Chasewater Railway Museum 1966 Mar-April Vol.5 No.2 Bits & Pieces 34

Chasewater Railway Museum 1966 Mar-April Vol.5 No.2 Bits & Pieces 34

Taken from the Officers’ Reports Mercian Mar-April 1966 Vol. 5 No.2

An early booking office

 

The Editorial started with an apology for the slightly poor printing in parts of the previous issue, and thanks to the members who responded to the call for more articles – still more needed!

The Editorial continued:

A certain cross-section of the Society are seething about the ex-NSR Battery loco which has been restored and which will be displayed in the Staffs County Council Museum at Shugborough Hall.

The Society wrote to British Rail more than three years ago to ascertain when this loco would be taken out of traffic.  A reply from the Company stated that our interest had been noted and that when withdrawn the Midland Area (RPS) would have a chance of purchasing the loco although no price was given at the time.

It would now appear that there has been some internal skulduggery in the Stoke Offices of British Rail and the Society has been completely passed over without so much as a letter informing them of the new plans for the loco.  It seems a pity that when British Rail change their Area Managers they also change their minds about genuine requests for the earmarking of relics.  One hopes that this practise will not spread, otherwise preservation societies will not know where they are when earmarking future items for which they have the ready money. (I must find out what happened to this loco! Now in National Railway Museum).

How many of you caught the picture of our few stalwarts working at Chasewater which appeared in the ‘Express & Star’ on February 7th???  I hope it conveyed to those who saw it that we have a crying need for more hands on the site.  We have just over a month to complete relaying up to the point where the building will stand.  We are fortunate in having some useful pieces of equipment to help us speed up the work but most of all we need a few – no, a hell of a lot more – hands to use it.  There are now Saturday and Sunday afternoon working parties, can you make one of them at least three times per month???Not the pic from the paper but you must get the point!

Laurence Hodgkinson Collection.

 

To explain the next paragraph for those of tender years!

Barbara Castle.

As Minister of Transport (23 December 1965–6 April 1968), she presided over the closure of approximately 2050 miles of railways as she enacted her part of the Beeching Cuts – a betrayal of pre-election commitments by the Labour party to halt the proposals. Nevertheless, she refused closure of several lines, one example being the Looe Valley Line in Cornwall, and introduced the first Government subsidies for socially necessary but unprofitable railways in the Transport Act 1968.

Sandplace Halt

A request stop on the Looe Valley Railway Line.

© Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It had to come – a woman in charge of the nations transport.  Already the winds of change are blowing through Transport House and many rumours have flooded the railway press concerning the fate of the present restored transport relics and more particularly those awaiting restoration.  It has been announced that the smaller relics section at York is due to be closed and it would seem that if this goes through it will act as the thin end of the wedge for Clapham itself.

Privately preserved relics are reasonably assured of safety but what of those still within the control of British Rail?  We have been told that two locos which have already been scheduled are now off the list, what others will follow?  The ARPS must unite now, to stop any acts of vandalism being carried out on these treasures of our transport heritage.  A small voice will be no good in the wilderness of Transport House, there must be a noise like the trumpets at Jericho!

Will it come too late??!!

One appreciates the difficulties involved but a concerted effort by all enthusiasts irrespective of society or railway bias, must come now.

I am sure that the ARPS will be to the forefront when the time arrives for a showdown with the lady who has a finger on the button which could destroy for ever the tangible reminders of our transport history.

More from the pleading treasurer!

In response to my appeal one or two members have donated something towards the removal costs of the two Peckett 0-4-0STs and I am very grateful indeed.  A lot more would be welcome, also donations towards the cost of the Stroudley E1, on which we still owe the NCB £100.

From the Chasewater Secretary

Thanks to my pointed appeal for guarantors I am pleased to say that the response has been overwhelming, and we have the requisite number.  My thanks to all those who made such generous offers – it brings us one step nearer to our ambitions.

Chasewater Railway Museum 1966 Jan-Feb Bits & Pieces 33

Taken from the Officers’ Reports, Mercian Jan-Feb 1966, Vol.5 No.1

 

The Editorial was largely taken up by explaining who was doing what.  Malcolm Willis was to be the Membership Secretary and A.A.Chatfield was to take over as Editor.

The present content will remain as in my predecessor’s time but I shall be introducing new ideas as I go along.

The most difficult thing will be to find ‘copy’ and you can all help by sending in articles, comment, criticisms – constructive or destructive – and anything else of both preservation and general railway interest.

I want to make Mercian really interesting from all angles – a start has been made by ‘Tre Pol and Pen’ and ‘Casey Jones’ (articles to come about branch lines and loco classes) – but there are other avenues of preservation still untapped such as railway architecture, carriages and wagons and signalling.  Who will start the ball rolling?????

Hon. Treasurer’s Report –  F.J.Harvey

I am pleased (you don’t see a Treasurer’s report start with those words very often!!) to be able to make my first report for 1966 quite a good one.  If the Society can maintain the good start to the New Year our position will be more healthy than it has been for some time.

The Society aims to complete payments on the Stroudley E1 this year – £115 is still owing.  Anyone who is interested in this locomotive is invited to send in a donation to this as payments are being maintained from the general funds at present.  Whilst talking about donations I would like to sincerely thank Mr. J. Strong and Mr. G. Wildish for their donations towards the removal of the Peckett 0-4-0STs.  More contributions are requested to this fund also.

Hon. Social Organiser –  A.L.Holden

 

A brief report about the Annual Dinner and Whist Drive – both successful, with two junior members – Andrew Horton and William Ives  – selling a huge number of Whist Drive tickets.

The Hon. Treas. and Hon. Soc. are promoting a weekly Tote amongst members and friends to raise money for the Society.  I believe that this Tote proved to be successful and continued for a number of years.   (I’ll let you know if it didn’t!)

 

Hon. Chasewater Secretary –  E. W. Barlow

Museum Building.  Without beating about the bush it will be as well if all members know that the loan repayments for the building will be approximately £245 per annum.  We urgently need members over 21 years of age to act as guarantors.  Will any such members please write to me in strict confidence NOW.  If 20 members are prepared to guarantee £20 each we shall be there.

Hon. Curator –  N. HadlowMSL Coach at Easingwold

MS & LR Coach. This vehicle, the first relic ever to be purchased by the RPS will soon be on its way to a temporary home at the HQ of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. (Lovely railway, lovely people!) To move and begin initial restoration will cost £140.  The Vintage Carriage Trust are finding this money, but have asked us to help out with as big a donation as possible.  Will all members interested in yet another appeal aimed at their pockets please send donations to our Hon. Treasurer.  Amounts over £5 will be acknowledged in this magazine.MSL Coach in Chasewater Railway Heritage Centre 2010

On Sunday January 9th we moved the ex North Staffs Railway wagon which we purchased from the Shelton Iron & Steel Co., Etruria, to Chasewater.  In spite of a biting cold wind the operation went off reasonably smoothly. (I would have been surprised if there hadn’t been a biting wind at Chasewater in January!). My thanks to all those who assisted, particularly Bob Wormington and our good friend Jake Bacon, who provided his low loader.

Judging by the old photographs of the Chasewater site, it must have been wide open to the elements with very few trees providing shelter from the wind.  Anyone who has worked on the track in the winter months, even now, especially on the causeway, deserves the thanks and recognition of all members).

Chasewater Railway Museum – Dec 1965 Bits & Pieces 32

Taken from the Mercian, December 1965 Vol.4 No.6

 

Editorial

 

As you will notice, this issue of ‘Mercian’ is shorter than we have recently been used to.  This is due to the indisposition of the Editor, Malcolm Willis, who has entered hospital.  I am sure all members will wish Malcolm a speedy recovery, and hope that he may soon return to the most valuable work which he does fro the Society.

Malcolm Willis returned to the Society, but not to the Editorship of the ‘Mercian’, taking on the role as Membership Secretary.  He did an excellent job of expanding the Magazine and would surely be missed.

This is the last edition of Mercian this year, a year which has been very rewarding for the Society.  We have realised one of our major schemes, the purchase of our branch line at Chasewater.  Work has been going on there for some months, and track-laying has gone on steadily.  Early next year we hope to have a permanent building erected, and several locomotives delivered.  If work is to go ahead as planned in the New Year, more assistance will be needed, and I appeal to all members who can help in any way to visit the Hednesford depot or the Chasewater branch any Sunday, when you will be made very welcome.

 

From the Chairman’s Report  –  A. Holden.No.9 Cannock Wood – Stroudley E1 – J.Powell

I like this photo as it shows the Valley pit in the background (left, above the wagons) and the Hednesford War Memorial in the background (right, above the carriage)  JD

Once again we are almost at the end of another eventful year for the Society with the prospect for 1966 even brighter.

A great deal of work has been done at Chasewater and at Hednesford by our gallant band of stalwarts who give their time each weekend to further our aims and ambitions.  Lots more work has still to be done and many more workers are needed to help carry the burden.

The Society is deeply indebted to one of our members, namely Dr. Plummer, for his generosity in purchasing and cost of transporting a locomotive to Chasewater.

Any Society which is to survive in these days of rising costs must have a healthy Bank Balance, and I strongly urge all members to participate in all money-raising efforts which are organised to help the Society to stay solvent.

We are fortunate in having many friends who are sympathetic to our cause, even if they are not members, who give willingly in so many ways, such as refreshments or prizes for various events, helping at Open Days and last, but not least, rummage for our annual event which Mr. Wooding organises each year.

Chasewater Light Railway Report  –  D.A.Ives.  Hon. Sec.

Good progress was made during the golden month of October.  Work has slowed down during the winter months.  However, a few real stalwart members have continued to lift and relay track in spite of cold and wet conditions.  Work parties are being conducted on Saturday afternoons, weather permitting.  Track-laying must continue during these winter months if the full length is to be completed by April.  The Chasewater party consists of approx. 12 regular members, who are now resigned to the fact that the job will have to be completed by them and them alone.Chasewater 1966 – Laurence Hodgkinson

Stop Press!!!  A strong steel door has been fitted to the platelayers hut at Chasewater, where we intend to store all our track-laying tools.

Treasurer’s Report  –  F.J.Harvey.

 

I would like to begin my report by thanking all those members who have renewed their membership subscriptions since the last issue of Mercian.  There are still quite a lot of lapsed members, however.  This is the time of year for giving, so please help the Society by sending your subscriptions as soon as possible.

The loan which was needed to buy the Midland Railway Royal Saloon has now been completely repaid.  We shall now be able to give more attention to clearing the outstanding debt on the Stroudley E1 as outlined in the last issue.

So far we have received no offers of financial help towards the transportation of the Peckett 0-4-0ST from Warrington.  As I have pointed out before, this is a matter of extreme urgency.  Unless we have some support, we shall be throwing away a working locomotive.  Please see what you can do  to help.  Any donation, no matter how small, will be most welcome.

Still not enough working members or money – but they kept going!

Chasewater Railway Museum – 1965 Oct Bits & Pieces 31

Taken from the Mercian October 1965 Vol.4 No.5

Another long magazine, with three more pages dealing with general preservation issues and a further two pages devoted to a humorous look at ‘Meetings’, which does not concern the vast majority of our members – our meetings are too short to be funny!!

Excerpts from the Officers’ reports

Treasurer’s Report – F.J.Harvey

Once again we start a new financial year, one which no doubt will provide a great many headaches for the committee.

In order that our projects can go ahead our financial position must improve a great deal.  We have just paid our first year’s rent for the Chasewater branch which has rather depleted our bank balance.  I would like to appeal to all members for financial support. This is urgent as we have several items of expenditure looming up.

One of the platelayers cabins on the Chasewater branch is in need of considerable repair.  This will have to be done in the next few weeks so that our track laying equipment can be stored there in safety.  A petrol trolley would be a tremendous asset if the money was forthcoming.  Members are having to push a loaded trolley, weighing over two tons, for over half a mile and this distance is increasing each week as we lay more track.

We are also faced with the problem of moving the Peckett 0-4-0ST from Warrington.  This is likely to be quite expensive and anyone who is interested in seeing the locomotive in steam at Chasewater next year is requested to give some financial support.

Turning to a more cheerful note, the loan for the Midland Railway Royal Saloon should be paid off completely by December.  We hope that this will enable us to concentrate on paying off the outstanding money on the E1 0-6-0T (Cannock Wood) £125.  Donations are still urgently required here.

The committee are trying to raise money but we do need the support of all members.  This is a crucial moment in the life of our society.  Please help now while there is still time.  If any member is prepared to help us in raising money, please contact one of the committee immediately.  If we can raise £300 we will almost certainly succeed at Chasewater.  This is not a large sum considering the size of the project and I am certain that it can be raised if all members help.Inside the old Museum Coach – Barry Bull

AGM Report  –  from our Publicity Officer.

I’ve skipped the Chairman’s Report this time, most of it is included here.

The 6th Annual General meeting of the Midlands Area was held at the YMCA in Wolverhampton on 18th September 1965 with 25 people present.  In his address, the Chairman, A.Holden, thanked the Committee for their support during the past year, John Elsley and his band of helpers for the hard, heavy work being done at Chasewater, and also thanked the Editor of Mercian, Malcolm Willis for his work.  He also thanked everyone who attended the Annual Dinner arranged last year, and said that it had been a turning point for the Society with regards to the number of people who had been introduced to it.

David Ives, in his report , stressed the point that we desperately need more help with the track laying at Chasewater if we are to succeed, and that it was a pity that we had so many apathetic members.  He also said that money-making activities were essential to keep up the funds.

Frank Harvey said that the past year had been a fairly good one financially, but in the next twelve months we were going to need a great deal more money and support if we were going to fulfil our aims.

All members were urged to renew their subscriptions if they had lapsed, and to really try and help the society in some way, as the next year will be a testing time for us.  If however we all work together we will succeed.

Chasewater Project

In order that we may keep to schedule with track laying and be in a position to build the depot/museum in early 1966, it has been decided that we should provide full facilities for working parties on SATURDAY AFTERNOONS.  As you have read in other parts of this issue we desperately need more manpower, and it is imperative that this need is met.  We implore members to take advantage of this work party if they cannot reach those on Sundays.  Please, please help!

The next plea is more or less a legal matter.  With the loan for the building, we will need to payback to Brownhills Urban District Council £245 per annum.  In order to meet the terms of the loan we need GUARANTORS to assure payment of this amount if the society should fail – which is highly unlikely.  If you could guarantee only £1 we should be highly grateful.  If you are willing to help in this way or even if you are only toying with the idea in your mind, we appeal to you to write for further details to the Chasewater Secretary.‘Smoke on the Water’ – this time from Barry Bull in the 1980s!

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No 30

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No 30

This post is taken from the Mercian of August 1965 Vol.4 No.4

One of the longest Mercians so far, but the first three pages were taken up by an article on railway preservation in general in the early days – I’m afraid that I didn’t manage to read it all.

There are three articles which I shall reproduce, two about other branch lines and one about steam locomotive classes from a ‘leisurely’ era.

This post just contains the officers’ reports, which give an indication of progress being made by the Midlands Area of the Railway Preservation Society, especially concerning the transfer to Chasewater.

 

From the Chairman’s Report. – A.L.Holden

Since my last report, developments have been going ahead at Chasewater, the track, having been inspected by a British Railways Permanent Way Ganger, was found to be in better condition than hoped. Weeding and general tidying up has been started by various members but more willing hands are needed to help carry on this operation.

A meeting will be held at the Lamb and Flag Hotel, Little Haywood to discuss track maintenance with a professional P. Way ganger.

The proposed visit to the Talyllyn Railway will take place on Sunday, September 5th – tickets priced at 15/- (75p).

Changing ends, Nant Gwernol

Nant Gwernol station is the end of the line for the Talyllyn Railway and the locomotive is run round the coaches to pull them back down to Tywyn Wharf.

© Copyright E.Gammie and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Secretary’s Report – D.A.Ives

 

Our open weekend held on the 19th and 20th June was a reasonable success.  A lot of members’ faces were absent, but a very grateful vote of thanks to all who helped.  These I may add were the usual working party, committee members and wives.  Several new members were enrolled, this is always encouraging.

Special mention should be made of the interest that was shown at the Kingsmead Secondary School, Hednesford ‘After School Activities Exhibition’, some 30 societies exhibiting, including the RPS.  Some good work was put in by school members of the RPS, Brian Hames and Frank Craddock, in manning our stand.  A very good job has been done by Stephen Ferreday in casting an axlebox cover for the Maryport & Carlisle Railway coach; this is an extremely good replica of the original.  We’re all very indebted to these junior members.

We hope to announce some definite progress re. Chasewater building in the near future and we do appeal to any members who have time on their hands during the summer school holidays to write in and offer their services.  Mention must be made here of the very useful restoration work put in by Mike Lewis, Vivian Miles and Maurice Harper during their annual holiday.  We are most grateful to these members for the giving of their time.

A special membership drive is envisaged in the near future, a membership build-up being vital in order that the Chasewater project can be carried through to its successful conclusion.  The success stands or falls by the determination of society members.

Treasurer’s Report – F.J.Harvey

Generally speaking, the year has been quite a good one but we do need more members.  This is where everyone in the Society can play a part.  Our nucleus of working members have, over the past few years, introduced a number of people to the Society.  It would be a great help if people who lived some distance from the depot could recruit more members in their own area, even if they cannot visit us very often.  We do not expect everyone to come and work at the depot each week although we are delighted to see new faces.

Please go round to your friends who may be interested and sign them up.  It’s their subscription we want when all said and done!  Some people offer the lame excuse that they cannot join the society because they are unable to take an active part.  This is ridiculous! If everyone adopted this attitude there would be no railway preservation societies of any sort.  Everyone can help in some way or other and recruitment of new members is as good as any.  If you know of anyone interested, write to the editor and ask him to send details.

The more money we have, the more we can preserve, and the sooner we shall have our own working railway.

Chasewater Secretary’s Report – E.W.Barlow

 

In this, my first report to you, I am pleased to be able to say that the negotiations regarding the financing of the building at Chasewater have been satisfactorily completed.

The target date for the Museum at Chasewater is April 1966.  This gives us only a short time in which to complete the building and to prepare the track.

We must have the assistance of every member who is able to help at Chasewater as often as possible.  Would all members who are willing to help at Chasewater let me know and I will be able to give details of the working party arrangements.

Laurence Hodgkinson

North Staffordshire Meetings

 

At the June meeting, where Mr. Gibson gave a lecture on the North Eastern Railway, I was disappointed with the attendance.  After much research work, Mr. Gibson’s efforts were heard by only about twelve people, and I hope that he was not too greatly embarrassed by this.

At the meeting on August 31st, Mr. C.A.Moreton will be motoring from Coventry to give a lecture on the North Staffordshire Railway.  He is an authority on this subject and I hope to see a great number of new faces there.

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Dec 1964, Bits & Pieces 24

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Dec 1964 Bits & Pieces 24

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ December 1964, 3.3

The Chasewater Branch Line

By Brian Kinder.

The Chasewater line is situated round half the perimeter of the Chasewater Pool.  The pool itself is now being extensively developed as one of the largest amusement areas in the Midlands, and to this end Brownhills Council is spending several thousands of pounds.  When development work is completed, it is hoped that a large proportion of Birmingham and area’s population will visit the pool annually.  It will therefore be appreciated, the great potential of a railway museum situated in this location, where there will be such a great concentration in the summer months, of day-trippers.

The proposed track itself was constructed in the main by the Midland Railway, and a small section by a colliery company.  The line was used for mineral traffic from the collieries, however a station was built at Brownhills, at which all passenger traffic terminated.

Due to our section of the line’s sole use for mineral traffic, the track is in a poor state of repair, the poorest part being from the marshalling yard to the north.  The main work therefore will be to relay the track in certain places, and clean out and in some places repipe the drainage system.

The work on the line will have to be completed by the end of 1965, if not sooner, depending on the closure of the connecting line by British Railways.  Therefore we will need everyone’s help to get the work done.

We will not be able to manage with the present sized work party of 14 or so members, as it takes these fellows every Sunday to keep the stock at the depot in order.  We are not asking you to attend every week, but if you could attend monthly or bi-monthly periods, it would help to clear up the situation tremendously.

The line is only one mile from Brownhills Station (BR – LMR) (Still a few months before closure!) and if you could see it, you would see its great potential if a success was made of it.  Success however can only be achieved with 100% help from YOU!!

Action in North StaffordshireNorth Staffordshire Railway – 1845/1923

NSR Signals

The National Coal Board has donated four NSR lower quadrant signals to the RPS.  They are in good condition, with only one exception, when on being removed from the site at the Pinnox Crossings (South of Tunstall Station in the Potteries), Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, left its base firmly implanted in the muddy ground.

The largest of the four has been erected at the depot at Hednesford – an excellent view of the surroundings being commanded from the top.  We hope to plant the other three on the Chasewater Branch.

NSR Rolling Stock

On a recent survey of the internal railway of Shelton Iron & Steel Ltd., several wagons and three box-vans of the North Staffordshire Railway were found.

After talks with the company, we agreed on the following:

  1. The company will save an NSR wagon until March or April 1965, when it will be purchased and collected by the Society.
  2. The company will inform us of the date of withdrawal of the box-vans, giving the RPS a chance to purchase one of them.

It is probable that early this year we may be able to have a tour of their railway, which should prove far more interesting than it appears at first sight.  There are 36 miles of internal railway and there are still several steam locomotives operating.  The most interesting is perhaps an 0-4-0, which has a crane mounted over the boiler. (Now at Foxfield Railway, by Dubs & Co Dubsy to his friends!)

North Staffs Area Meetings

It is hoped that in the new year, meetings of the members who live in or near North Staffordshire will commence at bi-monthy intervals.  Interesting lectures are planned as well as slides and cinematograph shows concerning railway preservation.  Will any members who wish to attend please send a postcard to the Hon. Editor, who will send full details when they become available (emails make life so much easier nowadays!)

The meeting place is at present being arranged, and we need a good turn-out to make them worth while.  A small fee for admission may be charged, and any  non-members will be very welcome.  If you live within reasonable travelling distance of the Potteries, do try to attend.  I assure you that you will not regret it!

Then followed reports on various social events, including the first Annual Dinner and Social Evening, held at the Eaton Lodge Hotel, Rugeley.

At Hednesford, members are still working on the Royal Saloon and the TPO, and, as ever, more help is needed!

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Nov 1964 Bits & Pieces 23

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Nov 1964 Bits & Pieces 23

Posted in August 2019 – still a lot of catching up to do!

From The ‘Mercian’ November 1964, 3.2

Due to the Editor Mr. David Bullock having other heavy commitments he resigned with Mr. M. D. Willis taking over.

The first annual Dinner and Social Evening was announced, to be held at the Eaton Lodge Hotel (demolished about 2006), tickets 12/6d each (62½p) on Monday 30th November 1964.

The Secretary thanked Mr. Bullock for his work over the past few years, wished Mr. Willis well and put out the usual appeal for members to help with the restoration work.

Treasurer’s Report

It is now some considerable time since my last report appeared in these pages and the financial situation has been through many changes.

At the present moment, I am pleased to be able to report that we have the healthiest bank balance there has been to date.  This does not mean, however, that we can afford to relax since much of our money is already committed to paying for such items as the lease for the Chasewater branch, outstanding loans and the E1 0-6-0tank locomotive.  Incidentally, over £200 is still needed to save this engine from the scrapyard.  The deadline is January, so the matter is URGENT.

A few weeks ago we held our AGM at which it was unanimously agreed that the subscription rates be increased from 21/-  (£1.05) to 25/-  (£1.25) for ordinary members and from 5/-  (25p) to 10/-  (50p) for student members.  I would like to state now, that this was done with some reluctance but with every good cause as many members are aware.

F.J.Harvey.  Hon. Treasurer.

General News

We are not responsible

One may have read in the Railway press that the ‘Railway Preservation Society’ is to attempt to purchase a 30 mile stretch of line between Uttoxeter and Buxton.  This is entirely due to a mis-use of the Society’s name.

The Society which appears to be responsible for this irresponsible scheme is the Derbyshire Railway Society, who used our name, and this month, November, has changed it to the ‘National Railway Preservation Society’.  We deplore such use of our Society’s name, or any name which might be remotely confused with ours.

Has this Society yet looked at current branch line prices?  A line of this size would cost at least £100,000.  How could such a line be purchased, and if by some miracle it was, how could any Society afford to maintain it, yet alone run their own trains over it?

Railway enthusiasm in this country does not justify such a hair-raising scheme, as that Society will find out – to their cost!!!

First in a Line?

On June 6th, British Railways held an auction at Stoke-on-Trent.   What was for sale?  The mourning remnants of stations in North Staffs. And South Cheshire, which were closed under Dr. Richard Beeching’s economisation programme.

A rare sight the auction room was!  Scores of platform seats of all types, lined up in two rows to seat their likely buyers.  Station nameboards of all shapes and sizes positioned around the room, intermingled with various types of Railway notices.

The bidding was unexpectedly fierce, two cast iron notices, which the present Hon. Ed. Attempted to purchase for 2/6d  (12½p) almost reached £5, and four well-rotted ‘GENTLEMEN’ notices reached the ludicrous price of 50 shillings  (£2.50).

As always the RPS was in the bidding!  The West Midlands District bought two North Staffordshire Railway Clocks averaging about £9.00 each, and a Midland Railway Lamp Standard, among various other things.  They were joined by Mr. Ken Vincent, Secretary of Dowty RPS and Mr. R. W. F. Smallman, of Yieldingtree Railway Museum Trust fame; their purchases including an NSR platform seat and a GWR short grandfather clock.

British Railways made over £1000 from the so-called ‘rubbish’, the bulk of which would normally provide heat for a cold workman on an icy winter’s day.

Another auction of this type is to be held at Derby on November 7th, and it looks very much as though fantastic prices will be reached yet again.

Recent Additions

The latest relics to arrive at Hednesford are as follows:-

  1. Two private owner wagons of the Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Company.      Bought from the NCB @ £5 each.
  2. A London & North Western Railway Brake/Third, the Guard’s compartment of which has been converted to a fully operational cinema.  It was purchased from the NCB for £10, but needs a lot of attention.
  3. A Midland Railway Crane.  £8.

Midland Railway Royal Saloon

This unique example of Midland Railway Regal coachbuilding has been purchased by the RPS (West Midlands District) from British Railways at a cost of £300.  This was only possible with a loan of £240 from a generous member.

The loan is being paid back at the rate of £10 per month to this fine member, who wished to remain anonymous.  His name was released at the AGM but to save further embarrassment, we will not mention it in these columns, but let it be ‘broadcast’ by word of mouth.Furnishings inside the Midland Royal Saloon