There doesn’t appear to have been another ‘Mercian’ for some time.
The Railway Preservation Society produced a newsletter, starting in March 1973 – Here are extracts from the first one.
‘This newsletter is not intended to replace our Society journal ‘Mercian’, we (the Committee) must apologise for the non-appearance of ‘Mercian’, but this has been due to technical hitches, etc. We shall endeavour to maintain a newsletter at least every two months, and may we all hope that ‘Mercian’ will put in an appearance before too long.’
The remainder of the newsletter covers various on-going renovation work, including the overhaul of the Neilson, in the very capable hands of the General Manager, Derek Luker, ably assisted by Keith Sargeant and Colin Thomas – repairs to the smokebox and fire box – further expense is envisaged for retubing the engine.
Restoration of the MSLR carriage was continuing, with one compartment beautifully restored, fitted with new seats and original GC pictures re-hung. This vehicle has been completely re-roofed and original ventilators and gas lamps refurbished and fitted. A lot of work still has to be done to complete the vehicle and more volunteers were needed.
Other work included the relaying of track to the crossing from the Hednesford Road, another 300 yards needs to be done. Work was progressing on the new platform at the Chasewater Terminus (now under the M6 Toll!). Work had been started on tidying up the site, ready for the 1973 running season. The Worthington Diesel No.20 (now on loan at Coors Museum, Burton-on-Trent) was having an overhauled replacement engine fitted and should be ready by the end of March 1973.
The final piece of news was regarding a Railway Exhibition to be held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock, on the weekend of 30th June and 1st July. It will consist of Model Railway Layouts, our own ‘Railwayana’ display, plus other preservation stands, Model Engineering Society stands refreshments and bar. As usual, more help was needed.
Compiled by D.A.Ives (Chairman)
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.61
RPS Newsletter No.2 – May 1973
Since the last newsletter (March) we have been pleased to see a few members turn up at Chasewater as a result of the appeal for more support. We would like to see a few more however. There is an interesting variety of jobs, i.e. trackwork, platform building, locomotive and carriage restoration, installation of signals and signalling equipment. (Sounds familiar!!)
There was a successful Easter Weekend Steaming in spite of awful weather, and a thank you to the members who stayed overnight to light up, and those who operated the service in such vile weather.
This vehicle has now arrived at Walsall from March, Cambs. And is now awaiting collection and transportation by low-loader from Walsall to Chasewater. This should prove a spectacular operation (albeit a costly one). We deserve to get maximum publicity from this enterprise. As most members will realise, this carriage has been purchased to give maximum seating capacity for the summer season’s running, also to replace our vintage Maryport & Carlisle coach now in service. The M & C now needs some restoration work, new panelling and a complete repaint.Pic – Lawrence Hodgkinson – Top of Pleck Road, Walsall
Stop Press – 3rd May!!
Pic – Lawrence Hodgkinson – Coming through the farm gate at Chasewater.
NER 8 Ton Box Van
Due to the efforts of our Hon. Sec. Barry Bull, the Society has acquired the last wooden bodied Box Van used by Messrs. Cadbury of Bournville. Messrs. Cadbury have very kindly donated the vehicle to the Society, arrangements have now been made for collection of this vehicle on May 5th. Our grateful thanks to both Messrs. Cadbury for donating this vehicle and to Barry Bull for negotiating the deal.