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Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.82

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 82 – March 1978

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 23 – Part 1

Editorial

The operating season is now a mere fortnight away as I write this Newsletter and despite a fair response to the appeals in the last Newsletter, the purchase of the line is still as precarious as ever.  To date we have raised £1,200, less than 25% of the total amount of £5,400 required.  It is quite clear that some drastic action will be required during the next six months in order to effect the purchase of the line, the favourite course of action amongst the ‘hard-core’ at Chasewater being the sale of the E1 locomotive ‘Cannock Wood’ for reasons already expanded upon in these pages and elsewhere.  Suffice to say it is time for those who care to stand up and be counted (many members already have) or accept the consequences.

(No, we haven’t!)

News from the line

Much activity during the winter has been centred upon putting in a new siding leading up to the platelayers’ cabin.  Access to this siding is controlled by a two lever ground frame which marks the start of interlocking on the railway.

It is intended to extend the siding up to the crossing at a later date and outline planning permission is available for construction of a building over the siding.

The present end of the siding has a railbuilt buffer stop – another first at Chasewater.

Work is now concentrated upon improvements to the two points leading into the compound and the installation of their associated control gear which will, in due course, be controlled by the platform lever frame after the running line has been slewed to clear the extension to the platform.

The extension to the platform will be built once the worst of the frosts are over.

The platform fence has been painted black, Midland style, and a box-van body is being acquired to be used as a waiting room and to provide some much needed shelter.

The bookstall now sports a new roof, by courtesy of Adrian Pearson, and it is actually waterproof!  The brothers Grimm have been noticed performing strange exercises which, apart from resulting in the bookstall being repainted in Midland Railway colours, are reputed to be in readiness for the ‘forthcoming influx’ (of visitors I presume!).

The rear compartment of the DMU coach has undergone refurbishing, which has included repainting the roof, seat frames and heating ducts, re-covering the seat backs and a thorough clean.  The rest of the coach is to receive similar treatment next winter.

(I don’t know if it’s just my reading of this section, but it gives me the impression of being much more optimistic than past articles.)

Locomotives.

Invicta – this is currently being prepared for the new season, its yearly boiler test not being due until July, when it is hoped to give it a final top coat of paint.

Alfred Paget & Invicta – Gricers’ Day 9-10-1977

Alfred Paget – currently being prepared for its annual boiler test and it should be back in service by May.

Asbestos – The hydraulic test will take place within the next few weeks, when a final decision will be taken as to whether the necessary firebox repairs can be afforded.  Hopefully the money will be forthcoming as ‘Alfred Paget’ is due for its six yearly hydraulic test next year.

Work involved entails lifting the saddle tank, stripping of boiler cladding and lagging to expose the boiler, repairs to the saddle tank and overhaul and refitting of all boiler and cab fittings. Mechanically the loco is sound. The loc is to be renamed ‘Colonel’ using the nameplate off the now scrapped Hudswell Clarke loco, latterly at Granville Colliery, as a pattern.

Lion – Following a change of ownership, plans are being made to give this loco its six yearly major boiler test during the summer, with a view to steaming it at the tail end of the season.

05406 The Colonel 0-6-0ST HC 1073-1914  at Granville 12-6-1964

The name is doubly appropriate as ‘Lion’ started its working life at Woolwich Arsenal, whilst the name ‘Colonel’ conjures up visions of Colonel Holman F. Stephens the godfather of light railways, and who would probably be highly delighted at the current set up at Chasewater.

Long standing members will recall that the loco was originally purchased minus safety valves.  Happily the recent sale of loco spares held at Chasewater was of particular value, as a pair of Ross pop safety valves were obtained suitable for the loco.

It is considerably less than pleasing to report that on the afternoon of Monday 23rd January someone broke into the compound and deliberately set fire to the brake end of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln coach.  There can be no doubt that this was a deliberate malicious action and if it wasn’t for a sharp-eyed resident of Hednesford Road then every wooden bodied vehicle in the compound would have been razed to the ground.

The damage is estimated to coast at least £1,000 to repair.  Allied to this fire, has been the theft of several items from the museum coach on three separate occasions.  It is interesting to note that all three break-ins occurred during the school holidays.  Two vacuum gauges, lettered MSL, were not recovered from the wreckage of the coach, though it is of small comfort that they were, in fact, BR gauges with false lettering.

The nature of the break-ins suggest that the person(s) responsible were familiar with the way things are run at Chasewater and the nature of the stolen items suggests that they knew what they were after and knew where to get it from.

The Police have been informed, but as it was the 270th crime reported in Brownhills in the first five weeks of the year, it is unlikely that they will have any success.

Changing the subject, it is indeed pleasing to report the acquisition of two more locomotives for use at Chasewater.

More about these next time!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 81

More from December 1977

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 81 – Dec 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 22 – Part 2

Editorial

We are well into the close season on the railway and as usual the volunteer force has dropped, leaving the real ‘hard core’ of members to wade about in the mud and watch their fingers turn blue with cold.  Despite these hardships some work manages to be done.  However at the present moment in time we need money, more than anything else in the world – we need money!  In fact we need £5,400 by March.  If we don’t have this money by then we shall be in debt to the amount we have failed to raise, as the bank have promised a loan of £4,000 to be repaid over a twelve month period from the day the loan is taken.  Now it is blatantly obvious to even the most starry – eyed member that there is no way that our Society can raise up to £4,000 to repay a bank loan in twelve months.  This is the sixth Newsletter I have written in the past twelve months (in itself something of a record) and in each issue there has been an appeal for money to buy the line and each time the response has been minimal.  Gentlemen, I put it to you this way, unless each and everyone of you (and I mean everyone) donates (or loans) the Track & Development Fund £40 then the ambitions of the Company and Society will fail to have been realised and we will be confined forever to running over 500 yards of single line from nowhere to nowhere, that is until the members get fed up with the lack of expansion that would be possible and then the Society would fold – a miserable reflection upon members past and present.

So the task is simple – £40 from every member (pay it in over a year and it’s less than £1 per week) or tear up your membership card as the Society will fold.

All monies to be paid to the Hon. Treasurer.

News from the line

Another season has come and gone before we’ve noticed and it came as rather a shock on the 9th October to realise that this was the last steaming until March of next year.  However the past season has been the most successful one ever, over 12,000 visitors having come to the railway and despite the worries over money, etc., next year should be even better.

Work going on has centred mainly on the tractor which has suffered a worn out cam shaft which cost the Society £50 it can ill afford.  Apart from that, work has been of the routine maintenance variety, ‘Invicta’ and ‘Alfred Paget’ being put into store until next March when they should pick up where they left off in October.  The fate of ‘Asbestos’ remains undecided until a hydraulic test in undertaken to ascertain the condition of the boiler tubes.  If many tubes blow then the engine will surely become a static exhibit until such time as the necessary money can be raised.  Negotiations for further motive power proceed on three fronts, however mums the word as they say (at least until the next issue).

AGM notes

This took place on 17th September at the Pear Tree Cottage Inn in Hednesford Road.  The meeting was opened by the President, Dave Ives, who pointed out that it was action, not words that were needed and that £5,400 must be raised by March, 1978.  Unless positive steps can be taken, then we can forget the rest of the line.  Around £40 was needed from every member and if this was not forthcoming not only would we lose the line but we would also lose the backing of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, which would be extremely sad as the Society is 18 years old this year and should have ‘come of age’.

The Meeting went on through the Agenda, the next item of importance was when it was unanimously decided to change the name of the Society from the Railway Preservation Society to the Chasewater Light Railway Society, as this was more in keeping with the aims and interests of the membership as represented by the meeting and would avoid confusion when dealing with the Press.  It also strengthens conformity between the Society and the Company.

The motion to sell theE1 locomotive to the Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary Restoration Fund was scrapped due to their inability to say that they would provide the necessary money by March 1978.

From AGM of the Chasewater Light Railway Company

Mr. MacMillan stated that it was not proper to appeal to the public for money until concrete proposals for the end of the line had been drawn up and planning permission had been obtained.  These plans were in the course of preparation and planning permission was 99.9% as Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council sees the railway as the biggest draw in the park and, apart from money, they would give as much help as they could.  For this reason alone it was ESSENTIAL that the loop line was purchased by the Society to prove to the Council that we were worthy of support and it is up to the membership i.e. EVERYONE READING THIS NEWSLETTER to pay for the line if the membership are fully behind the plans for the future.

Without determination the project would fail and the onus is on YOU.

We are at the end of the beginning – and hopefully it is not the beginning of the end

.Pictures from Lawrence Hodgkinson’s Collection.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 79

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 79.

These ‘Bits and Pieces’ were taken from old magazines and publications going back over more than 40 years. If anyone should want to do this in another forty years time they will obviously struggle because these days there are very few magazines to get information from.

This can create difficulties for the Museum as we get queries from time to time and sometimes refer to the magazines for dates, ets.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 79 – Aug/Sept 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 21 – Part 2

To continue – Enthusiasts’ Day October 9thIn past years the last steaming date of the year has seen unfamiliar activity, usually the use of the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln coach instead of the DMU.  This year it is proposed to put on a few extra attractions in the hope of attracting a good crowd of gricers and general public alike.  It is proposed to have two locos in steam, one on passenger trains and one on a freight train, with photographic runpasts at suitable intervals.  Several vintage vehicles, notably buses and cars are expected to be on display and a ‘mini mart’ of upwards of six sales stands will be present, offering a variety of goods of railway interest.  Several ‘dead’ engines will be on photographic display and several relics, not normally on display will be visible.  In addition, the ‘Merryweather’ fire pump will be doing its thing, perhaps even roasting chestnuts.  There is little else of steam interest this late in the season, so please make every effort to attend and tell friends, etc., and let’s end the season on a memorable note.

Admission – 30p for adults, 15p for children, including a free train ride!

On a grander scale, the Severn Valley Railway holds its ‘Enthusiasts’ Weekend’ on September 10th & 11th.  12 locos will be in steam.  Of special note are:

  • BR2-6-4T 80079 – recently restored and immaculate.
  • GWR 4-6-0 6960 ‘Raveningham Hall’ – recently arrived from Steamtown, Carnforth.
  • GWR 4-6-07819 ‘Hinton Manor’ – the latest ex. Barry engine to be restored and making its debut on public trains.

Raveningham Hall

There are many other attractions and a frequent train service employing five makes of coaches will be in operation.  The best chance to see ex. BR steam in a genuine setting and thoroughly recommended.

Transport Scene 23rd & 24th July

This was certainly the most important event on the RPS’s calendar in the last five years and although it was hard work I think its success is proved by the fact that everyone spoken to enjoyed themselves immensely, whether members of the public or members who spent three days on site to help in the multitude of tasks that needed doing.  It is unfair to single out anyone for praise as it was teamwork that made the event a success, ably led by our captain, Andrew Louch, who reports as follows:-

“Well as some of you will know, this event has been a success, although I must admit it had us guessing right up to Sunday morning.  Over the weekend we netted a grand total of £1,014, which is our best ever for a single event.  However, expenses came to £764.84, which left a profit of £249.16.

I would like to thank all our members who helped, including some less familiar faces, which goes to prove that our pleas for help don’t go unheard.  I would personally like to thank our Chairman, Albert Haywood, for organising the arena events and making up the original commentary which put the BBC to shame!!

We have decided to hold another ‘Transport Scene’ next year, so if you have any ideas for improvements then please let me know!”

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No 78.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 78 – Aug/Sept 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 21 – Part 1

From the Editorial

Negotiations regarding the purchase of the line are fast approaching a climax and soon we will be obliged to undertake heavy expenditure for two to three years before any benefit from the additional length of line can be gained.  We therefore need every member to rally round and help the railway in any way they can.  We have proved that the railway can be run successfully for 1,000 yards or so and hopefully it will be three times as successful when we are running three times the length – remember, the best is yet to come!

News from the line

The compound has been tidied up during the season, especially for the ‘Transport Scene’.  Recent visits to preservation sites in West Yorkshire confirm that Chasewater has done much to shake off its ‘scrapyard’ appearance and no longer languishes at the bottom of the league table in regard to tidiness.

It is now up to all members to keep the place tidy, especially in putting kit away at the end of the day.

Lancs & Yorks No.1

Bob plans to restore ex L & Y ‘petrol pudding’ No.1 during the close season and a return to Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway colours is mooted.

The platform has been extended to include a lever frame, built with considerable ingenuity by General Manager , Derek Luker.  The next task is to extend the platform down to the signal.  This will be the full length needed at that end of the line.  When this is done the track will be re-aligned (if necessary) and work will start on interlocking and signalling of the layout.  This, coupled with completion of the new siding, should keep the ‘track gang’ well occupied until the middle of the winter period.  On the locomotive side both ‘Alfred Paget’ and ‘Invicta’ continue to handle the train service with consummate ease.  ‘Invicta’ now sports a uniform coat of Great Western top coat, but further external renovation is beyond our capacity at the moment, (where are you Mike?) whilst ‘Paget’ remains much as it was.  ‘Invicta’ has had much maintenance done to it by Derek Cartwright and Mick Webb in between steamings to make it a more efficient unit.  Bob Wormington has kept diesels Nos. 20 and 21 serviceable and improved their reliability considerably. 

Hibberd No.1 Ex Pitsteel

The ex-Pitsteel Hibberd (No.1) has had a repaint by courtesy of Messrs. Bull and Patterson and the same team have given the Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST a further coat of paint.

Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST

Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ awaits a visit by the boiler inspector.  It is hoped to avoid excessive expenditure by operating the loco at reduced boiler pressure for a couple of years.  Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ has had its boiler washed out and appears to be in excellent all round condition apart from a leaky water tank.  Its owner is looking into the possibility of returning it to coal burning when restoration is commenced, hopefully before the end of the year.  In the meantime it has had a further coat of paint.  Andrew Louch has resigned as head of the carriage and wagon department due to excessive commitments and has been succeeded by John Elsley, who has really made his presence felt by starting the long-awaited re-panelling of the LNWR Travelling Post office.  Already a third of the vehicle has been re-panelled by John, aided by Derek Cartwright, and Dave Ives has removed much of the paint off the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln coach in preparation for a repaint.  It is intended to get all the coaches in a similar external condition before doing any internal work.

Mr. J.C. James of Huyton, Liverpool has purchased a 1,000 gallon pillar tank from the Manchester Ship Canal at Pomona No. 4 Dock, Manchester.  This will shortly be removed to Chasewater for erection adjacent to the platform.  This will greatly ease loco watering and we are indebted to Mr. James for acquiring it.  (This tank replaces the ex. GWR tank which ‘disappeared’ in 1975, only scorched grass giving a clue to where it had gone).

Museum Acquisitions

Recent acquisitions have included a GWR trespass plate, an LNWR cast iron boundary marker and several LMS concrete boundary markers which will be placed at suitable places alongside our line.

Also obtained have been several railway postcards, including two LNWR official postcards.

Perhaps the most interesting acquisition has been some Seacombe, Hoylake and Deeside paper work by courtesy of Mr. Ray Franks of Great Barr.

It is pleasing to note that following the appeal for cast iron signs to be painted, several members have come forward to offer their services.  Several remain to be done, so there’s scope for anyone who fancies it.

Board Room Notes

Since its resurgence earlier in the year, the Chasewater Light Railway Company has undergone a great deal of internal change.  Sales of Shares in the Company have gone extremely well, 57 shares having been sold since the turn of the year, bringing in £285.  Sales are going well enough for the Company to seek to extend its capital from £2,000 to £10,000.  This will be done at the AGM.

A development fund has been established into which all money raised for any development project will be paid.  This will save a multiplicity of funds and will ease administration and expense.  (NB: the ‘E1’ fund remains a separate entity, being a project by a specific group of members).

E1 Notes

There is much of interest to report as the Committee meeting of 18th August it was agreed, in principle, to sell the ‘E1’ locomotive to the ‘Stroudley E1 Loco Centenary Fund’ for the sum of £3,000.  This is subject to ratification by the AGM of September 17th and also to the drawing up of a suitable set of terms agreeable to both sides.  The real outcome of this is that the E1 will remain at Chasewater, will stand a better than evens chance of restoration to working order, and the RPS will get a cheque for £3,000 which will be a substantial deposit for the loop line.

Late News

The water tower from Manchester arrived safely from Manchester over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

‘Asbestos’ has had its ultra-sonic boiler test and needs £300 worth of welding and riveting repairs to three corners of the firebox.  It now awaits a hydraulic test to ascertain the condition of the boiler tubes before repairs can proceed.

We will have access to the whole of the line soon, in all probability from 1st January, 1978, to enable essential work to be carried out.  August Bank Holiday Sunday was the third best day for passenger receipts ever, over 1,000 people being carried.

The Model Railway Exhibition over the weekend of 3rd, 4th September was a roaring success, a total profit of well over £200 being made.

Chasewater News was written by Ian Patterson typed by Dorothy Ives and printed by Robert Ives through the courtesy of the Vicar of Colwich.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.77

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 77 – June 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 20

The Editorial pointed out  that the more active members of the RPS are just getting over the ‘Jubilee Weekend’ to be straight away flung into the run in to the ‘Transport Scene’ weekend – the same dozen or so have to carry on the normal operating season as well!  There followed the usual appeal for more help, but explained that ‘if the response to this appeal is the usual one, then I’ve been wasting my time, but unless we get more active support then the Chasewater Project will go backwards, not forwards, and disillusionment will set in amongst the members, ending in the folding of the RPS in the not too distant future.  I’m not being alarmist but unless we are able to purchase the loop line then the active membership will be decimated and that is fact, remember ‘Bridge that gap – buy a Yard of Track’.

News from the line

There’s been plenty going on at Chasewater since the last report.  On the locomotive front ‘Invicta’ passed its boiler and steaming tests and is in the final stages of a repaint, whilst ‘Alfred Paget’ carries on regardless, being smartened up in between steamings. ‘Asbestos’ has had its tank jacked up and boiler lagging removed in preparation for an ultrasonic boiler test, which will ascertain what, if any, repairs are necessary.  Depending upon what the result and cost is, it will be reassembled as a static exhibit or be returned to traffic, hopefully the latter.

The DMU vehicle has been professionally repainted in maroon livery at great expense.  It is to be lined out and have transfers added as and when time permits.  The repainting of this vehicle has, in my opinion, been the greatest step forward taken by the railway for some considerable time.  The interior of the vehicle is to be refurbished during the wintertime.

The extension to the platform continues and the lever frame is being installed with associated interlocking and track improvements.

Stop Press: it is hoped to acquire Hednesford No.3 signal box to house the lever frame, negotiations with BR are underway.  The station has been improved by the installation of two gas lamp standards and a few cast iron signs to give a more business like appearance.  The present terminus will be named ‘Brownhills West’ on completion of the platform.

Further up the line much packing and levelling, along with spot sleeper replacement, has gone on in order to finish off the present stretch of line and to give a smoother run.

Operating Days

As you may realise we are chronically understaffed on operating days with the brothers Curtis performing sterling work in the bookstall as well as being the usual guard/ticket collector crew and managing to be in three places at once.

Train receipts are down on last season, mainly due to the inclement weather of our operating days.  Easter Monday has been the most successful day, over 700 people taking a journey.

Over Jubilee weekend, another RPS first was notched up, with trains being run on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, all being hauled by the Neilson locomotive ‘Alfred Paget’.

No.11 Neilson 0-4-0ST 2937-1882 Taken at either Bedlay or Gartsherrie, still working for a living!

Receipts were poor and the Tuesday steaming was done mainly for good public relations, 93 people from the Hednesford Road street party being given free rides to strengthen relations between the railway and the local people.  This has also resulted in a good publicity plug, as we were the only railway to run in conjunction with a street party.

The TPO roof is now watertight and re-panelling of the sides will take place in due course, whilst its tarpaulins have been placed over the LNWR 3rd brake coach in order to hide it as it continues to fall apart!

The GWR brake van has suffered at the hands of some juvenile delinquents who set fire to it.  Fortunately damage was confined to the verandah but restoration will not be speedy unless someone volunteers to take it on – outside of the usual workforce.

Chasewater Light Railway Company notes

The Kraken hath awoke and the first AGM for eighteen months was held in April.  The Board are now trying to formulate future policy for the railway in conjunction with the RPS Committee and hopefully sensible plans will emerge in the next few weeks, details of which will be placed in the newsletter for members’ comments.

Track Fund

Only £120 has been raised so far, a pathetic reflection upon the concern about the future of the Society by the members.  Money is needed now as time is running short.

E1 Fund

Most of the money so far raised has been spent on advertising.  If you feel you can contribute anything to this fund contact us.

The locomotive has been inspected by Messrs. Barlow of Warrington, a reputable firm of boiler makers, who have given an extremely reasonable set of quotes for repair of the locomotive boiler.  Time is running short if this locomotive is to remain at Chasewater as the AGM two years ago instructed the committee to dispose of the loco as a last resort to buy the loop line, and unless someone pumps a hell of a lot of money into either the E1 fund or the track fund, then the Society will have to face what seems to be inevitable – the loss of our only ‘local engine’ which is also  our only ‘main line’ loco, and the  most interesting of all our locos.

Notes from Barry Bull Hon. Sec.

The arrival of a complete 7¼” gauge railway, with a steam loco, heralded a possibility of something being in steam every Sunday at Chasewater this summer.  Unfortunately the loco blew its superheaters on a trial steaming and has been relegated to a static display.  The loco is based on the Southern Region ‘Schools’ class of loco and was one of a pair built in 1934 and so is a worthy exhibit in its own right.

Items purchased or donated during the past few months include an LNWR ‘Beware of the Trains’ sign, a concrete GCR boundary post, a few items of LNER cutlery, a selection of Kent & East Sussex Railway paper work, a Wemyss Private Railway rule book and a sign of LMS origin.

Transport Scene July 23/24

Rapid developments regarding this event have taken place and the organiser sent the following note for inclusion:-

‘This event is aimed at raising money towards our track fund and towards giving our railway a publicity boost.  This is perhaps the most important event to have been organised by the RPS so far, so I would have thought that some of our armchair members would have offered their services to our already hard pressed stalwarts.  However, this does not appear to be so.  In fact, so far, I have received only three offers of help.  We are in our most critical year, which could literally make or break our Society, so please, please help us, even if it is only in a small way’.

‘Chasewater News’ is written by Ian Patterson, typed by Dorothy Ives and printed by Rob Ives.

Chasewater Railway Museum – Bits and Pieces No. 76

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 76 – April 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 19

Editorial

With the operating season nearly upon us, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the same few regular volunteers will be responsible for the operation of the railway during the coming season.  Appeals for extra help during the closed season have had the usual minimal response but the usual crowd have ensured that the railway will reopen as scheduled on the 10th April.  In many ways the RPS is the Cinderella of the operating preserved railways, but it reflects great credit upon the dozen or so people who have turned up week in, week out, enduring rain, sleet and snow, that we have entered our sixth season of steam-hauled services, which promises to be our most successful yet.

Locomotives

Pride of place must go to the ancient Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’.  Although built as long ago as 1882 it passed its steam test on 17th March with flying colours.  This was the result of much hard work by the engineering department in re-machining parts of the motion, which had earned it the nickname of ‘shake, rattle and roll’ in some circles.  The planned repaint for the Neilson has had to be delayed due to the adverse weather conditions.

‘Invicta’ the Andrew Barclay saddletank has passed its visual inspection and now awaits re-assembly of cab fittings, etc., and then a steam test before re-entering service again.  Its owner is still threatening to complete its restoration by giving it a uniform coat of Great Western green!

Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ repairs are beyond our financial resources at the moment and so it has been put to one side until we have the necessary cash.

The next major locomotive job is to strip the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in preparation for its major hydraulic test.  The two Worthington diesels have had repairs as and where necessary and are both serviceable at the moment.

Lion in 1978 with ‘Colonel’  Plate

It is pleasing to report that the Company are financing a complete repaint of the DMU trailer coach by a local firm of contractors, in the early stages of the season.  The expected final livery is grey roof, crimson lake bodywork and black underframe and running gear.  Great progress has been made with regard to trackwork with the construction of a point for a siding at the crossing.  This took less than a month despite the fact that the recently restored petrol crane broke its main shaft whilst lifting the first piece of rail into place.  Several crossing timbers were obtained by our general manager at a bargain price.  Ballasting and packing has been completed, considerably eased by the use of the tractor and bucket scoop, kept in trim by Brian Hames.

The footings of the lever frame have been laid.  The necessary walls should be built during Easter week, enabling the platform to be extended to its full length.

Other work carried out on site has been mainly in tidying up in preparation for the coming season.  A scrap drive resulted in a load of scrap being sold to bolster the Society’s coffers.  The sale of the engine out of the scrapped J4 van realised £25.

The Travelling Post Office has been partially re-roofed, with more to follow to make it water-tight again.  Re-panelling of this vehicle is to commence when the weather becomes drier.

The visit to South Yorkshire area of the Coal Board 9mentioned in the last Newsletter) was not entirely unsuccessful, as, although we failed (only just) to obtain the locomotive ‘Beatrice’, the Hon. Sec. was successful in obtaining many locomotive spares, notably boiler tubes and firebars from Rockingham Colliery.

Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary FundNo.110 Southern No. 4

Not a lot to report this month, but ads in Railway Magazine have been paid for to counter the apathy amongst Society members.  A rather neat handout has been produced and is obtainable.   Certain preservative work has been done on the locomotive and a repaint is planned before the high season.  More help and money is urgently needed for this project to succeed.

Track Fund

Negotiations within Walsall Council continue and a final decision is awaited.

The Chasewater Light Railway Company has awakened from its apparent siesta and a general meeting will shortly be arranged.

Meanwhile all members are urged to take up the offer of buying a yard of track, as the success of this fund will decide the fate of our Society.  Albert Haywood is the person to contact regarding the track fund and every £10 donation is certified.

Museum

Thanks are due once again to Mr. Clift of Chase terrace, who has donated a 25 ton locomotive jack, once used in the Central Workshops at the far end of our line, and a pile of magazines for resale.  On the museum front latest acquisitions have included a Great Western and Midland Railway joint cast iron notice and two very nice bridge numbers of Manchester South Junction and Altrincham and West Riding and Grimsby Joint origins.  Smaller items include a GWR paycheck, an LNWR (Walsall) paycheck, an LNWR 1894 handbill, LSWR carriage blind, a small GWR cream jug complete with crest and six LMS tickets, mostly from the Brownhills area.

The March meeting was a slide competition and there were close on 100 entries of varying quality, though every entrant had at least one slide in the last twenty.  The competition was won convincingly by Nigel Canning’s photo of ‘Asbestos’ taken from within the dark confines of the cab of the Hudswell Clarke.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces 75

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 75 – Feb 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 18 – Part 2

On 26th January Barry Bull, Adrian Pearson and myself (Ian Patterson?) journeyed up to the North Yorkshire area of the NCB to inspect some redundant steam locos for possible purchase.  On the way up we visited Rom River Engineering of Lichfield and noticed the unique Kerr Stuart diesel alongside the ex-Cadbury’s North British diesel hydraulic.

Further north we passed the Butterley Headquarters of the Midland railway Project Group.  I understand from Derek Cartwright that our Royal Saloon, at present on loan to the Group, is at present undergoing considerable restoration at Derby Carriage Works.

The first colliery we visited was Ackton Hall at Featherstone.  This revealed a surprise in the form of Bagnall Austerity No. 2746 of 1944, which had arrived the previous week from nearby Prince of Wales Colliery.  This loco is of great interest to me because it used to work over the Shropshire and Montgomery Line.  The other engine at the colliery was the purpose of our visit, being No.S119 ‘Beatrice’, a 16” inside cylindered six coupled loco built by Hunslet, No.2705 of 1945.  This engine was in excellent condition, the fitters confirmed this, wishing it wasn’t for sale.  This engine is of the same class as ‘Robert Nelson No.4’ and others which worked at Littleton Colliery.  We also enjoyed a trip down the line to the BR exchange sidings on a diesel with the chief fitter, who told us several interesting facts about the history of the colliery and its locos.

The next colliery visited was Parkhill Colliery which revealed S102 ‘Cathryn’ a six coupled Hudswell Clarke side tank No.1884 of 1955 of the PLA Class.  This too appeared in excellent condition but inspection of the boiler report confirmed to the worst our suspicions about its firebox which needed well over £1,000 worth of repairs.

‘Monckton No.1’

Passing under the footbridge into a very quiet looking Embsay station – possibly the last train of the day? Note the bunting on the station and the stone flags through the gap by the ticket office and cabman’s shelter.

(c) Tom Ireland

North Gawber Colliery revealed a rather battered Austerity Hunslet 3212 of 1945, which was unlikely to be saved.  The same colliery also revealed another Austerity ‘Monckton No.1’ HC 3788 of 1953 which is spare engine at the colliery.  Out of the three on offer, we have bid only for ‘Beatrice’, an engine of ideal size for use at Chasewater.

The recent ARPS meeting at York was also of interest, several RPS members travelling up on BR, who managed to put an engine with no form of heating at all on the front of the train!

The National Railway Museum is well worth a visit, but the display of small relics is very poor and if the officers there care to visit Winchcombe Museum they will see what can be done with railway bric-a-brac.

David Ingham from Bury, Lancashire, England

One of the two preserved Princess Royals, 6201 Princess Elizabeth at Castleton East Junction signal box.

The meeting itself was of interest as the Annual RPS Award was given to the Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society, a sister group of the RPS, for their efforts in restoring ‘Lizzie’ to main line condition despite enormous odds.

Well done the ARPS in choosing such a worthy group of so few members as opposed to one of the larger, richer groups, and Well Done the ‘Lizzie’ Society, in achieving such a remarkable feat.

It is pleasing to note that the Police have recovered many of the stolen objects from the museum vehicle, though the fact that the culprits were aged nine and ten is not so pleasing.

Recent acquisitions have included:

1.    A diamond weight restriction sign of Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation origin (once owned by MSLR)

2.    An Oxford Canal Navigation sign.

3.    Sharpness New Locks and Gloucester Canal Company weight restriction sign

4.    Two different sets of six official LNWR postcards from the early 1900s.  One set depicts castles and the other, Welsh Inland Resorts.

We now have 58 different LNWR official postcards, but over 1,000 different ones are known to exist.

Important

Pic from Barry Bull’s Collection

The RPS is organising a Transport Festival at Chasewater Park over the weekend of July 23rd and 24th.  This will feature vintage cars, buses, steam rollers and traction engines as well as the RPS.  We need your help for this venture, the first of its kind to be held by us.  This event may prove vital to our finances this year.

Late News

On the second of February an open meeting regarding the financial aspects of the RPS was held.  This meeting was very poorly attended despite the fact that many members were aware of its existence.  Despite this setback it was decided to launch an appeal to buy the loopline.  The people present were seen to represent an accurate cross-section of active RPS members and a majority of the executive committee were present to authorise the steps taken.  In brief these were:

1.    To set up a fund to purchase the loopline, as a proposed rent of £1,400 per year is beyond the Society’s reach.

2.    This appeal is to go under the slogan of “BRIDGE THAT GAP, BUY A YARD OF TRACK”.

3.    Money shall be raised by donations, those exceeding £10 or in multiples thereof being certified as representing the purchase of one yard of track.

4.    There will be no ceiling on the appeal as in future years the NCB may press for purchase of the northern end of the line.

5.    All monies raised will be placed in a Building Society to maximise its purchasing power.

6.    This appeal will be fully advertised in ‘Railway Magazine’ and ‘Railway Modeller’ as these are the two magazines with the highest circulation in their field.

7.    Handbills will be produced and sent to all interested persons and visitors to Chasewater this year.

8.    All RPS members are urged to start the ball rolling.

BRIDGE THAT GAP, BUY A YARD OF TRACK

The future of the Chasewater Light Railway depends on YOU.

Steam Loco Drivers

Albert Haywood, Chairman of the RPS, has asked me to inform all members of the need for fully trained drivers for the season’s trains.  To this end, training will be given at Chasewater before the start of the running season.  All persons wishing to be considered should apply in person or in writing to Albert.  When a list of all members wishing to take part is gained then a scheme of training and passing out will be drawn up.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.74

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 74 – Feb 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 18 – Part 1

From the Editorial

Recent activity at Chasewater has mainly centered on general maintenance, including some considerable tidying up of the entrance to the compound.  Footings for a lever frame have been dug at the present end of the platform and we now await some good weather to mix the necessary concrete.  The flat wagon on which the petrol crane sits has been re-timbered and strengthened and the crane itself has had some much needed maintenance.  On the locomotive side, work has been centred on the Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’ which has been re-assembled after its boiler test.  The coupling rods are at present dismantled to enable the crosshead slippers to be replaced with a spare pair which have been re-metalled.  It is hoped this will cure some of the knocks emanating from the front end of this engine.

Neilson in 1978

Extracts from the report of the visit of Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate to Chasewater on 22-7-1976.

1.    Major Olver stated that he was quite satisfied with the present mode of passenger operation at Chasewater.  He asked that a facing point lock be fitted at the end of the main running line.

2.    When the tipping within the park has stopped, a concrete raft with the rails set into it should be installed at the road crossing.

3.    There is a major problem of trespass in the region of the causeway which is used as a public right of way.  This problem must be looked into in detail before the Society even thinks of running trains along this section of line.

4.    The arrangements for repair and restoration of locos are perfectly satisfactory.

5.    In reference to the need for a Light Railway Order, Major Olver explained that the section of line owned by British Railways was a statutory railway and therefore a Light Railway Order was needed to transfer its ownership.  He went on to say that common sense indicated that any Light Railway Order obtained should be made to apply to the whole of the Railway.  The Railway Inspectorate and Railway Administration side of the department will be happy to advise on the question of the Light Railway Order at the appropriate time.  Major Olver suggested that the most satisfactory solution may lie in the precedent set by the West Somerset Railway, which would be for Walsall Metropolitan Council to obtain the LRO and to incorporate it into the leasing arrangements.

6.    Training for drivers – the present arrangements were far from ideal as the Society relies on its own resources to train drivers.  Major Olver stated that drivers should be passed out by an independently qualified supervisor from either British Railways or the National Coal Board.  Major Olver explained that in the case of an accident there should be no room to question the basic abilities of the loco driver to drive the locomotive efficiently.  At the present time this was not proven.  Editor’s Note – This was the only point on which we were criticised and steps to rectify this are underway.

News on the purchase of the line

The executive committee heard that the Council couldn’t purchase the land and track until the 15th July.  There appear to be two present options:

1.    The Council buy the loopline and we repay £1,400 rent for ten years.

2.    We buy and pay a nominal rent to the Council.

Much discussion is at present taking place amongst members on this question and further suggestions are welcomed by contacting the Hon.Sec.

The Stroudley E1 Restoration Fund

E1 at Cannock Wood

This body is the result of the meeting held at Chasewater on 22nd January.  Only nine people turned up to this meeting, perhaps indicating the level of interest for this project within the Society.

The first aim of the Society is to raise enough money to purchase the E1 from the Society, a figure in excess of £3,000.  There are now four Societies at least, interested in buying the E1 if the RPS has to sell it.

£155.50 has so far been raised and local press coverage has been good but due to the lack of local interest the appeal must go national.  Offers of help, monetary or otherwise, should be sent to Mr. Albert Haywood.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No. 71, April 1976

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 71

From the ‘Chasewater Express’ April 1976

I have no idea where the picture of the LP came from – it’s not on my preview or anywhere else on this post??

Editorial

Steve’s Bit

Considerable activity has been occurring on site in recent weeks. This is no doubt due largely to the long stretches of dry and sometimes mild weather. I hardly need say however, that those present were more or less the usual crowd. Still, spring is near, and the prospect of a few more members turning out occurs as a dream to those of us tied to the site every weekend. There are many fingers to be pulled out and bumps in the track to be smoothed, as well as a crossing and a siding to be laid, engines and carriages to be cleaned, painted, steamed and pulled in order to grab any stray waif, family of four or local loony for a ride, on which we depend so very much for our cash intake. The Society has ‘just about’ ticked along financially – we must this year raise enough cash for active members to realise their ambitions, i.e. re-panel and refit what is known as the ‘Football Special’

The LNWR compo brake; and more importantly, the TPO, which is in a shocking state for a vehicle of its importance.

Travelling Post Office at Hednesford.

Engines too need cash, which they tend to consume in greater quantities than coal during the period of their restoration – not to mention Keith Sargeant.

Steve Organ – Editor, Station Master and Order of the most meritorious school of tipyng errrorz.

(Listen for loud popping noises as people pull their fingers out in what for many will be their only physical response to this apple peel!)

Not to mention K.S. who complained that he wasn’t mentioned enough in the last mag!

Chasewater Site Notes

Some lunatic has stuck pieces of wood in the platform, painted them pink, and left them – saying nothing to anyone regarding them. (This is a sight worth seeing! Ed.)

Invicta arriving 1975

Mike Wood has been seen in his role as scrubber extraordinaire (Special duties – preparing his engine Invicta for painting prior to its introduction to Chasewater service, at… well let’s say ‘as soon after April 11th as possible.  Said scrubber Mike, ‘this is going to look the most impressive engine at Chasewater.  It is going to be rather lavishly lined over Easter, you know’. (Not to mention this last bit to Keith Sargeant, the Neilson freak!)

The LNWR full brake has been completely painted and laid out as a museum.  Nearly 1,500 square feet of wall space is now devoted in this vehicle to the exhibition of relics, as well as exhibits in cases therein ( not to mention the nameplates of Alfred Paget, which are to be fixed by K.S. to the Neilson at some point in the future, we are given to hope). (Vaguely).

Concrete sleepers? Bloody ‘ell mate, what do you think we are, main line to Euston?  I mean – what? Donated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries? Lying in the grass at Lichfield for years?  Enough for seven lengths did you say?  Bloody ‘ell mate, how many?  22 letters to get them?  Three cheers for DEREK JUNIOR!

The Midland is being spruced up externally and painted properly internally in order to preserve it until we have time and money to do it properly.  If any member would like to dismantle and rebuild two of the doors on this vehicle, would he please come to the site and report to Andrew Louch or Steve Organ?  Ta.

The Great Western water tower, complete with tower, tank and cap were cut up on site and removed during the week ending 20th February.  We know not the perpetrators of this terrible deed – the police have no idea.  What to do?  Someone buggered off with two tons of steel and no-one saw them.  We have our suspicions but no proof.

Credits:

Pink posts – Steve Organ

Invicta scrubbing – Mike Wood

LNWR brake – Albert Haywood, Derek Junior, Nigel Canning, Steve Foster, Barry Bull, Richard Louch, Andrew Louch (who painted the doors a different green to the rest of the vehicle – is this man colour blind?), Adrian (I don’t know his surname but he’s nearly always here).

The Midland – As the LNWR brake, plus Steve O.  Not to mention K.S., who is preparing Invicta, in league with Derek Luker and Brian Hames. Advertisements

Occasionally, some of your visitors may see an advertisement here,

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 68

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 68

From the ‘Chasewater Express’

January 1976

Editorial

Steve’s Bit

Here we are, into 1976, and once again the Society is crying out.  Crying for cash and for help.  Once again it is up to members to try and help us over the winter patch, which, as in other years, is hit by poor attendance of volunteers.  Our Society is by no means unique in this respect.

I ask you then to do this:  there is enclosed in this mag a loose membership form: persuade a friend to fill it in and send it to us.  If each member gets just one new member, then our workforce should double.  Sounds glib – but is it too much to ask?

Hope you like the new magazine.  This is the ‘cheap’ winter edition, with duplicated insides, but the summer edition – in April – which will be on wide sale to non-members, will be a classier affair altogether.

Your adverts are welcome – send them to me.  I intend to widen our circulation by acting as a ‘Notice Board’ for vendors and collectors of Railwayana.

Steve Organ, Hon.Editor

Steve Organ has now taken over the editorship of the newsletter, though he tells me that he is going to modify the format slightly.  I must thank Steve for relieving me of the job, which has at times been rather difficult to achieve due to business commitments,

We are in the winter now and a difficult time to try and maintain our stock and locomotives at Chasewater due mainly to a lack of covered accommodation.

We are now in our sixteenth year, and can be fairly called a viable society; we do emphasise, however that we must have all the help that anyone can give, to continue to be viable.

Laurence Hodgkinson and I made a very enjoyable trip to Ludgvan, near Penzance, during November, and collected six gas lamps intact from an old GWR clerestory body – this entailed a lot of hard work, particularly for Laurence, who had to cut through all the plumbing.  We returned through fog, gale and rain to offload the lamps at Chasewater around midnight that evening.

Our sincere thanks to Mr. Davey Thomas who owned the coach body for his generosity and hospitality.

May I wish everyone a prosperous and happy New Year – Dave Ives – President.

I hope that at least one of these lamps will be restored and on the exhibition stands this year – Editor.

Recent Happenings at Chasewater

A pump handle trolley (YES, BUSTER KEATON STYLE!) has been restored to working order after many years of use as a timber stand.  Already, since being commissioned around 1st January, it has claimed two victims.  First Rob Duffill, who has a wrenched arm, and now Barry Bull, who the Machine’s handle lifted from the platform and hurled him through the air, to be deposited, muttering oaths and obscenities, into the Chasewater quagmire. (No photographs are available so I may ask them for an action replay!!). Thanks are due to John Elsley for the restoration of this museum piece for our torture-chamber exhibit.

The line has now been relaid and ballasted to the BR Boundary, but much packing is needed.

Negotiations twixt BR and the Council continue – developments hoped for very soon.

The compound is now fully lit by 240 volt lighting equipment – thank you Brian Hames.

Invicta arriving July 1975 – D.Bathurst’s collection

Invicta, the 0-4-0ST Barclay, ex Chatham Docks, has passed its hydraulic test – steaming soon.

Staging has been erected alongside the MSLR coach for public viewing.

Harold Wilson, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister has made a donation to Society funds (true!)

Original Stones lighting equipment for the ‘Paddy Train’ LNWR bogie brake compo is on order – thank you J.C.James

The TPO has been re-roofed and glazed.

Chairman’s Message

Once again we are well into the closed season, a time when the Railway has to be made ready for the next season of passenger operation.  This is a vital time for the Society, for if we are to operate trains we must make good the wear and tear of last year and make improvements where necessary, and whenever possible, and to do these things, we need YOU!  You are the Society’s greatest asset – without you we do not exist!

Working members are about 5% of the Society’s membership – a good percentage when compared to other Societies – i.e. SVR’s 4%.  Unfortunately for us, our membership as a whole is much less than the SVR, so I would urge you to take up the Editor’s scheme – with the enclosed form get just one new member, more if you can, and really help the Society in this way – if you can’t help on site, is this too much to ask?

We will start the season with two steam locomotives and soon there will be three, next year probably another will be added – these are as well as diesels – never before has the Society been in a position of such strength, but this alone is not enough.  We need track to run on, serviceable vehicles, coaches, to carry fare-paying passengers and station staff.

Come and help us then.  Make 1976 a year to remember.  If you cannot come to Chasewater but can offer us some other service, or have constructive proposals to make, please write to us via the editor.  Best wishes for the New Year – Albert Haywood, Chairman.