121 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News December 1989 – 2
Brownhills Memories – P.Aldridge
Sidney Browne worked on the railways in the area foe nearly fifty years. Like many railway men he had many anecdotes recalling his long service. Sadly Sid died in 1985, but many of his tales are well-remembered by his grandson, Peter Aldridge, who now works on the railway at Chasewater. One of these tales is now recalled, and if it is not true, it ought to be!In the 1950s Sid worked for British Railways at Brownhills Station in High Street. One morning in late summer a local resident by the name of Meacher arrived in his brand new Austin motor car. Pic by oakparkrunner -sorry, don’t know which model – here’s three to chose fromWikipedia
Before catching his train Mr. Meacher entrusted his car keys to the Station Master. The train, an excursion to Blackpool, arrived hauled by a Bescot ‘super D’, and plodded off towards Lichfield.Super D at Consall, Churnet Valley Railway, 2005 http://www.steampics.com/html/super_d.html
Later that morning some of the other station staff reported for work. They immediately took a shine to the new car parked in the station yard, and promptly purloined the ignition keys and drove off towards Cannock. Sid, being rather busy, remained at Brownhills.
The day wore on and the Austin did not re-appear. The evening came, still without any sign of the car or its occupants, and Sid began to get worried. What would he do if the owner came back and found his beloved car missing?
Sure enough at 11.30pm a grimy ‘super D’ wheezed up the long climb through Hammerwich, past Anglesey Sidings and into Brownhills. There was Mr. Meacher fast asleep. Carefully opening the carriage doors, Sid called out in a faint whisper “Brownhills….Brownhills” and then quietly sent the train on its way, with Mr. Meacher, fast asleep, still on board.
Half-an-hour later the phone rang….”Hello” came a voice “Is that Brownhills railway station? This is Mr. Meacher. I must have fallen asleep on the train and missed my stop”.
“Yes” replied Sid “I looked for you everywhere, I walked up and down the train calling ‘Brownhills’ as loud as I could”.
“Oh well” said Mr. Meacher “Never mind, I’ll get a taxi home from Walsall and collect my car tomorrow”.
“That’s alright; I’ll look after the car for you! Said Sid, and put down the phone.At ten to two the Austin re-appeared, being pushed by some very hot and tired railwaymen. The car had run out of petrol near Milford Common, and having spent all their money on beer, they could not buy any petrol from a garage.Barley Mow on the corner of Milford Common
© Copyright David Bagshaw and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Needless to say the joyriders were sent out early next morning so that Mr. Meacher would, hopefully, never know about his car’s unauthorised – not to mention illegal-day out!