Chasewater Railway Museum – Events News : A Very Victorian Christmas with Chase Handmade – 24-11-2019o

Chasewater Railway Museum

Events News : A Very Victorian Christmas with Chase Handmade

24-11-2019

There will be no trains running in November until this very special pre-Santa Specials event on Sunday 24th November.  It will be well worth a visit and don’t forget to pop into the Museum while you’re here!

Chasewater Railway Museum – A New Acquisition Arrives

Chasewater Railway Museum –

A New Acquisition Arrives

The Hednesford No 3 Signal Box nameboard was purchased in December 2018 but was only delivered last week, along with two others.

The signal box was situated near Station Road railway bridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s always good to add local items to the museum collection.

 

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – From the Archives – February 1965

Chasewater Railway Museum

From the Archives – 1965 Feb. Bits & Pieces 25

Taken from The Mercian, February 1965 4.1

The front page shows the map of the line, including the amusement park and the go-kart track, both long gone.

Then follows an interesting Editorial about the future of the RPS movement after a change in government.

Editorial

Over the last few months of 1964, the winds of change swept through Parliament.  A Government which favoured the railways taking the form of a profit making concern was replaced by a Government which believes that the railways should provide a complete social service.

With this news came the resignation of Dr. Richard Beeching, Chairman of the British Railways Board.  What effect will these major changes have on our Society and its fellows?

Although the internal affairs of British Railways are nothing to do with our Society, their attitude – based on the policy of the BRB certainly does affect us.  Up to the present, the attitude has been somewhat cold, and certainly not what could be called encouraging.  British Railways appear to be trying to make a profit on anything that they possibly can, with no sympathy to museums or museum societies, as we have found.

We have been charged extremely high prices for coaches that would be sold to scrap merchants at one third of the price.  We do accept the fact that the railways are trying to work at a profit, but this exploitation of an historical society, in its first years and struggling to survive is surely uncalled for.

With the introduction of a socialist Government, we certainly expect the greater part of the Beeching plan to be abandoned, and concerning the connecting branch line to Brownhills and our Chasewater line, we would greatly appreciate a reprieve, but how does the remainder of the plan concern us?  Very little indeed!  It does affect some small branch lines for sale – at rather high rents, and on the other hand some well loved and beautiful branches which no society could afford to maintain or buy will be swept away.

On the whole, the RPS should look forward to the abandonment of the Beeching plan and perhaps a softening of BR policy towards us, although my personal feelings on the plan are the contrary to those of society in general.  Our own attitude seems rather selfish but we aren’t the wealthiest of Societies, and at this critical stage we must be selfish to survive.  As it has been said many times before in dealing with other problems, ’the world does not owe us a living!’

Hon. Ed. M.D.Willis

The Titfield Thunderbolt

It’s interesting to see that back in 1965 the Society held a film show at Walton Village Hall and 70 people attended in dreadful weather in January.  We have a copy in the Museum right now!

The Chasewater Project

As you will read in the Officers’ reports, work on the Chasewater line will begin in the near future, and a great deal of organisation will be necessary to make it the great success on which we are planning.  A great deal of hard work will have to be done by our members, and in order to discuss it openly, individual members will be receiving a visit from an official. (In long macs and dark glasses??!)

With this project will come a great deal of publicity for the Society, and in order to assure that this will be put to the maximum possible use for effect, we must have one united outlook.  In order to prevent any contradictions, however petty, will members please send any correspondence about the project to the Committee, via the Secretary so that any such ‘slips of the pen’ may be pointed out.

The Chasewater project was repeated in the Chairman’s report.

Hon. Secretary’s report

Due to wintry conditions, restoration work has temporarily come to a halt at the depot.  Work has been maintained on the smaller relics.  John Elsley has however continued working on the generator set in spite of the cold.  The TPO dynamo coupled to an Austin 6-cylinder lorry engine, donated by the President, comprises the set.  It is now in full working order and provides adequate power for our coach batteries.  Many thanks to John and his small band of helpers.

Hinges have now been cast for the Maryport & Carlisle carriage doors, an effort will be made to clean up these castings in the near future and fit to the doors.

Plans are now being formulated for our line at Chasewater, and the Committee will be discussing and drawing up plans for the project for some months to come.

A small party of members (7) braved the elements on Sunday 17th January to attend the last train run from Walsall to Rugeley.  Two members – D. J. and J. J. Bradbury – attended as official mourners, vintage MR and GWR caps were worn.  For our Treasurer, Frank Harvey it was a nostalgic journey, Frank having travelled on the line for some 7 years to and from school.

(The line from Walsall to Hednesford was reopened in 1989, and to Rugeley in 1997.)

D.A.Ives, Hon Sec.

Treasurer’s Report

Without doubt, 1965 will prove a most expensive year if all our plans are to be achieved.  For the benefit of our more distant members, (And for those of us reading this some 45 years later!) I would like to outline a few of these.

First we must consider the lease of the Chasewater branch.  Naturally, we have made preparations for this and the general fund is in a position to be able to settle this account without delay.  However, before any of the stock can be moved up there, a building will have to be constructed to provide accommodation.  The building which we have in mind will be large enough to house our present collection of large relics with room to spare for future acquisitions.  The estimated cost of such a building has been put at around £3,000.  This matter is urgent and the full support of all our members is needed. (As a comparison, a three bedroomed detached house in Hednesford at that time would have cost about £3,500, so the equivalent cost would be in the region of some £160,000).

Apart from this, repairs to the line and its accessories will account for another large sum of money.

The time limit given to us by the NCB to raise the money for the Stroudley E1 (Cannock Wood No. 9) has now been reached.  £100 out of the £300 needed has been collected.  We are hoping that negotiations with the Board to keep the locomotive for a further period of time will be successful.  I would like to thank those people who have donated to the fund, but generally speaking, I am rather disappointed at the response shown by our own members.  The attitude I am afraid has been rather apathetic.  Most of the money has been donated by people who live well outside our own area!

A branch line without a locomotive is a rather ludicrous situation.  It is up to us to rectify the position since we will require at least two engines.  The Stroudley E1 could so easily be one of these.

Sound coaching stock will also be required.  The stock we have at present will not be suitable for service until a vast amount of restoration work has been completed.  Carriages which require little or no repair work need to be purchased.  These will cost in the region of £300 each.

I realise that our expense problems sound formidable but they can be overcome.  After all, preserved standard gauge lines are still very few and far between.  There is certainly room for one in the Midlands.

With all the development work done by Lichfield Council on the Chasewater Country Park, the Chasewater Railway is better situated than ever in the heart of the West Midlands.

 

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

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Feb 1965, Bits & Pieces 25

 

Taken from The Mercian, February 1965 4.1

The front page shows the map of the line, including the amusement park and the go-kart track, both long gone. Then follows an interesting Editorial about the future of the RPS movement after a change in government.

Editorial

Over the last few months of 1964, the winds of change swept through Parliament.  A Government which favoured the railways taking the form of a profit making concern was replaced by a Government which believes that the railways should provide a complete social service.

With this news came the resignation of Dr. Richard Beeching, Chairman of the British Railways Board.  What effect will these major changes have on our Society and its fellows?

Although the internal affairs of British Railways are nothing to do with our Society, their attitude – based on the policy of the BRB certainly does affect us.  Up to the present, the attitude has been somewhat cold, and certainly not what could be called encouraging.  British Railways appear to be trying to make a profit on anything that they possibly can, with no sympathy to museums or museum societies, as we have found.

We have been charged extremely high prices for coaches that would be sold to scrap merchants at one third of the price.  We do accept the fact that the railways are trying to work at a profit, but this exploitation of an historical society, in its first years and struggling to survive is surely uncalled for.

With the introduction of a socialist Government, we certainly expect the greater part of the Beeching plan to be abandoned, and concerning the connecting branch line to Brownhills and our Chasewater line, we would greatly appreciate a reprieve, but how does the remainder of the plan concern us?  Very little indeed!  It does affect some small branch lines for sale – at rather high rents, and on the other hand some well loved and beautiful branches which no society could afford to maintain or buy will be swept away.

On the whole, the RPS should look forward to the abandonment of the Beeching plan and perhaps a softening of BR policy towards us, although my personal feelings on the plan are the contrary to those of society in general.  Our own attitude seems rather selfish but we aren’t the wealthiest of Societies, and at this critical stage we must be selfish to survive.  As it has been said many times before in dealing with other problems, ’the world does not owe us a living!’

Hon. Ed. M.D.Willis

The Titfield Thunderbolt

It’s interesting to see that back in 1965 the Society held a film show at Walton Village Hall and 70 people attended in dreadful weather in January.  We have a copy in the Museum right now!

The Chasewater Project

As you will read in the Officers’ reports, work on the Chasewater line will begin in the near future, and a great deal of organisation will be necessary to make it the great success on which we are planning.  A great deal of hard work will have to be done by our members, and in order to discuss it openly, individual members will be receiving a visit from an official. (In long macs and dark glasses??!)

With this project will come a great deal of publicity for the Society, and in order to assure that this will be put to the maximum possible use for effect, we must have one united outlook.  In order to prevent any contradictions, however petty, will members please send any correspondence about the project to the Committee, via the Secretary so that any such ‘slips of the pen’ may be pointed out.

The Chasewater project was repeated in the Chairman’s report.

Hon. Secretary’s report

ue to wintry conditions, restoration work has temporarily come to a halt at the depot.  Work has been maintained on the smaller relics.  John Elsley has however continued working on the generator set in spite of the cold.  The TPO dynamo coupled to an Austin 6-cylinder lorry engine, donated by the President, comprises the set.  It is now in full working order and provides adequate power for our coach batteries.  Many thanks to John and his small band of helpers.

Hinges have now been cast for the Maryport & Carlisle carriage doors, an effort will be made to clean up these castings in the near future and fit to the doors.

Plans are now being formulated for our line at Chasewater, and the Committee will be discussing and drawing up plans for the project for some months to come.

A small party of members (7) braved the elements on Sunday 17th January to attend the last train run from Walsall to Rugeley.  Two members – D. J. and J. J. Bradbury – attended as official mourners, vintage MR and GWR caps were worn.  For our Treasurer, Frank Harvey it was a nostalgic journey, Frank having travelled on the line for some 7 years to and from school.

(The line from Walsall to Hednesford was reopened in 1989, and to Rugeley in 1997.)

D.A.Ives, Hon Sec.

Treasurer’s Report

Without doubt, 1965 will prove a most expensive year if all our plans are to be achieved.  For the benefit of our more distant members, (And for those of us reading this some 45 years later!) I would like to outline a few of these.

First we must consider the lease of the Chasewater branch.  Naturally, we have made preparations for this and the general fund is in a position to be able to settle this account without delay.  However, before any of the stock can be moved up there, a building will have to be constructed to provide accommodation.  The building which we have in mind will be large enough to house our present collection of large relics with room to spare for future acquisitions.  The estimated cost of such a building has been put at around £3,000.  This matter is urgent and the full support of all our members is needed. (As a comparison, a three bedroomed detached house in Hednesford at that time would have cost about £3,500, so the equivalent cost would be in the region of some £160,000).

Apart from this, repairs to the line and its accessories will account for another large sum of money.

The time limit given to us by the NCB to raise the money for the Stroudley E1 (Cannock Wood No. 9) has now been reached.  £100 out of the £300 needed has been collected.  We are hoping that negotiations with the Board to keep the locomotive for a further period of time will be successful.  I would like to thank those people who have donated to the fund, but generally speaking, I am rather disappointed at the response shown by our own members.  The attitude I am afraid has been rather apathetic.  Most of the money has been donated by people who live well outside our own area!

A branch line without a locomotive is a rather ludicrous situation.  It is up to us to rectify the position since we will require at least two engines.  The Stroudley E1 could so easily be one of these.

Sound coaching stock will also be required.  The stock we have at present will not be suitable for service until a vast amount of restoration work has been completed.  Carriages which require little or no repair work need to be purchased.  These will cost in the region of £300 each.

I realise that our expense problems sound formidable but they can be overcome.  After all, preserved standard gauge lines are still very few and far between.  There is certainly room for one in the Midlands.

With all the development work done by Lichfield Council on the Chasewater Country Park, the Chasewater Railway is better situated than ever in the heart of the West Midlands.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum – From the Scrapbook, 1998, on to Chasewater Heaths.

Chasewater Railway Museum 

From the Scrapbook,1998,

on to Chasewater Heaths.

Sleepering Partner

Rail contractor Centrac, Tarmac’s track renewal company, came to the rescue when it heard that Chasewater Railway at Burntwood, Staffordshire, was struggling to extend its line due to a shortage of sleepers.

Birmingham-based Centrac offered to supply 600 sleepers from its main recycling depot at Northampton.

The Donated sleepers mean that Chasewater Railway’s volunteer workforce can extend its line to a planned new station near the proposed Burntwood by-pass entrance to the Chasewater Country Park.

The line currently serves the Brownhills West end of the park, carrying passengers around Chasewater Lake – and across the lake on a recently rebuilt causeway – to a station opened 18 months ago in the Norton wildfowl reserve.

The track represents the only remaining mineral line from the vast Cannock Chase coalfield network, and runs small tank locomotives retrieved from industrial locations, including a steam shunting engine from Pleck gasworks, providing scenic leisure trips for passengers.

Chasewater Railway general manager Steve Organ welcomed the donation of the sleepers saying “We are absolutely delighted with Centrac’s generous help – quite simply we could not have achieved so much without them.  This shows the value of recycling materials.”

Lorne Gray, who is in charge of Centrac’s recycling operations, commented: “The particular type of sleeper we have donated would normally be stripped down to the bare components.  The baseplates and fixings would be sold off by the tonne to scrap merchants and the sleepers sold for use in heavy industry and agriculture.

“The fact that they will now be used for their intended purpose, albeit on a reduced specification basis, is very satisfying.”

Chasewater Railway Museum – September Newsletter

Chasewater Railway Museum 

September Newsletter

https://chasewaterrailwaymuseum.blog/

Chasewater Railway Museum – More from the Archives, Jan 1964 Bits & Pieces 22

Chasewater Railway Museum

More from the Archives

Jan 1964  Bits & Pieces 22

Moving along but still 55 years behind!

Photo:  M. Denholm

 

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ Jan, 1964 3.1

Editorial

We enter yet another year – and enthusiasm still seems to be very strong.  You will see from Frank Harvey’s report that we have not done too badly during 1963.  Let’s hope that we have an even better year this year.

There are a number of exhibitions and open days planned for this year, but to help them go really well we are relying on our own members’ support – so please come along if you can.  The cold weather is not, we know, the best for depot work, but work has gone on all the same with a faithful few.

We were all rather concerned to find vandalism striking the depot; we only hope it will not occur again, because our funds are limited to make damage of this sort good.  You will notice that the committee has decided to change this newsletter to quarterly to alternate with the Forum, mainly being due to insufficient copy for a bi-monthly and to help keep costs down.

Ed. D.B.

Hednesford Progress Report

Work has still been maintained during the winter, a few members have gone into hibernation but we hope to see them as the sun starts to warm up and the days draw out.

The Midland Royal Saloon has now arrived at the Hednesford Siding, and certain work has already been done on this vehicle, the ladies have been along with polish and given the saloon a much needed clean and polish.  Mike Lewis has removed and serviced all the carriage door locks, and of course replaced same; the whole of the vehicle is now burglar proof.  The Depot Master, John Elsley has fixed up the lighting in the saloon, the batteries are now being charged every weekend.  John has also designed a very useful mobile generator, it is hoped to run this set very shortly.  The set will provide power both for battery charging and welding, etc.

The LBSC E1 loco has arrived (No.9 Cannock Wood to the uninitiated), this loco requires a lot of cleaning down etc., before painting – may we again appeal to all members who are interested in this work.  The depot is open every Sunday afternoon, Please Help! put this loco into a respectable condition before Open Weekend at Easter.

Our Treasurer Frank Harvey still continues to work on the Maryport & Carlisle door which he has built up from scratch – well done Frank!   Perhaps members will note that there are still three more doors yet to be made, Frank would welcome some help from anyone who has first class woodwork experience.

D. A. Ives Hon. Sec.

Taken from the Treasurer’s Report

I am taking the liberty of turning the latter part of this report into an appeal.  An appeal on behalf of the ex-LBSCR Stroudley E1 loco 0-6-0 tank. As some members may know, this locomotive, the sole survivor of its type, was withdrawn from service by its owners, the National Coal Board, some months ago.  They have very kindly loaned it to us for one year giving us the option to purchase it at the end of that time.

Photograph of the loco in pre NCB livery from Barry Bull’s collection.

The sum required is £300.  This is most reasonable as a locomotive of similar size off British Railways would cost in the region of £650 – £700.  We are establishing a fine collection of items of rolling stock but we do need an engine.  Would it be too much to ask ALL members to make the following New Year resolution – to make a donation towards the preservation of this 86 year-old locomotive?  Unless something is done, by this time next year it will be in the breaker’s yard.

Finally, I would like to mention the Midland Royal Saloon.  This vehicle has arrived at the depot through the kind generosity of one member who loaned the balance required (£240) to complete its purchase.  This is enthusiasm at its greatest!

F.J.Harvey, Midlands Area Treasurer

London District

The LRPS are planning to open another depot at Luton under the charge of a very keen member, Mr. John Payn.

L44 a London Transport Met. Tank has been acquired and is awaiting delivery to the Bishops Stortford Depot.  Another appeal has been launched for a Beattie 2-4-0 Well Tank, 30585 – £750 will be needed for its purchase, £250 has already been raised.I love this photo, but where I got it from I haven’t a clue.  It is marked 30585 – Helland.  Can anyone tell me if this is Helland in Cornwall?  At our Spring Gala in 2004 at Chasewater we had a visit from her sister engine, 30587.Photo by M. Denholm.  The loco suited the Chasewater Railway very well!

Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire carriage

Working party members are contributing to the cost of moving this vehicle from Yorkshire to the Midlands.  A total of some £18 has now been contributed, this fund has also been contributed to by two London RPS members.  We are most grateful to all these members.

E1 Fund.

Approximately £7 has been collected to date, a very poor effort. Please! Please! Send donations to the Hon. Treasurer to help secure the future of this fine loco.

Midland Crane and GWR Signal Frame.

Arrangements are at present being made for the collection of the Midland Railway Crane which is at Repton and the GWR signal lever frame from Llanfair.  Both these items we hope to have at our depot for Open Day.One of the items that has stayed with us – rebuilt by Jim Twigge and Tom Mitchell.

A Day Out

Our very agile Hon. Sec. Dave Ives, Frank Harvey and Mike Lewis took a trip down to Wolverton Carriage Works on Saturday, February 15th to collect the bits and pieces that were missing from the Royal Saloon.

We gather, from a somewhat loaded Hon. Sec’s, car that they had a very good day all round.  Among the small relics acquired were a uniform, carpets, pictures from coach compartments, a Midland Railway Bible in very good condition (which has sadly gone missing over the years) to name but a few, down to a few coat hooks.

A trip was made to a few stations, one being Turvey where a few more relics were added to the collection.    As they sped back to Hednesford, the three gentlemen were no doubt very pleased with their days work for the Society.

Mr. Ives says that at Wolverton they are burning two or three coaches a week.  If other departments of BR are working as fast as this there will be nothing left for us to preserve.  So we must work very fast indeed to save what we can before Dr. Beeching has his final clear up or we will wake up one day and find the railways ‘modernised’.

Midland Royal Saloon

This vehicle is now safely stabled at our own siding at Hednesford.  Thanks mainly to a wonderfully generous offer of a member, who has provided an interest-free loan.  We still have a further £270 to pay off this vehicle, donations will be gratefully acknowledged by the Hon. Treasurer.

East Midlands District News

The activities in the East Midlands District have been dormant for the last few months.  A period of hibernation for those in the south of the region.  Future activities for the Northamptonshire members include: Excursions and Social Evenings.  It is hoped that a small party will travel to Holyhead and North Wales reviewing the branch lines en route sometime in March, whilst another party will visit Swindon and Gloucester.

With the opening of the London District Depot at Luton, it is hoped again that members from this area will be able to visit on Sundays to help with the practical work.

Members in Lincolnshire and East Anglia are invited to contact Mr. M. N. Gubbins for details of activities in the two areas, as it is hoped that the East Midlands will cover this area of the country also.

With the Spring and Summer months approaching we hope that all members in all regions will continue their vital work on various photographic surveys, as this is one of the most interesting and inexpensive works that can assist the RPS.

Finally a note to lapsed members.  Please renew your membership as your Guinea could save something from the dreaded ‘Beeching Axe’.

John M. Harvey.  (East Midlands District Organiser).