Chasewater Railway Museum – Short article from 1930 magazine

Chasewater Railway Museum

Short article from 1930 magazine

While perusing an old magazine, our curator cames across this article about a railwayman from Pelsall. We thought that it would be worth another airing.

Walsall.

On February 19 Ganger John Jones, Engineering Department, retired after 51 years’ service.  He commenced as tool-boy in No.3 extra gang.  After 11 years with the gang he was made sub-ganger, and three years later was promoted as ganger, which post he had filled on the Norton Branch, Pelsall, for 37 years.  He had served under 10 inspectors.

Photographer unknown

NORTON JUNCTION

 Situated roughly half way between Pelsall and Brownhills stations and originally known as Ryders Hayes this Norton Junction in South Staffordshire was by far the largest of the many that carry the name on the British rail network. It became so large because of enormous production of coal from the mines at Norton Canes and Cannock Chase. Wagons were brought down to the marshalling yard at the junction on National Coal Board lines, with coal board locomotives, to be marshalled into trains of the right length to make their journeys onward on the national rail network.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Littleton Colliery Leaflet – Only 30 Years Ago

Littleton Colliery Leaflet 

Only 30 Years Ago

This leaflet has just come to light in our Archives section, I thought it is worthy of reproduction.  Such a lot has changed!

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Thirty years on what’s left is a school, a housing estate and an Information Board – plus lots of memories.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – Chasewater Railway Publications No.4

Chasewater Railway Museum

Chasewater Railway Publications No.4

First posted Feb 1st 2010

From the March/April 1962 ‘Mercian’

Bi-monthly news sheet of the Midlands Area of the R.P.S.

From the Hon. Secretary’s notes and reports.

 

These notes were from the early days when the depot was at Hednesford.

tpo-h-ford

G.E. – Great Eastern, T.P.O. – Travelling Post office

 

News has been rather scarce this time.  I have only had articles from the Hon. Treasurer and T. C. Jones, it is difficult to keep making up copy and I do hope that members will co-operate and send in articles.  Otherwise the ‘Mercian’ will soon cease to function.  Pleas send in articles, no matter how small, copy must be sent in by the 8th May.

(Some things don’t change!)

 

 

Progress Report

A new siding has now been completed, the G.E.Brake is now stabled on this siding, this has allowed room for the T.P.O. and the Coal Tank to be moved further under the covered space, giving greater protection from the weather.  The whole scheme of the new siding was planned by the Assistant Depot Manager, John Elsley, the installation was very ably carried out by him and his small, but willing band of helpers.  New glass has now been fitted in the windows of the G. E. Brake, the toilet of the T.P.O is now in the process of being repainted, whilst the interior of this vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned.

Restoration Plans

We hope that the T.P.O. will be finished this Summer (on one side at least) this could easily be achieved if we had a few more willing expert hands.  Our woodwork expert Frank Harvey has had a considerable amount of new panelling to do, he is being ably assisted by Fred Lewis.  A considerable amount of painting has yet to be done on the T.P.O. so any member who is handy with a paint brush will be very welcome indeed.  The Maryport & Carlisle coach still has to be completely reglazed and we earnestly appeal to members for offers of glass

David A. Hives,  Hon. Sec.

Working Parties at R.P.S. Depot, Hednesford

The Society holds working parties every Sunday, these commence at 2.30pm.  There are however, a number of members who would like to attend working parties, but cannot attend those held on Sundays.  During the Summer we are hoping to recommence working parties on Saturdays and Wednesday evenings.  Would you please specify on the form below the days you wish to attend, and return form to the Secretary, alternatively contact by post card.

Terry C. Jones

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Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No.3

Chasewater Railway Museum

Bits and Pieces No.3

First posted  on 29-1-2010

This post is taken from the earliest newsletter found so far amongst the ‘Duplicate Magazine ‘ file.

I reproduced the first part just to show that our aims haven’t really changed in the last 50 years.

Taken from the Railway Preservation Society Newsletter, Feb 1961

What is our eventual aim?

It is obvious that we want to run a railway.  But what sort of railway is this to be?   What picture do we want to give to the general public?  We could push together a train, grab a piece of line and say this is a preserved railway.  But will it mean anything to the general public?

Each district will, inevitably, form its own collection of smaller relics which eventually we hope to show to the public in exchange for money.  As a railway enthusiast, a mass of cast iron plates, old faded photographs, tattered maps, dog-eared tickets and general bric-a-brac fascinates me and I can spend hours contemplating such a collection, but I would strongly suspect this would leave the general public with a feeling of mental indigestion and a fixed idea that railway enthusiasts are really mad.

Any preserved railway depends on the general public for the main part of its traffic.  We must study their interests and make sure that we attract them back and their friends to which they have passed a recommendation.  It must not be an overcrowded museum, but a ‘vintage railway’ — a living example of how the railways were run, laid out so the general public can see it tick.  The steam engine is to us a balanced collection of boiler, firebox, cylinders, pistons, crossheads, etc.  But to the ordinary man-in-the-street it is largely a mystery.  Our exhibits must be self-explanatory.  We must try to explain why the railways grew into such a complex system of competitive lines with so many odd connections.

I am not suggesting that we forget the railway enthusiast.  I am asking that we consider the picture we are presenting to the general public.  These points are not immediately applicable, but we should give consideration to them and encourage the artists and architects amongst us to sketch out their ideas on this basis.

Arrival at Hednesford of our T.P.O


This picture was taken from what is now the footpath round the back of Hednesford Park.  The building which the carriage is going into still exists but the walls and frontage have been bricked up.

January 11th (1960) was a red letter day for members of the West Midlands District when a 27 ton 1909 Royal Mail coach, purchased by us for £200, rolled into our Hednesford depot.

Sold by British Railways the 50 foot bogey coach, complete with letter pigeon holes and half-penny stamp post-box – as good as new – it has joined our other two museum passenger coaches, an 1895 Great Eastern Railway brake vehicle and an 1875 Maryport & Carlisle Railway coach.

The mail coach travelled up from Verney, near Wolverton in Buckinghamshire, and celebrated its historic run by charging up the batteries to give full lighting inside.  It was shunted into the depot sidings by an NCB tank engine.

Unlike the other two vehicles, the T.P.O. is too high to be placed under cover in our vehicle shed, but members are planning to lower the track to enable it to enter.

Final Passenger Train on the Churnet Valley Line

Frank Harvey

Twenty R.P.S. members were among the passengers to travel on the last train from Macclesfield to Uttoxeter by the Churnet Valley line of the ex-North Staffordshire Railway on November 5th (1960).

Some of our members had departed from Macclesfield early in the afternoon in order to break the journey at Oakamoor and again make the acquaintance of the station master, Mr. Lister.

Macclesfield was reached early enough for members to have a look round the town before returning to catch the last train.  Several relics were noted at Macclesfield (Hibel Road) station, including a NSR/LNWR boundary post.

Bellringers

The train left on time at 8.35pm behind Stanier 2-6-4T No. 42670.  The coaches were quite full, two of the enthusiastic passengers ringing handbells loudly for most of the journey.

A few people had gathered at nearly every station to watch the train depart, and at 9.48pm the train arrived at its final destination, Uttoxeter.  It marked the last moments of a regular passenger service on the Churnet Valley line for 110 years.

The  present Churnet Valley Railway is a volunteer-run organisation. The operating company, the Churnet Valley Railway (1992) plc, is supported by the North Staffordshire Railway Co (1978) Ltd., a Charitable Trust.

Activities recorded on film

BBC television news cameras have filmed activities at our Hednesford depot on two occasions in recent weeks.  Both items were shown on ‘Midland News’ and have done much to foster interest in the Society.

On the occasion of the first visit, members were shown at work on the restoration of the Great Eastern Railway coach.  Several of our relics, housed in the coach, were also shown.

The cameras were again at the depot on January 11th 1960 to record the arrival of the T.P.O. Several newspaper representatives also visited us for this event, a very full report of the work, profusely illustrated with photographs, appearing in the ‘Cannock Courier’

The Coalport Branch Line

Notes by D. Noel Draycott

This was one of three lines under consideration when looking for a permanent home for the railway.

On Sunday, October 23rd 1960, a small party consisting of David Ives, James Slater, T. Jones, Frank Harvey and myself visited the Coalport to Hadley line in North Shropshire.  Built by the London & North Western Railway, it runs from the very attractive Vale of Severn across high land and through an early centre of the iron and steel industry to a junction on the Wellington to Stafford line.

The branch had a terminus at Coalport Station which stands on a long shelf, part cut out and part built up on the steep bank of the Severn.  The station buildings comprise a booking office, general and ladies waiting rooms, backing on to the station master’s house.  The signal box was demolished and a ground frame installed shortly before services were withdrawn in 1952.  The goods shed has also been demolished, but the three short sidings remain in the yard.

Further along the shelf past the station, there is a carriage shed sufficient for four bogie carriages, and an engine shed for two locomotives.  These buildings are in fair condition, and the engine shed contains a large workshop space as well as a pit.  All these buildings back on to the hillside, and on the opposite side there is a pleasant stretch of wooded land before it falls steeply away to the river which forms the boundary of the railway property.

The line rises steeply from Coalport Station with attractive views across and up the Severn Valley before it turns away to cross pleasant rolling countryside to the small town of Madeley.  Here the station building is used as an office by an engineering firm, but the yard of some half dozen sidings is practically disused.

The line then continues to Dawley and Stirchley Station where a total of some 15 wagons of coal showed that an active coal merchant used the yard.  As dusk was falling, the tour of inspection finished at this point.  All the members of the party were impressed by the potentialities of the line for day trippers.

Before we left the area, we were fortunate to meet a resident interested in the line who presented the R.P.S. with smaller relics. These included an LMS inkwell, labels and official books.  We were very pleased to receive these on behalf of the W.M.D.’s collection of local relics.

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Chasewater Railway Museum – Another Flyer comes to light

Chasewater Railway Museum –

Another Flyer comes to light

This time it’s a Railwayana Fair and Bus Rally, held at the time, in the early eighties, when Chasewater railway was not running trains.

A few enthusiasts kept going at Chasewater trying to raise funds for the time when the railway re-started operations.

Flier Railwayana 1984

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Very Early Days at Chasewater – With thanks to Trevor Cousens and Ian Pell

Very Early Days at Chasewater –

With thanks to Trevor Cousens and Ian Pell

Photo by Laurence Hodgkinson
Photo by Laurence Hodgkinson

Chasewater Railway Museum – A 1991 Flyer for the Railway

Chasewater Railway Museum

A 1991 Flyer for the Railway

This double-sided flyer recently came to light in the museum.  It is now 25 years old and I found it to be interesting – I hope you do as well.

The running line in those days ran from the old Brownhills West Station (now in the middle of the M6 Toll) to the Willow Vale Bridge.  Push-pull obviously.

Front

Back

It will now be tucked away in our Chasewater Light Railway archives.