Chasewater Railway Museum
December 2018 Newsletter
A signal lever collar from the Glasgow and South Western Railway, cast iron with a brass label, reading ‘Train Waiting’ (Sorry, not very clear in photo.)
The Glasgow & South Western Railway was a self-contained system in south-western Scotland with a total of around 325 miles of track. Its terminus was at Glasgow St. Enoch and from here in connection with the Midland railway expresses ran to London St Pancras via Carlisle, in competition with the West Coast Main Line. The G&SWR also served the important towns of Paisley, Ayr, Kilmarnock, and Dumfries. The locomotive works was at Kilmarnock but was allowed to become very run down and locomotive production ceased after the First World War. Boat trains connected with the company’s steamers at Greenock, Portpatrick and Stranraer. The G&SWR achieved surprisingly high speeds on its passenger expresses, and was remarkably innovative in its locomotive design.
The 1923 Grouping was a horrendous blow to the G&SWR, who found themselves in a subsidiary role to their arch-rival the Caledonian Railway. The MR and the G&SWR had tried to merge several times in the nineteenth century but had been told by the Government that this would be too much of a monopoly.(spellerweb.net)
A hardware example of Railwayana from a company not well represented in the Museum.
These three items are all that we have, apart from the signal collar.
This picture shows the old headquarters in Hednesford. The building which the carriages are partly inside is still standing, although it is bricked up now. The white buildings on the other side of the line to Rugeley was the wagon works – long gone.
Public Meeting, Saturday, March 5th 1960
Mr. G. T. Cox, WMD Chairman, opened the meeting at 3.00pm. He expressed his regret that there were not more people present, and said that possibly the unusually fine weather had diverted persons to outdoor pursuits.
Mr. Cox went on to say, “Many of us often look back to the bygone days. We younger ones can only remember the pre-nationalisation days, whilst older ones can remember quite clearly the pre-grouping companies and put down their memories in black and white.”
“The best way of showing any exhibition piece is in its natural surroundings, and this is what the RPS means by a ‘living’ museum. You will not get one by asking, but you will if you support the RPS to the best of your ability. There is little preserved in contrast to the vast scrapped during the last 50 years. It is within our reach to extend the range, if action is taken now.”
The General Secretary, D. Noel Draycott, briefly described the origins of the RPS and the district organisation which gives local groups the chance to build p local collections. The first programme for the WMD has been drawn up, covering the purchase of rolling stock and other large relics. The programme is divided into three stages, but it is not necessarily the order in which items will be purchased. The selection of relics depends on the speed with which our funds grow.
Mr. R. De Lacy-Spencer pointed out that many relics were kept by persons who did not realise their historic interest to railway enthusiasts. An example of this was the Midland Railway stationmaster’s hat which had been presented to the RPS by a lady living in Lincolnshire.
The WMD Secretary, D. A. Ives, gave an account of progress in the area. Membership was growing and a keen committee were considering more plans for the future. Members were contributing many smaller relics, and a good selection was on view. He had been corresponding with BR for some time about a possible depot site, but with no result to date.
Mr. F. J. Harvey read a branch line survey he had recently made. It was an account of the present condition of the MR branch from Aldridge to Brownhills and Chasewater. The civil engineering features appeared to be in good condition, but the permanent way was neglected towards the end of the branch and part had been lifted. At present only a section of it was used for a daily freight trip.
The meeting was wound up at 4.30pm and Mr. A. Holden from the audience proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers which was carried.
Stop Press! – Depot established in WMD
We are pleased to announce that negotiations for the establishment of a depot have reached a definite stage. The site is at Hednesford, about 11 miles from Wolverhampton, and contains 150 yards of siding, part of which is under cover. Fuller details were given to members at the visit to the Stafford/Uttoxeter branch on Sunday, March 27th. These details are not to hand at the time of writing this, and a description with information about working parties will appear in the next issue of the newsletter.
This will enable the WMD to launch an intensive campaign to purchase rolling-stock, etc., of the Cambrian, Great Western, London & North Western, Midland and North Staffordshire Railways. All persons interested in these railways are invited to send donations direct to the West Midlands Treasurer, RPS.
The Chasewater Railway Museum is proud to have two Books of Remembrance and two Rolls of Honour to commemorate some of the Railwaymen who lost their lives in the Service of their Country.
The Books of Remembrance are from the London & North Western Railway, and the Midland Railway.
The Rolls of Honour are from the Barry Railway and the North Staffordshire Railway.
A worksplate from the locally built locomotive ‘Foggo’
Foggo, 1946, from a standard gauge 0-4-2ST built at the Chasetown workshops of the Cannock Chase Colliery Co.Ltd. in 1946, using parts supplied by Beyer Peacock, together with spare parts accumulated over the years from similar locomotives already at work at the colliery. The name derives from Mr. Foggo, the General Manager of the company at the time and the nameplate incorporates the year of build. It became National Coal Board property on 1st January, 1947. Transferred to Coppice Colliery in early 1954 and to Brereton Colliery later the year. Scrapped by W.H.Arnott Young in January 1961. Cast Brass, 21½”x 8¾”, the front repainted.
The worksplate can be seen on the side of the engine.
Vol 1 No.2
Anything from a button to a branch line
Yes, we are interested in anything of railway origin and historic interest. We have no prejudices. We are anxious to preserve all classes of relics from all pre-grouping companies, the big four and British Railways. In fact, we want to build up a truly comprehensive collection of relics that will form a supplement to the British Transport Commission’s own invaluable collection of historic relics.
At the moment we do not possess either a button or a branch line! We own about 50 relics from the range in between these two types. Our largest is a 6-wheeled carriage, and we expect that we shall soon have satisfactory accommodation for this so that our members can work on its restoration.
The rest of our collection comprises small items, and until we have acquired the necessary rail space and land, we cannot expand our collection of large relics. Both the West Midland and London & Home Counties Districts are working on this problem, and both hope to be able to announce a satisfactory conclusion to their searches.
We already have our eye on a few larger items such as signals, 4-wheeled, 6-wheeled and bogie coaches, as well as goods vehicles. The number of larger items we buy each year is governed by the speed by which our membership grows.
Once again we are enclosing a second copy of this newsletter. Please pass it on to somebody who is interested in the activities of the only national society dedicated to the preservation of standard gauge relics.
West Midland District
Outing to the Much Wenlock Branch, Saturday, 19th September.
A rather small but enthusiastic party attended the District’s first get-together and outing, exact figures being seven members, plus seven relations and friends.
The smallness of numbers did not mar the day, however, and a very enjoyable time was had by all. The main party started from Stafford station and was joined by another member at Wellington. The Station Master at Wellington came over prior to departure for Much Wenlock; he appeared most sympathetic to our aims, and reflected sadly on the closure of branch lines.
Wellington Station – Roger Shenton
The train pulled out on time from Wellington, headed by a 57xx class pannier tank No.3732. The quaint halts en route to Buildwas Junction were noted, the driver, leaning through his cab window, pointed out several places of interest. Coalbrookdale Iron Works were keenly watched by members, with interest in the fact that the first iron bridge in the world was cast there. This was seen spanning the Severn as the train passed over a parallel bridge further up-stream.
Much Wenlock – Wellington
This delightful photograph epitomises the action on so many evocative branch lines in the West Midlands. 2-6-2T No.4142 was running under easy steam at Farley Dingle on 23rd April 1957 on a Much Wenlock to Wellington afternoon local service. As so often happens when rural railway services are withdrawn, the trackbed was transformed into part of the modern road system.
A member living at Much Wenlock met the party on arrival and very kindly took four members to Longville in his car, this line being open to freight only. This excursion through the lovely Wenlock Edge was greatly appreciated.
The goods yard, sidings box and single engine shed (without loco) were inspected by the remaining members. The ladies of the party visited the ancient Guildhall and Abbey, which proved full of historical interest.
After tea and a final look around Much Wenlock station, the party caught the 7.05 back to Wellington headed by the same pannier tank, but a different crew.
A vote of thanks must be recorded to the BR Staff at WR Wellington, for the kind way in which they answered questions, thus making the trip thoroughly worthwhile.
It is to be hoped that another outing of this nature will be better attended so that the RPS will continue to thrive and gain more publicity. How about it, WMD members.
Description: Buildwas Junction formed part of the Severn Valley line that ran from Hartlebury, near Droitwich, to Shrewsbury through Bridgnorth and Ironbridge. However, the line was disbanded in 1963 following Dr Beeching’s review of the railways. A section of track between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth has been preserved by the Severn Valley Company, but the track from Bridgnorth onto Shrewsbury was pulled up in the 1960’s and can no longer be used.
The photo has nothing to do with the article, but it’s old!
The first newsletter of the RPS was published in July 1959 and followed the information given in the previous leaflet.
It invited members “to send letters, articles and news items for inclusion in future issues”.
Other items raised were “Why don’t we take over a Branch Line?” The short answer was – not enough members.
“What type of Branch Line are we interested in?”
“The type of branch line we are interested in would have adequate storage space for relics and must be within easy access of large centres of population. The exact criteria will be the subject of investigation by your committee, but we must bear in mind that the bulk of traffic would come from visitors on summer weekends and Bank Holidays who would not necessarily be railway enthusiasts. We should be able to offer such people other attractions in the way of fine scenery and a terminus that is a natural tourist attraction with good facilities for meals, sight-seeing, etc”.
“Where will this Branch Line be?”
The early RPS members studied a proposal for taking over a line in South Devon but after consideration turned it down for two reasons
“1) Too small membership to make it possible.
2) Too far from the large centres of population where the greatest support would come from.”
The thinking behind ‘Districts’ was explained.
“We think it desirable that wherever possible members should be able to visit a place where active work is going on during summer weekends or even just for an hour or two in the evening. Also by concentrating our collection of relics in one place, we would deprive many members of the opportunity of seeing the relics of their local railways.
“Working from this basis, we have evolved the idea of an organisation built up of districts, each playing their own part within a national plan for preserving a collection of relics. The first district has been formed, covering the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire, and this is called the West Midland District. A meeting of local members has been called to discuss plans for a London and Home Counties District. The suggested area is the counties of Bucks, Essex, Herts, Kent, London, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. Other suggested areas for similar schemes are East Midlands, N.W England, Scotland, South Wales, Tyne/Tees and Yorkshire.”
Other items were – How do we form a District, Increasing our Membership, and the names and addresses of the officers of the RPS.