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 – Taken from our Archived Publications – Bits & Pieces No.21

Chasewater Railway Museum – Taken from our Archived Publications – Bits & Pieces No.21

Chasewater Causeway – No Rails

 

WE HAVE A BRANCH LINE AT LAST! And many of you will probably by now know that we have acquired the Chasewater Line from the NCB.  The legal details, lease, etc., are to go through the usual channels to be tied up, and we will keep you informed of progress made.

Every member (and non-members) who travelled on the Great Central Special agreed that it was a very enjoyable day all round, although the train ran at a very heavy loss.  The loss mainly being due to the lack of support by our own members.  We appeal to you all now to donate what you can to help clear this deficit on the Special.The Flying Scotsman uncoupled at Marylebone Station

This trip was organised by Mr. Eric Cowell on 15th June 1963.  The Flying Scotsman hauling the train down the Great Central Line from Sheffield Victoria to Marylebone and back.  Only 27 out of a possible 160 members attended, resulting in a loss of £100.

 

Open Weekend at Hednesford Depot (June 29th-30th 1963)

In spite of the awful weather the attendance both on Saturday and Sunday exceeded all expectations, approx. 300 people attending for the two days.  People came from as far afield as Halifax, Manchester, Leicester, London and Somerset.  It is sad to report however that there was a noticeable absence of members, just the usual faithfuls plus a few of the not so active.

A great deal of interest was aroused by our modest collection of relics, the Maryport & Carlisle coach was pushed out on the Sunday for photographic purposed, cameras were clicking all over the place.Maryport & Carlisle Coach in 1905 Livery

All in all it was a most successful weekend.  A very special thanks to our lady members Mrs. F. Watson, Miss Mary Watson, Mrs. J. Harvey, Mrs. D. Ives and Mrs. Townsend for manning the buffet car (Great Eastern Brake) and to Mrs. F. Lewis and Mrs. Wormington for providing refreshments.  What would we do without the ladies?  Bless ‘em!

Thanks must also be expressed to the Sutton Coldfield and North Birmingham Model Engineering Society (Affiliated Member) for displaying the lovely Live Steam Models. A big thank you to all members who worked hard and long to make the show the success that it was.

RPS on the air

Mr. C. Ives and Mr. D. Ives were interviewed when BBC’s ‘Down Your Way’ team visited Hednesford on Sunday October 6th.

News in Brief

The ex London, Brighton and South Coast Railway E1 Stroudley loco should soon be stabled in the depot at Hednesford, the NCB has very kindly consented to us having it on free loan for 12 months.

Three new items for Hednesford

We are expecting delivery of the Midland Royal Saloon, L. & Y. Van and Midland Crane all within the next two or three weeks.The Stroudley E1 is expected about the same time as the above rolling stock.

Through the very kind auspices of Mr. K. Vincent (member) Secretary of the Dowty RPS we are taking delivery of the L & Y van.  Two vans were donated to the Dowty RPS and Ken Vincent has very kindly offered one to us at Hednesford.

Lancs & Yorks Railway Box Van

This goods van was constructed at Newtonheath in 1895, eventually passing from the L & Y to the London, Midland & Scottish Railway at the 1923 grouping.  At an unknown date the vehicle was sold to the Rolling Stock Company, Darlington and, after renovation, sold on to the well-known chocolate manufacturers, Cadbury’s of Bournville and numbered 144 in Cadbury’s wagon fleet.

During 1963, with the arrival of new all-steel box vans at Cadbury’s, the majority of the old internal user vans were withdrawn, with 144 being donated to the Railway Preservation Society and transported to the Hednesford depot before later being transferred to Chasewater.

The van carried the ‘Cadbury’ logo in white at the top of one end, with its stock number at the opposite, lower end.  Overall livery was reddish brown.

Of particular note is the canvas roof flap, a once-common feature enabling goods vans to be loaded from overhead hoists.

Rail traffic at the Bournville factory ceased in 1976.

Chasewater Railway Museum – June 2019 Newsletter

Chasewater Railway Museum 

June 2019 Newsletter

Chasewater Railway Museum – The Mercian Nov – Dec 1963

The Mercian Nov – Dec 1963

From the Editorial

WE HAVE A BRANCH LINE AT LAST! And many of you will probably by now know that we have acquired the Chasewater Line from the NCB.  The legal details, lease, etc., are to go through the usual channels to be tied up, and we will keep you informed of progress made.Chasewater 66 4

Every member (and non-members) who travelled on the Great Central Special agreed that it was a very enjoyable day all round, although the train ran at a very heavy loss.  The loss mainly being due to the lack of support by our own members.  We appeal to you all now to donate what you can to help clear this deficit on the Special.

This trip was organised by Mr. Eric Cowell on 15th June 1963.  The Flying Scotsman hauling the train down the Great Central Line from Sheffield Victoria to Marylebone and back.  Only 27 out of a possible 160 members attended, resulting in a loss of £100.

Flying Scotsman

This photograph shows the Flying Scotsman uncoupled from the train on arrival at Marylebone Station, London.

Open Weekend at Hednesford Depot (June 29th-30th 1963)

In spite of the awful weather the attendance both on Saturday and Sunday exceeded all expectations, approx. 300 people attending for the two days.  People came from as far afield as Halifax, Manchester, Leicester, London and Somerset.  It is sad to report however that there was a noticeable absence of members, just the usual faithfuls plus a few of the not so active.

05071 C & R Colliery Ex Maryport & Carlisle 6 wheeler 15-5-1952

A great deal of interest was aroused by our modest collection of relics, the Maryport & Carlisle coach was pushed out on the Sunday for photographic purposed, cameras were clicking all over the place.

All in all it was a most successful weekend.  A very special thanks to our lady members Mrs. F. Watson, Miss Mary Watson, Mrs. J. Harvey, Mrs. D. Ives and Mrs. Townsend for manning the buffet car (Great Eastern Brake) and to Mrs. F. Lewis and Mrs. Wormington for providing refreshments.  What would we do without the ladies?  Bless ‘em!

Thanks must also be expressed to the Sutton Coldfield and North Birmingham Model Engineering Society (Affiliated Member) for displaying the lovely Live Steam Models. A big thank you to all members who worked hard and long to make the show the success that it was.

RPS on the air

Mr. C. Ives and Mr. D. Ives were interviewed when BBC’s ‘Down Your Way’ team visited Hednesford on Sunday October 6th.

News in Brief

05053 No.9 Cannock Wood 0-6-0T LBSC Rly 1877 at Brighton C & R

The ex London, Brighton and South Coast Railway E1 Stroudley loco should soon be stabled in the depot at Hednesford, the NCB has very kindly consented to us having it on free loan for 12 months.

Three new items for Hednesford

We are expecting delivery of the Midland Royal Saloon, L. & Y. Van and Midland Crane all within the next two or three weeks.

The Stroudley E1 is expected about the same time as the above rolling stock.

Through the very kind auspices of Mr. K. Vincent (member) Secretary of the Dowty RPS we are taking delivery of the L & Y van.  Two vans were donated to the Dowty RPS and Ken Vincent has very kindly offered one to us at Hednesford.