Tag Archives: Asbestos

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces – No.97

Chasewater Light Railway Society

1982-1985

Newsletter January 1983

News from the line

Loco Shed

The loco shed is now completed and the engineering department has taken up occupation.  At present the shed houses the Sentinel 4wVBT, MSLR 6-wheeled coach and Asbestos.

The shed was built with the aid of a Manpower Services Commission Youth Opportunities Programme under the direction of Derek Cartwright. Unfortunately the scheme overspent by a sum well into four figures.  Whilst a small sum was inevitable on the end of the final scheme, the size of the present liability has to be met by the Company is of particular concern to the Directors.

West Midlands County Council Task Force

The Directors have chosen this as a means of achieving further developments at Chasewater, in the light of experience with the loco shed.  A special thanks goes to John Selway for getting the scheme off the ground.

The scheme is exclusively devoted to improving trackwork and associated facilities to a standard acceptable to the Railway Inspectorate.  This will entail the relaying of the track on the entire length of the line and the construction of a run round loop at Brownhills West Station. A material grant of £10,000 is available which has been earmarked for the purchase of rail and concrete sleepers.  Labour is provided by WMCC, who are also responsible for day to day administration.

Work on this scheme will shortly begin in earnest, with progress dependant on the weather conditions during the coming months.  This work will commence before the 1983 running season and it is likely that the running season will not start at Easter.

Asbestos

This loco will operate the first passenger train in 1983, after its prolonged overhaul is completed.  The loco will emerge in a new blue livery and will be fitted with vacuum brake equipment, which is a necessary feature of all future working locos.

Society members are currently working on the loco which is the first priority, ahead of the striping for boiler examination of the Sentinel.

That is the end of the Jan 1983 Newsletter, and considering the piece which follows, mainly taken from the history of Chasewater Railway, they really didn’t know what was coming!  There were no passenger trains from October 1982 until Spring 1985.  And, just as a matter of interest, ‘Asbestos’ in blue wasn’t a success either!

The Society had been proud to be represented at the Stockton & Darlington 150th celebrations in 1975 by the restored Maryport & Carlisle coach, but by 1982 things were not going too well at Chasewater. Vandalism and theft were rife, especially during the time when a Manpower Service Commission programme had been engaged on construction work for a new engine shed and some track work.

The Railway effectively closed in October 1982 when a miserable wet Saturday saw just two fare-paying passengers carried on the last train of the day. Although no trains were to be run for the foreseeable future, it was decided to soldier on behind the scenes as a Society. However, further problems occurred during a West Midlands County Council Task Force Scheme the following year when, after construction of a bay platform to accommodate the museum coach, the remainder of the platform was demolished by the Task Force – who then failed to return to rebuild and extend the platform as promised, for nearly 18 months.

It was not until 1985 that regular steamings began again, but in the intervening three steam-less years, membership had dropped by some 50 per cent. The Society deemed it necessary to prune its stock as it was realised that without an injection of cash, the whole affair might fold. The L&NWR Travelling Post Office went to Tyseley; a small “Planet” diesel went to Brian Roberts’ Tollerton Farm Railway, while individual members purchased two steam locos and one diesel loco in order that they could remain safely at Chasewater.

Working membership fell to single figures, but that small band succeeded in rescuing this early standard gauge preservation scheme from the brink of extinction. Subsequently, as described later, a new company was formed in 1985 – the Chasewater Light Railway and Museum Company – and achieved status as a Registered Charity.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.94

94 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

21st Anniversary Edition – 1

News from the Line

Loco Department

As a follow-on from the previous post, there is another comprehensive report on the locos, so I thought that I would reproduce it to check on the progress on the engines.

No.2 ‘The Colonel’

This loco finally entered service on Gricers’ Day, 12th October, after several test steamings.  Many repairs were carried out to the tank before it was refitted.  The loco appears to be very powerful and is mechanically superb and will come into its own when services are eventually extended.  The external finish however leaves a lot to be desired and it is hoped that the owners will rectify this in the near future.

No.4 ‘Asbestos’

Since the last report a vast amount of work has been carried out on this loco.  The boiler returned from Park Holland Ltd. in February after having the necessary fire box repairs.  Following this little work was done on the loco due to work on other engines but after mechanical problems with the ex MD and HB crane the wheels were despatched to the SVR wheel lathe at Bridgnorth and were back at Chasewater in October.  Their return signalled renewed vigour upon the loco and the wheels were stripped to the bare metal and given five coats of paint before the axle boxes were refitted.  The first weekend of 1981 saw the frames back on the wheels making the loco mobile again after eighteen months of elevation.  Following this the inside motion has been refitted and retubing of the boiler has started.  Hopefully the boiler will be hydraulically tested during the spring and refitted to the frames.  Although no firm date can be given, ‘Asbestos’ should return to steam this year.

No.7 (DL7)

The big Ruston has run trouble free most of the time and has earned its corn by performing several ‘master shunts’ over the last twelve months.  A rather garish ‘Bull inspired’ livery has been applied and has been met with the usual mixed CLR reaction to such creations.

I believe we should be told what the’Bull inspired’ livery was??

No.8 ‘Invicta’From Railway Forum, 1975

After another trouble free year the loco is in store until the new season starts at Easter.  Unfortunately the six-yearly hydraulic test is due at the end of June, immediately after ‘Transport Scene’ 1981 which will be its last appearance for a while.  The hydraulic teat will be carried out during the winter of 1981/82 and hopefully no problems should ensue.

S100

The dawning of a new decade saw the re-emergence of one Mr. T.R.Sale Esq. which has resulted in dramatic changes – i.e. the loco is completely strewn to the four winds!  The boiler was jacked up out of the frames and then lifted onto a flat wagon and finally deposited on a pile of sleepers next to the Great Eastern mess van.  The boiler inspector has been and shaken his head at three corners of the firebox and given instructions as to what must be done and where, which basically involves building up of wasted plate work and a dozen or so new rivets.  Following removal of the boiler the chassis has been dismantled and the wheels removed which are to follow in the step (?) of ‘Asbestos’ and spend a day or so on the Bridgnorth lathe.  Most of 1981 will be spent cleaning frames, etc. which should keep one or two people out of harm’s way!

No.12 ‘Sentinel’1992 D.Bathurst Collection

This is the first time that any progress can be reported on this loco which is the ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel loco No. 9632 of 1957.  The loco is still at Butterley on the Midland Railway Project Group’s line but following various excuses and delays the boiler has been re-tubed, successfully hydraulically tested and refitted to the frames and at the time of writing new pipework is being fabricated.  Current thoughts seem to indicate that the loco will finally arrive at Chasewater in June or July.  For newer members it should be explained that the loco (in working order) forms part of the exchange deal for the ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach which was agreed upon back in 1978.

No.20

This loco has been loaned to the Bass Brewery museum at Burton-upon-Trent for an initial period of ten years.  The main reason for this is that the engine is in need of a drastic rebuild and as the sister engine No.21 is in full working order (and newly painted) neither the time nor the money will be available to repair it in the foreseeable future.

Photo from British Locomotive Preservation – 1969

No.21

This loco is, as already stated, in full working order and was repainted by the Brothers Grimm to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the Society.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.90

Featured image – Bagnall ‘Linda’

Neison – Alfred Paget crossing the causeway

90 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Nov 1978 – 3

Future Plans

Company News from the Joint Meeting

This meeting was called to enable the Board and the Committee to agree on the immediate and medium term goals for the railway and the respective roles of the Company and Society in achieving them.  The meeting was well attended, long and friendly and resulted in total agreement on all points.

It was decided to aim to operate the train services to the beginning of the causeway by 1980 and to open the line throughout its present length by March 1983.  This would mean rebuilding the causeway, erecting fences, major clearing of undergrowth and the obtaining of a Light Railway Order.  New platforms at the north end of the causeway and the far end of the line were also planned.  To cope with the increased traffic that the longer line would generate, it was agreed that in the five years up to 1983 a minimum of three locomotives would have to be put into and kept in working order and three additional revenue earning coaches would have to be acquired.  It was hoped that when the line was open as far as the causeway, i.e. by the beginning of 1980, two trains would be in operation on busy days and when the line was opened throughout, not less than two trains, each with two coaches, would be working each operating day.

It was also agreed that work should begin as soon as possible on the erection of buildings to house the working locomotives and wooden bodied coaches.  By 1981 detailed planning for the main museum complex should start with a view to beginning fund raising in the summer of 1982 and work on the buildings themselves in the winter of 1983.

It was unanimously agreed that the Society was to have sole responsibility for the acquisition, restoration and preservation of items of Railwayana and that the Company would hold all fixed assets such as track, buildings etc. and concern itself with the running of the railway and the raising of capital and income for the project.

Thus the Company will play a vital supporting role to the Society whose original aims – the acquisition, restoration, preservation and display of items of historical railway interest – now becomes the aim of what has come to be called the Chasewater Railway Project.  The Company is to raise the money for the attainment of that aim.  The Railway will be the principal show place for the Society’s locomotives and coaches.

Asbestos with the Maryport and Carlisle Railway coach.

The STEPS Project

Everything seemed splendid after the meeting and I was duly told off and to write something for Ian Patterson to publish so that the world might know where we were going.  Publication was set for September.

In August one John Selway, a Zebedee-like creature who telephones me from time to time to see if I am still awake, said ‘had I heard of STEPS and if not, why not?’

The Special Temporary Employment Programme is a creation of the present Government under which they will pay the wages of men hired under approved schemes to do work of value to the community which would not otherwise be done.  A grant towards materials would also be payable.  The Severn Valley, Festiniog and Midland Railway Trust have all benefited from the programme.

Frantic discussions were held with the Manpower Services Commission who operate the programme.  They seemed very keen to have us.  After much discussion and some reservation the Board decided to apply for a STEPS scheme.  The principal reservation concerned the quality of the overall supervision.  This was overcome by the Manpower Services Commission agreeing to allow us to appoint our own nominee as the site engineer – to be paid by them – provided he became unemployed first.  The gentleman concerned will have handed his notice in by the time you read this.To cut a long story short, the scheme was applied for and approved for 52 weeks starting on the 2nd January 1979.  The Company will be employing up to 30 men to work on the railway.  The total wage bill, all paid by the Government, is £79,000, and in addition we shall receive a £5,250 grant towards the material cost of this work.  The scheme involves the reopening of the line throughout, including the rebuilding of the causeway and the erection of fences and platforms, by March 1980 – three whole years ahead of the rather optimistic date agreed at the joint meeting in July.

To cope with the administrative problems which the scheme will create, we have acquired a site office – a mobile portacabin kindly loaned free of charge for the duration of the project by Cox’s Plant Hire of Brownhills and a telephone has been installed.

Of course, although one major problem is now solved – the re-opening of the line – another is created.  To provide the additional capacity necessary to cope with the increased traffic that the longer line should produce – and thus make more money for the project – we have got to have three locomotives in steam and three more revenue earning vehicles.  The original date for this was 1983, at the earliest.  Obviously it would be wrong to say that we must have them when the line opens throughout in 1980.  However, it is equally obvious that we cannot realise the railway’s full potential without them and so the sooner we can get them the better.

When the line is paid for in 1979, some £1,200 – £1,500 will be left in the development fund.  Before we can operate the line at maximum efficiency and put up the two buildings mentioned above, at least another £10,000 will be needed.  It can and will be raised.  One way in which I hope to raise money is by running a development fund lottery for the next few years.  This will be quite unlike the old weekly tote.  It will be on a much bigger scale and will take place about three times a year.  Tickets will be sold principally to members of the public visiting the railway rather than by Society members to their friends.  Properly managed such lotteries should raise between £1,000 and £2,000 per annum.  I shall however need help with the sales of tickets and I shall be pleased to hear from anyone who would be willing to sell lottery tickets at Chasewater at the following times: the first operating Bank Holiday of the season, Sunday and Monday plus the next operating Sunday afternoon: Transport Scene Saturday and Sunday and the next operating Sunday afternoon: the Saturday and Sunday of the Model Railway Exhibition and Gricers’ Day.  How about you?

The Causeway, December 1992 – David Bathurst’s Collection

The Future What of the future?  Apart from the obvious delights of having two miles to operate over as opposed to 700 yards, much work must be done.  The Board will soon be considering the future of the Norton branch: the nature of the STEPS programme to follow the present one: the possible extension of the railway to the north and or south:  the museum and workshop buildings and, perennially, the raising of money.

All these are continuing evidence of the new sense of professionalism which has brought so much progress in less than two years.  We are all determined however, that this professionalism, which we must maintain, will not stop the railway being fun.  As Keith Sargeant said to me recently – we must never forget that CLR is our train set.  Quite true – but there is no doubt that the longer the line and the more bits and pieces on it, the more fun a train set is.

It is the Company’s job to provide the longer line and those extra bits and pieces.John Macmillan

Norton Lakeside, looking towards Chasewater Heaths – David Bathurst’s Collection

Some thoughts about the future from 1969.Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 51 and 52

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.89

89 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Nov 1978 – 2

From the 1978 AGM Report

The final item on the agenda was the consideration of an offer from the Midland Railway Trust based at Butterley for the purchase of our ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach.  The history of the coach was briefly outlined.  The coach was on loan to Derby Corporation for a further 17 years and they had a 25 year option open to them after that.

The Trust have spent a considerable amount of money upon the coach so far and wish to finish the job properly but don’t feel able to unless the coach is their property.  They reckon they will have spent well in excess of £10,000 on the coach by the time it is complete.

As the Chasewater Light Railway Society was in a difficult position – in effect our hands were tied – it was decided to let the coach go.  It was unlikely to come to Chasewater in the majority of our members’ lifetimes and, as in the case of the ‘E1’, if it had not been for the Railway Preservation Society then it would have gone to the scrap heap years ago, so at least some satisfaction could be derived from that.  The coach is to be exchanged for the following:-

1.    £600 in cash

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

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

The Hon. Sec’s. Report is reproduced below, being an apt summation of the present situation in which we find ourselves.

Hon.Sec’s Report 1977/1978

The twelve months since the last AGM have been very mixed with good news and setbacks at regular intervals.  1978 started very badly with the wanton vandalism of our ex Easingwold Railway coach.  The culprits who started the fire have not yet been apprehended and it seems suspicious to recall that the adjacent Go Kart Club has also been subject to two separate acts of arson in the last 10 months.

During the winter months other break-ins accrued to Society rolling stock resulting in the loss of several interesting relics.  However the local police force were eventually able to bring the two culprits to justice and the majority of the missing items returned.  Some £60 in value of relics was not recovered but as the Court awarded compensation to the Society we should eventually receive this money.

New arrivals during the year were the privately owned Hudswell Clarke side tank S100 which, following a complete overhaul which is expected to take another three years, should prove an ideal loco for working the extended services; the local chemical manufacturers Albright & Wilson Ltd. have placed on loan their 12” cylindered Peckett 0-4-0ST and it seems from help received from the Company so far that we might expect further assistance in the future.  The loco requires a major hydraulic exam, tank repairs and fitting of a steam brake before it sees regular use.  The final arrival was the five ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Birkenhead – an outright purchase by the Society for £432.

The Committee has given serious thought to the provision of covered accommodation at Chasewater and it is especially pleasing to record the purchase for nominal sums of two agricultural type buildings.  The first, the smaller of the two, has already been dismantled and brought to Chasewater; the other has yet to be removed from site.  We must now await the go-ahead for erection of these structures from Walsall Metropolitan Council.

Restoration work to locos and coaches has been fairly limited this year due perhaps in the main to the fact that various engineering projects and fund-raising activities have taken precedence.  However firebox repairs were carried out on the Neilson before entry into service again and routine maintenance carried out on this loco and ‘Invicta’.  ‘Lion’ to be renamed ‘The Colonel’ has had a start made on preparing for a major hydraulic exam, and S100 has seen reasonable progress in dismantling and de-tubing.  ‘Asbestos’ too is to be de-tubed and when this task is completed the boiler is to go away to Park Holland, who will raise the foundation ring a few inches to get round the problem of badly wasted corners and rivets in the firebox.  By far the largest expenditure on locos this year was the £460 spent purchasing 104 new tubes for ‘Asbestos’.

Several of our goods vehicles received coats of paint and roof attention to the box vans was performed during the summer.

The platform wall was extended during Spring Bank Holiday and with the recent Committee decision to extend the compound fence to include the platform, the platform can be set up to resemble an operating station at all times.  Another engineering project completed was the interlocking and signalling of the two compound points enabling train movements to take place in complete safety.

The news from British Rail that we could gain access to the loop with works trains from April 18h and full purchase likely by the end of July meant that a decision on the sale of the ‘E1’ had to be made.  Consideration was only given to previous enquiries and the Lord Fisher Loco Group based at Cranmore agreed to meet our minimum purchase price of £5,000.  The loco left Chasewater last Monday and restoration will commence this winter under cover in extensive workshops at Cranmore – the name and number plates and also the Rawnsley chimney are being retained by us.

Purchase of the loop has proved slower than expected and a lapse of a few more months now seems likely; however we now have the money immediately available when asked for.

Train services continued to operate on timetabled dates and takings were high on fine days; however wet or cold days affected the average takings.

The first Steam Spares Sale ever held by a Preservation Group went reasonably well considering lack of helpers, and a second such event is being held on ‘Gricers’ Day’ October 8th.

Our second Transport Scene was well supported by exhibitors but not by the public, again inclement weather did not help.  Let us hope that next year’s event is blessed with sunshine!

This year’s Model Railway Exhibition was also poorly supported by the public – an increase in takings at this event over the years has probably made us too casual as the standard of the Exhibition has definitely fallen over the last three or four years – perhaps a change of venue is called for?Chasewater Model Railway

The Chasewater Light Railway Company is currently negotiating for a grant under the Government STEPS Scheme to enable the rest of the railway to be brought into service.

ATV cameras were in attendance on the 15th September filming sequences using ‘Alfred Paget’ and goods stock for a programme to be shown in the ‘This England’ series early next year.

In closing, thanks go to all our members for their continued support, with special thanks to those who have contributed physical  and/or behind the scenes work throughout the year, readers of the Newsletter will doubtless have seen the same names recur on various projects so there is obviously scope for many more members to assist in whatever way they feel able.

B.J.Bull

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’