Tag Archives: Staffordshire

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 67

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 67

RPS Newsletters No. 14, 15 & 16  May – Oct 1975.

From No.14

I am pleased to report a fair influx of new members these last couple of months, several of these members have already proved their worth and capabilities.  I only wish that a few of our absent, long-standing members could pay a visit to the site now and again, I am sure that they would enjoy the odd weekend.

Trackwork

A very good effort has been done by our track laying gang, the bed has been levelled, sleepers and rail relaid almost to the underbridge.  A splendid effort by the usual stalwarts!!

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Work is progressing slowly but surely towards the final repaint of this vehicle, this carriage is being shown at the Stockton & Darlington 150th Railway Anniversary Exhibition at Shildon, Co. Durham.  It is going to be a race against time to finish it by the end of July!!  A few more skilled painting volunteers would be very welcome.  Messrs. Pomlett Sen & Jnr, I am pleased to report have answered the call, but further help would be very much appreciated.

Horizontal Single Cylinder Engine, Staffordshire Industrial Archaeology

This engine has been collected by the RPS and is now undergoing restoration on Chasewater site.  Staffordshire Industrial Archaeological Society have promised help in this work.  During this excursion the Midland Railway horsedrawn box van was loaned to Shugborough Museum.  (It’s still there – Jan 2011).(Back home for a couple of years now – 2020)

The horse-drawn box van can just about be seen to our left of the building

Spring Bank Holiday – Sunday and Monday

Thanks must be expressed to all members running the trains over this period, the effort was quite fruitful.  Thanks to Andrew Louch, Albert Haywood and helpers who prepared the site and erected the Birkenhead Railway Bookstall, this bookstall has great potential.

The bookstall is top left in the picture – above ‘BROW’ of Brownhills West

Thanks again to Mr. J.C.James for purchasing same.  A large number of visitors also went round the compound.  Many thanks to the stewards who held the fort in the TPO and LNWR brake.

LNWR, TPO & 60ft Brake

Urgent maintenance work is required on the roof of the TPO during the dry summer months.  Volunteers please!!  Rob Duffill has also made a start on the painting and restoration of the second half of the LNWR brake, he would appreciate help in this venture, also painting of the exterior of both vehicles.

Dave Ives.  President & Editor.

 

From No.15

We are still in the midst of this marvellous weather, what a glorious summer indeed.  We have had a long run of steaming and train running these last two months, but takings, alack, have been sadly down on last year, also lack of members to run the trains, the task of running the trains has fallen yet again on the same old crew.  May I appeal for members to get over to Chasewater and give a turn, we shall be running until October.

This month of course sees the 150th Anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, I expect and hope most members will attend.  As most members are aware, we are exhibiting the Maryport & Carlisle carriage, also we are manning a sales stand.  Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. is in charge and would appreciate a little help, he will be on duty all week from 25th August to the 31st – a long stint.  We shall appreciate a little help in this direction.  We also look forward to a good attendance at the AGM in September, see separate notice from the Hon. Sec.

Maryport & Carlisle CarriageM & C  on show at Shildon

Andrew Louch has truly done a first class job getting this vehicle ready for the Anniversary.  I am sure it is really credit due to him and his few helpers!  All members will be sorry to learn that Andrew’s mother has broken her ankle, with an unfortunate accident at their home.  All members, along with me, will I’m sure wish her well during what will be a drawn out recovery.

Neilson Locomotive

Work continues to progress on this engine.  I understand that we should see her moving, possibly in service, before the season ends.

Pump Action Mechanical Trolley

Keith Sargeant has spotted and bought a trolley for the Society.  We are however having a members’ whip round to offset the cost for Keith.  The total amount being £30 + transport.  £19 has been donated to date.  Please don’t forget to add the odd £1 next time you renew your subscription.  The trolley will be a valuable acquisition.

Dave Ives – President & Editor

From No.16

Several events have now come and gone since the publication of the last Newsletter.  The 150th Anniversary at Shildon was probably amongst the most memorable.  The Cavalcade at the end of the week was to me the most memorable and unforgettable experience.  A lot has already been said and reported on this subject, but I still have my personal experience, one that I would not have missed!!  Our very sincere thanks to our Hon. Sec., his friend Ken, Adrian Pearson, Iain Patterson, Andrew and Richard Louch and Bob Ives, Mike Wood and Gerald Wildish for manning the RPS Stand at Shildon through a long and somewhat arduous week.  I understand that a clear profit in the region of £350 was made.  A truly excellent effort on the part of the above mentioned members.

My wife and I also had an invitation to attend the Official Opening of York Railway Museum by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh.  This again was quite an impressive ceremony, and of course yet again, a chance to meet several old friends and colleagues.  I understand that a visit to York Railway Museum is being planned by one or two Chasewater members; it is certainly well worth a visit.

AGM

The meeting was quite well attended this year, the highlight event being after the meeting and members were able to participate in trips behind the Neilson down the line.  I am sure that all members were thrilled to make this trip and sincere thanks to loco staff and operating staff for the wonderful effort put into getting this loco back in working order.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage Exhibited at Shildon

We are all justifiably proud of the fact that this carriage was duly exhibited at Shildon.  We must again thank Andrew Louch and his helpers for making this possible.  We had the misfortune to have two door handles stolen by a ‘souvenir hunter’; these were replica handles but will cost the Society something like £10 to replace.  We must all agree that this was a despicable act!!

Progress at Chasewater

The running season has now come to a close.  Passenger receipts this year were a little down on last year, but this is to be expected with the expensive, inflationary times we live in.

Miniature Railway

Albert Haywood very successfully negotiated with the Council (Walsall) for the RPS to run and maintain the 7½” gauge railway in the park.  This has been operated and run by our members during the closing weeks of the season.  This should prove a very worth-while project, the Society receiving 50% of passenger receipts.  Our very grateful thanks to Albert and his operating staff, Ted West and Colin Finch.

(I haven’t managed to get a photo of this yet – can anyone help, please?)

Trackwork

This arduous but necessary work continues, thanks to our general Manager Derek Luker and his gang of stalwarts.

Platform

The slotted signal at our original Brownhills West Station

Steve Organ (that’s the first time that I’ve seen that name mentioned!) has made good progress with the station platform, he intends to extend it to its full length during the winter season, weather permitting.  The Cannock Wood Colliery signal has been installed, a start signal, this is all good progress, thanks to Steve and his helpers.

Cannock Forum Theatre RPS Exhibition

This exhibition was held again fro the third occasion and was a great success, financially and publicity wise.  Our sincere thanks to Andrew Louch, the organiser, Barry Bull, our energetic Hon. Sec. and all other members who helped with this successful event, in particular to the non-stop catering team led by Rob Duffill.  I understand that a profit of £125 was made.

Nigel and Helena Hadlow

Our very sincere congratulations to Nigel and his wife on their marriage in September.  Nigel is one of our stalwart members, having served the Society for some 15 years.  I am sure that all members will join in wishing them a long and happy marriage.

Obituary

Eric Haswell.  It is with sadness and regret that I write these lines.  Eric died suddenly whilst on a visit to our old friend Teddy Boston at Cadeby Rectory on Tuesday 14th October.  I am sure that all members will sadly miss that tall figure at the exhibition, with that wonderful talent for locomotive drawing.  Thus passes another Gentleman.

Dave Ives – President and Editor.

After something like 30 years outside, the Maryport & Carlisle could do with another Andrew Louch!!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.66 April 1975

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.66 April 1975

RPS Newsletters No. 12 & 13, Jan – April 1975.

Again two for the price of one! – But sadly no number 11!

From No.12

Neilson 0-4-0ST

This locomotive has had a stationary steam test and the reports prove very favourable.  Derek Luker informs me that the next step will be valve gear and motion.  We should see this loco in steam with ‘Asbestos’ this season.

Maryport & Carlisle Carriage

Work steadily progressing but more help is needed as the carriage must be ready for August this year for the Stockton & Darlington Anniversary.

Track Laying

Work has now commenced lifting track.   The track bed will be re-aligned and the rail relaid, sleepers will be replaced where necessary.  This job must be completed before commencing the season’s running.

North Eastern Railway Van

A hasty repair job was done to the roof of this vehicle.  The canvas roof loading flap was ripped to shreds during the weekend gale of Saturday 25th January.

Mr. J.C.James of Liverpool recently acquired a station bookstall from the Birkenhead Railway.  This has been delivered to Chasewater and should prove a useful item.  Our grateful thanks to Mr. James.

Notes from Barry Bull, Hon. Sec.

The two meetings already held were quite well attended with 25/30 people on each occasion.  There were to be two further meetings at Aston University , one in March about ‘Main Line Steam’ and the other in May about ’Spanish Steam in 1963’. This to include both main line and industrial steam, and some real antique British built locos.

Sales Stand

With another season ahead we have been busy obtaining items for the sales stand.  In the past we have had to rely very much on the generosity of members in donating second-hand mags, etc. for resale.  In recent weeks our thanks must go to Nigel Canning, Rob Duffill and Laurence Hodgkinson for giving many suitable items for resale.  If any other members have any photos, relics, magazines, etc. which they would like to donate or perhaps sell at reasonable prices, would they please contact the Hon.Sec.  It is worth recalling that sales for the last 12 month period to July 1974 together with social activities raised £274 – remember ‘Sales Support Steam’.

From No.13

We are now attempting to get ourselves geared up for the season’s running, the actual news will follow in items listed below. All members will sympathise (after a period of considerable and very cruel laughter!!) with Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. who unfortunately broke his ankle playing football during February.  Barry, although partially immobile, has managed to get over to Chasewater and cleared the decks for action in the sales portion of the LNWR brake (It takes more than a broken ankle to keep Barry away from his vacuum cleaner!!). He is of course doing an immense amount of work on the correspondence side for the Society.  We all wish Barry a speedy recovery.  I know he is itching (!) to throw those crutches away.  Just a final word on this matter, may we advise Barry, in future, it is far safer at Chasewater RPS site than playing football on Sunday afternoons!!

Asbestos

I understand from the loco dept that this engine will be in trim for the forthcoming season, let us hope that it will be a busy one!  PS Two tubes were hastily fitted on Easter Monday morning!

Neilson

I am also assured that this locomotive will also be assisting with the season’s traffic later this year, a few last minute snags have yet to be sorted out.

Trackwork

In spite of the inclement weather, our usual stalwarts have been very busy lifting track, the bed is being levelled by Colin Vincent with his bulldozer and should be relaid during April. This effort is very praiseworthy, our sincere thanks to all participating in this hard graft.

Birkenhead Rly Bookstall

It is hoped to assemble this bookstall as a ticket office and sales stand this season.  We are of course short of volunteers for this operation, more about manpower appeal in a later item.

Maryport & Carlisle CarriageMaryport & Carlisle Carriage with No.21 – D. Bathurst Collection

Work is going ahead slowly with this vehicle, due in the main to the weather, and the call for manpower on other jobs.  The carriage has to be ready for the 150th Anniversary at Darlington, by the end of July at the latest.  Volunteers for painting please!

DMU Trailer Coach

A thorough cleaning of the interior is taking place, in readiness again for the 1975 running season, this should be completed by Sunday April 6th.

Manpower, Womanpower Appeal!!

May we once again appeal most earnestly for manpower during this special year, viz. the 150th Anniversary of Passenger Railway Travel (Stockton, Darlington 1825).  We have plenty of restoration jobs, and in particular, a list must be drawn up for the train operating crews.  Vacancies for firemen, Guards, Stewards on trains, sales stand and ticket issuing and collector staff.  Members should report to the General Manager and Chairman Derek Luker or any senior member deputising in his absence.  Please come and help if only for a couple of times this season, we desperately require extra help this season!

NCB Slotted Signal, Cannock Wood CollierySlotted signal at our old Brownhills West Station, 1978 – D. Bathurst Collection

This signal has been kindly donated by the NCB, it will eventually join our collection of NSR and LNWR signals at Chasewater.  The NSR signals came from Pinnox Crossing, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent and were also donated by the NCB several years ago.

Discussion at Chasewater

Loco spares, carriage spares, etc., this will be held on Saturday afternoon 3.00pm , 19th April 1975. All members are invited to attend and comment.

Littleton Colliery Visit – Engine in Steam

Saturday 17th May 9.30am.  Brake van trip down the line.  Members wishing to attend contact Albert Haywood.Littleton No.5  Manning W ardle 0-6-0ST

Canal Boat Rally

Birmingham Navigation Canal Society, 10th and 11th May 1975.  Catshill Junction, Lindon Road, Anchor Bridge, Brownhills.

Dave Ives, President.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 64

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

RPS Newsletters No. 7 & 8, March – June 1974.

Again two for the price of one!

From No.7

Spring is now with us and with the longer evenings, so the work at Chasewater increases.  In spite of the bitter cold snap just recently, it was blowing a strong easterly across the lake, it did not deter our usual band of stalwarts working on ‘Asbestos’ getting her ready for the Easter steaming.  The Society should be very grateful to this tough stalwart crew working in these conditions; we have no warm engine shed like some of the larger groups.  I am sure that absent members will join me in a warm ‘Thank You’ to these chaps.

Asbestos

Asbestos was trial steamed on Sunday March 17th, two tubes blew during this trial, and work is now going ahead fitting new tubes and other minor repairs, prior to another trial steaming on Sunday, 31st March.  As stated previously, Derek Luker and his team worked in bitter conditions to complete this essential work!

General Spring Clean

A general tidy up has now begun on the site, but further volunteers are required if we want the compound really tidy, ready to receive visitors at Easter.

MS & LR Carriage

John Elsley is still pressing on steadily with this vehicle, another compartment has been restored, and we should have a splendid vehicle ready for display this season.

LNWR Passenger Brake

A start has been made cleaning down the other half of the brake by Rob Duffill; the restored half has been repainted in gloss by Barry Bull and Rob Duffill, and looks very respectable.

Track Maintenance

A start has been made clearing the track of heavy vegetation, the bushes at the north end of the line have been cut back to allow easy passage of trains.  We do require more volunteers to keep our track in good working condition.

Among ‘Dates for the Diary’ was a reminder to members who wished to attend an Open Day at Littleton Colliery on 18th May, 1974.Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

From No.8

We are now running a regular train service on Sunday afternoons, the first and third Sundays are steam hauled and the second and fourth Sundays diesel hauled – Bank Holidays will be steam working.

We had a record number of passengers over the Easter holiday, Easter Monday broke all records I’m pleased to report, our grateful thanks to the train operating staff and booking office staff for a really splendid effort.  We were very short of members over the Easter, this was probably due to members being on holiday themselves.

Collectors’ Fair

Held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock on April 13th and was a huge success.  Our very grateful thanks to Andrew Louch and Barry Bull, organisers, and to the members and ladies who helped in no small measure, a special mention to Paul Mason, who provided the P.A. equipment.  A truly great effort all round.  Thank you to everybody concerned.

Sunday, April 7th

A double deck bus load of enthusiasts from M & GN descended on the Light Railway, it was a case of stretching the manpower again, some members being involved with the stand at the Stafford Railway Circle exhibition, which was again well-attended.  I understand that the visit was enjoyed by all the visitors.

Neilson 0-4-0ST

Work is still progressing well on this loco.  The bearings have now been re-metalled and skimmed, the boiler has been re-clad.  Final work on repairing and painting the saddle tank is progressing well.  Thanks to our dedicated band of workers: Derek Luker, Brian Hames, Keith Sergeant, plus several of our junior members.

Asbestos

Continues to do sterling service, a few minor repairs have been affected, namely a spring hanger which broke during running, this has been welded and replaced.  Also leaking clack valves have been repacked.

Diesel Locomotives Nos. 20 & 21

No.20 is now looking quite resplendent after a complete clean-down and repaint.  The team responsible for this splendid effort is:  Nigel Canning, Steven Foster, Ian Patterson and Adrian Pearson.  No.21 is now receiving similar treatment, the start being made by Iain Smith on one of his weekends from Edinburgh.  It is a pity that a few more local members do not follow his example.

Coaching Stock

The MS & LR carriage is looking very resplendent, John Elsley informs me that he intends to install the original seats recovered in new maquette, this will cost in the region of £150, just a little idea of the inflationary spiral and the way it hits us all!  The Maryport & Carlisle carriage – Andrew Louch is replacing a few panels, the guttering has been refitted, and a complete repaint is envisaged this summer.  It is anticipated that this vehicle will go on show at the Stockton & Darlington Centenary and a Half celebrations in 1975, providing that the necessary funds are raised.

The Open day at Littleton Colliery has been postponed until 17th August.

Congratulations  to Rob Duffill on his forthcoming marriage in July.  May we wish Rob and Margaret every happiness for the future.  Rob is one of our stalwart members, serving on the committee and in a truly practical way.  Also congratulations to our hard-working treasurer Lawrence Hodgkinson on his promotion to the board of the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd., with this goes the directors’ fee of £0.00, as a fellow director I forecast that we can easily double that next year!!

Compiled by Dave Ives and printed and published by Lawrence Hodgkinson.

 

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

Chasewater Railway Museum – Correction

Chasewater Railway Museum

Correction to Friday’s Post

Just seen the blog but there’s a slight snag.  The photo is of the former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway van Cadbury No 144, which arrived at Chasewater in 1970, having been at Hednesford for several years previously following a donation from Cadbury’s.  The 1973 acquisition, also a kind donation, was the North Eastern Railway box van number 100 684, this being the last wooden-bodied box van left at Bournville amongst a fleet of steel bodied vans. The van had been kept for the storage of permanent way equipment.  I recall the road transport bill to bring it to Chasewater was £28.  Not long after the van arrive a photo of it’s unloading at Chasewater was published in Railway Forum.

Barry Bull

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No 60 March 1973 and No 61 May 1973

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ of December 1970

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)

Also taken from the ‘Mercian’ of December 1970

 

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.

DMU Trailer UnitPic – Lawrence Hodgkinson

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!!

This vehicle is now safely in the compound at Chasewater, after a hectic day by a small party of members and being filmed going through the streets of Walsall by ‘ATV Today’

Pic – Lawrence HodgkinsonComing 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.

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 – Bits and Pieces No 59 June 1972

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Bits and Pieces No 59 June 1972

Not good news for steam enthusiasts!

From June 1972 ‘Mercian’

Industrial News – Barry Bull

Most of what has been happening on the Industrial railway scene in the Midlands over the last few months makes the outlook for steam enthusiasts rather grim.

The winter began with the replacement of steam at Holditch Colliery, near Newcastle-under-Lyme by two displaced diesels from Silverdale Colliery.  The two steamers here ‘Cornist’, a Hudswell Clarke six-coupled side tank and ‘Dilhorne No.3’, a Bagnall built Austerity were both in a very run-down condition by the end.Robert Nelson No.4 HE 0-6-0ST 1800-1936 Littleton No.5-0-6-0ST MW 2018-1922 – c1963.

Littleton, West Cannock and Cannock Wood continued using their steam up until the miners’ strike but since then new diesels have arrived in the South Staffs NCB Area and steam work has ceased.  During last summer it was possible to see the big Manning Wardle (Littleton No.5) at Littleton in regular use, also the 16 Hunslet, ‘Robert Nelson No.4’ and the Austerity.  An interesting survival here is a Midland Railway 10 ton goods brake, built Derby 1900 in use as a store van for oil; this is in a poor condition however.  All the three steam are now dumped in the open.  The two Austerities and the Bagnall ‘Topham’ at West Cannock are dumped by the screens.  The Austerity ‘Wimblebury’ at Cannock Wood was steamed one day a week until the strike, but never since.

In Birmingham, Bromford Tube Works cut up their remaining steam loco last year (1971) and Dunlop’s three went for preservation, including the Chasewater Railway resident ‘Linda’, Bagnall loco 2648/1941, formerly Dunlop No.6.

Nechells Power Station hired a diesel from BR towards the end of the year and steam working here finished last November.  However the Peckett 0-4-0ST No.1, delivered here new in 1916, was repaired and transferred to Northampton Power Station.  Her sister No.2 and the three big Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn 0-6-0STs are available for sale.

On the brighter side the little Barclay 0-4-0ST continues service at Stourport Power Station with a Peckett spare, and one of the big Bagnalls at British Leyland, Longbridge can be seen in steam almost every day.

With steam going at such a fast rate we have decided to try and arrange visits to some places where steam remains in working order.  Below is a list of places we are negotiating to see:

British Celanese, Spondon, Derby.

We have finalised details for a visit here on Saturday, June 24th (1972) when a loco will be specially steamed for us.  We expect quite a large turn-out for this visit as visits here are not normally permitted.  There will be a 10 pence levy per person for this event.

We also expect to have a visit to Cadley Hill Colliery, near Burton-on-Trent on Saturday, October 28th, again it is hoped, with one loco specially steamed.

Before this visit, we hope to fit one in to the Cannock Area pits but negotiations are still in the early stages for this.

These visits are open to members and non-members alike.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 58

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 58

From the ‘Mercian’ June 1972

I thought that it might be interesting to see the state of the rolling stock at that time, so here is the rolling stock report from the magazine.

Locomotives

Asbestos – The renewal of right hand hornblocks is complete and the wheels have been replaced.  A trial steaming is scheduled for June 5th and it should be in steam for the Chasewater Festival on July 8th.

Neilson – No work has been carried out for two years.  The saddle tank was removed and ten studs drilled out of the sides of the boiler and new ones fitted.  These studs secure the water feed clock boxes, stolen before the loco left Glasgow.  Fortunately Trevor Cousens was able to obtain replacements for us.  Shortage of labour has precluded further work being carried out but we hope to restart soon.

E1 – No change.  A boiler survey may be made soon.

Barclay – The firebox was condemned at its last boiler test.  As the ‘Barclay’ soon to be delivered is of similar size, it will be used to supply spare parts to keep the newer loco running.

Hudswell Clarke – No work has been carried out for over three years. A hydraulic test was carried out and the results were not promising.  The boiler will need re-tubing and a considerable amount of mechanical work will be necessary.Sadly she hasn’t steamed since she’s been at Chasewater.

Petrol No.1 – The petrol tank and associated plumbing were cleaned out recently and the engine run.  It will start by hand when warm.  Unfortunately the carburettor appears to be icing up when the engine is subjected to load.  The carb. Is probably not the original and information as to the whereabouts of a replacement would be welcome.L & Y No.1

Diesel No.1 – Out of service with a smashed axlebox.  Once again information as to the whereabouts of a replacement would be welcome.

Diesel No.20 – One of the spare engines is being overhauled ready for fitting.  Messrs. Bass Charrington have kindly donated a quantity of their blue paint and both locos will be painted when time permits.

Diesel No.21 – An overhaul was carried out last year, the cylinder heads and fuel pump being renewed, and more recently repairs were carried out to the clutch once again.

Coaching Stock

Royal (or Special) Saloon – On loan to Derby Corporation for the Midland Railway Project.  They have undertaken to restore it

TPO – The small relics collection now looks quite orderly though the outside of the vehicle is in urgent need of attention.

LNWR 50’ Brake – One end has been painted out and will be used this summer to house the sales stand, a model railway and a display of relics.

Maryport & Carlisle – Restoration is nearly complete.  The roof was covered with galvanised sheets last summer, but the completion has been held up by the weather.  It saw considerable use last year carrying passengers on Open Days.Off to Stockton & Darlington for their 150th Anniversary in 1975.

GER Brake – Now in use again as the Mess (!) Van.  It is in urgent need of re-roofing.  The outside was painted dark brown last year.

MSL – No further work has been carried out.  The bearing brasses are missing.

MR Brake – No change.

LNWR Brake Third – No change.  The LNWR Coaching Stock Fund is attempting to raise cash for the restoration of this coach.

Goods Stock

GWR Brake – The interior has been repainted and the roof covered with galvanised sheets.

MR Crane – A new wire rope has been fitted and the woodwork painted.  Although it is 90 years old it still sees considerable use.

LYR Van – Now in use as a workshop and tool store.

MR Van – In use as a stores, mainly diesel.  It has been painted externally.

CCWR Brake – Repainted externally last summer.  Used as PW tool van.

NSR Coal Wagon – No change.

The remaining four vehicles, two flat wagons and two 12 ton coal wagons are used on the works trains.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 57 – 1969-70 report

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 57  1969-70 report

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ September 1970

The Secretary’s Report for the past year, when the Hednesford Depot was closed.

 

Railway Preservation Society

Secretary’s Report 1969 – 1970

Arthur Chatfield Hon. Sec.

I seem to recall that in my last report I said that 1970 would be another story.  I did not anticipate that there would be so many chapters to write nor that we should pass a considerable number of milestones en route.

I find myself repeating all the old clichés as I sit and write this report, and I am keenly aware that it has not been easy to maintain an aloof position on certain aspects of the Society’s shortcomings this past twelve months.  I am certain that members regard me as somewhat pedantic, the slavedriver with a big whip, or whatever other picture has been conjured up when you have read some of my scathing comments made in the magazine, but let me hasten to assure you that those members who have come along as a result have, I think, been mildly surprised – if I may say so without appearing too conceited – to find that the bark is far worse than the bite.

The Society has to succeed and I strive hard for this aim, I hope that all members will do this in every way possible.  It is not always easy to do physical work on the site as I well know, but please do give a little more support each year apart from a financial one.

This year, how have we fared?  Taking everything into consideration we have done exceptionally well although we have not blown the trumpet too loudly.  We are being noticed and this is apparent by the ever increasing letters which are arriving from various organisations asking if official visits can be arranged.  Progress has been maintained and possibly the most important milestone has been the closing down of our Hednesford Depot.  Hednesford holds for me a number of happy memories of our early days.  However, it is no good being sentimental, we have to progress and I am glad that we are now able to concentrate all our energy at Chasewater.

P-Way work.

Progress – our efforts – what have we been doing this past twelve months?  I think this can be summarised as follows:

Last winter the track was completely relaid from the compound towards the level crossing on a new elevated bed of red shale.  The compound was also re-shaled, the last road (No.1) having just been completed.

Heavy repairs were commenced on the Barclay followed by Asbestos.  The Barclay was unfortunately pronounced unfit for further service, but Asbestos came through with flying colours and has since been in steam on several occasions.  Work is now in hand on the Neilson and it is hoped that she will be steamable for next summer.

Some of the carriages and wagons have received a lick of paint and this is helping to keep deterioration at bay.  Petrol No.1 was completely repainted and exhibited at Messrs Dormans Ltd’s Centenary celebrations in Stafford.

General repairs etc. have also been carried out to various items of stock and work has commenced on the interior of the LNWR bogie van.

The closing of the Hednesford Depot in May meant that the stock had to be dealt with quickly.  Fortunately the Coal Board came to our rescue and allowed us to store the items temporarily on a siding at their Cannock Wood Colliery yard.  Since then through the kindness of the Board all the four-wheelers and the Maryport & Carlisle coach have been transferred to our Chasewater site together with the loco ‘Cannock Wood’.

The two bogie coaches are to be transferred at the Society’s expense and should be at Chasewater by the time you receive this report.  The Coal Board have also offered to move the GER six-wheeler for us so this will leave only the Royal Saloon.

The future of the Saloon is at present being negotiated with the Midland Railway Project Group, and subject to stringent safeguards it is to be placed on loan to them for a period of five token years.  However, if negotiations come to nought, the Saloon will have to be transferred to Chasewater.

So much for the physical side of things.

Administratively thinks were a little haywire, but the troubles have been slowly sorted out and the system seems to be operating a lot better.  Possibly the major step has been the registration of the Light Railway Company, and this is commended to all those who wish to become a shareholder.  Mercian has not been all it was hoped to be, mostly due to a lack of correspondence but again this is an internal matter which may be solved by whoever sits in the editorial chair.

Well, there we are, I think that just about sums it all up for another year.  Quite a lot of notable achievements, plenty of scope for more and certainly no room for complacency.

My sincere thanks to everyone on the administrative side for their help and encouragement, particularly to our Chairman, Publicity Officer for producing the mag, and the Treasurer for their forbearance.

A very sincere thank you to the working party stalwarts and in particular Mike Lewis and Derek Luker – spare their blushes – for without their continued support I would have nothing to write about at this time.

We have a regular bunch of great guys who put every ounce of energy they can muster into the Society and I am hopeful that the number will be doubled and that great play will be made of this by whoever has to produce this report at the same time next year.

For myself it has been a worthwhile job, and I hope that the satisfaction it has given me personally to be in on all the progress made this tear has in many ways rubbed off on all of you.All photographs in this post came from the ‘Mercian’ September 1970

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces 55

Chasewater Railway Museum 

Bits and Pieces 55

Asbestos with the Maryport & Carlisle Coach and GW brake van

The follow-on to the previous post.

Everything out of Hednesford

From the Mercian August 1970

Secretary’s Report

They said it couldn’t be done – but it was!!!  Done by sheer hard slogging and the aid of a clapped out tractor.

Little did I think that the Cadbury van and the two open wagons at Hednesford would not be moved by road and that what I jokingly referred to last time would in fact become a reality.  It was!!  Six – yes six – of us spent two nights digging the sunken track and point out of a couple of feet of hard mud and rubble so that we could hand-shunt the wagons off the siding and onto the main section where we could couple them up to the passenger stock for removal by rail.

Deadline was Thursday evening so we had only three nights to organise the job.  It took the whole of Tuesday and part of Wednesday to dig the track out and we managed to move one of the wagons along to the point ready for transhipment.  However it stuck fast and all our efforts failed to make any impression on it.  This did not auger well for the other wagon and the van and we were almost on the point of giving it up as a bad job.

Then we spotted the tractor and after making a few quick calls we discovered that it belonged to the President, albeit he thought it was out of action with some parts missing.  A quick tickle up by the Treasurer soon proved him wrong and all was set.  We found a length of hawser and soon had the first wagon over the point.  Our troubles were solved you might think but unfortunately they were not.  There was no rail beyond the point and the wagon had to be towed onto the semi-hard ground of the yard.  The point (stub type) would not budge so the next problem was how to line up the wheels for the correct road.  This we did by towing the wagon back onto the point and then jacking up one end clear of the rail.  The jack was then knocked away sideways so as to throw the wheel flanges onto the right side of the line.  After much trial and error we managed the first one and it was coupled up to the passenger stock.  The second wagon followed similarly and by this time it was getting dusk.  We held a council of war and decided that unless the van was moved then it would have to remain at Hednesford for ever.  Out came the hurricane lamps and we trundled the van down to the points.  By this time there was quite a groove in the yard surface and the van soon found the level.  We jacked her up and with some pushing and heaving and a tug from the tractor we managed to move her into the right line where she joined the rest of the stock at about 10.30pm.

How stupid – possibly this is your first thought – can some members be? But let me say right here and now that if it wasn’t for such stalwarts and in particular those six who struggled so gamely to do a very important job, the Society would be highly successful resting on the laurels and efforts of its armchair and featherbed members.

I DON’T THINK

Those three vehicles are now at Chasewater thanks to the six, but had it been left to our non-regulars then they would have rotted away at Hednesford.  Members should be thankful that we have a solid core of stalwarts who do care about the future and who will do something about it.

Stirring it up am I – you’re damn right I am.  Where were YOU when we ran our most successful steam weekend to date?  I refer to the 27th/28th June when we were operating a small service and an exhibition as part of the Aldridge/Brownhills Festival of Sport.

I understand from the Social Organiser that he sent 10/- worth (50p) of Draw tickets and appeals for help on the days of the Festival to all members living within a 20 – 25 mile radius of the site in an effort to boost the funds.  Needless to say the response – altogether not unexpected – was NIL.  A few members did manage to sell some tickets and the surprising fact was that most of these were members whose subs were due, and not paid-up members – to me a disgusting state of affairs.

We have about 120 members scattered about the country and I am fully aware that it is not possible for all of you to attend on site due to distance away.  We have certain members who regularly donate £5 – £50 when we need to raise money urgently, we have a member who purchased one of our locos for us.  I am not getting at these members or the faithful band that turn out regularly each weekend.

I am getting at the shower – there is no other word for them – who think we can run on their subs alone.  Like other Societies I think that we can manage without this type of member even if we only have 20 members who care enough to pull their weight when we need them to.

Reverting to the weekend, the weather marred the Saturday operations, however it was all systems go on the Sunday when, had we had about another 20 members available we could have made a very fat profit form the Draw from ticket touting among the crowd which packed the Park.

I have said it many times before and I will say it again, we MUST have more help when we run these steam weekends.  The next Open Day will be Sunday August 30th.  Make a note of it NOW!

We need quite a few hands between now and then for track repairs, stock repairs and restoration and a host of other jobs too numerous to mention.  Every Sunday afternoon from 2.00pm whatever the weather we can find plenty to do, so may we see you on site fully prepared to do a little hard work.

It is a pity that every time I prepare this report all I seem to do is belay a large number of members who are close enough to the site to be able to make at least two or three visits a month.

What a change it will be when the day arrives that I can report that the turnout on working parties each week has been 30 members and that they have now completely relaid the trackwork, the three coaches are fully restored and operational, three steam locos are available and a service will be operated each weekend.

There is no reason why this should not be so if members will rid themselves of their apathy.

Hon Sec. A.A.Chatfield

 

Now a follow-up from the General Manager’s stock news

Chasewater News

Apart from the usual lack of manpower things have been happening on site this past three or four weeks in preparation for the Festival Weekend and other events.

In the last issue I summarised the various jobs to be done and this met with a fair response so I will repeat it again this month.

Asbestos

I am pleased to report that she is now fully operational and was successfully steamed on June 20th on the occasion of the visit paid by the L.C.G.B  Under the able hands of Mike Lewis she was again performing for the Festival Weekend and proved quite an attraction.

Barclay

The boiler inspector’s report has now been received and he has condemned her boiler.  This means we shall have to either order a new one, which at this stage is financially out of the question, or we may be able to buy a reasonable second-hand one from one of three or four of the same class which are known to be still operational.  To help defray the cost we propose to sell the old boiler as scrap.  In the meantime the loco will be put back together as a static exhibit.

Neilson


Work will now be put in hand to strip this loco down for a boiler inspection.  We understand that the boiler is in good condition and that we should be able to get the loco operational by next summer providing we have enough man-power to work on her.  Mike Lewis will again be dealing with the job and he will need some assistance.  Any offers?

Hudswell and Lance

These will be kept oiled and painted until after the work on the Neilson has been done.  Again, any offers?

Cannock Wood

I am pleased to report that this is now safely at Chasewater having been delivered on June 26th.  It is unlikely that she will run in the foreseeable future as a new boiler will be needed if reports which we have are correct.  Work will therefore be confined to a thorough repaint and general restoration as a static exhibit.  This should keep a couple of members fully occupied for the next few months, so may I have some volunteers?

 

Diesel No.1

This is still out of commission, have we any members who are knowledgeable enough to work on her, please?

Diesels 20/21

Pic – Ross Lockley

These are both running now and are in need of a repaint.  I hope to make one or the other available fro this purpose during the next month or so.  It should not take too long to refurbish the paintwork on both of them and if any members would like to help then please contact the Secretary on site.  He will be supervising this part of the work.

Petrol No.1

Through the efforts of Arthur Chatfield who did the bulk of the restoration work on this loco, it was just about ready for display at Messrs. Dorman’s Ltd. exhibition in Stafford from June 22nd to July 4th.  I am grateful to him, for the hard work he put in on this project and for the assistance that he received from the Chairman.  The loco proved to be quite an attraction at Dorman’s and I am sure we may receive some benefit from the resulting publicity.

Other Rolling Stock

Apart from the stock already on site you will have read in this issue that the two open wagons and the Cadbury van have now been delivered to Chasewater.  These have also bee joined by the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the LNWR Brake bogie van.  The ‘Paddy’ coach and the TPO coach are due in the very near future and also the GER six-wheeler.   This will only leave the Royal Saloon, and the Committee have agreed in principle, subject to various safeguards, that this vehicle should be placed on loan to the Midland Railway Project Group at Derby.  Should the Group decline then arrangements will be made to transfer it to Chasewater.

From this you will note that all our assets will be at one site and there is a lot of work to be done on them.  John Elsley has already offered to repair the roof on the Maryport & Carlisle and to do other jobs on it so that it may be available for the Bank Holiday weekend.  A start has been made by Bob Ives and Phil Dunning on repainting one of the open wagons.  There is plenty of other work to do particularly reproofing jobs and if John Elsley can have two more members to assist him he is prepared to tackle the GWR Brake, the LNWR Brake and the SECR Brake roofs, so that they may be watertight before the winter sets in.

Another top priority will be the laying of the other siding in the compound so that all the stock may be put under lock and key.  It is imperative that this work should be completed as quickly as possible and as many hands as possible will be needed.  I should like to see this job done before the middle of August and if we can get a real good turnout we should be able to meet this deadline.  Is it too much to ask, in spite of the holiday period?

Well that’s about the size of it.  There is plenty to do and enough to keep 50 members fully occupied between now and the end of the year.  We can find plenty of tools and materials to do these jobs – what we also need are the hands to do them!

You have read what six members can achieve when pushed hard, please try and think what 30 regulars could do at a more leisurely pace if I could persuade them to turn up on site each Sunday afternoon for the next two or three months.

Won’t you give it a try?

A. Holden, General Manager, Chasewater Site.