Chasewater Railway Museum
Taken from the Mercian, December 1965 Vol.4 No.6
As you will notice, this issue of ‘Mercian’ is shorter than we have recently been used to. This is due to the indisposition of the Editor, Malcolm Willis, who has entered hospital. I am sure all members will wish Malcolm a speedy recovery, and hope that he may soon return to the most valuable work which he does fro the Society.
Malcolm Willis returned to the Society, but not to the Editorship of the ‘Mercian’, taking on the role as Membership Secretary. He did an excellent job of expanding the Magazine and would surely be missed.
This is the last edition of Mercian this year, a year which has been very rewarding for the Society. We have realised one of our major schemes, the purchase of our branch line at Chasewater. Work has been going on there for some months, and track-laying has gone on steadily. Early next year we hope to have a permanent building erected, and several locomotives delivered. If work is to go ahead as planned in the New Year, more assistance will be needed, and I appeal to all members who can help in any way to visit the Hednesford depot or the Chasewater branch any Sunday, when you will be made very welcome.
I like this photo as it shows the Valley pit in the background (left, above the wagons) and the Hednesford War Memorial in the background (right, above the carriage) JD
Once again we are almost at the end of another eventful year for the Society with the prospect for 1966 even brighter.
A great deal of work has been done at Chasewater and at Hednesford by our gallant band of stalwarts who give their time each weekend to further our aims and ambitions. Lots more work has still to be done and many more workers are needed to help carry the burden.
The Society is deeply indebted to one of our members, namely Dr. Plummer, for his generosity in purchasing and cost of transporting a locomotive to Chasewater.
Any Society which is to survive in these days of rising costs must have a healthy Bank Balance, and I strongly urge all members to participate in all money-raising efforts which are organised to help the Society to stay solvent.
We are fortunate in having many friends who are sympathetic to our cause, even if they are not members, who give willingly in so many ways, such as refreshments or prizes for various events, helping at Open Days and last, but not least, rummage for our annual event which Mr. Wooding organises each year.
Chasewater Light Railway Report – D.A.Ives. Hon. Sec.
Good progress was made during the golden month of October. Work has slowed down during the winter months. However, a few real stalwart members have continued to lift and relay track in spite of cold and wet conditions. Work parties are being conducted on Saturday afternoons, weather permitting. Track-laying must continue during these winter months if the full length is to be completed by April. The Chasewater party consists of approx. 12 regular members, who are now resigned to the fact that the job will have to be completed by them and them alone.Chasewater 1966 – Laurence Hodgkinson
Stop Press!!! A strong steel door has been fitted to the platelayers hut at Chasewater, where we intend to store all our track-laying tools.
Treasurer’s Report – F.J.Harvey.
I would like to begin my report by thanking all those members who have renewed their membership subscriptions since the last issue of Mercian. There are still quite a lot of lapsed members, however. This is the time of year for giving, so please help the Society by sending your subscriptions as soon as possible.
The loan which was needed to buy the Midland Railway Royal Saloon has now been completely repaid. We shall now be able to give more attention to clearing the outstanding debt on the Stroudley E1 as outlined in the last issue.
So far we have received no offers of financial help towards the transportation of the Peckett 0-4-0ST from Warrington. As I have pointed out before, this is a matter of extreme urgency. Unless we have some support, we shall be throwing away a working locomotive. Please see what you can do to help. Any donation, no matter how small, will be most welcome.
Still not enough working members or money – but they kept going!
Taken from the Mercian October 1965 Vol.4 No.5
Another long magazine, with three more pages dealing with general preservation issues and a further two pages devoted to a humorous look at ‘Meetings’, which does not concern the vast majority of our members – our meetings are too short to be funny!!
Excerpts from the Officers’ reports
Treasurer’s Report – F.J.Harvey
Once again we start a new financial year, one which no doubt will provide a great many headaches for the committee.
In order that our projects can go ahead our financial position must improve a great deal. We have just paid our first year’s rent for the Chasewater branch which has rather depleted our bank balance. I would like to appeal to all members for financial support. This is urgent as we have several items of expenditure looming up.
One of the platelayers cabins on the Chasewater branch is in need of considerable repair. This will have to be done in the next few weeks so that our track laying equipment can be stored there in safety. A petrol trolley would be a tremendous asset if the money was forthcoming. Members are having to push a loaded trolley, weighing over two tons, for over half a mile and this distance is increasing each week as we lay more track.
We are also faced with the problem of moving the Peckett 0-4-0ST from Warrington. This is likely to be quite expensive and anyone who is interested in seeing the locomotive in steam at Chasewater next year is requested to give some financial support.
Turning to a more cheerful note, the loan for the Midland Railway Royal Saloon should be paid off completely by December. We hope that this will enable us to concentrate on paying off the outstanding money on the E1 0-6-0T (Cannock Wood) £125. Donations are still urgently required here.
The committee are trying to raise money but we do need the support of all members. This is a crucial moment in the life of our society. Please help now while there is still time. If any member is prepared to help us in raising money, please contact one of the committee immediately. If we can raise £300 we will almost certainly succeed at Chasewater. This is not a large sum considering the size of the project and I am certain that it can be raised if all members help.Inside the old Museum Coach – Barry Bull
AGM Report – from our Publicity Officer.
I’ve skipped the Chairman’s Report this time, most of it is included here.
The 6th Annual General meeting of the Midlands Area was held at the YMCA in Wolverhampton on 18th September 1965 with 25 people present. In his address, the Chairman, A.Holden, thanked the Committee for their support during the past year, John Elsley and his band of helpers for the hard, heavy work being done at Chasewater, and also thanked the Editor of Mercian, Malcolm Willis for his work. He also thanked everyone who attended the Annual Dinner arranged last year, and said that it had been a turning point for the Society with regards to the number of people who had been introduced to it.
David Ives, in his report , stressed the point that we desperately need more help with the track laying at Chasewater if we are to succeed, and that it was a pity that we had so many apathetic members. He also said that money-making activities were essential to keep up the funds.
Frank Harvey said that the past year had been a fairly good one financially, but in the next twelve months we were going to need a great deal more money and support if we were going to fulfil our aims.
All members were urged to renew their subscriptions if they had lapsed, and to really try and help the society in some way, as the next year will be a testing time for us. If however we all work together we will succeed.
In order that we may keep to schedule with track laying and be in a position to build the depot/museum in early 1966, it has been decided that we should provide full facilities for working parties on SATURDAY AFTERNOONS. As you have read in other parts of this issue we desperately need more manpower, and it is imperative that this need is met. We implore members to take advantage of this work party if they cannot reach those on Sundays. Please, please help!
The next plea is more or less a legal matter. With the loan for the building, we will need to payback to Brownhills Urban District Council £245 per annum. In order to meet the terms of the loan we need GUARANTORS to assure payment of this amount if the society should fail – which is highly unlikely. If you could guarantee only £1 we should be highly grateful. If you are willing to help in this way or even if you are only toying with the idea in your mind, we appeal to you to write for further details to the Chasewater Secretary.‘Smoke on the Water’ – this time from Barry Bull in the 1980s!
The Hednesford No 3 Signal Box nameboard was purchased in December 2018 but was only delivered last week, along with two others.
The signal box was situated near Station Road railway bridge.
It’s always good to add local items to the museum collection.