Tag Archives: Cannock Chase

Chasewater Railway Museum – Accreditation 2016

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Accreditation 2016

Accreditation 2016

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.

Chasewater Railway Museum – A photo of a Tackeroo Military Railway loco & Brocton Camp Power Station, plus the loco’s history.

Chasewater Railway Museum

A photo of a Tackeroo Military Railway loco & Brocton Camp Power Station, plus the loco’s history.

Brocton Camp Railway Traffic Office Dave Bevington

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.’


Manning Wardle Class L 0-6-0ST 1513-1901

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:




cannock-chase-great-war-trail Map

More about the loco

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.

Cannock Chase (Tackeroo) Railway in brief

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.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Hednesford Railways 1

Chasewater Railway Museum

Hednesford Railways 1

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.

From the rear, coal comes in from West Cannock Collierys Nos. 1, 3 and 4 – situated in the  Pye Green Valley.

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)

Chasewater Railway Museum – Photo info please?

Chasewater Railway Museum

Photo info please?

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.

Cannock Chase c1902 Col Wilson

Chasewater Railway Museum – First published June 26th 2009

Chasewater Railway Museum

First published June 26th 2009 – There’s been a lot of comings and goings since then, so Maybe have another look!!


At last it’s happened – all the cases have lighting. 

No more watching our visitors pressing their noses to the glass to see what we have in our collection.  What a relief!

Our latest addition is a model of a locomotive boiler, based on a Royal Scot class loco.  849

Another of our newer items is a local warning sign, originally from the top of Ironstone Road,  from the level crossing above the ‘Rag’ public house.652

One  other local item is the train staff for the single line from Walsall Wood colliery to Norton Junction on the LNWR.  It’s the black one at the front.


Our museum is well worth a visit, so why not come along?  It’s free!

In a couple of weeks, 12th July, (2009) we shall be holding our model railway exhibition, and there will be one layout in the museum.

Next on the agenda, as far as I am concerned, is a laptop for museum use.  Life would be so much easier.  One has been promised, but when………?

We did get one shortly afterwards (not new) but now, in 2015, it is approaching complete knackered-up-ness!!

Chasewater Railway Museum – Museum Archive – An addition to our coal mining memorabilia

Chasewater Railway Museum

Museum Archive

Additions to our coal mining memorabilia
As you are no doubt aware, without the coal industry there would be no Chasewater Railway, as the original line was built for transporting coal, although passenger services were introduced from Brownhills to Aldridge via Walsall Wood. We are always glad to receive artefacts from the mining industry to display in the Museum.
Baths Invitation

The latest of such items to come our way are an invitation to the opening of the Pithead Baths at Wyrley No. 3 Colliery, Great Wyrley, on August 14th, 1954, and The Bather’s Handbook.
These items came to the Museum from a former employee of the Colliery, his first job after National Service with the RAF.







Bather’s Handbook and invitation to opening of pithead baths formerly belonged to Mr. Frank Tisdale.

Chasewater Railway Museum – newspaper cuttings wanted

Chasewater Railway Museum

Newspaper cuttings wanted


Joan Lent has been beavering away in the Museum recently getting our collection of Chasewater Railway related newspaper cuttings in some sort of order.

Should anyone have any pieces relevant to Chasewater or its environs please bring them along to the Museum – they may fill a gap in our collection.

Thank you.

Chasewater Railway Museum – our latest book

Chasewater Railway Museum – our latest book


This book of photographs, by J.B.Bucknall, includes many pictures of local interest, and it was thought it would be a good addition to our collection.

One photo is of particular interest to Chasewater Railway members as it shows a coal train leaving West Cannock  5s pit, heading for the Hednesford Yard, and in front of the engine can be seen the first headquarters of the Railway Preservation Society (West Midlands Division), where the Society stayed rent-free for 10 years Courtesy of Charles Ives, Penkridge Engineering) before moving to Chasewater, and changing its name to the Chasewater Light Railway Society and later to the Chasewater Light Railway and Museum Company.

Coal train leaving W Cannock RPS

The building (between the 2 telegraph poles), which is still standing, consisted of brick pillars and a roof, but now the spaces between the pillars have been bricked up.

Recent Colliery related addition to Museum

grove 7

Another recent addition to Chasewater Railway Museum, following the local Colliery connection with the Railway, is an old Labour Certificate, which as been framed. This certificate was donated to the Museum by Godfrey Hucker, one of the Museum volunteers. The certificate was issued to his father, also named Godfrey in November 1917, by Staffordshire County Council Education Committee, allowing him to leave school at the age of 13, and commence working at the Grove Colliery in Great Wyrley. The Grove Colliery ceased to mine coal in 1930, following an explosion which killed 14 miners. Following the disaster (a  report of this can be found on Brownhills Bob’s Blog) the Grove then used their surface equipment to wash, screen & distribute coal from the adjacent colliery, Wyrley No 3 known as the Sinking. Godfrey worked at the Grove until closure in the 1960’s.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Additions to our photograph collection.

Chasewater Railway Museum

Additions to our photograph collection.

These photographs were taken by Brian Nicholls at the recent Brewery Day and have been added to our archived collection.

Click on photos to enlarge