Sandfields Pumping Station – All hands to the pump!

Originally posted on BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog:

Sandfields Pumping Station

This is a remarkable, severe but beautiful building, now almost marooned in a sea of new development. Image from Dave Moore’s Flickr photo stream.

It’s really getting busy for top local history wonks Dave Moore, Chris Pattison and their  Freinds of Sandfields Pumping Station campaign group, who seem to be really getting somewhere with this fantastic Victorian edifice; not only has their attention prompted the fixing of the roof recently, but the listing status of the building is now under review too.

If you’d like to have a great morning out this Saturday (25th October 2014), the group are taking part in the Arts and Heritage procession through Lichfield taking place that morning from 10:30am. They’ll also have a manned stall in the Guildhall until 4pm where they’ll be talking to the public and explaining why this excellent and well-fought campaign is so important.

Dave Moore wrote:

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Another couple of Half-Term Events – Hednesford, Staffs

Another couple of Half-Term Events 

Hednesford, Staffs

Museum of Cannock Chase

H-Ford Brickworks

Friend of Hednesford Park

Lantern Walk 31st October 2014


pumpin

Come along and join in the spooky goings on! Meet from 4 pm by the gazebo near the main gate to The Park to collect your entry form for the treasure hunt.

Activities on the night will include a scary story walk, spooky disco music, and competition prizes for best fancy dressed, best lantern, best pumpkin and prizes for completed treasure hunt entries! There will also be fun fair rides, story-telling in the Pavilion and food from Spencer’s Kitchen.

There will be free workshops in the Pavilion leading up to the event;

Monday 27th October 12noon – 3pm Get ECO Creative Lantern Bottle Workshop

Tuesday 28th October 12noon – 3pm Great Ghouls Workshop

Thursday 30th October 12noon – 3pm Get creative Bring a Pumpkin Workshop

Friday 31st October 4.30 – 6.30pm Spooky Spiders Workshop

There will be a parade to show off fancy dress and lanterns at 5.45, when judging will take place by Backstreet Theatre Company. Pumpkins should be in the Pavilion by 5pm latest for judging. Event will finish at 6pm with a dance extravaganza in partnership with The Cadets and Jacquie Stokes.

And don’t forget – Chasewater Railway’s diesel Service on Thursday

08 27-7-2010 008

Canal News – October 25-26, Middlewich Floating Market, The Wartime Port – 1940s Event

Canal News – October 25-26

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Floating market in Middlewich

Floating Market
24 – 26 Oct 2014
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Address
Situated off Salinae Field/Lewin Street,
Town Bridge,
CW10 9AS
Find a unique christmas gift at Middlewich’s floating market this year – and why not enjoy some great food and drink as well?
Middlewich are playing host to an annual beer festival, artisan market and a floating market!
What better way to spend a weekend than finding yourself in the hub of delicious food, a beer festival and market packed full of hidden treasures and unique gifts.
Middlewich is a fantastic historic canal town, come and enjoy it in the autumn air. More information about the beer festival can be found here.

The Wartime Port – 1940s Event at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port

NWM 40s
25 – 26 Oct 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Address
National Waterways Museum,
South Pier Road,
Ellesmere Port CH65 4FW

The event will bring to life the key role that the canals, waterways and ports played during the days of the Second World War. Re-enactors will recreate scenes and activities of events that would have taken place during the wartime period with original and reproduction equipment and vehicles.
The Wartime Port – 1940s Event 25th-26th October
The event will bring to life the key role that the canals, waterways and ports played during the days of the Second World War. Re-enactors will recreate scenes and activities of events that would have taken place during the wartime period with original and reproduction equipment and vehicles.
Visitors can expect to see a variety of allied military personnel, as they transit through the port, civilians and civil defence workers, home guard, land army and many others. Alongside this, entertainment will be provided throughout the day by renowned singers, Paul and Natasha Harper, together with 40’s DJs, Cotton Town Hot Club. The entertainment will continue into the evening with a WWII Victory Party.

Forthcoming Events – October Half-Term – Chasewater Railway, Lichfield,Walsall

Forthcoming Events – October Half-Term

Chasewater Railway

08 27-7-2010 008Half Term – A diesel hauled train service will be running on Thurs 30th October, departs Brownhills West station at 11am, 12:15, 13:30 and 14:45.

Lichfield News

familyArtsFestival

Free art activities for children this half term

Three Spires Shopping Centre
Baker Lane
Lichfield
WS13 6NF
01543 308224

Lichfield District Council is inviting budding artists to take part in this year’s Big Draw, and join in free art activities taking place in Lichfield over half term.

Everyone is welcome to have a go at two drop-in workshops as a part of The Big Draw. This year’s theme is ‘It’s Our World’, and will see children and adults making artwork that celebrates their local environment and landscape.

The first workshop is being held at Three Spires Shopping Centre on Saturday 25 October and the second is at Lichfield Library on Tuesday 28 October. Both sessions are free and will run from 10am to 4pm.

The Saturday event will see professional artists lead a range of activities at Three Spires. Artist Saranjit Birdi will demonstrate his unique skill of drawing with his feet, and will be encouraging shoppers to try to do the same. Artist Faye Binza will invite passers-by to draw their thoughts on the theme ‘Their World’ on two boards that will fill up and evolve throughout the day. Lastly artist Jaki Bogg will help participants to create 3D animals with wire.

On Saturday there is also the chance to enter the ‘Design a Plate’ competition at The Kitchen Shop on Market Street. Children will create their designs on a paper plate, with the winning entry being turned into a hand painted plate by Denby Pottery.

The Tuesday workshop invites children and adults to use their imaginations and draw their own world on large circles on the floor. The drop-in session is running at Lichfield Library from 10am to 4pm.

As part of the local Big Draw project, professional artists have also been running drawing workshops at local schools throughout October. The artwork from the school visits and the two free art activities will go on display for all to enjoy in the Art Gallery at Lichfield Library between Tuesday 28 October and Saturday 1 November.

Celia Houghton, Arts Development Officer at Lichfield District Council who is helping to run the activities said: “Getting involved in The Big Draw is a fantastic way to get the country drawing and creating art. The free activities in Lichfield offer local people the chance to rediscover their artistic side and we hope lots of people drop-in throughout the two days of activities and then don’t forget to visit the exhibit at the library too.”

Lichfield District Council is leading this project, with support from Three Spires Shopping Centre and Staffordshire County Council. It is sponsored by Faber-Castell.

Or how about trying the New Art Gallery Walsall

Walsall Art GalleryWAG 2

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – Van Railway, Wales

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

Van Railway, Wales

Built under a Board of Trade Certificate of 3 June 1870, this 6.5 mile line linked lead mines with the main Cambrian Railway line at Caersws, opening for goods on 14 August 1871, and to passengers on 1 December 1873. The mines closed in the early
1890s, and the railway also, in 1893, but the Cambrian Railway undertook to work it, for the use of the weed-free stone spoil, crushed as ballast. It re-opened 1 August 1896, along with mines, which remained in business until 1920, the line retaining independence until Grouping. Final closure came on 2 November 1940 – a short-lived passenger service had expired in July 1879.

Route
The line ran westwards from Caersws along the Cerist and Trannon river valleys, with halts near Penisafmanledd and Y Fan. An underground railway portal has been restored at the mine site. The route can still be traced through the rural landscape today, where original embankments, cuttings and track bed still remain.

Van Rly trackbedThe former track bed.

Van Railway Track bed, near to Y Fan, Powys, Great Britain. The track bed can be seen alongside the fence. The railway ran from Van to Caersws, its main purpose being to service the lead mine near here. The mine closed in the 1920’s and presumably so did the railway.

OLU – From this image at geograph.org.uk; transferred by User:RHaworth using geograph_org2commons. License details
Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

Classic Streamliners – The Soo Line’s Sleek GM’s Electro-Motive Division F3

Classic Streamliners

The Soo Line’s Sleek General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division F3 Streamlined Diesel Locomotive

The Soo Line's Sleek General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division F3 Streamlined Diesel Locomotive

Builder’s portrait of a Soo Line EMD F3 diesel locomotive. The EMD F3 was a 1,500-hp freight- and passenger-hauling diesel locomotive produced between July 1945 and February 1949 by General Motors’ Electro-Motive Division. Final assembly was at GM-EMD’s La Grange, Illinois plant. A total of 1,111 cab-equipped lead A units and 696 cabless booster B units were built. The F3 was the third model in GM-EMD’s highly successful F-unit series of cab unit diesel locomotives, and it was the second most produced of the series. The F3 essentially differed from the EMD F2 in that it used the “new” D12 generator to produce more power. As built, the only way to distinguish between the F2 and F3 was the nose number panels on the A units, which were small on the F2 and large on the F3. The Soo Line acquired 10 of the A units, numbered 200A, B – 204A, B.

The Soo Line Railroad  is the primary United States railroad subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), controlled through the Soo Line Corporation, and one of seven U.S. Class I railroads. Although it is named for the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (MStP&SSM), which was commonly known as the Soo Line after the phonetic spelling of Sault, it was formed in 1961 by the consolidation of that company with two other CP subsidiaries, the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad and Wisconsin Central Railroad.

Steam Railways in Preservation in the 1990s – December 1993 Including Littleton Colliery

Steam Railways in Preservation In the 1990s

Including Littleton Colliery

December 1993

Bahamas shedWork begins on the removal of the shuttering at the ‘Bahamas’ Locomotive Society’s new purpose built workshops at Ingrow on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Revealed underneath them is the inspection pit which has taken the summer and autumn to complete. The ex-LMS Jubilee 4-6-0 was recently passed for 75mph running (when track and timing permits, of course) in a complicated procedure which included having the loco’s speedometer re-calibrated at Crewe Heritage Centre, its resting place between North Wales Coast excursion duties at the weekend. She returned to Keighley on Monday but will be out again on the main line, Rail Tours organiser Tom Cozens reminds enthusiasts, double-heading with Black Five ‘George Stephenson’ over the Settle & Carlisle Railway on December 18 1993 and January 1 1994. (Photo: John Fairclough

Littleton Colliery

Whiston & Wimblebury in the yard - Melville Holley

Whiston & Wimblebury in the yard – Melville Holley

The staging of the most ambitious photographers’ charter steam train event ever – over the three day period November 12-14 1993 – became even more poignant in the light of subsequent events.
Within 48 hours of the event, British Coal announced that Littleton Colliery in Staffordshire firstly under review, was to close following losses of £2.9 m since April.
And that effectively means that the sight of working steam within a working colliery environment is unlikely to be repeated.
Over 140 of the country’s leading railway photographers were invited to the three-day event, organised by Railway Magazine Assistant Editor Chris Milner and photographer Robin Stewart-Smith, together with Steve Turner and other members of the nearby Foxfield Railway. Following the success of a similar one-day event at Littleton last year, it was proposed that the event be repeated but this time using two locomotives over the full length of the pit system.
Motive power came from Foxfield, appropriately in the shape of two ex-NCB 1950s-built Hunslet 0-6-0STs, ‘Whiston’ (ex-Bold Colliery) and ‘Wimblebury’ (ex-Cannock Wood Colliery). Foxfield also brought along their recently-acquired ex-LMS brake van, appropriately out-shopped in NCB blue and yellow livery.

Wimblebury and the Foxfield Railway's brake van beside Littleton's loading bunker - Robin Stewart-Smith
Wimblebury and the Foxfield Railway’s brake van beside Littleton’s loading bunker – Robin Stewart-Smith

Llangollen Railway

Chemicals giant ICI have swapped Llangollen Railway more than three-quarters of a mile of 95lb bull-head line worth at least £25,000… for hundreds of seats for disabled and under-privileged children on their renowned ‘Santa’ services along the Dee Valley!
Imperial Chemical Industries say the site of redundant sidings is now wanted for further development at their sprawling Castner Kellner Works on the mouth of the Mersey estuary at Runcorn – and when the giant firm named their price, the North Wales line were more than delighted to oblige.
This special deal was arranged by ICI chief and Llangollen member Mr. John Rutter, who was anxious to ensure that the metals weren’t simply cut up for scrap.

Swanage Railway

Swanage Autumn Gala 1993Thousands of excited children and their parents from throughout Dorset and Hampshire are expected to deluge the volunteer-run Swanage Railway every weekend this December and the annual fund-raising ‘Santa Special’ steam trains on the relaid Purbeck Line.
And rail passengers can beat the traffic this year because volunteers are laying on a special vintage bus service from Weymouth and Christchurch – and many points in between – to the Swanage Railway. A rare 1961 double-decker Bristol Lodekka bus. ‘Nelly’ will be transporting passengers from Weymouth, Dorchester, Wareham, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

Bristol_Lodekka_F56G_-_1961_-_reg_109_DRMA preserved Bristol Lodekka FS6G/ECW at the Fleetwood Tram Sunday 2006. It was previous operated by Cumberland Motor Services, whose successor is Stagecoach North West. Bristol Lodekka F56G – 1961 – reg 109 DRMCC BY 2.0view termsTerry Wha from Bolton, UK
License details  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

BRM WilmcoteDetroitGCR

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – Stratford & Moreton Railway – Stratford-upon-Avon Railway

Some Early Lines

Old Railway Companies

 

Stratford & Moreton Railway

 800px-Stratford-on-avon_river_15a07Tramway bridge over the River Avon at Stratford-upon-Avon
Photograph of the bridge over the River Avon in Stratford-on-Avon opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
License details
CC-LAYOUT; CC-BY-SA-2.5,2.0,1.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.  Snowmanradio at en.wikipedia

This horse-drawn tramway (16 miles), authorised on 28 May 1821, linked Moreton-in-Marsh with the Stratford Canal and was laid to what appears to be one of the earliest uses of ‘standard’ gauge. It opened on 5 September 1826, and a branch to Shipton-on-Stour was authorised on 10 June 1833, opening on 11 February 1836. The Act incorporating the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway included a clause for permanent lease at £2,537-10s per annum, and it took possession on 1 May 1847, from 1 January 1852 assuming entire management. It upgraded the line, re-opening it on 1 August 1853, but the northern end became redundant when the Oxford, Worcester & Wolverhampton Railway’s Stratford-Honeybourne line opened on 12 July 1859, and was probably little used after the turn of the century. Lifted during the Great War, it was officially abandoned in 1928. The Shipston section, thanks to public opposition to the West Midland Railway which wanted to close it, was retained, horse-drawn until 1882. The GWR obtained powers to upgrade it and use steam on 7 August 1884 – the original Act forbade this. Re-opened on 1 July 1889, passenger traffic was withdrawn on 8 July 1929, though a goods service lasted until 3 May 1960. The line was lifted in July of the following year.

Old Stratford & Moreton Tramway wagon, preserved at Stratford-on-Avon in Bancroft Gardens, near the theatre.  The cast iron edge rail is thought to have been first used at Loughborough in 1789.

Old Stratford & Moreton Tramway wagon, preserved at Stratford-on-Avon in Bancroft Gardens, near the theatre. The cast iron edge rail is thought to have been first used at Loughborough in 1789.

Stratford-upon-Avon Railway

Incorporated on 10 August 1857, this mixed gauge line, nine miles long, ran from Hatton (GWR) to Stratford. Built by the GWR, it opened on 10 October 1860. The Alcester Railway was vested in it, jointly with the GWR, on 22 July 1878, and the Company was itself absorbed by the Major one from 1 July 1883 (Act of 29 August).

gwrhj1932 Hatton - Stratford Warwickshire rlys

Later:  Ex-GWR 2-8-0 No 3515 proceeds past Hatton West signal box with a fitted freight train for Stratford on Avon in 1950. Built by Swindon works to Lot 328 in March 1940 No 3515 remained in service until July 1965 when it was withdrawn from 6C Birkenhead shed. The single line to Stratford on Avon started at this junction until the line was doubled in 1939. The bracket signal on the left is controlling, from left to right, the 55 wagon loop siding opened in 1901, the north junction line opened on 23rd July 1897 and the original branch line to Hatton opened in 1860. The gradient from Stratford on Avon was more severe than on the main line requiring heavy trains to be assisted by banker. The bankers would ease off at this point so that they could use the above crossover to return tender first to Stratford on Avon. – WarwickshireRailways.com

 

Canal News – October 19 & 23, 2014

Canal News

October 19 & 23 2014

Anglesey Branch, Wyrley & Essington Canal

Anglesey Branch, Wyrley & Essington Canal

Family fun event at Fradley Junction

Fradley Junction
19 Oct 2014
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Address
Fradley Junction
Staffordshire
DE13 7DN

Come and have a fun time with the family at Fradley Junction.
Free children’s activities in the scenic canalside setting of Fradley Junction.
Activities include:
• Hook a Duck
• Canal Art
• Bark Rubbing around the nature reserve

Additional info
Meet outside the Canal & River Trust offices in the café courtyard
The event/activities are run by CRT Education Volunteers and are part of a monthly events programme at Fradley Junction.
Pay and display parking
For more information about our lead visits please visit our website http://www.canalriverexplorers.org.uk or email us explorers@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Waterways Craft Group at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port

Waterways Craft Group
19 Oct 2014
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
This lively group meets the third Sunday of the month (with the odd exception) on the first floor of the Island Warehouse, to demonstrate the traditional crafts of the inland waterways.
Crafts demonstrated include boatman’s belt embroidery, bonnet making, cabin crochet, canal ware painting, rag rugging and patchwork.

Volunteers needed in Cannock

Volunteer
We’re inviting local people living in and around Gailey in Cannock to help give the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal a much-needed tidy.
The next clean-up is planned for Thursday 23 October from 10am – 3pm and people of all ages and abilities are invited to lend a hand to spruce up their local waterway. All equipment will be provided and volunteers should wear old clothes that they don’t mind getting a bit muddy.
The work is part of our Towpath Taskforce volunteering project, which encourages people to come out, get their hands dirty and help protect some of Staffordshire’s most important wildlife habitats and public open space. The Taskforce provides regular volunteering opportunities for local communities which, as well as benefitting our canals and rivers also create memorable and rewarding experiences for everyone who takes part.
Community ownership
The teams meet regularly and are aimed at encouraging more community ownership of and pride in local waterways. Projects include painting lock gates, improving access to the towpath, clearing overgrown vegetation, cleaning up litter and graffiti and helping wildlife by building nest and bat boxes and planting reed beds.
Peter Mathews CMG, chair of the West Midlands waterways partnership for the Canal & River Trust, said: “Staffordshire’s waterways are a real hive of activity with a whole variety plants and animals living along them. There are some areas though that need a little work, from cutting back natural vegetation to clearing away some of the rubbish that gets left behind. The more that people living near the canal can spare a few hours and help us tidy it up the better it will be for the whole community.”
Meeting point is at the Trust’s car park next to the roundhouse, Croft Lane, just off the A5, Gailey, Staffordshire, ST19 5PR.

Volunteer for the Canal & River Trust

Steam Railways in Preservation – December 1993 – A few items from old papers.

Steam Railways in Preservation

December 1993

A few items from old papers.

Churnet Valley to bid for line

Churnet Valley Railway, the PLC formed to return steam to the ‘Knotty’, were this week invited by BR to bid for the seven mile long truncated stretch of the former Leek to Uttoxeter line.
The Company see the move as a major step to colonising the sand line which has lain dormant and rusty, agonisingly just feet away from their Cheddleton station base, since rail traffic to glass makers Pilkington’s finished more than four years ago.
Directors of Churnet Valley Railway are launching an immediate appeal for £400,000 to secure the line, which last saw service – save for sporadic DMU ‘excursions’ from Cheddleton, in 1965.
Locals know the picturesque area as ‘Little Switzerland’ and the PLC hope to create a tourist attraction capable of attracting more then 50,000 visitors a year.

Bahamas CoasterBahamas Coaster

The passion and life of a steam express locomotive… ex LMS Jubilee ‘Bahamas’ thunders out of Llandudno Junction bound for Holyhead with last weekend’s  (1993) ‘Cymru Coaster’ express.  Photo – Gwyn Roberts

Happy at Bodmin

There is bright news at Bodmin & Wenford this week, reports Managing Director Mr. Keith Searle.
Takings for the summer season look like equalling or even beating last year’s totals – despite the fact that the visit by ‘City of Truro’ was most certainly a tough act to follow, railway interest wise. ‘This may not sound too impressive following the rapid growth of previous years, but compares favourably enough with reports which are coming in from other buslnesses’ commented Mr. Searle.

North Yorkshire Moors

LHJC at NYM

Winter is season for smaller tanks to show off.

With the larger locos being put into storage and undergoing maintenance, the winter months give the smaller tank locomotives an opportunity to ‘rule the roost’ on passenger services until spring.

In company with the USA160 280, Standard Class 4, 2-6-4T 80135 and Robert Stephenson 0-6-2T No.5 will be operating services on the line.

Keighley looks forward to its Winter visitors.

Winter is certainly an interesting time for the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
No less than three visiting main line engines are calling at the Railway before April.
Black 5 44767 ‘George Stephenson’ together with 45596 ‘Bahamas’ will arrive at the Railway on New Year’s Day, Saturday January 1st, 1994.
No.44767 will stay at Haworth throughout the winter; departure depends upon main line commitments but it is not expected to be before Easter Enthusiast’s Weekend on April 16 & 17 1994.
The owners of 44767 and 5305 Alderman Draper have agreed Sunday January 23 as the day when the two Black 5s will be in traffic on the branch. Both Black 5s will work at least one trip double-heading on the service train and also ‘turn and turn about’ on Parcels and Goods workings.47279Keighley’s ex-LMS 3F 0-6-0T No.47279 trickles light engine back into Haworth Yard after completing its roster for the day. Photo: Duncan Young.

Steam Drivers Sought

Are you a qualified driver…. Or an enthusiast who wants to train for service rosters in beautiful North Wales?
Following the success of two train services on the 12¼” gauge Fairbourne & Barmouth Steam Railway near Dolgellau, Gwynedd, this season, the Railway is now anxious to recruit four additional seasonal steam drivers (of either gender) for the coming 1994 season.

ManifoldThe eight-mile long Manifold Valley Light Railway near Thor’s Cave, a quirky 2′ 6″ gauge railway boasting fantastic scenery and fine colonial-style locomotives which brought a unique flavour to North Staffordshire.