Tag Archives: Cannock Chase

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 75

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 75 – Feb 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 18 – Part 2

On 26th January Barry Bull, Adrian Pearson and myself (Ian Patterson?) journeyed up to the North Yorkshire area of the NCB to inspect some redundant steam locos for possible purchase.  On the way up we visited Rom River Engineering of Lichfield and noticed the unique Kerr Stuart diesel alongside the ex-Cadbury’s North British diesel hydraulic.

Further north we passed the Butterley Headquarters of the Midland railway Project Group.  I understand from Derek Cartwright that our Royal Saloon, at present on loan to the Group, is at present undergoing considerable restoration at Derby Carriage Works.

The first colliery we visited was Ackton Hall at Featherstone.  This revealed a surprise in the form of Bagnall Austerity No. 2746 of 1944, which had arrived the previous week from nearby Prince of Wales Colliery.  This loco is of great interest to me because it used to work over the Shropshire and Montgomery Line.  The other engine at the colliery was the purpose of our visit, being No.S119 ‘Beatrice’, a 16” inside cylindered six coupled loco built by Hunslet, No.2705 of 1945.  This engine was in excellent condition, the fitters confirmed this, wishing it wasn’t for sale.  This engine is of the same class as ‘Robert Nelson No.4’ and others which worked at Littleton Colliery.  We also enjoyed a trip down the line to the BR exchange sidings on a diesel with the chief fitter, who told us several interesting facts about the history of the colliery and its locos.

The next colliery visited was Parkhill Colliery which revealed S102 ‘Cathryn’ a six coupled Hudswell Clarke side tank No.1884 of 1955 of the PLA Class.  This too appeared in excellent condition but inspection of the boiler report confirmed to the worst our suspicions about its firebox which needed well over £1,000 worth of repairs.

‘Monckton No.1’

Passing under the footbridge into a very quiet looking Embsay station – possibly the last train of the day? Note the bunting on the station and the stone flags through the gap by the ticket office and cabman’s shelter.

(c) Tom Ireland

North Gawber Colliery revealed a rather battered Austerity Hunslet 3212 of 1945, which was unlikely to be saved.  The same colliery also revealed another Austerity ‘Monckton No.1’ HC 3788 of 1953 which is spare engine at the colliery.  Out of the three on offer, we have bid only for ‘Beatrice’, an engine of ideal size for use at Chasewater.

The recent ARPS meeting at York was also of interest, several RPS members travelling up on BR, who managed to put an engine with no form of heating at all on the front of the train!

The National Railway Museum is well worth a visit, but the display of small relics is very poor and if the officers there care to visit Winchcombe Museum they will see what can be done with railway bric-a-brac.

David Ingham from Bury, Lancashire, England

One of the two preserved Princess Royals, 6201 Princess Elizabeth at Castleton East Junction signal box.

The meeting itself was of interest as the Annual RPS Award was given to the Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society, a sister group of the RPS, for their efforts in restoring ‘Lizzie’ to main line condition despite enormous odds.

Well done the ARPS in choosing such a worthy group of so few members as opposed to one of the larger, richer groups, and Well Done the ‘Lizzie’ Society, in achieving such a remarkable feat.

It is pleasing to note that the Police have recovered many of the stolen objects from the museum vehicle, though the fact that the culprits were aged nine and ten is not so pleasing.

Recent acquisitions have included:

1.    A diamond weight restriction sign of Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation origin (once owned by MSLR)

2.    An Oxford Canal Navigation sign.

3.    Sharpness New Locks and Gloucester Canal Company weight restriction sign

4.    Two different sets of six official LNWR postcards from the early 1900s.  One set depicts castles and the other, Welsh Inland Resorts.

We now have 58 different LNWR official postcards, but over 1,000 different ones are known to exist.

Important

Pic from Barry Bull’s Collection

The RPS is organising a Transport Festival at Chasewater Park over the weekend of July 23rd and 24th.  This will feature vintage cars, buses, steam rollers and traction engines as well as the RPS.  We need your help for this venture, the first of its kind to be held by us.  This event may prove vital to our finances this year.

Late News

On the second of February an open meeting regarding the financial aspects of the RPS was held.  This meeting was very poorly attended despite the fact that many members were aware of its existence.  Despite this setback it was decided to launch an appeal to buy the loopline.  The people present were seen to represent an accurate cross-section of active RPS members and a majority of the executive committee were present to authorise the steps taken.  In brief these were:

1.    To set up a fund to purchase the loopline, as a proposed rent of £1,400 per year is beyond the Society’s reach.

2.    This appeal is to go under the slogan of “BRIDGE THAT GAP, BUY A YARD OF TRACK”.

3.    Money shall be raised by donations, those exceeding £10 or in multiples thereof being certified as representing the purchase of one yard of track.

4.    There will be no ceiling on the appeal as in future years the NCB may press for purchase of the northern end of the line.

5.    All monies raised will be placed in a Building Society to maximise its purchasing power.

6.    This appeal will be fully advertised in ‘Railway Magazine’ and ‘Railway Modeller’ as these are the two magazines with the highest circulation in their field.

7.    Handbills will be produced and sent to all interested persons and visitors to Chasewater this year.

8.    All RPS members are urged to start the ball rolling.

BRIDGE THAT GAP, BUY A YARD OF TRACK

The future of the Chasewater Light Railway depends on YOU.

Steam Loco Drivers

Albert Haywood, Chairman of the RPS, has asked me to inform all members of the need for fully trained drivers for the season’s trains.  To this end, training will be given at Chasewater before the start of the running season.  All persons wishing to be considered should apply in person or in writing to Albert.  When a list of all members wishing to take part is gained then a scheme of training and passing out will be drawn up.

Chasewater Railway Museum – From the Scrapbook, 1998, on to Chasewater Heaths.

Chasewater Railway Museum 

From the Scrapbook,1998,

on to Chasewater Heaths.

Sleepering Partner

Rail contractor Centrac, Tarmac’s track renewal company, came to the rescue when it heard that Chasewater Railway at Burntwood, Staffordshire, was struggling to extend its line due to a shortage of sleepers.

Birmingham-based Centrac offered to supply 600 sleepers from its main recycling depot at Northampton.

The Donated sleepers mean that Chasewater Railway’s volunteer workforce can extend its line to a planned new station near the proposed Burntwood by-pass entrance to the Chasewater Country Park.

The line currently serves the Brownhills West end of the park, carrying passengers around Chasewater Lake – and across the lake on a recently rebuilt causeway – to a station opened 18 months ago in the Norton wildfowl reserve.

The track represents the only remaining mineral line from the vast Cannock Chase coalfield network, and runs small tank locomotives retrieved from industrial locations, including a steam shunting engine from Pleck gasworks, providing scenic leisure trips for passengers.

Chasewater Railway general manager Steve Organ welcomed the donation of the sleepers saying “We are absolutely delighted with Centrac’s generous help – quite simply we could not have achieved so much without them.  This shows the value of recycling materials.”

Lorne Gray, who is in charge of Centrac’s recycling operations, commented: “The particular type of sleeper we have donated would normally be stripped down to the bare components.  The baseplates and fixings would be sold off by the tonne to scrap merchants and the sleepers sold for use in heavy industry and agriculture.

“The fact that they will now be used for their intended purpose, albeit on a reduced specification basis, is very satisfying.”

Chasewater Railway Museum – An 1857 Book

Chasewater Railway Museum 

A Book dated 1857

A book has been donated to the Museum, described as a ‘Treatise on Cast and Wrought Iron Bridges & Girders as applied to Railway structures.’

Compiled by William Humber in 1857.

It is a substantial book, measuring 15″x 11″ and was donated by Chris Browy of Norton Canes.

Amongst numerous descriptions of works are two local bridges:

No.1:

South Staffordshire Railway

Aqueduct Cannock Chase

Messrs. McClean and Stileman, C.E. ( Consulting Engineers – John Robinson McClean and Francis Cloughton Stileman)  John Robinson McClean was involved with the South Staffordshire Railway and the Cannock Chase Colliery Company, and is of particular interest to Chasewater Railway and the Museum.

In 1849 he took into partnership Mr. F. C. Stileman, with whom he engaged in the construction of the South Staffordshire Railway, the Birmingham Wolverhampton and Dudley Railway, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal reservoirs, and the South Staffordshire Water Works supplying water from Lichfield to a very extensive district.

Constructed by Messrs. Lloyds, Forsters & Co.

This Aqueduct was erected to carry the Walsall and Birmingham Canal over the Bloxwich Branch of the South Staffordshire Railway.  The work had to be completed before proceeding with the railway cutting to prevent interruption with the canal traffic, and also the supply to a water wheel, situated some distance below the ground of operations, in which the canal company was interested.  Considerable difficulty was experienced in carrying out the work, because of the unfavourable nature of the soil, which was loose, sandy and, to some extent, marshy; increased by the continual sinking of the banks, caused by the coal and iron pits, which undermine the whole district.

The aqueduct is carried at right angles across the railway in two spans, each 14 feet wide, by 15 feet 4 inches from the level of the rails to the bottom of the girders.  The trough 20 feet 4 inches wide by 5 feet 6 inches deep.

No.2:

South Staffordshire Railway

Cannock Branch

Messrs. J.McClean and Stileman C.E.

This bridge was erected for the purpose of carrying the Cannock Branch of the South Staffordshire Railway over the Wednesfield Branch of the Birmingham Canal. The peculiarity of this case consists in a better distribution of the metal in the top flange of the girders by which means the liability of that member to buckle when subjected to severe strains is in a great measure obviated.

The railway crosses the canal at a very acute angle, and to obviate as much as possible the effects of unequal deflection, each line of rail is supported by independent platforms so as to form two distinct bridges.  The longitudinal or main girders are 63 feet 4 inches long, having a bearing of 6 feet at each end on the abutment, so that the span is only 51 feet 4 inches.

 

Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society Books

 Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society Books

No automatic alt text available.

Did you or one of your family work at one of the many Collieries in the Cannock & Rugeley area. If so why not get one of the mining books published by the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society. There are 18 books in the series, each one covering one or more of the local Collieries. A very informative collection, written by the miners, who worked at them. These are available from Chasewater Railway Museum. Perhaps an ideal Christmas present. Contact me if you need more information.

Godfrey Hucker – 07751 448523

Chasewater Railway Museum – Littleton Colliery Leaflet – Only 30 Years Ago

Littleton Colliery Leaflet 

Only 30 Years Ago

This leaflet has just come to light in our Archives section, I thought it is worthy of reproduction.  Such a lot has changed!

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Thirty years on what’s left is a school, a housing estate and an Information Board – plus lots of memories.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – Harry Hartill’s Country

Chasewater Railway Museum

Harry Hartill’s Country

harry-hartill

The Museum has been lucky enough to borrow, for a short time, a copy of this book by Harry Hartill.  This book has a passage of particular interest to us as it describes in some detail who drove the local engines of the Cannock Chase Colliery Company and where they travelled to around the local coalfields.  It is written in a sort of ‘chatty’ style which is very easy to read.

The Chasewater Railway Museum would dearly like a copy of this book for our own collection, so if anyone should have a copy which they would like to donate to the Museum, please get in touch.  email j.tisdale45@yahoo.com or phone 07786 323311.

Chasewater Railway Museum wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas

Chasewater Railway Museum wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas

merry-christmas-2013

Chasewater Railway Museum – Coming Soon!

poppy-sand

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Coming Soon!

santa-specials

Come to Chasewater Railway this Christmas and join in the festivities with our ever popular Santa specials throughout December. With a steam train ride, a visit to Santa in his grotto, age appropriate wrapped gifts, light refreshments for adults and kids all included in the price of the ticket! If you are still feeling peckish our cafe The Sidings Tea Room will be open each day to providing hot and cold drinks, food and treats.

Santa’s grotto is located in our Heritage Centre so there is plenty to see and do!

Tickets are selling extremely fast with some of our trains already fully booked!!! Be quick and book now with our online booking system, follow the link to our Santa special page and click on book tickets

http://www.chasewaterrailway.co.uk/events/santa-specials/

You MUST pre book for our Santa specials as selling tickets on the day is not always possible.

There are no trains running and the Museum will not be open on November 20th or 27th due to preparations in the Heritage Centre…….

Save

Save

Chasewater Railway Museum – June Newsletter

June for blog

June page 2

 

Save