Chasewater Railway Museum Newsletter July 2020 – 2 Pages
Pete Waterman’s Visit, 2004.
Nothing to report as far as the Museum is concerned again this month, so I have raided the archives, courtesy of David Bathurst’s collection.
Click on the link below to see the full list
Caption text: Object number, name, description, location in the museum.
Click on a picture to see a larger image, the click on the side arrow to move on.
The Museum grapevine has been working well recently. Anthony Coulls of the National Railway Museum called Mark Sealey about a worksplate off a Cannock Chase Colliery locomotive, Alfred Paget on EBay. Mark passed the message on to Barry Bull, who signed up to EBay and eventually won the plate.
Following advice from Rob Cadman we came to the conclusion that the size of the Beyer Peacock worksplate on EBay and purporting to be off Alfred Paget didn’t quite measure up. A fraction smaller than details in the Buckle and Love worksplate book gave the game away that likely a copy of the original with if correct the usual shrinkage to be expected. We are grateful to Rob Cadman for his research and pointing this out. However with this in mind I enlisted Rob to help with a low bid, and can report success at £104 . It is certainly possible maybe even probable that the plate was copied from an original in the NCB Chasetown workshops in the 1950s at the time when the seller’s father was employed there.
Rob has collected the worksplate from Roy Fairbanks who lives at Shire Oak. His father Freddie Fairbanks was a loco fitter at Cannock Chase and as the pits closed he went to the Chasetown workshops. He died in 1984 and son has had it since, seems he expected it to realise £30 or so. Now Rob has it he’s coming round to the idea that it may be original. He’s now swayed to thinking it is.
It has now been decided that the Beyer Peacock 1861 worksplate is indeed an original off CCC Co loco Alfred Paget. A good few days all round.
The original ‘Alfred Paget’, an 0-4-2ST No.204/1861, was acquired new, scrapped by NCB at Chasetown circa 1952. ‘Paget’ was the family name of the Marquis of Anglesey, one of the major land-owners in the district, and Chasewater Railway has kept the name – now on a Neilson engine.
The Museum has obtained a grant of £3745 to cover electricity costs. This follows an application to ensure the Museum’s fragile collections can receive appropriate environmental control in these difficult times.
The grant is from Arts Council England’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund and was only made possible due to public funding from the National Lottery.
Our thanks to the National Lottery and its players.
Our curator, Barry Bull, nowadays becoming known as the Museum ‘Geek’, since he’s had his new phone and time to play with it, has found a couple of items for the collection on Ebay, the first one is the badge shown above.
Referring to the excellent book by the late Ronald Redman on the Railway Foundry it confirms the badge to be a world war 2 issue and not as described on Ebay from the previous conflict
The service badge would have been issued at the time that Hudswell Clark were heavily involved with aircraft production of several types including the Fairey Swordfish
An association had been formed with a Yorkshire company, Blackburn Aircraft in 1938 when war loomed and eventually over a 1000 men and woman were engaged at Hudswell Clark in the war effort building sub assemblies. Locomotive work continued including the production of 50 austerity 0 6 0 saddle tanks for the War Department plus others of various types for industrial use. Employees were issued with a bright metal button hole badge just a fraction less than an inch in diameter featuring a simple front view of a locomotive with the initials H C on each side also &Co Ltd with the employees works number stamped underneath. The example acquired for the Chasewater Railway museum is number 905.
Thirty Years Plus Ten
Much as I enjoyed reading about Chasewater Railway in thirty years time, it never stood a realistic chance of happening.
After the cessation of coal traffic in the 1960s the line over the causeway was abandoned and the causeway itself fell into disrepair. The track was lifted and passenger traffic suspended for a number of years. The main part of the 30-years-on idea had also gone missing in the intervening years – the line from the proposed Norton Junction to Norton Crossing. The track which ran below the dam for the Swag pool was lifted and presumably sold for scrap. The idea of a railway with a main line and a short branch disappeared.
It was not until 1985 that regular steamings began again, but in the intervening three steam-less years, membership had dropped by some 50 per cent. The Society deemed it necessary to prune its stock as it was realised that without an injection of cash, the whole affair might fold. The L&NWR Travelling Post Office went to Tyseley, a small “Planet” diesel went to Brian Roberts’ Tollerton Farm Railway, while individual members purchased two steam locos and one diesel loco in order that they could remain safely at Chasewater.
IN 1993 a successful scheme to restore the causeway was started. About 120,000 tons of fill material were imported to the site. This work was completed in 1994 and Lakeside Station was reopened in December. From 1985 till the reopening of Lakeside trains only ran push-pull from the old station to the Willow Vale Bridge.
Since 1995 a great deal of work has been done, firstly to extend the line to Chasewater Heaths and Chasetown. Next came the new Brownhills West station and yard, to replace the old station and compound, now buried beneath the M6 Toll. The engine shed was refurbished and another station opened at Chasewater Heaths – finally, so far, the Heritage Centre was built to hold the heritage stock and Museum.
The 30-years-on idea was not to be, it would have been fun in my opinion, and at that time, as stated in Post No.50, the rolling stock was owned by the railway – no steaming fees to be paid. Of the stock mentioned in Post 51, the E1 left, never having steamed at Chasewater. The Hudswell Clarke also has never steamed here – but it is still with us, although not owned by the railway. The Peckett went too, although we now have another one. The Royal Saloon and Travelling Post office have also gone.