Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces, No.80, December 1977
The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter
Chasewater News 22 – Part 1
Barry Bull, Hon. Sec. of the Chasewater Light Railway Society, asked for his Secretary’s Report be included in the Newsletter and as it is a very good description of the state of the Society as a whole, here it is:
Hon. Secretary’s Report 1976 – 1977
The past year saw at least one intensive period of activity, this came during the final preparations for ‘Transport Scene’, general all round improvement was made in several directions during the year however.
Two locomotives were steamed during the year, ‘Invicta’ and ‘Alfred Paget’. ‘Asbestos’ being stripped for a major boiler test, the results of the first part of this test are unfortunate in that they show that repairs are required to the firebox, which could cost us a couple of hundred pounds to repair to the boiler Inspector’s satisfaction. Both Invicta and Alfred Paget had repairs to the motion, re-packing glands, etc., carried out on them and both soldiered on. Every steam loco on site had some paint or preservative treatment applied and this should help improve our image considerably, only Asbestos now looks really shabby.
The two ex. Worthington diesels also received attention and Planet No.1 was repainted. Plans for next year include the overhaul of L & Y No.1.
On the rolling stock side of things, the main improvement came with the Chasewater Light Railway Company’s decision to have the DMU trailer repainted by outside contractors, this was duly arranged and completed in time for service on ‘Jubilee Weekend’. The livery is maroon, with black underframes and grey roof. Transfers and lining are to be applied by next season’s running. Other important work carried out on coaches included the necessary re-panelling of our TPO. Roof repairs were also carried out on this vehicle, but to date these cannot be said to be entirely successful. Some of the goods stock was repainted also. Unfortunately the heavy rain we had during a good part of the year did little to improve the paintwork on our two prize exhibits – the MSL and Maryport & Carlisle coaches.
The small relics collection continues to expand, albeit slowly, due to lack of available cash. However one or two astute deals were pulled off during the year and we can boast the acquisition of some quite rare items because of them. Several members have helped by taking home items to restore and a good standard of restoration has been reached on several items. The ex. Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump was put back into a steamable condition, giving us an extra steaming exhibit on Transport Scene and Bank Holidays.
Much hard work was put into trackwork, this not being helped when the main pillar of the diesel crane suddenly snapped under the strain. The necessary repair work was carried out and the crane is now fit for service. A point was laid in preparation for a storage siding to hold the works train, by our platelayers’ cabin. The platform was extended and a lever frame installed on the platform, together with the erection of a fixed distant signal, albeit in a rather peculiar spot. The platform area was also improved with the erection of lamp standards and installing several boundary markers and portable notice boards.
Train services operated on the time-tabled dates but poor weather on many days prevented the making of fantastic profits.
‘Transport Scene’ was obviously the highlight of the year, being easily the largest single event ever staged by the Society. However, we must not allow the euphoria gained by this event to blind us to the fact that as a money raising exercise it can only be described as a moderate success. Remember it was primarily to raise money that this event was set up. In saying this, it was very pleasing to hear the many favourable comments of exhibitors and visitors alike. It is to be hoped that we can cement our current good relations with several of the exhibitors at our ‘Gricers’ Day’ event on October 9th and indeed at another ‘Transport Scene’ in 1978. Whilst mentioning exhibitions it is worth noting that the best profits yet resulted from our annual Model Railway Exhibition – these profits in fact approaching those made at ‘Transport Scene’.
On the Social side of things, regular monthly meetings were held in Brownhills during the winter. An enjoyable and informative time was had by those who attended, but once again attendances could be said to be a little disappointing. Several speakers from outside the Society have been arranged for the forthcoming season’s slide and film shows, so please support us and them with your attendance. I must close with the most important item on our minds during the year – that is the purchase of the BR owned loop. The price of £5,400 has been agreed between British Rail and Walsall Metropolitan Borough and we hope to get access to the line around next January. Much work remains to be done before we can run a regular service on this section and this work will obviously cost money – this, coupled to the fact that we must pay for the track plus the Council’s pound of flesh in increased rents puts us in a somewhat embarrassing position. Our Chasewater Track Fund has not been very successful due probably in part to too few people having time to push it, so may I ask those who feel they can help in any was to contact the Society.
B.J.Bull – 17.9.1977