This particular exhibit was with us a few years ago and has now re-appeared on the Memories of Burntwood Facebook Group page.
Eugene Damon – Peter Styche, Hi Ya – yes you are correct it is a Chinese South Seeking Chariot. They used to use them about 2000 years ago to keep their bearings when crossing the deserts, When it is on the move it can turn left or right up or down or do a full circle but the pointer will stay on the target that was selected This model in the photo was made in 2010 by a member of Chasewater Light Railway, Do any of you know how it works? If not, why not pay a visit to the museum at the railway were it will be on display for a short while and the staff will give you a little demo on how it works, as it would take a little too long and to complex about the gearing to explain on here.
The top three have been with us for a while – everything works on the crane, the wheels go round on the locomotive, but sadly the ship won’t float!!
The Chasewater Railway Museum has maintained its status, first achieved in 2011, as a fully Accredited Museum, as awarded by Arts Council England.
The award of Full Accreditation is valid for approximately three years, at which point the museum will be invited to provide a return to demonstrate continuing compliance with the Accreditation Standard.
Thanks and congratulations to all who have helped maintain this standard during the past few years, and the museum looks forward to this support continuing in the future.
Our thanks also to our visitors – our efforts would be rather pointless without you.
The photo was sent to me by Dave Bevington, with the following information:
‘I have come across a Great War photo at Brocton of the power station and Brocton railway traffic office (a small shed). In the foreground is a small loco Grassholme which is mentioned on your blog
I got it from NZ so it must have been a photo card owned by a Kiwi based there.’
New 6-9-1901 to the firm of contractors, Walter Scott & Middleton.
The contractors had work around 1901-2 for the Derwent Valley Water Board on a line Banford to Ashopton, Derbyshire, also for the Midland Railway on widening the New Mills to Chinley section, also in Derbyshire. Another job was at Pallion, in the Sunderland area.
It seems probable that the loco took its name from Grassholme in County Durham.
The contractors known to have worked on the Cannock Chase Military Railway and Brocton Camp were the firm of Baldry, Yerburgh and Hutchinson, but there is no 1513 in the list, although their loco No.4 is listed as No.1531 !
Grassholme was at Brocton during the period 1915 – 1919.
For more information about the railway, go to:
The original owners sold the loco to Thomas Summerson & Sons Ltd., Albert Hill Foundry, Darlington and it was seen at Crewe Works in June 1919 as war surplus before sale to Vivian & Sons, and then to one of Vivian’s Collieries – Mynyyd Newydd, Swansea.
The Colliery was sold in 1926 and the loco remained with the new owners. The Industrial Railway Society West Glamorgan book gives the loco as ‘disposal unknown’ after March 1932. The pit closed in November 1932. It re-opened in 1935, finally closing in 1955.
Thanks to Barry Bull, Pete Stamper and the IRS for the information and to Dave Bevington for the photograph.
This railway was constructed during 1915 to serve the Brocton and Rugeley Military camps located on Cannock Chase. One line was constructed during the spring of 1915 from the LNWR Cannock to Rugeley line near West Cannock No.5 Colliery across the Chase to the Rugeley Camp. Between January and April a second railway was made from the LNWR Trent Valley line at Milford to the Brocton Camp, and by mid 1915 the lines had been joined. In addition to army and prisoner of war camps this railway system served Central Stores Depots at Brocton Camp. The locomotive shed was also located at Brocton Camp. After the war the camps and railway were dismantled and locomotives disposed of.
From December 2009
The view in 2009, looking towards Rugeley from Hednesford Station bridge. (See below for latest signal box picture.)As it was in the late 1950s, a very busy railway location, with pits sending coal into the sidings from all directions.
Looking forward and to the left, the line leads to West Cannock Colliery No.5 and to the right, to Cannock & Rugeley Collieries at Cannock Wood and the Valley Pit.
The picture shows the site of West Cannock No.1 and No.4 Plants circa 1920s, it looks north east towards the top end of Green Heath Road. No.4 Plant is just above the top of the chimney and steam can be seen coming from its winder stack. The brickworks is the furthest building centre/right at the base of the mound. A fourth shaft to the north of the brickworks has been covered by the mound. The picture shows the enormity of the West Cannock Company’s operation in the middle of Pye Green Valley.
From here, the railway ran down to Hednesford Station via a bridge under the road by the ‘Bridge’ public house. It then went through the left-hand arch (looking towards Rugeley) and into the sidings.With the closure of West Cannock Collieries 1-4, lines to the left found little usage. The old station building, imposingly symetrical on the overbridge, castle-like dominated the access to the platforms. One of Bescot’s 0-8-0s, 49373, sorted out the empties to transfer to the collieries.
On the other side of the bridge, the sidings opened out into the marshalling yard.William Stanier designed 2-cylinder 2-6-4T no.2579, built by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow in 1936 and withdrawn in June 1962, runs in with a Rugeley Trent Valley to Walsall local passenger. The station was demolished after the passenger service was withdrawn in January 1965 and the sidings were removed following the closure of almost all local collieries in the 1970s. The signal box (formerly No.1), seen behind the water tower remains in operation. No.2 signal box closed on January 14th 1973 and No.3 from 18th December 1977. Passenger services were reinstated from Walsall to Hednesford in 1989, using newly built platforms. The service was later extended to Rugeley and Stafford, although, by 2009, it terminated at Rugeley Trent Valley.This is a cold view of West Cannock No.5, which continued producing coal until 1982. The locomotive in the photo is Bagnall 0-6-0ST ‘Topham’ 2193/1922.
Hednesford No.1 Signal Box in the park. It’s had a touch of paint and is now awaiting further developments (Dec. 2015)
This is a photo in our collection but we don’t know anything about it except what it says underneath. Does anyone have any idea where on the Chase this 2 ft. gauge railway was? Or the identity of Colonel Wilson?
When the ground was being prepared for the Chasewater Heaths Station, rails of different gauges were uncovered, but we don’t know any more than that.
Latest information, from Phillip Halfpenny: It’s a Manning Wardle, No. 1371/1897. At Great Wyrley Colliery, rebuilt in 1911, scrapped in 1944. Thanks to Phillip.