Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 68
From the ‘Chasewater Express’ January 1976
Here we are, into 1976, and once again the Society is crying out. Crying for cash and for help. Once again it is up to members to try and help us over the winter patch, which, as in other years, is hit by poor attendance of volunteers. Our Society is by no means unique in this respect.
I ask you then to do this: there is enclosed in this mag a loose membership form: persuade a friend to fill it in and send it to us. If each member gets just one new member, then our workforce should double. Sounds glib – but is it too much to ask?
Hope you like the new magazine. This is the ‘cheap’ winter edition, with duplicated insides, but the summer edition – in April – which will be on wide sale to non-members, will be a classier affair altogether.
Your adverts are welcome – send them to me. I intend to widen our circulation by acting as a ‘Notice Board’ for vendors and collectors of Railwayana.
Steve Organ has now taken over the editorship of the newsletter, though he tells me that he is going to modify the format slightly. I must thank Steve for relieving me of the job, which has at times been rather difficult to achieve due to business commitments,
We are in the winter now and a difficult time to try and maintain our stock and locomotives at Chasewater due mainly to a lack of covered accommodation.
We are now in our sixteenth year, and can be fairly called a viable society; we do emphasise, however that we must have all the help that anyone can give, to continue to be viable.
Laurence Hodgkinson and I made a very enjoyable trip to Ludgvan, near Penzance, during November, and collected six gas lamps intact from an old GWR clerestory body – this entailed a lot of hard work, particularly for Laurence, who had to cut through all the plumbing. We returned through fog, gale and rain to offload the lamps at Chasewater around midnight that evening.
Our sincere thanks to Mr. Davey Thomas who owned the coach body for his generosity and hospitality.
May I wish everyone a prosperous and happy New Year – Dave Ives – President.
I hope that at least one of these lamps will be restored and on the exhibition stands this year – Editor.
Recent Happenings at Chasewater
A pump handle trolley (YES, BUSTER KEATON STYLE!) has been restored to working order after many years of use as a timber stand. Already, since being commissioned around 1st January, it has claimed two victims. First Rob Duffill, who has a wrenched arm, and now Barry Bull, who the Machine’s handle lifted from the platform and hurled him through the air, to be deposited, muttering oaths and obscenities, into the Chasewater quagmire. (No photographs are available so I may ask them for an action replay!!). Thanks are due to John Elsley for the restoration of this museum piece for our torture-chamber exhibit.
The line has now been relaid and ballasted to the BR Boundary, but much packing is needed.
Negotiations twixt BR and the Council continue – developments hoped for very soon.
Invicta arriving July 1975 – D.Bathurst’s collection
Invicta, the 0-4-0ST Barclay, ex Chatham Docks, has passed its hydraulic test – steaming soon.
Staging has been erected alongside the MSLR coach for public viewing.
Harold Wilson, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister has made a donation to Society funds (true!)
Original Stones lighting equipment for the ‘Paddy Train’ LNWR bogie brake compo is on order – thank you J.C.James
The TPO has been re-roofed and glazed.
Once again we are well into the closed season, a time when the Railway has to be made ready for the next season of passenger operation. This is a vital time for the Society, for if we are to operate trains we must make good the wear and tear of last year and make improvements where necessary, and whenever possible, and to do these things, we need YOU! You are the Society’s greatest asset – without you we do not exist!
Working members are about 5% of the Society’s membership – a good percentage when compared to other Societies – i.e. SVR’s 4%. Unfortunately for us, our membership as a whole is much less than the SVR, so I would urge you to take up the Editor’s scheme – with the enclosed form get just one new member, more if you can, and really help the Society in this way – if you can’t help on site, is this too much to ask?
We will start the season with two steam locomotives and soon there will be three, next year probably another will be added – these are as well as diesels – never before has the Society been in a position of such strength, but this alone is not enough. We need track to run on, serviceable vehicles, coaches, to carry fare-paying passengers and station staff.
Come and help us then. Make 1976 a year to remember. If you cannot come to Chasewater but can offer us some other service, or have constructive proposals to make, please write to us via the editor. Best wishes for the New Year – Albert Haywood, Chairman.