Tag Archives: Neilson

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.93

93 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Autumn 1979 – 2

Loco Department

As it’s the end of a decade, a complete rundown of locos is given.

Invicta’  AB 2220/1946The loco was kept in reserve at the start of the season and was not steamed until June 10th and then chose to run hot!  As there was only two weeks to go before Transport Scene there was much gloom and despondency around as well as a fair amount of bickering.

The offending bearing was the rear driver’s side axle box and this was duly removed following sterling work by those stout fellows Messrs. Hames and Luker.  Inspection of said bearing revealed the cause of the trouble.  It was a well known fact that during her latter years at Chatham, ‘Invicta’ had been fitted with a brand new rear axle and someone had obviously forgotten to cut oil grooves in the bearing brass, leaving only two small holes to lubricate the axle – not very good – especially as one had got blocked leading to overheating so bad as to actually melt the bearing surface.

Swift alterations to the bearing saw the loco back in service within four hours and the loco has performed without trouble ever since.

‘Invicta’ is undoubtedly the loco to be used at the start of the 1980 season, following the annual boiler test.

‘Alfred Paget’ N 2937/1882The ancient Neilson has performed without trouble all season and is now awaiting its hydraulic test, after Christmas, which will entail the removal of the saddle tank and boiler lagging and cladding.  As its firebox has overcome its leakage problems it would seem probable that the boiler test will be passed without too much trouble.  The opportunity will be taken for a thorough repaint and perhaps even new boiler cladding sheets will be provided to replace the current motley collection.  There is every confidence of the loco working next season – the loco’s 98th year in fact.

‘Asbestos’ HL 2780/1909This loco has been the centre of great activity this year with up to seven people working on it at one time – unheard of before!.

The loco is completely dismantled and a thorough mechanical and cosmetic job is being done to ensure trouble-free running when it resumes earning its keep.

The boiler was lifted out of the frames in June and was finally despatched to Park Holland Ltd. of Hanley on August 12th.  It now seems as though the firebox repairs will be of the welding and riveting kind rather than uplifting of the foundation ring, following a further examination by our tame boiler inspector.  The boiler is said to be ready around Christmas time which will ensure plenty of work in the New Year.

Following the removal of the boiler the motion was completely taken down, followed by jacking the frames clear of the wheels to enable the wheels to be rolled out.  Removal of the wheels has enabled a thorough paint job to be done on the frames, at present five coats have been applied with at least one more to follow.  To enable all members to feel part of the restoration team a couple of carriage and wagon tappers were roped in for a paint session (only undercoats of course!) though with the onset of stormy weather they have been despatched back to their rightful place fending off the bitter easterly winds off the workshop area.

Removal of the wheels will enable tyre turning to take place, probably at Bridgnorth.  The valves and motion have had attention with reassembly following, as far as the lack of wheels will allow anyway!  Whilst Brian has been busy machining the regulator valve to allow greater use of the steam produced.  All concerned with the restoration of the loco are confident of seeing it in steam next year.

‘The Colonel’ P 1341/1914The hydraulic test was passed in July, followed by refitting of the boiler cladding and lagging since when not much has been done save for the two Bobs (and others) finishing off the new coal bunker which looks rather fine.  Providing the tank can be repaired the loco should see service next year.

‘Peckett’ 917/1902No work has been done on this loco apart from routine preservative maintenance, but the situation should change once ‘Asbestos’ is back in traffic, as it is the next loco due for ‘works’ treatment.

Hudswell Clarke 431/1895Following a relatively ‘light job’ on Peckett 917 the ‘old Hudswell’ should get the full treatment though this is probably a good 18 months away at the moment. (32 years and counting!)

Andrew Barclay 1223/1911

This loco is in a presentable state at the moment but needs heavy boiler and firebox repairs before it can steam again – pity as the mechanics are in first-class condition.

’S100’ HC 1822/1949

The loco migrated into the compound and the boiler received a coat of paint, since when nothing, – where are you, Tony?

DL7 (RH 458641/1961)Once the loco was cajoled into action after removal to Chasewater it has proved to be a fine acquisition and it is to be hoped that the CLR Co. will have sufficient funds to buy it off the STEPS scheme.

Apart from working 5 days a week it has proved its worth on shunting duties on steam days, as well as hauling a couple of passenger trains on Gricers’ Day.  Once its future is secure the NCB green will disappear under a coat of CLR livery of some colour or another.

Others

Of the two Bass-Worthington diesels, No.21 sees occasional use whilst No.20 is rumoured to be going off on loan to the Bass Museum, Burton-on-Trent, which will be a useful advert for the Railway and give us a bit of room.(It went and is still there, 2011)

The two No.1s are performing sterling work as a stop block on ‘Three Road’ whilst various people mutter darkly about getting them going again.

Whilst on the subject of infernal combustion it must be mentioned that Bob Curtis has offered to paint No.21 as the Society is 21 years old next year.  Well done that man.

Carriage & Wagon Department

He DMU trailer coach has performed well as usual but the paintwork is now in need of some touching up, especially around the windows – so hopefully this will be done before it gets worse as, having seen similar coaches on a North Yorkshire Moorland Railway, it wouldn’t be advisable to wait too long.

Messrs. Pearson and Curtis have been busy painting the ex LNWR TPO and nailing panels back onto the Maryport and Carlisle coach.  We are hoping they will move onto the LNWR full brake after finishing the TPO as the paint is fast peeling off.

John Elsley is busy rebuilding the fire-damaged brake end of the ex MSL six-wheeler and it is looking better with every panel.  The only other item to receive attention has been the Great Western brake van which should get repainted during the New Year, following some welding to the platework which is rather thin in places.

johntisdale50@gmail.com

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.87, Gricers’ Day.

Chasewater Light Railway

Gricers’ Day

8th October 1978

In recent years the final steam day of the year, on the second Sunday in October, has taken a different form from the normal twice-monthly summer season steaming.  Amongst popular attractions with photographers has been the freight train run pasts at intervals during the day and this will again feature.The success of the first steam spares and tools sale held at Chasewater last February has prompted the organisation of another similar event to coincide with this ‘Gricers’ Day’.  The idea of the sale is to provide an avenue for preservationists to get together, discuss mutual problems and conduct exchanges or sales of parts and tools surplus to their own requirements, but perhaps much sought after by other preserved lines.

Alfred Paget with Asbestos and one of the Kent Construction diesels – 1976

At least two locos will operate during the day – ‘Alfred Paget’ built by Neilson & Co., Glasgow (works no. 2937 of 1882), the oldest loco regularly at work in the Midlands, and ‘Invicta’ built by Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd., Kilmarnock  – 2220/1946.  It is likely that one of the two Kent Construction diesel locomotives will also see use during the day, as well as the 5-ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane (formerly steam powered).The ex Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump will also be steamed and a 1929 ex West Bromwich Corporation single decker bus has been booked to attend.

Merryweather Fire Pump

Apart from the Chasewater Light Railway Society sales stand which enjoys a good reputation locally for reasonably priced Railwayana, we would ask you to support the other stalls attending today; at the time of writing these are expected to be Mercian Model Rail, selling both new and second-hand model railway items and who also enjoy a reputation for fair prices, Walsall Railway Museum and Winchcombe Railway Museum who specialise in relics, the Princess Elizabeth Society who are in urgent need of funds for re-staying their famous LMS Pacific, and finally the Worcester Loco Society who carry a reasonable range of books.

We hope that everyone attending has an enjoyable and interesting day out, perhaps even an amusing one – how about a real ale tombola for instance?

For those wishing to partake of liquid refreshment, opening hours are 12.00 – 14.00 hours, the nearest hostelry being the Pear Tree Cottage Inn (Ansells) on the Hednesford Road where excellent cheese flans, etc., can be obtained, or the White Horse almost adjacent to the A5 road heading south which serves an excellent pint of Banks’.

Review of the Year

The year has been both happy and sad for the small but faithful band of followers of the Chasewater Light Railway, January was a disastrous month as vandals broke into the compound and set fire to our former Easingwold Railway MSLR coach, completely burning out the brake end and destroying materials contained therein, as well as partially damaging the exterior of the LNWR brake third which thoroughly deserves the nickname ‘the football special’.  Our grateful thanks go to the Transport Trust who have granted the Society £275, being approximately half the cost of materials needed for renovation, although this cannot take into account the number of man hours needed to restore the vehicle.

Following the fire, thought was given to moving one or two of the wooden bodied coaches elsewhere for safekeeping, but as the obvious answer lay in providing covered accommodation at Chasewater this matter was pursued with renewed vigour and two buildings have since been acquired.  Both are of agricultural type – one has been dismantled and removed to Chasewater; the other, larger, building has still to be dismantled.

New arrivals during the year included S100, a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T No.1822/1949, privately owned and previously preserved on the Yorkshire Dales Railway, Embsay.   The loco is presently being dismantled to enable firebox repairs, de-tubing and wheel turning to take place.  The whole project will probably take another three years to complete (still counting!).

5263 P 0-4-0ST 917-1902 Albright -Wilson Peckett

Through the kindness of the Directors of Albright and Wilson Ltd., Peckett 0-4-0ST, 917/1902 arrived on loan together with coal, 27 spare boiler tubes and various tools.

The day following the arrival of the Peckett saw the arrival of the Smith’s of Rodley 5-ton diesel crane, a purchase from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Victoria Dock, Birkenhead.  The crane’s first job on arrival was the lifting of the two tanks off S100.

To enable the purchase of the BR owned 600 yards of double track immediately beyond our present operating limit to be effected, the former LBSCR E1 loco was sold to the Lord Fisher Loco Group, Cranmore (see previous post). The monies from the sale of the loco together with that put aside from donations, etc., has given the railway a financial security never enjoyed previously, although this will be greatly depleted when the £5,400 purchase price of the track is paid.

Current projects include the erection after repair of the former Manchester Ship Canal water tank, and the preparation of the oil-fired Peckett (The Colonel) for a major boiler examination.  The Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ is being de-tubed and the boiler sent away to Park Holland for the raising of the foundation ring about four inches to overcome the problem of badly wasted corners at the bottom of the firebox.  A complete retube with tubes purchased earlier this year will follow.

It is hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will be able to take advantage of the Government Special Temporary Employment Scheme whereby lads of nineteen plus, out of work for a period of at least six months can be employed and paid their wages by the Government.

1979 promises to be a year to look forward to and it is to be hoped that some of you visiting us today will return again next year.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.77

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 77 – June 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 20

The Editorial pointed out  that the more active members of the RPS are just getting over the ‘Jubilee Weekend’ to be straight away flung into the run in to the ‘Transport Scene’ weekend – the same dozen or so have to carry on the normal operating season as well!  There followed the usual appeal for more help, but explained that ‘if the response to this appeal is the usual one, then I’ve been wasting my time, but unless we get more active support then the Chasewater Project will go backwards, not forwards, and disillusionment will set in amongst the members, ending in the folding of the RPS in the not too distant future.  I’m not being alarmist but unless we are able to purchase the loop line then the active membership will be decimated and that is fact, remember ‘Bridge that gap – buy a Yard of Track’.

News from the line

There’s been plenty going on at Chasewater since the last report.  On the locomotive front ‘Invicta’ passed its boiler and steaming tests and is in the final stages of a repaint, whilst ‘Alfred Paget’ carries on regardless, being smartened up in between steamings. ‘Asbestos’ has had its tank jacked up and boiler lagging removed in preparation for an ultrasonic boiler test, which will ascertain what, if any, repairs are necessary.  Depending upon what the result and cost is, it will be reassembled as a static exhibit or be returned to traffic, hopefully the latter.

The DMU vehicle has been professionally repainted in maroon livery at great expense.  It is to be lined out and have transfers added as and when time permits.  The repainting of this vehicle has, in my opinion, been the greatest step forward taken by the railway for some considerable time.  The interior of the vehicle is to be refurbished during the wintertime.

The extension to the platform continues and the lever frame is being installed with associated interlocking and track improvements.

Stop Press: it is hoped to acquire Hednesford No.3 signal box to house the lever frame, negotiations with BR are underway.  The station has been improved by the installation of two gas lamp standards and a few cast iron signs to give a more business like appearance.  The present terminus will be named ‘Brownhills West’ on completion of the platform.

Further up the line much packing and levelling, along with spot sleeper replacement, has gone on in order to finish off the present stretch of line and to give a smoother run.

Operating Days

As you may realise we are chronically understaffed on operating days with the brothers Curtis performing sterling work in the bookstall as well as being the usual guard/ticket collector crew and managing to be in three places at once.

Train receipts are down on last season, mainly due to the inclement weather of our operating days.  Easter Monday has been the most successful day, over 700 people taking a journey.

Over Jubilee weekend, another RPS first was notched up, with trains being run on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, all being hauled by the Neilson locomotive ‘Alfred Paget’.

No.11 Neilson 0-4-0ST 2937-1882 Taken at either Bedlay or Gartsherrie, still working for a living!

Receipts were poor and the Tuesday steaming was done mainly for good public relations, 93 people from the Hednesford Road street party being given free rides to strengthen relations between the railway and the local people.  This has also resulted in a good publicity plug, as we were the only railway to run in conjunction with a street party.

The TPO roof is now watertight and re-panelling of the sides will take place in due course, whilst its tarpaulins have been placed over the LNWR 3rd brake coach in order to hide it as it continues to fall apart!

The GWR brake van has suffered at the hands of some juvenile delinquents who set fire to it.  Fortunately damage was confined to the verandah but restoration will not be speedy unless someone volunteers to take it on – outside of the usual workforce.

Chasewater Light Railway Company notes

The Kraken hath awoke and the first AGM for eighteen months was held in April.  The Board are now trying to formulate future policy for the railway in conjunction with the RPS Committee and hopefully sensible plans will emerge in the next few weeks, details of which will be placed in the newsletter for members’ comments.

Track Fund

Only £120 has been raised so far, a pathetic reflection upon the concern about the future of the Society by the members.  Money is needed now as time is running short.

E1 Fund

Most of the money so far raised has been spent on advertising.  If you feel you can contribute anything to this fund contact us.

The locomotive has been inspected by Messrs. Barlow of Warrington, a reputable firm of boiler makers, who have given an extremely reasonable set of quotes for repair of the locomotive boiler.  Time is running short if this locomotive is to remain at Chasewater as the AGM two years ago instructed the committee to dispose of the loco as a last resort to buy the loop line, and unless someone pumps a hell of a lot of money into either the E1 fund or the track fund, then the Society will have to face what seems to be inevitable – the loss of our only ‘local engine’ which is also  our only ‘main line’ loco, and the  most interesting of all our locos.

Notes from Barry Bull Hon. Sec.

The arrival of a complete 7¼” gauge railway, with a steam loco, heralded a possibility of something being in steam every Sunday at Chasewater this summer.  Unfortunately the loco blew its superheaters on a trial steaming and has been relegated to a static display.  The loco is based on the Southern Region ‘Schools’ class of loco and was one of a pair built in 1934 and so is a worthy exhibit in its own right.

Items purchased or donated during the past few months include an LNWR ‘Beware of the Trains’ sign, a concrete GCR boundary post, a few items of LNER cutlery, a selection of Kent & East Sussex Railway paper work, a Wemyss Private Railway rule book and a sign of LMS origin.

Transport Scene July 23/24

Rapid developments regarding this event have taken place and the organiser sent the following note for inclusion:-

‘This event is aimed at raising money towards our track fund and towards giving our railway a publicity boost.  This is perhaps the most important event to have been organised by the RPS so far, so I would have thought that some of our armchair members would have offered their services to our already hard pressed stalwarts.  However, this does not appear to be so.  In fact, so far, I have received only three offers of help.  We are in our most critical year, which could literally make or break our Society, so please, please help us, even if it is only in a small way’.

‘Chasewater News’ is written by Ian Patterson, typed by Dorothy Ives and printed by Rob Ives.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No. 76

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 76 – April 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 19

Editorial

With the operating season nearly upon us, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the same few regular volunteers will be responsible for the operation of the railway during the coming season.  Appeals for extra help during the closed season have had the usual minimal response but the usual crowd have ensured that the railway will reopen as scheduled on the 10th April.  In many ways the RPS is the Cinderella of the operating preserved railways, but it reflects great credit upon the dozen or so people who have turned up week in, week out, enduring rain, sleet and snow, that we have entered our sixth season of steam-hauled services, which promises to be our most successful yet.

Locomotives

Pride of place must go to the ancient Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’.  Although built as long ago as 1882 it passed its steam test on 17th March with flying colours.  This was the result of much hard work by the engineering department in re-machining parts of the motion, which had earned it the nickname of ‘shake, rattle and roll’ in some circles.  The planned repaint for the Neilson has had to be delayed due to the adverse weather conditions.

‘Invicta’ the Andrew Barclay saddletank has passed its visual inspection and now awaits re-assembly of cab fittings, etc., and then a steam test before re-entering service again.  Its owner is still threatening to complete its restoration by giving it a uniform coat of Great Western green!

Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ repairs are beyond our financial resources at the moment and so it has been put to one side until we have the necessary cash.

The next major locomotive job is to strip the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in preparation for its major hydraulic test.  The two Worthington diesels have had repairs as and where necessary and are both serviceable at the moment.

Lion in 1978 with ‘Colonel’  Plate

It is pleasing to report that the Company are financing a complete repaint of the DMU trailer coach by a local firm of contractors, in the early stages of the season.  The expected final livery is grey roof, crimson lake bodywork and black underframe and running gear.  Great progress has been made with regard to trackwork with the construction of a point for a siding at the crossing.  This took less than a month despite the fact that the recently restored petrol crane broke its main shaft whilst lifting the first piece of rail into place.  Several crossing timbers were obtained by our general manager at a bargain price.  Ballasting and packing has been completed, considerably eased by the use of the tractor and bucket scoop, kept in trim by Brian Hames.

The footings of the lever frame have been laid.  The necessary walls should be built during Easter week, enabling the platform to be extended to its full length.

Other work carried out on site has been mainly in tidying up in preparation for the coming season.  A scrap drive resulted in a load of scrap being sold to bolster the Society’s coffers.  The sale of the engine out of the scrapped J4 van realised £25.

The Travelling Post Office has been partially re-roofed, with more to follow to make it water-tight again.  Re-panelling of this vehicle is to commence when the weather becomes drier.

The visit to South Yorkshire area of the Coal Board 9mentioned in the last Newsletter) was not entirely unsuccessful, as, although we failed (only just) to obtain the locomotive ‘Beatrice’, the Hon. Sec. was successful in obtaining many locomotive spares, notably boiler tubes and firebars from Rockingham Colliery.

Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary FundNo.110 Southern No. 4

Not a lot to report this month, but ads in Railway Magazine have been paid for to counter the apathy amongst Society members.  A rather neat handout has been produced and is obtainable.   Certain preservative work has been done on the locomotive and a repaint is planned before the high season.  More help and money is urgently needed for this project to succeed.

Track Fund

Negotiations within Walsall Council continue and a final decision is awaited.

The Chasewater Light Railway Company has awakened from its apparent siesta and a general meeting will shortly be arranged.

Meanwhile all members are urged to take up the offer of buying a yard of track, as the success of this fund will decide the fate of our Society.  Albert Haywood is the person to contact regarding the track fund and every £10 donation is certified.

Museum

Thanks are due once again to Mr. Clift of Chase terrace, who has donated a 25 ton locomotive jack, once used in the Central Workshops at the far end of our line, and a pile of magazines for resale.  On the museum front latest acquisitions have included a Great Western and Midland Railway joint cast iron notice and two very nice bridge numbers of Manchester South Junction and Altrincham and West Riding and Grimsby Joint origins.  Smaller items include a GWR paycheck, an LNWR (Walsall) paycheck, an LNWR 1894 handbill, LSWR carriage blind, a small GWR cream jug complete with crest and six LMS tickets, mostly from the Brownhills area.

The March meeting was a slide competition and there were close on 100 entries of varying quality, though every entrant had at least one slide in the last twenty.  The competition was won convincingly by Nigel Canning’s photo of ‘Asbestos’ taken from within the dark confines of the cab of the Hudswell Clarke.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.74

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 74 – Feb 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 18 – Part 1

From the Editorial

Recent activity at Chasewater has mainly centered on general maintenance, including some considerable tidying up of the entrance to the compound.  Footings for a lever frame have been dug at the present end of the platform and we now await some good weather to mix the necessary concrete.  The flat wagon on which the petrol crane sits has been re-timbered and strengthened and the crane itself has had some much needed maintenance.  On the locomotive side, work has been centred on the Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’ which has been re-assembled after its boiler test.  The coupling rods are at present dismantled to enable the crosshead slippers to be replaced with a spare pair which have been re-metalled.  It is hoped this will cure some of the knocks emanating from the front end of this engine.

Neilson in 1978

Extracts from the report of the visit of Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate to Chasewater on 22-7-1976.

1.    Major Olver stated that he was quite satisfied with the present mode of passenger operation at Chasewater.  He asked that a facing point lock be fitted at the end of the main running line.

2.    When the tipping within the park has stopped, a concrete raft with the rails set into it should be installed at the road crossing.

3.    There is a major problem of trespass in the region of the causeway which is used as a public right of way.  This problem must be looked into in detail before the Society even thinks of running trains along this section of line.

4.    The arrangements for repair and restoration of locos are perfectly satisfactory.

5.    In reference to the need for a Light Railway Order, Major Olver explained that the section of line owned by British Railways was a statutory railway and therefore a Light Railway Order was needed to transfer its ownership.  He went on to say that common sense indicated that any Light Railway Order obtained should be made to apply to the whole of the Railway.  The Railway Inspectorate and Railway Administration side of the department will be happy to advise on the question of the Light Railway Order at the appropriate time.  Major Olver suggested that the most satisfactory solution may lie in the precedent set by the West Somerset Railway, which would be for Walsall Metropolitan Council to obtain the LRO and to incorporate it into the leasing arrangements.

6.    Training for drivers – the present arrangements were far from ideal as the Society relies on its own resources to train drivers.  Major Olver stated that drivers should be passed out by an independently qualified supervisor from either British Railways or the National Coal Board.  Major Olver explained that in the case of an accident there should be no room to question the basic abilities of the loco driver to drive the locomotive efficiently.  At the present time this was not proven.  Editor’s Note – This was the only point on which we were criticised and steps to rectify this are underway.

News on the purchase of the line

The executive committee heard that the Council couldn’t purchase the land and track until the 15th July.  There appear to be two present options:

1.    The Council buy the loopline and we repay £1,400 rent for ten years.

2.    We buy and pay a nominal rent to the Council.

Much discussion is at present taking place amongst members on this question and further suggestions are welcomed by contacting the Hon.Sec.

The Stroudley E1 Restoration Fund

E1 at Cannock Wood

This body is the result of the meeting held at Chasewater on 22nd January.  Only nine people turned up to this meeting, perhaps indicating the level of interest for this project within the Society.

The first aim of the Society is to raise enough money to purchase the E1 from the Society, a figure in excess of £3,000.  There are now four Societies at least, interested in buying the E1 if the RPS has to sell it.

£155.50 has so far been raised and local press coverage has been good but due to the lack of local interest the appeal must go national.  Offers of help, monetary or otherwise, should be sent to Mr. Albert Haywood.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 72, December 1976

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 72 – Dec 1976

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News – Part 1

From the ‘Editorial’

Less than 24 hours ago, I was standing in the compound with a group of members, discussing the lack of recent Society literature, when jokingly I suggested I could piece together a newsletter.  Well here I am trying to write one.

Sincere apologies are due for the non-arrival of ‘Chasewater Express’ No.3, due to printing problems, etc.  Hopefully the next edition will revert to the magazine format, which has produced some favourable comments. (Sorry folks – it didn’t!).

Much activity has taken place at Chasewater during the long dry summer and the short wet autumn.  No less than three engines have been seen in steam at Chasewater this year, a record for the Society.  It is estimated that over 8,000 people visited us, so there is every confidence of getting into five figures in 1977.  ‘Alfred Paget’ the Neilson 0-4-0ST handled the bulk of the season’s traffic faultlessly (well almost!),

Alfred Paget and Invicta

whilst ‘Asbestos’ was steamed on a couple of occasions, but succumbed to rotten tubes in August and so was taken out of service pending the annual boiler inspection.

The big news however has been the completion of the overhaul of ‘Invicta’ the Barclay 0-4-0ST and its use in service pulling the vintage train on a couple of occasions at the end of the season.  Already it has proved to be quite powerful, despite its somewhat diminutive size.  Many thanks are due to Mike Wood for the purchase of this engine.

The boiler inspector has visited the site and passed ‘Alfred Paget’ and ‘Invicta’ for use next year, subject to steam tests.  Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ is due for a major test entailing the removal of tank and lagging, so it may not steam next year, for the first time in five years. 

Paget with Asbestos

It is hoped that work will start on the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in the New Year, so there is plenty of work for anyone interested in loco repairs – don’t be shy, come and volunteer to strengthen our loco fleet.

Both ‘Invicta’ and ‘Paget’ are to be repainted prior to next season.  The little Barclay, ‘Lion’ and the Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST have been repainted this summer, considerably improving the ‘scrap-yard’ image of the compound.  The planned repaint of ‘Asbestos’ will also be done, made easier by the need to dismantle it.

The other major scene of activity has been the current terminus of the line where the burning embankment has been dug out and refilled with non-combustible material.  The track here has been slewed across to avoid placing stress on the edge of the embankment.  Further relaying has taken place using concrete sleepers, extending the line by 50 yards or so.  Many thanks to Colin Vincent for the loan of his bulldozer.

Further relaying has ceased pending purchase of the loopline from British Railways.  It seems that the purchase will have to be completed without financial aid from the Council in view of the current economic and political climate (sound familiar!).  To this end several interested bodies have offered substantial sums of money for the ‘E1’ locomotive ‘Cannock Wood’. A subject of much heated discussion at the moment. (See separate letter. In the next post – cws). The selling of E1 can only be done as a last resort, if all other means fail.  Any sensible suggestions regarding fund-raising, etc. should be forwarded to the Hon. Sec.

Other progress has been seen with regard to re-fencing of the compound following two break-ins, when £40 worth of relics were stolen from the museum vehicle.  The police have the addresses of the probable culprits so the items may be recovered.

Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate visited the line and was reasonably satisfied with the current state of affairs – the full report will appear in the next magazine.  It is to be hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will finance the repainting of the DMU coach, so that it can match the current excellence of the two six-wheelers.

The Model Railway Exhibition held in September was another financial success, though the level of help, especially of the Friday night, was poor.  Many thanks to Andrew Louch, the organiser and to Mr. and Mrs. Duffill for the refreshments.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 70

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 70

From the ‘Chasewater Express’ April 1976

A poem which follows on from the previous post

The Neilson without nameplates and Asbestos

Neilson  – complete with Alfred Paget nameplates

One of the ‘Puddings’

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No.69

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 69

More from the ‘Chasewater Express’ January 1976

Editorial

The Editor wishes to state that he is in no way responsible for the ensuing passages, which emanate from the pen of a Black Country ex- butcher who nowadays works (?) for the only railway company in the country which is known to have in its stocklist a few hundred Brush 4s, a couple of dozen class 87 locos, etc.  Spelling and grammatical errors are his, not mine.

The Restoration of a Rusty Beast

Or

The Gospel According to Keith Sargeant

One particularly wet and generally normal Chasewater morning whilst shovelling (rubbish!) out of one very rusty coal bunker, I thought ‘will this thing ever go again?’ ‘’Course it will’ cried D.Luker, as he walked by for the tenth time that morning.

Well, it does go now and I will attempt to show how it was done.

In the winter of 1973/74, the boiler was stripped down and cleared of all the rotten lagging upon it, the firebox was cleared out in the space of one Sunday, the smokebox, however, was a completely different matter.  A very crude but effective spark arrester was cut out, never to be replaced; the next four hours (was!) were spent devoted to the removal of the blastpipe which was only held in with two taper cotters.  Evidence of neglect was showing through, on removal of the blastpipe a cup of tea was summoned and obtained.  ‘I’m not working on that thing in the rain any more’ Derek grunted through a sort of mist that arises off Chasewater tea.

The next weekend was devoted to building a ‘Tent’ upon the loco and fitting electric lights up to work on the loco in the dark.  Once it was completed, three weeks were devoted to clearing off the front tube plate.  To our horror, Derek’s clearing off of this revealed that the tube plate was less than half its original thickness for most of the lower 3” and non-existent at the flange with the barrel.  The smokebox bottom, which is formed of an extension of the boiler barrel, was also gone without trace.  A very awesome sight that left us wondering if the knuckles we had lost were lost in vain.

Work was suspended while Derek went cap-in-hand to the man with the money to ask for £300 which the Society had not got.  The remarkable thing was, they gave it to him.  He then got in touch with a bloke what mends boilers and after lengthy discussions with our boiler inspector and the boiler mender it was decided that the boiler was in such a good state that it was worth spending money on expensive repairs to it.  The contractor’s job was to replace 13 1” rivets and build up the smokebox tube plate to its original thickness and build up the corners of the firebox likewise.  This work was carried out in the space of three days, and restoration by Society members then re-commenced.

During the repairs, 10 flue tubes were replaced – bloody good ones they were too.  All boiler fittings were overhauled and replaced.  The regulator valve was taken home by Derek to Stafford where his neighbours were worried at the sound of him grinding ‘IT’ on the hearth rug.

The boiler was hydraulically tested and passed with flying colours.

Now with the boiler out of the way, the mechanics were looked at – ‘Boy, what a mess!’

4 tattered main bearings, 2 seized pistons, no side rods brassed, 2 valve spindles worn like egg-timers, and a partridge in a pear tree – PEAR TREE! Oh yes Boyo, we spent a few hours in there sampling the delicious tremblings, Boyo!

Work was suspended from the summer of ’74 to the winter of 74/75 fro work to be done on ‘Asbestos’, and also we built a workshop containing several mechanical works of art enabling Derek and Brian to while away the winter months machining the main bearings.  When they were done and fitted, the loco was lowered back on its wheels, the boiler was lagged and the tank was found to have more holes in it than a hairnet!  Six weeks were taken filling these in – we found the rest when it was on the loco!!

The loco was re-mated with the tank and the (Barkeus? Sorry, can’t decipher – Editor) nicely patched up and painted a delicate shade of black and red.  Now we had what looked almost like a steam loco, it was then decided to borrow the lubricator off of the Hudswell-Clarke.  This is where Brian Hames came into his own.  His short, Coal Board figure was just the ticket for getting round the little bits of engine that get in the way when you are laying lubrication pipes all over the place.  After that was done a steam test was made, the boiler steamed well and the injectors worked like two humming birds.  After eight months derelict and 18 months stripped down, only one leak in sight – and a very tiny one from a blown joint at that!

Now the moving parts.  As she stood they listed two seized pistons and valves, two weighbar shaft bearings (ready for a gallop) and one very rusty steam brake valve, complete with bent brake gear (a relic from Bruno days).  Something tells me I have (Sorry about this next bit of indecipherable script – Ed.) Wol’t fhat Bit a £ove –

After re-metalling the four main bearings and weighbar shaft brasses we set to putting it together again, first the pistons and valves, the valves took a lot of buggering about with and a great deal of patience on Derek’s part.  The siderods took about twelve weeks to fit as we had to make all the brasses from a similar but younger loco.

When Alfred Paget (as we had decided to call it) was back together again and had been made to look respectable with the aid of two gallons of black paint, we steamed it – what a day!!

06.30 we lit the fire and raised steam Lewis fashion (slowly – Ed).  By 11.00 we had got 50 lbs of steam, and it would not budge – what had we forgotten to do, I thought?  ‘Give it a nudge’ said a very dirty and unhygienic NCB Brian.  So we did.  Chuff, chuff, wheeze she went, like a ‘Super D’ with not a bit of trouble.  The brakes didn’t work  for a few weeks until they were worn in – but now we have one beautifully repaired Neilson 0-4-0ST loco of 1882 vintage and it was in steam for the 150th Anniversary to boot!

No mention yet has been made of the carriage and wagon tapping fraternity who are a body of MEN?? Who delight in making life difficult for us engine bashers.  Still, as I haven’t mentioned them before, I won’t bother now!!

Jotted by the most photographed driver at Cheesewater and published by the Keith Sargeant Appreciation Society.1975 Open Day – He’s in the middle! Andrew Louch on the right, with Brian Hames on the left.  Thanks Bob.

Summary of dimensions

Neilson standard 14” design

Weight: 28tons

Overall length: 23’ 7”

Height: 10’ 10”

Boiler Pressure: 120 lbs/sq.in.

Tractive Effort: 8885 lbs.

Cylinders (Outside) 14” x 20”

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.66 April 1975

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.66 April 1975

RPS Newsletters No. 12 & 13, Jan – April 1975.

Again two for the price of one! – But sadly no number 11!

From No.12

Neilson 0-4-0ST

This locomotive has had a stationary steam test and the reports prove very favourable.  Derek Luker informs me that the next step will be valve gear and motion.  We should see this loco in steam with ‘Asbestos’ this season.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Work steadily progressing but more help is needed as the carriage must be ready for August this year for the Stockton & Darlington Anniversary.

Track Laying

Work has now commenced lifting track.   The track bed will be re-aligned and the rail relaid, sleepers will be replaced where necessary.  This job must be completed before commencing the season’s running.

North Eastern Railway Van

A hasty repair job was done to the roof of this vehicle.  The canvas roof loading flap was ripped to shreds during the weekend gale of Saturday 25th January.

Mr. J.C.James of Liverpool recently acquired a station bookstall from the Birkenhead Railway.  This has been delivered to Chasewater and should prove a useful item.  Our grateful thanks to Mr. James.

Notes from Barry Bull, Hon. Sec.

The two meetings already held were quite well attended with 25/30 people on each occasion.  There were to be two further meetings at Aston University , one in March about ‘Main Line Steam’ and the other in May about ’Spanish Steam in 1963’. This to include both main line and industrial steam, and some real antique British built locos.

Sales Stand

With another season ahead we have been busy obtaining items for the sales stand.  In the past we have had to rely very much on the generosity of members in donating second-hand mags, etc. for resale.  In recent weeks our thanks must go to Nigel Canning, Rob Duffill and Laurence Hodgkinson for giving many suitable items for resale.  If any other members have any photos, relics, magazines, etc. which they would like to donate or perhaps sell at reasonable prices, would they please contact the Hon.Sec.  It is worth recalling that sales for the last 12 month period to July 1974 together with social activities raised £274 – remember ‘Sales Support Steam’.

From No.13

We are now attempting to get ourselves geared up for the season’s running, the actual news will follow in items listed below. All members will sympathise (after a period of considerable and very cruel laughter!!) with Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. who unfortunately broke his ankle playing football during February.  Barry, although partially immobile, has managed to get over to Chasewater and cleared the decks for action in the sales portion of the LNWR brake (It takes more than a broken ankle to keep Barry away from his vacuum cleaner!!). He is of course doing an immense amount of work on the correspondence side for the Society.  We all wish Barry a speedy recovery.  I know he is itching (!) to throw those crutches away.  Just a final word on this matter, may we advise Barry, in future, it is far safer at Chasewater RPS site than playing football on Sunday afternoons!!

Asbestos

I understand from the loco dept that this engine will be in trim for the forthcoming season, let us hope that it will be a busy one!  PS Two tubes were hastily fitted on Easter Monday morning!

Neilson

I am also assured that this locomotive will also be assisting with the season’s traffic later this year, a few last minute snags have yet to be sorted out.

Trackwork

In spite of the inclement weather, our usual stalwarts have been very busy lifting track, the bed is being levelled by Colin Vincent with his bulldozer and should be relaid during April. This effort is very praiseworthy, our sincere thanks to all participating in this hard graft.

Birkenhead Rly Bookstall

It is hoped to assemble this bookstall as a ticket office and sales stand this season.  We are of course short of volunteers for this operation, more about manpower appeal in a later item.

Maryport & Carlisle CarriageMaryport & Carlisle Carriage with No.21 – D. Bathurst Collection

Work is going ahead slowly with this vehicle, due in the main to the weather, and the call for manpower on other jobs.  The carriage has to be ready for the 150th Anniversary at Darlington, by the end of July at the latest.  Volunteers for painting please!

DMU Trailer Coach

A thorough cleaning of the interior is taking place, in readiness again for the 1975 running season, this should be completed by Sunday April 6th.

Manpower, Womanpower Appeal!!

May we once again appeal most earnestly for manpower during this special year, viz. the 150th Anniversary of Passenger Railway Travel (Stockton, Darlington 1825).  We have plenty of restoration jobs, and in particular, a list must be drawn up for the train operating crews.  Vacancies for firemen, Guards, Stewards on trains, sales stand and ticket issuing and collector staff.  Members should report to the General Manager and Chairman Derek Luker or any senior member deputising in his absence.  Please come and help if only for a couple of times this season, we desperately require extra help this season!

NCB Slotted Signal, Cannock Wood CollierySlotted signal at our old Brownhills West Station, 1978 – D. Bathurst Collection

This signal has been kindly donated by the NCB, it will eventually join our collection of NSR and LNWR signals at Chasewater.  The NSR signals came from Pinnox Crossing, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent and were also donated by the NCB several years ago.

Discussion at Chasewater

Loco spares, carriage spares, etc., this will be held on Saturday afternoon 3.00pm , 19th April 1975. All members are invited to attend and comment.

Littleton Colliery Visit – Engine in Steam

Saturday 17th May 9.30am.  Brake van trip down the line.  Members wishing to attend contact Albert Haywood.Littleton No.5  Manning W ardle 0-6-0ST

Canal Boat Rally

Birmingham Navigation Canal Society, 10th and 11th May 1975.  Catshill Junction, Lindon Road, Anchor Bridge, Brownhills.

Dave Ives, President.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces 65 RPS Newsletters No. 9 and 10, July – Oct 1974.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 65

RPS Newsletters No. 9 & 10, July – Oct 1974.

Again two for the price of one!

From No.9

As we are all aware, the summer operating season at Chasewater is drawing to a close.  Passenger receipts are down on last year; this is due to not operating the diesel service on the second and fourth Sundays, due in the main to weather conditions and lack of operating staff.  We must all bear in mind that money made in the summer enables the Society and the Company to pay its way in the winter.

Our President Charles Ives was struck down with a coronary attack some five weeks ago.  I am pleased to report to members that Charles is making a good recovery back to normal health.  I am sure that all members will wish Charles a speedy recovery back to full health, and that we all hope to see him back to his cheerful and witty self in the chair at the AGM in September.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Andrew Louch, ably assisted by Roger Pomlett, is pressing on steadily with the painting and restoration of this vehicle, time presses on!!  We still assume that this vehicle is going to the Stockton & Darlington Anniversary.

MS & LR Carriage

John Elsley is now painting the exterior in gloss paint in preparation for the S & D Anniversary.  This carriage is now a pleasure to behold!

Neilson 0-4-0STJune 1978 – Pic from D. Bathurst’s Collection

Excellent progress has been made on this loco, it is now back on all four wheels, the tank has been repaired and painted.  The coupling rods have yet to be fitted.  It is understood from sources that we may see the Neilson steamed before the winter sets in.  A really great show on behalf of our Chairman Derek Luker and committee members Keith Sergeant and Brian Hames, as I have said before, real teamwork!  A vote of thanks to all members who have helped on this project!!

Renovation of Small Relics

A start has been made in both tidying up the compound, and the painting of station seats and nameboards, etc., this is indeed a vast improvement.  Thanks are due to Colin Marklew, Barry and others.  Keep up the good work!!

The date for the proposed dinner to celebrate the fifteenth Birthday of the Society was given as Thursday, 17th October at 8.00pm at Eaton Lodge Hotel, Rugeley.

From No.10

This edition of the Newsletter is a special one, it is, as most members are aware, the Society’s Fifteenth Anniversary.  The RPS was inaugurated at a meeting in October 1959 at the Station Hotel, Stafford (now sunk without trace).  Six people were present, including myself.  I had the honour of being elected the first secretary, a job which I continued holding through the formative years, standing down in 1968.   The actual founder of the RPS movement was also present at the meeting, D. Noel Draycott.  Noel was a man of endless enthusiasm, writing letters to the railway press, to the daily press and holding meetings up and down the country.  Noel took over the job of General Secretary of the RPS.  The West Midland District, as it was then known, had the honour of being the first group formed, closely followed by the London District RPS and Scottish District RPS.  These groups are now known as Quainton Railway Trust and Scottish District RPS respectively.  Noel Draycott acted as General Secretary over all the groups and edited the RPS Newsletter, getting news from the groups.  Each group was autonomous and as most members realise, grew apart, particularly after Noel’s death at the early age of 38.  Noel did however sow the seeds of a National group before his death, a body now known as the Association of Railway Preservation Societies eventually evolved.

We are proud of still carrying the RPS name, the original name of the old National Society.Stafford Station (the third one) and the Station Hotel – from staffspastrack

Then followed the usual progress reports on the Neilson, M & C carriage and the MS & LR carriage – all making steady progress and needing more volunteers!

Site Work

A very good start has been made in tidying up the site with lamp posts erected, signs and train indicators painted.  The public as well as the members themselves have been impressed; we must maintain this standard and even improve on it.

RPS Model Railway Exhibition

This was held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock on 14th and 15th September.  This was a huge success, and we must congratulate Andrew Louch, the organiser, for a splendid effort.  Our grateful thanks to all those members who participated, fetching and carrying, working all hours and even staying the night.  A special vote of thanks to Margaret Duffill and the other ladies who so ably assisted our refreshment manager Rob Duffill.

1975 Vintage – Pic from D. Bathurst’s Collection.

Peckett 0-4-0ST

This locomotive arrived on Friday 4th October from Wallsend.  I understand it was late arriving due to tractor gearbox trouble!  It was finally unloaded by the light of Tilley lamps at the crossing and finally hauled to the compound limits by our Worthington diesels.  The locomotive has been bought by our Hon. Secretary Barry Bull, very many thanks Berry, for a very useful addition to the stud.
Worthington diesels 1969 – Pic from D. Bathurst’s Collection

There was to be more news about this loco and about the Fifteenth Anniversary Dinner in the next Newsletter.  I think that this was about the first time that the following Newsletter was referred to.  When I first started my Bits & Pieces from Newsletters and magazines, I knew that there were about two or three missing from 50 years worth.  Sod’s Law dictates that No.11 – the next one – was one of them!