Tag Archives: Alfred Paget

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.82

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 82 – March 1978

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 23 – Part 1

Editorial

The operating season is now a mere fortnight away as I write this Newsletter and despite a fair response to the appeals in the last Newsletter, the purchase of the line is still as precarious as ever.  To date we have raised £1,200, less than 25% of the total amount of £5,400 required.  It is quite clear that some drastic action will be required during the next six months in order to effect the purchase of the line, the favourite course of action amongst the ‘hard-core’ at Chasewater being the sale of the E1 locomotive ‘Cannock Wood’ for reasons already expanded upon in these pages and elsewhere.  Suffice to say it is time for those who care to stand up and be counted (many members already have) or accept the consequences.

(No, we haven’t!)

News from the line

Much activity during the winter has been centred upon putting in a new siding leading up to the platelayers’ cabin.  Access to this siding is controlled by a two lever ground frame which marks the start of interlocking on the railway.

It is intended to extend the siding up to the crossing at a later date and outline planning permission is available for construction of a building over the siding.

The present end of the siding has a railbuilt buffer stop – another first at Chasewater.

Work is now concentrated upon improvements to the two points leading into the compound and the installation of their associated control gear which will, in due course, be controlled by the platform lever frame after the running line has been slewed to clear the extension to the platform.

The extension to the platform will be built once the worst of the frosts are over.

The platform fence has been painted black, Midland style, and a box-van body is being acquired to be used as a waiting room and to provide some much needed shelter.

The bookstall now sports a new roof, by courtesy of Adrian Pearson, and it is actually waterproof!  The brothers Grimm have been noticed performing strange exercises which, apart from resulting in the bookstall being repainted in Midland Railway colours, are reputed to be in readiness for the ‘forthcoming influx’ (of visitors I presume!).

The rear compartment of the DMU coach has undergone refurbishing, which has included repainting the roof, seat frames and heating ducts, re-covering the seat backs and a thorough clean.  The rest of the coach is to receive similar treatment next winter.

(I don’t know if it’s just my reading of this section, but it gives me the impression of being much more optimistic than past articles.)

Locomotives.

Invicta – this is currently being prepared for the new season, its yearly boiler test not being due until July, when it is hoped to give it a final top coat of paint.

Alfred Paget & Invicta – Gricers’ Day 9-10-1977

Alfred Paget – currently being prepared for its annual boiler test and it should be back in service by May.

Asbestos – The hydraulic test will take place within the next few weeks, when a final decision will be taken as to whether the necessary firebox repairs can be afforded.  Hopefully the money will be forthcoming as ‘Alfred Paget’ is due for its six yearly hydraulic test next year.

Work involved entails lifting the saddle tank, stripping of boiler cladding and lagging to expose the boiler, repairs to the saddle tank and overhaul and refitting of all boiler and cab fittings. Mechanically the loco is sound. The loc is to be renamed ‘Colonel’ using the nameplate off the now scrapped Hudswell Clarke loco, latterly at Granville Colliery, as a pattern.

Lion – Following a change of ownership, plans are being made to give this loco its six yearly major boiler test during the summer, with a view to steaming it at the tail end of the season.

05406 The Colonel 0-6-0ST HC 1073-1914  at Granville 12-6-1964

The name is doubly appropriate as ‘Lion’ started its working life at Woolwich Arsenal, whilst the name ‘Colonel’ conjures up visions of Colonel Holman F. Stephens the godfather of light railways, and who would probably be highly delighted at the current set up at Chasewater.

Long standing members will recall that the loco was originally purchased minus safety valves.  Happily the recent sale of loco spares held at Chasewater was of particular value, as a pair of Ross pop safety valves were obtained suitable for the loco.

It is considerably less than pleasing to report that on the afternoon of Monday 23rd January someone broke into the compound and deliberately set fire to the brake end of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln coach.  There can be no doubt that this was a deliberate malicious action and if it wasn’t for a sharp-eyed resident of Hednesford Road then every wooden bodied vehicle in the compound would have been razed to the ground.

The damage is estimated to coast at least £1,000 to repair.  Allied to this fire, has been the theft of several items from the museum coach on three separate occasions.  It is interesting to note that all three break-ins occurred during the school holidays.  Two vacuum gauges, lettered MSL, were not recovered from the wreckage of the coach, though it is of small comfort that they were, in fact, BR gauges with false lettering.

The nature of the break-ins suggest that the person(s) responsible were familiar with the way things are run at Chasewater and the nature of the stolen items suggests that they knew what they were after and knew where to get it from.

The Police have been informed, but as it was the 270th crime reported in Brownhills in the first five weeks of the year, it is unlikely that they will have any success.

Changing the subject, it is indeed pleasing to report the acquisition of two more locomotives for use at Chasewater.

More about these next time!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.74

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 74 – Feb 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 18 – Part 1

From the Editorial

Recent activity at Chasewater has mainly centered on general maintenance, including some considerable tidying up of the entrance to the compound.  Footings for a lever frame have been dug at the present end of the platform and we now await some good weather to mix the necessary concrete.  The flat wagon on which the petrol crane sits has been re-timbered and strengthened and the crane itself has had some much needed maintenance.  On the locomotive side, work has been centred on the Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’ which has been re-assembled after its boiler test.  The coupling rods are at present dismantled to enable the crosshead slippers to be replaced with a spare pair which have been re-metalled.  It is hoped this will cure some of the knocks emanating from the front end of this engine.

Neilson in 1978

Extracts from the report of the visit of Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate to Chasewater on 22-7-1976.

1.    Major Olver stated that he was quite satisfied with the present mode of passenger operation at Chasewater.  He asked that a facing point lock be fitted at the end of the main running line.

2.    When the tipping within the park has stopped, a concrete raft with the rails set into it should be installed at the road crossing.

3.    There is a major problem of trespass in the region of the causeway which is used as a public right of way.  This problem must be looked into in detail before the Society even thinks of running trains along this section of line.

4.    The arrangements for repair and restoration of locos are perfectly satisfactory.

5.    In reference to the need for a Light Railway Order, Major Olver explained that the section of line owned by British Railways was a statutory railway and therefore a Light Railway Order was needed to transfer its ownership.  He went on to say that common sense indicated that any Light Railway Order obtained should be made to apply to the whole of the Railway.  The Railway Inspectorate and Railway Administration side of the department will be happy to advise on the question of the Light Railway Order at the appropriate time.  Major Olver suggested that the most satisfactory solution may lie in the precedent set by the West Somerset Railway, which would be for Walsall Metropolitan Council to obtain the LRO and to incorporate it into the leasing arrangements.

6.    Training for drivers – the present arrangements were far from ideal as the Society relies on its own resources to train drivers.  Major Olver stated that drivers should be passed out by an independently qualified supervisor from either British Railways or the National Coal Board.  Major Olver explained that in the case of an accident there should be no room to question the basic abilities of the loco driver to drive the locomotive efficiently.  At the present time this was not proven.  Editor’s Note – This was the only point on which we were criticised and steps to rectify this are underway.

News on the purchase of the line

The executive committee heard that the Council couldn’t purchase the land and track until the 15th July.  There appear to be two present options:

1.    The Council buy the loopline and we repay £1,400 rent for ten years.

2.    We buy and pay a nominal rent to the Council.

Much discussion is at present taking place amongst members on this question and further suggestions are welcomed by contacting the Hon.Sec.

The Stroudley E1 Restoration Fund

E1 at Cannock Wood

This body is the result of the meeting held at Chasewater on 22nd January.  Only nine people turned up to this meeting, perhaps indicating the level of interest for this project within the Society.

The first aim of the Society is to raise enough money to purchase the E1 from the Society, a figure in excess of £3,000.  There are now four Societies at least, interested in buying the E1 if the RPS has to sell it.

£155.50 has so far been raised and local press coverage has been good but due to the lack of local interest the appeal must go national.  Offers of help, monetary or otherwise, should be sent to Mr. Albert Haywood.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 72, December 1976

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 72 – Dec 1976

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News – Part 1

From the ‘Editorial’

Less than 24 hours ago, I was standing in the compound with a group of members, discussing the lack of recent Society literature, when jokingly I suggested I could piece together a newsletter.  Well here I am trying to write one.

Sincere apologies are due for the non-arrival of ‘Chasewater Express’ No.3, due to printing problems, etc.  Hopefully the next edition will revert to the magazine format, which has produced some favourable comments. (Sorry folks – it didn’t!).

Much activity has taken place at Chasewater during the long dry summer and the short wet autumn.  No less than three engines have been seen in steam at Chasewater this year, a record for the Society.  It is estimated that over 8,000 people visited us, so there is every confidence of getting into five figures in 1977.  ‘Alfred Paget’ the Neilson 0-4-0ST handled the bulk of the season’s traffic faultlessly (well almost!),

Alfred Paget and Invicta

whilst ‘Asbestos’ was steamed on a couple of occasions, but succumbed to rotten tubes in August and so was taken out of service pending the annual boiler inspection.

The big news however has been the completion of the overhaul of ‘Invicta’ the Barclay 0-4-0ST and its use in service pulling the vintage train on a couple of occasions at the end of the season.  Already it has proved to be quite powerful, despite its somewhat diminutive size.  Many thanks are due to Mike Wood for the purchase of this engine.

The boiler inspector has visited the site and passed ‘Alfred Paget’ and ‘Invicta’ for use next year, subject to steam tests.  Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ is due for a major test entailing the removal of tank and lagging, so it may not steam next year, for the first time in five years. 

Paget with Asbestos

It is hoped that work will start on the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in the New Year, so there is plenty of work for anyone interested in loco repairs – don’t be shy, come and volunteer to strengthen our loco fleet.

Both ‘Invicta’ and ‘Paget’ are to be repainted prior to next season.  The little Barclay, ‘Lion’ and the Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST have been repainted this summer, considerably improving the ‘scrap-yard’ image of the compound.  The planned repaint of ‘Asbestos’ will also be done, made easier by the need to dismantle it.

The other major scene of activity has been the current terminus of the line where the burning embankment has been dug out and refilled with non-combustible material.  The track here has been slewed across to avoid placing stress on the edge of the embankment.  Further relaying has taken place using concrete sleepers, extending the line by 50 yards or so.  Many thanks to Colin Vincent for the loan of his bulldozer.

Further relaying has ceased pending purchase of the loopline from British Railways.  It seems that the purchase will have to be completed without financial aid from the Council in view of the current economic and political climate (sound familiar!).  To this end several interested bodies have offered substantial sums of money for the ‘E1’ locomotive ‘Cannock Wood’. A subject of much heated discussion at the moment. (See separate letter. In the next post – cws). The selling of E1 can only be done as a last resort, if all other means fail.  Any sensible suggestions regarding fund-raising, etc. should be forwarded to the Hon. Sec.

Other progress has been seen with regard to re-fencing of the compound following two break-ins, when £40 worth of relics were stolen from the museum vehicle.  The police have the addresses of the probable culprits so the items may be recovered.

Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate visited the line and was reasonably satisfied with the current state of affairs – the full report will appear in the next magazine.  It is to be hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will finance the repainting of the DMU coach, so that it can match the current excellence of the two six-wheelers.

The Model Railway Exhibition held in September was another financial success, though the level of help, especially of the Friday night, was poor.  Many thanks to Andrew Louch, the organiser and to Mr. and Mrs. Duffill for the refreshments.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 70

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 70

From the ‘Chasewater Express’ April 1976

A poem which follows on from the previous post

The Neilson without nameplates and Asbestos

Neilson  – complete with Alfred Paget nameplates

One of the ‘Puddings’

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No.69

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 69

More from the ‘Chasewater Express’ January 1976

Editorial

The Editor wishes to state that he is in no way responsible for the ensuing passages, which emanate from the pen of a Black Country ex- butcher who nowadays works (?) for the only railway company in the country which is known to have in its stocklist a few hundred Brush 4s, a couple of dozen class 87 locos, etc.  Spelling and grammatical errors are his, not mine.

The Restoration of a Rusty Beast

Or

The Gospel According to Keith Sargeant

One particularly wet and generally normal Chasewater morning whilst shovelling (rubbish!) out of one very rusty coal bunker, I thought ‘will this thing ever go again?’ ‘’Course it will’ cried D.Luker, as he walked by for the tenth time that morning.

Well, it does go now and I will attempt to show how it was done.

In the winter of 1973/74, the boiler was stripped down and cleared of all the rotten lagging upon it, the firebox was cleared out in the space of one Sunday, the smokebox, however, was a completely different matter.  A very crude but effective spark arrester was cut out, never to be replaced; the next four hours (was!) were spent devoted to the removal of the blastpipe which was only held in with two taper cotters.  Evidence of neglect was showing through, on removal of the blastpipe a cup of tea was summoned and obtained.  ‘I’m not working on that thing in the rain any more’ Derek grunted through a sort of mist that arises off Chasewater tea.

The next weekend was devoted to building a ‘Tent’ upon the loco and fitting electric lights up to work on the loco in the dark.  Once it was completed, three weeks were devoted to clearing off the front tube plate.  To our horror, Derek’s clearing off of this revealed that the tube plate was less than half its original thickness for most of the lower 3” and non-existent at the flange with the barrel.  The smokebox bottom, which is formed of an extension of the boiler barrel, was also gone without trace.  A very awesome sight that left us wondering if the knuckles we had lost were lost in vain.

Work was suspended while Derek went cap-in-hand to the man with the money to ask for £300 which the Society had not got.  The remarkable thing was, they gave it to him.  He then got in touch with a bloke what mends boilers and after lengthy discussions with our boiler inspector and the boiler mender it was decided that the boiler was in such a good state that it was worth spending money on expensive repairs to it.  The contractor’s job was to replace 13 1” rivets and build up the smokebox tube plate to its original thickness and build up the corners of the firebox likewise.  This work was carried out in the space of three days, and restoration by Society members then re-commenced.

During the repairs, 10 flue tubes were replaced – bloody good ones they were too.  All boiler fittings were overhauled and replaced.  The regulator valve was taken home by Derek to Stafford where his neighbours were worried at the sound of him grinding ‘IT’ on the hearth rug.

The boiler was hydraulically tested and passed with flying colours.

Now with the boiler out of the way, the mechanics were looked at – ‘Boy, what a mess!’

4 tattered main bearings, 2 seized pistons, no side rods brassed, 2 valve spindles worn like egg-timers, and a partridge in a pear tree – PEAR TREE! Oh yes Boyo, we spent a few hours in there sampling the delicious tremblings, Boyo!

Work was suspended from the summer of ’74 to the winter of 74/75 fro work to be done on ‘Asbestos’, and also we built a workshop containing several mechanical works of art enabling Derek and Brian to while away the winter months machining the main bearings.  When they were done and fitted, the loco was lowered back on its wheels, the boiler was lagged and the tank was found to have more holes in it than a hairnet!  Six weeks were taken filling these in – we found the rest when it was on the loco!!

The loco was re-mated with the tank and the (Barkeus? Sorry, can’t decipher – Editor) nicely patched up and painted a delicate shade of black and red.  Now we had what looked almost like a steam loco, it was then decided to borrow the lubricator off of the Hudswell-Clarke.  This is where Brian Hames came into his own.  His short, Coal Board figure was just the ticket for getting round the little bits of engine that get in the way when you are laying lubrication pipes all over the place.  After that was done a steam test was made, the boiler steamed well and the injectors worked like two humming birds.  After eight months derelict and 18 months stripped down, only one leak in sight – and a very tiny one from a blown joint at that!

Now the moving parts.  As she stood they listed two seized pistons and valves, two weighbar shaft bearings (ready for a gallop) and one very rusty steam brake valve, complete with bent brake gear (a relic from Bruno days).  Something tells me I have (Sorry about this next bit of indecipherable script – Ed.) Wol’t fhat Bit a £ove –

After re-metalling the four main bearings and weighbar shaft brasses we set to putting it together again, first the pistons and valves, the valves took a lot of buggering about with and a great deal of patience on Derek’s part.  The siderods took about twelve weeks to fit as we had to make all the brasses from a similar but younger loco.

When Alfred Paget (as we had decided to call it) was back together again and had been made to look respectable with the aid of two gallons of black paint, we steamed it – what a day!!

06.30 we lit the fire and raised steam Lewis fashion (slowly – Ed).  By 11.00 we had got 50 lbs of steam, and it would not budge – what had we forgotten to do, I thought?  ‘Give it a nudge’ said a very dirty and unhygienic NCB Brian.  So we did.  Chuff, chuff, wheeze she went, like a ‘Super D’ with not a bit of trouble.  The brakes didn’t work  for a few weeks until they were worn in – but now we have one beautifully repaired Neilson 0-4-0ST loco of 1882 vintage and it was in steam for the 150th Anniversary to boot!

No mention yet has been made of the carriage and wagon tapping fraternity who are a body of MEN?? Who delight in making life difficult for us engine bashers.  Still, as I haven’t mentioned them before, I won’t bother now!!

Jotted by the most photographed driver at Cheesewater and published by the Keith Sargeant Appreciation Society.1975 Open Day – He’s in the middle! Andrew Louch on the right, with Brian Hames on the left.  Thanks Bob.

Summary of dimensions

Neilson standard 14” design

Weight: 28tons

Overall length: 23’ 7”

Height: 10’ 10”

Boiler Pressure: 120 lbs/sq.in.

Tractive Effort: 8885 lbs.

Cylinders (Outside) 14” x 20”

The original ‘Alfred Paget’ – Newspaper cutting from Sue & Diana Windsor

The original ‘Alfred Paget’

Newspaper cutting from Sue & Diana Windsor

The original ‘Alfred Paget’  0-4-2ST No.204/1861, acquired new by the Cannock Chase Colliery Company, 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.

‘Alfred Paget’ – the Neilson version.- 2937-1882 0-4-0ST, 

 

 

Two of the newspaper cuttings from Sue and Diana Windsor’s donation.

Two of the newspaper cuttings from Sue and Diana Windsor’s donation.

An unusual view of the Coppice Colliery (Fair Lady) at Heath Hayes.  Certainly one that I hadn’t seen before.

Coppice Colliery, Heath Hayes (Fair Lady)

The Transport Scene at Chasewater in the early days.

This photo shows Neilson loco ‘Alfred Paget’ and Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ with The MSL coach.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Another photo on the Causeway

Chasewater Railway Museum

Another photo on the Causeway

7176.15

This time the Neilson – 2937/1882 carrying the ‘Alfred Paget ‘ nameplates –  heading a freight train  of wagons in various liveries (including rust!), with the Cannock Chase Colliery brake van – affectionally known as the ‘slum’  bringing up the rear.

CCCC Brake Van

This brake van has now fallen into major disrepair, with the chassis collapsing and breaking the sole bars.  The interior of the van still remains dry.  It has had a few coats of paint over the years, but, as the last known item of rolling stock which actually ran on the line in the mine-working years, it seems a shame that more cannot be done to restore it.