Monthly Archives: April 2011

104 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 3

104 ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 3

An excerpt from the Chasewater Fat Controller’s Diary – dateline Sunday 10th February, 1985

It must have been the coldest day of the winter when the GM brought his car to a stand behind mine in Pool Road.  Having tried to get through the drifts and failed, I had backed out onto the A5 slip road just as a silly wassock in a Sherpa van who, having watched me back out, took a run at the same drift and got stuck.  He was eventually towed out an hour later by the farmer’s tractor.

Following meaningful discussions in the General Manager’s car including how many tools have gone missing during the Task Force Scheme? And who did we know with a Range Rover? We departed for Lichfield Road.

The bearded one was just about to leave, so with two pairs of socks and a spade each, the three of us returned to Chasewater in his large ‘four-coupled’ vehicle.  This time we tried the dirt track off White Horse Road which turned out to be relatively clear and it wasn’t until we were opposite the main gate that we met a snow drift.

“Come on Les, up onto the grass, round the left of that tree, and we’re in” the driver was advised.  Seconds later we had slid into a deep ditch which had been completely hidden by the snow.  The situation was desperate as with only one wheel of each axle in contact with the ground, the chassis resting on the ground and the diff. lock frozen, escape seemed impossible.

Les was left in charge of the wreckage while Brian and myself set out for the loco shed through driving wind and drifts up to four feet deep.  As luck would have it the compound gate and the shed door were clear so we could get inside and gather the necessary rescue equipment.  One large block and tackle, crow bar, key hammer, peckett cylinder wrapper and rope.  By this time the gorilla had landed his spitfire in Hednesford Road and assisted with pulling the ‘peckett sledge’ back towards the gate.  Upon passing Brownhills West Station we were intercepted by the Bull who, having arrived by cattle wagon saw the effort being expended and concluded we must be up to no good and so joined in.

After much struggling the crow bar was hammered into the ground and the block and tackle run between it and the vehicle’s towing ball.  Finally, with a large crowd of onlookers assisting, the vehicle was half winched, half lifted, onto solid ground.

Needless to say we all left the way we had come to search for Les’s 3½”/5” gauge garden railway and a cup of tea.  But at least we had ‘maintained the presence’ at Chasewater for another Sunday.          Nigel Canning

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103 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 2

103 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 2

 Carriage & Wagon Notes

Following the AGM the ex GWR Toad brake van has been sold to Les Emery (owner of Barclay No.3).  As this is GWR 150th year it is perhaps worth pointing out that this vehicle was numbered fourth in the first batch of twelve GWR freight vehicles to be built with iron underframes and is thought to be the oldest surviving GWR vehicle.  Incidentally, its sale realises a 13,000% profit to the Society.

The AGM also agreed to the sale of the ex LNWR brake compartment (non-corridor coach known in the vernacular as ‘the paddy’.  This has been advertised for sale and hopefully a buyer can be found as it is neither use nor ornament in its present condition and funds/manpower are not available to rectify the situation.  The ex BSC hopper wagon is having its body removed and will be fitted with timber decking for use as a flat wagon.  This will enable the worst of the present flat wagons to be scrapped (as it had a smashed headstock amongst other diseases) along with the British Reinforced Concrete Ltd. drop sided wagon, which is beyond all hope of redemption.Great Eastern brake

All other wooden bodied stock is in appalling condition due to the ravages of open storage and vandalism.  One seriously wonders if they will be restorable if and when we have the money and manpower to do so.

The Wickham buffet car is in weekly use providing the Society’s main source of income over the winter months, whilst the Wickham trailer and Gloucester trailer await for signs of resumption of train services at which they will be repainted and brought into a fir state for passenger carrying duties.

Vandalism and Theft

Once again, the railway has fallen prey to the attention of juvenile vandals and scrap metal thieves.  As has already been mentioned, all locos kept outside the shed have had all none ferrous fittings removed after some pipework went missing, and locos to be stored outside after restoration will be fitted with vandal-proof shutters.

The ex MSL coach was removed of all its brass grab handles and door handles by a person or persons unknown, though these were later found in the Task Force workers mess van, from which one can draw one’s own conclusions.  Having suffered the above trouble and that mentioned in Mr. Bull’s ‘comment’, we have been of late suffering from thieves steeling cast iron chairs, track spikes, lengths of rail and even sleepers from the causeway and loop areas of the line.

As a result of vandalism and theft we have sold all surplus rail, wooden sleepers and chairs from the causeway as the majority of it was only fit for scrap whilst any decent materials have been secured in the vicinity of Brownhills West.

The theft of wooden sleepers has been halted following the issue of a circular to houses in Norton Canes asking for information.  No fewer than twelve households reported having bought ‘logs’ from a local resident.  These ‘logs’ were in fact sawn-up sleepers and the man in question was arrested whilst burning the evidence in his back garden, having received one of these circulars himself!

Help

A list has been drawn up of the work needed to be done before trains can run again.

The majority if the work calls for hard work and graft rather than fancy engineering skills.  Why don’t YOU give it a try one Sunday?  We don’t bite (well Ted might if provoked) and tea in the buffet car has improved of late.  Seriously though, the more people that help then the quicker we can re-open and form a sound financial platform from which we can begin to think of extending the line across the causeway and beyond.

Task Force

The last issue mentioned that the Task Force had returned with the intention of finishing all outstanding work by Christmas.  Well Christmas has been and gone and the situation is worse than even the Fat Controller can have imagined.  Following demolition of the platform the Task Force moved onto the causeway and dismantled the track there, and then – nothing!  That’s right, they just dismantled the track in situ rendering its recovery impossible except by Shank’s Pony.  Round the Festive Season word got out that Task Force had withdrawn from Chasewater an d were not coming back, not ever, never!

A variety of reasons were rumoured, the one holding most credence being that the head of the Task Force thought Chasewater was too far away (from his office one supposes).  We were not amused and a deputation of Chairman/Solicitor and General Manager were sent to County Hall to register a complaint in no uncertain terms.

Apart from the obvious air of destruction and the resultant lack of train services it is perhaps pertinent to mention that membership of the CLRS has dropped by 50% since the arrival of Task Force.

Catering

A recent plus in this department is the repair of the Baby Belling cooker thanks to Mick Webb, this will enable a wider range of foods to be made available than previously.

102 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 1

102 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 1

After the last post’s slightly more optimistic outlook it seems to have slipped backward – oh dear!

Editor’s Notes – Ian Patterson

Much of what follows is of a depressing nature but there is little point in glossing over the severe handicaps that we face at the current time, and perhaps it will spur one or two to take an active part in what should, when all is said and done, be a pleasurable hobby.

Chasewater Comment

This issue’s writer is Barry Bull, Hon.Sec. of the CLRS and a member for 16 years.

When I was asked by H.Y. the ‘Managing Director’ of ‘Chasewater News’ to write this piece I was hoping to write in a more light-hearted vein than of late.

However, those of us committed to the cause of operating a railway and associated museum seem to have been dealt one body blow after another by a series of events over which we have little or no control.  The worst aspect, since the closing of the railway for passenger services in October, 1982 has been the way we have been left open to the vagaries of West Midlands County Council and their Task Force Programme.  Despite the valiant efforts of John Selway the expected successes of the Task Force Programme have not materialised,

Whatever feelings we may have as regards the work actually completed on site the main problem has been behind the scenes at County Hall.  You will have read in the last issue of Chasewater News of the intention of WMCC to reconstruct the platform drainage at Brownhills West and Stadium Halt (which was a possible halt opposite Willow Vale Nursery), fencing of the line and associated crossing gates – all to be finished by Christmas (we presumed 1984!).  Well, as those of us who attend Chasewater on a regular basis will know, none of this happened.

I’m afraid that this report went on for another three or four paragraphs all very similar, with tales of vandals, metal thieves and arsonists at all the organisations using Chasewater.

Loco News

No.1  Hibberd Diesel  The AGM in October agreed to sell this loco as it is surplus to requirements and it has duly been advertised.  Further developments are awaited.

No.2  Peckett 1351  This engine stands next to the shed door with a hopeful look on its face/smokebox.  Does its owner still realise that he owns it?

No.3  Barclay 1223  The restoration of this loco has suffered a setback as, when the new stays were riveted up, the inner firebox walls buckled around the stayheads.  The Boiler Inspector’s verdict is awaited with trepidation as he is unlikely to pass the repair, insertion of copper patches or even a new inner firebox may be the answer.

Despite this the new cab, bunkers and footplating are being installed, and jolly fine they look too!

No.4  Asbestos  Since the last set of notes great strides have been made with the restoration of ‘Asbestos’.  After much bickering the worst of the cladding sheets were replaced  with new material, generously donated by a member.

Once these had been cut to size they were fitted following lagging of the boiler with new hygienic fibreglass cladding.  The following week the tank was refitted and for the first time in some eight years ‘Asbestos’ looks like a complete steam engine.

Much work remains to be done, however, but refitting of the regulator and cleaning up of backhead fitting faces is underway.

No.5  Sentinel  The Sentinel was first steam tested on November 25th (having had the dubious honour of being the first loco to steam at Chasewater since ‘Invicta’ on 16th October, 1982).  Following this, minor adjustments were made and a second steam test followed on 6th January though a shortage of coal hampered its steaming capabilities on this occasion.  Further minor adjustments are being made whilst a new grate is on its way.  Vandal-proof shutters have been fitted to enable the loco to be left outside without fear of fittings being stolen.

During the spring the Fat Controller (for it is he that owns the beast) plans to repaint the loco in a pseudo BR black livery with large yellow numbers as No.59632 (there’s no accounting for taste, is there?)

It is planned to steam the Sentinel at regular intervals on works train duties to enable much needed maintenance to be done on the Ruston diesel No.7.No.6  Peckett 917  Slow progress is at present being made on this loco with  the installation of a new cab side and front with a new bunker to follow.  However, with the end in sight on ‘Asbestos’ progress should speed up during the year and thoughts are turning towards repairing the water tank rather than a wholesale replacement.

No.7  Ruston diesel DL7  As mentioned above, the big Ruston requires a fair amount of maintenance to make it a more reliable machine.  This will be done as soon as there is space in the shed for it.  Meanwhile, a search is on for equipment to fit the loco with vacuum brakes.

No.8  Invicta  Invicta stands outside the shed minus cab fittings – removed for safety’s sake, and whilst being nominally serviceable it is unlikely to steam this year.S100 Frame & Wheels

No.10  Hudswell Clarke S100  The new main bearing have been machined and the axle box horn faces have been trued.  Re-wheeling will soon become a priority as it needs to be moved to enable track work alterations to be done at Brownhills West.

No.11  Alfred Paget  The ancient Neilson awaits attention – new tubes and water tank repairs, but sadly it is impossible to say when this will begin.No.15  Hudswell Clarke 431  The big news is that the chimney has fallen off.  Thankfully, the AGM refused to give the committee authority to dispose of this fine machine and, hopefully, plans for its restoration can be formulated soon. (nobody has defined ‘soon’!)

It is perhaps relevant to ask what will be the loco department’s next project as within the next 12 – 18 months locos Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and possibly 10 are likely to be ready for use.  Are we really going to need 7 locomotives to pull two coaches over a three quarter mile of track?  ( No.3 took about 20 years to steam and Nos. 6 and10 still haven’t!  No.8 ‘Invicta’ left for pastures new in between times).

Chasewater Railway News – Easter 2011

Chasewater Railway News – Easter 2011

 In spite of the Railway not being able to cross the causeway (due to circumstances entirely beyond their control), there was still plenty of activity at Chasewater over the weekend.  ‘Linda’ and ‘Asbestos’ were both in steam running to the causeway and back and giving brake van rides, and the Hunslet was in action shunting at times.  Easter Monday saw an Easter Egg Hunt well organised and run by the Junior Section and judging by the number of parents and children about this seems to have been well supported – grand job!In the Heritage Centre the W59444 carriage is nearing completion with the reupholstered seats now in place – very smart!I popped in to see the Model Railway Group again this week; it’s good to have it running regularly although with one or two slight hitches at the moment.  I would imagine that the problems will start to get sorted out when the Bank Holiday Season is over.  I must admit that I look forward to the time when more model steam engines are running – my personal preference over diesel, sorry.In the Museum there have been a couple of new additions – a Block Instrument with bell box, LNER origin and a new brick for the collection of colliery bricks.  This was an anonymous donation of a Bretby Colliery brick – I must admit that I didn’t know where Bretby Colliery was so it was duly ‘googled’ and found to be in South Derbyshire – I was also surprised to see a photo of one on ‘flickr’!

Hednesford

Hednesford

 Hednesford should be a busy place this week – now that the regeneration has started!On Friday there is, of course, the fun event in the town for the Royal Wedding – complete with a big screen for the event itself.  There will be lots going on so please support your local traders by coming into Hednesford to have a day of fun!Following Monday’s 6 – 0 away win at Halesowen, Hednesford Town should be in top form when they receive Leamington on Thursday evening, April 28th in the Semi Final of the Zamaretto League play-offs for promotion.  They have already won the ‘Red Insure’ Cup this season so promotion would make a great double for the team!

Get down to Keys Park for the 7.45 kick-off and give the team your support!

© Copyright Geoff Pick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

101 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 2

101 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 2

Loco News

Now that we have a new numbering system, it goes into operation.  I shall use the numbers but not ask you to refer to the previous post – I’ve got the numbers and locos on the page in front of me – you haven’t!

No. 3  Barclay 1223  Since a change of ownership last October the engine has been completely dismantled above the frames, and the boiler and firebox have been examined by the Boiler Inspector.  Members of long standing may recall that this loco’s boiler was virtually condemned some 15 years ago and has stood idle ever since.  We must now be in a more enlightened age as, apart from replacement of some 18 firebox stays and welding a small patch on the firebox side and renewal of several smokebox tubeplate rivets, the Boiler Inspector is quite happy for the boiler to be returned to steam.  Much of the platework of the loco has been replaced with new – I.E cab, bunkers, footplating and a new smokebox has been fabricated.

A new set of boiler tubes has arrived and those responsible for the loco hope to see it in steam in early 1985 – they must be confident as they’re looking for another loco!

No. 4  Asbestos  Following a successful hydraulic test the boiler has at last been reunited with the frames, for the first time in six years.  Despite the misguided belief that interest (work) would speed up following refitting of the boiler – this has not yet happened, putting a 1984 steaming in considerable doubt at the time of writing (mid-July)

Despite this, slow progress is being made by one man (without dog!) in assembling a useable set of cladding sheets from the mangy set of originals.  Also the cab fittings have been overhauled off-site.

No. 5  Sentinel  Since the last report the boiler has passed its visual test and following reassembly was hydraulically tested.  On testing the superheater several holes were found, the only remedy being replacement.  Without too much difficulty a firm was found who could manufacture a new one and this was duly ordered and delivered – at considerable expense to the owner!

The boiler duly passed its hydraulic test as did the new superheater.  Reassembly is well under way with many components being replaced at the same time.

The owner expects to steam the loco later this year and run trials with it to ascertain its suitability for passenger work before considering fitting vacuum brakes.

No. 6  Peckett 917  Slow progress has been made on this loco, recent work being confined to stripping and painting the cab and removal of fire bricks out of the smokebox to reveal a somewhat wasted tube plate.  Work should speed up when ‘Asbestos’ (wot – no number?!) is finished.

No.10  Hudswell Clarke 1822 (S 100) First the bad news – during the winter we suffered a spate of break-ins which resulted in the loss of the main bearing brasses as well as a complete set of new ones.  Now the good news – the wheelsets have been sent to Bridgnorth for tyre and journal turning and have returned ready for refitting, the axle boxes which will shortly be sporting new main bearings which are being supplied at a good competitive rate.

Whilst this was going on, the owner overhauled the lathe and miller in the loco shed and is now using them to true the horn faces on the axle boxes.

All being well, the frames should be reunited with the wheels before the end of the year, enabling further reassembly to take place under cover.

Following a request from the Honourable Secretary to reintroduce a system of credits for work done, here goes…….

Barclay 1223 – Les, Gorilla and friends.  New cab and bunkers – Comex Workshop, Walsall.  New Smokebox – Angle Ring Co. Ltd.  New boiler tubes – Charlie from Embsay via Newmans Tubes Ltd., Wednesbury.

Asbestos  Boiler – Tony and Brian.  Cladding – HY.  Cab fittings – PCK

Sentinel – Mr. K9

Peckett 917  Les and kids, young Pete and the Wossacks.

Hudswell Clarke S100  Axle brasses – Wednesbury Foundry Training School.  Lathe and Miller – Mr. Sale.  Wheel Turning – Severn Valley Railway.

Loco Numbers  HY.

Black Paint  (Someone has been working on the principle that if it’s stationary and rusty – paint it black!)  Assorted young kids and men with beards!

 Task Force

The new siding mentioned in the last magazine was subsequently found to be unnecessary and consequently was not built.

The Task Force then turned their attention to putting the southern point in for the Brownhills West run round, however, following a survey of the line by West Midlands County Council Surveyor’s Department, further work was suspended until the proposed track plans and gradient profiles were approved by the Railway Inspectorate.  As a result, Brownhills West still looks as though a bomb has hit it, though in recent weeks some Task Force workers have returned and started slowly demolishing what remains of the platform in preparation for its long awaited rebuild.  Despite this apparent lack of progress we have been assured that all the work – reconstruction of platform, drainage of Brownhills West, run round loops at Brownhills West and Stadium Halt (?), fencing of the line and associated crossing gates will be finished by Christmas (one presumes 1984!)

If this is so then services can be resumed following inspection by HM Railway Inspectorate.

 Track Work

During the lull in Task Force activities a hastily formed track gang relaid the point leading to the loco shed some 45 feet nearer to Brownhills West to give a longer siding and also ease the alignment which was somewhat tight.  This was achieved within a matter of two months, much credit going to Mr. K9, a man with a beard and a (semi) tame Gorilla who performed Herculean feats of strength (some may call it stupidity) in moving large pieces of point and many concrete sleepers in preparation for Sunday working parties.

Chasewater Light Railway Company Notes

Since the end of the YOP Scheme the Company has slowly sorted out its finances to such a degree that it knows to whom it owes what amounts of money.  The two creditors are:

1.    The Overdraft Facility taken out at Barclays Bank.

2.    Money overspent on the YPO Scheme and owed to the Manpower Services Commission.

To ease matters the Society took stock of its assets and was able to identify several items which were not imperative to keep the CLR project a viable proposition.  To this end it was agreed in a series of General Meetings to dispose of:

1.    Andrew Barclay Saddle Tank 1223

2.    Sentinel Loco 9632

3.    LNWR TPO coach

4.    LNWR brake coach (Paddy Coach).

Of these items, the first three have been sold with only the TPO going off-site, whilst a deal to sell the ‘Paddy’ has fallen through, though hopefully a new purchaser can be found.  Despite the resulting influx of money, the Company still has a sizeable overdraft to pay off, which will hinder any future plans for expansion until it is eradicated.  At present the Company has only three forms of income:

1.    Donations from the Society

2.    Sale of Shares

3.    Sale of Shares in DL7

Museum Notes

The only notable acquisition of late has been a wooden shield presented by the LMS to Trent Valley Station following three successive victories in the station gardens competition, 1924 – 1926

100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

Chasewater News – Editorial

 The Society is approaching its 25th Anniversary which will be celebrated at the Society AGM on 13th October and at a Bus Rally and Railwayana Fair at Chasewater on the following day (October 14th) 11.00 – 4.30, admission free.

Throughout its 25 years the Society’s membership has fluctuated around the 100 mark whilst its aims have switched from creating a static museum to an operating railway.  Despite the lack of passenger trains during the last two seasons the Society membership has held its own and so far this year over 15 new members have been enrolled.  To these people we say thank you for having faith in the Chasewater Project.  Inside this magazine you will find a membership form and we are appealing for every member to enrol a new member to give us enough people to operate trains next season (as we are led to believe that we will be in a position to do so).

Members may have read elsewhere about plans to spend up to 14 million pounds on Chasewater Park and the Society/Company have drawn up plans to expand the Railway, should this scheme come to fruition.  All this is dependent on us having enough manpower to run services on a regular basis so it is up to the present membership to either come forward and operate the services or to find new members to do the same.  Members may also have read of a scheme to build a new motorway which may or may not pass through the park.  If it does come through the park then we are wasting our time.

News from the line

Loco Department – It has for sometime been felt that there ought to be a numbering system for locos at Chasewater in order to give a proper Light Railway image.

A start was made some years ago when ‘Invicta’ emerged from a repaint sporting a painted No.8 (it was then the eighth steam engine on site) on the front buffer beam and brass plates (GWR style) on the cab sides.

The following system has been devised and will be put into practise as engines are repainted, although the GWR style plates on ‘Invicta’ will not be featured on other locos as brass plates with the loco number and the legend ‘Chasewater Light Railway’ have been designed.  Some locos will also bear fictitious 21G shed plates as the Operating Superintendent reckons 21G would have been the shed code for Brownhills West (Hednesford Road) had it existed in BR days.

Loco                                                          No.

Hibberd Diesel                                 1                 First loco to arrive


Peckett 1351                                    2                  No. 2 at Wallsend Slipway

Barclay 1223                                   3

Asbestos                                            4

Sentinel 9632                                   5                 May be painted black as BR 59632

Peckett 917                                       6

R & H Diesel                                       7                 No.7 at Whitwell Colliery

Invicta                                                    8

Hudswell Clarke 1822                     10

Alfred Paget                                         11               No.11 at Gartsherrie

Hudswell Clarke 431                       15

Ex bass Diesel                                     21

L & Y Petrol                                            1

It seems strange to have two No.1s when starting a new system, even if they didn’t stay much longer!

99 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Late 1983

99 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Late 1983

Editorial: Several things have happened, but little has changed.

 Several significant things have happened at Chasewater since the last magazine was printed and these will be detailed in the next few pages.

Little has changed because we are still short of manpower and cash, of these two shortages surely the lack of manpower must be the more inexcusable.  On one Sunday this summer there were only two members at Chasewater and I make no apology for the fact that we spent the day working in the shed whilst the public looked through the locked gates of Brownhills West Station.  Fifty per cent of those people must have thought that it was a railway scrapyard and the other fifty per cent, who knew better, probably thought that we had closed down for good!

If we are very lucky, sometime next year, we may have a railway which is once again fit to run passenger trains on and probably a couple of locos and coaches in useable condition, but will we have the people to run them?

Nigel Canning – Operating Superintendent

 Locomotives

Asbestos – The six missing firebox stays have been riveted into place and the boiler will shortly be hydraulically tested.  If this is successful the loco can be reassembled, steam tested and the newly installed vacuum brake equipment tested.

Sentinel heading past the old rear of the loco shed in 1992

 Sentinel – The Boiler Inspector will carry out a visual examination on the boiler and superheater of this loco when Asbestos is hydraulically tested.  Work will then continue until completed.  A trial will have to be carried out to see if this loco is capable of successfully operating passenger trains before any though is given to fitting vacuum brake equipment.

 S-100 – Tony has been making use of the summer weather to paint various parts of this loco whilst trying in vain to find somewhere to have its wheels turned.

 DL7 – This loco continues in fairly regular use and is to be repainted with a bogus BR ‘D’ number.  However, one or two points should be remembered:

  • If it is to be used on passenger trains again it will have to be vacuum brake fitted.
  • The brake and starting air tanks will, under new regulations, shortly to be introduced, require to be insured and regularly tested.

 Small Peckett – Albright & Wilson, the Company from whom this loco is on loan, have recently offered to help pay for a replacement saddle tank.  The tank has been measured and drawn so that quotes can be sought for both a complete assembled tank and for a rolled plates do-it-ourselves kit.

 No.21 – This loco is still operational if tow-started and has been used on occasion to move items of stock into sidings to pass DL7 in the absence of a run round loop.  A complete engine rebuild is probably necessary to enable it to be started from the battery.

Carriages & Wagons

Wickham Class 109 at Llangollen Station. Photographed during the Llangollen Railcar Gala weekend, 16-17 July 2005.  
This image was taken from the Geograph project collection. on the Geograph. The copyright on this image is owned by Mark Riley and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Wickham Motor car 50416 – Throughout the summer this vehicle has been in use as a station buffet.  A considerable amount of work has been carried out including enlargement of the kitchen hatch, removal of one of the internal bulkheads and screwing down of tables.  A start has now been made on completely replacing the guttering so that the coach can be repainted before next year.

Wickham Trailer 56171 – Progress has also been made with this vehicle with the fitting of seats from a Cravens DMU and the removal of rain guttering.

Gloucester Trailer 56301 – No work has been carried out on this vehicle although it will require a repaint and clean up before re-entering service.

http://postalheritage.org.uk/collections/museum/transport/mailbyrail

TPO 30244 – Following the offer from Tyseley Museum this vehicle was sold for £1,000 and left Chasewater on September 8th.  It is reputed to have twisted one of its bogie frames when one corner broke through the floorboards due to being stood on uneven ground during loading.

 Six-Wheeled Coaches – One new end has been fitted to the M & C Coach and replacement luggage rack netting is being fitted to the MS & L.

 Loco Shed

The only work carried out in this building during the summer has been the painting of ‘Asbestos’.  A three phase cable has been obtained so that during the winter the workshop can be wired up and used.

 Taskforce & Trackwork

During the summer all of the plain track from Brownhills West to Norton East has been relayed with concrete sleepers and work has started on installing a new siding between the station and the shed.  Run round loops at both ends still remain to be installed plus level crossing gates and fencing.

Brownhills West station platform has remained half demolished throughout the summer awaiting funds for rebuilding.  A grant of £15,000 due in September never materialised and we await a possible grant of £5,000 to be applied for in November.

Some form of sleeper built platform may also be constructed at Norton East if funds and manpower permit.

At the present state of progress it will be touch and go whether the railway will be running next year.

Vandalism

Since the last magazine was published the following instances of vandalism have occurred:

1.    Half drum of steam oil drained onto floor.

2.    Two large coach windows smashed.

3.    Three small coach windows smashed.

4.    Paint poured into Gloucester trailer heater fuel tank.

5.    Fence cut at least once a week.

 Museum Notes

The arrival of the LNWR 50 foot passenger brake in its own platform in time for Easter has given a much easier access to the vehicle for old and young alike.

Various item have been acquired this year, some have come by way of donation – others have actually cost money although usually as part of a deal where other items have been acquired to offset the cost.

Relics, mainly paperwork previously kept in the TPO had to be removed in some haste following the decision to sell the vehicle to the Birmingham Railway Museum.  Much of what had been kept in the TPO had suffered from the damp conditions that had prevailed in that vehicle for many years following problems with the roof.  Most of the old GWR drawings obtained by Mike Lewis many years ago were still in a reasonable condition but some of the larger ledgers and books were virtually no more than mould and were consigned to the bonfire.

Despite what has been happening to the station area (demolition and not much else!) things have ticked over quite nicely in the museum.  Obviously fewer visitors without steaming but with more time to listen to comments from visitors it makes one realise how much importance our collection of small relics is to the Railway.  Whatever 1984 brings you can be assured that the museum will be open whatever happens outside.

98 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Summer 1983

98 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Summer 1983

 Editorial – Chasewater in Crisis

On behalf of the Society I must apologise for the long gap between this and the last magazine due to a long list of reasons.  There has just not been either the time or the money to expend on such a publication.

At present our membership wavers around the 100 mark, of which around 10% manage to visit regularly.  It seems unfortunate that each week we rely on the same members attending to the Railway’s needs, without the active support of the other 90%.  It is little wonder that the veterans are fast becoming despondent with the work load being foisted on them.

Unless there is a significant change in the attitude of our membership, one of two things will happen:  either the Railway stock will have to be drastically pruned to the minimum required to run a service, or we shut the doors and sell the lot.

I beg more of you to attend, if only on an occasional basis.  It always seems strange to me how many of you can attend the AGM and that’s the last we see of you for twelve months.

Tony Sale – Assistant General Manager.

Locomotives

Asbestos – This engine has now been in the process of restoration for about five years, due mainly to shortage of manpower.  The frames and wheels have been re-assembled, the boiler tubed and the tank and cab are being repainted.  Now we have to complete the boiler repairs and drop it into the frames and one day we may have a working engine.

Invicta – This engine is now in store pending the fitting of vacuum brake gear and the overhaul of the main bearing brasses.  Work is hoped to commence on completion of Asbestos.Sentinel taking water at our old HQ

Sentinel – The boiler was split to reveal the inner firebox for the boiler inspector but work has now been shelved in order to concentrate work on Asbestos.Ruston & Hornsby DL7 entering the old Brownhills West Station

DL7 – The mainstay of our shunting force has performed reasonably well over the last two years and it holds the distinction of being our only regularly working engine.  This diesel locomotive is subject to an appeal to maintain its presence at Chasewater, which you may or may not like to subscribe to.

S100 – If I didn’t have to assist running the Railway I might find more time to devote to this rather large jigsaw puzzle, but despite all, progress is still being made, weather permitting, you would be amazed how much one person can achieve by himself, so if someone would like to assist, twice as much could be accomplished.

All other locomotives are stored unserviceable for the foreseeable future, including the Neilson, which requires new tubes.  It can only be hoped that decay can be kept to a minimum to ensure resurrection in years to come.

Carriages and Wagons

Here I hoped to bring glad tidings, but unfortunately the only news is that the MSLR carriage is still in the shed and has been largely untouched due to the fact that there are no carpenters in our midst.  The only other news is that a few more doors have dropped off the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the rest are generally suffering from many years of neglect.

The other snippet is that the Midland Crane had to be dismantled in order to stop it falling apart over the rails.What about it lads – who still cares?

Another late snippet is that someone wants to buy the TPO.  Your Committee is in favour and I myself fully support them, but the choice is yours, so make it known fast, it will be no good grumbling after it has left.

Catering

As many of you know, much of the money needed to support the Railway is generated in the form of sales of soft drinks and chocolates.  Recently the Wickham DMU was acquired in order to branch out further into the prepared food department, all we need is one interested member prepared to buy, prepare and sell.  If anyone would come to volunteer we would be only too happy to assist in any way, as well as supplying a warehouse card which could also be used for their own benefit.

Shed News

The new loco shed has certainly proved to be one of the most important developments at Chasewater.  Not only does it supply ideal conditions for thorough restoration, it also allows work to continue after dark.  Although this building has been with us for over a year there are still improvements to be made, i.e. fitting of three phase electric cables within the building and also fitting of a compressed air circuit.  Once the former has been completed, all our machinery can be powered and the shed can be said to be fully operational.Taken from DL7, approaching the loco shed from the same direction as we do now – obviously before the changes!

T ask Force Notes

A new task force was supplied together with finance and a new Manager, to commence work on the track layout.  After last season the Railway lost its powers of running the line until such times as the whole of the permanent way was relaid in order to comply with the Railway Inspectorate’s standards.

In short, the platform front has been demolished to supply the necessary clearance, (rebuilding is now underway) and a run round loop is being built in the vicinity of the compound.  Next the line will be lifted and replaced with better quality materials down to the old exchange sidings where another run round loop will be constructed.  Upon completion a further visit by the Railway Inspectorate will then be made, and hopefully we shall run again.  I can only say that I hope all goes well for the Task Force and both luck and weather is on their sides.

 On behalf of the Company I have been asked by our Chairman to include the following appeal.

Save DL7 for Chasewater

The Company needs money to service a large overdraft and whilst the Railway is not running, little money is being repaid and understandably the Bank Manager is a little distressed.

 If you would like to give some money to this appeal, you will be helping DL7 because if the Company is declared bankrupt, DL7 will certainly be seized as an asset.  If the engine belongs to the membership it is safe along with the rest of the Society’s collection from the grips of the Liquidators

If you cannot afford a share, buy one together with some friends – you may buy as many as you like.

Shares are available in multiples of £10.00.

Miniature Traction Engines at the Chasewater Transport Show

Miniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport Show
Miniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowMiniature Traction Engines at Chasewater Transport ShowChasewater Transport Show 17th April 2011

Miniature Traction Engines in the field and on the Chasewater Railway Platform. Immaculately turned out as ever!