Chasewater Railway Museum Nov-Dec 1966 Bits & Pieces 38

Chasewater Railway Museum Nov-Dec 1966 Bits & Pieces 38

From the ‘Mercian’ Nov-Dec 1966 Vol.5 No.6

From the Editorial

 

The AGM has come and gone together with the light summer nights which have speeded up the work at Chasewater.  Naturally more effort has to be concentrated where most needed during the few precious hours of daylight now left.

You will read elsewhere of the progress made to date both at Chasewater and Hednesford, so that when 1967 dawns we shall be taking our next big step forward, that of running a steam train at Chasewater.

There was a report about the ARPS meeting at Portmadoc, including a request for help with funds for theJ36 and ’C’ Class 0-6-0 when required so that the purchases might be concluded.

Under the heading of affiliations the following were accepted into the Association – M & G N R P S, and the Hull Preservation Syndicate as an observer only.  The following were deferred until the meeting in London on January 21st 1967 – Severn Valley, LCGB, GWR Trust, Westerham Railway Museum, Southern Railway Club and the Loco Preservation (Sussex) Co. Ltd.

There was a short report about the ‘Forum’ magazine, which was still struggling with finances.

 

Hon. Secretary

Progress Report

Work has continued at Chasewater, the main task being the reinforcing of the embankment with fly ash, this material has been tipped into the cavities caused by the embankment fire (slow combustion), and effectively snuffed it out.

An ex Midland Railway flat wagon has now joined the fleet at Chasewater for use on maintenance work.  This vehicle together with the NSR wagon has been finished in battleship grey and appropriately lettered.  The MR wagon was kindly donated by Messrs. Thomas Boultons Ltd., of Froghall, Staffs.., of

Delivery has also been taken of the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lance’ donated by Messrs. Whitecross Ltd., Warrington.  This has also delivered to Chasewater where it has been given a quick coat of green oxide paint to repel the rust which was starting to get a hold on the superstructure.

Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST. Colin McAndrew – Considerable work has been done on this locomotive by Allan Civil and his team of ex Bagnall fitters.

We are extremely grateful to this team for all the hard work they have put in to get it ready for the hydraulic test which it successfully passed.  The loco was steamed successfully on November 13th, albeit stationary.  We look forward to seeing her at Chasewater in the not too distant future.

Restoration Work – A small amount of work has been done at Hednesford on the E1 and coaching stock.  A start has been made on refelting the coach roofs, but has now been held up due to the weather and lack of manpower.  The small relics grow apace and receive the usual loving care from Nigel Hadlow.

Mention must be made of the wonderful job of restoration done to our Wolverhampton trolley bus No.616 by John Hughes and Robin Oliver.  These two members must be congratulated on their steadfast painstaking work in putting the interior back to its original layout.

Other than a couple of mentions for the Tote and the Annual Dinner that’s pretty much the lot for this edition.

Chasewater Railway Museum Sept-Oct 1966 Bits & Pieces 37

Chasewater Railway Museum Sept-Oct 1966 Bits & Pieces 37

Taken from the ‘Mercian’ Sept-Oct 1966, Vol. 5 No.5

mr-coach-22-3-1958.jpg

Midland Coach in 1958 near to the Manchester Ship Canal

Officers’ Reports

From the Editorial

The editorial this month will be short for there are other matters which take priority.  The AGM is one and you will find that one page is devoted to the AGM notice.

It is essential that as many as possible attend so please make a very special effort to be present at the meeting.  The next twelve months and the policy to be carried out will be debated at the meeting – your observations are of paramount importance to the society, be sure that your voice is heard at the meeting.

It seemed to matter back then…..

The society have negotiated the purchase of an ex Midland Railway 4-wheeled coach in an excellent state of preservation.  The cost of £40 is being borne by the funds.  However there are the removal expenses to be found and for this purpose I would like to appeal to you on behalf of your officials for help in this direction.  Any donations should be sent to Frank Harvey, it is anticipated that about £25 will be required at least.

From the Hon. Treasurer

 

Financially the society continues to hold its own although we cannot afford to let up on any money making schemes.  The Tote is certainly our best source of income at present (prizes ranging from £4 to £35.75) but we need to improve it by selling more tickets.  Do not hesitate to contact our Chairman if you require a supply of tickets.

Subscription renewals are being painfully maintained, and there is room for improvement here.  Prompt renewals help us to budget for the next year, for we then have a good idea as to how much we have to find from other sources.  I appeal to all of you to renew promptly and of course to introduce as many new members as possible.

Around the Clubs and Societies

London Railway Preservation Society:  The latest arrival at Luton Depot is Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST number 1865 built in 1925.  The loco is owned by D. Alexander and is on loan.  She came from Southall Gas Works.

Vintage Carriage Trust:  The Vintage Carriage Trust is shortly to add another coach to the collection assembled at Keighley.  It is an 1888 GNR six-wheeled brake third.

Scottish Railway Preservation Society:  The society has just acquired what is believed to be the last ex Highland Railway Co. goods vehicle.  It is a 10 ton brake van and it is at present at Newtownmore awaiting removal to the society’s museum.

Festiniog:  Further sections of the line are due to be re-opened shortly.  Another new coach is also nearing completion; this is the fourth to come from Boston Lodge Works.  A toilet is being included in the design for the first time.

The popularity of the line continues apace with over one million passengers being carried as at April of this year.

Did you know that we once had a Trolley Bus?

First Printed in the Mercian March-April 1966 Vol.5 No.2

 

The Odd Man Out at Hednesford –  J. Hughes.

March 1964 saw the arrival of the odd vehicle in the form of Wolverhampton Corporation Trolley-bus 616.

This vehicle was a gift to the RPS by the Corporation of Wolverhampton to whom it was always known as ‘Groaner’ because of the double differential rear axle – it was the only one so fitted.  At Hednesford it is known as ‘The Trolley’.  No.616 was delivered to the Wolverhampton Corporation Transport Department on March 9th 1949 as one of 99 new Sunbeam and Guy trolley buses of similar design.  This order was destined to be the last one placed for new trolley buses, and when all the new vehicles were on the road all but a dozen or so of the pre-war fleet were withdrawn for scrap.

No. 616 continued in service without any serious accident or major body alterations for the next fourteen years, indeed the only body alteration was the substitution of winking indicators in place of trafficators and the removal of the shields from the trolley buses on the roof.

In 1961 the blow was struck when Wolverhampton Town Council decided to ‘write off’ the entire trolley bus system and replace it with diesel powered buses.  At this time there were 153 trolley buses operating on twelve routes.  These included the entire 1949 batch plus some war-time vehicles which had been fitted with new bodies, some were being done when the controversial plan was announced.

Needless to say the local papers were full of letters ‘for and against’ the trolley bus system, and it was at this stage that the enthusiasts got together to try and arrange some kind of preservation scheme.

The one who got away!

Not everyone who is a member of Chasewater Railway knows that when we were based in Hednesford, we had a trolley bus.  One member who definitely did know took the following photographs in the 1960s. 

The first one is of his brother sitting in the cab of the trolley bus, and the second is a group of young ladies posing in front of ‘Cannock Wood’ the lady in the centre is our man’s late wife, also a member.  What I would like to know is how did they get away?  Considering the fact that they were visiting the railway, it was to be some 40 years before we got any useful work out of him!  To be fair, he has been worked fairly hard since we did get hold of him – getting the full set – TTI, Guard, Second Man, Diesel Driver and Station Master, not to mention Santa.

He’s certainly proved his worth in the museum

but we are getting a bit worried about where he wants to go next!!!

Regards to  Godfrey Hucker!

Chasewater Railway Museum – 1966 May-June Vol.5 No.3 Bits & Pieces 35

Chasewater Railway Museum

1966 May-June Vol.5 No.3 Bits & Pieces 35

From the ‘Mercian’ May – June 1966 Vo.5 No.3

From the Editorial

 

The past few weeks have seen a number of developments both at Hednesford and at Chasewater.  Much effort by Melvyn Balance, Brian Hames, Frank Craddock and Ken Martin has transformed a large number of our collection of iron and brass into gleaming exhibits for open days, and I thank the lads for this useful contribution. 

Further items to arrive have been some LNWR destination clocks and finger boards from Walsall Station, some roof vents and other parts for the GER Brake from our good friend Mr. Plyer and his colleagues of the GE Society, and a load of wooden rail keys for Chasewater from the Severn Valley Society for which we sent our grateful thanks.  Other work at Hednesford has involved a general tidying up of the site for Open Day at Easter which attracted a fair number of visitors, among them two or three new members.  Particular thanks to our attractive salesgirls, Penny, Pat, Pauline, Dorothy and Jean for their help in raising just over £20 for the funds.

The work on tracklaying at Chasewater has progressed slowly but surely and has now reached the point where it becomes double track up to the museum building.  Work has been speeded up considerably no doubt because of the acquisition of our first loco – albeit a diesel – which is working up at Chasewater and is proving a boon in moving the NSR wagon and heavily laden platelayers’ trucks.

The loco has cost £50 – all subscribed for by about a dozen members – to save the general funds, and it is being recorded here for all to see that we are deeply grateful for this fine gesture.  This is only the start; we have more offers to consider.  The next one is a small saddle-tank in full working order at about £75.  How about a few advance donations??  Offers to me in the first instance, please.  More details will be given when these are to hand.  Continuing the money matters section, we have three steam locos to move from Warrington to Chasewater at an approximate cost of £250.  The Treasurer has already received a few donations as a result of the appeal made in the January edition.  However this is far from enough and we MUST move the locos within two months or we shall have to forfeit them completely.  Please, PLEASE help us to raise the ‘lolly’ before the end of May.  Contact either the Treasurer or myself as soon as possible, donations (or interest-free loans) desperately wanted.

The weekly Tote has now been launched and is going very well thanks to the faithful few who are selling tickets each week.  To date over £20 has been raised for the funds; this could be trebled if we can sell more tickets.  I do appeal to all members within range of the Depot to call and collect books of tickets for sale among their workmates and other contacts, please contact Albert Holden at your earliest convenience for tickets and full details of the Tote.

A.A.Chatfield – Hon. Editor

The Tote was run successfully for a number of years, bringing in much needed funds for the Society.

Hon. Treasurer’s Report

Planet Diesel Loco.  Members will be interested to hear that we have now acquired a Planet four wheel diesel locomotive. It was built by F. C. Hibberd around 1930, the exact date and history of the loco is, as yet, unknown.  It is powered by a Paxman 50 hp 3 cyl. Engine, and is capable of pulling several wagons.Laurence Hodgkinson

The loco has been delivered to Chasewater where it is in regular use on P. Way trains.  Members are now at work on repainting and repairing the body where necessary.  This has to be done on weekday evenings as the loco is on duty every weekend.  Any members willing to assist should contact me so that definite working times can be arranged.

It is important to complete restoration work as soon as possible as the loco is on show to the general public to a greater extent than any other item of rolling stock at the present time.

We would like to express our thanks to members Roger Hateley of Lichfield who has done all the negotiating for this valuable item of equipment.

Chasewater Railway Museum 1966 Mar-April Vol.5 No.2 Bits & Pieces 34

Chasewater Railway Museum 1966 Mar-April Vol.5 No.2 Bits & Pieces 34

Taken from the Officers’ Reports Mercian Mar-April 1966 Vol. 5 No.2

An early booking office

 

The Editorial started with an apology for the slightly poor printing in parts of the previous issue, and thanks to the members who responded to the call for more articles – still more needed!

The Editorial continued:

A certain cross-section of the Society are seething about the ex-NSR Battery loco which has been restored and which will be displayed in the Staffs County Council Museum at Shugborough Hall.

The Society wrote to British Rail more than three years ago to ascertain when this loco would be taken out of traffic.  A reply from the Company stated that our interest had been noted and that when withdrawn the Midland Area (RPS) would have a chance of purchasing the loco although no price was given at the time.

It would now appear that there has been some internal skulduggery in the Stoke Offices of British Rail and the Society has been completely passed over without so much as a letter informing them of the new plans for the loco.  It seems a pity that when British Rail change their Area Managers they also change their minds about genuine requests for the earmarking of relics.  One hopes that this practise will not spread, otherwise preservation societies will not know where they are when earmarking future items for which they have the ready money. (I must find out what happened to this loco! Now in National Railway Museum).

How many of you caught the picture of our few stalwarts working at Chasewater which appeared in the ‘Express & Star’ on February 7th???  I hope it conveyed to those who saw it that we have a crying need for more hands on the site.  We have just over a month to complete relaying up to the point where the building will stand.  We are fortunate in having some useful pieces of equipment to help us speed up the work but most of all we need a few – no, a hell of a lot more – hands to use it.  There are now Saturday and Sunday afternoon working parties, can you make one of them at least three times per month???Not the pic from the paper but you must get the point!

Laurence Hodgkinson Collection.

 

To explain the next paragraph for those of tender years!

Barbara Castle.

As Minister of Transport (23 December 1965–6 April 1968), she presided over the closure of approximately 2050 miles of railways as she enacted her part of the Beeching Cuts – a betrayal of pre-election commitments by the Labour party to halt the proposals. Nevertheless, she refused closure of several lines, one example being the Looe Valley Line in Cornwall, and introduced the first Government subsidies for socially necessary but unprofitable railways in the Transport Act 1968.

Sandplace Halt

A request stop on the Looe Valley Railway Line.

© Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It had to come – a woman in charge of the nations transport.  Already the winds of change are blowing through Transport House and many rumours have flooded the railway press concerning the fate of the present restored transport relics and more particularly those awaiting restoration.  It has been announced that the smaller relics section at York is due to be closed and it would seem that if this goes through it will act as the thin end of the wedge for Clapham itself.

Privately preserved relics are reasonably assured of safety but what of those still within the control of British Rail?  We have been told that two locos which have already been scheduled are now off the list, what others will follow?  The ARPS must unite now, to stop any acts of vandalism being carried out on these treasures of our transport heritage.  A small voice will be no good in the wilderness of Transport House, there must be a noise like the trumpets at Jericho!

Will it come too late??!!

One appreciates the difficulties involved but a concerted effort by all enthusiasts irrespective of society or railway bias, must come now.

I am sure that the ARPS will be to the forefront when the time arrives for a showdown with the lady who has a finger on the button which could destroy for ever the tangible reminders of our transport history.

More from the pleading treasurer!

In response to my appeal one or two members have donated something towards the removal costs of the two Peckett 0-4-0STs and I am very grateful indeed.  A lot more would be welcome, also donations towards the cost of the Stroudley E1, on which we still owe the NCB £100.

From the Chasewater Secretary

Thanks to my pointed appeal for guarantors I am pleased to say that the response has been overwhelming, and we have the requisite number.  My thanks to all those who made such generous offers – it brings us one step nearer to our ambitions.

Chasewater Railway Museum 1966 Jan-Feb Bits & Pieces 33

Taken from the Officers’ Reports, Mercian Jan-Feb 1966, Vol.5 No.1

 

The Editorial was largely taken up by explaining who was doing what.  Malcolm Willis was to be the Membership Secretary and A.A.Chatfield was to take over as Editor.

The present content will remain as in my predecessor’s time but I shall be introducing new ideas as I go along.

The most difficult thing will be to find ‘copy’ and you can all help by sending in articles, comment, criticisms – constructive or destructive – and anything else of both preservation and general railway interest.

I want to make Mercian really interesting from all angles – a start has been made by ‘Tre Pol and Pen’ and ‘Casey Jones’ (articles to come about branch lines and loco classes) – but there are other avenues of preservation still untapped such as railway architecture, carriages and wagons and signalling.  Who will start the ball rolling?????

Hon. Treasurer’s Report –  F.J.Harvey

I am pleased (you don’t see a Treasurer’s report start with those words very often!!) to be able to make my first report for 1966 quite a good one.  If the Society can maintain the good start to the New Year our position will be more healthy than it has been for some time.

The Society aims to complete payments on the Stroudley E1 this year – £115 is still owing.  Anyone who is interested in this locomotive is invited to send in a donation to this as payments are being maintained from the general funds at present.  Whilst talking about donations I would like to sincerely thank Mr. J. Strong and Mr. G. Wildish for their donations towards the removal of the Peckett 0-4-0STs.  More contributions are requested to this fund also.

Hon. Social Organiser –  A.L.Holden

 

A brief report about the Annual Dinner and Whist Drive – both successful, with two junior members – Andrew Horton and William Ives  – selling a huge number of Whist Drive tickets.

The Hon. Treas. and Hon. Soc. are promoting a weekly Tote amongst members and friends to raise money for the Society.  I believe that this Tote proved to be successful and continued for a number of years.   (I’ll let you know if it didn’t!)

 

Hon. Chasewater Secretary –  E. W. Barlow

Museum Building.  Without beating about the bush it will be as well if all members know that the loan repayments for the building will be approximately £245 per annum.  We urgently need members over 21 years of age to act as guarantors.  Will any such members please write to me in strict confidence NOW.  If 20 members are prepared to guarantee £20 each we shall be there.

Hon. Curator –  N. HadlowMSL Coach at Easingwold

MS & LR Coach. This vehicle, the first relic ever to be purchased by the RPS will soon be on its way to a temporary home at the HQ of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. (Lovely railway, lovely people!) To move and begin initial restoration will cost £140.  The Vintage Carriage Trust are finding this money, but have asked us to help out with as big a donation as possible.  Will all members interested in yet another appeal aimed at their pockets please send donations to our Hon. Treasurer.  Amounts over £5 will be acknowledged in this magazine.MSL Coach in Chasewater Railway Heritage Centre 2010

On Sunday January 9th we moved the ex North Staffs Railway wagon which we purchased from the Shelton Iron & Steel Co., Etruria, to Chasewater.  In spite of a biting cold wind the operation went off reasonably smoothly. (I would have been surprised if there hadn’t been a biting wind at Chasewater in January!). My thanks to all those who assisted, particularly Bob Wormington and our good friend Jake Bacon, who provided his low loader.

Judging by the old photographs of the Chasewater site, it must have been wide open to the elements with very few trees providing shelter from the wind.  Anyone who has worked on the track in the winter months, even now, especially on the causeway, deserves the thanks and recognition of all members).

Chasewater Railway Museum – Dec 1965 Bits & Pieces 32

Taken from the Mercian, December 1965 Vol.4 No.6

 

Editorial

 

As you will notice, this issue of ‘Mercian’ is shorter than we have recently been used to.  This is due to the indisposition of the Editor, Malcolm Willis, who has entered hospital.  I am sure all members will wish Malcolm a speedy recovery, and hope that he may soon return to the most valuable work which he does fro the Society.

Malcolm Willis returned to the Society, but not to the Editorship of the ‘Mercian’, taking on the role as Membership Secretary.  He did an excellent job of expanding the Magazine and would surely be missed.

This is the last edition of Mercian this year, a year which has been very rewarding for the Society.  We have realised one of our major schemes, the purchase of our branch line at Chasewater.  Work has been going on there for some months, and track-laying has gone on steadily.  Early next year we hope to have a permanent building erected, and several locomotives delivered.  If work is to go ahead as planned in the New Year, more assistance will be needed, and I appeal to all members who can help in any way to visit the Hednesford depot or the Chasewater branch any Sunday, when you will be made very welcome.

 

From the Chairman’s Report  –  A. Holden.No.9 Cannock Wood – Stroudley E1 – J.Powell

I like this photo as it shows the Valley pit in the background (left, above the wagons) and the Hednesford War Memorial in the background (right, above the carriage)  JD

Once again we are almost at the end of another eventful year for the Society with the prospect for 1966 even brighter.

A great deal of work has been done at Chasewater and at Hednesford by our gallant band of stalwarts who give their time each weekend to further our aims and ambitions.  Lots more work has still to be done and many more workers are needed to help carry the burden.

The Society is deeply indebted to one of our members, namely Dr. Plummer, for his generosity in purchasing and cost of transporting a locomotive to Chasewater.

Any Society which is to survive in these days of rising costs must have a healthy Bank Balance, and I strongly urge all members to participate in all money-raising efforts which are organised to help the Society to stay solvent.

We are fortunate in having many friends who are sympathetic to our cause, even if they are not members, who give willingly in so many ways, such as refreshments or prizes for various events, helping at Open Days and last, but not least, rummage for our annual event which Mr. Wooding organises each year.

Chasewater Light Railway Report  –  D.A.Ives.  Hon. Sec.

Good progress was made during the golden month of October.  Work has slowed down during the winter months.  However, a few real stalwart members have continued to lift and relay track in spite of cold and wet conditions.  Work parties are being conducted on Saturday afternoons, weather permitting.  Track-laying must continue during these winter months if the full length is to be completed by April.  The Chasewater party consists of approx. 12 regular members, who are now resigned to the fact that the job will have to be completed by them and them alone.Chasewater 1966 – Laurence Hodgkinson

Stop Press!!!  A strong steel door has been fitted to the platelayers hut at Chasewater, where we intend to store all our track-laying tools.

Treasurer’s Report  –  F.J.Harvey.

 

I would like to begin my report by thanking all those members who have renewed their membership subscriptions since the last issue of Mercian.  There are still quite a lot of lapsed members, however.  This is the time of year for giving, so please help the Society by sending your subscriptions as soon as possible.

The loan which was needed to buy the Midland Railway Royal Saloon has now been completely repaid.  We shall now be able to give more attention to clearing the outstanding debt on the Stroudley E1 as outlined in the last issue.

So far we have received no offers of financial help towards the transportation of the Peckett 0-4-0ST from Warrington.  As I have pointed out before, this is a matter of extreme urgency.  Unless we have some support, we shall be throwing away a working locomotive.  Please see what you can do  to help.  Any donation, no matter how small, will be most welcome.

Still not enough working members or money – but they kept going!