Tag Archives: Burntwood

Chasewater Railway Museum – 2011

Chasewater Railway Museum – 2011

A collection of photographs, mainly in the Museum, taken in 2011

Chasewater Railway Museum – May 2020 Newsletter

Chasewater Railway Museum –

May 2020 Newsletter

 

 

Industrial Railway Society Day at Chasewater Railway. 16-04-2011

 

Industrial Railway Society Day at Chasewater Railway. 16-04-2011

A look back at a proud moment for the Museum in 2011, nine years ago

Industrial Railway Society Day at Chasewater Railway.

 The Chasewater Railway was honoured to host the Annual General Meeting of the Industrial Railway Society on Saturday 16th April 2011.

The day started with the unveiling of the Eric Tonks Collection of locomotive nameplates and worksplates, this was, of course held in the Museum.Following this, and many photographs, a number of rides down the line with ‘Asbestos’ and ‘Linda’ taking turns in hauling the train.  I think that ‘Colin McAndrew’ was in steam later.Pic by oakparkrunner

The Marston’s Baguley diesel shunter and the Class 08 were also put through their paces.

There was a buffet lunch on the first floor of the Heritage Centre which was well appreciated – well done Linda and Mavis and anyone else involved.

The Annual General Meeting was held after lunch, followed by more railway activity.Pic by oakparkrunner

Our visitors’ book bears testimony as to how well Chasewater Railway’s efforts were appreciated.  Well done everyone.

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Chasewater Railway Museum and Heritage Centre – March 2011

Chasewater Railway Museum

and Heritage Centre – March 2011

A few photos from the Museum taken in March 2011, plus a couple in the Heritage Centre.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces 52

Chasewater Railway Museum

Bits and Pieces 52

Thirty Years Plus Ten

Travelling Post Office

Much as I enjoyed reading about Chasewater Railway in thirty years time, it never stood a realistic chance of happening.

After the cessation of coal traffic in the 1960s the line over the causeway was abandoned and the causeway itself fell into disrepair.  The track was lifted and passenger traffic suspended for a number of years. The main part of the 30-years-on idea had also gone missing in the intervening years – the line from the proposed Norton Junction to Norton Crossing.  The track which ran below the dam for the Swag pool was lifted and presumably sold for scrap.   The idea of a railway with a main line and a short branch disappeared.

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.

IN 1993 a successful scheme to restore the causeway was started.  About 120,000 tons of fill material were imported to the site.  This work was completed in 1994 and Lakeside Station was reopened in December. From 1985 till the reopening of Lakeside trains only ran push-pull from the old station to the Willow Vale Bridge.

Since 1995 a great deal of work has been done, firstly to extend the line to Chasewater Heaths and Chasetown.  Next came the new Brownhills West station and yard, to replace the old station and compound, now buried beneath the M6 Toll.  The engine shed was refurbished and another station opened at Chasewater Heaths – finally, so far, the Heritage Centre was built to hold the heritage stock and Museum.

The 30-years-on idea was not to be, it would have been fun in my opinion, and at that time, as stated in Post No.50, the rolling stock was owned by the railway – no steaming fees to be paid.  Of the stock mentioned in Post 51, the E1 left, never having steamed at Chasewater.  The Hudswell Clarke also has never steamed here – but it is still with us, although not owned by the railway. The Peckett went too, although we now have another one.  The Royal Saloon and Travelling Post office have also gone.

The Royal Saloon

Chasewater Railway Museum – Inside the Museum Coach

Chasewater Railway Museum

Inside the Museum Coach

(A while back!)

This was before my time at the railway, it always looks so clean and tidy!

Some of my old Chasewater Railway Photographs

Some of my old Chasewater Railway Photographs Taken circa 2007-9

Chasewater Railway Museum – Class 31 photos

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Class 31 photos

A few photos and a video clip of No 31203, owned by Les Emery, at ChasewaterJust after it arrived and later, after restoration.   The photos were given to the Museum by our friend Brian Nicholls.

Taken shortly after arrival, 28-9-2003

Taken in 2007

31203 being guided into the Heritage Centre by Jason Busby.  Steve Bray is on the far side.

I never saw the loco move under its own “steam”.

Chasewater Railway Museum – April 2020 Newsletter

Chasewater Railway Museum

April 2020 Newsletter

Chasewater Railway Museum – More about the Neilson Loco – 1968

More about the Neilson Loco

A Trip to Gartsherrie

From 1968 Mercian Vol.1 No.3

By Trevor Cousens

On Friday, 16th February at 6.00pm a small party consisting of Lawrence Hodgkinson, Mike Lewis and myself, departed from Chasewater in Mike’s 30 cwt. Van en route for Gartsherrie, near Glasgow.  The purpose of this trip was to purchase spare parts from the three Neilson locomotives remaining at Bairds and Scottish Steel Ltd.

A stop was made in Derby to pick up Steve Allsop, then we cut across to the M6 motorway.  The speed of Mike’s van was limited by a governor to 45 mph so the going was slow.

It was quite a relief when a stop was made at a service area for refreshment.  We made full use of the transport drivers eating facilities – in our overalls we did not really have much choice.  Back on the motorway we continued our journey northward.  I retired to the back of the van to try to sleep.  After rolling my sleeping bag out amongst several hundredweights of tools, bars, rucksacks and other bric-a-brac I tried persistently to sleep.  The noise of the engine and the tyres on the road, coupled with a sharp drop in the temperature precluded this.  I heard someone groan ‘snow’ from up front.  This is what we had dreaded.  A climb up Shap with eight inches of snow on the ground!!  After this, sleep was impossible.  I lay on my back and watched icicles form on the van roof.  About 3.30am on the Saturday morning the van halted.  After many gear changes, reverses and sliding of doors up front there was silence for a moment.  When I looked out we were parked on a small snow-covered country lane; fir trees on one side, a railway above us and the moon shining across snow-covered fields.  They had had enough for the evening, and Steve, Lawrence and Mike came aft for sleeping bags, blankets, camp beds and other items necessary for comfort!!  While the three sorted themselves out I got out with a camera and had a prowl around.  I found that we had parked practically under the West Coast main line at Beattock.

In front of us Brush type 4s pounded up to Beattock Summit, assisted by English Electric type 4s, 2s, and 1s on the night mail trains and sleepers.  One could not help thinking that there was something missing not seeing the flicker from the firebox silhouetting the fireman as he shovelled rapidly on a ‘Duchess’ at full pelt up the bank.

The others had comfortably settled down by now in the back of the van.  I chose the driver’s seat as I was sure that it could be no more uncomfortable than trying to lie down again.  With last reminders to wake up at 6.45 am to be in Glasgow for 8.30 am, we dozed off to sleep, a sleep punctuated by the clatter of trains over the bridge above and the wail of diesel horns as bankers attached and detached from the trains – we couldn’t have picked a quieter spot!!

At 7.00 am Lawrence and Steve spent 20 minutes trying to wake Mike, who seemed to be the only one who had really slept, despite the noise (still, he is a railwayman).  We slowly began to thaw out when we were back on the main road to  Glasgow, and the sun came out, picking out the snow-covered hills in a fiery pink light,

Arriving in Glasgow at 9.30 am we met the fifth member of our party – Gerald Wildish – who had travelled up on the overnight train from Darlington to Glasgow without any heating.

Neilson at Gartsherrie

After a meal we arrived at Bairds and Scottish Steel’s works about 11.00 am, where we weighed in and were directed to the loco shed.  We mat a Scottish RPS representative who was also buying spares for their Neilson.  After having a look at our Neilson tucked away in the workshops inside this gigantic, desolate steelworks, we proceeded to the engine sheds where we worked in pitch darkness with the odd brilliant ray of sunshine punching a dazzling beam across the shed, and with snow dripping from the smoke vents onto our heads.  We dismantled the spares from the three scrap Neilsons and filled Mike’s van with spare parts.  An amusing interlude was enacted when Gerald held tea-cups under the water crane to be washed out while I pulled the cord, drowning both the cups and Gerald in several hundred gallons of water.

The load was examined by Bairds and we were weighed out – 10 cwt. Of spares aboard.  We then proceeded to the coal mines at Gartshore where we saw the Scottish RPS Neilson and an Andrew Barclay still simmering next to a red hot brazier which we stood around for 15 minutes to warm ourselves before returning to Glasgow, to a hotel and a well-earned drink.  The hotel we had chosen to stay at was unfortunately a rather expensive one.  I think they were rather shocked to see four really scruffy individuals – black all over with soot and dirt and in need of shaves.  We were ushered up the back lift to two attic type rooms – but they had hot water and beds!!

The Saturday evening was spent feeding and drinking and we bade farewell to Gerald who was lodging in another part of Glasgow, prior to his departure back to Darlington.  We all turned in, forgetting to put forward the alarm clocks and so missing breakfast by one hour!!  Room service rang us at 10.00 am Sunday, and we cajoled the waitress to find us four late breakfasts.  At 11.00am we made a start back towards Chasewater, after buying all the Sunday newspapers.  We stopped for diesel at Lockerbie and continued south, the sun was beginning to thaw the snow and a thick mist was rising.  Suddenly out of the mist our way was blocked by two policemen!!  They directed us to the side, and asked why we carried no ‘C’ licence.  They asked to see the load.  When we opened the door what a sight must have met their eyes, with piping strewn diagonally across the floor of the van, a 20 ton lifting jack, and many other items, including a kettle boiling on a primus for tea!!  After lengthy explanations, the showing of membership cards, driving licenses, etc., we finally convinced them that we were law-abiding, but we could not help thinking of Gerald on his way home with the receipt in his pocket!

Arriving at Hixon at 8.00 pm Sunday evening, we unloaded the spares and drove over to Hednesford for a sandwich and a drink in the ‘Queens Arms’.  The rest of the RPS crew from Chasewater and Hednesford were there, and the tales of the week-end working parties were exchanged.  Mike’s van had changed colour from dark green to white as a result of the salt spray.

So ended a 700 mile excursion to salvage parts which we hope will be used to help keep our 85 year-old Neilson running.  If so, then it will have been worth while.At Chasewater – August 1969