Tag Archives: Sentinel

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces – No.97

Chasewater Light Railway Society

1982-1985

Newsletter January 1983

News from the line

Loco Shed

The loco shed is now completed and the engineering department has taken up occupation.  At present the shed houses the Sentinel 4wVBT, MSLR 6-wheeled coach and Asbestos.

The shed was built with the aid of a Manpower Services Commission Youth Opportunities Programme under the direction of Derek Cartwright. Unfortunately the scheme overspent by a sum well into four figures.  Whilst a small sum was inevitable on the end of the final scheme, the size of the present liability has to be met by the Company is of particular concern to the Directors.

West Midlands County Council Task Force

The Directors have chosen this as a means of achieving further developments at Chasewater, in the light of experience with the loco shed.  A special thanks goes to John Selway for getting the scheme off the ground.

The scheme is exclusively devoted to improving trackwork and associated facilities to a standard acceptable to the Railway Inspectorate.  This will entail the relaying of the track on the entire length of the line and the construction of a run round loop at Brownhills West Station. A material grant of £10,000 is available which has been earmarked for the purchase of rail and concrete sleepers.  Labour is provided by WMCC, who are also responsible for day to day administration.

Work on this scheme will shortly begin in earnest, with progress dependant on the weather conditions during the coming months.  This work will commence before the 1983 running season and it is likely that the running season will not start at Easter.

Asbestos

This loco will operate the first passenger train in 1983, after its prolonged overhaul is completed.  The loco will emerge in a new blue livery and will be fitted with vacuum brake equipment, which is a necessary feature of all future working locos.

Society members are currently working on the loco which is the first priority, ahead of the striping for boiler examination of the Sentinel.

That is the end of the Jan 1983 Newsletter, and considering the piece which follows, mainly taken from the history of Chasewater Railway, they really didn’t know what was coming!  There were no passenger trains from October 1982 until Spring 1985.  And, just as a matter of interest, ‘Asbestos’ in blue wasn’t a success either!

The Society had been proud to be represented at the Stockton & Darlington 150th celebrations in 1975 by the restored Maryport & Carlisle coach, but by 1982 things were not going too well at Chasewater. Vandalism and theft were rife, especially during the time when a Manpower Service Commission programme had been engaged on construction work for a new engine shed and some track work.

The Railway effectively closed in October 1982 when a miserable wet Saturday saw just two fare-paying passengers carried on the last train of the day. Although no trains were to be run for the foreseeable future, it was decided to soldier on behind the scenes as a Society. However, further problems occurred during a West Midlands County Council Task Force Scheme the following year when, after construction of a bay platform to accommodate the museum coach, the remainder of the platform was demolished by the Task Force – who then failed to return to rebuild and extend the platform as promised, for nearly 18 months.

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.

Working membership fell to single figures, but that small band succeeded in rescuing this early standard gauge preservation scheme from the brink of extinction. Subsequently, as described later, a new company was formed in 1985 – the Chasewater Light Railway and Museum Company – and achieved status as a Registered Charity.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.94

94 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

21st Anniversary Edition – 1

News from the Line

Loco Department

As a follow-on from the previous post, there is another comprehensive report on the locos, so I thought that I would reproduce it to check on the progress on the engines.

No.2 ‘The Colonel’

This loco finally entered service on Gricers’ Day, 12th October, after several test steamings.  Many repairs were carried out to the tank before it was refitted.  The loco appears to be very powerful and is mechanically superb and will come into its own when services are eventually extended.  The external finish however leaves a lot to be desired and it is hoped that the owners will rectify this in the near future.

No.4 ‘Asbestos’

Since the last report a vast amount of work has been carried out on this loco.  The boiler returned from Park Holland Ltd. in February after having the necessary fire box repairs.  Following this little work was done on the loco due to work on other engines but after mechanical problems with the ex MD and HB crane the wheels were despatched to the SVR wheel lathe at Bridgnorth and were back at Chasewater in October.  Their return signalled renewed vigour upon the loco and the wheels were stripped to the bare metal and given five coats of paint before the axle boxes were refitted.  The first weekend of 1981 saw the frames back on the wheels making the loco mobile again after eighteen months of elevation.  Following this the inside motion has been refitted and retubing of the boiler has started.  Hopefully the boiler will be hydraulically tested during the spring and refitted to the frames.  Although no firm date can be given, ‘Asbestos’ should return to steam this year.

No.7 (DL7)

The big Ruston has run trouble free most of the time and has earned its corn by performing several ‘master shunts’ over the last twelve months.  A rather garish ‘Bull inspired’ livery has been applied and has been met with the usual mixed CLR reaction to such creations.

I believe we should be told what the’Bull inspired’ livery was??

No.8 ‘Invicta’From Railway Forum, 1975

After another trouble free year the loco is in store until the new season starts at Easter.  Unfortunately the six-yearly hydraulic test is due at the end of June, immediately after ‘Transport Scene’ 1981 which will be its last appearance for a while.  The hydraulic teat will be carried out during the winter of 1981/82 and hopefully no problems should ensue.

S100

The dawning of a new decade saw the re-emergence of one Mr. T.R.Sale Esq. which has resulted in dramatic changes – i.e. the loco is completely strewn to the four winds!  The boiler was jacked up out of the frames and then lifted onto a flat wagon and finally deposited on a pile of sleepers next to the Great Eastern mess van.  The boiler inspector has been and shaken his head at three corners of the firebox and given instructions as to what must be done and where, which basically involves building up of wasted plate work and a dozen or so new rivets.  Following removal of the boiler the chassis has been dismantled and the wheels removed which are to follow in the step (?) of ‘Asbestos’ and spend a day or so on the Bridgnorth lathe.  Most of 1981 will be spent cleaning frames, etc. which should keep one or two people out of harm’s way!

No.12 ‘Sentinel’1992 D.Bathurst Collection

This is the first time that any progress can be reported on this loco which is the ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel loco No. 9632 of 1957.  The loco is still at Butterley on the Midland Railway Project Group’s line but following various excuses and delays the boiler has been re-tubed, successfully hydraulically tested and refitted to the frames and at the time of writing new pipework is being fabricated.  Current thoughts seem to indicate that the loco will finally arrive at Chasewater in June or July.  For newer members it should be explained that the loco (in working order) forms part of the exchange deal for the ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach which was agreed upon back in 1978.

No.20

This loco has been loaned to the Bass Brewery museum at Burton-upon-Trent for an initial period of ten years.  The main reason for this is that the engine is in need of a drastic rebuild and as the sister engine No.21 is in full working order (and newly painted) neither the time nor the money will be available to repair it in the foreseeable future.

Photo from British Locomotive Preservation – 1969

No.21

This loco is, as already stated, in full working order and was repainted by the Brothers Grimm to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the Society.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.89

89 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Nov 1978 – 2

From the 1978 AGM Report

The final item on the agenda was the consideration of an offer from the Midland Railway Trust based at Butterley for the purchase of our ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach.  The history of the coach was briefly outlined.  The coach was on loan to Derby Corporation for a further 17 years and they had a 25 year option open to them after that.

The Trust have spent a considerable amount of money upon the coach so far and wish to finish the job properly but don’t feel able to unless the coach is their property.  They reckon they will have spent well in excess of £10,000 on the coach by the time it is complete.

As the Chasewater Light Railway Society was in a difficult position – in effect our hands were tied – it was decided to let the coach go.  It was unlikely to come to Chasewater in the majority of our members’ lifetimes and, as in the case of the ‘E1’, if it had not been for the Railway Preservation Society then it would have gone to the scrap heap years ago, so at least some satisfaction could be derived from that.  The coach is to be exchanged for the following:-

1.    £600 in cash

2.    Equipment surplus to the Midland Railway Trust’s needs, such as crossing gates, signals, ancillary equipment, etc., but in demand at Chasewater – to the value of £1,000 plus

3.    The ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel Locomotive (S9632/1957) plus spares, which will be in working order when it arrives at Chasewater, hopefully before Easter.Sentinel at Pleck Gas Works, Walsall, when nearly new.

The Hon. Sec’s. Report is reproduced below, being an apt summation of the present situation in which we find ourselves.

Hon.Sec’s Report 1977/1978

The twelve months since the last AGM have been very mixed with good news and setbacks at regular intervals.  1978 started very badly with the wanton vandalism of our ex Easingwold Railway coach.  The culprits who started the fire have not yet been apprehended and it seems suspicious to recall that the adjacent Go Kart Club has also been subject to two separate acts of arson in the last 10 months.

During the winter months other break-ins accrued to Society rolling stock resulting in the loss of several interesting relics.  However the local police force were eventually able to bring the two culprits to justice and the majority of the missing items returned.  Some £60 in value of relics was not recovered but as the Court awarded compensation to the Society we should eventually receive this money.

New arrivals during the year were the privately owned Hudswell Clarke side tank S100 which, following a complete overhaul which is expected to take another three years, should prove an ideal loco for working the extended services; the local chemical manufacturers Albright & Wilson Ltd. have placed on loan their 12” cylindered Peckett 0-4-0ST and it seems from help received from the Company so far that we might expect further assistance in the future.  The loco requires a major hydraulic exam, tank repairs and fitting of a steam brake before it sees regular use.  The final arrival was the five ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Birkenhead – an outright purchase by the Society for £432.

The Committee has given serious thought to the provision of covered accommodation at Chasewater and it is especially pleasing to record the purchase for nominal sums of two agricultural type buildings.  The first, the smaller of the two, has already been dismantled and brought to Chasewater; the other has yet to be removed from site.  We must now await the go-ahead for erection of these structures from Walsall Metropolitan Council.

Restoration work to locos and coaches has been fairly limited this year due perhaps in the main to the fact that various engineering projects and fund-raising activities have taken precedence.  However firebox repairs were carried out on the Neilson before entry into service again and routine maintenance carried out on this loco and ‘Invicta’.  ‘Lion’ to be renamed ‘The Colonel’ has had a start made on preparing for a major hydraulic exam, and S100 has seen reasonable progress in dismantling and de-tubing.  ‘Asbestos’ too is to be de-tubed and when this task is completed the boiler is to go away to Park Holland, who will raise the foundation ring a few inches to get round the problem of badly wasted corners and rivets in the firebox.  By far the largest expenditure on locos this year was the £460 spent purchasing 104 new tubes for ‘Asbestos’.

Several of our goods vehicles received coats of paint and roof attention to the box vans was performed during the summer.

The platform wall was extended during Spring Bank Holiday and with the recent Committee decision to extend the compound fence to include the platform, the platform can be set up to resemble an operating station at all times.  Another engineering project completed was the interlocking and signalling of the two compound points enabling train movements to take place in complete safety.

The news from British Rail that we could gain access to the loop with works trains from April 18h and full purchase likely by the end of July meant that a decision on the sale of the ‘E1’ had to be made.  Consideration was only given to previous enquiries and the Lord Fisher Loco Group based at Cranmore agreed to meet our minimum purchase price of £5,000.  The loco left Chasewater last Monday and restoration will commence this winter under cover in extensive workshops at Cranmore – the name and number plates and also the Rawnsley chimney are being retained by us.

Purchase of the loop has proved slower than expected and a lapse of a few more months now seems likely; however we now have the money immediately available when asked for.

Train services continued to operate on timetabled dates and takings were high on fine days; however wet or cold days affected the average takings.

The first Steam Spares Sale ever held by a Preservation Group went reasonably well considering lack of helpers, and a second such event is being held on ‘Gricers’ Day’ October 8th.

Our second Transport Scene was well supported by exhibitors but not by the public, again inclement weather did not help.  Let us hope that next year’s event is blessed with sunshine!

This year’s Model Railway Exhibition was also poorly supported by the public – an increase in takings at this event over the years has probably made us too casual as the standard of the Exhibition has definitely fallen over the last three or four years – perhaps a change of venue is called for?Chasewater Model Railway

The Chasewater Light Railway Company is currently negotiating for a grant under the Government STEPS Scheme to enable the rest of the railway to be brought into service.

ATV cameras were in attendance on the 15th September filming sequences using ‘Alfred Paget’ and goods stock for a programme to be shown in the ‘This England’ series early next year.

In closing, thanks go to all our members for their continued support, with special thanks to those who have contributed physical  and/or behind the scenes work throughout the year, readers of the Newsletter will doubtless have seen the same names recur on various projects so there is obviously scope for many more members to assist in whatever way they feel able.

B.J.Bull

Chasewater Railway Museum Newsletter – July 2020 – 2 Pages – Pete Waterman’s Visit, 2004.

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.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Good to be back!

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Good to be back!

It felt good to be open yesterday after being closed for a while. There were more than 150 visitors through the door – more than we could have hoped for given the weather at the start of the day.

Sentinel above and DL7 below.

I have been busy sorting out photographs, some taken around Chasewater and others taken around Hednesford’s old station.

Hednesford old station buildings, looking towards Walsall.

Walsall end of the up platfrom, looking towards Rugeley.

There will be more when I manage to get them sorted and onto the database.

Some photos from Chasewater Railway – and one of New Street Station!

Some photos from Chasewater Railway – and one of Birmingham New Street Station!

These photos of Chasewater Railway were found by Godfrey amongst a collection given to the museum.  They show Sentinel, hopefully back in steam next year, DL7 and an old DMU, all towards the Chasewater Heaths end of the line.

 

6855

Birmingham New Street Station

It’s a bit different nowadays!!

What is interesting , for people of a certain age, is the poster for the Hippodrome Theatre – top of the bill – Billy Cotton and his Band – used to be regulars on the BBC Light Programme on the wireless!

Our thanks to Graham for the phot0.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Midland Royal Saloon – A Happy Ending

Chasewater Railway Museum

The Midland Railway Royal Saloon – A Happy Ending

The previous post stated that this vehicle was at Derby on a long term loan, giving the impression that it still belonged to Chasewater Railway – this is not the case – this post explains subsequent events.

Midland Royal Saloon

This unique example of Midland Railway Regal coachbuilding has been purchased by the RPS (West Midlands District) from British Railways at a cost of £300. This was only possible with a loan of £240 from a generous member.
The loan is being paid back at the rate of £10 per month to this fine member, who wished to remain anonymous. His name was released at the AGM but to save further embarrassment, we will not mention it in these columns, but let it be ‘broadcast’ by word of mouth.

inside-royal-saloon 2Inside the Royal Saloon

The final item on the agenda was the consideration of an offer from the Midland Railway Trust based at Butterley for the purchase of our ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach. The history of the coach was briefly outlined. The coach was on loan to Derby Corporation for a further 17 years and they had a 25 year option open to them after that.
The Trust have spent a considerable amount of money upon the coach so far and wish to finish the job properly but don’t feel able to unless the coach is their property. They reckon they will have spent well in excess of £10,000 on the coach by the time it is complete. Inside the Royal Saloon
As the Chasewater Light Railway Society was in a difficult position – in effect our hands were tied – it was decided to let the coach go. It was unlikely to come to Chasewater in the majority of our members’ lifetimes and, as in the case of the ‘E1’, if it had not been for the Railway Preservation Society then it would have gone to the scrap heap years ago, so at least some satisfaction could be derived from that. The coach is to be exchanged for the following:-
1. £600 in cash

2. Equipment surplus to the Midland Railway Trust’s needs, such as crossing gates, signals, ancillary equipment, etc., but in demand at Chasewater – to the value of £1,000 plus

3. The ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel Locomotive (S9632/1957) plus spares, which will be in working order when it arrives at Chasewater, hopefully before Easter.

december-1989-sentinel-2Sentinel 1989