Monthly Archives: May 2010

Change of running date

Trains will NOT be running on Wednesday June 2nd,

but they will be running on Thursday June 3rd

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3 Bits & Pieces 42.2

From the other reports 1968 Vol.1 No.3. 42.2

From the Hon. Secretary’s Report

The work on the Andrew Barclay loco (Colin McAndrew) at Hixon is almost finished.

Trevor Cousens and Allen Civil visited Stewarts and Lloyds at Bromford Bridge to buy loco spares to replace parts on the Hudswell Clarke and the Barclay locomotives.

Early in March 1968 some track was stolen from Chasewater.  It has since been replaced and measures are in hand to prevent any further occurrence.  A security compound will be constructed in the very near future to house the stock there.

Restoration Work at Hednesford.

Slow progress has been made on the MR Royal Saloon, the clerestory roof has had pitch applied.  The damp has caused the roof inside to crack up.  We understand that work is now in hand to the two side panels which need attention.  The outside is now being given a coat of undercoat.

The LNWR TPO needs a good coat of red oxide, some of the woodwork needs replacing.  The roof has had some attention and is more waterproof.

The TPO needs a good sort out inside, with new relics arriving all the time, we are getting very short of room in this vehicle.  A great number of relics have to be stored because there is not enough space to display them.

The Maryport & Carlisle 3rd Class carriage is almost completed, the wheels need finishing with a white rim.  The underframes require another two coats of paint.  One door has been made complete by Frank Harvey and another door by Laurence Hodgkinson – this needs to be hung.

It is hoped to move the Midland Railway crane to Chasewater in the near future, where it will be used for track laying purposes.

The Midland Railway Crane at Chasewater 1969

The Midland Railway horse drawn delivery van requires another coat of paint and the roof needs re-canvassing.  Two of the wheels need repairing.  (I knew that we had this van, but I’ve never seen it and have no idea where it came from – there has been nothing in the magazines so far.  It is now on loan at Shugborough)

Robert A. Ives.

The Chasewater Report

At last we have permission to start the compound, I hope work will commence within the next month as so much depends on getting this site ready for steaming of locomotives this summer.  I think it is most important that we make an effort to attract the general public.

New arrivals this summer (all being well) will be a bolster wagon from Holly Bank and the Midland Railway crane from the Hednesford depot.  We hope during May, the Neilson from Glasgow and a Hawthorn Leslie from Manchester will have arrived, and there is also a likelihood of two salt wagons from Sandbach, Cheshire; and providing suitable transport can be found at a reasonable cost, the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln coach and the South Eastern and Chatham Railway brake from the Derwent valley should also be here by the late summer.  (There was an appeal for £400 for the transport costs later in the magazine.)MSL Coach in the Heritage Centre 2010

Track clearing is still making steady progress, although there have been one or two setbacks, e.g.  the extensive re-packing of the point at the south end of the passing loop, due to the continual burning of the bank; the work has now been successful.  The latest bit of vandalism as you no doubt have read was the removal of three lengths of track from the north end of the line by people of low moral character (I would have expressed it somewhat differently! Starts with a ‘b’ and ends with an ‘s’!), resulting in the derailment of the tool van and the flat wagon.  This has now been completely relaid.

During the next two months a total of 1053 feet of track has to be lifted and relaid on the compound site, as you will no doubt gather this will require a great deal of hard work by the Chasewater working party to meet the deadline, and we would appreciate very much the appearance of members whom we have not seen so far.

The Chasewater Working Party 1968

Due to the rapid expansion of the relics at both Hednesford and Chasewater, I think the need arises in the centralisation of work at these two depots.  There is a strong case for forming various departments i.e. loco footplate crews, signalling department fitters and permanent way staff.  If anyone has any ideas on the above departments, please let Frank Harvey or myself know.

Laurence Hopkins.

Hednesford Depot

This article was written as an appreciation of the work done at Chasewater and Hixon towards getting the Chasewater site and loco ready for steaming later this year (1968).

But it also asked for more work to be done at Hednesford, as the state of the Travelling Post Office and the Royal Saloon was giving rise to some concern.  Mr. Siberry was asking for a weekend in May to concentrate on painting these two items.

There are still more articles to come from this edition – about the Hudswell Clarke, the Neilson and the Chasewater Line – not to mention the stock-list!

Life on Hednesford Hills

Just a bit about something other than railway stuff, for a change!

Life on Hednesford Hills

Out with ‘Hopalong Ellie’ (still nowhere near 100% yet, but enjoying her walks) this morning by Gaskin’s Wood when I heard a fluttering behind me and there was what I took to be a fledgling Blue Tit. It was fluttering about quite happily but couldn’t manage more than half-a-dozen flaps and about three feet in height!  It just makes you think what would happen to it if some idiot came along and started a fire, which they are doing quite a lot of at the moment in the area.

Another bit of life on the Hills for a couple of days – someone had put a couple of carp in one of the pools.  I’m not sure of the names but I think the heron calls them ‘breakfast’!!  Fortunately some teenagers with a pond at home went to get a bucket to save the fish and the heron went hungry!

Hednesford Garden Festival

Hednesford Garden Festival

Congratulations to all those involved in organising the first ‘GardenFest’ in Hednesford.  According to the local press, they were keeping their fingers crossed for good weather – I just hope that it wasn’t too good!!

I have always thought that Hednesford street layout lends itself very well to an occasional event like this, when part of the town centre is closed to traffic for a while.

Well done to the Hednesford Events Committee and the Hednesford Gardening Club – I hope, as you do, that GardenFest will become an annual event.The Bouncy Castle has arrived!

Snibston Weekend

Snibston Weekend

Last weekend, the 22nd and 23rd of May, a number of Chasewater Railway members attended an event at Snibston in Leicestershire.  Also there was the Bagnall engine ‘Linda’ (2648/1941).

It seems that a good time was had by all and a lot of good photographs were taken.  Some are included in this post and there is a link to more on the blogroll on my home page. (‘Linda’ at Snibston)Pics with permission of

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3.Bits & Pieces 42.1

From the Chairman’s Notes 1968 Vol.1 No.3.

The Society is now passing through a difficult stage, this is common with individual members, indeed the country as a whole, is suffering from a severe depression with the economic climate.  The loan for our museum building has now been deferred, may we hope for better tidings later in the year?  We are, however, most grateful to members who are coming forward with loans to cover the cost of the museum compound.  Once this compound has been erected and the track into it laid, we should have two of the locomotives installed in the compound and ready for steaming.  The target date is late June and should not prove too difficult, if help, both financial and practical, is immediately forthcoming.  Your committee is working extremely hard, both on administration and practical work.  I therefore appeal to all members to back the committee and so push the work along faster.  A colossal amount of work has to be done this summer.  I am going to itemise the list of vehicles which require immediate attention.

D. A. Ives.

Chasewater Railway Museum

About the Chasewater Railway Museum

The Museum is open to the public on Sundays and Bank Holidays from

11.00am till 3.30pm.

These are the minimum opening hours and we do try to open on each running day, subject to staff availability.

Days when the Museum will not be open will be published on the home page this blog.

Private visits for groups and parties can be arranged by prior appointment.

Dedicated telephone hot-line: 07563 754498.

Admission to the Museum is FREE

The Museum is situated in the Heritage Centre adjacent to Brownhills West Station and is fully accessible to visitors with mobility difficulties.  A refreshment room and disabled facilities are available at the Station.

Directional signs are provided whenever the Museum is open.  On Gala and other days when there is a high number of trains operating, an alternative entrance is provided in the interests of safety.

Work in the Museum

Work in the Museum

There has been a lot of activity in and around the museum recently.  The Heritage Centre has been very well tidied up and the museum has had a number of new plinths made by our man Derek, the former scenery builder. 

We found two willing (!) helpers for varnishing.

Barry Bull and Bob Anderson – who’d’ve thought it?!

These were needed as part of the accreditation process to keep exhibits off the floor in case of damage by flooding.  It’s nice to see Derek back again after a family illness.  Derek fits out all the display cases in the museum, working at home and trusting his measurements – which have been almost perfect so far – one case proved to be a slightly different size to the others – but Derek’s skill soon sorted that out.  Another member working at home is Godfrey.  He has made all of the Museum direction boards and the ‘Next Event’ boards and has now started to paint the information  stands in the Heritage Centre.We’ve even got plinths for the bricks!

A great deal of work has been done on all three floors of the museum corner, both before and after the Accreditation Assessment.  Now it’s back to our regular cataloguing sessions, including taking photographs of the collection.  We are getting near the end of listing all the items in the museum and stores and soon will be starting to list the thousands of paper items held in store.Here’s a rarity – Barry Bull sitting at a computer!

(Mind you, he didn’t touch it!)

Steam Locomotive Classes of a Leisurely Era

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era –  by Casey Jones

The London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

E1 0-6-0T

In1874 there appeared from Brighton Works the first of Mr. Stroudley’s standard goods tank engines, No.97.

The class was a six coupled version of the D1 0-4-2T and the boilers, motion and cylinders of the two types were interchangeable.

Number 97 was followed by numbers 98/9 in the same year, 100-2 in 1875, 103-8 in 1876, 109-120 in 1877, 121-138 in 1878, 139-144 in 1879, 145-152 in 1880, 153-156 in 1881, 85-96 in 1883, 157 in 1884, 159-164 in 1891, making a total of 79 locos.

Dimensions were:

Cyls 17 x 24 ins. DWH 4’ 6” THS 943 sq ft Grate 15½ sq ft Pr 170 lbs/sq in

Wt 4Tons 3cwt.No.110 before restoration, at Hednesford ‘Cannock Wood’ No.9

In typical Stroudley tradition the whole class was named, rather a strange assortment of French towns and villages being chosen, together with other continental places and a few English as well.

As the standard goods shunting tank, the class was spread all over the system, doing extremely useful work.  In fact the class was so robust that Stroudley’s successors did not bother to design a replacement.  Mr. Billington did produce his E2s in 1913 to replace earlier E1s which had been withdrawn but the new development only numbered ten locos.

In 1911 Mr. Marsh the CME rebuilt No.89 with a new boiler 4’ 6” in diameter, she was the only one so treated and later when this boiler wore out she reverted to he original style.

Quite a few were taken out of traffic in LBSCR days but the majority were taken over by the Southern Railway who added 2000 to the original numbers.

In 1932-3 four of the class were transferred to the Isle of Wight and details of these are:

No.2136     Brindisi       W1   Medina

No.2152     Hungary      W2   Yarmouth

No.2154     Madrid         W3   Ryde

No.2131     Gournay     W4   WroxallWroxall

Incidentally the LBSCR renumbered certain of the class as follows before the SR added the 2000 to the numbers.

Nos. 85-91 to 685-91, No.99 to 610,      Nos. 100-5 to 692-7,

Nos. 106-9 to 606-9,   No.111 to 611

Further withdrawals took place in early Southern Railway days and in 1927-8 ten of the survivors were rebuilt at Brighton to the specifications of Mr. Mansell as

0-6-2Ts for service in the West of England on the newly opened line between Halwill Junction and Torrington.  These rebuilds were classified E1/R and those so treated were numbers 2094-6, 2124/35, 2608/10, 2695-7.  As originally built these were found to be unsteady on passenger service but this was soon eradicated by Mr. Bulleid who rebalanced numbers 2094-6, 2608/10.  These together with number 2696 spent most of their lives at Barnstaple depot, the other four being at Exeter for banking duties up the steep gradient between Exeter Central and Exeter St. David’s.

Reverting back to the E1s proper most had their names removed before passing into Southern hands, and as already remarked the survivors continued to put in useful work at various shunting yards.  Several were sold on withdrawal and these included number 2163 sold to Ashington Colliery in 1932, number 146 sold in 1908 and number 2110 ‘Burgundy’ sold to Cannock Wood Colliery, Staffs in 1927 and renamed Cannock Wood.  This latter is now the only surviving member, albeit in slightly modified form and is at present housed at Hednesford Depot  of the RPS (1968).  A fund is at present open towards the cost of purchase and restoration to full working order of this locomotive, and I can do no other than to commend this fund to our readers – after all plenty of passenger types are being saved but not the traditional British 0-6-0 shunting locomotive of which old number 110 is a worthy representative.

A Bit Extra Trolley Bus 616

1949 Sunbeam F4

Reg No: FJW 616
Chassis: Sunbeam F4
Engine: Trolleybus
Body: Park Royal DD

Trolleybuses were powered by electricity, drawing power from overhead wires. Wolverhampton Corporation was one of the most enthusiastic operators of trolleybuses from the 1920s onward.

Wolverhampton-based Sunbeam was one of Britain’s most important trolleybus builders, with a strong export market too. Guy Motors, also Wolverhampton based, took control after World War II. The local corporation, needing to replace its worn out pre-war fleet, took delivery of 99 of these fine trolleybuses between 1948 and 1950, on Guy and Sunbeam chassis. The Park Royal bodies were all to the newly permitted width of 8 feet.

Trolleybuses were vibration free and capable of long lives, many chassis being given new bodies. However, like other operators, Wolverhampton chose in the 1960s to scrap its trolleybus system and 616 retired in November 1963. It was presented to the Railway Preservation Society, Hednesford, and was stored at Alton in Hampshire for many years. To safeguard the future of this classic example of Wolverhampton’s post-war trolleybus fleet, the RPS passed it to the Trust’s predecessor in 1975. The Trust soon moved 616 to secure, undercover accommodation in north-west England and there it remained until arriving at Wythall at last, for the first time, in July 2004.