Category Archives: From the Archive

Chasewater Railway Museum – First published June 26th 2009

Chasewater Railway Museum

First published June 26th 2009 – There’s been a lot of comings and goings since then, so Maybe have another look!!


At last it’s happened – all the cases have lighting. 

No more watching our visitors pressing their noses to the glass to see what we have in our collection.  What a relief!

Our latest addition is a model of a locomotive boiler, based on a Royal Scot class loco.  849

Another of our newer items is a local warning sign, originally from the top of Ironstone Road,  from the level crossing above the ‘Rag’ public house.652

One  other local item is the train staff for the single line from Walsall Wood colliery to Norton Junction on the LNWR.  It’s the black one at the front.


Our museum is well worth a visit, so why not come along?  It’s free!

In a couple of weeks, 12th July, (2009) we shall be holding our model railway exhibition, and there will be one layout in the museum.

Next on the agenda, as far as I am concerned, is a laptop for museum use.  Life would be so much easier.  One has been promised, but when………?

We did get one shortly afterwards (not new) but now, in 2015, it is approaching complete knackered-up-ness!!

Chasewater Railway Museum – Museum Archive – An addition to our coal mining memorabilia

Chasewater Railway Museum

Museum Archive

Additions to our coal mining memorabilia
As you are no doubt aware, without the coal industry there would be no Chasewater Railway, as the original line was built for transporting coal, although passenger services were introduced from Brownhills to Aldridge via Walsall Wood. We are always glad to receive artefacts from the mining industry to display in the Museum.
Baths Invitation

The latest of such items to come our way are an invitation to the opening of the Pithead Baths at Wyrley No. 3 Colliery, Great Wyrley, on August 14th, 1954, and The Bather’s Handbook.
These items came to the Museum from a former employee of the Colliery, his first job after National Service with the RAF.







Bather’s Handbook and invitation to opening of pithead baths formerly belonged to Mr. Frank Tisdale.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Midland Royal Saloon – A Happy Ending

Chasewater Railway Museum

The Midland Railway Royal Saloon – A Happy Ending

The previous post stated that this vehicle was at Derby on a long term loan, giving the impression that it still belonged to Chasewater Railway – this is not the case – this post explains subsequent events.

Midland Royal Saloon

This unique example of Midland Railway Regal coachbuilding has been purchased by the RPS (West Midlands District) from British Railways at a cost of £300. This was only possible with a loan of £240 from a generous member.
The loan is being paid back at the rate of £10 per month to this fine member, who wished to remain anonymous. His name was released at the AGM but to save further embarrassment, we will not mention it in these columns, but let it be ‘broadcast’ by word of mouth.

inside-royal-saloon 2Inside the Royal Saloon

The final item on the agenda was the consideration of an offer from the Midland Railway Trust based at Butterley for the purchase of our ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach. The history of the coach was briefly outlined. The coach was on loan to Derby Corporation for a further 17 years and they had a 25 year option open to them after that.
The Trust have spent a considerable amount of money upon the coach so far and wish to finish the job properly but don’t feel able to unless the coach is their property. They reckon they will have spent well in excess of £10,000 on the coach by the time it is complete. Inside the Royal Saloon
As the Chasewater Light Railway Society was in a difficult position – in effect our hands were tied – it was decided to let the coach go. It was unlikely to come to Chasewater in the majority of our members’ lifetimes and, as in the case of the ‘E1’, if it had not been for the Railway Preservation Society then it would have gone to the scrap heap years ago, so at least some satisfaction could be derived from that. The coach is to be exchanged for the following:-
1. £600 in cash

2. Equipment surplus to the Midland Railway Trust’s needs, such as crossing gates, signals, ancillary equipment, etc., but in demand at Chasewater – to the value of £1,000 plus

3. The ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel Locomotive (S9632/1957) plus spares, which will be in working order when it arrives at Chasewater, hopefully before Easter.

december-1989-sentinel-2Sentinel 1989

Chasewater Railway Museum – an old favourite from Hednesford

Chasewater Railway Museum

An old favourite from Hednesford

We recently paid our first visit to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley, and after our first train ride it was a most enjoyable day.   I had heard the the Midland Royal Saloon had been restored there and was delighted to find it looking quite superb.

It was withdrawn from service in 1963 and was purchased by the Railway Preservation Society and taken to Hednesford.  The RPS had discussions with Derby Corporation, after which the vehicle was placed on a long term loan for eventual display at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley

Here are three photographs of it, the first while just out of service, the second at RPS headquarters at Hednesford and the third fully restored at Butterley.

Midland Royal SaloonCRC-01 - Hednesford RPS depot2014_08200170The carriage is in the museum – not Godfrey!!

Also at the centre is the beautiful loco – Princess Margaret Rose


Chasewater Railway Museum – From the Archives Folder

Chasewater Railway Museum 

From the Archives Folder

In the museum there are a lot of boxes containing archive paperwork, but these boxes have already been cleaned, dried and sorted by David Bathurst before I enter them on our database.  This folder is different – and so are the contents.  The boxes are sorted into companies but the folder isn’t!  When I first saw it, I thought that it was a folder of luggage labels – straight forward – but as I turned the pages I could see that not only were they not all luggage labels but they were also from different companies,  this made life more difficult as it was not straightforward but also a lot more interesting, with some companies I had never heard of and all sorts of information – I just had to read them all to see what they were all about!

Luggage Labels

Luggage Labels

I thought that they were all luggage labels like these!

Then the next one came along, an 1874 quote for rates to carry manure!!  I have stared at the word long and hard and can’t think of anything else it could be.


Then came the Great Western Horse Department!


Now,  an advice note from the Barrow Steam Navigation Company, dated 1899, for transport from Belfast to Skipton.


And finally for this time, an 1876  enquiry from the Bristol & Exeter Railway Company about the cost of transport from Staffordshire.  Asking how the 9/7 is made up.  That’s the old money version, in new money it’s 48p!


A Selection of Railway Posters from the Collection

A Selection of Railway Posters from the Collection

Mostly holiday destinations but also others of interest.

Some are in better condition than others and some will join those already on display.

Click on any picture for a larger version.


Handbills – Sports other than Football!

Handbills – Sports other than Football!

8435A Midland Railway trip to Doncaster, 1912


Anyone for tennis – LNWR off to Leamington


The Southern Railway off to Glorious Goodwood


The LMS going to the dogs!  Three times a week!


County Cricket via LMS


Over the sticks! Racing at Bromford Bridge by the LMS

Photos from the Archives – the old Brownhills West

Photos from the Archives

The old Brownhills West


A couple of photos of the old Brownhills West Station



Clearing out the old Brownhills West Station Yard




Before starting the new…5899

Handbills – Football Specials

Handbills – Football Specials

8502 Cup Final

Special buses to get fans home after the FA Cup Final, 1931.  Blues vs WBA – could happen again do you think??!!

8536 man u vs Villa Div2

Man Utd vs Villa in the old second division, 1937

8539 Leics Villa Div 1

1939 trip to Leicester to see the Villa play Leicester City in the old first division – Villa must have got promotion after the previous handbill!

(Division 2 Champions 1937/8)

Photos from the Archives – These are from David Ives’ Collection – Sans Pareil

Photos from the Archives

These are from David Ives’ Collection

Sans PareilOutside the shed

Sans Pareil is a replica of Timothy Hackworth’s 1829 locomotive which competed against Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ at the famous Rainhill Trials.

This locomotive came to Chasewater in 2001 and 2002 and proved to be very popular with railway enthusiasts and the general public alike.

Passenger train services ran between Brownhills West and Chasewater Heaths, alternating between Sans Pareil and Sentinel.Engine ShedOutside the loco shedLoading up at Brownhills WestLoading up at Brownhills WestChasewater HeathsChasewater Heaths

LakesideAt Lakeside