Tag Archives: Asbestos

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 57 – 1969-70 report

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 57  1969-70 report

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ September 1970

The Secretary’s Report for the past year, when the Hednesford Depot was closed.

 

Railway Preservation Society

Secretary’s Report 1969 – 1970

Arthur Chatfield Hon. Sec.

I seem to recall that in my last report I said that 1970 would be another story.  I did not anticipate that there would be so many chapters to write nor that we should pass a considerable number of milestones en route.

I find myself repeating all the old clichés as I sit and write this report, and I am keenly aware that it has not been easy to maintain an aloof position on certain aspects of the Society’s shortcomings this past twelve months.  I am certain that members regard me as somewhat pedantic, the slavedriver with a big whip, or whatever other picture has been conjured up when you have read some of my scathing comments made in the magazine, but let me hasten to assure you that those members who have come along as a result have, I think, been mildly surprised – if I may say so without appearing too conceited – to find that the bark is far worse than the bite.

The Society has to succeed and I strive hard for this aim, I hope that all members will do this in every way possible.  It is not always easy to do physical work on the site as I well know, but please do give a little more support each year apart from a financial one.

This year, how have we fared?  Taking everything into consideration we have done exceptionally well although we have not blown the trumpet too loudly.  We are being noticed and this is apparent by the ever increasing letters which are arriving from various organisations asking if official visits can be arranged.  Progress has been maintained and possibly the most important milestone has been the closing down of our Hednesford Depot.  Hednesford holds for me a number of happy memories of our early days.  However, it is no good being sentimental, we have to progress and I am glad that we are now able to concentrate all our energy at Chasewater.

P-Way work.

Progress – our efforts – what have we been doing this past twelve months?  I think this can be summarised as follows:

Last winter the track was completely relaid from the compound towards the level crossing on a new elevated bed of red shale.  The compound was also re-shaled, the last road (No.1) having just been completed.

Heavy repairs were commenced on the Barclay followed by Asbestos.  The Barclay was unfortunately pronounced unfit for further service, but Asbestos came through with flying colours and has since been in steam on several occasions.  Work is now in hand on the Neilson and it is hoped that she will be steamable for next summer.

Some of the carriages and wagons have received a lick of paint and this is helping to keep deterioration at bay.  Petrol No.1 was completely repainted and exhibited at Messrs Dormans Ltd’s Centenary celebrations in Stafford.

General repairs etc. have also been carried out to various items of stock and work has commenced on the interior of the LNWR bogie van.

The closing of the Hednesford Depot in May meant that the stock had to be dealt with quickly.  Fortunately the Coal Board came to our rescue and allowed us to store the items temporarily on a siding at their Cannock Wood Colliery yard.  Since then through the kindness of the Board all the four-wheelers and the Maryport & Carlisle coach have been transferred to our Chasewater site together with the loco ‘Cannock Wood’.

The two bogie coaches are to be transferred at the Society’s expense and should be at Chasewater by the time you receive this report.  The Coal Board have also offered to move the GER six-wheeler for us so this will leave only the Royal Saloon.

The future of the Saloon is at present being negotiated with the Midland Railway Project Group, and subject to stringent safeguards it is to be placed on loan to them for a period of five token years.  However, if negotiations come to nought, the Saloon will have to be transferred to Chasewater.

So much for the physical side of things.

Administratively thinks were a little haywire, but the troubles have been slowly sorted out and the system seems to be operating a lot better.  Possibly the major step has been the registration of the Light Railway Company, and this is commended to all those who wish to become a shareholder.  Mercian has not been all it was hoped to be, mostly due to a lack of correspondence but again this is an internal matter which may be solved by whoever sits in the editorial chair.

Well, there we are, I think that just about sums it all up for another year.  Quite a lot of notable achievements, plenty of scope for more and certainly no room for complacency.

My sincere thanks to everyone on the administrative side for their help and encouragement, particularly to our Chairman, Publicity Officer for producing the mag, and the Treasurer for their forbearance.

A very sincere thank you to the working party stalwarts and in particular Mike Lewis and Derek Luker – spare their blushes – for without their continued support I would have nothing to write about at this time.

We have a regular bunch of great guys who put every ounce of energy they can muster into the Society and I am hopeful that the number will be doubled and that great play will be made of this by whoever has to produce this report at the same time next year.

For myself it has been a worthwhile job, and I hope that the satisfaction it has given me personally to be in on all the progress made this tear has in many ways rubbed off on all of you.All photographs in this post came from the ‘Mercian’ September 1970

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 55

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Bits and Pieces 55

Asbestos with the Maryport & Carlisle Coach and GW brake van

The follow-on to the previous post.

Everything out of Hednesford

From the Mercian August 1970

Secretary’s Report

They said it couldn’t be done – but it was!!!  Done by sheer hard slogging and the aid of a clapped out tractor.

Little did I think that the Cadbury van and the two open wagons at Hednesford would not be moved by road and that what I jokingly referred to last time would in fact become a reality.  It was!!  Six – yes six – of us spent two nights digging the sunken track and point out of a couple of feet of hard mud and rubble so that we could hand-shunt the wagons off the siding and onto the main section where we could couple them up to the passenger stock for removal by rail.

Deadline was Thursday evening so we had only three nights to organise the job.  It took the whole of Tuesday and part of Wednesday to dig the track out and we managed to move one of the wagons along to the point ready for transhipment.  However it stuck fast and all our efforts failed to make any impression on it.  This did not auger well for the other wagon and the van and we were almost on the point of giving it up as a bad job.

Then we spotted the tractor and after making a few quick calls we discovered that it belonged to the President, albeit he thought it was out of action with some parts missing.  A quick tickle up by the Treasurer soon proved him wrong and all was set.  We found a length of hawser and soon had the first wagon over the point.  Our troubles were solved you might think but unfortunately they were not.  There was no rail beyond the point and the wagon had to be towed onto the semi-hard ground of the yard.  The point (stub type) would not budge so the next problem was how to line up the wheels for the correct road.  This we did by towing the wagon back onto the point and then jacking up one end clear of the rail.  The jack was then knocked away sideways so as to throw the wheel flanges onto the right side of the line.  After much trial and error we managed the first one and it was coupled up to the passenger stock.  The second wagon followed similarly and by this time it was getting dusk.  We held a council of war and decided that unless the van was moved then it would have to remain at Hednesford for ever.  Out came the hurricane lamps and we trundled the van down to the points.  By this time there was quite a groove in the yard surface and the van soon found the level.  We jacked her up and with some pushing and heaving and a tug from the tractor we managed to move her into the right line where she joined the rest of the stock at about 10.30pm.

How stupid – possibly this is your first thought – can some members be? But let me say right here and now that if it wasn’t for such stalwarts and in particular those six who struggled so gamely to do a very important job, the Society would be highly successful resting on the laurels and efforts of its armchair and featherbed members.

I DON’T THINK

Those three vehicles are now at Chasewater thanks to the six, but had it been left to our non-regulars then they would have rotted away at Hednesford.  Members should be thankful that we have a solid core of stalwarts who do care about the future and who will do something about it.

Stirring it up am I – you’re damn right I am.  Where were YOU when we ran our most successful steam weekend to date?  I refer to the 27th/28th June when we were operating a small service and an exhibition as part of the Aldridge/Brownhills Festival of Sport.

I understand from the Social Organiser that he sent 10/- worth (50p) of Draw tickets and appeals for help on the days of the Festival to all members living within a 20 – 25 mile radius of the site in an effort to boost the funds.  Needless to say the response – altogether not unexpected – was NIL.  A few members did manage to sell some tickets and the surprising fact was that most of these were members whose subs were due, and not paid-up members – to me a disgusting state of affairs.

We have about 120 members scattered about the country and I am fully aware that it is not possible for all of you to attend on site due to distance away.  We have certain members who regularly donate £5 – £50 when we need to raise money urgently, we have a member who purchased one of our locos for us.  I am not getting at these members or the faithful band that turn out regularly each weekend.

I am getting at the shower – there is no other word for them – who think we can run on their subs alone.  Like other Societies I think that we can manage without this type of member even if we only have 20 members who care enough to pull their weight when we need them to.

Reverting to the weekend, the weather marred the Saturday operations, however it was all systems go on the Sunday when, had we had about another 20 members available we could have made a very fat profit form the Draw from ticket touting among the crowd which packed the Park.

I have said it many times before and I will say it again, we MUST have more help when we run these steam weekends.  The next Open Day will be Sunday August 30th.  Make a note of it NOW!

We need quite a few hands between now and then for track repairs, stock repairs and restoration and a host of other jobs too numerous to mention.  Every Sunday afternoon from 2.00pm whatever the weather we can find plenty to do, so may we see you on site fully prepared to do a little hard work.

It is a pity that every time I prepare this report all I seem to do is belay a large number of members who are close enough to the site to be able to make at least two or three visits a month.

What a change it will be when the day arrives that I can report that the turnout on working parties each week has been 30 members and that they have now completely relaid the trackwork, the three coaches are fully restored and operational, three steam locos are available and a service will be operated each weekend.

There is no reason why this should not be so if members will rid themselves of their apathy.

Hon Sec. A.A.Chatfield

 

Now a follow-up from the General Manager’s stock news

Chasewater News

Apart from the usual lack of manpower things have been happening on site this past three or four weeks in preparation for the Festival Weekend and other events.

In the last issue I summarised the various jobs to be done and this met with a fair response so I will repeat it again this month.

Asbestos

I am pleased to report that she is now fully operational and was successfully steamed on June 20th on the occasion of the visit paid by the L.C.G.B  Under the able hands of Mike Lewis she was again performing for the Festival Weekend and proved quite an attraction.

Barclay

The boiler inspector’s report has now been received and he has condemned her boiler.  This means we shall have to either order a new one, which at this stage is financially out of the question, or we may be able to buy a reasonable second-hand one from one of three or four of the same class which are known to be still operational.  To help defray the cost we propose to sell the old boiler as scrap.  In the meantime the loco will be put back together as a static exhibit.

Neilson


Work will now be put in hand to strip this loco down for a boiler inspection.  We understand that the boiler is in good condition and that we should be able to get the loco operational by next summer providing we have enough man-power to work on her.  Mike Lewis will again be dealing with the job and he will need some assistance.  Any offers?

Hudswell and Lance

These will be kept oiled and painted until after the work on the Neilson has been done.  Again, any offers?

Cannock Wood

I am pleased to report that this is now safely at Chasewater having been delivered on June 26th.  It is unlikely that she will run in the foreseeable future as a new boiler will be needed if reports which we have are correct.  Work will therefore be confined to a thorough repaint and general restoration as a static exhibit.  This should keep a couple of members fully occupied for the next few months, so may I have some volunteers?

 

Diesel No.1

This is still out of commission, have we any members who are knowledgeable enough to work on her, please?

Diesels 20/21

Pic – Ross Lockley

These are both running now and are in need of a repaint.  I hope to make one or the other available fro this purpose during the next month or so.  It should not take too long to refurbish the paintwork on both of them and if any members would like to help then please contact the Secretary on site.  He will be supervising this part of the work.

Petrol No.1

Through the efforts of Arthur Chatfield who did the bulk of the restoration work on this loco, it was just about ready for display at Messrs. Dorman’s Ltd. exhibition in Stafford from June 22nd to July 4th.  I am grateful to him, for the hard work he put in on this project and for the assistance that he received from the Chairman.  The loco proved to be quite an attraction at Dorman’s and I am sure we may receive some benefit from the resulting publicity.

Other Rolling Stock

Apart from the stock already on site you will have read in this issue that the two open wagons and the Cadbury van have now been delivered to Chasewater.  These have also bee joined by the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the LNWR Brake bogie van.  The ‘Paddy’ coach and the TPO coach are due in the very near future and also the GER six-wheeler.   This will only leave the Royal Saloon, and the Committee have agreed in principle, subject to various safeguards, that this vehicle should be placed on loan to the Midland Railway Project Group at Derby.  Should the Group decline then arrangements will be made to transfer it to Chasewater.

From this you will note that all our assets will be at one site and there is a lot of work to be done on them.  John Elsley has already offered to repair the roof on the Maryport & Carlisle and to do other jobs on it so that it may be available for the Bank Holiday weekend.  A start has been made by Bob Ives and Phil Dunning on repainting one of the open wagons.  There is plenty of other work to do particularly reproofing jobs and if John Elsley can have two more members to assist him he is prepared to tackle the GWR Brake, the LNWR Brake and the SECR Brake roofs, so that they may be watertight before the winter sets in.

Another top priority will be the laying of the other siding in the compound so that all the stock may be put under lock and key.  It is imperative that this work should be completed as quickly as possible and as many hands as possible will be needed.  I should like to see this job done before the middle of August and if we can get a real good turnout we should be able to meet this deadline.  Is it too much to ask, in spite of the holiday period?

Well that’s about the size of it.  There is plenty to do and enough to keep 50 members fully occupied between now and the end of the year.  We can find plenty of tools and materials to do these jobs – what we also need are the hands to do them!

You have read what six members can achieve when pushed hard, please try and think what 30 regulars could do at a more leisurely pace if I could persuade them to turn up on site each Sunday afternoon for the next two or three months.

Won’t you give it a try?

A. Holden, General Manager, Chasewater Site.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 54 from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 54 from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

 

Rolling Stock Report

Chasewater Site

The following schedule of commitments refers only to the present stock on site; these will be greatly enhanced when certain other stock has been safely delivered from Hednesford.  We have a tight schedule to keep if we are going to provide a steam operated line this year and it is imperative that we get under way as soon as possible.

 

Asbestos

Boiler lagging and fittings have been removed and all applicable joints packed for a hydraulic test.  The initial inspection has been carried out by the boiler inspector who has okayed the boiler as fit, subject to some plugs being replaced and another test run before he issues the certificate.

The boiler barrel and underside of the tank are being red-leaded and painted.  Work is under the supervision of Mike Lewis who will need another two reliable assistants as soon as possible.  Work on lowering the tank, etc. will be done as soon as the boiler inspector has finished his tests.

 

Barclay – Colin McAndrew

This has been completely dismantled in preparation for repairs to the firebox stays by an outside contractor.  All the old tubes have also been withdrawn and will be replaced when the other repairs are done.  A lot of work will then be required to put the loco together ready for the boiler tests and final restoration including painting.  Mike Lewis is again supervising and needs two more assistants.

 

Neilson, Hudswell & Lance

Work on these three will have to be confined to oiling, greasing and generally touching up of paintwork, etc. until work has been satisfactorily done on the other two locos.  Volunteers are required for this.

 

Diesel No.1

This is at present out of commission with gear and clutch trouble.  Have we any reliable members who have knowledge of the workings of diesels and who could take this loco in hand?  Our regular fitters are already taxed to the limit with the other diesels.

 

Diesels Nos. 20/21

Minor repairs to the injectors and other routine work is well in hand on these two.  Both are due for a complete repaint and again volunteers conversant with the trade are asked to come forward.  Arthur Chatfield would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Petrol No.1

Cleaning down work is now well in hand.  This loco has to be ready for exhibition at Dorman’s Ltd., Stafford for week commencing June 22nd.  This leaves very little time for the two regulars seconded to the job.  More help is needed here; again, volunteers are required most urgently.

 

Other Rolling Stock

This has been lumped together because the variety of jobs required on most of the vehicles is almost identical.  Two of the coaches are sheeted over due to leaking roofs, anybody care to take on the job of re-felting them?  It will need at least two people.  There are also a considerable number of loose or cracked panels which need attention before they are painted in undercoat.  The running board on the Great Western brake needs repairing and re-bolting and of course a real good start on painting the interiors of the passenger stock would not be amiss.  There is enough work to allocate at least three people to each item of stock or a gang of five regulars tackling each item in order of urgency.  We cannot spare this number from the present compliment; we need more of you on site to help us do this vital work.

It may also be stated that there is a lot of work to be done to the Trackwork and again more help is needed.

No offer of assistance will be refused – this cannot be afforded.

A. Holden – General Manager, Chasewater Site.

 

 

Secretary’s Report from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

 

It seems that my forecast for the movement of the smaller items of stock from Hednesford to Chasewater was way off the beam.  Let me hasten to add that several snags cropped up which had to be examined with regard to the transport.

Those of you who are familiar with the layout of the yard at Hednesford will know that there is an acute angle bend to be negotiated by any road vehicle which is delivering to or conveying from the yard any bulky items.  This unfortunately precludes all but the smallest type of low-loader, and the one that we had lined up for moving the four wheelers would not go round the corner.

We have, through the good offices of our President, made another approach to a different operator and we hope that he has a vehicle which can do the job.  If this fails then we shall have to dig out the point to the spur upon which the wagons are standing, this having sunk into the thick mud, so that we can shunt the wagons onto the main siding for removal by rail with the other stock.  The Coal Board have informed us that they will move the stock up to Cannock Wood Colliery yard either the first or second week of May and we now await clearance from British Rail that the stock is fit to run over the line to the Colliery which is their property.  Once the stock is at the Colliery yard it will be put under lock and key in the compound and the smaller items, such as the six-wheelers, E1, and, if necessary the four-wheelers will be shipped from there to Chasewater by road as there are better loading facilities at the Colliery yard to manoeuvre a big low-loader.

I sincerely hope that my forecast that most of the smaller stock will be at Chasewater by the time you either read this or receive the next edition will in fact be true for we shall require some of it for use at the Festival of Sport and also for the late Bank Holiday in August.

To impress upon you the need for better turnouts at working parties, you will find included in this issue (following) a run down on the various items of rolling stock and brief details of work which urgently needs to be either started and carried through, or which has already been started and which needs completing.

It is an impossible task for the present working parties to cope with the amount of work available, and I plead to all members with cars to try and get along to the site prepared to put in at least a couple of hours graft.  The weather seems to be picking up so we must pray for plenty of sunshine as we rely on this due to the present lack of covered space where we can operate if it rains.  May I count on your help over the next few Saturdays and Sundays???

May I, before closing this report, welcome on your behalf our newly co-opted Social Organiser, Gordon Loach.  Gordon has had many years experience in running carnivals, garden parties and other such fund raisers, and with the help of his good lady Mrs. Loach and, we hope, a ladies committee, he will be able to bring a bit of social life to the society which is lacking at the present.

Hon. Sec. A.A.Chatfield

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 45 More Aug 1968 Mercian

Chasewater Railway Museum

Photo: Robin Stewart-Smith.

More from the August 1968 ‘Mercian’

Turner’s Asbestos Cement Co. Ltd ‘Asbestos’

Hawthorn Leslie 2780 of 1909

By Gerald Wildish

Many of you will by now have seen our splendid new locomotive.  Two years ago exactly to the day that she left Trafford Park, I first found ‘Asbestos’ – 15th June 1966.  She was not working on that particular occasion and had been specially hauled out of the shed for me and put in a photographic position.  She appeared in excellent condition.  On the occasion of my visit I learnt that she was likely to finish working that September, and I duly put in a bid for the RPS.  I was informed that the Society’s interest had been noted.

A little over a year later a letter arrived from Turner’s asking me if I would care to bid for the engine – I made an offer of £50, and shortly afterwards received a telephone call informing me that a scrap merchant had offered £100 – we could have her if we could reach that figure.  By this time we were in October and I was already engaged in trying to raise funds for the Neilson.  My reply said that if they could hold the locomotive until after our Christmas raffle, we would do our best, but I did not hold out a great deal of hope.  Considering all things, the raffle was a success, but we did not raise the sums necessary to allow us to move in two directions and I informed the Company that we would have to let her go.

My surprise could not have been greater, when Mr. Francis, the manager of the buying department, rang me to say that we could have ‘Asbestos’ free of charge.  Without doubt this was one of the happiest days of my life.  I made arrangements to go to Trafford Park to arrange the handover and had an excellent morning.  The handover was arranged for a date three weeks later when the presentation plaque could be fixed to the locomotive.

I could not have been dealing with nicer people throughout the negotiations, right from the time of my first visit to the works.  Our thanks must go to Mr. A.H.Wailes, the Works Director, Mr. T.Noble, the Purchasing Director, Mr. T.N.Chadwick, the Works Manager, who also arranged for the locomotive to be ‘done up’ for us during the week before the handover, to Mr. W.D.Francis, the Purchasing Manager, who dealt with most of the negotiations and Mr. S.McCormick.

Little is known of the history of ‘Asbestos’.  She was built by Hawthorn Leslie in 1909, for the Washington Chemical Co. in County Durham, where she became No.2, along with two other Hawthorn Leslies and a Fox Walker engine.  A further Hawthorn Leslie was added in 1918, and presumably replaced the Fox Walker.  In 1920, the Company became part of the Turner and Newall group.

In 1933, two of the locomotives were transferred to the Turner’s Asbestos Cement Company works at Trafford Park, becoming ‘Turnall’ and ‘Asbestos’.  Turnall was scrapped in 1965, leaving ‘Asbestos’ with two diesel locomotives (Planets).  ‘Asbestos’ was placed in store as the reserve engine in 1966 and presented to the RPS on 25th May of this year(1968);  she was transferred to Chasewater on 15th June, and started work in revenue service eight days later.

Photo: Oct 1985 – Tony J.Griffin

Photo – Russ Hillier

Chasewater Railway Museum – 2004 Royal Visit

Chasewater Railway Museum 

2004 Royal Visit

It’s full steam ahead – royal style

The Duke of Gloucester was in his element as he took control of ‘Asbestos’ – Chasewater Railway’s flagship steam locomotive.

With a blast on the whistle the Duke shifted the regulator and the steam engine edged forward.

For the next ten minutes the Duke indulged one of his greatest passions – steam trains – oblivious to the wired-up security agent positioned half-way along the section of track.

The royal visit to Chasewater Railway  was the third stop on the Duke of Gloucester’s tour of the area last Thursday (4-11-2004).

Accompanying the Duke in the engine’s cab were Driver Mark Sealey and Fireman Steve Williams.

Steve said ” He knew exactly where all the controls were, we didn’t really have to help him.  I think he would have liked to have gone a bit further down the track.”

Mark added “We talked about the engine and where it had come from and he asked us about the length of the track.”

The Duke also toured the newly constructed Heritage Centre where restoration work on Chasewater’s collection of railway carriages takes place.

And while in the Centre he unveiled a plaque to commemorate the visit.

Restoration engineers Jim Twigge and Don Mitchell chatted with the Duke.

“He is the kind of person you can speak with easily,” said Jim.

Don added ” We knew he was a train enthusiast and former architect.

Architecture and railways are his two passions.”

Before leaving, the Duke took an impromptu trip on a modern engine – the Parry People Mover – and the clockwork coordination of the event suddenly seemed at risk!

Station Master Eric Balaam remarked ” The Duke said it is nice to see people restoring the carriages for future generations to appreciate.”

As the bespectacled Duke in dark grey suit and beige overcoat climbed into his Jaguar, Chasewater Railway’s general manager Steve Organ reflected on the Royal visit.

“I think it has gone really well with this our first Royal visit.

This is a very significant milestone, giving credibility to the railway and enabling members to take a pride in it.”

Some photos from 8 years ago today – 25 April 2011

Some photos from 8 years ago today

25 April 2011

Selected by Google Photos

 

Click on a pic to see a larger version

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.

More from the August 1968 ‘Mercian’ Turner’s Asbestos Cement Co. Ltd ‘Asbestos’ Hawthorn Leslie 2780 of 1909

More from the August 1968 ‘Mercian’

 Turner’s Asbestos Cement Co. Ltd ‘Asbestos’

Hawthorn Leslie 2780 of 1909

 By Gerald Wildish

 asbestos at trafford park 2At Trafford Park

Many of you will by now have seen our splendid new locomotive.  Two years ago exactly to the day that she left Trafford Park, I first found ‘Asbestos’ – 15th June 1966.  She was not working on that particular occasion and had been specially hauled out of the shed for me and put in a photographic position.  She appeared in excellent condition.  On the occasion of my visit I learnt that she was likely to finish working that September, and I duly put in a bid for the RPS.  I was informed that the Society’s interest had been noted.

A little over a year later a letter arrived from Turner’s asking me if I would care to bid for the engine – I made an offer of £50, and shortly afterwards received a telephone call informing me that a scrap merchant had offered £100 – we could have her if we could reach that figure.  By this time we were in October and I was already engaged in trying to raise funds for the Neilson.  My reply said that if they could hold the locomotive until after our Christmas raffle, we would do our best, but I did not hold out a great deal of hope.  Considering all things, the raffle was a success, but we did not raise the sums necessary to allow us to move in two directions and I informed the Company that we would have to let her go.

My surprise could not have been greater, when Mr. Francis, the manager of the buying department, rang me to say that we could have ‘Asbestos’ free of charge.  Without doubt this was one of the happiest days of my life.  I made arrangements to go to Trafford Park to arrange the handover and had an excellent morning.  The handover was arranged for a date three weeks later when the presentation plaque could be fixed to the locomotive.

I could not have been dealing with nicer people throughout the negotiations, right from the time of my first visit to the works.  Our thanks must go to Mr. A.H.Wailes, the Works Director, Mr. T.Noble, the Purchasing Director, Mr. T.N.Chadwick, the Works Manager, who also arranged for the locomotive to be ‘done up’ for us during the week before the handover, to Mr. W.D.Francis, the Purchasing Manager, who dealt with most of the negotiations and Mr. S.McCormick.

Little is known of the history of ‘Asbestos’.  She was built by Hawthorn Leslie in 1909, for the Washington Chemical Co. in County Durham, where she became No.2, along with two other Hawthorn Leslies and a Fox Walker engine.  A further Hawthorn Leslie was added in 1918, and presumably replaced the Fox Walker.  In 1920, the Company became part of the Turner and Newall group.

In 1933, two of the locomotives were transferred to the Turner’s Asbestos Cement Company works at Trafford Park, becoming ‘Turnall’ and ‘Asbestos’.  Turnall was scrapped in 1965, leaving ‘Asbestos’ with two diesel locomotives (Planets).  ‘Asbestos’ was placed in store as the reserve engine in 1966 and presented to the RPS on 25th May of this year(1968);  she was transferred to Chasewater on 15th June, and started work in revenue service eight days later.

7423 B-Hills West 20-6-09

Brownhills West 2009