Category Archives: Museum Collection

More Recent Chasewater Railway Museum Activity

More Recent Chasewater Railway Museum Activity

DSCF9007A couple of Thursdays in August have seen Chasewater Railway and the Aston Manor Road Transport Museum put on a joint project including children’s activities at each venue and a train and bus ride. This is one of the buses used.

LMS Horse Drawn VanWe found this picture of an LMS horse-drawn parcels van – very similar to the one owned by Chasewater Railway and currently on loan at Shugborough.

DSCF9038Another item bought by Barry Bull.  A Rhymney Railway Company Coat-of-Arms.  The Rhymney Railway was virtually a single stretch of main line, some fifty miles in length, by which the Rhymney Valley was connected to the docks at Cardiff in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales.

DSCF9030The final item at the moment (27-8-2013) is this life-size fibre-glass model of a pit pony.  It was given to Chasewater Railway Museum by the Museum of Cannock Chase, who are re-designing their mining display, after having been seen offered on the Staffordshire Museums’  Development Officer’s weekly update email.  A couple of quick emails and some phone calls made sure of a good home for the pony! Our thanks to Nick Bullock  for the use of his van.

Museum News – New loan entries to the Chasewater Railway Museum.

Museum News

New loan entries to the Chasewater Railway Museum.

New plates on loan from IRSThe photograph was taken by Bob Anderson.

During their visit to Chasewater Railway the Industrial Railway Society placed three loco nameplates and two worksplates on loan to join their other 18 items already in the museum. The nameplates are ‘Dreadnought’, ‘Pioneer’ and Lamport. The worksplates are from ‘Pioneer’ and ‘Lamport’.
The museum is most appreciative of this further loan as it demonstrates the confidence that the Industrial Railway Society has in the Chasewater Railway Museum.

DSCF9157

Museum News – New Acquisitions

Chasewater Logo 3Museum News

New Acquisitions

An opportunity presented itself  recently to acquire by way of private purchase half a dozen items of local colliery railway interest.  Not since the 1960s and early 1970s, when in that period a good relationship existed between the Railway Preservation Society and local National Coal Board management and which resulted in several donations of interest has the chance to obtain in bulk such star items for the museum collection.

McClean 205103 McClean 0-4-2ST Beyer Peacock 28-1856 Cannock Chase Colliery CoMcClean

First and arguably the finest piece from the Chasewater Railway point of view is the nameplate McClean from the 1856 built Beyer Peacock, the first of five similar locomotives delivered between 1856 and 1872. McClean lasted one hundred years before scrapping and in her later years was considered to be the oldest loco in the country still at work. The name McClean was bestowed in honour of John Robinson McClean who first came on the local scene as engineer in the construction of the South Staffordshire Railway before later, together with Richard Chawner leased land to mine coal forming the Cannock Chase Colliery.

Marquis 2 05008 No.1 Marquis 0-6-0STIC Lilleshall 1867 C & RMarquis
The second of the three locomotive nameplates to arrive is Marquis. The name originates from the first Marquis of Anglesey, a title awarded to the Earl of Uxbridge who fought along side Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. Carried by the Lilleshall Company built 0-6-0 saddle tank new to the Cannock and Rugeley Collieries as their first loco in 1867, she or is it he lasted until cut up at the NCB Cannock Central Workshops during May 1964.

Beaudesert 205024 No.5 Beaudesert 0-6-0ST Fox Walker 266-1875 C & RBeaudesert
The third nameplate is that of Beaudesert from the little 0-6-0 saddle tank built by Fox Walker, works number 266 of 1875 supplied new to Cannock and Rugeley Collieries as their number 5. Beaudesert was the ancestral home of the Paget family who became Earls of Uxbridge before being given the title and Estate Marquis of Anglesey. Finally cut up in 1964 the other nameplate of the loco survives and is on display in Kidderminster Railway Museum.

2013_0416 RSHTwo locomotive worksplates comprising of a cast iron Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns Ltd, 7292 of 1953 and Hunslet 3789 of 1953 have come as part of the deal.
Both locomotives were of the Austerity type, the RSH coming to Littleton Colliery from its previous owner the War Department, in May 1947, originally WD 71483 she became number 6 at Littleton being cut up there in Oct. 1970.
The Hunslet was delivered to Chasetown numbered 3 and was a replacement for the aged fleet of Victorian locos, she later saw service at Cannock Wood and Granville where she met her end after a life of just 16 years.

2013_0416 Hunslet
Finally a possibly unique cast iron sign headed The Littleton Collieries Ltd. with the wording.

The Littleton Collieries Ltd
Notice No Road
all persons found trespassing
upon or damaging any property
belonging to the above company
will be prosecuted.

Quite where the above sign was fixed is not yet known, but enquiries are being made.
It may be a little while before all of the above items are incorporated into our permanent display but the intention is to make arrangements to put them on view as soon as possible.

Barry Bull
Museum Curator
Chasewater Railway Museum

Notice 2

My thanks to Barry Bull for the information and Bob Anderson for the typing! CWS

Some Early Lines – Plus a museum item

Some Early Lines

Plus a museum item

1863 SignAmongst the items still in the stores is this station nameplate from Radstock on the Great Western Railway (not the Somerset & Dorset).  Here is some information about its earlier location

Bristol and North Somerset Railway

The Bristol and North Somerset Railway was a railway line in the West of England that connected Bristol with towns in the Somerset coalfield. The line ran almost due south from Bristol and was 16 miles long.

The main railway

The line was opened in 1873 between Bristol and Radstock, where it joined with an earlier freight only line from Frome to Radstock that had been built in 1854 as part of the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway. Through services between Bristol and Frome began two years later, in 1875, at which point the line was formally taken into ownership by the Great Western Railway, which had absorbed the WS&WR in 1850.

4656 RadstockPhil C.Ford – Radstock stn 4656

 The Last Train to Frome ran on Sad Saturday

With a huff and a puff and a nostalgic whistle, The Last Train on the old North Somerset branch line chugged out of Temple Meads Station on Saturday. Groups of train-lovers leaned out of every carriage window, some waving, some looking sad, some apprehensive, and some just excited.

The ancient engine – British Railways 5532 – wobbled slightly as it neared the platform end, chuffed billows of steam, recovered breath and settled down for the journey to Frome. ‘Keep right on to the end of the line’ it seemed to say. ‘Keep right on, Keep right on’ – as it had done for many a year.

It was Sad Saturday for the 110 train enthusiasts aboard, for it saw the end of another branch line – Bristol – Radstock – Frome. To many enthusiasts the end of a branch line is a tragedy. Too many are folding, they say. They look upon the Diabolical Diesel with animosity. This was a route that began in 1873 and for Driver F. Herring, who has driven on it for more than 40 years, it was an even more sad occasion.

“IT’S A SHAME”

Polishing a gleam into the green engine, Driver Herring of Avenue Road, Frome, declared: “It’s a shame. I wish it didn’t have to happen, but there it is. Modern times. After 40 years on the line you’re bound to feel sad, aren’t you?”

Mr Herring who is going on to the Cheddar Valley line, picked up a polishing rag, climbed into the cab with his fireman, Mr E Edwards of Butts Hill, Frome, and let off steam.

Two minutes to go … one … zero … and engine 5532 pulled out of the station dead on time. Driver Herring put on a brave face, smiled and gave a wave. The old train called at Brislington, Whitchurch, Pensford, Clutton, Hallatrow, Farrington Gurney, Midsomer Norton, Radstock, Mells Road and Frome.

5536

BOYISH INTEREST

Why do train-lovers turn up on such occasions? What prompts their boyish interest in locomotives?

Mr H. B. Warburton, vice-Chairman of Bristol and district branch Railway Correspondence and Travel Society told me: “All our members go on branch line engines within reasonable distance of Bristol. They go on the last train mainly for sentimental reasons, and of course we all like travelling on trains.” “The train will stop at all stations down the line,” he said, dragging me into the refreshment room to escape the noisy steaming of engine 5532. “ The train will be about half an hour late. We get off at stations to take last photographs”. He added sadly “ If any line closes we all feel a nostalgia. Let’s say we like to be in at the kill”.

http://www.gwsbristol.org

Radstock Rly Stn GeoRadstock Railway Station

© Copyright Tudor Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Chasewater Railway Museum Exhibits – Time to show another selection of our latest museum items.

Chasewater Railway Museum Exhibits

 Time to show another selection of our latest museum items.

1848.2

Last Sunday, February 17th, the museum was given a framed photograph of what looks like a group of P way workers.  The photo is marked: H.W.Davies – Brownhills, but unfortunately we have no real idea of the location, apart from guessing the local sidings, so if anyone has any suggestions as to the whereabouts of the location, we would be very happy to hear from you.

2109.2

This wagon plate is one of a number of items loaned to the museum by one of our occasional visitors from his private collection, some 19 at the moment.  He is pleased with the care taken of his objects, especially since we achieved the Accredited Museum standard.  On February 17th he happily agreed to extend the loan on all of his objects for a further two years.

1844.2

A nice booklet for our reference library, about the Maryport and Carlisle Railway.  Of particular interest as we have a 6-wheel coach from the line in the Heritage Centre, donated by the Cannock & Rugeley Colliery Co.  Built in 1875.

1833.2

We have another local history book for our collection, this time about Great Wyrley.  This was donated by David Bathurst, and we also have two signs from the old Great Wyrley station.

1839.2

Lastly for now and biggest, is this 7-lever signal frame from Hemyock station on the Culm Valley Railway, Devon, closed in 1965.  It came to Chasewater from the National Railway Museum at York.

Chasewater Railway Museum News Cannock Station signal box nameboard arrives

One new and a few old Museum PiecesThe Cannock Station signal box nameboard was delivered to the museum on Tuesday Nov. 14th Stan, a good friend of the Curator and the museum.  Its final resting place has yet to be decided but it is on show in the museum.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the photographing of the museum collection continued in the stores, and I thought I might publish a few pictures of some of the station furniture which the museum has tucked away, as do many other museums, in store.This item is a roll-fronted ticket rack from about 1938.This is a wooden chair with a Staffordshire Knot carved in the back, formerly of the North Staffs Railway.Finally for this time, another wooden chair, with a cut-out letter ‘M’ in the back, from the Midland Railway.

While it is good that the museum has these and more items in store, it would be nice to think that sometime in the future (probably distant) the museum could be extended and these items could be restored to their former glory and put on show.

Chasewater Railway Museum – New Items in the Collection.

New Museum Items

Yorkshire Engine Works Plate– 2748/1959.  Purchased on 1-11-2011.From an 0-6-0 diesel electric (Janus Class) 400 horse power engine, powered by two Rolls Royce engines.  Delivered new to NCB Hilton Main & Holly Bank Colliery as their No.6 Ex Works 11-9-1959

Later transferred to NCB Littleton 8-7-1966

1988 went for preservation at Peak Rail, Buxton 14-7-1988Photo by Dave Gibson

Currently at Churnet Valley Railway.

Cannock signal box nameboard – Cannock Station signal box nameboard, 74” long replacement board with original letters.  Purchased on 1-11-2011.

This item hasn’t yet arrived at Chasewater.

 CRC Horse Brass – donated.  A decorative horse brass, blinker style, marked with the letters CRC.  Hopefully Cannock & Rugeley Colliery.  Extensive research is ongoing.  Received on 1-11-2011

 WR Teaspoons Marked ‘WR’   Believed to be from William Roberts’ Brewery of Brownhills.  Donated to the Chasewater Railway Museum in October 2011.

 LMS TimetableAn LMS time table, dated 1926, one of the lines included is the line from Aldridge to Brownhills, formerly the Midland line, the more northerly part of which is now in the hands of the Chasewater Railway.  Not many trains scheduled as by this time the passenger service was coming towards its end (1930).Our thanks to all those involved in adding to our Museum Collection.

Chasewater Railway Museum – New Additions

 New Additions to the Chasewater Railway Museum Collection

One new addition to the display in the Chasewater Railway Museum is the industrial steam locomotive nameplate ‘Wellington’, from the Manchester Ship Canal loco No.43, supplied by manufacturers Hudswell Clarke, their works number 758 of 1906.  The loco was of the maker’s ‘short tank’ variety and lasted until 1959 when scrapped.

‘Wellington’ is on loan from David Jones of Great Central Railway Auctions and is the second nameplate kindly loaned by the same gentleman, the first being ‘Bickershaw’ which was on display for three years before being returned to Mr. Jones.

The Museum does not as yet possess a photograph of ‘Wellington’ to display with the nameplate, so if anyone can help please let us know, either in the Museum or through the blog or by telephone – 07748130215.

Amongst other items recently acquired by the Museum, although not yet on proper display (but are available for viewing!) are two railway maps, the first, Airey’s Railway Map of Staffordshire and District, and the other

   Bradshaw’s 19th century ‘Map and Sections of the Railways of Great Britain’

  This final item is of particular local interest, as they don’t come along very often.  It is a block instrument from the East Cannock Junction signal box at Hednesford.  The signal box was situated between Cannock and Hednesford where there was a junction between the Walsall to Rugeley line and the Norton Branch which went to High Bridge Sidings at Pelsall, through Norton Canes.

The block instrument was purchased by the Museum, the two maps were donated and the nameplate is on loan.

If you should have anything of railway interest that you no longer require, remember us!

Come along and pay us a visit – open every Sunday from 11.00am till 3.30pm, and it’s free!

Chasewater Railway News – Easter 2011

Chasewater Railway News – Easter 2011

 In spite of the Railway not being able to cross the causeway (due to circumstances entirely beyond their control), there was still plenty of activity at Chasewater over the weekend.  ‘Linda’ and ‘Asbestos’ were both in steam running to the causeway and back and giving brake van rides, and the Hunslet was in action shunting at times.  Easter Monday saw an Easter Egg Hunt well organised and run by the Junior Section and judging by the number of parents and children about this seems to have been well supported – grand job!In the Heritage Centre the W59444 carriage is nearing completion with the reupholstered seats now in place – very smart!I popped in to see the Model Railway Group again this week; it’s good to have it running regularly although with one or two slight hitches at the moment.  I would imagine that the problems will start to get sorted out when the Bank Holiday Season is over.  I must admit that I look forward to the time when more model steam engines are running – my personal preference over diesel, sorry.In the Museum there have been a couple of new additions – a Block Instrument with bell box, LNER origin and a new brick for the collection of colliery bricks.  This was an anonymous donation of a Bretby Colliery brick – I must admit that I didn’t know where Bretby Colliery was so it was duly ‘googled’ and found to be in South Derbyshire – I was also surprised to see a photo of one on ‘flickr’!

Chasewater Railway Museum News – Our Latest Donation – From Brownhills!

Chasewater Railway Museum News

 Our Latest Donation – From Brownhills!

 While the museum was open for the Industrial Railway Society meeting and AGM, we received a visit from Douglas Birch MBE from Brownhills.  He offered, and we were proud to accept, an old leg vice, believed to have been used at the loco shed at Harrison’s Old Yard in the mid-nineteenth century.  I shall reproduce the full information that Doug provided.Barry Bull (Museum Curator) with Doug Birch and the leg vice.

 William Harrison’s, Brownhills Common.

By Douglas Birch MBE

‘Harrison’s Old Yard’ was situated on Wyrley Common near to the Shant Bridge over the former LNWR mineral line on the A5 at Brownhills West.

The yard consisted of Workshops, Admin. Offices, Loco Shed, Sawmill and Cottages servicing the adjacent Cathedral Colliery and a number of other small pits in the locality.

A crane hire company now occupies some of the original buildings.  When the Wyrley Grove Colliery was sunk in 1870 all operations and plant was moved to the new site where a much bigger complex was built, which in part eventually served two other new collieries in the Harrison Group – Wyrley No.3 (The Sinking) and Mid-Cannock, including extensive wagon repair shops, sawmill and a new loco shed with space for four engines.

My grandfather, Arthur John Birch, was Head Engine fitter around the turn of the century both at the Old Yard and at Wyrley Grove.  He was succeeded by his son Oliver, my uncle, in the early 1920s.  Oliver held the position until his death in the early 1960s.  His son Arthur John in turn succeeded him until the closure of the Grove in 1963.

I too spent all my working life in the coal industry as a Mechanical Engineer.  The first eighteen years in the Grove Pit fitting shop.  My final twenty years in the industry was as a Safety and Training Officer at Cannock Central Workshops.

The leg vice I am offering to your museum may be of interest because it is considered to be a family heirloom and has passed down from my grandfather to my father, and then to me.  I have had it in my workshop since 1953 and it was in my father’s workshop (he was a carpenter) for a similar period before that.  The historical interest is that we have always understood that the vice originated from the loco shed at Harrison’s Old Yard via my grandfather which makes it very old indeed and worthy of preservation.  It would be an awful shame if the vice went for scrap after surviving for so long.

 William Harrison’s Steam Locomotives

Cathedral Pit

‘Emlyn’                 0-6-0ST scrapped 1920

‘Black Prince’       0-6-0ST scrapped 1909

‘Agincourt’            0-6-0ST scrapped 1906

‘Success’              0-6-0ST scrapped 1913  (Purchased 1869)

‘Warrior’                0-6-0ST scrapped 1933

Grove Pit

‘No.3                     0-6-0ST Purchased new 1895 Peckett    To NCB‘The Colonel’        0-6-0ST Purchased new 1914  Hudswell Clarke  To NCB

Loco Driver – Harry Jones

Steam Crane Driver – Jack Jones  (This crane was manufactured in France and reputedly saw military service during the 1914 – 1918 war.

Loco Fireman – Charles Dalton.Many Thanks, Doug.