Tag Archives: Neilson

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.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 54 from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 54 from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

 

Rolling Stock Report

Chasewater Site

The following schedule of commitments refers only to the present stock on site; these will be greatly enhanced when certain other stock has been safely delivered from Hednesford.  We have a tight schedule to keep if we are going to provide a steam operated line this year and it is imperative that we get under way as soon as possible.

 

Asbestos

Boiler lagging and fittings have been removed and all applicable joints packed for a hydraulic test.  The initial inspection has been carried out by the boiler inspector who has okayed the boiler as fit, subject to some plugs being replaced and another test run before he issues the certificate.

The boiler barrel and underside of the tank are being red-leaded and painted.  Work is under the supervision of Mike Lewis who will need another two reliable assistants as soon as possible.  Work on lowering the tank, etc. will be done as soon as the boiler inspector has finished his tests.

 

Barclay – Colin McAndrew

This has been completely dismantled in preparation for repairs to the firebox stays by an outside contractor.  All the old tubes have also been withdrawn and will be replaced when the other repairs are done.  A lot of work will then be required to put the loco together ready for the boiler tests and final restoration including painting.  Mike Lewis is again supervising and needs two more assistants.

 

Neilson, Hudswell & Lance

Work on these three will have to be confined to oiling, greasing and generally touching up of paintwork, etc. until work has been satisfactorily done on the other two locos.  Volunteers are required for this.

 

Diesel No.1

This is at present out of commission with gear and clutch trouble.  Have we any reliable members who have knowledge of the workings of diesels and who could take this loco in hand?  Our regular fitters are already taxed to the limit with the other diesels.

 

Diesels Nos. 20/21

Minor repairs to the injectors and other routine work is well in hand on these two.  Both are due for a complete repaint and again volunteers conversant with the trade are asked to come forward.  Arthur Chatfield would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Petrol No.1

Cleaning down work is now well in hand.  This loco has to be ready for exhibition at Dorman’s Ltd., Stafford for week commencing June 22nd.  This leaves very little time for the two regulars seconded to the job.  More help is needed here; again, volunteers are required most urgently.

 

Other Rolling Stock

This has been lumped together because the variety of jobs required on most of the vehicles is almost identical.  Two of the coaches are sheeted over due to leaking roofs, anybody care to take on the job of re-felting them?  It will need at least two people.  There are also a considerable number of loose or cracked panels which need attention before they are painted in undercoat.  The running board on the Great Western brake needs repairing and re-bolting and of course a real good start on painting the interiors of the passenger stock would not be amiss.  There is enough work to allocate at least three people to each item of stock or a gang of five regulars tackling each item in order of urgency.  We cannot spare this number from the present compliment; we need more of you on site to help us do this vital work.

It may also be stated that there is a lot of work to be done to the Trackwork and again more help is needed.

No offer of assistance will be refused – this cannot be afforded.

A. Holden – General Manager, Chasewater Site.

 

 

Secretary’s Report from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

 

It seems that my forecast for the movement of the smaller items of stock from Hednesford to Chasewater was way off the beam.  Let me hasten to add that several snags cropped up which had to be examined with regard to the transport.

Those of you who are familiar with the layout of the yard at Hednesford will know that there is an acute angle bend to be negotiated by any road vehicle which is delivering to or conveying from the yard any bulky items.  This unfortunately precludes all but the smallest type of low-loader, and the one that we had lined up for moving the four wheelers would not go round the corner.

We have, through the good offices of our President, made another approach to a different operator and we hope that he has a vehicle which can do the job.  If this fails then we shall have to dig out the point to the spur upon which the wagons are standing, this having sunk into the thick mud, so that we can shunt the wagons onto the main siding for removal by rail with the other stock.  The Coal Board have informed us that they will move the stock up to Cannock Wood Colliery yard either the first or second week of May and we now await clearance from British Rail that the stock is fit to run over the line to the Colliery which is their property.  Once the stock is at the Colliery yard it will be put under lock and key in the compound and the smaller items, such as the six-wheelers, E1, and, if necessary the four-wheelers will be shipped from there to Chasewater by road as there are better loading facilities at the Colliery yard to manoeuvre a big low-loader.

I sincerely hope that my forecast that most of the smaller stock will be at Chasewater by the time you either read this or receive the next edition will in fact be true for we shall require some of it for use at the Festival of Sport and also for the late Bank Holiday in August.

To impress upon you the need for better turnouts at working parties, you will find included in this issue (following) a run down on the various items of rolling stock and brief details of work which urgently needs to be either started and carried through, or which has already been started and which needs completing.

It is an impossible task for the present working parties to cope with the amount of work available, and I plead to all members with cars to try and get along to the site prepared to put in at least a couple of hours graft.  The weather seems to be picking up so we must pray for plenty of sunshine as we rely on this due to the present lack of covered space where we can operate if it rains.  May I count on your help over the next few Saturdays and Sundays???

May I, before closing this report, welcome on your behalf our newly co-opted Social Organiser, Gordon Loach.  Gordon has had many years experience in running carnivals, garden parties and other such fund raisers, and with the help of his good lady Mrs. Loach and, we hope, a ladies committee, he will be able to bring a bit of social life to the society which is lacking at the present.

Hon. Sec. A.A.Chatfield

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 44 Aug. 1968

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 44 Aug. 1968

Latest Arrivals at Chasewater

People living in the houses adjacent to the line have by now become used to seeing various types of low-loaders arriving with miscellaneous items of rolling stock, in fact on one memorable day two vehicles arrived at the same time.  One often wonders what the thoughts of these people are as more and more large relics appear at Chasewater.

Several items have arrived over the last two months.  The first and in many ways the most important was the Midland Railway crane from Hednesford.  Without this, our track laying project could not have been fulfilled and over the last eight weeks it has more than made up for its three years of inactivity at Hednesford.  Apart from being a valuable historic item, it is a most useful piece of equipment.

The Whitsuntide holiday saw the arrival of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway 6-wheel full brake from the Derwent Valley Light Railway at York.

Pic: http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk

SECR Brake No.1601

This six-wheeled van, built in 1905, is unusual in that it has both a “birdcage” lookout on the roof and side duckets for the guard. In addition to accommodation for the guard, the rest of the space was used for luggage. On withdrawal it was transferred for service use as an ARP Cleansing Van, based at Bricklayers Arms Locomotive Depot in London.

With no further use for it after the war, in 1947 it was sold to the independent Derwent Valley Light Railway in Yorkshire. On its second withdrawal from service it was bought by the Southern Locomotive Preservation Co., who moved it, with the rest of their stock, to the Bluebell in late 1971 and early 1972.

The van’s eventual restoration will require, as its first stage, the complete reconstruction of its wooden/flitch-plated underframe.

It was at Chasewater for five years before being transferred to the Bluebell Railway.  It had to be left outside for the haulage company to make an early start, and in those few hours every window was smashed. ( I know there aren’t many but…..)

This was most eventful since it arrived a day early.  The usual entrance was locked and the haulage contractors came through the main entrance.  This involved a considerable amount of shunting on their part and eventually necessitated the complete removal of the main gates.  After becoming entangled with overhead power cables the vehicle was finally unloaded without a hitch!  The carriage is in the nature of a joint venture between the Society and our good friends the Southern Locomotive Preservation Company, the latter having purchased the coach while the RPS provided the bulk of the money needed for transportation.

The next arrival, on June 15th, was the Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST ‘Asbestos’ from Turners Asbestos Cement, Trafford Park, Manchester.  In contrast to the previous item, this arrived about five hours late and completely disrupted work for the day.  However, the sight of this immaculately maintained locomotive more than made up for any inconvenience.Pic: DM Bathurst

This was followed one week later by our most distant acquisition, the Neilson 0-4-0ST from Glasgow, vandalised the day before collection, as posted elsewhere.

Before the next influx of new items, more track will have to be laid into the compound. As soon as this is done, the peace of the neighbourhood will once again be shattered by the noise of heavy haulage vehicles.

Frank Harvey

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 43.1 – Neilson on its way – most of it!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 43.1 – Neilson on its way – most of it!

A not very satisfactory day

By G. Wildish

June 16th 1968, we were on our way to collect the Neilson locomotive – ‘we’ being Mary Grisdale and myself, Gerald Wildish.  The 4.00am train landed us in Glasgow shortly before 8.00am and after breakfast we arrived at Gartsherrie at 8.30.  Since our last visit, the works had been completely taken over by the scrap merchants, T.W.Ward, and this was the beginning of our trouble.

Reporting at the works – the manager said ‘Oh yes, the engine is there – go up and I will join you later.’  I went to the shed and was disgusted.  Some scrap thieves had removed all the brass clack and water valves.  The coupling and connecting rods had also been removed and cut up by oxy-acetylene equipment and were lying in pieces around the engine.  I returned to the manager and told him the story, ‘Oh yes, that happened yesterday, the police have been told’ – but why hadn’t he mentioned it to me earlier!

There was one locomotive with its motions still intact – No.3, and the manager agreed that we should tale these rods.  The next job was to remove them, they were stuck fast!  Mary traced some welders nearby with some cutting equipment and I gave them a back-hander to remove these for me – it took two and a half hours to get these pieces off satisfactorily. (It is highly probable that these men were the culprits from the day before).

Meanwhile the other problem was to remove the locomotive.  The line which we were to use for the removal – which it had been promised would be left for us – had been taken up!  At 9.00am the Wrekin Haulage people arrived and I took the driver on a tour of the lines and eventually we found one road-level stretch of line, but this was a mile and a quarter away.  The problem was to get the loco there.  The diesel loco of T.W.Ward was also in trouble and was unlikely to work.  However, I prevailed on two men to start and operate the diesel, but the brakes failed.  We agreed that I should operate the Neilson as a brake.  At 11 o’clock we succeeded in getting the Neilson to the low loader.  Two hours later we had got the coupling rods off the other Neilson and taken over to the low loader by a dumper truck.On her way!

Just before 4 o’clock the Neilson was loaded, but on arrival at the works entrance, the driver estimated that he could not get out!  Half-an-hour later, with the police controlling the traffic, the lorry nosed its way out and we set off for home.

Despite all our efforts, we are still two water and clack valves and injectors short.  New piping will be required to connect them with the loco and screws holding them to the boiler will have to be renewed as these have been mutilated by the acetylene equipment.  However, we have the loco – I pray that No.3’s rods fit.  Now that Millom Haematite Iron Ore Co. is to close down, we may be able to obtain spares from their Neilson, I sincerely hope so – I have written to them in anticipation.

Steaming at Chasewater

That is the end of Gerald Wildish’s article, but just to conclude – the Neilson locomotive took a while before it was used at Chasewater but was steamed successfully from 1975 till 1982.  After some years in storage and in the Heritage Centre it has now been moved into the workshop ready for renovation work, probably after the Hudswell Clarke S100 has been completed.In the Heritage Centre workshop

PS from Barry Bull – steamed September or October 1982 for her 100th birthday together with McLaren traction engine ‘Little Wonder’, also 100 years old, owned by the late John Mayes.Picture from http://www.steamscenes.org

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3 Bits & Pieces 42.3

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3 Bits & Pieces 42.3

Plus Stocklist – 1968

This is one of a number of articles included in this magazine – there will be another couple to follow later. I don’t know what happened to this loco, but in spite of it being purchased and delivered to Chasewater, it hasn’t steamed since!

Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST No.431 – By Frank Harvey

Working at Desborough – V F Hall

 

The previous issue of the Mercian featured several photographs of this, our latest locomotive, and it was felt that a short article about it would not be out of place.

It was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co., Leeds in 1895, works number 431 and spent most of its life in the hands of the Sheepbridge Coal & Iron Company in whose fleet she became No.15.  It was allocated the name ‘Sheepbridge No.25’, but this was never carried and with the removal of its official number and works plates ran its last years without any identification at all.

It has on two occasions been rebuilt, first in 1928 and secondly in 1944, by the Sheepbridge Company themselves.

The engine was first suggested as a suitable candidate for preservation some two years ago when it was one of several locomotives at work at Desborough Warren Quarry near Kettering.  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.

The RPS then stepped in and after pleasing, successful negotiations with Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd., the locomotive was purchased.  The firm kindly allowed us to steam the engine before purchase – and members will have read about this eventful weekend in the last issue of the magazine. (CRM Bits & Pieces No.41).

It proved to be in good working order and required little in the way of attention save for the fitting of two new injectors which have now been purchased, and the repairing of a cracked blower pipe.  Evidence of this can be seen clearly in the photographs!

Desborough, 1968

The locomotive was delivered to Chasewater in November and restoration is now well under way.  When completed it will be resplendent in apple green, lined black, edged white and a high standard is being achieved.Chasewater August 1969

Purchase and transport charges tended to deplete the Society’s funds somewhat, but all agree that it was money well spent and in common with all other RPS stock, no money is outstanding, a fact of which we are justifiably proud.

Although restoration is unlikely to be completed before 1969, we look forward to seeing No.15, the oldest working Hudswell Clarke, in steam at Chasewater later this year.In the Heritage Centre, 2010

Stocklist – 1968

With so many new additions, it was decided to publish a stocklist in the 1968 Mercian, Vol.1 No.3

I hope you can read it ok, it’s interesting to see what’s still here after 40-odd years, and what’s gone.