Daily Archives: February 26, 2010

Chasewater Railway Museum May,June 1962 Bits & Pieces 17

Taken from the Mercian May, June 1962 1.3

From the Editorial

Everyone notices, even more so now, that Diesels are rapidly taking over and replacing steam on most trains.  If you are lucky you might chance to see a ‘Scot’ or even an ‘A4’ on a goods or shunting.

While standing on Welwyn Station the other evening Sir Nigel Gresley came thundering out of the tunnel with a south-bound express; a marvellous sight I might add, never to be replaced once the ‘Green Devils’ have fully taken over.  Sir Nigel would turn in his grave and shudder at the thought of his own engine being degraded to trundling goods trucks, let alone shunting them.

I suppose this is almost inevitable under the present modernisation plan, all we can do is wait and see what will happen.

D.B.

In the event of the following, I think that he would have been immensely proud!Leaving Bridgnorth March 2009 – Photo by Black Widow Productions

In 1937 the London and North Eastern Railway built its 100th ‘Pacific’ locomotive and the Railway honoured its designer by giving the locomotive number 4498 his name, Sir Nigel Gresley.  The locomotive was initially allocated to London Kings Cross ‘Top Shed’ where it returned in the 1950s after a spell at Grantham, by then carrying its British Railways number 60007. In this period it became associated with driver Bill Hoole and in 1959 Sir Nigel Gresley, driven by Hoole, achieved a post war speed record for steam of 112mph. The locomotive finished its British Railways career in Scotland, having run approximately 1,500,000 miles in revenue-earning service over some 30 years. In 1966 the locomotive was saved by a group of determined people, who set up the A4 Preservation Society.  This became the A4 Locomotive Society Ltd, which underwent a further evolution into a registered charity as The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust Ltd.

After its 4th major overhaul in the ownership of the Trust, 60007 is now based at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and continues to run on the UK main line network from time to time hauling rail tours to locations as diverse as Chester, York, Carlisle, Bristol, London and Dundee.

The Trust is dedicated to keeping the locomotive running, both on heritage railways and on the main line.  She is part of this nation’s history and our aim is to keep the locomotive as living history.  It is only when a locomotive is in steam and in action, truly alive, that you experience the full glory and feel the magic.  Nothing can match the spectacle and magnificence of a great steam engine running at full speed.  That is what the Trust aims to maintain.

The down side is that keeping a big express locomotive in good running order takes a lot of effort.  Sir Nigel Gresley is now over seventy years old.  There always seems to be something wearing out!  Dirty and often very hard work, too – her parts tend to be large, solid chunks of metal, immensely heavy to lift.  On top of the day-to-day repairs and maintenance, the locomotive must have a regular ‘heavy’ overhaul – every seven years if she is to run on Network Rail, extending to a maximum of ten when running on private railways.  The latest heavy overhaul took place at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, at a total cost of around £800,000.  This has included fitting TPWS and OTMR safety systems to meet the latest Network Rail standards.  The Heritage Lottery Fund has supported this overhaul with a very generous grant of £322,000.

Whether operating on heritage railways or in full cry on the main line, she turns heads wherever she goes!


Reproduced with the permission of The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust Ltd.”

Leaving Bridgnorth March 2009, Photo by  Black Widow Productions

Hon. Secretary’s Notes & Report

The West Midland District, Midland Area, acted as hosts on Saturday, 19th May for a full RPS meeting which was held in the TPO at our Hednesford depot.  We were pleased to welcome D. Noel Draycott and David Alexander London District, James Slater North West and John Harvey East Midlands Districts.   The meeting was also attended by some 12 members of the West Midlands.

A general discussion took place, and Society policy agreed upon.  It was agreed that the next Society conference should be held in York on 22nd September 1962 (provisional).

National Officers Elected

National President:                Rev. R. de Lacy-Spencer

General Secretary:                D. Noel Draycott

National Treasurer:                R. T. Yates, F.C.A.

The visitors enjoyed a visit to Chasewater the following day (Sunday), and a general inspection of the Depot in the afternoon.  I should like to thank very sincerely all members (Wives and Mothers) who offered such excellent overnight hospitality to our guests.

Working Parties

Work still continues at a steady pace each Sunday, we should still like to see a few more people attend however.  The Midland Block instruments and bells are now in working order, these were wired up by Peter Dring.  Any other member who is interested in telecommunications should come along to the depot and chat with Peter.

John Elsley and Terry Jones are now attempting to fix the side rode on the Coal Tank, all you loco enthusiasts – now is the chance to offer some practical help!

Work on the TPO still continues, this work is being carried out by Frank Harvey, Nigel Hadlow, George Cox and myself.  Tony Lewis and Bob Wormington continue to press on with repanelling the Maryport & Carlisle coach and are making steady progress.  The Midland horse-drawn van is being slowly renovated by Arthur Chatfield, please give him a helping hand someone?

Brian Kinder and Maurice Harper have made a good job of waterproofing the Great Eastern roof in the vicinity of the stove chimney pipe, Bob Wormington has also worked on the GE brake and painted the roof with bitumastic paint.

David Ives Hon. Sec.

Treasurer’s Report

In my report in the last issue of Mercian I seemed only to complain about the financial state of affairs.  I am afraid this must be the main theme thence in this report too.

(Nearly 50 years on now and nothing seems to have changed!! – but we’re still here!)

East Midlands

Results from our membership campaign have been good during these last few weeks, although the Crewe excursion was not fruitful, I must mention Michael Gubbins and David Webb who made the trip so enjoyable.

The major activity at the moment is the collection of many small relics and various photographic surveys are being completed, notably around Nottinghamshire by P. Gibbons of Southall.

J. M. Harvey.  East Mids. District Organiser.

London District

The London District of the RPS has been renamed The London Railway Preservation Society covering North London and three Home Counties, namely Essex, Hertfordshire and Middlesex.

Social Activities

The trip to Wolverton was very poorly attended, eight members making the effort.  We do hope that this can be improved on for future visits.

Much Wenlock Branch

The last passenger train will run on this line sometime in June.  This branch, as some members will be aware, is a very interesting one.  Please give us your support.


Coaching Stock Preservation Fund

A fund has now been launched to buy coaching stock; this will be published in the general railway press.  Vehicles under consideration are as follows: The Midland Royal Saloon, L & Y Inspectors Saloon, ECJS Bogie coach in original livery.  Other coaches which could be added are: Cambrian Bogie Coach, GWR Clerestory Bogie Coach, and WCJS Bogie Coach.

News in Brief

Our Hednesford Depot and Webb Coal Tank were mentioned on BBC TV’s Railway Roundabout of May 20th (my 19th birthday!! – seems a long time ago!) by John Adams and Patrick Whitehouse who said they might look in on their way up for a game of golf!

It has been officially stated that Paddington Station will not be closed yet!

Advertisements

Chasewater Railway Museum Mar,Apl 1962 Mercian Bits & Pieces 16

Taken from the Mercian 1.2 March/April 1962

The secretary’s report noted the fact that he had only received two articles for the magazine – sounds familiar!

Progress Report

A new siding has now been completed.  The GE Brake is now stabled on this siding.  This has allowed room for the TPO and the Coal Tank to be moved further under the covered space, giving greater protection from the weather.  The whole scheme of the new siding was planned by the Assistant Depot Master, John Elsley, the installation was very ably carried out by him and his small, but willing band of helpers.  New glass has now been fitted in the windows of the GE Brake, the toilet of the TPO is now in the process of being repainted, whilst the interior of this vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned.1054 under cover – R Duffill

Restoration Plans

We hope that the TPO will be finished this summer (on one side at least), this could easily be achieved if we had a few more willing expert hands.  Our woodwork expert Frank Harvey has had a considerable amount of new panelling to do, ably assisted by Fred Lewis.  A considerable amount of painting has yet to be done on the TPO so any member who is handy with a paint brush will be very welcome indeed.  The Maryport & Carlisle coach still has to be completely reglazed and we earnestly appeal to members for offers of glass.

David A. Ives Hon. Sec.Travelling Post office – R. Duffill

Hon. Treasurer’s Report.

When we in the Midlands area started our own Newsletter the Hon. Sec. asked me to enter a brief financial report in each issue.  I must apologise for not having given one in the first issue, but owing to work, I was unable to produce one in time.  However, from now on you will be getting a report, bad or otherwise, in every issue.

As many of our members will know, December 6th 1960 was the day we purchased our Royal Mail TPO, for the sum of £200.  The money was raised by means of a Bank Loan and since then, our main aim has been to reduce our overdraft.  At the end of the financial year (September 1961) this stood at

£93-4-10 (£93.24) .  Today it has decreased to £34-2-0 (£34-10), quite satisfactory progress you will agree.  Much of the money has been raised by social events.  At the Whist Drive on 23rd February for example, we made a profit of over £20.  Much of this was due to the hard work of Mr. Albert Holden, and on behalf of the Society I should like to take this opportunity of thanking him very sincerely, also all members who donated prizes and helped so ably on the occasion.

Membership renewals are still coming in very slowly and I would like all members who have not renewed to think again.  We rely to a great extent on membership subscriptions and donations for our income.  The success of this Society depends on YOU!

Frank J. Harvey  Hon. Treasurer

Chasewater Railway Museum Jan,Feb 1962 Bits & Pieces 15

Taken from the first ‘Mercian’ Jan/ Feb 1962

Bi-Monthly Newssheet for the Midlands District of the RPA

In my previous post I reported that the Railway Preservation Society was in future to be called the Railway Preservation Association.  For some reason, four times on the first page of the first ‘Mercian’ the RPS is referred to – curious.

The idea was to publish the Newssheet by the 23rd of each bi-month.  Anyone who takes on the job of Editor of a newssheet or magazine of this type has my greatest admiration (and sympathy!) as they always seem to struggle for articles after the initial burst of enthusiasm.

Progress report to date during 1961

Good progress has been made at our Hednesford depot, accomplishments to date include track lowering, to allow the stabling under cover of the Webb Coal Tank and our own TPO van, this vehicle has a lot more work to be done on it, but it has now been completed in undercoat livery of the LNWR on one side.  This was done by the very able direction of our Assistant Depot Master, and the woodwork renovations being done by our Hon. Treasurer, Frank Harvey.  The interior of the TPO is now in good shape due to the efforts of our Chairman, Arthur Chatfield.  Incidentally, he could do with some more help in this direction.  How about it some of you people who have not yet shown up?

Work continues on the Maryport & Carlisle coach, this is slow work and is mainly due to lack of materials which are most costly, perhaps any members who could help out in these matters in cash or kind would they kindly contact me?  Glass, wood and hardboard are most urgently required.Maryport & Carlisle coach before work started.

The Great Eastern brake has now been converted to a temporary workshop, and part is the museum.  It now has a genuine relic in the form of an LNWR signal box stove which has proved a most useful asset during this winter period.Great Eastern brake before work started.

John Elsley, the Assistant Depot Master and his usual few stalwarts namely, Bob Wormington, Terry Jones, David Bradbury, John Bradbury and Fred Lewis continue to press on with tracklaying in spite of the recent cold snap, all you people interested in tracklaying, now is your chance to give a hand.

Mention must be made last but by no means least of Maurice Harper and Brian Kinder who are always at hand to help out with any task which might crop up.  The tea is always made by these men and it is most appreciated by all the working parties.

A final word of gratitude to our President Charles E. Ives (no relation to David Ives) who so kindly allows the Society free and complete use of the depot.  Good luck to you all in 1962.

David A. Ives Hon. Sec.

East Midlands District Report

We in the East Midlands have just passed through the first stage of the intensive publicity campaign that was started in mid December.  So far the response has been quite good and I think the main contributory factor to this was the excursion to Ashford and Stratford Railway Works on January 3rd of this year.  Owing to bad weather we were delayed for over two hours but this did not dishearten the prospective members who found the visit very enjoyable.

One of our more recent members, Mr. Popham of Raunds has shown great interest in our cause, he rendered invaluable assistance on our Ashford venture.  He and I are making a survey of the Kettering – Cambridge branch line.  We hope to publish our results in the National Newsletter.  Another outing for prospective members will be arranged around April time to Lancashire and Cheshire.

J. M. Harvey, East Midlands District Organiser.

Diary dates were given for social gatherings of the West Midlands District and the Stafford Railway Circle.