Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From the Chasewater News Magazine No. 24 July 1978 – 2
‘Lord Fisher’ Barclay 0-4-0ST 1398/1915 – Pic by John CorneliusThis loco is now at the Yeovil Railway Centre where it will be restored with the Gartell Light Railway.
At the committee meeting of the 22nd March it was decided that positive action to safeguard the loopline was needed and in the view of the committee the best course of action was to offer the ex. LBSCR (London, Brighton & South Coast Railway) ‘E1’ locomotive for sale. This decision was reached after much heated discussion, during the course of the meeting Andrew Louch resigned. The rest of the members of the committee present were unanimous in their decision to sell the locomotive. The Hon. Sec. was instructed to obtain offers for the locomotive and at the meeting of 24th May it was decided to sell the loco to ‘The Lord Fisher Loco Group’ who reside at the East Somerset Railway at Cranmore, Somerset. ‘Lord Fisher’ Barclay 0-4-0ST 1398/1915 – Pic by John CorneliusThis loco is now at the Yeovil Railway Centre where it will be restored with the Gartell Light Railway.
The LFLG own five engines at present, the ‘E1’ will be their sixth locomotive and if it is restored to their previous standards, then it will be well worth a visit. They have every confidence of seeing the loco in steam during the early eighties and work will start as soon as it leaves Chasewater.
Members of the Chasewater Light Railway Society will be informed of progress upon the locomotive in this newsletter and the locomotive’s plates will remain at Chasewater as well as the unique tapered Rawnsley chimney, which will be mounted on the platform at Brownhills West.
The sale of the locomotive realised £5,000, which has virtually paid for the loopline. Appeals in the newsletter and elsewhere have raised over £2,000, which gives us room to breathe a little easier, though we estimate at least another £5,000 is needed to realise our plans for the Chasewater Light Railway during the next three years.
The E1 arrived at Cranmore, Somerset in September, 1978. The overhaul started in 1986 and she returned to service in 1993 – in green livery, number 110. Firebox problems forced a premature withdrawal from traffic in 1997. During 2000 work commenced stripping the loco down to assess the state of the firebox.The chimney is still at Cranmore, last heard of being used as a donation box.In the yard at Cranmore – Pic Bob Fowler
News from the line
The main news is that the purchase of the loopline is secure, as we have the money. British Rail granted access to works trains as from the 18th April and completion of the purchase should be made by the end of this month (July). However, this is just the start, as the line must be completely fenced before we can think of extending our services to satisfy the Railway Inspectorate and quite a bit of trackwork is needed, though generally the loop is in excellent condition.
Over Easter weekend the point at the south end of the loop was dismantled and a start made upon reassembling it on a new alignment away from the edge of the embankment. Part of the loop has been slewed to meet the new alignment and hopefully the gap will be completed before August Bank Holiday, to enable works trains to start removing scrub from the loopline. The extension to the platform is now virtually complete, lacking only coping stones before it can be put into use. The majority of the wall was built by Brian Hames over Spring bank Holiday weekend, infilled with hardcore supplied by courtesy of Walsall Council and surfaced with red ash by courtesy of Chasewater Power Boat Club.
This year has seen a welcome increase in the amount of money taken per steaming, only partially due to the modest fare increase implemented at the start of the season. After 13 steamings receipts were 230% up on last year with an average of 380 people visiting the railway per operating day.
Small Relics Collection.Recent additions to the collection include a St. Helens Canal & Railway memo; an LMS/GWR joint lines trespass sign; a Midland and Great Northern Tyers tablet (Long Sutton – Gedney) and an LNER ‘Carter to Call’ card.Tyers Tablet
Brownhills CID has apprehended two local youths (thanks to the help of several CLRS members), who are due in court shortly to explain why they were in possession of many items from the museum coach. Following the trial the missing items will be returned – at present Brownhills Police Station has a fair collection of railway relics!!
A visit to Derby Carriage Works is being arranged so that Society members can view progress on the restoration of our Royal Saloon (ex Midland Railway), which many members will know is on loan to Derby Corporation until 2020 if they take up their full option. (I think this was another of the crown jewels to be sold!)
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From the Chasewater News Magazine No. 24 July 1978
Time to get back to some Bits & Pieces – I found this article in Magazine 24.
The Society’s Pump Handle Trolley’s next adventure.
Since the summer of 1975, when three anonymous persons were jettisoned off the causeway at great speed, the Society’s pump handle trolley has been living in retirement (or was it disgrace?) off the rails, festooned with various cast iron signs.
During a recent tidy-up the trolley was ‘re-discovered’ by one of our younger members and once the day’s running was over the trolley was re-railed, oiled and found to be in a rather sorry state of repair. Gary Kay foolishly offered to rebuild the trolley, so it was decided to give it a final run prior to overhaul. The party was formed of the more lunatic fringe of the Society (though Graham has since had his hair cut) namely Messrs. Attwood, Bull, Owen, Webb, Patterson and last but not least, the brothers ‘Grimm’.
At first the run was to be to the crossing and return, but before we could say ‘every confidence’ or even ‘doom and despondency’ we were carrying the trolley across the infamous ‘gap’ (the ‘gap’ was out of the Brownhills West gate and over the bridge by the fishing pool) and onto the loopline. The loopline was found to be passable – well almost – despite a few hassles with the odd wayward bush, but an attempt at a run down the Norton branch (to the Norton East Road and Conduit No. 3, not the Pelsall to Hednesford line) was thwarted by the locals having covered the track with rubbish – everything from a three piece suite to a dead cat. After this an attempt at ascending the causeway was made, but this too was blocked, this time by several tons of hardcore tipped by the Council.
The return trip provided more excitement, a hasty start left Mr. Bull stranded brandishing a shovel, and quite a speed was attained. Unfortunately we were halted in full steam by a large overgrown gorse bush, which forced an evacuation of the trolley rather sooner than most of the crew anticipated as they were jettisoned, arms and legs akimbo, and ended up with rather sore arms and legs and backs, though the elder ‘Grimm’ was more concerned about his station master’s hat which landed dangerously near a large puddle.
After several minutes of recovery time the trolley was re-railed and a slow return to Brownhills West was made, and although it had been proved that track still existed beyond the ‘gap’ there are several members who are beginning to think that perhaps 800 yards of railway is more than enough, especially for pump handle trolley racing!!Following the successful re-enactment of the bucket-chain a couple of years ago, I asked Mr. Bull about a possible re-enactment of the trolley trip- unfortunately his reply is not for publication!
Now tucked away in the Heritage Centre
Hand Pump Trolley
This trolley was purchased (after a whip –round!) from the British Rail permanent way yard in Walsall in the 1970s. A few years later, in their 1981 session, it was renovated by students of the West Bromwich College of Commerce and Technology.