Chasewater Railway Museum
July 2019 Newsletter
Coal Tank 1054 at Hednesford
Taken from the first ‘Mercian’ Jan/ Feb 1962
Bi-Monthly Newssheet for the Midlands District of the RPA
In my previous post I reported that the Railway Preservation Society was in future to be called the Railway Preservation Association. For some reason, four times on the first page of the first ‘Mercian’ the RPS is referred to – curious.
The idea was to publish the Newssheet by the 23rd of each bi-month. Anyone who takes on the job of Editor of a newssheet or magazine of this type has my greatest admiration (and sympathy!) as they always seem to struggle for articles after the initial burst of enthusiasm.
Progress report to date during 1961
Good progress has been made at our Hednesford depot, accomplishments to date include track lowering, to allow the stabling under cover of the Webb Coal Tank and our own TPO van, this vehicle has a lot more work to be done on it, but it has now been completed in undercoat livery of the LNWR on one side. This was done by the very able direction of our Assistant Depot Master, and the woodwork renovations being done by our Hon. Treasurer, Frank Harvey. The interior of the TPO is now in good shape due to the efforts of our Chairman, Arthur Chatfield. Incidentally, he could do with some more help in this direction. How about it some of you people who have not yet shown up?
Work continues on the Maryport & Carlisle coach, this is slow work and is mainly due to lack of materials which are most costly, perhaps any members who could help out in these matters in cash or kind would they kindly contact me? Glass, wood and hardboard are most urgently required.Maryport & Carlisle coach before work started.
The Great Eastern brake has now been converted to a temporary workshop, and part is the museum. It now has a genuine relic in the form of an LNWR signal box stove which has proved a most useful asset during this winter period.Great Eastern brake before work started.
John Elsley, the Assistant Depot Master and his usual few stalwarts namely, Bob Wormington, Terry Jones, David Bradbury, John Bradbury and Fred Lewis continue to press on with tracklaying in spite of the recent cold snap, all you people interested in tracklaying, now is your chance to give a hand.
Mention must be made last but by no means least of Maurice Harper and Brian Kinder who are always at hand to help out with any task which might crop up. The tea is always made by these men and it is most appreciated by all the working parties.
A final word of gratitude to our President Charles E. Ives (no relation to David Ives) who so kindly allows the Society free and complete use of the depot. Good luck to you all in 1962.
David A. Ives Hon. Sec.
East Midlands District Report
We in the East Midlands have just passed through the first stage of the intensive publicity campaign that was started in mid December. So far the response has been quite good and I think the main contributory factor to this was the excursion to Ashford and Stratford Railway Works on January 3rd of this year. Owing to bad weather we were delayed for over two hours but this did not dishearten the prospective members who found the visit very enjoyable.
One of our more recent members, Mr. Popham of Raunds has shown great interest in our cause, he rendered invaluable assistance on our Ashford venture. He and I are making a survey of the Kettering – Cambridge branch line. We hope to publish our results in the National Newsletter. Another outing for prospective members will be arranged around April time to Lancashire and Cheshire.
J. M. Harvey, East Midlands District Organiser.
Diary dates were given for social gatherings of the West Midlands District and the Stafford Railway Circle.
We are also, of course, open on Saturday 15th
From the RPS Newsletter Oct 1960 Vol 2 No.1
From the General Secretary’s Page
Following a proposal from the Middleton RPS that they would form part of the national organisation envisaged by the RPS, a plan was drawn up outlining an organisation of autonomous groups, each covering a heavily populated area and taking over all responsibility for voluntary preservation in their area. The national level of the organisation would transact such matters as were more effectively handled on a country-wide basis and would provide a common pool of information for all groups to draw on. This was expected to be the most important subject at the AGM on October 22nd 1960.
The District Report
The next item to be moved into Hednesford depot will be a LNWR travelling post office van built in 1909. This carriage keeps most of its original fittings, though the ‘pick-up and drop’ apparatus has been removed at some time and a plain panel used to cover the resulting gap. This is not only a fine relic in itself, but will give covered space for display of historic relics. The British Transport Commission preserves a replica of the original TPO on the London and Birmingham Railway which was built by LMS. Now we have preserved an example of the type used during the early years of the 20th century.D. Ives Collection
Requirements of the post office were standard for all types of TPO and the appearance of these vehicles only varied with the roof contour and panelling details of the companies who operated them. A very high proportion of pre-grouping types have remained in service until recently when British Railways put in hand the building of complete new trains. An interesting survival was reported a few years ago in the model railway press. This was a six-wheeler TPO of the GNWR stripped and used as a tool van on a break-down train.
Progress on Great Eastern Coach
West Midland DistrictRay Hallworth
Despite rather thin attendance at working parties, progress of restoration work on the recently acquired Great Eastern coach has been very satisfactory. It is hoped that the interior will eventually form the first railway museum in the West Midland District. A temporary exhibition will be staged there for our annual meeting on October 22nd.
Inside walls have been scraped and have received a generous coat of priming paint. Most of the woodwork has been repaired. The small brake compartment at the end of the coach has been converted into a tool store.
Improvements are slowly but surely being made to the exterior, one side and end facing the main Hednesford – Cannock line having been completely stripped of paint. Over half of this has been primed. Quite o lot of the panelling had to be replaced, particularly at one of the corners where to our dismay, we found that not only had the panels gone rotten, but also the framework. Fortunately this has now been repaired and new panels fitted.
Work has not yet begun on restoring the Maryport & Carlisle coach, and it may have to be next spring before a start is made. Continual appeals are still being made for more members to come and lend a hand, especially the more local people. Working parties are held every Saturday from 3.00pm to 6.00pm and on Sundays from 2.30pm to 6.00pm.
Visit to Oakamoor Station
The Stationmaster, Mr. Lister, took members on a conducted tour of the station buildings and adjacent copper works sidings. Much interest was shown in an ex-NSR battery electric locomotive, a relic of prime importance, being built at Stoke works in 1916. Still in excellent working condition and used for shunting work in the siding, Mr. Lister demonstrated the vehicle by giving members a short trip up and down.Rail37.com Oakamoor Station – same view as previous.
Returning to the station, members were shown several items of interest including an old print of Oakamoor station in North Stafford days, and two lovely old NS office chairs with the Staffordshire Knot carved on each back-rest. Each member of the party was presented with a sealing wax impression of the NS Railway Oakamoor seal.Above: The delightful crossing keeper’s house at Oakamoor, just south of Oakamoor Tunnel, which can be seen in the background. This building looks as if it is another of Pugin’s designs, but we have been unable to confirm this. Oakamoor station was situated a short distance behind the photographer and was the next stop north of Alton. 10 November 2007. (Bob Prigg)
Above: This is Alton station in Staffordshire, which was renamed Alton Towers in 1954 – only to close ten years later. (Surely the line might still be busy with a modern theme park en route?) The station was designed by Augustus Pugin (1812-1852), an English architect of the Gothic revival who is better known for his church designs and his work on the interior of the Houses of Parliament. However, Pugin did accept some more modest commissions, including this one for the North Staffordshire Railway, and the railway cottages at Windermere, Cumbria. Alton station is now owned by The Landmark Trust and can be rented for self-catering holidays. The trackbed is used as a railway path linking Oakamoor to the north and Denstone to the south. 10 November 2007. (Bob Prigg)
The new arrivals are two armchairs from a Directors’ Saloon on the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. They cannot be called new acquisitions as they were first acquired by the RPS and were at Hednesford for a time. The chairs were sold off when it is believed that the coach was damaged in an accident in the 1960s. Through Iain Smith, railway signalman and former secretary of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, the RPS acquired the chairs which, after their Hednesford visit, were stored for safekeeping by member Mike Lewis.
They were delivered to Chasewater Railway Museum by Laurence Hodgkinson in May 2019, and, although needing some restoration work, have been kept in very good condition by Mike Lewis.
Our thanks go to Mike and Laurence for their efforts on our behalf.
From RPS Newsletter July 1960 Vol 2 No. 1
From the General Secretary’s Page
More Activity Wanted
You will read in the West Midland notes the present state of our first scheme to be launched. From the enthusiasm of one member, David Ives, and a group of his friends and acquaintances has grown the reality of rolling stock being restored on a length of line which has been offered as temporary accommodation. There is no reason why similar successes could not be recorded from most areas of dense population. We have enough members in the South-East, North-West and North-East to make a start.
Well done the West Midland District – later to become Chasewater Railway.
West Midland District
|Date: 23 April 1957Description: The Stephenson Locomotive Society (Midland Area) ran the last train on the Uttoxeter to Stafford line on 1957. The locomotive is seen here arriving at Stowe-by-Chartley Station with 200 railway enthusiasts on board.
The line was opened in December 1867 by the Stafford-Uttoxeter Railway Company. Nineteen years later the company folded and the line was sold to the Great Northern Company.
Passenger traffic was withdrawn in 1939, but the line was kept open for milk traffic. The high cost of maintenance proved too expensive and the line closed in 1951, having never shown a profit. It was broken up in 1959.
|Date: 1920 – 1930 (c.)
Description: Stafford Common Railway Station was built in 1867, to serve the Stafford-Uttoxeter line.
The station closed to passengers in 1939, but continued to carry freight. It closed completely in the 1970s.
Staffordshire Past Track – Pic & Info
16 members of the West Midland District walked along the Great Northern Railway disused branch line from Chartley to Stafford on Sunday, 27th March. Members assembled at Stafford Station and were taken by car to Chartley. Our President, Mr. C. E. Ives, although not being able to take part in the walk, very kindly took members to the starting point. A considerable number of photographs were taken en route for record purposes, as demolition of this line had already begun. Very keen interest was shown in station buildings at Chartley, Ingestre and Weston and Salt. Hopton cutting was duly noted as a great work of civil engineering, a tribute to the railway navvies of the 1860s. The walk finished at Stafford Common Station (part of which is still worked by BR) where a welcome cup of tea brewed by Mr. A. Holden was much appreciated by all. A special note must be made concerning one of our very enthusiastic members, Vice President Mr. J. Strong of Hereford, who stayed overnight in Stafford in order to take part.
Stowe and Chartley Station looking neglected. Note the two lines merging in the distance and the crossover in the foreground. Photo Hixon Local History Society.
|.Unlike The building on the left was not demolished and was still there in 1990 and 1991 when we walked there. It now has been completely restored and has been moved to the Amerton Railway nearby.|
|Jan en Fons
Aug 7, 2008 9:52 PM
The West Midland District Depot has been kindly offered to us by our President Mr. C. E. Ives as temporary accommodation until a branch line has been acquired. It is situated at Penkridge Engineering Co., Chase Works, Rugeley Road, Hednesford, Staffs. This can be reached from Cannock along the Rugeley Road and from Rugeley along the Hednesford Road and is adjacent to Messrs. Bestmore Drop Forgings Ltd.
The depot consists of approx. 150 yards of siding with access to BR and NCB sidings. Good covered space covers approx 50 yards of the track. Members have already been advised of times of working parties, etc. and will continue to get these each month through the summer. Negotiations are going ahead for the acquisition of two six-wheeled coaches, a full 3rd Maryport & Carlisle Railway and a full brake Great Eastern Railway. It is hoped to have these under our covered space by the time this Newsletter reaches you.
More hands wanted at Hednesford
On June 3rd the Honorary Yardmaster, Albert Holden, gave a talk on the practical side of track maintenance to a group of members. He expressed disappointment at the turnout of members and pointed out that work was being carried out by a small proportion of members. If they did not get the support of more members they could become discouraged and work cease altogether.
It is the declared intention of the WMD to lease or purchase a line and run its own services. But this needs a reservoir of skilled members and a strong organisation. This depot gives us a chance to introduce all members to the technical side of maintenance of rolling stock and permanent way. If full use is made of it, we shall have a reliable band of voluntary workers who can restore a line to serviceable condition in the shortest possible time.
The future of railway preservation in the West Midlands is in your hands. Let’s all pull together and show the rest of the RPS how to run a branch line!
The first two coaches were moved in Hednesford depot at 9.45 am on Wednesday, 22nd June 1960. How about coming along and helping with their restoration?
These posts are taken from old publications, newssheets and magazines produced by the Railway Preservation Society (West Midlands Division). Chasewater Light Railway Society and Chasewater Light Railway and Museum.
Another couple of bits and pieces from the Railway Forum – Winter 1965. The first is a display of name and number plates, loaned by one of the members, and laid out in the Royal Saloon – which left Hednesford in 1970 for the British Railways carriage works at Derby for restoration and then on to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley.
Midlands RPS Open Day display
An interesting display of locomotive nameplates and numbers was arranged in the Royal Saloon for inspection by visitors at the Midlands R.P.S. Open Day.
New locomotives preserved in Midlands
Members of the Midlands area, R.P.S. expect to take delivery of another locomotive later this year which has been acquired through the generosity of one of their members, Dr. P.G. Plummer, who has offered to purchase it for them.
The locomotive is a Hudswell-Clarke 0-6-0ST built for the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Company in 1895 (Works No. 431). It was transferred to its present location, Desborough Warren Quarry, Northamptonshire, in March 1951 and was due for withdrawal in July. It is believed to be the oldest Hudswell-Clarke locomotive still in working order and once carried the number 15. Now it has no number or name, although known as “Sheepbridge No.25”.
Painted in apple green it should be a valuable addition to stock already acquired, and will be of considerable use at the Chasewater branch line which has been leased by this group.
Two other locomotives have also been donated by the Whitecross Co. of Warrington. They are Peckett 0-4-0STs of 1900 and 1904 vintage. They were withdrawn from service by the Company in 1961, being replaced by two Fowler diesel locomotives. They carried names up to withdrawal, the older being “Baden Powell” and the younger “Lancet” the nameplates of the latter being transferred to the Diesel No.1, and those of the former being acquired by local enthusiasts. Only “Lancet” will be able to run again. It is hoped to exhibit “Baden Powell” statically.
The second is about new locomotives coming to Chasewater. Sadly the Hudswell Clarke, although we still have the loco, has never steamed here. The two Pecketts fared even worse. The ‘Lance’ (not Lancet) 1038/1906 was scrapped in March 1972, and another Peckett – 1823/1931 was also scrapped at the same time. The Loco ‘Baden Powell’ was in too bad a condition to be moved. The other loco was an 0-4-0F a fireless Andrew Barclay locomotive 1562/1917 – scrapped in March 1973.
The articles were writtten in 1965, the photos taken in 1969.
About 20 people met at the Station Hotel, Stafford, on Saturday 21st November 1959 for the inaugural meeting. The General Secretary opened the meeting and sketched out the reasons leading to the formation of the RPS and future plans. He explained that this was the first District to be inaugurated and though the general outline had been planned out, the detailed application of this would be the concern of the WMD committee.
Mr. D. A. Ives, who has been acting as Secretary, gave a report on progress to date. He reported that membership was over 25 and that they had received a good response from individuals contacted. The first step was to secure a small depot in a convenient locality, where relics could be stored and members work on their restoration. The ideal site would contain a certain amount of covered accommodation as well as rail space for carriages and wagons. He believed the support was there in the West Midlands, it was only a question of publicity and personal contact.
The committee to serve for the current year was then elected.
Future plans were discussed and the decision taken to launch a publicity campaign leading up to a public meeting in the New Year. The site of the public meeting was fixed as being Birmingham, but emphasis was laid on arranging future meetings in different towns to give better contact with the public and members.
Three reporters attended the meeting, leading to reports in the ‘Stafford Newsletter’ and the ‘Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel’.
The public meeting was fixed for Saturday, March 5th in the Small Theatre at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Paradise Street, Birmingham at 2.30pm. Everyone welcome.