Taken from the ‘Mercian’ April 1965 Vol.4 No.2
As this magazine was published after the winter season there was not a great deal to report, other than slow progress at Hednesford. Looking forward, there was some enthusiasm for the coming spring and summer – namely an Open Weekend at Hednesford over the Easter period and, at the same time having a stand at Chasewater to launch the scheme there.
There was a lengthy article by A. Gibson M. A. about inclined planes on the railways, particularly in the North East, part of which follows:
George Stephenson accepted the principle in spite of its obvious disadvantages. He believed, though he soon had to abandon this principle, that locomotives should not be used on steeper gradients than 1 in 300, and in the hilly country of the North East, steeper gradients were inevitable. Thus the Hetton Colliery Railway (1822) which he engineered, used locomotives, horses, rope haulage by fixes engines and on gradients over 1 in 30, the funicular principle.
I found the article quite hard going but I ‘googled’ Hetton Colliery Railway and went on to the Herrington Heritage Railways site and thought that it was much more interesting.
The management committee were most disturbed at the last meeting to learn of the large number of lapsed members (wastage). It is imperative at this stage to both maintain and increase membership. We cannot proceed with our expansion plan at Chasewater without the full financial backing of the members. We therefore appeal to all members to renew their subscriptions promptly; this will at least enable the Society to stay solvent. We do thank on the other hand those members who send in a regular donation with their subscriptions; without their help, the Society would be in the red. I have mentioned the fact before that our work dealing with restoration and conservation of railway equipment entails a large outlay of money.
Please help us to help you.
D. A. Ives. Hon. Sec.
It does sound like a serious situation, bearing in mind that the Society at that time had no other income.
With the coming of longer evenings and warmer weather, it is hoped that as many as possible of our members will help in the first stage of our project at Chasewater.
Behind the scenes at the present time a great deal of work and negotiation is going on. This of course, means extra work for our already overworked secretary, Mr. D.A.Ives. If any member would be willing to take over the job of secretary, solely for matters concerning Chasewater, it would be greatly appreciated if he (or she!) would contact me.
Owing to the pressure of work and sickness, members of our Social Committee have not been able to arrange any events other than Open Days at the Hednesford Depot. It is hoped that many of our members will be able to attend, also during the same period arrangements have been made for a number of committee members to be on hand at Chasewater to advertise the Society to the general public in the hope of attracting more members.
On February 23rd, a party of committee members attended the inaugural meeting of the North Staffordshire Group at Newcastle. It is hoped that all members in the north of the county who are able to support Mr. Willis will do so.
A.L. Holden, Chairman.
Finally, a cry from the heart that we have all been aware of in recent times:
Copy for the Mercian
I am afraid that the copy being sent in for publication in ‘The Mercian’ is not sufficient. My job is to produce this news-sheet once every two months. I am finding this increasingly difficult and would appreciate any article of railway interest for publication.
The way things are at the moment, we will be lucky to get one every two years!!
But is there light at the end of the tunnel??