Category Archives: Chasewater Railway Museum

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  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.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!

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.2 Bits & Pieces 41

More on the history of Chasewater Railway, now coming to the end of the 1960s

Taken from Mercian Early 1968 Vol.1 No.2

Hon. Secretary’s Report

This is the first time I have had the pleasure of writing a report for the ‘Mercian’.

As some of you are aware Mr. D.A.Ives resigned at the AGM from the post of Secretary, after eight years of Secretaryship of the Society, in which he has put in a tremendous amount of work.  I was elected Secretary for the coming year at the AGM, and Dave has very kindly stayed on as Joint Secretary, until I am fully conversant with the job.

There have been several interesting developments recently, which I might briefly mention, as they are all very new.  Firstly the Brownhills-Aldridge UDC have kindly filled in and levelled the plot of our proposed Museum at Chasewater.  Secondly our line at Chasewater is now an isolated railway – we have been cut off from BR by the removal of a level-crossing.  (Presumably the one at the entrance to Anglesey Sidings) Thirdly on Saturday 2nd December, 1967, a long-awaited member of our loco stud arrived – by road – a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST, used until December, 1966, in the Ironstone Quarries at Desborough.  This locomotive was steamed by Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker (our expert loco-fitters) before purchase, and ran for some little while before they declared it a good purchase.  Fourthly we are now in possession of a weed-killing wagon from Holly Bank Colliery, which will be a useful vehicle.  Lastly we have the MR covered wagon ex bass Breweries, now at Chasewater.

Things have been happening in the last week or two, but as we still have to transport two coaches from Yorkshire, an engine from Warrington , and are assisting Mr. Wildish with the purchase of another engine for the Society, we cannot afford to be complacent.  We still desperately need labour and money!  Any help at all, in either of these directions, will be more than welcome, especially in the selling of Tote tickets amongst your friends, or coming along on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon fro a bit of track digging , or painting.

T.G.Cousens  Hon. Secretary

 

From the Chairman’s Notes

The Society had a new Chairman as well as a new Secretary, with Mr.C.E.Ives taking over from Albert Holden, who was thanked for his work for the Society, especially as the organiser of the weekly Tote, which has brought in hundreds of pounds to the Society.

In addition to the usual appeal for members to help with track work, there was also an appeal for help with the smaller relics in the museum, Mr. Nigel Hadlow was the Hon. Curator.

Also grateful thanks to our engineering staff both at Chasewater and Hixon, who are both restoring and maintaining motive power, I understand that before long, steam will be up at Chasewater.  Long may it blow off!!!

In conclusion a special thank you to one of our junior members Doug Hood, who spent most of his summer holiday painting and restoring stock at Hednesford.

Progress at Chasewater

As regular members will know a considerable amount of progress is taking place at Chasewater.  The present project is the complete clearing of all track.  This is a formidable operation but already a good portion of the Norton passing loop is complete and if progress is maintained the causeway over Chasewater should be reached by winter.  A weed killing wagon has been purchased and this will be put to use as each section is cleared.  The removal of the undergrowth has revealed the track to be in a remarkable state of preservation.

During the summer months the level of Chasewater dropped several feet ( the 2010 version really showed how it should be done!!) and the opportunity was taken to do some work on the bridge at the end of the causeway.

The works trains are now hauled by the ex Worthington diesel No.21 with diesel No.1 acting as spare engine.  The third diesel No.20 is at present being overhauled and will no doubt be in use in the near future.

At the beginning of October contractors working on behalf of Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District Council commenced the preparation of the ground on the site of the proposed museum and this stage is due to be completed by December bringing us one step nearer to our goal.

Although the winter is ahead work will proceed as usual.  General maintenance will continue to be done on Saturdays and track clearing on Sundays.  All members, old and new, are welcome.  The job is a hard one but as everyone who has helped agrees the sight of nice, clean permanent way is one of the most rewarding experiences we have yet had at Chasewater.

F.J.Harvey

 

Report on the Neilson Locomotive Fund

The fund was helped in no small measure by the running of a raffle, which made a profit of £92. 16s. 9d. (£92.84p) The figures seem very small by 2010 standards!

The income was £32.50 donations, £ 92.84 raffle and a loan of £80.00. The first payment on the loco of £75.00 had been made.  Payment for the locomotive has been guaranteed by the end of March – that is the other £75.  This leaves us £57.36 to move the Neilson which may well have to be moved to Chasewater in April, and another £100 will be required by then.

There followed an appeal for more funds – public appeals in the Railway Observer and the Railway Word had not brought in a penny despite good billings in both magazines.

Thanks to everyone for help with the raffle.  It is hoped that before the summer is very old we shall have Baird and Scottish Steel’s No. 11 in steam at Chasewater.

From an article by Gerald Wildish

 

A Weekend at Desborough by Laurence Hopkins.

Saturday 21st October, 1967. In spite of typical RPS weather, as members set out for Desborough we were in high spirits, and were looking forward to seeing the Hudswell Clarke in steam.  On arrival the members found a difficult task before them in that nearly three lengths of track had been lifted, between the points on the shed road.  While Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker got steam up, a start was made in lifting three lengths of track from an adjoining line.  This being done, and the engine having sufficient steam up, we proceeded to move the rail 60ft lengths up to the points.  This task was carried out in filthy weather, and half the distance was completed by nightfall.

Sunday 22nd October,1967. Transport was by Mike Lewis’s van, and having made ourselves comfortable, we proceeded on the way via the Chester Road, as Trevor had run out of petrol at New Oscott.  We then did a grand tour of Coventry City.  On arrival at Desborough, the remaining lengths of track were laid.  The track being completed, the engine was run out over the section laid.  After lunch the engine was put through its paces and found to be mechanically sound.  To sum up – we must thank Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker for the fine work they put in, getting the engine ready for its steaming test.

Chasewater Railway Museum – List of Chasewater Railway Events – 2020

Chasewater Railway Museum –

List of Chasewater Railway Events – 2020

A real diary filler for you – all the events happening at Chasewater Railway during 2020.

Chasewater Railway’s 2020 leaflet, including the timetable.

Chasewater Railway’s 2020 leaflet

including the timetable.

 

CR-2020-leaflet

Click link to open

Chasewater Railway Museum Nov-Dec 1966 Bits & Pieces 38

Chasewater Railway Museum Nov-Dec 1966 Bits & Pieces 38

From the ‘Mercian’ Nov-Dec 1966 Vol.5 No.6

From the Editorial

 

The AGM has come and gone together with the light summer nights which have speeded up the work at Chasewater.  Naturally more effort has to be concentrated where most needed during the few precious hours of daylight now left.

You will read elsewhere of the progress made to date both at Chasewater and Hednesford, so that when 1967 dawns we shall be taking our next big step forward, that of running a steam train at Chasewater.

There was a report about the ARPS meeting at Portmadoc, including a request for help with funds for theJ36 and ’C’ Class 0-6-0 when required so that the purchases might be concluded.

Under the heading of affiliations the following were accepted into the Association – M & G N R P S, and the Hull Preservation Syndicate as an observer only.  The following were deferred until the meeting in London on January 21st 1967 – Severn Valley, LCGB, GWR Trust, Westerham Railway Museum, Southern Railway Club and the Loco Preservation (Sussex) Co. Ltd.

There was a short report about the ‘Forum’ magazine, which was still struggling with finances.

 

Hon. Secretary

Progress Report

Work has continued at Chasewater, the main task being the reinforcing of the embankment with fly ash, this material has been tipped into the cavities caused by the embankment fire (slow combustion), and effectively snuffed it out.

An ex Midland Railway flat wagon has now joined the fleet at Chasewater for use on maintenance work.  This vehicle together with the NSR wagon has been finished in battleship grey and appropriately lettered.  The MR wagon was kindly donated by Messrs. Thomas Boultons Ltd., of Froghall, Staffs.., of

Delivery has also been taken of the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lance’ donated by Messrs. Whitecross Ltd., Warrington.  This has also delivered to Chasewater where it has been given a quick coat of green oxide paint to repel the rust which was starting to get a hold on the superstructure.

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST. Colin McAndrew – Considerable work has been done on this locomotive by Allan Civil and his team of ex Bagnall fitters.

We are extremely grateful to this team for all the hard work they have put in to get it ready for the hydraulic test which it successfully passed.  The loco was steamed successfully on November 13th, albeit stationary.  We look forward to seeing her at Chasewater in the not too distant future.

Restoration Work – A small amount of work has been done at Hednesford on the E1 and coaching stock.  A start has been made on refelting the coach roofs, but has now been held up due to the weather and lack of manpower.  The small relics grow apace and receive the usual loving care from Nigel Hadlow.

Mention must be made of the wonderful job of restoration done to our Wolverhampton trolley bus No.616 by John Hughes and Robin Oliver.  These two members must be congratulated on their steadfast painstaking work in putting the interior back to its original layout.

Other than a couple of mentions for the Tote and the Annual Dinner that’s pretty much the lot for this edition.

Chasewater Railway Museum Sept-Oct 1966 Bits & Pieces 37

Chasewater Railway Museum Sept-Oct 1966 Bits & Pieces 37

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ Sept-Oct 1966, Vol. 5 No.5

mr-coach-22-3-1958.jpg

Midland Coach in 1958 near to the Manchester Ship Canal

Officers’ Reports

From the Editorial

The editorial this month will be short for there are other matters which take priority.  The AGM is one and you will find that one page is devoted to the AGM notice.

It is essential that as many as possible attend so please make a very special effort to be present at the meeting.  The next twelve months and the policy to be carried out will be debated at the meeting – your observations are of paramount importance to the society, be sure that your voice is heard at the meeting.

It seemed to matter back then…..

The society have negotiated the purchase of an ex Midland Railway 4-wheeled coach in an excellent state of preservation.  The cost of £40 is being borne by the funds.  However there are the removal expenses to be found and for this purpose I would like to appeal to you on behalf of your officials for help in this direction.  Any donations should be sent to Frank Harvey, it is anticipated that about £25 will be required at least.

From the Hon. Treasurer

 

Financially the society continues to hold its own although we cannot afford to let up on any money making schemes.  The Tote is certainly our best source of income at present (prizes ranging from £4 to £35.75) but we need to improve it by selling more tickets.  Do not hesitate to contact our Chairman if you require a supply of tickets.

Subscription renewals are being painfully maintained, and there is room for improvement here.  Prompt renewals help us to budget for the next year, for we then have a good idea as to how much we have to find from other sources.  I appeal to all of you to renew promptly and of course to introduce as many new members as possible.

Around the Clubs and Societies

London Railway Preservation Society:  The latest arrival at Luton Depot is Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST number 1865 built in 1925.  The loco is owned by D. Alexander and is on loan.  She came from Southall Gas Works.

Vintage Carriage Trust:  The Vintage Carriage Trust is shortly to add another coach to the collection assembled at Keighley.  It is an 1888 GNR six-wheeled brake third.

Scottish Railway Preservation Society:  The society has just acquired what is believed to be the last ex Highland Railway Co. goods vehicle.  It is a 10 ton brake van and it is at present at Newtownmore awaiting removal to the society’s museum.

Festiniog:  Further sections of the line are due to be re-opened shortly.  Another new coach is also nearing completion; this is the fourth to come from Boston Lodge Works.  A toilet is being included in the design for the first time.

The popularity of the line continues apace with over one million passengers being carried as at April of this year.