Tag Archives: East Somerset Railway

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.88

Peckett No 917

88 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

Chasewater News No.25 – November 1978 – 1

Editorial

This Newsletter is somewhat late but is somewhat lengthy, reflecting the great progress being made these days at Chasewater.  Unfortunately to progress one has to be somewhat ruthless and differences of opinion result in some people opting out of active roles and it is extremely unfortunate that several people have resigned this year as the railway is, after all, primarily a leisure activity (though I’m beginning to wonder!) but that’s life, I suppose.

However, the end of 1978 finds the Society in perhaps its strongest position ever, especially with regard to finance.  The money for the line is at present in the building society, earning interest, as the sale of the land and track to Walsall Council has been held up by technicalities, again, purchase not being likely until the New Year.

1979 promises to be a year of great strides forward, especially with the STEPS scheme and the realisation of re-opening the railway, if all goes to plan.

The Committee and the Board are all firmly convinced that the Chasewater Light Railway has got great potential and the past two years, and the resultant changes, have been essential to enable that potential to be tapped.  There is now a greater degree of professionalism about the railway which is essential as the railway expands – you cannot ’play trains’ on two miles of standard gauge railway.  Despite all these changes the railway is still great fun and the active members amongst us derive a great deal of pleasure from it and that alone justifies its continued existence.  I am sure that the amount of fun will increase along with the size of the railway.

Dave IvesIt was with a good deal of sadness that Dave Ives stepped down as President of the Society at the recent Annual General Meeting.

Dave Ives on the left – in front of one of the Worthington diesel locos, early days at Chasewater.

Dave was present at the inaugural meeting of the Railway Preservation Society at the Station Hotel, Stafford, in October 1959 and holds membership number 2.

He was Secretary of the Society from 1959 till 1968 and has been on the Committee until his recent resignation.

In recent years he has been in disagreement with certain policies, notably the sale of the ‘E1’, which others have seen as being essential to the continued progress of the railway.  I personally feel that this is in part due to a change in emphasis on the railway – away from the original static museum concept and towards a fully operational Light Railway.

Having only been in the Society since 1972, I scarcely feel qualified to comment on Dave’s contribution to the Society and to the preservation movement as a whole.  Perhaps it is sufficient to say that the Chasewater Light Railway is testimony to the belief of those people present at Stafford in 1959 that Standard Gauge railway preservation was possible and that ‘the man in the street’ could play an active role – provided he had the necessary enthusiasm.

Dave’s presence at Committee meetings and Board meetings will be missed and I am sure that everyone involved with the railway wishes him the best of health in his ‘retirement’ from the preservation movement.

Ian Patterson.

News from the Line

The past months have seen a series of comings and goings with a vast amount of work getting done in the meantime.

On Friday August 4th the Peckett locomotive from Albright & Wilson Ltd. was moved from Oldbury to the railway, transported by Messrs. Brackmills of Northampton who handled the move with their customary efficiency.  This was the start of a somewhat hectic weekend as the next day we moved the ex Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Crane from Victoria Docks (South Side) Birkenhead to Chasewater.  This was a somewhat tricky operation as there was a good 25 feet of the jib overhanging the rear of the low-loader, which caused one or two motorists anxious moments, especially the idiotic ones who tried to drive underneath the jib.  However the move was completed successfully and the next day the crane was put through its paces, lifting the side tanks off S100.

The crane was built by Messrs. Smith and Rodley of Leeds in 1947 as a vertical boilered steam crane.  In 1968 it was completely rebuilt with a new Perkins diesel engine fitted with a torque converter.  The crane is self-propelled, weighs 24 tons, has a jib 45 feet long and has a maximum lift of five tons.  It has already proved its worth and by the end of the year it will have paid for itself by the amount of work it is performing at present.  Needless to say it is in excellent condition and has been little used since 1968.

Thanks are due to Mr. J.C.James for spotting the crane and to Messrs. John Moores Lid. of Hixon for the transport.

Monday 11th September saw the departure of the ‘E1’ locomotive to Cranmore.  The move was quite involved and beset by difficulties.At Chasewater ‘Alfred Paget’ was in steam to push the loco onto the low-loader, which was achieved after much effort.  On the journey down the low-loader was subject to a blowout which caused much delay, the loco being offloaded at 10.30 pm, assisted by Cranmore’s Dubs crane tank locomotive. 

Dubs steam crane at East Somerset – pic by R.P.Wiesham, 1981, now at Foxfield Railway, Staffs.

The locomotive was unloaded in a neighbouring field and temporary track was laid to the loco shed as their site is somewhat restricted and British Rail would not allow the loco over their lines.

The Lord Fisher Loco Group plan to start work on the loco soon and it will be turned out as BR No.32110 which will no doubt shock many purists, but this is the number the loco would have carried had it lasted into British Rail ownership.

Saturday 28th October saw the arrival of a box van body from Cashmore’s Ltd. of Great Bridge.  During the winter the body will be turned out as a waiting room cum refreshment room and it is at present situated on the platform.  Thanks are due to Bassett Roadways of Tittensor for the transport of the van body.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces Nos.85 and 86

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

No. 86

From the Chasewater News Magazine No. 24 July 1978 – 2

E1 Locomotive

‘Lord Fisher’ Barclay 0-4-0ST 1398/1915 – Pic by John CorneliusThis loco is now at the Yeovil Railway Centre where it will be restored with the Gartell Light Railway.

At the committee meeting of the 22nd March it was decided that positive action to safeguard the loopline was needed and in the view of the committee the best course of action was to offer the ex. LBSCR (London, Brighton & South Coast Railway) ‘E1’ locomotive for sale.  This decision was reached after much heated discussion, during the course of the meeting Andrew Louch resigned.  The rest of the members of the committee present were unanimous in their decision to sell the locomotive.  The Hon. Sec. was instructed to obtain offers for the locomotive and at the meeting of 24th May it was decided to sell the loco to ‘The Lord Fisher Loco Group’ who reside at the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore, Somerset. ‘Lord Fisher’ Barclay 0-4-0ST 1398/1915 – Pic by John CorneliusThis loco is now at the Yeovil Railway Centre where it will be restored with the Gartell Light Railway.

The LFLG own five engines at present, the ‘E1’ will be their sixth locomotive and if it is restored to their previous standards, then it will be well worth a visit.  They have every confidence of seeing the loco in steam during the early eighties and work will start as soon as it leaves Chasewater.

Members of the Chasewater Light Railway Society will be informed of progress upon the locomotive in this newsletter and the locomotive’s plates will remain at Chasewater as well as the unique tapered Rawnsley chimney, which will be mounted on the platform at Brownhills West.

The sale of the locomotive realised £5,000, which has virtually paid for the loopline.  Appeals in the newsletter and elsewhere have raised over £2,000, which gives us room to breathe a little easier, though we estimate at least another £5,000 is needed to realise our plans for the Chasewater Light Railway during the next three years.

The E1 arrived at Cranmore, Somerset in September, 1978.  The overhaul started in 1986 and she returned to service in 1993 – in green livery, number 110.  Firebox problems forced a premature withdrawal from traffic in 1997.  During 2000 work commenced stripping the loco down to assess the state of the firebox.The chimney is still at Cranmore, last heard of being used as a donation box.In the yard at Cranmore – Pic Bob Fowler

News from the line

The main news is that the purchase of the loopline is secure, as we have the money.  British Rail granted access to works trains as from the 18th April and completion of the purchase should be made by the end of this month (July).  However, this is just the start, as the line must be completely fenced before we can think of extending our services to satisfy the Railway Inspectorate and quite a bit of trackwork is needed, though generally the loop is in excellent condition.

Engineering Works

Over Easter weekend the point at the south end of the loop was dismantled and a start made upon reassembling it on a new alignment away from the edge of the embankment.  Part of the loop has been slewed to meet the new alignment and hopefully the gap will be completed before August Bank Holiday, to enable works trains to start removing scrub from the loopline.  The extension to the platform is now virtually complete, lacking only coping stones before it can be put into use.  The majority of the wall was built by Brian Hames over Spring bank Holiday weekend, infilled with hardcore supplied by courtesy of Walsall Council and surfaced with red ash by courtesy of Chasewater Power Boat Club.

Train Operations

This year has seen a welcome increase in the amount of money taken per steaming, only partially due to the modest fare increase implemented at the start of the season.  After 13 steamings receipts were 230% up on last year with an average of 380 people visiting the railway per operating day.

Small Relics Collection.Recent additions to the collection include a St. Helens Canal & Railway memo; an LMS/GWR joint lines trespass sign; a Midland and Great Northern Tyers tablet (Long Sutton – Gedney) and an LNER ‘Carter to Call’ card.Tyers Tablet

Brownhills CID has apprehended two local youths (thanks to the help of several CLRS members), who are due in court shortly to explain why they were in possession of many items from the museum coach.  Following the trial the missing items will be returned – at present Brownhills Police Station has a fair collection of railway relics!!

A visit to Derby Carriage Works is being arranged so that Society members can view progress on the restoration of our Royal Saloon (ex Midland Railway), which many members will know is on loan to Derby Corporation until 2020 if they take up their full option. (I think this was another of the crown jewels to be sold!)

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

No. 85

From the Chasewater News Magazine No. 24 July 1978

Time to get back to some Bits & Pieces – I found this article in Magazine 24.

The Society’s Pump Handle Trolley’s next adventure.

Since the summer of 1975, when three anonymous persons were jettisoned off the causeway at great speed, the Society’s pump handle trolley has been living in retirement (or was it disgrace?) off the rails, festooned with various cast iron signs.

During a recent tidy-up the trolley was ‘re-discovered’ by one of our younger members and once the day’s running was over the trolley was re-railed, oiled and found to be in a rather sorry state of repair.  Gary Kay foolishly offered to rebuild the trolley, so it was decided to give it a final run prior to overhaul.  The party was formed of the more lunatic fringe of the Society (though Graham has since had his hair cut) namely Messrs. Attwood, Bull, Owen, Webb, Patterson and last but not least, the brothers ‘Grimm’.

At first the run was to be to the crossing and return, but before we could say ‘every confidence’ or even ‘doom and despondency’ we were carrying the trolley across the infamous ‘gap’ (the ‘gap’ was out of the Brownhills West gate and over the bridge by the fishing pool) and onto the loopline.  The loopline was found to be passable – well almost – despite a few hassles with the odd wayward bush, but an attempt at a run down the Norton branch (to the Norton East Road and Conduit No. 3, not the Pelsall to Hednesford line) was thwarted by the locals having covered the track with rubbish – everything from a three piece suite to a dead cat.  After this an attempt at ascending the causeway was made, but this too was blocked, this time by several tons of hardcore tipped by the Council.

The return trip provided more excitement, a hasty start left Mr. Bull stranded brandishing a shovel, and quite a speed was attained.  Unfortunately we were halted in full steam by a large overgrown gorse bush, which forced an evacuation of the trolley rather sooner than most of the crew anticipated as they were jettisoned, arms and legs akimbo, and ended up with rather sore arms and legs and backs, though the elder ‘Grimm’ was more concerned about his station master’s hat which landed dangerously near a large puddle.

After several minutes of recovery time the trolley was re-railed and a slow return to Brownhills West was made, and although it had been proved that track still existed beyond the ‘gap’ there are several members who are beginning to think that perhaps 800 yards of railway is more than enough, especially for pump handle trolley racing!!Following the successful  re-enactment of the bucket-chain a couple of years ago, I asked Mr. Bull about a possible re-enactment of the trolley trip-  unfortunately his reply is not for publication!

Now tucked away in the Heritage Centre

Hand Pump Trolley

This trolley was purchased (after a whip –round!) from the British Rail permanent way yard in Walsall in the 1970s.  A few years later, in their 1981 session, it was renovated by students of the West Bromwich College of Commerce and Technology.

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.