Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 72 – Dec 1976
The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter
Chasewater News – Part 1
From the ‘Editorial’
Less than 24 hours ago, I was standing in the compound with a group of members, discussing the lack of recent Society literature, when jokingly I suggested I could piece together a newsletter. Well here I am trying to write one.
Sincere apologies are due for the non-arrival of ‘Chasewater Express’ No.3, due to printing problems, etc. Hopefully the next edition will revert to the magazine format, which has produced some favourable comments. (Sorry folks – it didn’t!).
Much activity has taken place at Chasewater during the long dry summer and the short wet autumn. No less than three engines have been seen in steam at Chasewater this year, a record for the Society. It is estimated that over 8,000 people visited us, so there is every confidence of getting into five figures in 1977. ‘Alfred Paget’ the Neilson 0-4-0ST handled the bulk of the season’s traffic faultlessly (well almost!),
Alfred Paget and Invicta
whilst ‘Asbestos’ was steamed on a couple of occasions, but succumbed to rotten tubes in August and so was taken out of service pending the annual boiler inspection.
The big news however has been the completion of the overhaul of ‘Invicta’ the Barclay 0-4-0ST and its use in service pulling the vintage train on a couple of occasions at the end of the season. Already it has proved to be quite powerful, despite its somewhat diminutive size. Many thanks are due to Mike Wood for the purchase of this engine.
The boiler inspector has visited the site and passed ‘Alfred Paget’ and ‘Invicta’ for use next year, subject to steam tests. Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ is due for a major test entailing the removal of tank and lagging, so it may not steam next year, for the first time in five years.
Paget with Asbestos
It is hoped that work will start on the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in the New Year, so there is plenty of work for anyone interested in loco repairs – don’t be shy, come and volunteer to strengthen our loco fleet.
Both ‘Invicta’ and ‘Paget’ are to be repainted prior to next season. The little Barclay, ‘Lion’ and the Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST have been repainted this summer, considerably improving the ‘scrap-yard’ image of the compound. The planned repaint of ‘Asbestos’ will also be done, made easier by the need to dismantle it.
The other major scene of activity has been the current terminus of the line where the burning embankment has been dug out and refilled with non-combustible material. The track here has been slewed across to avoid placing stress on the edge of the embankment. Further relaying has taken place using concrete sleepers, extending the line by 50 yards or so. Many thanks to Colin Vincent for the loan of his bulldozer.
Further relaying has ceased pending purchase of the loopline from British Railways. It seems that the purchase will have to be completed without financial aid from the Council in view of the current economic and political climate (sound familiar!). To this end several interested bodies have offered substantial sums of money for the ‘E1’ locomotive ‘Cannock Wood’. A subject of much heated discussion at the moment. (See separate letter. In the next post – cws). The selling of E1 can only be done as a last resort, if all other means fail. Any sensible suggestions regarding fund-raising, etc. should be forwarded to the Hon. Sec.
Other progress has been seen with regard to re-fencing of the compound following two break-ins, when £40 worth of relics were stolen from the museum vehicle. The police have the addresses of the probable culprits so the items may be recovered.
Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate visited the line and was reasonably satisfied with the current state of affairs – the full report will appear in the next magazine. It is to be hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will finance the repainting of the DMU coach, so that it can match the current excellence of the two six-wheelers.
The Model Railway Exhibition held in September was another financial success, though the level of help, especially of the Friday night, was poor. Many thanks to Andrew Louch, the organiser and to Mr. and Mrs. Duffill for the refreshments.