89 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Nov 1978 – 2
From the 1978 AGM Report
The final item on the agenda was the consideration of an offer from the Midland Railway Trust based at Butterley for the purchase of our ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach. The history of the coach was briefly outlined. The coach was on loan to Derby Corporation for a further 17 years and they had a 25 year option open to them after that.
The Trust have spent a considerable amount of money upon the coach so far and wish to finish the job properly but don’t feel able to unless the coach is their property. They reckon they will have spent well in excess of £10,000 on the coach by the time it is complete.
As the Chasewater Light Railway Society was in a difficult position – in effect our hands were tied – it was decided to let the coach go. It was unlikely to come to Chasewater in the majority of our members’ lifetimes and, as in the case of the ‘E1’, if it had not been for the Railway Preservation Society then it would have gone to the scrap heap years ago, so at least some satisfaction could be derived from that. The coach is to be exchanged for the following:-
1. £600 in cash
2. Equipment surplus to the Midland Railway Trust’s needs, such as crossing gates, signals, ancillary equipment, etc., but in demand at Chasewater – to the value of £1,000 plus
3. The ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel Locomotive (S9632/1957) plus spares, which will be in working order when it arrives at Chasewater, hopefully before Easter.Sentinel at Pleck Gas Works, Walsall, when nearly new.
The Hon. Sec’s. Report is reproduced below, being an apt summation of the present situation in which we find ourselves.
Hon.Sec’s Report 1977/1978
The twelve months since the last AGM have been very mixed with good news and setbacks at regular intervals. 1978 started very badly with the wanton vandalism of our ex Easingwold Railway coach. The culprits who started the fire have not yet been apprehended and it seems suspicious to recall that the adjacent Go Kart Club has also been subject to two separate acts of arson in the last 10 months.
During the winter months other break-ins accrued to Society rolling stock resulting in the loss of several interesting relics. However the local police force were eventually able to bring the two culprits to justice and the majority of the missing items returned. Some £60 in value of relics was not recovered but as the Court awarded compensation to the Society we should eventually receive this money.
New arrivals during the year were the privately owned Hudswell Clarke side tank S100 which, following a complete overhaul which is expected to take another three years, should prove an ideal loco for working the extended services; the local chemical manufacturers Albright & Wilson Ltd. have placed on loan their 12” cylindered Peckett 0-4-0ST and it seems from help received from the Company so far that we might expect further assistance in the future. The loco requires a major hydraulic exam, tank repairs and fitting of a steam brake before it sees regular use. The final arrival was the five ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Birkenhead – an outright purchase by the Society for £432.
The Committee has given serious thought to the provision of covered accommodation at Chasewater and it is especially pleasing to record the purchase for nominal sums of two agricultural type buildings. The first, the smaller of the two, has already been dismantled and brought to Chasewater; the other has yet to be removed from site. We must now await the go-ahead for erection of these structures from Walsall Metropolitan Council.
Restoration work to locos and coaches has been fairly limited this year due perhaps in the main to the fact that various engineering projects and fund-raising activities have taken precedence. However firebox repairs were carried out on the Neilson before entry into service again and routine maintenance carried out on this loco and ‘Invicta’. ‘Lion’ to be renamed ‘The Colonel’ has had a start made on preparing for a major hydraulic exam, and S100 has seen reasonable progress in dismantling and de-tubing. ‘Asbestos’ too is to be de-tubed and when this task is completed the boiler is to go away to Park Holland, who will raise the foundation ring a few inches to get round the problem of badly wasted corners and rivets in the firebox. By far the largest expenditure on locos this year was the £460 spent purchasing 104 new tubes for ‘Asbestos’.
Several of our goods vehicles received coats of paint and roof attention to the box vans was performed during the summer.
The platform wall was extended during Spring Bank Holiday and with the recent Committee decision to extend the compound fence to include the platform, the platform can be set up to resemble an operating station at all times. Another engineering project completed was the interlocking and signalling of the two compound points enabling train movements to take place in complete safety.
The news from British Rail that we could gain access to the loop with works trains from April 18h and full purchase likely by the end of July meant that a decision on the sale of the ‘E1’ had to be made. Consideration was only given to previous enquiries and the Lord Fisher Loco Group based at Cranmore agreed to meet our minimum purchase price of £5,000. The loco left Chasewater last Monday and restoration will commence this winter under cover in extensive workshops at Cranmore – the name and number plates and also the Rawnsley chimney are being retained by us.
Purchase of the loop has proved slower than expected and a lapse of a few more months now seems likely; however we now have the money immediately available when asked for.
Train services continued to operate on timetabled dates and takings were high on fine days; however wet or cold days affected the average takings.
The first Steam Spares Sale ever held by a Preservation Group went reasonably well considering lack of helpers, and a second such event is being held on ‘Gricers’ Day’ October 8th.
Our second Transport Scene was well supported by exhibitors but not by the public, again inclement weather did not help. Let us hope that next year’s event is blessed with sunshine!
This year’s Model Railway Exhibition was also poorly supported by the public – an increase in takings at this event over the years has probably made us too casual as the standard of the Exhibition has definitely fallen over the last three or four years – perhaps a change of venue is called for?Chasewater Model Railway
The Chasewater Light Railway Company is currently negotiating for a grant under the Government STEPS Scheme to enable the rest of the railway to be brought into service.
ATV cameras were in attendance on the 15th September filming sequences using ‘Alfred Paget’ and goods stock for a programme to be shown in the ‘This England’ series early next year.
In closing, thanks go to all our members for their continued support, with special thanks to those who have contributed physical and/or behind the scenes work throughout the year, readers of the Newsletter will doubtless have seen the same names recur on various projects so there is obviously scope for many more members to assist in whatever way they feel able.