- 133 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News April 1991
- 131 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces – From Chasewater News January 1991 Out and About – Peter Aldridge and 132 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News January 1991 Pssst – Wanna buy a steam loco? – Ian Newbold
- Chasewater Railway Museum – January 2023 Newsletter
- 130 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Alfred Paget nearly got to Bescot – August 1990 – (Or the Not-so-Flying Scotsman) – P. Aldridge
- 128 –129 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces, From Chasewater News April 1990 More Sid Browne Memories – Pete Aldridge
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Category Archives: Chasewater Railway MuseumImage Image
Chasewater Railway Museum Catalogue
Information signs, Warning signs, etc. from various companies, and our Signal Box Nameboards.
Click on the link below to see the full list
Caption text – Object number, name, description, maker, location’
Click on a photo to see a larger version.
Chasewater Railway Museum
Another new Acquisition
The Museum grapevine has been working well recently. Anthony Coulls of the National Railway Museum called Mark Sealey about a worksplate off a Cannock Chase Colliery locomotive, Alfred Paget on EBay. Mark passed the message on to Barry Bull, who signed up to EBay and eventually won the plate.
Following advice from Rob Cadman we came to the conclusion that the size of the Beyer Peacock worksplate on EBay and purporting to be off Alfred Paget didn’t quite measure up. A fraction smaller than details in the Buckle and Love worksplate book gave the game away that likely a copy of the original with if correct the usual shrinkage to be expected. We are grateful to Rob Cadman for his research and pointing this out. However with this in mind I enlisted Rob to help with a low bid, and can report success at £104 . It is certainly possible maybe even probable that the plate was copied from an original in the NCB Chasetown workshops in the 1950s at the time when the seller’s father was employed there.
Rob has collected the worksplate from Roy Fairbanks who lives at Shire Oak. His father Freddie Fairbanks was a loco fitter at Cannock Chase and as the pits closed he went to the Chasetown workshops. He died in 1984 and son has had it since, seems he expected it to realise £30 or so. Now Rob has it he’s coming round to the idea that it may be original. He’s now swayed to thinking it is.
It has now been decided that the Beyer Peacock 1861 worksplate is indeed an original off CCC Co loco Alfred Paget. A good few days all round.
The original ‘Alfred Paget’, an 0-4-2ST No.204/1861, was acquired new, scrapped by NCB at Chasetown circa 1952. ‘Paget’ was the family name of the Marquis of Anglesey, one of the major land-owners in the district, and Chasewater Railway has kept the name – now on a Neilson engine.
Chasewater Railway Museum
and Heritage Centre – March 2011
A few photos from the Museum taken in March 2011, plus a couple in the Heritage Centre.
Chasewater Railway Museum
Inside the Museum Coach
(A while back!)
This was before my time at the railway, it always looks so clean and tidy!
Chasewater Railway Museum
Class 31 photos
A few photos and a video clip of No 31203, owned by Les Emery, at ChasewaterJust after it arrived and later, after restoration. The photos were given to the Museum by our friend Brian Nicholls.
Taken shortly after arrival, 28-9-2003
Taken in 2007
31203 being guided into the Heritage Centre by Jason Busby. Steve Bray is on the far side.
I never saw the loco move under its own “steam”.
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.
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.
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
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.