Tag Archives: Chasewater Steam Railway

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.93

93 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Autumn 1979 – 2

Loco Department

As it’s the end of a decade, a complete rundown of locos is given.

Invicta’  AB 2220/1946The loco was kept in reserve at the start of the season and was not steamed until June 10th and then chose to run hot!  As there was only two weeks to go before Transport Scene there was much gloom and despondency around as well as a fair amount of bickering.

The offending bearing was the rear driver’s side axle box and this was duly removed following sterling work by those stout fellows Messrs. Hames and Luker.  Inspection of said bearing revealed the cause of the trouble.  It was a well known fact that during her latter years at Chatham, ‘Invicta’ had been fitted with a brand new rear axle and someone had obviously forgotten to cut oil grooves in the bearing brass, leaving only two small holes to lubricate the axle – not very good – especially as one had got blocked leading to overheating so bad as to actually melt the bearing surface.

Swift alterations to the bearing saw the loco back in service within four hours and the loco has performed without trouble ever since.

‘Invicta’ is undoubtedly the loco to be used at the start of the 1980 season, following the annual boiler test.

‘Alfred Paget’ N 2937/1882The ancient Neilson has performed without trouble all season and is now awaiting its hydraulic test, after Christmas, which will entail the removal of the saddle tank and boiler lagging and cladding.  As its firebox has overcome its leakage problems it would seem probable that the boiler test will be passed without too much trouble.  The opportunity will be taken for a thorough repaint and perhaps even new boiler cladding sheets will be provided to replace the current motley collection.  There is every confidence of the loco working next season – the loco’s 98th year in fact.

‘Asbestos’ HL 2780/1909This loco has been the centre of great activity this year with up to seven people working on it at one time – unheard of before!.

The loco is completely dismantled and a thorough mechanical and cosmetic job is being done to ensure trouble-free running when it resumes earning its keep.

The boiler was lifted out of the frames in June and was finally despatched to Park Holland Ltd. of Hanley on August 12th.  It now seems as though the firebox repairs will be of the welding and riveting kind rather than uplifting of the foundation ring, following a further examination by our tame boiler inspector.  The boiler is said to be ready around Christmas time which will ensure plenty of work in the New Year.

Following the removal of the boiler the motion was completely taken down, followed by jacking the frames clear of the wheels to enable the wheels to be rolled out.  Removal of the wheels has enabled a thorough paint job to be done on the frames, at present five coats have been applied with at least one more to follow.  To enable all members to feel part of the restoration team a couple of carriage and wagon tappers were roped in for a paint session (only undercoats of course!) though with the onset of stormy weather they have been despatched back to their rightful place fending off the bitter easterly winds off the workshop area.

Removal of the wheels will enable tyre turning to take place, probably at Bridgnorth.  The valves and motion have had attention with reassembly following, as far as the lack of wheels will allow anyway!  Whilst Brian has been busy machining the regulator valve to allow greater use of the steam produced.  All concerned with the restoration of the loco are confident of seeing it in steam next year.

‘The Colonel’ P 1341/1914The hydraulic test was passed in July, followed by refitting of the boiler cladding and lagging since when not much has been done save for the two Bobs (and others) finishing off the new coal bunker which looks rather fine.  Providing the tank can be repaired the loco should see service next year.

‘Peckett’ 917/1902No work has been done on this loco apart from routine preservative maintenance, but the situation should change once ‘Asbestos’ is back in traffic, as it is the next loco due for ‘works’ treatment.

Hudswell Clarke 431/1895Following a relatively ‘light job’ on Peckett 917 the ‘old Hudswell’ should get the full treatment though this is probably a good 18 months away at the moment. (32 years and counting!)

Andrew Barclay 1223/1911

This loco is in a presentable state at the moment but needs heavy boiler and firebox repairs before it can steam again – pity as the mechanics are in first-class condition.

’S100’ HC 1822/1949

The loco migrated into the compound and the boiler received a coat of paint, since when nothing, – where are you, Tony?

DL7 (RH 458641/1961)Once the loco was cajoled into action after removal to Chasewater it has proved to be a fine acquisition and it is to be hoped that the CLR Co. will have sufficient funds to buy it off the STEPS scheme.

Apart from working 5 days a week it has proved its worth on shunting duties on steam days, as well as hauling a couple of passenger trains on Gricers’ Day.  Once its future is secure the NCB green will disappear under a coat of CLR livery of some colour or another.

Others

Of the two Bass-Worthington diesels, No.21 sees occasional use whilst No.20 is rumoured to be going off on loan to the Bass Museum, Burton-on-Trent, which will be a useful advert for the Railway and give us a bit of room.(It went and is still there, 2011)

The two No.1s are performing sterling work as a stop block on ‘Three Road’ whilst various people mutter darkly about getting them going again.

Whilst on the subject of infernal combustion it must be mentioned that Bob Curtis has offered to paint No.21 as the Society is 21 years old next year.  Well done that man.

Carriage & Wagon Department

He DMU trailer coach has performed well as usual but the paintwork is now in need of some touching up, especially around the windows – so hopefully this will be done before it gets worse as, having seen similar coaches on a North Yorkshire Moorland Railway, it wouldn’t be advisable to wait too long.

Messrs. Pearson and Curtis have been busy painting the ex LNWR TPO and nailing panels back onto the Maryport and Carlisle coach.  We are hoping they will move onto the LNWR full brake after finishing the TPO as the paint is fast peeling off.

John Elsley is busy rebuilding the fire-damaged brake end of the ex MSL six-wheeler and it is looking better with every panel.  The only other item to receive attention has been the Great Western brake van which should get repainted during the New Year, following some welding to the platework which is rather thin in places.

johntisdale50@gmail.com

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 84

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 84 – S100

Another new arrival at Chasewater

Chasewater News 23 March 1978- Part 3

The second new arrival at Chasewater Railway was a six-coupled side tank built by Hudswell Clarke & Co. of Leeds, works no.1822 of 1949 and is known as S100.  It is an interesting locomotive, the design dating back to 1909 when Hudswell Clarke supplied a six-coupled side tank with 15” x 22” outside cylinders to the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway.  This loco was the BPGVR’s no. 8 and was named ‘Pioneer’.  Over the next ten years Hudswells provided BPGVR with another eight similar locos, though they differed in certain details of design.

S100 was one of an order placed by the National Coal Board following Nationalisation, being ex-works on 29-4-1949, works no.1822.  She was delivered to Whitwood Colliery near Castleford, as ‘Whitwood No.1’ and was later joined by two sister locos, replacing some ageing Robert Stephenson 0-6-0STs sold out of service  by the North Eastern Railway in the early 1900s.  For a period in 1955, she was sent on loan to the adjacent Walter Haigh Colliery, as she was again in July 1956, this time not returning to Whitwood, being observed at Allerton Bywater Colliery in 1957.  Later in the year she was at Prince of Wales Colliery, Pontefract.  In 1958 she was back at Allerton Bywater being completely overhauled at the adjacent workshops in 1959.  Following this she was sent in 1960 to Peckfield Colliery, Micklefield, where she was to spend the rest of her working life under Coal Board ownership.  In 1965 she was sent to Hunslet’s of Leeds for the fitting of a new steel firebox, mechanical stoker, new blast pipe arrangement and thorough overhaul.

Returning to Peckfield she was used intensively, being the only serviceable loco for much of the time.

By December 1968 she was at Allerton Bywater central workshops, following re-tubing at Peckfield, for a complete overhaul, being out-shopped the following October in red livery and carrying the number S-100, S standing for steam locomotive.  S100 was sent back to Peckfield and worked alongside an Austerity and latterly ‘Primrose No.2’, a Hunslet 16” saddle tank, now preserved on the Yorkshire Dales Railway at Embsay. 

http://www.embsayboltonabbeyrailway.org.uk

On arrival

A new Hunslet 388hp diesel which arrived in the summer of 1972 spelt the end of steam at Peckfield and in July 1973 she was tendered for disposal by the NCB and was bought by one Mr. K. Rose, ostensibly for scrap, but was soon resold to Mr. R. Walmsley, a member of the Society at Embsay.  The loco was steamed several times at Embsay and in September 1975 she was resold to Tony Sale of Aldridge.  By November of that year she was withdrawn from service and was in need of a complete major overhaul.  Being of sensible disposition Tony decided to move S100 nearer home in order to effect the necessary repairs and Chasewater was the logical choice for S100’s new home. 

Barry Bull bought a share in the loco and already work on the overhaul has started, with removal of the cab roof and se-scaling of the firebox, followed by a start on removing the boiler tubes.

S100 was moved to Chasewater on the 18th February by Messrs. Brackmills of Northampton, following several weekend visits to Embsay to prepare the loco for movement.

Despite press reports to the contrary the loco was unloaded fairly easily, the low-loader crew only being at Chasewater for 1½ hours, something of a record.

Thanks are due to Keith Rose, Charles Adams, Steve Fenwick and Martin Cleaver for their hospitality whilst the loco was awaiting movement and also to the lorry crew for their enthusiasm.

S100’s dimensions are as follows:-

Cylinders             16” x 24”                       Coal capacity                22.5 cwt

Wheel Dia           3’ 9”                               Water capacity             1,200 gallons

Length                 27’ 6”                                      Boiler Pressure            160 lbs

Width                       8’ 9”                                 Heating surface        645 sq ft – tubes

Weight                 33 tons empty                                                     73 sq ft fire box

Weight                 42 tons loaded                                                    718 sq ft total

Tractive Effort     @ 85% boiler pressure – 18,570lbs

It is interesting to note that the left hand tank on S100 is off Whitwood No.4, being bought in 1976 to replace the original tank which was somewhat rotten.

Work on S100 is expected to take three to five years and will include firebox repairs, a complete re-tubing (tubes have already been acquired), overhaul of motion, wheel turning, re-plating of bunker and fitting of vacuum brakes.

By the time that S100 sees service at Chasewater there should hopefully be a longer stretch of line for it to run upon and it should be ideally suited to work here and give many years of trouble free service.

(As with Peckett 917, this was in 1978 and S100 still hasn’t steamed at Chasewater – although a good deal of progress has been made in the last few years.)

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 83

A new arrival at Chasewater

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 83

Chasewater News 23 March 1978- Part 2

The first of two new arrivals at Chasewater was a 12” cylindered Peckett 0-4-0ST (No.917 of 1902).  This engine is being placed on permanent loan to the Society by Messrs. Albright & Wilson Ltd., who are one of the largest chemical manufacturers in the British Isles.  The locomotive is at present at their works at Oldbury and is believed to be in working order.  As well as being the oldest working four-wheeled Peckett in Great Britain it is also the last steam locomotive to see industrial service within the West Midlands Metropolitan County and it is therefore appropriate that it should be ‘retired’ to work on the only preserved steam railway within the West Midlands.  The loco should be an interesting and useful engine for use at Chasewater and it will arrive as soon as a suitable legal loan agreement has been drawn up.  Grateful thanks are due to Barry Bull for writing after the engine and to Albright & Wilson for entrusting the Society with their locomotive,

Further details will appear once the loco is at Chasewater.

From the Chasewater News 24, July 1978The legal loan agreement has been completed and the engine should arrive during August.

From the ‘Gricers’ Day’ report, 8th October, 1978.

Through the kindness of the Directors of Albright & Wilson Ltd., Peckett 0-4-0ST works no. 917 of 1902 arrived on permanent loan together with coal, 27 spare boiler tubes and various tools.From the Chasewater News 25, November 1978.

June 2010

Since its arrival the loco has been cleaned and the boiler and tank have been drained.  It seems as though some work will have to be done upon the motion of the loco, (which is very loose in places) as well as the major boiler hydraulic test, before it is steam tested.  It also requires repairs to the tank and will have to be fitted with a steam brake before working passenger trains.  Despite all this one is quietly confident of seeing it in steam at some stage next season. (This was in 1978 and sadly it still hasn’t steamed in 2011, or 2021, and is well towards the rear of the restoration queue, although it is now in the Heritage Centre workshop, since put outside).

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No. 73

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 73 – Dec 1976

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News – Part 2

Outline Planning Permission has been granted for an engine shed between the platform and the crossing.  Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a suitable building which could be obtained cheaply or be donated is urged to contact the Hon. Sec.  Also needed are sources of cheap, good condition crossing timbers and sleepers, the latter preferably concrete.

Whilst on the subject of wants it is interesting to note that a small group of members have been trying to purchase another locomotive for the line, but have been outbid on three successive occasions.  The locos in question were the Bagnall 0-4-0ST at Northampton Power Station, the Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST at Carlisle Power Station and most recently, a Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-4-0ST at Leicester Power Station.  With the current prices being paid for locos it may be that we need more cash.  Any offers of help should be directed to the Hon. Editor.  We have several more locos in the pipeline, all of which are in, or near to, working order.  We really want an 0-6-0ST or Tank, but these are few and far between and so a four-coupled is more likely.

Littleton Colliery. A successful open day was held here on November 20th, many RPS members being in attendance.  The Austerity No.7 performed in its usual vociferous style.  Thanks are due to Messrs. Matthews and Worgan of the National Coal Board.

Austerity No.7 at Littleton

Winter Work Programme. This is largely centered on the long awaited completion of the platform and installation of a lever frame.  Associated trackwork. Manly involving packing, is already in hand.  Other projects are the dismantling of ‘Asbestos’, general maintenance and tidying up and when the weather improves, a start on re-panelling the TPO.  Once again more help is needed and no offers refused, don’t be shy, we don’t bite!

The loco shed siding is also due for laying before Easter, involving construction of another point.

Museum Exhibits. Despite the break-in several interesting items have been added, notably a Cannock Chase colliery bridge plate – many thanks to Mr. Clift of Chase Terrace for this unique item.

Cannock Wood with Asbestos at Chasewater

E1 Locomotive – ‘Cannock Wood’

The E1 locomotive came into the possession of the Railway Preservation Society in 1964.  Had it not been for the RPS the locomotive would probably have been scrapped at that time.

From that time until the present, it has received a couple of coates of paint and a tidy up sufficient for a Boiler Inspector to shake his head in dismay at the firebox.

Its future depends on you! As some of you will recall, the AGM of 1975 gave the Committee permission to sell the E1 as a last resort to raise cash for the purchase of the British Railways section of track and land.

The Walsall Metropolitan Council, it would appear, will be unlikely to supply the cash for the purchase of land and track, although this has not been confirmed.

Two verbal offers have been received for the E1 and a written offer is being obtained by the Committee from the interested parties.  The locomotive is likely to bring in £3,500 which is probably about a third of the cost of the land and track.

Notice of Meeting

A meeting will be held at Chasewater at 2.30pm on the 22-1-1977.

The meeting will be for the purpose of bringing interested parties together with a view to the following:

1.    To set up a restoration fund to purchase the E1 from the RPS at current price.  The fund should be a separate body from the RPS.

2.    After purchasing the Locomotive, raise the cash to restore it.

3.    Operate the Locomotive at Chasewater.

It should be noted that only a few months are available to raise the first £3,500.  If we have the ability to do that, we have the ability to restore and operate it.

If we are not able to raise the purchase price, the Locomotive will be better off elsewhere, where it can be restored and operated.

Remember

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.

Built 1877  Brighton Works.

No.110.

Name: ‘Burgundy’

100th engine built at Brighton Works under Stroudley.

Sold 1926 to Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Ltd.

Name: ‘Cannock Wood’

No.9

Sold 1964 to the Railway Preservation Society.

1877 – 1977 Centenary

No other locomotive of this type survives.

Happy 100th birthday ‘Cannock Wood’

A.W.Haywood – Chairman RPS

The following is from the East Somerset Railway website:

Withdrawn for a second time in 1963, the engine was sold to the Railway Preservation Society and stored at Hednesford until 1970, when it was moved to the Chasewater railway. There it remained until sold to three members of the East Somerset Railway, finally arriving at Cranmore in September 1978.

A general overhaul was commenced in 1986 and it returned to active service in 1993, painted in green livery and numbered 110. It pulled it first train in service on Sunday 24th October of that year. In 1996, No. 110 could be found transporting visitors to the Festival of the Sea on Bristol’s Harbour Railway. Unfortunately, firebox problems resulted in No. 110 being prematurely withdrawn from traffic in 1997.

During 2000, work commenced on stripping the locomotive down to assess the extent of the firebox problems, after which the locomotive will be rebuilt. Current progress on this project can be found on the <a href=”http://www.railwayweb.com/clf”>Cranmore Loco Fund website</a>.

In 2012, B110 was sold to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, in return for LMS Ivatt Class 2 no. 46447 moving to the ESR. The railway plans to restore the engine and run it as No. W2 Yarmouth, which was an identity previously worn by one of the Isle of Wight-based E1s.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No 59 June 1972

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Bits and Pieces No 59 June 1972

Not good news for steam enthusiasts!

From June 1972 ‘Mercian’

Industrial News – Barry Bull

Most of what has been happening on the Industrial railway scene in the Midlands over the last few months makes the outlook for steam enthusiasts rather grim.

The winter began with the replacement of steam at Holditch Colliery, near Newcastle-under-Lyme by two displaced diesels from Silverdale Colliery.  The two steamers here ‘Cornist’, a Hudswell Clarke six-coupled side tank and ‘Dilhorne No.3’, a Bagnall built Austerity were both in a very run-down condition by the end.Robert Nelson No.4 HE 0-6-0ST 1800-1936 Littleton No.5-0-6-0ST MW 2018-1922 – c1963.

Littleton, West Cannock and Cannock Wood continued using their steam up until the miners’ strike but since then new diesels have arrived in the South Staffs NCB Area and steam work has ceased.  During last summer it was possible to see the big Manning Wardle (Littleton No.5) at Littleton in regular use, also the 16 Hunslet, ‘Robert Nelson No.4’ and the Austerity.  An interesting survival here is a Midland Railway 10 ton goods brake, built Derby 1900 in use as a store van for oil; this is in a poor condition however.  All the three steam are now dumped in the open.  The two Austerities and the Bagnall ‘Topham’ at West Cannock are dumped by the screens.  The Austerity ‘Wimblebury’ at Cannock Wood was steamed one day a week until the strike, but never since.

In Birmingham, Bromford Tube Works cut up their remaining steam loco last year (1971) and Dunlop’s three went for preservation, including the Chasewater Railway resident ‘Linda’, Bagnall loco 2648/1941, formerly Dunlop No.6.

Nechells Power Station hired a diesel from BR towards the end of the year and steam working here finished last November.  However the Peckett 0-4-0ST No.1, delivered here new in 1916, was repaired and transferred to Northampton Power Station.  Her sister No.2 and the three big Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn 0-6-0STs are available for sale.

On the brighter side the little Barclay 0-4-0ST continues service at Stourport Power Station with a Peckett spare, and one of the big Bagnalls at British Leyland, Longbridge can be seen in steam almost every day.

With steam going at such a fast rate we have decided to try and arrange visits to some places where steam remains in working order.  Below is a list of places we are negotiating to see:

British Celanese, Spondon, Derby.

We have finalised details for a visit here on Saturday, June 24th (1972) when a loco will be specially steamed for us.  We expect quite a large turn-out for this visit as visits here are not normally permitted.  There will be a 10 pence levy per person for this event.

We also expect to have a visit to Cadley Hill Colliery, near Burton-on-Trent on Saturday, October 28th, again it is hoped, with one loco specially steamed.

Before this visit, we hope to fit one in to the Cannock Area pits but negotiations are still in the early stages for this.

These visits are open to members and non-members alike.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 58

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 58

From the ‘Mercian’ June 1972

I thought that it might be interesting to see the state of the rolling stock at that time, so here is the rolling stock report from the magazine.

Locomotives

Asbestos – The renewal of right hand hornblocks is complete and the wheels have been replaced.  A trial steaming is scheduled for June 5th and it should be in steam for the Chasewater Festival on July 8th.

Neilson – No work has been carried out for two years.  The saddle tank was removed and ten studs drilled out of the sides of the boiler and new ones fitted.  These studs secure the water feed clock boxes, stolen before the loco left Glasgow.  Fortunately Trevor Cousens was able to obtain replacements for us.  Shortage of labour has precluded further work being carried out but we hope to restart soon.

E1 – No change.  A boiler survey may be made soon.

Barclay – The firebox was condemned at its last boiler test.  As the ‘Barclay’ soon to be delivered is of similar size, it will be used to supply spare parts to keep the newer loco running.

Hudswell Clarke – No work has been carried out for over three years. A hydraulic test was carried out and the results were not promising.  The boiler will need re-tubing and a considerable amount of mechanical work will be necessary.Sadly she hasn’t steamed since she’s been at Chasewater.

Petrol No.1 – The petrol tank and associated plumbing were cleaned out recently and the engine run.  It will start by hand when warm.  Unfortunately the carburettor appears to be icing up when the engine is subjected to load.  The carb. Is probably not the original and information as to the whereabouts of a replacement would be welcome.L & Y No.1

Diesel No.1 – Out of service with a smashed axlebox.  Once again information as to the whereabouts of a replacement would be welcome.

Diesel No.20 – One of the spare engines is being overhauled ready for fitting.  Messrs. Bass Charrington have kindly donated a quantity of their blue paint and both locos will be painted when time permits.

Diesel No.21 – An overhaul was carried out last year, the cylinder heads and fuel pump being renewed, and more recently repairs were carried out to the clutch once again.

Coaching Stock

Royal (or Special) Saloon – On loan to Derby Corporation for the Midland Railway Project.  They have undertaken to restore it

TPO – The small relics collection now looks quite orderly though the outside of the vehicle is in urgent need of attention.

LNWR 50’ Brake – One end has been painted out and will be used this summer to house the sales stand, a model railway and a display of relics.

Maryport & Carlisle – Restoration is nearly complete.  The roof was covered with galvanised sheets last summer, but the completion has been held up by the weather.  It saw considerable use last year carrying passengers on Open Days.Off to Stockton & Darlington for their 150th Anniversary in 1975.

GER Brake – Now in use again as the Mess (!) Van.  It is in urgent need of re-roofing.  The outside was painted dark brown last year.

MSL – No further work has been carried out.  The bearing brasses are missing.

MR Brake – No change.

LNWR Brake Third – No change.  The LNWR Coaching Stock Fund is attempting to raise cash for the restoration of this coach.

Goods Stock

GWR Brake – The interior has been repainted and the roof covered with galvanised sheets.

MR Crane – A new wire rope has been fitted and the woodwork painted.  Although it is 90 years old it still sees considerable use.

LYR Van – Now in use as a workshop and tool store.

MR Van – In use as a stores, mainly diesel.  It has been painted externally.

CCWR Brake – Repainted externally last summer.  Used as PW tool van.

NSR Coal Wagon – No change.

The remaining four vehicles, two flat wagons and two 12 ton coal wagons are used on the works trains.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 57 – 1969-70 report

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 57  1969-70 report

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ September 1970

The Secretary’s Report for the past year, when the Hednesford Depot was closed.

 

Railway Preservation Society

Secretary’s Report 1969 – 1970

Arthur Chatfield Hon. Sec.

I seem to recall that in my last report I said that 1970 would be another story.  I did not anticipate that there would be so many chapters to write nor that we should pass a considerable number of milestones en route.

I find myself repeating all the old clichés as I sit and write this report, and I am keenly aware that it has not been easy to maintain an aloof position on certain aspects of the Society’s shortcomings this past twelve months.  I am certain that members regard me as somewhat pedantic, the slavedriver with a big whip, or whatever other picture has been conjured up when you have read some of my scathing comments made in the magazine, but let me hasten to assure you that those members who have come along as a result have, I think, been mildly surprised – if I may say so without appearing too conceited – to find that the bark is far worse than the bite.

The Society has to succeed and I strive hard for this aim, I hope that all members will do this in every way possible.  It is not always easy to do physical work on the site as I well know, but please do give a little more support each year apart from a financial one.

This year, how have we fared?  Taking everything into consideration we have done exceptionally well although we have not blown the trumpet too loudly.  We are being noticed and this is apparent by the ever increasing letters which are arriving from various organisations asking if official visits can be arranged.  Progress has been maintained and possibly the most important milestone has been the closing down of our Hednesford Depot.  Hednesford holds for me a number of happy memories of our early days.  However, it is no good being sentimental, we have to progress and I am glad that we are now able to concentrate all our energy at Chasewater.

P-Way work.

Progress – our efforts – what have we been doing this past twelve months?  I think this can be summarised as follows:

Last winter the track was completely relaid from the compound towards the level crossing on a new elevated bed of red shale.  The compound was also re-shaled, the last road (No.1) having just been completed.

Heavy repairs were commenced on the Barclay followed by Asbestos.  The Barclay was unfortunately pronounced unfit for further service, but Asbestos came through with flying colours and has since been in steam on several occasions.  Work is now in hand on the Neilson and it is hoped that she will be steamable for next summer.

Some of the carriages and wagons have received a lick of paint and this is helping to keep deterioration at bay.  Petrol No.1 was completely repainted and exhibited at Messrs Dormans Ltd’s Centenary celebrations in Stafford.

General repairs etc. have also been carried out to various items of stock and work has commenced on the interior of the LNWR bogie van.

The closing of the Hednesford Depot in May meant that the stock had to be dealt with quickly.  Fortunately the Coal Board came to our rescue and allowed us to store the items temporarily on a siding at their Cannock Wood Colliery yard.  Since then through the kindness of the Board all the four-wheelers and the Maryport & Carlisle coach have been transferred to our Chasewater site together with the loco ‘Cannock Wood’.

The two bogie coaches are to be transferred at the Society’s expense and should be at Chasewater by the time you receive this report.  The Coal Board have also offered to move the GER six-wheeler for us so this will leave only the Royal Saloon.

The future of the Saloon is at present being negotiated with the Midland Railway Project Group, and subject to stringent safeguards it is to be placed on loan to them for a period of five token years.  However, if negotiations come to nought, the Saloon will have to be transferred to Chasewater.

So much for the physical side of things.

Administratively thinks were a little haywire, but the troubles have been slowly sorted out and the system seems to be operating a lot better.  Possibly the major step has been the registration of the Light Railway Company, and this is commended to all those who wish to become a shareholder.  Mercian has not been all it was hoped to be, mostly due to a lack of correspondence but again this is an internal matter which may be solved by whoever sits in the editorial chair.

Well, there we are, I think that just about sums it all up for another year.  Quite a lot of notable achievements, plenty of scope for more and certainly no room for complacency.

My sincere thanks to everyone on the administrative side for their help and encouragement, particularly to our Chairman, Publicity Officer for producing the mag, and the Treasurer for their forbearance.

A very sincere thank you to the working party stalwarts and in particular Mike Lewis and Derek Luker – spare their blushes – for without their continued support I would have nothing to write about at this time.

We have a regular bunch of great guys who put every ounce of energy they can muster into the Society and I am hopeful that the number will be doubled and that great play will be made of this by whoever has to produce this report at the same time next year.

For myself it has been a worthwhile job, and I hope that the satisfaction it has given me personally to be in on all the progress made this tear has in many ways rubbed off on all of you.All photographs in this post came from the ‘Mercian’ September 1970