Tag Archives: Asbestos

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.80

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces, No.80, December 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 22 – Part 1

Barry Bull, Hon. Sec. of the Chasewater Light Railway Society, asked for his Secretary’s Report be included in the Newsletter and as it is a very good description of the state of the Society as a whole, here it is:

Hon. Secretary’s Report 1976 – 1977

The past year saw at least one intensive period of activity, this came during the final preparations for ‘Transport Scene’, general all round improvement was made in several directions during the year however.

Two locomotives were steamed during the year, ‘Invicta’ and ‘Alfred Paget’. ‘Asbestos’ being stripped for a major boiler test, the results of the first part of this test are unfortunate in that they show that repairs are required to the firebox, which could cost us a couple of hundred pounds to repair to the boiler Inspector’s satisfaction.  Both Invicta and Alfred Paget had repairs to the motion, re-packing glands, etc., carried out on them and both soldiered on.  Every steam loco on site had some paint or preservative treatment applied and this should help improve our image considerably, only Asbestos now looks really shabby.

The two ex. Worthington diesels also received attention and Planet No.1 was repainted.  Plans for next year include the overhaul of L & Y No.1.

On the rolling stock side of things, the main improvement came with the Chasewater Light Railway Company’s decision to have the DMU trailer repainted by outside contractors, this was duly arranged and completed in time for service on ‘Jubilee Weekend’.  The livery is maroon, with black underframes and grey roof.  Transfers and lining are to be applied by next season’s running.  Other important work carried out on coaches included the necessary re-panelling of our TPO.  Roof repairs were also carried out on this vehicle, but to date these cannot be said to be entirely successful.  Some of the goods stock was repainted also.  Unfortunately the heavy rain we had during a good part of the year did little to improve the paintwork on our two prize exhibits – the MSL and Maryport & Carlisle coaches.

The small relics collection continues to expand, albeit slowly, due to lack of available cash.  However one or two astute deals were pulled off during the year and we can boast the acquisition of some quite rare items because of them.  Several members have helped by taking home items to restore and a good standard of restoration has been reached on several items.  The ex. Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump was put back into a steamable condition, giving us an extra steaming exhibit on Transport Scene and Bank Holidays.

Much hard work was put into trackwork, this not being helped when the main pillar of the diesel crane suddenly snapped under the strain. The necessary repair work was carried out and the crane is now fit for service.  A point was laid in preparation for a storage siding to hold the works train, by our platelayers’ cabin.  The platform was extended and a lever frame installed on the platform, together with the erection of a fixed distant signal, albeit in a rather peculiar spot.  The platform area was also improved with the erection of lamp standards and installing several boundary markers and portable notice boards.

Train services operated on the time-tabled dates but poor weather on many days prevented the making of fantastic profits.

‘Transport Scene’ was obviously the highlight of the year, being easily the largest single event ever staged by the Society.  However, we must not allow the euphoria gained by this event to blind us to the fact that as a money raising exercise it can only be described as a moderate success.  Remember it was primarily to raise money that this event was set up.  In saying this, it was very pleasing to hear the many favourable comments of exhibitors and visitors alike.  It is to be hoped that we can cement our current good relations with several of the exhibitors at our ‘Gricers’ Day’ event on October 9th and indeed at another ‘Transport Scene’ in 1978.  Whilst mentioning exhibitions it is worth noting that the best profits yet resulted from our annual Model Railway Exhibition – these profits in fact approaching those made at ‘Transport Scene’.

On the Social side of things, regular monthly meetings were held in Brownhills during the winter.  An enjoyable and informative time was had by those who attended, but once again attendances could be said to be a little disappointing.  Several speakers from outside the Society have been arranged for the forthcoming season’s slide and film shows, so please support us and them with your attendance.  I must close with the most important item on our minds during the year – that is the purchase of the BR owned loop.  The price of £5,400 has been agreed between British Rail and Walsall Metropolitan Borough and we hope to get access to the line around next January.  Much work remains to be done before we can run a regular service on this section and this work will obviously cost money – this, coupled to the fact that we must pay for the track plus the Council’s pound of flesh in increased rents puts us in a somewhat embarrassing position.  Our Chasewater Track Fund has not been very successful due probably in part to too few people having time to push it, so may I ask those who feel they can help in any was to contact the Society.

B.J.Bull – 17.9.1977

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No. 76

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 76 – April 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 19

Editorial

With the operating season nearly upon us, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the same few regular volunteers will be responsible for the operation of the railway during the coming season.  Appeals for extra help during the closed season have had the usual minimal response but the usual crowd have ensured that the railway will reopen as scheduled on the 10th April.  In many ways the RPS is the Cinderella of the operating preserved railways, but it reflects great credit upon the dozen or so people who have turned up week in, week out, enduring rain, sleet and snow, that we have entered our sixth season of steam-hauled services, which promises to be our most successful yet.

Locomotives

Pride of place must go to the ancient Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’.  Although built as long ago as 1882 it passed its steam test on 17th March with flying colours.  This was the result of much hard work by the engineering department in re-machining parts of the motion, which had earned it the nickname of ‘shake, rattle and roll’ in some circles.  The planned repaint for the Neilson has had to be delayed due to the adverse weather conditions.

‘Invicta’ the Andrew Barclay saddletank has passed its visual inspection and now awaits re-assembly of cab fittings, etc., and then a steam test before re-entering service again.  Its owner is still threatening to complete its restoration by giving it a uniform coat of Great Western green!

Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ repairs are beyond our financial resources at the moment and so it has been put to one side until we have the necessary cash.

The next major locomotive job is to strip the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in preparation for its major hydraulic test.  The two Worthington diesels have had repairs as and where necessary and are both serviceable at the moment.

Lion in 1978 with ‘Colonel’  Plate

It is pleasing to report that the Company are financing a complete repaint of the DMU trailer coach by a local firm of contractors, in the early stages of the season.  The expected final livery is grey roof, crimson lake bodywork and black underframe and running gear.  Great progress has been made with regard to trackwork with the construction of a point for a siding at the crossing.  This took less than a month despite the fact that the recently restored petrol crane broke its main shaft whilst lifting the first piece of rail into place.  Several crossing timbers were obtained by our general manager at a bargain price.  Ballasting and packing has been completed, considerably eased by the use of the tractor and bucket scoop, kept in trim by Brian Hames.

The footings of the lever frame have been laid.  The necessary walls should be built during Easter week, enabling the platform to be extended to its full length.

Other work carried out on site has been mainly in tidying up in preparation for the coming season.  A scrap drive resulted in a load of scrap being sold to bolster the Society’s coffers.  The sale of the engine out of the scrapped J4 van realised £25.

The Travelling Post Office has been partially re-roofed, with more to follow to make it water-tight again.  Re-panelling of this vehicle is to commence when the weather becomes drier.

The visit to South Yorkshire area of the Coal Board 9mentioned in the last Newsletter) was not entirely unsuccessful, as, although we failed (only just) to obtain the locomotive ‘Beatrice’, the Hon. Sec. was successful in obtaining many locomotive spares, notably boiler tubes and firebars from Rockingham Colliery.

Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary FundNo.110 Southern No. 4

Not a lot to report this month, but ads in Railway Magazine have been paid for to counter the apathy amongst Society members.  A rather neat handout has been produced and is obtainable.   Certain preservative work has been done on the locomotive and a repaint is planned before the high season.  More help and money is urgently needed for this project to succeed.

Track Fund

Negotiations within Walsall Council continue and a final decision is awaited.

The Chasewater Light Railway Company has awakened from its apparent siesta and a general meeting will shortly be arranged.

Meanwhile all members are urged to take up the offer of buying a yard of track, as the success of this fund will decide the fate of our Society.  Albert Haywood is the person to contact regarding the track fund and every £10 donation is certified.

Museum

Thanks are due once again to Mr. Clift of Chase terrace, who has donated a 25 ton locomotive jack, once used in the Central Workshops at the far end of our line, and a pile of magazines for resale.  On the museum front latest acquisitions have included a Great Western and Midland Railway joint cast iron notice and two very nice bridge numbers of Manchester South Junction and Altrincham and West Riding and Grimsby Joint origins.  Smaller items include a GWR paycheck, an LNWR (Walsall) paycheck, an LNWR 1894 handbill, LSWR carriage blind, a small GWR cream jug complete with crest and six LMS tickets, mostly from the Brownhills area.

The March meeting was a slide competition and there were close on 100 entries of varying quality, though every entrant had at least one slide in the last twenty.  The competition was won convincingly by Nigel Canning’s photo of ‘Asbestos’ taken from within the dark confines of the cab of the Hudswell Clarke.

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 Video Clips

Not strictly Museum items but it’s nice to look back sometimes.

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.66 April 1975

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.66 April 1975

RPS Newsletters No. 12 & 13, Jan – April 1975.

Again two for the price of one! – But sadly no number 11!

From No.12

Neilson 0-4-0ST

This locomotive has had a stationary steam test and the reports prove very favourable.  Derek Luker informs me that the next step will be valve gear and motion.  We should see this loco in steam with ‘Asbestos’ this season.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Work steadily progressing but more help is needed as the carriage must be ready for August this year for the Stockton & Darlington Anniversary.

Track Laying

Work has now commenced lifting track.   The track bed will be re-aligned and the rail relaid, sleepers will be replaced where necessary.  This job must be completed before commencing the season’s running.

North Eastern Railway Van

A hasty repair job was done to the roof of this vehicle.  The canvas roof loading flap was ripped to shreds during the weekend gale of Saturday 25th January.

Mr. J.C.James of Liverpool recently acquired a station bookstall from the Birkenhead Railway.  This has been delivered to Chasewater and should prove a useful item.  Our grateful thanks to Mr. James.

Notes from Barry Bull, Hon. Sec.

The two meetings already held were quite well attended with 25/30 people on each occasion.  There were to be two further meetings at Aston University , one in March about ‘Main Line Steam’ and the other in May about ’Spanish Steam in 1963’. This to include both main line and industrial steam, and some real antique British built locos.

Sales Stand

With another season ahead we have been busy obtaining items for the sales stand.  In the past we have had to rely very much on the generosity of members in donating second-hand mags, etc. for resale.  In recent weeks our thanks must go to Nigel Canning, Rob Duffill and Laurence Hodgkinson for giving many suitable items for resale.  If any other members have any photos, relics, magazines, etc. which they would like to donate or perhaps sell at reasonable prices, would they please contact the Hon.Sec.  It is worth recalling that sales for the last 12 month period to July 1974 together with social activities raised £274 – remember ‘Sales Support Steam’.

From No.13

We are now attempting to get ourselves geared up for the season’s running, the actual news will follow in items listed below. All members will sympathise (after a period of considerable and very cruel laughter!!) with Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. who unfortunately broke his ankle playing football during February.  Barry, although partially immobile, has managed to get over to Chasewater and cleared the decks for action in the sales portion of the LNWR brake (It takes more than a broken ankle to keep Barry away from his vacuum cleaner!!). He is of course doing an immense amount of work on the correspondence side for the Society.  We all wish Barry a speedy recovery.  I know he is itching (!) to throw those crutches away.  Just a final word on this matter, may we advise Barry, in future, it is far safer at Chasewater RPS site than playing football on Sunday afternoons!!

Asbestos

I understand from the loco dept that this engine will be in trim for the forthcoming season, let us hope that it will be a busy one!  PS Two tubes were hastily fitted on Easter Monday morning!

Neilson

I am also assured that this locomotive will also be assisting with the season’s traffic later this year, a few last minute snags have yet to be sorted out.

Trackwork

In spite of the inclement weather, our usual stalwarts have been very busy lifting track, the bed is being levelled by Colin Vincent with his bulldozer and should be relaid during April. This effort is very praiseworthy, our sincere thanks to all participating in this hard graft.

Birkenhead Rly Bookstall

It is hoped to assemble this bookstall as a ticket office and sales stand this season.  We are of course short of volunteers for this operation, more about manpower appeal in a later item.

Maryport & Carlisle CarriageMaryport & Carlisle Carriage with No.21 – D. Bathurst Collection

Work is going ahead slowly with this vehicle, due in the main to the weather, and the call for manpower on other jobs.  The carriage has to be ready for the 150th Anniversary at Darlington, by the end of July at the latest.  Volunteers for painting please!

DMU Trailer Coach

A thorough cleaning of the interior is taking place, in readiness again for the 1975 running season, this should be completed by Sunday April 6th.

Manpower, Womanpower Appeal!!

May we once again appeal most earnestly for manpower during this special year, viz. the 150th Anniversary of Passenger Railway Travel (Stockton, Darlington 1825).  We have plenty of restoration jobs, and in particular, a list must be drawn up for the train operating crews.  Vacancies for firemen, Guards, Stewards on trains, sales stand and ticket issuing and collector staff.  Members should report to the General Manager and Chairman Derek Luker or any senior member deputising in his absence.  Please come and help if only for a couple of times this season, we desperately require extra help this season!

NCB Slotted Signal, Cannock Wood CollierySlotted signal at our old Brownhills West Station, 1978 – D. Bathurst Collection

This signal has been kindly donated by the NCB, it will eventually join our collection of NSR and LNWR signals at Chasewater.  The NSR signals came from Pinnox Crossing, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent and were also donated by the NCB several years ago.

Discussion at Chasewater

Loco spares, carriage spares, etc., this will be held on Saturday afternoon 3.00pm , 19th April 1975. All members are invited to attend and comment.

Littleton Colliery Visit – Engine in Steam

Saturday 17th May 9.30am.  Brake van trip down the line.  Members wishing to attend contact Albert Haywood.Littleton No.5  Manning W ardle 0-6-0ST

Canal Boat Rally

Birmingham Navigation Canal Society, 10th and 11th May 1975.  Catshill Junction, Lindon Road, Anchor Bridge, Brownhills.

Dave Ives, President.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

RPS Newsletters No. 7 & 8, March – June 1974.

Again two for the price of one!

From No.7

Spring is now with us and with the longer evenings, so the work at Chasewater increases.  In spite of the bitter cold snap just recently, it was blowing a strong easterly across the lake, it did not deter our usual band of stalwarts working on ‘Asbestos’ getting her ready for the Easter steaming.  The Society should be very grateful to this tough stalwart crew working in these conditions; we have no warm engine shed like some of the larger groups.  I am sure that absent members will join me in a warm ‘Thank You’ to these chaps.

Asbestos

Asbestos was trial steamed on Sunday March 17th, two tubes blew during this trial, and work is now going ahead fitting new tubes and other minor repairs, prior to another trial steaming on Sunday, 31st March.  As stated previously, Derek Luker and his team worked in bitter conditions to complete this essential work!

General Spring Clean

A general tidy up has now begun on the site, but further volunteers are required if we want the compound really tidy, ready to receive visitors at Easter.

MS & LR Carriage

John Elsley is still pressing on steadily with this vehicle, another compartment has been restored, and we should have a splendid vehicle ready for display this season.

LNWR Passenger Brake

A start has been made cleaning down the other half of the brake by Rob Duffill; the restored half has been repainted in gloss by Barry Bull and Rob Duffill, and looks very respectable.

Track Maintenance

A start has been made clearing the track of heavy vegetation, the bushes at the north end of the line have been cut back to allow easy passage of trains.  We do require more volunteers to keep our track in good working condition.

Among ‘Dates for the Diary’ was a reminder to members who wished to attend an Open Day at Littleton Colliery on 18th May, 1974.Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

From No.8

We are now running a regular train service on Sunday afternoons, the first and third Sundays are steam hauled and the second and fourth Sundays diesel hauled – Bank Holidays will be steam working.

We had a record number of passengers over the Easter holiday, Easter Monday broke all records I’m pleased to report, our grateful thanks to the train operating staff and booking office staff for a really splendid effort.  We were very short of members over the Easter, this was probably due to members being on holiday themselves.

Collectors’ Fair

Held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock on April 13th and was a huge success.  Our very grateful thanks to Andrew Louch and Barry Bull, organisers, and to the members and ladies who helped in no small measure, a special mention to Paul Mason, who provided the P.A. equipment.  A truly great effort all round.  Thank you to everybody concerned.

Sunday, April 7th

A double deck bus load of enthusiasts from M & GN descended on the Light Railway, it was a case of stretching the manpower again, some members being involved with the stand at the Stafford Railway Circle exhibition, which was again well-attended.  I understand that the visit was enjoyed by all the visitors.

Neilson 0-4-0ST

Work is still progressing well on this loco.  The bearings have now been re-metalled and skimmed, the boiler has been re-clad.  Final work on repairing and painting the saddle tank is progressing well.  Thanks to our dedicated band of workers: Derek Luker, Brian Hames, Keith Sergeant, plus several of our junior members.

Asbestos

Continues to do sterling service, a few minor repairs have been affected, namely a spring hanger which broke during running, this has been welded and replaced.  Also leaking clack valves have been repacked.

Diesel Locomotives Nos. 20 & 21

No.20 is now looking quite resplendent after a complete clean-down and repaint.  The team responsible for this splendid effort is:  Nigel Canning, Steven Foster, Ian Patterson and Adrian Pearson.  No.21 is now receiving similar treatment, the start being made by Iain Smith on one of his weekends from Edinburgh.  It is a pity that a few more local members do not follow his example.

Coaching Stock

The MS & LR carriage is looking very resplendent, John Elsley informs me that he intends to install the original seats recovered in new maquette, this will cost in the region of £150, just a little idea of the inflationary spiral and the way it hits us all!  The Maryport & Carlisle carriage – Andrew Louch is replacing a few panels, the guttering has been refitted, and a complete repaint is envisaged this summer.  It is anticipated that this vehicle will go on show at the Stockton & Darlington Centenary and a Half celebrations in 1975, providing that the necessary funds are raised.

The Open day at Littleton Colliery has been postponed until 17th August.

Congratulations  to Rob Duffill on his forthcoming marriage in July.  May we wish Rob and Margaret every happiness for the future.  Rob is one of our stalwart members, serving on the committee and in a truly practical way.  Also congratulations to our hard-working treasurer Lawrence Hodgkinson on his promotion to the board of the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd., with this goes the directors’ fee of £0.00, as a fellow director I forecast that we can easily double that next year!!

Compiled by Dave Ives and printed and published by Lawrence Hodgkinson.

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

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.