Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 76 – April 1977
Chasewater News 19
With the operating season nearly upon us, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the same few regular volunteers will be responsible for the operation of the railway during the coming season. Appeals for extra help during the closed season have had the usual minimal response but the usual crowd have ensured that the railway will reopen as scheduled on the 10th April. In many ways the RPS is the Cinderella of the operating preserved railways, but it reflects great credit upon the dozen or so people who have turned up week in, week out, enduring rain, sleet and snow, that we have entered our sixth season of steam-hauled services, which promises to be our most successful yet.
Pride of place must go to the ancient Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’. Although built as long ago as 1882 it passed its steam test on 17th March with flying colours. This was the result of much hard work by the engineering department in re-machining parts of the motion, which had earned it the nickname of ‘shake, rattle and roll’ in some circles. The planned repaint for the Neilson has had to be delayed due to the adverse weather conditions.
‘Invicta’ the Andrew Barclay saddletank has passed its visual inspection and now awaits re-assembly of cab fittings, etc., and then a steam test before re-entering service again. Its owner is still threatening to complete its restoration by giving it a uniform coat of Great Western green!
Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ repairs are beyond our financial resources at the moment and so it has been put to one side until we have the necessary cash.
The next major locomotive job is to strip the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in preparation for its major hydraulic test. The two Worthington diesels have had repairs as and where necessary and are both serviceable at the moment.
Lion in 1978 with ‘Colonel’ Plate
It is pleasing to report that the Company are financing a complete repaint of the DMU trailer coach by a local firm of contractors, in the early stages of the season. The expected final livery is grey roof, crimson lake bodywork and black underframe and running gear. Great progress has been made with regard to trackwork with the construction of a point for a siding at the crossing. This took less than a month despite the fact that the recently restored petrol crane broke its main shaft whilst lifting the first piece of rail into place. Several crossing timbers were obtained by our general manager at a bargain price. Ballasting and packing has been completed, considerably eased by the use of the tractor and bucket scoop, kept in trim by Brian Hames.
The footings of the lever frame have been laid. The necessary walls should be built during Easter week, enabling the platform to be extended to its full length.
Other work carried out on site has been mainly in tidying up in preparation for the coming season. A scrap drive resulted in a load of scrap being sold to bolster the Society’s coffers. The sale of the engine out of the scrapped J4 van realised £25.
The Travelling Post Office has been partially re-roofed, with more to follow to make it water-tight again. Re-panelling of this vehicle is to commence when the weather becomes drier.
The visit to South Yorkshire area of the Coal Board 9mentioned in the last Newsletter) was not entirely unsuccessful, as, although we failed (only just) to obtain the locomotive ‘Beatrice’, the Hon. Sec. was successful in obtaining many locomotive spares, notably boiler tubes and firebars from Rockingham Colliery.
Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary FundNo.110 Southern No. 4
Not a lot to report this month, but ads in Railway Magazine have been paid for to counter the apathy amongst Society members. A rather neat handout has been produced and is obtainable. Certain preservative work has been done on the locomotive and a repaint is planned before the high season. More help and money is urgently needed for this project to succeed.
Negotiations within Walsall Council continue and a final decision is awaited.
The Chasewater Light Railway Company has awakened from its apparent siesta and a general meeting will shortly be arranged.
Meanwhile all members are urged to take up the offer of buying a yard of track, as the success of this fund will decide the fate of our Society. Albert Haywood is the person to contact regarding the track fund and every £10 donation is certified.
Thanks are due once again to Mr. Clift of Chase terrace, who has donated a 25 ton locomotive jack, once used in the Central Workshops at the far end of our line, and a pile of magazines for resale. On the museum front latest acquisitions have included a Great Western and Midland Railway joint cast iron notice and two very nice bridge numbers of Manchester South Junction and Altrincham and West Riding and Grimsby Joint origins. Smaller items include a GWR paycheck, an LNWR (Walsall) paycheck, an LNWR 1894 handbill, LSWR carriage blind, a small GWR cream jug complete with crest and six LMS tickets, mostly from the Brownhills area.
The March meeting was a slide competition and there were close on 100 entries of varying quality, though every entrant had at least one slide in the last twenty. The competition was won convincingly by Nigel Canning’s photo of ‘Asbestos’ taken from within the dark confines of the cab of the Hudswell Clarke.