Tag Archives: Colin McAndrew

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 55

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Bits and Pieces 55

Asbestos with the Maryport & Carlisle Coach and GW brake van

The follow-on to the previous post.

Everything out of Hednesford

From the Mercian August 1970

Secretary’s Report

They said it couldn’t be done – but it was!!!  Done by sheer hard slogging and the aid of a clapped out tractor.

Little did I think that the Cadbury van and the two open wagons at Hednesford would not be moved by road and that what I jokingly referred to last time would in fact become a reality.  It was!!  Six – yes six – of us spent two nights digging the sunken track and point out of a couple of feet of hard mud and rubble so that we could hand-shunt the wagons off the siding and onto the main section where we could couple them up to the passenger stock for removal by rail.

Deadline was Thursday evening so we had only three nights to organise the job.  It took the whole of Tuesday and part of Wednesday to dig the track out and we managed to move one of the wagons along to the point ready for transhipment.  However it stuck fast and all our efforts failed to make any impression on it.  This did not auger well for the other wagon and the van and we were almost on the point of giving it up as a bad job.

Then we spotted the tractor and after making a few quick calls we discovered that it belonged to the President, albeit he thought it was out of action with some parts missing.  A quick tickle up by the Treasurer soon proved him wrong and all was set.  We found a length of hawser and soon had the first wagon over the point.  Our troubles were solved you might think but unfortunately they were not.  There was no rail beyond the point and the wagon had to be towed onto the semi-hard ground of the yard.  The point (stub type) would not budge so the next problem was how to line up the wheels for the correct road.  This we did by towing the wagon back onto the point and then jacking up one end clear of the rail.  The jack was then knocked away sideways so as to throw the wheel flanges onto the right side of the line.  After much trial and error we managed the first one and it was coupled up to the passenger stock.  The second wagon followed similarly and by this time it was getting dusk.  We held a council of war and decided that unless the van was moved then it would have to remain at Hednesford for ever.  Out came the hurricane lamps and we trundled the van down to the points.  By this time there was quite a groove in the yard surface and the van soon found the level.  We jacked her up and with some pushing and heaving and a tug from the tractor we managed to move her into the right line where she joined the rest of the stock at about 10.30pm.

How stupid – possibly this is your first thought – can some members be? But let me say right here and now that if it wasn’t for such stalwarts and in particular those six who struggled so gamely to do a very important job, the Society would be highly successful resting on the laurels and efforts of its armchair and featherbed members.

I DON’T THINK

Those three vehicles are now at Chasewater thanks to the six, but had it been left to our non-regulars then they would have rotted away at Hednesford.  Members should be thankful that we have a solid core of stalwarts who do care about the future and who will do something about it.

Stirring it up am I – you’re damn right I am.  Where were YOU when we ran our most successful steam weekend to date?  I refer to the 27th/28th June when we were operating a small service and an exhibition as part of the Aldridge/Brownhills Festival of Sport.

I understand from the Social Organiser that he sent 10/- worth (50p) of Draw tickets and appeals for help on the days of the Festival to all members living within a 20 – 25 mile radius of the site in an effort to boost the funds.  Needless to say the response – altogether not unexpected – was NIL.  A few members did manage to sell some tickets and the surprising fact was that most of these were members whose subs were due, and not paid-up members – to me a disgusting state of affairs.

We have about 120 members scattered about the country and I am fully aware that it is not possible for all of you to attend on site due to distance away.  We have certain members who regularly donate £5 – £50 when we need to raise money urgently, we have a member who purchased one of our locos for us.  I am not getting at these members or the faithful band that turn out regularly each weekend.

I am getting at the shower – there is no other word for them – who think we can run on their subs alone.  Like other Societies I think that we can manage without this type of member even if we only have 20 members who care enough to pull their weight when we need them to.

Reverting to the weekend, the weather marred the Saturday operations, however it was all systems go on the Sunday when, had we had about another 20 members available we could have made a very fat profit form the Draw from ticket touting among the crowd which packed the Park.

I have said it many times before and I will say it again, we MUST have more help when we run these steam weekends.  The next Open Day will be Sunday August 30th.  Make a note of it NOW!

We need quite a few hands between now and then for track repairs, stock repairs and restoration and a host of other jobs too numerous to mention.  Every Sunday afternoon from 2.00pm whatever the weather we can find plenty to do, so may we see you on site fully prepared to do a little hard work.

It is a pity that every time I prepare this report all I seem to do is belay a large number of members who are close enough to the site to be able to make at least two or three visits a month.

What a change it will be when the day arrives that I can report that the turnout on working parties each week has been 30 members and that they have now completely relaid the trackwork, the three coaches are fully restored and operational, three steam locos are available and a service will be operated each weekend.

There is no reason why this should not be so if members will rid themselves of their apathy.

Hon Sec. A.A.Chatfield

 

Now a follow-up from the General Manager’s stock news

Chasewater News

Apart from the usual lack of manpower things have been happening on site this past three or four weeks in preparation for the Festival Weekend and other events.

In the last issue I summarised the various jobs to be done and this met with a fair response so I will repeat it again this month.

Asbestos

I am pleased to report that she is now fully operational and was successfully steamed on June 20th on the occasion of the visit paid by the L.C.G.B  Under the able hands of Mike Lewis she was again performing for the Festival Weekend and proved quite an attraction.

Barclay

The boiler inspector’s report has now been received and he has condemned her boiler.  This means we shall have to either order a new one, which at this stage is financially out of the question, or we may be able to buy a reasonable second-hand one from one of three or four of the same class which are known to be still operational.  To help defray the cost we propose to sell the old boiler as scrap.  In the meantime the loco will be put back together as a static exhibit.

Neilson


Work will now be put in hand to strip this loco down for a boiler inspection.  We understand that the boiler is in good condition and that we should be able to get the loco operational by next summer providing we have enough man-power to work on her.  Mike Lewis will again be dealing with the job and he will need some assistance.  Any offers?

Hudswell and Lance

These will be kept oiled and painted until after the work on the Neilson has been done.  Again, any offers?

Cannock Wood

I am pleased to report that this is now safely at Chasewater having been delivered on June 26th.  It is unlikely that she will run in the foreseeable future as a new boiler will be needed if reports which we have are correct.  Work will therefore be confined to a thorough repaint and general restoration as a static exhibit.  This should keep a couple of members fully occupied for the next few months, so may I have some volunteers?

 

Diesel No.1

This is still out of commission, have we any members who are knowledgeable enough to work on her, please?

Diesels 20/21

Pic – Ross Lockley

These are both running now and are in need of a repaint.  I hope to make one or the other available fro this purpose during the next month or so.  It should not take too long to refurbish the paintwork on both of them and if any members would like to help then please contact the Secretary on site.  He will be supervising this part of the work.

Petrol No.1

Through the efforts of Arthur Chatfield who did the bulk of the restoration work on this loco, it was just about ready for display at Messrs. Dorman’s Ltd. exhibition in Stafford from June 22nd to July 4th.  I am grateful to him, for the hard work he put in on this project and for the assistance that he received from the Chairman.  The loco proved to be quite an attraction at Dorman’s and I am sure we may receive some benefit from the resulting publicity.

Other Rolling Stock

Apart from the stock already on site you will have read in this issue that the two open wagons and the Cadbury van have now been delivered to Chasewater.  These have also bee joined by the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the LNWR Brake bogie van.  The ‘Paddy’ coach and the TPO coach are due in the very near future and also the GER six-wheeler.   This will only leave the Royal Saloon, and the Committee have agreed in principle, subject to various safeguards, that this vehicle should be placed on loan to the Midland Railway Project Group at Derby.  Should the Group decline then arrangements will be made to transfer it to Chasewater.

From this you will note that all our assets will be at one site and there is a lot of work to be done on them.  John Elsley has already offered to repair the roof on the Maryport & Carlisle and to do other jobs on it so that it may be available for the Bank Holiday weekend.  A start has been made by Bob Ives and Phil Dunning on repainting one of the open wagons.  There is plenty of other work to do particularly reproofing jobs and if John Elsley can have two more members to assist him he is prepared to tackle the GWR Brake, the LNWR Brake and the SECR Brake roofs, so that they may be watertight before the winter sets in.

Another top priority will be the laying of the other siding in the compound so that all the stock may be put under lock and key.  It is imperative that this work should be completed as quickly as possible and as many hands as possible will be needed.  I should like to see this job done before the middle of August and if we can get a real good turnout we should be able to meet this deadline.  Is it too much to ask, in spite of the holiday period?

Well that’s about the size of it.  There is plenty to do and enough to keep 50 members fully occupied between now and the end of the year.  We can find plenty of tools and materials to do these jobs – what we also need are the hands to do them!

You have read what six members can achieve when pushed hard, please try and think what 30 regulars could do at a more leisurely pace if I could persuade them to turn up on site each Sunday afternoon for the next two or three months.

Won’t you give it a try?

A. Holden, General Manager, Chasewater Site.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 54 from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 54 from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

 

Rolling Stock Report

Chasewater Site

The following schedule of commitments refers only to the present stock on site; these will be greatly enhanced when certain other stock has been safely delivered from Hednesford.  We have a tight schedule to keep if we are going to provide a steam operated line this year and it is imperative that we get under way as soon as possible.

 

Asbestos

Boiler lagging and fittings have been removed and all applicable joints packed for a hydraulic test.  The initial inspection has been carried out by the boiler inspector who has okayed the boiler as fit, subject to some plugs being replaced and another test run before he issues the certificate.

The boiler barrel and underside of the tank are being red-leaded and painted.  Work is under the supervision of Mike Lewis who will need another two reliable assistants as soon as possible.  Work on lowering the tank, etc. will be done as soon as the boiler inspector has finished his tests.

 

Barclay – Colin McAndrew

This has been completely dismantled in preparation for repairs to the firebox stays by an outside contractor.  All the old tubes have also been withdrawn and will be replaced when the other repairs are done.  A lot of work will then be required to put the loco together ready for the boiler tests and final restoration including painting.  Mike Lewis is again supervising and needs two more assistants.

 

Neilson, Hudswell & Lance

Work on these three will have to be confined to oiling, greasing and generally touching up of paintwork, etc. until work has been satisfactorily done on the other two locos.  Volunteers are required for this.

 

Diesel No.1

This is at present out of commission with gear and clutch trouble.  Have we any reliable members who have knowledge of the workings of diesels and who could take this loco in hand?  Our regular fitters are already taxed to the limit with the other diesels.

 

Diesels Nos. 20/21

Minor repairs to the injectors and other routine work is well in hand on these two.  Both are due for a complete repaint and again volunteers conversant with the trade are asked to come forward.  Arthur Chatfield would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Petrol No.1

Cleaning down work is now well in hand.  This loco has to be ready for exhibition at Dorman’s Ltd., Stafford for week commencing June 22nd.  This leaves very little time for the two regulars seconded to the job.  More help is needed here; again, volunteers are required most urgently.

 

Other Rolling Stock

This has been lumped together because the variety of jobs required on most of the vehicles is almost identical.  Two of the coaches are sheeted over due to leaking roofs, anybody care to take on the job of re-felting them?  It will need at least two people.  There are also a considerable number of loose or cracked panels which need attention before they are painted in undercoat.  The running board on the Great Western brake needs repairing and re-bolting and of course a real good start on painting the interiors of the passenger stock would not be amiss.  There is enough work to allocate at least three people to each item of stock or a gang of five regulars tackling each item in order of urgency.  We cannot spare this number from the present compliment; we need more of you on site to help us do this vital work.

It may also be stated that there is a lot of work to be done to the Trackwork and again more help is needed.

No offer of assistance will be refused – this cannot be afforded.

A. Holden – General Manager, Chasewater Site.

 

 

Secretary’s Report from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

 

It seems that my forecast for the movement of the smaller items of stock from Hednesford to Chasewater was way off the beam.  Let me hasten to add that several snags cropped up which had to be examined with regard to the transport.

Those of you who are familiar with the layout of the yard at Hednesford will know that there is an acute angle bend to be negotiated by any road vehicle which is delivering to or conveying from the yard any bulky items.  This unfortunately precludes all but the smallest type of low-loader, and the one that we had lined up for moving the four wheelers would not go round the corner.

We have, through the good offices of our President, made another approach to a different operator and we hope that he has a vehicle which can do the job.  If this fails then we shall have to dig out the point to the spur upon which the wagons are standing, this having sunk into the thick mud, so that we can shunt the wagons onto the main siding for removal by rail with the other stock.  The Coal Board have informed us that they will move the stock up to Cannock Wood Colliery yard either the first or second week of May and we now await clearance from British Rail that the stock is fit to run over the line to the Colliery which is their property.  Once the stock is at the Colliery yard it will be put under lock and key in the compound and the smaller items, such as the six-wheelers, E1, and, if necessary the four-wheelers will be shipped from there to Chasewater by road as there are better loading facilities at the Colliery yard to manoeuvre a big low-loader.

I sincerely hope that my forecast that most of the smaller stock will be at Chasewater by the time you either read this or receive the next edition will in fact be true for we shall require some of it for use at the Festival of Sport and also for the late Bank Holiday in August.

To impress upon you the need for better turnouts at working parties, you will find included in this issue (following) a run down on the various items of rolling stock and brief details of work which urgently needs to be either started and carried through, or which has already been started and which needs completing.

It is an impossible task for the present working parties to cope with the amount of work available, and I plead to all members with cars to try and get along to the site prepared to put in at least a couple of hours graft.  The weather seems to be picking up so we must pray for plenty of sunshine as we rely on this due to the present lack of covered space where we can operate if it rains.  May I count on your help over the next few Saturdays and Sundays???

May I, before closing this report, welcome on your behalf our newly co-opted Social Organiser, Gordon Loach.  Gordon has had many years experience in running carnivals, garden parties and other such fund raisers, and with the help of his good lady Mrs. Loach and, we hope, a ladies committee, he will be able to bring a bit of social life to the society which is lacking at the present.

Hon. Sec. A.A.Chatfield

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 47, Mercian April 1969

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 47, Mercian April 1969

Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire coach pre-Chasewater

 

This post was taken from various reports in the Mercian of April 1969

This Mercian seems to cover March/April and May/June 1969.

There as a new Editor for the magazine and the poor man in charge appears to have similar problems to any other magazine – a lack of articles!

 

Secretary’s Report – T.G.Cousens

After slow progress during the winter months at Chasewater, in which time only the arrival of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln Railway coach broke the monotony of packing the track with red ash, progress is again in evidence.MSL Coach at Easingwold

The appointment of Mr.A.Holden to General Manager has seen marked changes in only a few short weeks, the most noticeable being the complete levelling of the compound and laying of track foundation into it.  Behind the scenes however, small departments have been formed to work on various aspects of the line with people responsible for each of the allocated tasks.

However, working parties are small so progress will be slow – do we have to wait until the line is operating to see 90% of the membership?!  Why not come down one Sunday afternoon and do a bit of shovelling, things will then begin to come to life.

A successful Open Day was held in conjunction with Messrs. Courtaulds Ltd., Coventry and organised by Gerald Wildish with the Company.  Many visitors arrived to photograph the two Pecketts, one, ‘Rocket’ was seen at work on the Foleshill Railway.  Many items were sold from the RPS stand which resulted in a fair profit to us.

The exhibition team was also at work at Huyton, Liverpool, at the preservation exhibition, the Open Day at Chasewater during the Easter week-end and the Stafford Railway Circle exhibition.

Well done to the members who attended these stands, especially the Huyton one.

The Barclay ‘Colin McAndrew’ was in steam on Easter Sunday and Monday under the able direction of Mike Lewis and Derek Luker.  She unfortunately blew a tube on the Sunday but after a quick trip by Rob Duffill (our hero!!) to Hixon for a spare, the locomotive crew replaced the defective tube and raised steam for a second time the same day!  No stock was hauled because of work required on the track – members please note.  Until this work is done Open Days will be severely restricted, so may we see more of you assisting at Chasewater.Colin McAndrew at Greening Wireworks, Warrington.

From the Public Relations Officer’s Page – G. Wildish

 

The first mention was of the next Open Days, June 28th and 29th 1969, with the expectation of large numbers of visitors and asking for members to come along and help.

There was a request for more photographs for the cover of the magazine, which unfortunately do not reproduce very well.  The Foleshill Railway Open Day had to be cut short and apologies were given to anyone affected.

A number of publications were mentioned – ‘Preserved locomotives of the World’ and ’Narrow Gauge Steam 1969’ for which a second impression is being prepared, later to be followed by ‘Narrow Gauge Steam 1970’

A publication for continental travellers – ‘German Steam’ has been prepared by an RPS member, so the Society is getting half of the profits, with thanks.

The final two publications were – ‘Railway Modeller’ which contained an article by Gerald Wildish and ‘Railway Enthusiasts Guide 1969/70’ which contained some information about the RPS.

There was an appeal for funds to move a locomotive of the Taff Vale Railway, and another appeal for volunteers to join a ‘paint in’ at Chasewater to give the rolling stock a much needed coat of paint.

Chasewater Railway Museum Jan 1969 Bits & Pieces 46

From the ‘Mercian’ of January 1969

From the Secretary’s Report  – Trevor G. Cousens

On 21 September 1968, the Society held its 9th Annual General Meeting at the Pear Tree Inn, Brownhills.  The attendance was very poor considering the attraction of a steam trip down the line afterwards.

After the meeting, sandwiches were supplied by Pete Parker, proprietor of the Pear Tree, and then members crossed the road where in brilliant evening sunshine stood the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST, (Colin McAndrew) immaculate in green and red, with polished brass and copper-work.

Members were invited on to the train comprising the Midland (or Coal Board) brake van, the Midland brake coach and the Great Western brake.  The train departed with Mr. Civil driving and Mr. Luker firing, the team, who with Mike Lewis had so painstakingly restored the locomotive.  She was opened up to pull the train up the 1 in 50 bank to the causeway causing the steam pressure to drop rather drastically to 40 lbs per square inch, but this is probably the longest run the loco has ever made without running over the same tracks twice, and its small boiler and firebox being designed more for a 3’ 6” gauge loco, this is not surprising.

Over the causeway, we ran on to the shore again until we were held up by some rather enthusiastic ditching by Bob Wormington, which caused the loco cylinders to come into contact with the spoil.  We ran on until we reached the end of the line, where a stop was made to raise steam for the return journey.  The loco was once again admired by the members, its rather peculiar mechanical pump a feature of interest on the running plate.

The return journey was made almost without incident, a point switched the wrong way round caused a minor sensation, but we returned safely to the Compound, where some rather complicated shunting was carried out before putting the engine to bed.  In fact, it was 9.00pm and dark when Laurence Hodgkinson finally put the diesel in with the rest of the stock which had been parked in the loop out of the way.

So ended the third RPS steaming at Chasewater, giving some encouragement to those who had worked so painstakingly to make this event possible.  But, it made one think about the amount of work still to be done, principally on track, but also on locos and stock before these steamings become a regular feature.

In the Treasurer’s Report by Frank Harvey, it was noted that, among others, Mr. R. Duffill  joined the Society!

Chasewater Railway Museum – Taken from the Mercian July – August 1966 Vol.5 No.4

Taken from the Mercian July – August 1966 Vol.5 No.4

 

From the Secretary’s Report.

Members will be pleased to hear that we have moved the Barclay saddletank to the Hixon yard of our friend Jake Bacon.  (I’ve not read anything about this loco in the magazines until now.  It’s now known as Colin McAndrew!  There’s a photo of it at Hixon.)

Barclay Loco Colin McAndrew at Hixon – Rob Duffill’s Collection.

Renovation work is in progress until such time as she can be moved to the safety of the Chasewater building.  It is hoped that the two Pecketts will join her in the very near future, and I would like to express thanks to all those who have responded to the call for cash to cover the removal expenses.

Progress at Chasewater has been maintained steadily by the faithful few and the line is now in up to the site of the building.  The other track here has been left for the time being to enable the contractors to work in the confines of the trackbed.  A start has been made at the causeway end of the line in re0laying a length taken out by the demolition people and then work will centre on track tidying, moving a considerable amount of shale and spoil to strengthen the embankment near the small overbridge and other remedial works.  We shall still need plenty of help so please come.

From the Treasurer’s Report

Finance is reasonable at the moment but Chasewater is a big drain on resources and we must try to stem the flow as much as possible without jeopardising the project. (Given the state of Chasewater water level at the moment, the wording seems very prophetic!)

 

Late Round Up – Hon. Editor

I must apologise most profusely for the lateness of this edition due to personal circumstances beyond my control.   The next edition will reach you on time, and will contain news of the AGM.  I hope you will bear with me this time as I do like to have the mag. out on time.  (Considering the fact that this was the fourth magazine of the year members nowadays would certainly bear with him!)