From The ‘Mercian’ November 1964, 3.2
Due to the Editor Mr. David Bullock having other heavy commitments he resigned with Mr. M. D. Willis taking over.
The first annual Dinner and Social Evening was announced, to be held at the Eaton Lodge Hotel (demolished about 2006), tickets 12/6d each (62½p) on Monday 30th November 1964.
It is now some considerable time since my last report appeared in these pages and the financial situation has been through many changes.
At the present moment, I am pleased to be able to report that we have the healthiest bank balance there has been to date. This does not mean, however, that we can afford to relax since much of our money is already committed to paying for such items as the lease for the Chasewater branch, outstanding loans and the E1 0-6-0tank locomotive. Incidentally, over £200 is still needed to save this engine from the scrapyard. The deadline is January, so the matter is URGENT.
A few weeks ago we held our AGM at which it was unanimously agreed that the subscription rates be increased from 21/- (£1.05) to 25/- (£1.25) for ordinary members and from 5/- (25p) to 10/- (50p) for student members. I would like to state now, that this was done with some reluctance but with every good cause as many members are aware.
F.J.Harvey. Hon. Treasurer.
We are not responsible
One may have read in the Railway press that the ‘Railway Preservation Society’ is to attempt to purchase a 30 mile stretch of line between Uttoxeter and Buxton. This is entirely due to a mis-use of the Society’s name.
The Society which appears to be responsible for this irresponsible scheme is the Derbyshire Railway Society, who used our name, and this month, November, has changed it to the ‘National Railway Preservation Society’. We deplore such use of our Society’s name, or any name which might be remotely confused with ours.
Has this Society yet looked at current branch line prices? A line of this size would cost at least £100,000. How could such a line be purchased, and if by some miracle it was, how could any Society afford to maintain it, yet alone run their own trains over it?
Railway enthusiasm in this country does not justify such a hair-raising scheme, as that Society will find out – to their cost!!!
First in a Line?
On June 6th, British Railways held an auction at Stoke-on-Trent. What was for sale? The mourning remnants of stations in North Staffs. And South Cheshire, which were closed under Dr. Richard Beeching’s economisation programme.
A rare sight the auction room was! Scores of platform seats of all types, lined up in two rows to seat their likely buyers. Station nameboards of all shapes and sizes positioned around the room, intermingled with various types of Railway notices.
The bidding was unexpectedly fierce, two cast iron notices, which the present Hon. Ed. Attempted to purchase for 2/6d (12½p) almost reached £5, and four well-rotted ‘GENTLEMEN’ notices reached the ludicrous price of 50 shillings (£2.50).
As always the RPS was in the bidding! The West Midlands District bought two North Staffordshire Railway Clocks averaging about £9.00 each, and a Midland Railway Lamp Standard, among various other things. They were joined by Mr. Ken Vincent, Secretary of Dowty RPS and Mr. R. W. F. Smallman, of Yieldingtree Railway Museum Trust fame; their purchases including an NSR platform seat and a GWR short grandfather clock.
British Railways made over £1000 from the so-called ‘rubbish’, the bulk of which would normally provide heat for a cold workman on an icy winter’s day.
Another auction of this type is to be held at Derby on November 7th, and it looks very much as though fantastic prices will be reached yet again.
The latest relics to arrive at Hednesford are as follows:-
- Two private owner wagons of the Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Company. Bought from the NCB @ £5 each.
- A London & North Western Railway Brake/Third, the Guard’s compartment of which has been converted to a fully operational cinema. It was purchased from the NCB for £10, but needs a lot of attention.
- A Midland Railway Crane. £8.
This unique example of Midland Railway Regal coachbuilding has been purchased by the RPS (West Midlands District) from British Railways at a cost of £300. This was only possible with a loan of £240 from a generous member.
The loan is being paid back at the rate of £10 per month to this fine member, who wished to remain anonymous. His name was released at the AGM but to save further embarrassment, we will not mention it in these columns, but let it be ‘broadcast’ by word of mouth.Furnishings inside the Midland Royal Saloon