Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 85, July 1978

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

No. 85

From the Chasewater News Magazine No. 24 July 1978

Time to get back to some Bits & Pieces – I found this article in Magazine 24.

The Society’s Pump Handle Trolley’s next adventure.

Since the summer of 1975, when three anonymous persons were jettisoned off the causeway at great speed, the Society’s pump handle trolley has been living in retirement (or was it disgrace?) off the rails, festooned with various cast iron signs.

During a recent tidy-up the trolley was ‘re-discovered’ by one of our younger members and once the day’s running was over the trolley was re-railed, oiled and found to be in a rather sorry state of repair.  Gary Kay foolishly offered to rebuild the trolley, so it was decided to give it a final run prior to overhaul.  The party was formed of the more lunatic fringe of the Society (though Graham has since had his hair cut) namely Messrs. Attwood, Bull, Owen, Webb, Patterson and last but not least, the brothers ‘Grimm’.

At first the run was to be to the crossing and return, but before we could say ‘every confidence’ or even ‘doom and despondency’ we were carrying the trolley across the infamous ‘gap’ (the ‘gap’ was out of the Brownhills West gate and over the bridge by the fishing pool) and onto the loopline.  The loopline was found to be passable – well almost – despite a few hassles with the odd wayward bush, but an attempt at a run down the Norton branch (to the Norton East Road and Conduit No. 3, not the Pelsall to Hednesford line) was thwarted by the locals having covered the track with rubbish – everything from a three piece suite to a dead cat.  After this an attempt at ascending the causeway was made, but this too was blocked, this time by several tons of hardcore tipped by the Council.

The return trip provided more excitement, a hasty start left Mr. Bull stranded brandishing a shovel, and quite a speed was attained.  Unfortunately we were halted in full steam by a large overgrown gorse bush, which forced an evacuation of the trolley rather sooner than most of the crew anticipated as they were jettisoned, arms and legs akimbo, and ended up with rather sore arms and legs and backs, though the elder ‘Grimm’ was more concerned about hi s station master’s hat which landed dangerously near a large puddle.

After several minutes of recovery time the trolley was re-railed and a slow return to Brownhills West was made, and although it had been proved that track still existed beyond the ‘gap’ there are several members who are beginning to think that perhaps 800 yards of railway is more than enough, especially for pump handle trolley racing!!

Following the successful  re-enactment of the bucket-chain a couple of years ago, I asked Mr. Bull about a possible re-enactment of the trolley trip-  unfortunately his reply is not for publication!Now tucked away in the Heritage Centre

Hand Pump Trolley

This trolley was purchased (after a whip –round!) from the British Rail permanent way yard in Walsall in the 1970s.  A few years later, in their 1981 session, it was renovated by students of the West Bromwich College of Commerce and Technology.

 

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