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.
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.
A few pictures showing something of the railways involvement during
A look back at a proud moment for the Museum in 2011, nine years ago
Industrial Railway Society Day at Chasewater Railway.
The day started with the unveiling of the Eric Tonks Collection of locomotive nameplates and worksplates, this was, of course held in the Museum.Following this, and many photographs, a number of rides down the line with ‘Asbestos’ and ‘Linda’ taking turns in hauling the train. I think that ‘Colin McAndrew’ was in steam later.Pic by oakparkrunner
The Marston’s Baguley diesel shunter and the Class 08 were also put through their paces.
There was a buffet lunch on the first floor of the Heritage Centre which was well appreciated – well done Linda and Mavis and anyone else involved.
Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here,
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.