Tag Archives: Neilson

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!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

RPS Newsletters No. 7 & 8, March – June 1974.

Again two for the price of one!

From No.7

Spring is now with us and with the longer evenings, so the work at Chasewater increases.  In spite of the bitter cold snap just recently, it was blowing a strong easterly across the lake, it did not deter our usual band of stalwarts working on ‘Asbestos’ getting her ready for the Easter steaming.  The Society should be very grateful to this tough stalwart crew working in these conditions; we have no warm engine shed like some of the larger groups.  I am sure that absent members will join me in a warm ‘Thank You’ to these chaps.

Asbestos

Asbestos was trial steamed on Sunday March 17th, two tubes blew during this trial, and work is now going ahead fitting new tubes and other minor repairs, prior to another trial steaming on Sunday, 31st March.  As stated previously, Derek Luker and his team worked in bitter conditions to complete this essential work!

General Spring Clean

A general tidy up has now begun on the site, but further volunteers are required if we want the compound really tidy, ready to receive visitors at Easter.

MS & LR Carriage

John Elsley is still pressing on steadily with this vehicle, another compartment has been restored, and we should have a splendid vehicle ready for display this season.

LNWR Passenger Brake

A start has been made cleaning down the other half of the brake by Rob Duffill; the restored half has been repainted in gloss by Barry Bull and Rob Duffill, and looks very respectable.

Track Maintenance

A start has been made clearing the track of heavy vegetation, the bushes at the north end of the line have been cut back to allow easy passage of trains.  We do require more volunteers to keep our track in good working condition.

Among ‘Dates for the Diary’ was a reminder to members who wished to attend an Open Day at Littleton Colliery on 18th May, 1974.Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

From No.8

We are now running a regular train service on Sunday afternoons, the first and third Sundays are steam hauled and the second and fourth Sundays diesel hauled – Bank Holidays will be steam working.

We had a record number of passengers over the Easter holiday, Easter Monday broke all records I’m pleased to report, our grateful thanks to the train operating staff and booking office staff for a really splendid effort.  We were very short of members over the Easter, this was probably due to members being on holiday themselves.

Collectors’ Fair

Held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock on April 13th and was a huge success.  Our very grateful thanks to Andrew Louch and Barry Bull, organisers, and to the members and ladies who helped in no small measure, a special mention to Paul Mason, who provided the P.A. equipment.  A truly great effort all round.  Thank you to everybody concerned.

Sunday, April 7th

A double deck bus load of enthusiasts from M & GN descended on the Light Railway, it was a case of stretching the manpower again, some members being involved with the stand at the Stafford Railway Circle exhibition, which was again well-attended.  I understand that the visit was enjoyed by all the visitors.

Neilson 0-4-0ST

Work is still progressing well on this loco.  The bearings have now been re-metalled and skimmed, the boiler has been re-clad.  Final work on repairing and painting the saddle tank is progressing well.  Thanks to our dedicated band of workers: Derek Luker, Brian Hames, Keith Sergeant, plus several of our junior members.

Asbestos

Continues to do sterling service, a few minor repairs have been affected, namely a spring hanger which broke during running, this has been welded and replaced.  Also leaking clack valves have been repacked.

Diesel Locomotives Nos. 20 & 21

No.20 is now looking quite resplendent after a complete clean-down and repaint.  The team responsible for this splendid effort is:  Nigel Canning, Steven Foster, Ian Patterson and Adrian Pearson.  No.21 is now receiving similar treatment, the start being made by Iain Smith on one of his weekends from Edinburgh.  It is a pity that a few more local members do not follow his example.

Coaching Stock

The MS & LR carriage is looking very resplendent, John Elsley informs me that he intends to install the original seats recovered in new maquette, this will cost in the region of £150, just a little idea of the inflationary spiral and the way it hits us all!  The Maryport & Carlisle carriage – Andrew Louch is replacing a few panels, the guttering has been refitted, and a complete repaint is envisaged this summer.  It is anticipated that this vehicle will go on show at the Stockton & Darlington Centenary and a Half celebrations in 1975, providing that the necessary funds are raised.

The Open day at Littleton Colliery has been postponed until 17th August.

Congratulations  to Rob Duffill on his forthcoming marriage in July.  May we wish Rob and Margaret every happiness for the future.  Rob is one of our stalwart members, serving on the committee and in a truly practical way.  Also congratulations to our hard-working treasurer Lawrence Hodgkinson on his promotion to the board of the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd., with this goes the directors’ fee of £0.00, as a fellow director I forecast that we can easily double that next year!!

Compiled by Dave Ives and printed and published by Lawrence Hodgkinson.

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 62 – July & October 1973

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 62

From RPS Newsletters Nos.3 & 4, July – October 1973

One short newsletter and one a bit longer so I thought I’d put them in the same post.

From No.3

Due to the grand summer weather our train running operations have proved very successful, this of course has also been enhanced by having the DMU trailer unit now in regular service, our train crews have carried out the job of keeping the wheels rolling most efficiently.  Members wishing to participate in train duties should report to Steve Allsopp for instruction.

Neilson 0-4-0 Locomotive

This locomotive has now passed its boiler test successfully and is now in the process of being re-assembled.  I understand that the main bearings are being re-metalled.  The whole project is in the capable hands of our General Manager, Derek Luker, with Keith Sergeant acting as chief assistant.  We are heavily indebted to these two members for sticking to the job.

MSLR CarriageMSL at Easingwold – R.Cromblehome

Restoration of this vehicle still continues, also a long slog by John Elsley. John would appreciate a little more help with this vehicle.  Anyone who is reasonably skilled in woodwork should report to John Elsley.

The platform building had been slowed down due to the train operations, and the Railway held a very successful Railway Exhibition at the Forum Theatre in Cannock. Very many thanks to all the people who set up the stands, acted as stewards, and in particular, to Rob Duffill and his team of ladies who manned the refreshment bar.

From No.4

The running season had been a good one, helped by an excellent summer.  Restoration work and maintenance will now continue throughout the coming autumn and winter months, weather permitting.  Priorities, I understand, will include trackwork, embankment restoration and completion of the platform.

Restoration work on the Neilson continues – should be in steam next year.

Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Asbestos

This loco has finished for the season, and now enjoys a well-earned rest.  Boiler fittings have now been removed and the boiler washed out.  The fitting flanges are to be reseated prior to the forthcoming boiler tests.  This work again is in the hands of Derek Luker, our hard-working General Manager.

MS & LR Carriage

Excellent progress is still being maintained by John Elsley, Nigel Hadlow and Albert Haywood, cracked panes have been replaced with new ¼” plate glass (at a prohibitive price), painting still continues, the teak centres can actually now be seen on the Mansell wheels.  John tells me he hopes to restore the compartments to the original as far as possible.  This vehicle is proving well worthy of preservation and is a credit to John and his team.

Maryport & Carlisle Railway carriage

Work has now started on the panelling of this vehicle, under the capable hands of Andrew Louch.  It is indeed gratifying to us all that our historic ‘Maryport’ is at last receiving restoration attention.  After being in service for a full season last year, the vehicle is undergoing a refit and later a repaint.  More about this at a later date.

Worthington Diesel No.20

This vehicle has now received attention from Brian Piddock and is again in working order, after lying idle for many months, it is a very good job done and I’m sure we are all grateful to Brian.

Chasewater Terminus Platform

Work still continues on this very vital asset.  Lawrence Hodgkinson is in charge of this project, the Council have helped with a good graded red ash approach to the platform, and provided car parking facilities.  I’m sure the Society is most grateful for this help.

Derailment of No.21 Diesel

A derailment occurred this month (Sept) during the hours of darkness, the above diesel came off the road when towing the DMU into the compound around 8.00pm.  Two slabs were loosened on the platform and the driver, Lawrence Hodgkinson, somewhat shaken.  A team of stalwarts (6) worked until 11.30pm by the light of Tilley Lamps to re-rail the locomotive, this was finally achieved and both loco and carriage shunted safely into the compound.

A.G.M.

The AGM was well attended this year, it was followed by the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd. AGM.  A special train took members a trip down the entire length of the line, this consisted of the L & Y No.1 Petrol Loco and the GWR 16 ton brake.  Slides were later shown in the DMU carriage, this depicted work done over the season on and around the site.

Compiled by Dave Ives and Printed and published by Lawrence Hodgkinson.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No 60 March 1973 and No 61 May 1973

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ of December 1970

There doesn’t appear to have been another ‘Mercian’ for some time.

 

The Railway Preservation Society produced a newsletter, starting in March 1973 – Here are extracts from the first one.

 

‘This newsletter is not intended to replace our Society journal ‘Mercian’, we (the Committee) must apologise for the non-appearance of ‘Mercian’, but this has been due to technical hitches, etc.  We shall endeavour to maintain a newsletter at least every two months, and may we all hope that ‘Mercian’ will put in an appearance before too long.’

 

The remainder of the newsletter covers various on-going renovation work, including the overhaul of the Neilson, in the very capable hands of the General Manager, Derek Luker, ably assisted by Keith Sargeant and Colin Thomas – repairs to the smokebox and fire box – further expense is envisaged for retubing the engine.

Restoration of the MSLR carriage was continuing, with one compartment beautifully restored, fitted with new seats and original GC pictures re-hung.  This vehicle has been completely re-roofed and original ventilators and gas lamps refurbished and fitted.  A lot of work still has to be done to complete the vehicle and more volunteers were needed.

 

Other work included the relaying of track to the crossing from the Hednesford Road, another 300 yards needs to be done.  Work was progressing on the new platform at the Chasewater Terminus (now under the M6 Toll!).  Work had been started on tidying up the site, ready for the 1973 running season.  The Worthington Diesel No.20 (now on loan at Coors Museum, Burton-on-Trent) was having an overhauled replacement engine fitted and should be ready by the end of March 1973.

 

The final piece of news was regarding  a Railway Exhibition to be held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock, on the weekend of 30th June and 1st July.  It will consist of Model Railway Layouts, our own ‘Railwayana’ display, plus other preservation stands, Model Engineering Society stands refreshments and bar.  As usual, more help was needed.

Compiled by D.A.Ives (Chairman)

Also taken from the ‘Mercian’ of December 1970

 

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.61

 

RPS Newsletter No.2 – May 1973

 

Since the last newsletter (March) we have been pleased to see a few members turn up at Chasewater as a result of the appeal for more support.  We would like to see a few more however.  There is an interesting variety of jobs, i.e. trackwork, platform building, locomotive and carriage restoration, installation of signals and signalling equipment. (Sounds familiar!!)

There was a successful Easter Weekend Steaming in spite of awful weather, and a thank you to the members who stayed overnight to light up, and those who operated the service in such vile weather.

DMU Trailer UnitPic – Lawrence Hodgkinson

This vehicle has now arrived at Walsall from March, Cambs. And is now awaiting collection and transportation by low-loader from Walsall to Chasewater.  This should prove a spectacular operation (albeit a costly one). We deserve to get maximum publicity from this enterprise.  As most members will realise, this carriage has been purchased to give maximum seating capacity for the summer season’s running, also to replace our vintage Maryport & Carlisle coach now in service.  The M & C now needs some restoration work, new panelling and a complete repaint.Pic – Lawrence Hodgkinson – Top of Pleck Road, Walsall

Stop Press – 3rd May!!

This vehicle is now safely in the compound at Chasewater, after a hectic day by a small party of members and being filmed going through the streets of Walsall by ‘ATV Today’

Pic – Lawrence HodgkinsonComing through the farm gate at Chasewater.

NER 8 Ton Box Van

Due to the efforts of our Hon. Sec. Barry Bull, the Society has acquired the last wooden bodied Box Van used by Messrs. Cadbury of Bournville.  Messrs. Cadbury have very kindly donated the vehicle to the Society, arrangements have now been made for collection of this vehicle on May 5th.  Our grateful thanks to both Messrs. Cadbury for donating this vehicle and to Barry Bull for negotiating the deal.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 55

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Bits and Pieces 55

Asbestos with the Maryport & Carlisle Coach and GW brake van

The follow-on to the previous post.

Everything out of Hednesford

From the Mercian August 1970

Secretary’s Report

They said it couldn’t be done – but it was!!!  Done by sheer hard slogging and the aid of a clapped out tractor.

Little did I think that the Cadbury van and the two open wagons at Hednesford would not be moved by road and that what I jokingly referred to last time would in fact become a reality.  It was!!  Six – yes six – of us spent two nights digging the sunken track and point out of a couple of feet of hard mud and rubble so that we could hand-shunt the wagons off the siding and onto the main section where we could couple them up to the passenger stock for removal by rail.

Deadline was Thursday evening so we had only three nights to organise the job.  It took the whole of Tuesday and part of Wednesday to dig the track out and we managed to move one of the wagons along to the point ready for transhipment.  However it stuck fast and all our efforts failed to make any impression on it.  This did not auger well for the other wagon and the van and we were almost on the point of giving it up as a bad job.

Then we spotted the tractor and after making a few quick calls we discovered that it belonged to the President, albeit he thought it was out of action with some parts missing.  A quick tickle up by the Treasurer soon proved him wrong and all was set.  We found a length of hawser and soon had the first wagon over the point.  Our troubles were solved you might think but unfortunately they were not.  There was no rail beyond the point and the wagon had to be towed onto the semi-hard ground of the yard.  The point (stub type) would not budge so the next problem was how to line up the wheels for the correct road.  This we did by towing the wagon back onto the point and then jacking up one end clear of the rail.  The jack was then knocked away sideways so as to throw the wheel flanges onto the right side of the line.  After much trial and error we managed the first one and it was coupled up to the passenger stock.  The second wagon followed similarly and by this time it was getting dusk.  We held a council of war and decided that unless the van was moved then it would have to remain at Hednesford for ever.  Out came the hurricane lamps and we trundled the van down to the points.  By this time there was quite a groove in the yard surface and the van soon found the level.  We jacked her up and with some pushing and heaving and a tug from the tractor we managed to move her into the right line where she joined the rest of the stock at about 10.30pm.

How stupid – possibly this is your first thought – can some members be? But let me say right here and now that if it wasn’t for such stalwarts and in particular those six who struggled so gamely to do a very important job, the Society would be highly successful resting on the laurels and efforts of its armchair and featherbed members.

I DON’T THINK

Those three vehicles are now at Chasewater thanks to the six, but had it been left to our non-regulars then they would have rotted away at Hednesford.  Members should be thankful that we have a solid core of stalwarts who do care about the future and who will do something about it.

Stirring it up am I – you’re damn right I am.  Where were YOU when we ran our most successful steam weekend to date?  I refer to the 27th/28th June when we were operating a small service and an exhibition as part of the Aldridge/Brownhills Festival of Sport.

I understand from the Social Organiser that he sent 10/- worth (50p) of Draw tickets and appeals for help on the days of the Festival to all members living within a 20 – 25 mile radius of the site in an effort to boost the funds.  Needless to say the response – altogether not unexpected – was NIL.  A few members did manage to sell some tickets and the surprising fact was that most of these were members whose subs were due, and not paid-up members – to me a disgusting state of affairs.

We have about 120 members scattered about the country and I am fully aware that it is not possible for all of you to attend on site due to distance away.  We have certain members who regularly donate £5 – £50 when we need to raise money urgently, we have a member who purchased one of our locos for us.  I am not getting at these members or the faithful band that turn out regularly each weekend.

I am getting at the shower – there is no other word for them – who think we can run on their subs alone.  Like other Societies I think that we can manage without this type of member even if we only have 20 members who care enough to pull their weight when we need them to.

Reverting to the weekend, the weather marred the Saturday operations, however it was all systems go on the Sunday when, had we had about another 20 members available we could have made a very fat profit form the Draw from ticket touting among the crowd which packed the Park.

I have said it many times before and I will say it again, we MUST have more help when we run these steam weekends.  The next Open Day will be Sunday August 30th.  Make a note of it NOW!

We need quite a few hands between now and then for track repairs, stock repairs and restoration and a host of other jobs too numerous to mention.  Every Sunday afternoon from 2.00pm whatever the weather we can find plenty to do, so may we see you on site fully prepared to do a little hard work.

It is a pity that every time I prepare this report all I seem to do is belay a large number of members who are close enough to the site to be able to make at least two or three visits a month.

What a change it will be when the day arrives that I can report that the turnout on working parties each week has been 30 members and that they have now completely relaid the trackwork, the three coaches are fully restored and operational, three steam locos are available and a service will be operated each weekend.

There is no reason why this should not be so if members will rid themselves of their apathy.

Hon Sec. A.A.Chatfield

 

Now a follow-up from the General Manager’s stock news

Chasewater News

Apart from the usual lack of manpower things have been happening on site this past three or four weeks in preparation for the Festival Weekend and other events.

In the last issue I summarised the various jobs to be done and this met with a fair response so I will repeat it again this month.

Asbestos

I am pleased to report that she is now fully operational and was successfully steamed on June 20th on the occasion of the visit paid by the L.C.G.B  Under the able hands of Mike Lewis she was again performing for the Festival Weekend and proved quite an attraction.

Barclay

The boiler inspector’s report has now been received and he has condemned her boiler.  This means we shall have to either order a new one, which at this stage is financially out of the question, or we may be able to buy a reasonable second-hand one from one of three or four of the same class which are known to be still operational.  To help defray the cost we propose to sell the old boiler as scrap.  In the meantime the loco will be put back together as a static exhibit.

Neilson


Work will now be put in hand to strip this loco down for a boiler inspection.  We understand that the boiler is in good condition and that we should be able to get the loco operational by next summer providing we have enough man-power to work on her.  Mike Lewis will again be dealing with the job and he will need some assistance.  Any offers?

Hudswell and Lance

These will be kept oiled and painted until after the work on the Neilson has been done.  Again, any offers?

Cannock Wood

I am pleased to report that this is now safely at Chasewater having been delivered on June 26th.  It is unlikely that she will run in the foreseeable future as a new boiler will be needed if reports which we have are correct.  Work will therefore be confined to a thorough repaint and general restoration as a static exhibit.  This should keep a couple of members fully occupied for the next few months, so may I have some volunteers?

 

Diesel No.1

This is still out of commission, have we any members who are knowledgeable enough to work on her, please?

Diesels 20/21

Pic – Ross Lockley

These are both running now and are in need of a repaint.  I hope to make one or the other available fro this purpose during the next month or so.  It should not take too long to refurbish the paintwork on both of them and if any members would like to help then please contact the Secretary on site.  He will be supervising this part of the work.

Petrol No.1

Through the efforts of Arthur Chatfield who did the bulk of the restoration work on this loco, it was just about ready for display at Messrs. Dorman’s Ltd. exhibition in Stafford from June 22nd to July 4th.  I am grateful to him, for the hard work he put in on this project and for the assistance that he received from the Chairman.  The loco proved to be quite an attraction at Dorman’s and I am sure we may receive some benefit from the resulting publicity.

Other Rolling Stock

Apart from the stock already on site you will have read in this issue that the two open wagons and the Cadbury van have now been delivered to Chasewater.  These have also bee joined by the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the LNWR Brake bogie van.  The ‘Paddy’ coach and the TPO coach are due in the very near future and also the GER six-wheeler.   This will only leave the Royal Saloon, and the Committee have agreed in principle, subject to various safeguards, that this vehicle should be placed on loan to the Midland Railway Project Group at Derby.  Should the Group decline then arrangements will be made to transfer it to Chasewater.

From this you will note that all our assets will be at one site and there is a lot of work to be done on them.  John Elsley has already offered to repair the roof on the Maryport & Carlisle and to do other jobs on it so that it may be available for the Bank Holiday weekend.  A start has been made by Bob Ives and Phil Dunning on repainting one of the open wagons.  There is plenty of other work to do particularly reproofing jobs and if John Elsley can have two more members to assist him he is prepared to tackle the GWR Brake, the LNWR Brake and the SECR Brake roofs, so that they may be watertight before the winter sets in.

Another top priority will be the laying of the other siding in the compound so that all the stock may be put under lock and key.  It is imperative that this work should be completed as quickly as possible and as many hands as possible will be needed.  I should like to see this job done before the middle of August and if we can get a real good turnout we should be able to meet this deadline.  Is it too much to ask, in spite of the holiday period?

Well that’s about the size of it.  There is plenty to do and enough to keep 50 members fully occupied between now and the end of the year.  We can find plenty of tools and materials to do these jobs – what we also need are the hands to do them!

You have read what six members can achieve when pushed hard, please try and think what 30 regulars could do at a more leisurely pace if I could persuade them to turn up on site each Sunday afternoon for the next two or three months.

Won’t you give it a try?

A. Holden, General Manager, Chasewater Site.