Tag Archives: Steam

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces No.87, Gricers’ Day.

Chasewater Light Railway

Gricers’ Day

8th October 1978

In recent years the final steam day of the year, on the second Sunday in October, has taken a different form from the normal twice-monthly summer season steaming.  Amongst popular attractions with photographers has been the freight train run pasts at intervals during the day and this will again feature.The success of the first steam spares and tools sale held at Chasewater last February has prompted the organisation of another similar event to coincide with this ‘Gricers’ Day’.  The idea of the sale is to provide an avenue for preservationists to get together, discuss mutual problems and conduct exchanges or sales of parts and tools surplus to their own requirements, but perhaps much sought after by other preserved lines.

Alfred Paget with Asbestos and one of the Kent Construction diesels – 1976

At least two locos will operate during the day – ‘Alfred Paget’ built by Neilson & Co., Glasgow (works no. 2937 of 1882), the oldest loco regularly at work in the Midlands, and ‘Invicta’ built by Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd., Kilmarnock  – 2220/1946.  It is likely that one of the two Kent Construction diesel locomotives will also see use during the day, as well as the 5-ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane (formerly steam powered).The ex Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump will also be steamed and a 1929 ex West Bromwich Corporation single decker bus has been booked to attend.

Merryweather Fire Pump

Apart from the Chasewater Light Railway Society sales stand which enjoys a good reputation locally for reasonably priced Railwayana, we would ask you to support the other stalls attending today; at the time of writing these are expected to be Mercian Model Rail, selling both new and second-hand model railway items and who also enjoy a reputation for fair prices, Walsall Railway Museum and Winchcombe Railway Museum who specialise in relics, the Princess Elizabeth Society who are in urgent need of funds for re-staying their famous LMS Pacific, and finally the Worcester Loco Society who carry a reasonable range of books.

We hope that everyone attending has an enjoyable and interesting day out, perhaps even an amusing one – how about a real ale tombola for instance?

For those wishing to partake of liquid refreshment, opening hours are 12.00 – 14.00 hours, the nearest hostelry being the Pear Tree Cottage Inn (Ansells) on the Hednesford Road where excellent cheese flans, etc., can be obtained, or the White Horse almost adjacent to the A5 road heading south which serves an excellent pint of Banks’.

Review of the Year

The year has been both happy and sad for the small but faithful band of followers of the Chasewater Light Railway, January was a disastrous month as vandals broke into the compound and set fire to our former Easingwold Railway MSLR coach, completely burning out the brake end and destroying materials contained therein, as well as partially damaging the exterior of the LNWR brake third which thoroughly deserves the nickname ‘the football special’.  Our grateful thanks go to the Transport Trust who have granted the Society £275, being approximately half the cost of materials needed for renovation, although this cannot take into account the number of man hours needed to restore the vehicle.

Following the fire, thought was given to moving one or two of the wooden bodied coaches elsewhere for safekeeping, but as the obvious answer lay in providing covered accommodation at Chasewater this matter was pursued with renewed vigour and two buildings have since been acquired.  Both are of agricultural type – one has been dismantled and removed to Chasewater; the other, larger, building has still to be dismantled.

New arrivals during the year included S100, a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T No.1822/1949, privately owned and previously preserved on the Yorkshire Dales Railway, Embsay.   The loco is presently being dismantled to enable firebox repairs, de-tubing and wheel turning to take place.  The whole project will probably take another three years to complete (still counting!).

5263 P 0-4-0ST 917-1902 Albright -Wilson Peckett

Through the kindness of the Directors of Albright and Wilson Ltd., Peckett 0-4-0ST, 917/1902 arrived on loan together with coal, 27 spare boiler tubes and various tools.

The day following the arrival of the Peckett saw the arrival of the Smith’s of Rodley 5-ton diesel crane, a purchase from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Victoria Dock, Birkenhead.  The crane’s first job on arrival was the lifting of the two tanks off S100.

To enable the purchase of the BR owned 600 yards of double track immediately beyond our present operating limit to be effected, the former LBSCR E1 loco was sold to the Lord Fisher Loco Group, Cranmore (see previous post). The monies from the sale of the loco together with that put aside from donations, etc., has given the railway a financial security never enjoyed previously, although this will be greatly depleted when the £5,400 purchase price of the track is paid.

Current projects include the erection after repair of the former Manchester Ship Canal water tank, and the preparation of the oil-fired Peckett (The Colonel) for a major boiler examination.  The Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ is being de-tubed and the boiler sent away to Park Holland for the raising of the foundation ring about four inches to overcome the problem of badly wasted corners at the bottom of the firebox.  A complete retube with tubes purchased earlier this year will follow.

It is hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will be able to take advantage of the Government Special Temporary Employment Scheme whereby lads of nineteen plus, out of work for a period of at least six months can be employed and paid their wages by the Government.

1979 promises to be a year to look forward to and it is to be hoped that some of you visiting us today will return again next year.

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. 73

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 73 – Dec 1976

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News – Part 2

Outline Planning Permission has been granted for an engine shed between the platform and the crossing.  Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a suitable building which could be obtained cheaply or be donated is urged to contact the Hon. Sec.  Also needed are sources of cheap, good condition crossing timbers and sleepers, the latter preferably concrete.

Whilst on the subject of wants it is interesting to note that a small group of members have been trying to purchase another locomotive for the line, but have been outbid on three successive occasions.  The locos in question were the Bagnall 0-4-0ST at Northampton Power Station, the Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST at Carlisle Power Station and most recently, a Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-4-0ST at Leicester Power Station.  With the current prices being paid for locos it may be that we need more cash.  Any offers of help should be directed to the Hon. Editor.  We have several more locos in the pipeline, all of which are in, or near to, working order.  We really want an 0-6-0ST or Tank, but these are few and far between and so a four-coupled is more likely.

Littleton Colliery. A successful open day was held here on November 20th, many RPS members being in attendance.  The Austerity No.7 performed in its usual vociferous style.  Thanks are due to Messrs. Matthews and Worgan of the National Coal Board.

Austerity No.7 at Littleton

Winter Work Programme. This is largely centered on the long awaited completion of the platform and installation of a lever frame.  Associated trackwork. Manly involving packing, is already in hand.  Other projects are the dismantling of ‘Asbestos’, general maintenance and tidying up and when the weather improves, a start on re-panelling the TPO.  Once again more help is needed and no offers refused, don’t be shy, we don’t bite!

The loco shed siding is also due for laying before Easter, involving construction of another point.

Museum Exhibits. Despite the break-in several interesting items have been added, notably a Cannock Chase colliery bridge plate – many thanks to Mr. Clift of Chase Terrace for this unique item.

Cannock Wood with Asbestos at Chasewater

E1 Locomotive – ‘Cannock Wood’

The E1 locomotive came into the possession of the Railway Preservation Society in 1964.  Had it not been for the RPS the locomotive would probably have been scrapped at that time.

From that time until the present, it has received a couple of coates of paint and a tidy up sufficient for a Boiler Inspector to shake his head in dismay at the firebox.

Its future depends on you! As some of you will recall, the AGM of 1975 gave the Committee permission to sell the E1 as a last resort to raise cash for the purchase of the British Railways section of track and land.

The Walsall Metropolitan Council, it would appear, will be unlikely to supply the cash for the purchase of land and track, although this has not been confirmed.

Two verbal offers have been received for the E1 and a written offer is being obtained by the Committee from the interested parties.  The locomotive is likely to bring in £3,500 which is probably about a third of the cost of the land and track.

Notice of Meeting

A meeting will be held at Chasewater at 2.30pm on the 22-1-1977.

The meeting will be for the purpose of bringing interested parties together with a view to the following:

1.    To set up a restoration fund to purchase the E1 from the RPS at current price.  The fund should be a separate body from the RPS.

2.    After purchasing the Locomotive, raise the cash to restore it.

3.    Operate the Locomotive at Chasewater.

It should be noted that only a few months are available to raise the first £3,500.  If we have the ability to do that, we have the ability to restore and operate it.

If we are not able to raise the purchase price, the Locomotive will be better off elsewhere, where it can be restored and operated.

Remember

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.

Built 1877  Brighton Works.

No.110.

Name: ‘Burgundy’

100th engine built at Brighton Works under Stroudley.

Sold 1926 to Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Ltd.

Name: ‘Cannock Wood’

No.9

Sold 1964 to the Railway Preservation Society.

1877 – 1977 Centenary

No other locomotive of this type survives.

Happy 100th birthday ‘Cannock Wood’

A.W.Haywood – Chairman RPS

The following is from the East Somerset Railway website:

Withdrawn for a second time in 1963, the engine was sold to the Railway Preservation Society and stored at Hednesford until 1970, when it was moved to the Chasewater railway. There it remained until sold to three members of the East Somerset Railway, finally arriving at Cranmore in September 1978.

A general overhaul was commenced in 1986 and it returned to active service in 1993, painted in green livery and numbered 110. It pulled it first train in service on Sunday 24th October of that year. In 1996, No. 110 could be found transporting visitors to the Festival of the Sea on Bristol’s Harbour Railway. Unfortunately, firebox problems resulted in No. 110 being prematurely withdrawn from traffic in 1997.

During 2000, work commenced on stripping the locomotive down to assess the extent of the firebox problems, after which the locomotive will be rebuilt. Current progress on this project can be found on the <a href=”http://www.railwayweb.com/clf”>Cranmore Loco Fund website</a>.

In 2012, B110 was sold to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, in return for LMS Ivatt Class 2 no. 46447 moving to the ESR. The railway plans to restore the engine and run it as No. W2 Yarmouth, which was an identity previously worn by one of the Isle of Wight-based E1s.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 62 – July & October 1973

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 62

From RPS Newsletters Nos.3 & 4, July – October 1973

One short newsletter and one a bit longer so I thought I’d put them in the same post.

From No.3

Due to the grand summer weather our train running operations have proved very successful, this of course has also been enhanced by having the DMU trailer unit now in regular service, our train crews have carried out the job of keeping the wheels rolling most efficiently.  Members wishing to participate in train duties should report to Steve Allsopp for instruction.

Neilson 0-4-0 Locomotive

This locomotive has now passed its boiler test successfully and is now in the process of being re-assembled.  I understand that the main bearings are being re-metalled.  The whole project is in the capable hands of our General Manager, Derek Luker, with Keith Sergeant acting as chief assistant.  We are heavily indebted to these two members for sticking to the job.

MSLR CarriageMSL at Easingwold – R.Cromblehome

Restoration of this vehicle still continues, also a long slog by John Elsley. John would appreciate a little more help with this vehicle.  Anyone who is reasonably skilled in woodwork should report to John Elsley.

The platform building had been slowed down due to the train operations, and the Railway held a very successful Railway Exhibition at the Forum Theatre in Cannock. Very many thanks to all the people who set up the stands, acted as stewards, and in particular, to Rob Duffill and his team of ladies who manned the refreshment bar.

From No.4

The running season had been a good one, helped by an excellent summer.  Restoration work and maintenance will now continue throughout the coming autumn and winter months, weather permitting.  Priorities, I understand, will include trackwork, embankment restoration and completion of the platform.

Restoration work on the Neilson continues – should be in steam next year.

Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Asbestos

This loco has finished for the season, and now enjoys a well-earned rest.  Boiler fittings have now been removed and the boiler washed out.  The fitting flanges are to be reseated prior to the forthcoming boiler tests.  This work again is in the hands of Derek Luker, our hard-working General Manager.

MS & LR Carriage

Excellent progress is still being maintained by John Elsley, Nigel Hadlow and Albert Haywood, cracked panes have been replaced with new ¼” plate glass (at a prohibitive price), painting still continues, the teak centres can actually now be seen on the Mansell wheels.  John tells me he hopes to restore the compartments to the original as far as possible.  This vehicle is proving well worthy of preservation and is a credit to John and his team.

Maryport & Carlisle Railway carriage

Work has now started on the panelling of this vehicle, under the capable hands of Andrew Louch.  It is indeed gratifying to us all that our historic ‘Maryport’ is at last receiving restoration attention.  After being in service for a full season last year, the vehicle is undergoing a refit and later a repaint.  More about this at a later date.

Worthington Diesel No.20

This vehicle has now received attention from Brian Piddock and is again in working order, after lying idle for many months, it is a very good job done and I’m sure we are all grateful to Brian.

Chasewater Terminus Platform

Work still continues on this very vital asset.  Lawrence Hodgkinson is in charge of this project, the Council have helped with a good graded red ash approach to the platform, and provided car parking facilities.  I’m sure the Society is most grateful for this help.

Derailment of No.21 Diesel

A derailment occurred this month (Sept) during the hours of darkness, the above diesel came off the road when towing the DMU into the compound around 8.00pm.  Two slabs were loosened on the platform and the driver, Lawrence Hodgkinson, somewhat shaken.  A team of stalwarts (6) worked until 11.30pm by the light of Tilley Lamps to re-rail the locomotive, this was finally achieved and both loco and carriage shunted safely into the compound.

A.G.M.

The AGM was well attended this year, it was followed by the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd. AGM.  A special train took members a trip down the entire length of the line, this consisted of the L & Y No.1 Petrol Loco and the GWR 16 ton brake.  Slides were later shown in the DMU carriage, this depicted work done over the season on and around the site.

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

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits and Pieces 52

Chasewater Railway Museum

Bits and Pieces 52

Thirty Years Plus Ten

Travelling Post Office

Much as I enjoyed reading about Chasewater Railway in thirty years time, it never stood a realistic chance of happening.

After the cessation of coal traffic in the 1960s the line over the causeway was abandoned and the causeway itself fell into disrepair.  The track was lifted and passenger traffic suspended for a number of years. The main part of the 30-years-on idea had also gone missing in the intervening years – the line from the proposed Norton Junction to Norton Crossing.  The track which ran below the dam for the Swag pool was lifted and presumably sold for scrap.   The idea of a railway with a main line and a short branch disappeared.

It was not until 1985 that regular steamings began again, but in the intervening three steam-less years, membership had dropped by some 50 per cent. The Society deemed it necessary to prune its stock as it was realised that without an injection of cash, the whole affair might fold. The L&NWR Travelling Post Office went to Tyseley, a small “Planet” diesel went to Brian Roberts’ Tollerton Farm Railway, while individual members purchased two steam locos and one diesel loco in order that they could remain safely at Chasewater.

IN 1993 a successful scheme to restore the causeway was started.  About 120,000 tons of fill material were imported to the site.  This work was completed in 1994 and Lakeside Station was reopened in December. From 1985 till the reopening of Lakeside trains only ran push-pull from the old station to the Willow Vale Bridge.

Since 1995 a great deal of work has been done, firstly to extend the line to Chasewater Heaths and Chasetown.  Next came the new Brownhills West station and yard, to replace the old station and compound, now buried beneath the M6 Toll.  The engine shed was refurbished and another station opened at Chasewater Heaths – finally, so far, the Heritage Centre was built to hold the heritage stock and Museum.

The 30-years-on idea was not to be, it would have been fun in my opinion, and at that time, as stated in Post No.50, the rolling stock was owned by the railway – no steaming fees to be paid.  Of the stock mentioned in Post 51, the E1 left, never having steamed at Chasewater.  The Hudswell Clarke also has never steamed here – but it is still with us, although not owned by the railway. The Peckett went too, although we now have another one.  The Royal Saloon and Travelling Post office have also gone.

The Royal Saloon

Chasewater Railway Museum – Inside the Museum Coach

Chasewater Railway Museum

Inside the Museum Coach

(A while back!)

This was before my time at the railway, it always looks so clean and tidy!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Nos. 49 & 50 Late 1969

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No 49

From the Mercian of September 1969

Secretary’s Report – A.A.Chatfield Acting Hon. Secretary

Vandalism at Hednesford

It is my sorry duty to inform all members that as a result of a break-in by some unknown gang of juvenile delinquents the interior of the Royal Saloon – our most priceless vehicle – looks as if it has been under the axe of some demolition contractors.  Irreplaceable panelling has been deliberately smashed in, interior door panels including glass mirrors stove in completely and a wanton trail of damage to the tune of at least £150 done to the interior. (A great deal of money some 40 years ago!).

The police have been to the depot but without some positive information they are unable to do very much at this stage.  The depot at Hednesford is vulnerable seven days a week and until the stock is moved to Chasewater en bloc where it will be afforded more protection then we are going to suffer even more vandalism which will not only delay the restoration process, but increase our expenditure and, what is more important, lose us our most valued working members to whom these sorts of acts are extremely disheartening.

Then followed an appeal for £800 to move the bogie vehicles at least from Hednesford to Chasewater.

The acting Hon. Treasurer, Laurence Hodgkinson, repeated the appeal and stated that, if the work at Chasewater continued at its present rate, the compound would be ready for the stock from Hednesford by the Autumn.

Amongst the new members joining the Society – B.J.Bull Esq.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No 50

The next three posts are sort of connected.

The first sets out the thinking behind the Railway Preservation Society,

The second takes a look into a possible future for the railway.

The third tries to give the reason why  the second didn’t happen!

 

From the Editorial of the November/December 1969 Mercian

Food for Thought

It has often been said that the first ten years of marriage are the most difficult and if this is any yardstick then our first ten years have been one continuous struggle.  Members may ask the question ‘Why?’ when they can see all around us other schemes, which are as little as two years old, flourishing with membership in the thousands.  Here we are in our eleventh year and what have we got to show for it?  May I try to explain a very subtle difference between our Society and other schemes which flourish around us and leave us completely in the shade?

We are a preservation Society first and foremost, we are not interested in ‘playing trains’ on some unwanted British Railways branch which can be snapped up for anything from £200 to £400,000 in order to be re-opened as a tourist attraction with weekend traffic to satisfy the ‘locals’.  Our first aim is to preserve, what we do with the items after that depends a great deal upon what they are.  Our range is therefore very extensive, running from a button to a carriage or locomotive, and to this end our record at the moment is pretty formidable.

We do not rely, as do many of our competitors, on other people loaning us locos or rolling stock with which to operate, we have paid for all our relics the hard way – THEY ARE OURS.

You might then ask ‘but if we are a preservation group only, why are we hoping to run trains at Chasewater?’  This can be answered quite simply.  We are restoring, within the confines laid down by the Local Authority, a stretch of track which formed part of the old Midland Railway branch line from Brownhills, and by restoring I mean every sleeper, chair, nut, bolt and rail completely from scratch, in other words, preserving something which is part of the local railway history.

Obviously it would be a complete waste of time if after doing this we let the track become derelict again, and so primarily for the benefit of our members and also for the enjoyment of the visiting public, we hope that we shall be able to put some of our assets to workup and down the short stretch of line which has been relaid.

We have started from scratch, from the ballast upwards, that is where our difference lies from the other preservation groups around us who are enjoying more success.

It seems that every enthusiast will interest himself in a scheme if he can be an engine driver, but when it comes down to relaying track, restoring locos and carriages or doing the other thousand and one back-breaking menial jobs that have to be done he just does not want to know.

Who is going to be the loser in the long run?  I do not think it will be our Society because we have so much in preservation experience from the bottom to the top to offer and yet still have a long way to go.

‘We have never had it as good’ if I may alter a well known saying. (For those who remember Harold MacMillan – Prime Minister 1957/1963).

Other schemes may fade away when the novelty wears off or when setbacks arise but we have had more than our fair share of setbacks over the past ten years and we have learned to take them on the chin and what is more, to come back fighting again as full of spirit as ever.

Pockets may be very deep when it comes to paying out hard cash and this may be very good for the enthusiast’s conscience, but when you ask yourself honestly – ‘am I really preserving?’ – is the answer always YES. I often wonder.  After ten years as a Society may we all hope that the next decade will see the realisation of the efforts which have been put into the Society by a list too long to mention.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 48 Mercian July 1969, plus a few photos from 2009

5448 Wimblebury No.7 0-6-0ST H 3839-1956 June 1969 Hunslet

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 48 Mercian July 1969, plus a few photos from 2009

From the Mercian of July 1969

Following a disagreement the Committee published a special message announcing the resignation of the Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and Vice-Chairman.

The acting Hon. Sec. A.A.Chatfield put together a report at short notice, stating that the usual progress is being slowly maintained, but more hands were still needed.

Mike Lewis had been packing the track near the compound and helped to alleviate the flooding problem.  Steve Allsopp and Brian Hames have completed the overhaul of No.21 and have given her a spanking new coat of paint.

Derek Luker has been working on the steam locos with his small band of helpers and ‘Asbestos’ is now ready for a hydraulic test.  New tubes are on order for the other locos and it is hoped to deal with them as soon as labour becomes available.

A limited amount of maintenance has been started inside the Royal Saloon thanks to Richard Middle and Arthur Chatfield, again a couple more members here would help out, particularly while the weather holds good.

Two of the younger members whose names escape me at present have been putting a coat of protective paint on the E1, again a much needed job well done.

From time to time we get requests from various bodies and individuals to help in storing rolling stock and in particular steam locomotives.

I feel that in the interests of all concerned it would be a sensible idea to say that while we have every sympathy and will try to advise such bodies and individuals, we cannot offer any hope of storage space either at Chasewater or Hednesford.  Our present commitments with our own existing stock preclude us from offering help.  I would ask all who read this to realise the difficult position that we are in with regard to this matter, for it is better to put you in the picture than to disappoint you later.

Make no mistake about it however, for as soon as we are able I am sure that we shall assist all we can.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 47, Mercian April 1969

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 47, Mercian April 1969

Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire coach pre-Chasewater

 

This post was taken from various reports in the Mercian of April 1969

This Mercian seems to cover March/April and May/June 1969.

There as a new Editor for the magazine and the poor man in charge appears to have similar problems to any other magazine – a lack of articles!

 

Secretary’s Report – T.G.Cousens

After slow progress during the winter months at Chasewater, in which time only the arrival of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln Railway coach broke the monotony of packing the track with red ash, progress is again in evidence.MSL Coach at Easingwold

The appointment of Mr.A.Holden to General Manager has seen marked changes in only a few short weeks, the most noticeable being the complete levelling of the compound and laying of track foundation into it.  Behind the scenes however, small departments have been formed to work on various aspects of the line with people responsible for each of the allocated tasks.

However, working parties are small so progress will be slow – do we have to wait until the line is operating to see 90% of the membership?!  Why not come down one Sunday afternoon and do a bit of shovelling, things will then begin to come to life.

A successful Open Day was held in conjunction with Messrs. Courtaulds Ltd., Coventry and organised by Gerald Wildish with the Company.  Many visitors arrived to photograph the two Pecketts, one, ‘Rocket’ was seen at work on the Foleshill Railway.  Many items were sold from the RPS stand which resulted in a fair profit to us.

The exhibition team was also at work at Huyton, Liverpool, at the preservation exhibition, the Open Day at Chasewater during the Easter week-end and the Stafford Railway Circle exhibition.

Well done to the members who attended these stands, especially the Huyton one.

The Barclay ‘Colin McAndrew’ was in steam on Easter Sunday and Monday under the able direction of Mike Lewis and Derek Luker.  She unfortunately blew a tube on the Sunday but after a quick trip by Rob Duffill (our hero!!) to Hixon for a spare, the locomotive crew replaced the defective tube and raised steam for a second time the same day!  No stock was hauled because of work required on the track – members please note.  Until this work is done Open Days will be severely restricted, so may we see more of you assisting at Chasewater.Colin McAndrew at Greening Wireworks, Warrington.

From the Public Relations Officer’s Page – G. Wildish

 

The first mention was of the next Open Days, June 28th and 29th 1969, with the expectation of large numbers of visitors and asking for members to come along and help.

There was a request for more photographs for the cover of the magazine, which unfortunately do not reproduce very well.  The Foleshill Railway Open Day had to be cut short and apologies were given to anyone affected.

A number of publications were mentioned – ‘Preserved locomotives of the World’ and ’Narrow Gauge Steam 1969’ for which a second impression is being prepared, later to be followed by ‘Narrow Gauge Steam 1970’

A publication for continental travellers – ‘German Steam’ has been prepared by an RPS member, so the Society is getting half of the profits, with thanks.

The final two publications were – ‘Railway Modeller’ which contained an article by Gerald Wildish and ‘Railway Enthusiasts Guide 1969/70’ which contained some information about the RPS.

There was an appeal for funds to move a locomotive of the Taff Vale Railway, and another appeal for volunteers to join a ‘paint in’ at Chasewater to give the rolling stock a much needed coat of paint.

Chasewater Railway Museum Jan 1969 Bits & Pieces 46

From the ‘Mercian’ of January 1969

From the Secretary’s Report  – Trevor G. Cousens

On 21 September 1968, the Society held its 9th Annual General Meeting at the Pear Tree Inn, Brownhills.  The attendance was very poor considering the attraction of a steam trip down the line afterwards.

After the meeting, sandwiches were supplied by Pete Parker, proprietor of the Pear Tree, and then members crossed the road where in brilliant evening sunshine stood the Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST, (Colin McAndrew) immaculate in green and red, with polished brass and copper-work.

Members were invited on to the train comprising the Midland (or Coal Board) brake van, the Midland brake coach and the Great Western brake.  The train departed with Mr. Civil driving and Mr. Luker firing, the team, who with Mike Lewis had so painstakingly restored the locomotive.  She was opened up to pull the train up the 1 in 50 bank to the causeway causing the steam pressure to drop rather drastically to 40 lbs per square inch, but this is probably the longest run the loco has ever made without running over the same tracks twice, and its small boiler and firebox being designed more for a 3’ 6” gauge loco, this is not surprising.

Over the causeway, we ran on to the shore again until we were held up by some rather enthusiastic ditching by Bob Wormington, which caused the loco cylinders to come into contact with the spoil.  We ran on until we reached the end of the line, where a stop was made to raise steam for the return journey.  The loco was once again admired by the members, its rather peculiar mechanical pump a feature of interest on the running plate.

The return journey was made almost without incident, a point switched the wrong way round caused a minor sensation, but we returned safely to the Compound, where some rather complicated shunting was carried out before putting the engine to bed.  In fact, it was 9.00pm and dark when Laurence Hodgkinson finally put the diesel in with the rest of the stock which had been parked in the loop out of the way.

So ended the third RPS steaming at Chasewater, giving some encouragement to those who had worked so painstakingly to make this event possible.  But, it made one think about the amount of work still to be done, principally on track, but also on locos and stock before these steamings become a regular feature.

In the Treasurer’s Report by Frank Harvey, it was noted that, among others, Mr. R. Duffill  joined the Society!