Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.8.
RPS Newsletter Vol 1 No.3
Early days of the Railway Preservation Society
(West Midlands Division)
( Later to become Chasewater Railway)
The General Secretary’s page discussed the setting up of a Carriage & Wagon Section, to include as much information, as detailed as possible, about vehicles which are still used as well as those no longer seen other than in photographs.
On looking forward to the continued expansion of the RPS over the next 50 years, I wish to express the view that it will be desirable to reproduce the trains of main and branch lines at different periods in the steam age.
Settle & Carlisle Railway
Assuming that it may be possible to acquire such secondary main lines as Settle – Carlisle, Exeter – Plymouth, Midland & South West Junction Railway, and Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway among others, in the event of them being closed by British Railways, which occurrence is not entirely without the bounds of possibility, the running of semi-fast and local services forming scenic excursions and conveying intermediate traffic would be possible.The bridge carries Pine Road over the old S&D trackbed (closed 1966) to the east of the site of Corfe Mullen Halt (closed 1956). © Copyright David Spencer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
In this connection the point to stress is the need to acquire a few of the older express types such as the ‘Sandringhams’, ‘King Arthurs’, ‘Patriots’ and ‘Schools’ which are threatened with extinction. Whatever weight restrictions exist on original branch lines to be acquired let us at least endeavour to save a few more typically British express engines before it is too late.This bridge crosses the dismantled Midland and South Western Junction Railway just west of Notgrove. It is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the Jurassic limestones exposed here. © Copyright Tamara Kwan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
It is also obvious that the efforts of various small preservation societies dedicated to the saving of one particular branch line would be better used within the united effort of the RPS as not all such branches could hope to survive by themselves. The selection of branches in each area could then be carefully considered.
The point concerning all lines is that ‘period’ trains reproducing the locomotives, rolling stock and livery of, say, a Southern ‘Green Train’ or a 1930 ‘East Anglian Express’ could provide not only variety and colour in a standardised age, but would be in itself a strong appeal.
Of course this is assuming that the RPS becomes a railway company at some future date. But why not? Will someone design a suitable crest to super-impose on ‘period’ liveries?Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
West Midlands District
About 20 people met at the Station Hotel, Stafford, on Saturday 21st November for the inaugural meeting. The General Secretary opened the meeting and sketched out the reasons leading to the formation of the RPS and future plans. He explained that this was the first District to be inaugurated and though the general outline had been planned out, the detailed application of this would be the concern of the WMD committee.
Mr. D. A. Ives, who has been acting as Secretary, gave a report on progress to date. He reported that membership was over 25 and that they had received a good response from individuals contacted. The first step was to secure a small depot in a convenient locality, where relics could be stored and members work on their restoration. The ideal site would contain a certain amount of covered accommodation as well as rail space for carriages and wagons. He believed the support was there in the West Midlands, it was only a question of publicity and personal contact.
The committee to serve for the current year was then elected.
Future plans were discussed and the decision taken to launch a publicity campaign leading up to a public meeting in the New Year. The site of the public meeting was fixed as being Birmingham, but emphasis was laid on arranging future meetings in different towns to give better contact with the public and members.
Three reporters attended the meeting, leading to reports in the ‘Stafford Newsletter’ and the ‘Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel’.
The public meeting was fixed for Saturday, March 5th in the Small Theatre at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Paradise Street, Birmingham at 2.30pm. Everyone welcome.