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100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

Chasewater News – Editorial

 The Society is approaching its 25th Anniversary which will be celebrated at the Society AGM on 13th October and at a Bus Rally and Railwayana Fair at Chasewater on the following day (October 14th) 11.00 – 4.30, admission free.

Throughout its 25 years the Society’s membership has fluctuated around the 100 mark whilst its aims have switched from creating a static museum to an operating railway.  Despite the lack of passenger trains during the last two seasons the Society membership has held its own and so far this year over 15 new members have been enrolled.  To these people we say thank you for having faith in the Chasewater Project.  Inside this magazine you will find a membership form and we are appealing for every member to enrol a new member to give us enough people to operate trains next season (as we are led to believe that we will be in a position to do so).

Members may have read elsewhere about plans to spend up to 14 million pounds on Chasewater Park and the Society/Company have drawn up plans to expand the Railway, should this scheme come to fruition.  All this is dependent on us having enough manpower to run services on a regular basis so it is up to the present membership to either come forward and operate the services or to find new members to do the same.  Members may also have read of a scheme to build a new motorway which may or may not pass through the park.  If it does come through the park then we are wasting our time.

News from the line

Loco Department – It has for sometime been felt that there ought to be a numbering system for locos at Chasewater in order to give a proper Light Railway image.

A start was made some years ago when ‘Invicta’ emerged from a repaint sporting a painted No.8 (it was then the eighth steam engine on site) on the front buffer beam and brass plates (GWR style) on the cab sides.

The following system has been devised and will be put into practice as engines are repainted, although the GWR style plates on ‘Invicta’ will not be featured on other locos as brass plates with the loco number and the legend ‘Chasewater Light Railway’ have been designed.  Some locos will also bear fictitious 21G shed plates as the Operating Superintendent reckons 21G would have been the shed code for Brownhills West (Hednesford Road) had it existed in BR days.

Loco                                                          No.

Hibberd Diesel                                 1                 First loco to arrive

Peckett 1351                                    2                  No. 2 at Wallsend Slipway

Barclay 1223                                   3

Asbestos                                            4

Sentinel 9632                                   5                 May be painted black as BR 59632

Peckett 917                                       6

R & H Diesel                                       7                 No.7 at Whitwell Colliery

Invicta                                                    8

Hudswell Clarke 1822                     10

Alfred Paget                                         11               No.11 at Gartsherrie

Hudswell Clarke 431                       15

Ex bass Diesel                                     21

L & Y Petrol                                            1

It seems strange to have two No.1s when starting a new system, even if they didn’t stay much longer!

99 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Late 1983

99 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Late 1983

Editorial: Several things have happened, but little has changed.

Several significant things have happened at Chasewater since the last magazine was printed and these will be detailed in the next few pages.

Little has changed because we are still short of manpower and cash, of these two shortages surely the lack of manpower must be the more inexcusable.  On one Sunday this summer there were only two members at Chasewater and I make no apology for the fact that we spent the day working in the shed whilst the public looked through the locked gates of Brownhills West Station.  Fifty per cent of those people must have thought that it was a railway scrapyard and the other fifty per cent, who knew better, probably thought that we had closed down for good!

If we are very lucky, sometime next year, we may have a railway which is once again fit to run passenger trains on and probably a couple of locos and coaches in useable condition, but will we have the people to run them?

Nigel Canning – Operating Superintendent

 Locomotives

Asbestos – The six missing firebox stays have been riveted into place and the boiler will shortly be hydraulically tested.  If this is successful the loco can be reassembled, steam tested and the newly installed vacuum brake equipment tested.

Sentinel heading past the old rear of the loco shed in 1992

 Sentinel – The Boiler Inspector will carry out a visual examination on the boiler and superheater of this loco when Asbestos is hydraulically tested.  Work will then continue until completed.  A trial will have to be carried out to see if this loco is capable of successfully operating passenger trains before any though is given to fitting vacuum brake equipment.

 S-100 – Tony has been making use of the summer weather to paint various parts of this loco whilst trying in vain to find somewhere to have its wheels turned.

 DL7 – This loco continues in fairly regular use and is to be repainted with a bogus BR ‘D’ number.  However, one or two points should be remembered:

  • If it is to be used on passenger trains again it will have to be vacuum brake fitted.
  • The brake and starting air tanks will, under new regulations, shortly to be introduced, require to be insured and regularly tested.

 Small Peckett – Albright & Wilson, the Company from whom this loco is on loan, have recently offered to help pay for a replacement saddle tank.  The tank has been measured and drawn so that quotes can be sought for both a complete assembled tank and for a rolled plates do-it-ourselves kit.

28 Presentation plaque Peckett 917 Unknown R5.B1.S3

 No.21 – This loco is still operational if tow-started and has been used on occasion to move items of stock into sidings to pass DL7 in the absence of a run round loop.  A complete engine rebuild is probably necessary to enable it to be started from the battery.

Carriages & WagonsWickham Class 109 at Llangollen Station. Photographed during the Llangollen Railcar Gala weekend, 16-17 July 2005.  

Wickham Motor car 50416 – Throughout the summer this vehicle has been in use as a station buffet.  A considerable amount of work has been carried out including enlargement of the kitchen hatch, removal of one of the internal bulkheads and screwing down of tables.  A start has now been made on completely replacing the guttering so that the coach can be repainted before next year.

Wickham Trailer 56171 – Progress has also been made with this vehicle with the fitting of seats from a Cravens DMU and the removal of rain guttering.

Gloucester Trailer 56301 – No work has been carried out on this vehicle although it will require a repaint and clean up before re-entering service.

http://postalheritage.org.uk/collections/museum/transport/mailbyrail

TPO 30244 – Following the offer from Tyseley Museum this vehicle was sold for £1,000 and left Chasewater on September 8th.  It is reputed to have twisted one of its bogie frames when one corner broke through the floorboards due to being stood on uneven ground during loading.

 Six-Wheeled Coaches – One new end has been fitted to the M & C Coach and replacement luggage rack netting is being fitted to the MS & L.

 Loco Shed

The only work carried out in this building during the summer has been the painting of ‘Asbestos’.  A three phase cable has been obtained so that during the winter the workshop can be wired up and used.

 Taskforce & Trackwork

During the summer all of the plain track from Brownhills West to Norton East has been relayed with concrete sleepers and work has started on installing a new siding between the station and the shed.  Run round loops at both ends still remain to be installed plus level crossing gates and fencing.

Brownhills West station platform has remained half demolished throughout the summer awaiting funds for rebuilding.  A grant of £15,000 due in September never materialised and we await a possible grant of £5,000 to be applied for in November.

Some form of sleeper built platform may also be constructed at Norton East if funds and manpower permit.

At the present state of progress it will be touch and go whether the railway will be running next year.

Vandalism

Since the last magazine was published the following instances of vandalism have occurred:

1.    Half drum of steam oil drained onto floor.

2.    Two large coach windows smashed.

3.    Three small coach windows smashed.

4.    Paint poured into Gloucester trailer heater fuel tank.

5.    Fence cut at least once a week.

 Museum Notes

The arrival of the LNWR 50 foot passenger brake in its own platform in time for Easter has given a much easier access to the vehicle for old and young alike.

Various item have been acquired this year, some have come by way of donation – others have actually cost money although usually as part of a deal where other items have been acquired to offset the cost.

Relics, mainly paperwork previously kept in the TPO had to be removed in some haste following the decision to sell the vehicle to the Birmingham Railway Museum.  Much of what had been kept in the TPO had suffered from the damp conditions that had prevailed in that vehicle for many years following problems with the roof.  Most of the old GWR drawings obtained by Mike Lewis many years ago were still in a reasonable condition but some of the larger ledgers and books were virtually no more than mould and were consigned to the bonfire.

Despite what has been happening to the station area (demolition and not much else!) things have ticked over quite nicely in the museum.  Obviously fewer visitors without steaming but with more time to listen to comments from visitors it makes one realise how much importance our collection of small relics is to the Railway.  Whatever 1984 brings you can be assured that the museum will be open whatever happens outside.

Chasewater Railway – one for the older members

 

Photo by Val Daft

A photo for the older members, and maybe a history lesson for the younger ones.

Do you recognise the building in the photograph?

It is, or was, the Queens Arms in Hednesford, now, in 2021, undergoing considerable changes.

Notice the houses where the car park used to be.

After a hard day’s work at the Railway Preservation Society’s Hednesford Headquarters, members would retire to the Queens Arms for a swift ‘alf and to get the result of the Weekly Tote – a major source of income at the time.

It was the first of a number of pubs used by members, there was the Pear Tree, now demolished, off the Brownhills Road, and when I first started in 2002, the Prince of Wales on the A5 was frequented.

1054 at Hednesford
TPO at Hednesford
As it was – photo by Mick Malpass

Chasewater Railway’s 2021 Coal Train Day.

Just a few video clips and stills from a short visit to this excellent event.

98 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Summer 1983

98 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Summer 1983

 Editorial – Chasewater in Crisis

On behalf of the Society I must apologise for the long gap between this and the last magazine due to a long list of reasons.  There has just not been either the time or the money to expend on such a publication.

At present our membership wavers around the 100 mark, of which around 10% manage to visit regularly.  It seems unfortunate that each week we rely on the same members attending to the Railway’s needs, without the active support of the other 90%.  It is little wonder that the veterans are fast becoming despondent with the work load being foisted on them.

Unless there is a significant change in the attitude of our membership, one of two things will happen:  either the Railway stock will have to be drastically pruned to the minimum required to run a service, or we shut the doors and sell the lot.

I beg more of you to attend, if only on an occasional basis.  It always seems strange to me how many of you can attend the AGM and that’s the last we see of you for twelve months.

Tony Sale – Assistant General Manager.

Locomotives

Asbestos – This engine has now been in the process of restoration for about five years, due mainly to shortage of manpower.  The frames and wheels have been re-assembled, the boiler tubed and the tank and cab are being repainted.  Now we have to complete the boiler repairs and drop it into the frames and one day we may have a working engine.

Invicta – This engine is now in store pending the fitting of vacuum brake gear and the overhaul of the main bearing brasses.  Work is hoped to commence on completion of Asbestos.

Sentinel taking water at our old HQ

Sentinel – The boiler was split to reveal the inner firebox for the boiler inspector but work has now been shelved in order to concentrate work on Asbestos.Ruston & Hornsby DL7 entering the old Brownhills West Station

DL7 – The mainstay of our shunting force has performed reasonably well over the last two years and it holds the distinction of being our only regularly working engine.  This diesel locomotive is subject to an appeal to maintain its presence at Chasewater, which you may or may not like to subscribe to.

S100 – If I didn’t have to assist running the Railway I might find more time to devote to this rather large jigsaw puzzle, but despite all, progress is still being made, weather permitting, you would be amazed how much one person can achieve by himself, so if someone would like to assist, twice as much could be accomplished.

All other locomotives are stored unserviceable for the foreseeable future, including the Neilson, which requires new tubes.  It can only be hoped that decay can be kept to a minimum to ensure resurrection in years to come.

Carriages and Wagons

Here I hoped to bring glad tidings, but unfortunately the only news is that the MSLR carriage is still in the shed and has been largely untouched due to the fact that there are no carpenters in our midst.  The only other news is that a few more doors have dropped off the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the rest are generally suffering from many years of neglect.

The other snippet is that the Midland Crane had to be dismantled in order to stop it falling apart over the rails.What about it lads – who still cares?

Another late snippet is that someone wants to buy the TPO.  Your Committee is in favour and I myself fully support them, but the choice is yours, so make it known fast, it will be no good grumbling after it has left.

Catering

As many of you know, much of the money needed to support the Railway is generated in the form of sales of soft drinks and chocolates.  Recently the Wickham DMU was acquired in order to branch out further into the prepared food department, all we need is one interested member prepared to buy, prepare and sell.  If anyone would come to volunteer we would be only too happy to assist in any way, as well as supplying a warehouse card which could also be used for their own benefit.

Shed News

The new loco shed has certainly proved to be one of the most important developments at Chasewater.  Not only does it supply ideal conditions for thorough restoration, it also allows work to continue after dark.  Although this building has been with us for over a year there are still improvements to be made, i.e. fitting of three phase electric cables within the building and also fitting of a compressed air circuit.  Once the former has been completed, all our machinery can be powered and the shed can be said to be fully operational.Taken from DL7, approaching the loco shed from the same direction as we do now – obviously before the changes!

Task Force Notes

A new task force was supplied together with finance and a new Manager, to commence work on the track layout.  After last season the Railway lost its powers of running the line until such times as the whole of the permanent way was relaid in order to comply with the Railway Inspectorate’s standards.

In short, the platform front has been demolished to supply the necessary clearance, (rebuilding is now underway) and a run round loop is being built in the vicinity of the compound.  Next the line will be lifted and replaced with better quality materials down to the old exchange sidings where another run round loop will be constructed.  Upon completion a further visit by the Railway Inspectorate will then be made, and hopefully we shall run again.  I can only say that I hope all goes well for the Task Force and both luck and weather is on their sides.

 On behalf of the Company I have been asked by our Chairman to include the following appeal.

Save DL7 for Chasewater

The Company needs money to service a large overdraft and whilst the Railway is not running, little money is being repaid and understandably the Bank Manager is a little distressed.

 If you would like to give some money to this appeal, you will be helping DL7 because if the Company is declared bankrupt, DL7 will certainly be seized as an asset.  If the engine belongs to the membership it is safe along with the rest of the Society’s collection from the grips of the Liquidators

If you cannot afford a share, buy one together with some friends – you may buy as many as you like.

Shares are available in multiples of £10.00.

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Chasewater Railway Museum – September 2021 Newsletter

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Chasewater Railway Museum – July 2021 Newsletter

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Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.92

92 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Autumn 1979 1

From the Editorial.

In common with many other railways, the Chasewater Light Railway has had a mixed season and if the success of the 1970s in the preservation world is to be sustained into the 1980s then two problems need solving and solving fast.  The first is the much publicised fuel crisis, caused in the main by the sharp increase in the price of crude oil (1979 or 2011 – some things don’t change much!).  This undoubtedly has, and will continue to do so, restricted the freedom of people to go out in leisure time as often as in recent years.  As the CLR is on the fringe of a large conurbation the problem should not be as great as on a good many of the standard gauge railways and perhaps we will gain an increase of visitors being close at hand.

The other problem is the ending of the Government sponsored job creation schemes, on which many railways have benefited over the past few years.  The sudden termination of paid 5 day week staff will surely hit routine maintenance on our longer brothers and will lead to the need for railway sponsored full-timers or greater numbers of regular volunteers.

Perhaps it is fair comment to say that at Chasewater the era of Government sponsored full-time staff is ending at the right time.  Throughout the year the number of volunteers has slowly dwindled, all too often comments being along the lines of ‘Oh, if I don’t turn up, STEPS will do it during the week.’  Well next year there won’t be any full-time staff so if a job is left undone by a volunteer then that’s the way it will remain.  There has also been a feeling of it not being ‘our’ railway with full-time staff, and the communal atmosphere of Sundays at Chasewater is one of the nicest things about the CLR.  Perhaps these factors and the end product of the STEPS scheme (i.e. a longer serviceable railway) will pull back the missing faces and some new ones as well, and with effort applied in the right directions our 21st year should be the most successful yet. Looking down ‘The Branch’ before clearing (towards the Norton East Road)

STEPS Report

The scheme Is scheduled to finish on the 31st December although a limited extension with a few workers may see work carry on into March 1980.

The only way to describe the work being done is to give a list of the jobs done so far.  Any comments about the scheme and the feeling of CLRS members is, in the final analysis, rendered somewhat superfluous by the sheer volume of hard physical graft that has gone on as well as the supply of materials for rebuilding the railway.  One thing is certain and that is that Society members have been saved from 3 to 4 years of hard, back-breaking work, and that alone is something to be thankful for.

The jobs that have been done are listed in no particular order. (This sentence was written long before Philip Schofield and ‘Dancing on Ice’ or any of the other singing and dancing shows were on the telly.  It was new then – it drives me crackers now!!)

1.    Packing and repair of main running line which has resulted in a smoother ride, especially in the DMU trailer.

2.    Finishing of point on south end of the loop – started by members last year.

3.    Shortening of loop and removal of the two points at the northern end of the loop.  In fact the whole of the loop has been lifted; the shortened loop awaits arrival of extra sleepers before it can be relaid.

4.    Lessening of gradient of bank up to causeway.

5.    Tipping on causeway and subsequent levelling.

6.    Relaying of causeway – at present the causeway is wide enough for the railway but further tipping is necessary to widen the formation to provide adequate footpath facilities.

7.    Digging out of top end of line – this has revealed the track to be in a very poor state and much work is needed to bring the track into a comparable state to the rest of the railway.

8.    Digging out of ‘Branch’ prior to reclaiming track materials.

9.    Moving of point and lengthening of ‘Elsley’s Siding’.  This was completed in three weeks during a lull in train services at the end of July and beginning of August.

10.           Building of compound and loading platform at ‘Elsley’s Siding’.  This is a great improvement and the addition of a box van body will make it very griddy, very Colonel Stephens.

11.           Relaying of level crossing, which is now much smoother.

12.           Fencing the line from Brownhills West to bottom of causeway bank with concrete posts and five strands of wire.Looking up the causeway bank after clearance.

The transformation upon the railway is somewhat devastating to the casual observer and if you haven’t seen the work done yet, then come on over – it’s YOUR taxes that have paid for it!

Looking Ahead

1980 should see consolidation of the work done under the auspices of the STEPS programme and promises to be every bit as exciting as 1979 has been.

The CLR Co. are planning to purchase a further passenger carrying coach as well as locomotive DL7, and making money available for any further capital expenditure needed.

Providing the purchase of the land and track (plus associated Light Railway Order) finally goes ahead then there is every confidence of services being extended to at least the north end of the causeway, with passengers being able to alight there and explore the previously out of reach NE shore of Chasewater.  This will enable fares to be increased to give more much needed revenue as well as being far more interesting than the present 800 yard shuttle to enthusiasts, public and volunteers alike.

Of course, hopefully more volunteers will turn up to help (or else the improvements won’t be realised to their full potential) or will they……?Ruston & Hornsby 458641-61 at Brownhills West (Later known as DL7)

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

Chasewater Light Railway

Gricers’ Day

8th October 1978

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

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

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

Merryweather Fire Pump

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

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

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

Review of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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