parked practically under the West Coast main line at Beattock.

In front of us Brush type 4s pounded up to Beattock Summit, assisted by English Electric type 4s, 2s, and 1s on the night mail trains and sleepers.  One could not help thinking that there was something missing not seeing the flicker from the firebox silhouetting the fireman as he shovelled rapidly on a ‘Duchess’ at full pelt up the bank.

The others had comfortably settled down by now in the back of the van.  I chose the driver’s seat as I was sure that it could be no more uncomfortable than trying to lie down again.  With last reminders to wake up at 6.45 am to be in Glasgow for 8.30 am, we dozed off to sleep, a sleep punctuated by the clatter of trains over the bridge above and the wail of diesel horns as bankers attached and detached from the trains – we couldn’t have picked a quieter spot!!

At 7.00 am Lawrence and Steve spent 20 minutes trying to wake Mike, who seemed to be the only one who had really slept, despite the noise (still, he is a railwayman).  We slowly began to thaw out when we were back on the main road to  Glasgow, and the sun came out, picking out the snow-covered hills in a fiery pink light,

Arriving in Glasgow at 9.30 am we met the fifth member of our party – Gerald Wildish – who had travelled up on the overnight train from Darlington to Glasgow without any heating.

Neilson at Gartsherrie

After a meal we arrived at Bairds and Scottish Steel’s works about 11.00 am, where we weighed in and were directed to the loco shed.  We mat a Scottish RPS representative who was also buying spares for their Neilson.  After having a look at our Neilson tucked away in the workshops inside this gigantic, desolate steelworks, we proceeded to the engine sheds where we worked in pitch darkness with the odd brilliant ray of sunshine punching a dazzling beam across the shed, and with snow dripping from the smoke vents onto our heads.  We dismantled the spares from the three scrap Neilsons and filled Mike’s van with spare parts.  An amusing interlude was enacted when Gerald held tea-cups under the water crane to be washed out while I pulled the cord, drowning both the cups and Gerald in several hundred gallons of water.

The load was examined by Bairds and we were weighed out – 10 cwt. Of spares aboard.  We then proceeded to the coal mines at Gartshore where we saw the Scottish RPS Neilson and an Andrew Barclay still simmering next to a red hot brazier which we stood around for 15 minutes to warm ourselves before returning to Glasgow, to a hotel and a well-earned drink.  The hotel we had chosen to stay at was unfortunately a rather expensive one.  I think they were rather shocked to see four really scruffy individuals – black all over with soot and dirt and in need of shaves.  We were ushered up the back lift to two attic type rooms – but they had hot water and beds!!

The Saturday evening was spent feeding and drinking and we bade farewell to Gerald who was lodging in another part of Glasgow, prior to his departure back to Darlington.  We all turned in, forgetting to put forward the alarm clocks and so missing breakfast by one hour!!  Room service rang us at 10.00 am Sunday, and we cajoled the waitress to find us four late breakfasts.  At 11.00am we made a start back towards Chasewater, after buying all the Sunday newspapers.  We stopped for diesel at Lockerbie and continued south, the sun was beginning to thaw the snow and a thick mist was rising.  Suddenly out of the mist our way was blocked by two policemen!!  They directed us to the side, and asked why we carried no ‘C’ licence.  They asked to see the load.  When we opened the door what a sight must have met their eyes, with piping strewn diagonally across the floor of the van, a 20 ton lifting jack, and many other items, including a kettle boiling on a primus for tea!!  After lengthy explanations, the showing of membership cards, driving licenses, etc., we finally convinced them that we were law-abiding, but we could not help thinking of Gerald on his way home with the receipt in his pocket!

Arriving at Hixon at 8.00 pm Sunday evening, we unloaded the spares and drove over to Hednesford for a sandwich and a drink in the ‘Queens Arms’.  The rest of the RPS crew from Chasewater and Hednesford were there, and the tales of the week-end working parties were exchanged.  Mike’s van had changed colour from dark green to white as a result of the salt spray.

So ended a 700 mile excursion to salvage parts which we hope will be used to help keep our 85 year-old Neilson running.  If so, then it will have been worth while.At Chasewater – August 1969

Chasewater Railway Museum – A Bits & Pieces article from Mercian Vol.1 No.3 1968

A Bits & Pieces article from Mercian Vol.1 No.3 1968

Taken from the Mercian Vol.1 No.3 an article by Gerald Wildish about our Neilson Locomotive. (Now, in 2020, in private ownership.)Shown here carrying the ‘Alfred Paget’ Nameplate

Neilson & Son Ltd., No.2937 of 1882

Bairds & Scottish Steel  Ltd.’s No.11

Delving back through the records of Bairds & Scottish Steel Ltd., one comes across several interesting details about the locomotive which we hope will be at Chasewater before the summer is out.  Some of this information which has come into my hands is included in this article.

No.11 was the fifth locomotive built by Neilson’s for Bairds, two of which were six-coupled.  She was the second 14-inch four-coupled built for Bairds. (The first, No.13 – built in 1876 passed to the NCB in 1948 and will eventually find a home at Falkirk).  Supplied new to Bairds in 1882, she cost £1,275.  Engines built to this design cost Bairds between £925 and £1,300, the cheapest being the last, the second, No.3 delivered in 1889.

My own personal records of No.11 go back no further than 1889, but in May 1900 a new firebox and tubes were fitted.  The next major repairs were in 1911 when a further new firebox and tubes were fitted.  A minor overhaul took place when a new right-hand coal bunker was supplied and the tank replaced.

After 1916 the records became scant until 1934 when greater detail is once again recorded.  In January 1936 another semi-major overhaul took place: new plates were provided for the boiler and a new brake assembly was fitted.  A year later the firebox was patched and all mountings ‘done-up’.  In July 1938 she was stopped again for general repairs and in November was fitted with a new firebox, repairs continuing until March, 1939.

In 1941, 4 new tyres were fitted, new brasses being added at the same time during a heavy general repair.  She returned to the works in June 1943 when the boiler and firebox were condemned, but was back at work with new boiler and firebox, a patched tank and new brake cylinder block and shaft in less than six weeks.  It shows what work can be carried out quickly during war time. (Due to the pressure of keeping engines at work, No.1 – the ex GERJ 15 class was sent to Cowlairs for overhaul.)  A further new firebox was fitted in August, 1945 during another heavy overhaul.

New tyres were fitted in the general overhaul of 1947, but the next interesting occurrence came in the heavy overhaul of 1949, after fitting new tubes, a further new firebox was fitted and the boiler removed for hydraulic testing.  However, when being removed for testing, the rope broke damaging the boiler, which had then to be lifted into the shed and rebuilt on the frames for testing again.  Eventually the boiler was hydraulically tested to 200 lbs. and steam to 135lbs.

Fireboxes seemed to wear out very quickly on the Neilsons for the 1950 firebox fractured in 1954 and was presumably replaced although the records do not state this.  General repairs followed in 1958 and 1963, when the boiler was announced to be satisfactory and in June 1967, just before the works closed.

When the works closed in July, apart from being the second oldest working locomotive in the British Isles, No.11 was the last to be repaired at the Gartsherrie Works.  She is in excellent mechanical order and when inspected by the engineers in February of this year (1968), it was pronounced that she would be the best of the RPS stock in this direction.  She lacks paint – I have no record of her being painted after 1950 – and remains in the post-war black.  She was never repainted dark blue as were many of her contemporaries at Gartsherrie.  We hope, funds permitting, to move her to Chasewater at the end of May or early June.  We have enough money to complete the purchase but we are still short of removal funds by several pounds.

Summary of dimensions:

Weight: 28 tons, Boiler Pressure: 120lbs. per sq.in.

Overall Length: 23ft 7ins.  Tractive Effort: 8885lbs.  Height: 10ft 10ins.Line drawing of the Neilson also by Gerald Wildish

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3 Bits & Pieces 42.3

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3 Bits & Pieces 42.3

Plus Stocklist – 1968

This is one of a number of articles included in this magazine – there will be another couple to follow later. I don’t know what happened to this loco, but in spite of it being purchased and delivered to Chasewater, it hasn’t steamed since!

Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST No.431 – By Frank Harvey

Working at Desborough – V F Hall

 

The previous issue of the Mercian featured several photographs of this, our latest locomotive, and it was felt that a short article about it would not be out of place.

It was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co., Leeds in 1895, works number 431 and spent most of its life in the hands of the Sheepbridge Coal & Iron Company in whose fleet she became No.15.  It was allocated the name ‘Sheepbridge No.25’, but this was never carried and with the removal of its official number and works plates ran its last years without any identification at all.

It has on two occasions been rebuilt, first in 1928 and secondly in 1944, by the Sheepbridge Company themselves.

The engine was first suggested as a suitable candidate for preservation some two years ago when it was one of several locomotives at work at Desborough Warren Quarry near Kettering.  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.

The RPS then stepped in and after pleasing, successful negotiations with Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd., the locomotive was purchased.  The firm kindly allowed us to steam the engine before purchase – and members will have read about this eventful weekend in the last issue of the magazine. (CRM Bits & Pieces No.41).

It proved to be in good working order and required little in the way of attention save for the fitting of two new injectors which have now been purchased, and the repairing of a cracked blower pipe.  Evidence of this can be seen clearly in the photographs!

Desborough, 1968

The locomotive was delivered to Chasewater in November and restoration is now well under way.  When completed it will be resplendent in apple green, lined black, edged white and a high standard is being achieved.Chasewater August 1969

Purchase and transport charges tended to deplete the Society’s funds somewhat, but all agree that it was money well spent and in common with all other RPS stock, no money is outstanding, a fact of which we are justifiably proud.

Although restoration is unlikely to be completed before 1969, we look forward to seeing No.15, the oldest working Hudswell Clarke, in steam at Chasewater later this year.In the Heritage Centre, 2010

Stocklist – 1968

With so many new additions, it was decided to publish a stocklist in the 1968 Mercian, Vol.1 No.3

I hope you can read it ok, it’s interesting to see what’s still here after 40-odd years, and what’s gone.

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.2 Bits & Pieces 42.1 & 2

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.2 Bits & Pieces 42.1 & 2

From the Chairman’s Notes 1968 Vol.1 No.3.

The Society is now passing through a difficult stage, this is common with individual members, indeed the country as a whole, is suffering from a severe depression with the economic climate.  The loan for our museum building has now been deferred, may we hope for better tidings later in the year?  We are, however, most grateful to members who are coming forward with loans to cover the cost of the museum compound.  Once this compound has been erected and the track into it laid, we should have two of the locomotives installed in the compound and ready for steaming.  The target date is late June and should not prove too difficult, if help, both financial and practical, is immediately forthcoming.  Your committee is working extremely hard, both on administration and practical work.  I therefore appeal to all members to back the committee and so push the work along faster.  A colossal amount of work has to be done this summer.  I am going to itemise the list of vehicles which require immediate attention.

D. A. Ives.

From the other reports 1968 Vol.1 No.3. 42.2

From the Hon. Secretary’s Report

The work on the Andrew Barclay loco (Colin McAndrew) at Hixon is almost finished.

Trevor Cousens and Allen Civil visited Stewarts and Lloyds at Bromford Bridge to buy loco spares to replace parts on the Hudswell Clarke and the Barclay locomotives.

Early in March 1968 some track was stolen from Chasewater.  It has since been replaced and measures are in hand to prevent any further occurrence.  A security compound will be constructed in the very near future to house the stock there.

Restoration Work at Hednesford.

Slow progress has been made on the MR Royal Saloon, the clerestory roof has had pitch applied.  The damp has caused the roof inside to crack up.  We understand that work is now in hand to the two side panels which need attention.  The outside is now being given a coat of undercoat.

The LNWR TPO needs a good coat of red oxide, some of the woodwork needs replacing.  The roof has had some attention and is more waterproof.

The TPO needs a good sort out inside, with new relics arriving all the time, we are getting very short of room in this vehicle.  A great number of relics have to be stored because there is not enough space to display them.

The Maryport & Carlisle 3rd Class carriage is almost completed, the wheels need finishing with a white rim.  The underframes require another two coats of paint.  One door has been made complete by Frank Harvey and another door by Laurence Hodgkinson – this needs to be hung.

It is hoped to move the Midland Railway crane to Chasewater in the near future, where it will be used for track laying purposes.

The Midland Railway Crane at Chasewater 1969

The Midland Railway horse drawn delivery van requires another coat of paint and the roof needs re-canvassing.  Two of the wheels need repairing.  (I knew that we had this van, but I’ve never seen it and have no idea where it came from – there has been nothing in the magazines so far.  It is now on loan at Shugborough)

Robert A. Ives.

The Chasewater Report

At last we have permission to start the compound, I hope work will commence within the next month as so much depends on getting this site ready for steaming of locomotives this summer.  I think it is most important that we make an effort to attract the general public.

New arrivals this summer (all being well) will be a bolster wagon from Holly Bank and the Midland Railway crane from the Hednesford depot.  We hope during May, the Neilson from Glasgow and a Hawthorn Leslie from Manchester will have arrived, and there is also a likelihood of two salt wagons from Sandbach, Cheshire; and providing suitable transport can be found at a reasonable cost, the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln coach and the South Eastern and Chatham Railway brake from the Derwent valley should also be here by the late summer.  (There was an appeal for £400 for the transport costs later in the magazine.)MSL Coach in the Heritage Centre 2010

Track clearing is still making steady progress, although there have been one or two setbacks, e.g.  the extensive re-packing of the point at the south end of the passing loop, due to the continual burning of the bank; the work has now been successful.  The latest bit of vandalism as you no doubt have read was the removal of three lengths of track from the north end of the line by people of low moral character (I would have expressed it somewhat differently! Starts with a ‘b’ and ends with an ‘s’!), resulting in the derailment of the tool van and the flat wagon.  This has now been completely relaid.

During the next two months a total of 1053 feet of track has to be lifted and relaid on the compound site, as you will no doubt gather this will require a great deal of hard work by the Chasewater working party to meet the deadline, and we would appreciate very much the appearance of members whom we have not seen so far.

The Chasewater Working Party 1968

Due to the rapid expansion of the relics at both Hednesford and Chasewater, I think the need arises in the centralisation of work at these two depots.  There is a strong case for forming various departments i.e. loco footplate crews, signalling department fitters and permanent way staff.  If anyone has any ideas on the above departments, please let Frank Harvey or myself know.

Laurence Hopkins.

Hednesford Depot

This article was written as an appreciation of the work done at Chasewater and Hixon towards getting the Chasewater site and loco ready for steaming later this year (1968).

But it also asked for more work to be done at Hednesford, as the state of the Travelling Post Office and the Royal Saloon was giving rise to some concern.  Mr. Siberry was asking for a weekend in May to concentrate on painting these two items.

There are still more articles to come from this edition – about the Hudswell Clarke, the Neilson and the Chasewater Line – not to mention the stock-list!