Monthly Archives: May 2011

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era – GWR Broad Gauge

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great Western Railway  1837   North StarAuthor Geof Sheppard  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

One of the earliest and best known GWR broad gauge engines.  It was one of two, built in 1837 by R.Stephenson & Co. fro the New Orleans Railway of the USA, to the 5’ 6” gauge, but never delivered.  They were altered to 7’ 0” gauge and purchased by the GWR, the first as North Star in 1837, and the second one, Morning Star, in 1839.  Ten others of the same general design but differing in detail appeared between 1839 and 1841.  Morning Star was non-standard from the others in having 6’ 6” driving wheels.  The others were also named after stars, and most of these names reappeared many years later on Churchward 4-cylinder 4-6-0s.

North Star was re-boilered in 1854 and worked until 1871.  On withdrawal it was preserved at Swindon, and it was joined in 1884 by one of the larger 4-2-2s, Lord of the Isles. Unfortunately in 1906 an unforgivable act of ruthlessness caused these fine historic relics to be broken up.  Some measure of atonement was made in 1925 by constructing a full sized replica of the North Star as it was first built, although this could never be quite the same as the preservation of the original machine.

Original dimensions:  Driving wheels – 7’ 0”,  Leading and trailing wheels – 4’ 0”,  Cylinders – 16”x 16”,  Weight 23 tons 7cwt.

 Another GWR Broad gauge design

Great Western Railway

Broad Gauge 4-2-2s

Bulkeley – Built in 1880

Working replica made by Resco Railways Ltd, 1983-1985, shown in Kensington Gardens, London. The locomotive represented by this replica was designed by Sir Daniel Gooch (1816-1889) to run on Brunel’s broad gauge tracks on the Great Western Railway (GWR). Gooch trained with Robert Stephenson in Newcastle and was the locomotive superintendent for the GWR for 27 years. The broad gauge measured 7 foot compared to Stephenson’s standard gauge of 4 foot 8 1/2 inches and was eventually superseded because of the inconvenience of having to transfer passengers and goods between the two standards of track. The ‘Iron Duke’ class locomotives were capable of attaining speeds approaching 80 mph.

 The initial engine was named Iron Duke and 22 of them were built at Swindon between 1847 and 1851, together with another seven by Rothwell & Co. in 1854 and 1855.  Most of them were nominally rebuilt from 1871 onwards, but the so-called renewals were in fact entirely new engines, although of the same general design as the originals and bearing the same names (none of them was ever given a number0.  24 of the rebuilds came out between 1871 and 1888, but as the broad gauge disappeared in 1892 the final three had a working life of only four years, the total mileage of the last one, Tornado, being but 192,203.  One of them, Lord of the Isles, was preserved at Swindon, along with North Star until 1906, when both of them were, regrettably broken up.  It will be noted that these engines were not bogie engines, the leading wheels being rigid within the sandwich framing.

Dimensions of the later built engines:  Driving wheels – 8’ 0”,  Carrying wheels – 4’ 6”,  Cylinders – 18”x 24”,  Pressure – 140lbs.,  Weight 41 tons 14 cwt

110 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces From ‘Chasewater News’ September 1986

110 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces

 From ‘Chasewater News’ September 1986

 For once it is possible to report good news!  Following the visit of Mr. Abbott of the Railway Inspectorate on 17th August we have been given permission to recommence steam hauled passenger services, subject to certain tasks being carried out, hopefully in time for Gricers Day on 12th October.  A further satisfactory inspection next spring should enable a full season of trains to be operated, the first since 1982.

 News from the line

Loco Dept.

No.4 Asbestos has been steamed half-a-dozen times so far this year and following trouble with a leaky blow-down valve (now successfully cured) the major problem is still the regulator which continues to insist on blowing through when closed!  Further investigations will no doubt reveal the cause of the trouble during the winter months when it is hoped that the outside motion will also receive attention to cure various knocks and bangs.

N0.5 Sentinel No.59632 has also been steamed on several occasions and following each steaming various adjustments, modifications and improvements are made by its owner.

Both Nos. 4 and 5 are now fitted with vacuum brakes, a necessary modification for running passenger trains.

No.7 the Ruston diesel has received a repaint and now sports a green livery which the owner claims is similar to BR Brunswick Green.  It looks very smart anyway.

No.10 S100 – continued progress is being made with getting components ready for re-wheeling the loco and as the “head of steel” gets ever nearer (it has lain isolated from the rest of the railway since 1983) it should take to the rails again before the year is out.

Carriage & Wagon Dept.

The buffet section of the Wickham sees extensive use, providing us with our main source of income.  Various improvements to the plumbing have been made and both coaches have been fitted with new rainwater gutters which will enable the much needed repaint to take place in the not too distant future.

The Maryport & Carlisle Coach has seen ‘Clippie’ steadily working to get this coach into a reasonable state of repair before it gets beyond redemption.  The coach is now in a uniform green undercoat and looks much more presentable.

Civil Engineering

Brownhills West Station June 1978

By the time the Task Force had completed the platform there was little over a month left to get the railway ready for receiving visitors during the Transport Extravaganza.  The platform had to be surfaced with a 6” layer of black ash and coping stones had to be laid alongside the museum coach.  The major work however, was to fashion a new track bed and lay track along the platform and then raise it over 9”.  A vast quantity of black ash was purchased and packed under the track in order to get the track level in the platform.  This work was completed in the nick of time so as to get the Wickham buffet in the platform for the Transport Extravaganza.  After that weekend work concentrated on regarding the line from the platform down towards the point for Elsley’s siding (more black ash!), and No.1 point was rebuilt.  Once this was completed the line was treated with weedkiller and fences were repaired and installed where necessary.  Nigel Canning is in the process of constructing a set of level-crossing gates to be installed at the road access to the loco shed and also at the level-crossing to the north of the loco shed.  Recent weeks have seen work proceeding on relaying No.1 road in order to remove S199 and the GER brake coach so that the Wickham buffet can be moved clear of train movements on operating days.  A fair amount of cosmetic work has been carried out around the platform, most noticeably a large pond known as ‘Lake Clippie’ after its constructor which has played host to several frogs, toads, a solitary newt and a steam powered model boat!

Museum Notes

Little to report other than the acquisition of several official postcards including a particularly rare example of a folded GWR card depicting King George V published in 1928 and valued at recent auctions at up to £60 – yes £60 for one card and one which we obtained as part of a collection costing just £25.

Mike Wood has generously donated various photographs of Cannock Chase Colliery locos which will eventually be displayed, and a friend of the Society, Robert Cadman, has given us a couple of local colliery lamp checks.

Reorganisation News – Adrian Hall

The appeal in the last Newsletter for candidates for management positions in the new company generated a very poor response.  There are still a couple of key positions without any likely contenders and anyone interested should get in touch with me as soon as possible.

Negotiations are still proceeding very slowly with the Charity Commissioners and in view of the need to be on a firm footing for negotiations over the motorway we have decided to incorporate a new Company as quickly as possible.

The necessary documents will probably be with the Registrar of Companies by the time you read this and it is hoped that the Certificate of Incorporation will be issued by mid-October, allowing the inaugural General Meeting to take place in late November/early December, probably concurrent with the Society AGM.

The Future

Negotiations with the Department of Transport have begun with regard to any compensation that we will get when the Northern Relief Road (M6 Toll) is built through Chasewater.  It is clear that the current terminus facilities will have to be moved north to a position at least adjacent to the shed (it is likely that the shed will not have to be demolished).  A planning proposal asking for outline planning permission to construct new terminal facilities is at present being drawn up, but is likely to be rejected as no development will be permitted along the line of a new road until the road is built.  This could well make our position at Chasewater untenable and to this end several alternative sites are being investigated.  It is hoped that the executive committee will have reached a firm preference which can be put forward at the AGM in November, along with the feasible alternatives.

431 Hudswell Group

The fund is ticking over quietly, giving the Society a monthly injection of cash.  By the end of the year the fund should be approaching half-way in raising the purchase price of the locomotive.  A few shares are still available.

Locomotive Stock List

In response to several requests here is a summary of locomotives on the CLR as at 1st September, 1986.  A full guide/stockbook will be produced when sufficient funds are available.  The next issue of Chasewater News will include a list of coaches, wagons and other rolling stock.

Chasewater Railway Back on Track

Chasewater Railway Back on Track

The first train was pulled by Class 08 diesel loco D3429.  On Sunday 29th and Bank Holiday Monday 30th trains will be steam hauled.

Saturday, 28th May saw the reinstatement of the line from Brownhills West all the way to Chasetown, Church Street via Chasewater Heaths and Lakeside after the installation of a culvert in the causeway between the main lake and Jeffrey’s Swag – the smaller pool.  It had been decided to install this culvert while the work was proceeding on the main dam to prevent any possibility of the Swag overflowing and flooding Norton Canes.Looking much tidier than a couple of weeks agoWell ballasted, too!Just to prove that the train did get into Lakeside!A couple of views from the train.Chris, Jason and Dave have been busy with the paint brushes recently:

Jason called into the museum today and pointed out that on this occasion, Chris had not done any of the painting – most indignant – he nearly stamped his foot!!!  Sorry Jason.

The man-rider has had a change of colour ready for Coal Train DayThe Model Railway Coach has had a good coat of paint – so far only on one side – a family of Blue Tits has built a nest in the other side so we will have to be patient!The refurbished coach No. M59444 is now back and looking very smart inside and out.

Chasewater Railway – Line reopens from Saturday May 28th

Great News for Chasewater Railway

The line has been reinstated and will reopen from Saturday 28th May

109 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – April 1986

109 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

 From ‘Chasewater News’ April 1986

 News from the line

 Loco Dept.

Asbestos and the Sentinel both performed satisfactorily at Gricers’ Day and both have undergone further work during the winter months.  Asbestos has had the vacuum brake finished and the regulator has been the subject of much attention due to its tendency to remain open when shut!  The Sentinel (alias No. 59632) is being fitted with vacuum brakes and its water feed pump has been completely stripped and rebuilt.  Both engines will be test steamed prior to the Transport Extravaganza in May.

On other fronts, No.6 the Albright & Wilson Peckett needs the extension to its smokebox takeplate replacing due to the severe wastage, as well as replacement of some of the rivets which fix the takeplate to the boiler barrel.  It could be that the boiler will have to be removed from the frames.  Tony Sale is progressing with overhauling the axle boxes of S100 and it is hoped that re-wheeling will take place soon.  The small Andrew Barclay has had a patch let into the side of its firebox so progress should speed up once several stays have been renewed.Sentinel Feb 2004 – Nigel Canning

On the diesel front, No.21 has had its engine removed to enable Colin Marklew to piece together a decent working engine from this and the two spare engines that we possess.

Task Force

Like the Phoenix, from the rubble of Brownhills West has arisen a splendid new platform which was 90% finished before the West Midlands County Council was abolished at the end of March, and the Task Force left Chasewater, supposedly for good.  However, at the beginning of April they reappeared under the guise of Wolverhampton Task Force to finish the job and to complete the drainage of the station site.  The Society is left with the job of removing the remaining rubble and fashioning a track bed adjacent to the platform before the Wickham buffet car can be installed.

Motorway Madness

Just as the railway is recovering from the enforced siesta that it has enjoyed since 1982, comes the news that the infamous North Orbital Route (as an alternative to the crumbling M6) is to plough straight through Chasewater, in fact, it is likely to plough straight through the new platform at Brownhills West!!  This of course is a major blow to the intended development of the park, not least the railway.

Despite the likelihood of a public enquiry it is almost certain that this ‘preferred route’ (out of nine possible options) will be built, construction not due to start until 1991.  As it will be some 12 to 18 months before detailed plans are published then the Railway will have to have its own plans ready to make maximum use of any compensation it is eligible for.  The main options open to the Railway are:

  1. To forget it all and disperse the collection
  2. To move lock, stock and barrel to somewhere else
  3. To move Brownhills West some 200-300yards down the line
  4. To move operations to the other side of the lake.

The executive committee have appointed Messrs. Hall and Patterson to investigate the feasibility of these and any other options and to find out what the chances of gaining compensation are.

“431 Hudswell Group”

At the Chasewater Light railway Society AGM on 13th November a resolution was passed empowering the Executive Committee to sell the Hudswell Clarke Locomotive No. 431 of 1895 to a consortium of Chasewater members and others.  A price of £2,500 was agreed upon provided that the locomotive would remain at Chasewater.

All this led to the formation of the “431 Hudswell Group” which is offering 25 shares in the locomotive at £300 each.  This covers £2,500 for purchase, leaving £5,000 for restoration.  An easy payment scheme has been set up whereby prospective shareholders pay a minimum of £5 per month per share. (There is a maximum shareholding of two shares per person) and to date 18 shares have been taken up.  Each shareholder will be issued with two certificates:

a)    When £100 has been donated representing 1/25th of the purchase price – i.e. 1 share – and

b)    On completion of restoration work to certify ownership of 1/25th of the locomotive.

No heavy restoration work will take place until the CLRS has been paid in full for the locomotive and there is enough money available to allow restoration to proceed unhindered.

Late News – A deposit of £500 has been paid by the 431 Hudswell Group to the CLRS.

Catering News

No doubt you will have read elsewhere about Gricers Day.  However, from a catering point of view it was both good news and bad.  The good news was that we literally sold out of everything and had to send out scouts to locate further supplies.  This resulted in the maximum profit being made.  The service went well except for the bottleneck around the hatch and doorway, and everyone drank the tea and coffee so it couldn’t have been too bad!

However, running the kitchen is hard work and we would not have coped except for volunteers who turned up who are not Society members via the Hon.Sec.  Thanks go to all concerned.  For future occasions if they are not available, ordinary members will have to be rostered for these duties, as the money raised by this service will be essential.  Other Societies have learnt that they can increase their income considerably by offering an efficient service and although none of us joined to make tea and wash up, this is part of the price you pay to see the engines running again and to keep them running.

Barry Bull is again providing sterling service on Saturdays and Sundays to members and the few brave souls who appear during the winter months.

On November 17th we ran the first ever “Chase Diner Train”, which taught us a few lessons – we must be mad!!  However, despite a few obvious points such as the gap between courses and lack of heat in the vehicle, it went reasonably well considering it had never been done before.  Apart from a longer cooking time than anticipated, due to overloading of the electricity supply, it proved what can be done when we are fully organised and better equipped.

Remember – help support our project “Eat, drink and be merry”.

Re-organisation Committee Report

We are still dealing with the Charity Commissioners who require more information than previously thought and so this is taking longer than expected, though there should be no problem in having the new Company set up by the Autumn.  Meanwhile, the Re-organisation Committee (gang of four!) are working hard to ensure a smooth changeover when the time comes.

The management structure was agreed at the last committee meeting and consists of seven Director Offices covering the main area of the business – the sub-board structure being a matter for the Directors to determine later.  The intention is for seven (of the possible maximum of ten) Directors to be elected to office concurrent with their election as Directors at the AGM.  The offices are:

  1. Chairman  (usual duties and to ensure Directors pull in one direction – the one the members want).
  2. General Manager  (control, planning, budgeting of on-site work).
  3. Engineering Manager  (ensuring that the Railway meets the Inspector’s requirements).
  4. Operations Manager  (rue book, staff training, rostering and timetabling).
  5. Commercial Manager  (sales, catering, etc., planning of rallies).
  6. Marketing Manager  (marketing the Railway, including publicity and advertising, magazine and public relations).
  7. Financial Manager  (treasury, liquidity and cash-flow management, budgetary control system, VAT/Revenue).

Association of Railway Preservation Societies  (ARPS) AGM25-1-1986

For the first time in over four years the Society sent a delegation to an ARPS meeting, this year’s AGM being held in London.

The only really useful part of the meeting was a talk by Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate on various current problems facing the preservation movement, certain aspects of which were discussed in a private conversation between Major Olver and the CLR delegation (Steve Organ and Adrian Hall) after the meeting.

The need for agreement between railways and private owner stock was raised which is something the CLR will have to look at before we recommence train operations.  The Annual ARPS Award was intended for BR for organising the Marylebone – Stratford dinner trains but as they are ineligible – not being members of ARPS you understand – the Award was given instead to the owners of the engines used on said trains.  As the Award is supposedly for an outstanding contribution to the Railway Preservation movement, there were surely better qualified contenders such as the KWVR for the splendid restoration of the unique Haydock Foundry built ‘Bellerophon’;Bellerophon at Caverswall Road, Foxfield Railway

City of Truro at Hampton Loade

the SVR’s restoration of ‘City of Truro’; the North Norfolk’s Gresley buffet car; the Llangollen Railway’s extension to Berwyn, etc., (or even the CLR’s nine year restoration of ‘Asbestos’!).Berwyn Station on the Llangollen Railway – and the former Chasewater Wickham.

The Best Preserved Station Award went to the SRPS for Boness Station.  This is interesting in that it is not strictly a preserved station, being an amalgam of various Scottish station buildings brought in from other sites.  Enquiries were made to see if Brownhills West would be eligible – apparently it would so we shall have to see what can be done in the future!!  – Any (sensible) ideas are welcome!

Chasewater Transport Rally Report

Sunday October 13th not only brought a return to steam to the railway but also the largest event held since the last Transport Scene in June 1982.  It was also one of the warmest days of the year!  A total of 129 exhibits were in attendance, ranging from buses to stationary engines.  As organiser of the event it was a great pleasure to realise that although we may have gone through bad times over the past three years we have certainly not lost our friends in the world of preserved vintage transport.  Thinking back to the original Transport Scene organised by Andrew Louch in 1977 when we had about 70 exhibits over a summer weekend, who would have thought that an October day eight years later would see almost double the number of exhibits and sales stands with free admission and still enough money raised on sales stands, our own refreshment and miscellaneous sales to make a healthy profit.

Aside from the obvious thanks to all the exhibitors who attended and members who assisted on the day, I would like a special vote of thanks to be accorded to Angela, the two Sues and Tim – all non-members who were coerced into helping out in the Wickham buffet.  It is fair to say that without their help profits would have been minimal as most of the profit came from refreshment sales.  The day’s refreshment sales realised £165, by far the highest achieved in the Wickham in one day.

One spin-off from the event was our first major publicity in the railway press for years, with photos of the Sentinel and/or Asbestos appearing in ‘Steam Railway’, ‘Railway Magazine’ and ‘Railway World’.  We were also featured in the Lichfield Mercury and shortly afterwards a photo of the ex-Walsall Gasworks Sentinel appeared in the Walsall Observer.

Chasewater Transport Extravaganza

Yes, another transport event is in the formative stages.  A group of enthusiasts headed by our friend Peter Magee of Lichfield are hoping to organise a weekend event in the Park on May 17th – 18th.  Admission will be free and they hope to cover costs by selling trade space and by means of donation.  An enjoyable informal event is promised and will include guest appearances by up to half-a-dozen steam traction engines.  Any profit made is being donated to the Chasewater Light Railway Society.

The unique 1957 built Wickham & Co Class 109 DMU (50416 & 56171) pulls away from Berwyn station on 26 June 2010 with the 16:50 Llangollen to Carrog service, during the Llangollen Railway’s Railcar Gala. The station occupies a very restricted site, next to the main Llangollen to Corwen road, and perched high above the River Dee.


Weed love your help on the Wyrley & Essington Canal

Weed love your help on the Wyrley & Essington Canal

Posted by Waterway Watcher on May 25th, 2011

24th May 2011

British Waterways have put out an appeal for help to clear weeds on the Wyrley & Essington Canal part of the Birmingham Canal Navigations.

People who are passionate about helping their local environment can get involved in a major new two-year project to improve the biodiversity of a West Midlands canal.

British Waterways has secured a £100,000 grant from the SITA Trust to tackle the problem of aggressive invasive plant species on the Wyrley & Essington Canal and is now looking for local people to get involved.

Species such as Floating Pennywort need to be managed in order to promote the growth of native plant species such as Floating Water Plantain. It is anticipated that the works will also benefit species such as water voles, great crested newts, white clawed crayfish and red eyed damselflies.

British Waterways is working with the Black Country Living Landscape Community Involvement Programme funded by Natural England and the BIG Lottery Fund to recruit local community volunteers who will work alongside specialist contractors to carry out a number of works to limit the spread of invasive species. This will include physical removal and limiting run-off from adjacent land by installing natural filters such as reed beds.

Help your local waterway

The project will be led by British Waterways and supported by the Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, Wolverhampton City Council, the Environment Agency and the Birmingham and Black Country Biodiversity Partnership.

Volunteers are needed at various locations along the Wryley and Essington Canal between May and September this year and throughout 2012, working two to three days a month including weekends where necessary.

Volunteers need to be physically fit as they will be required to walk sections of the canal as part of the monitoring. In return they will enjoy the opportunity to gain skills and experience in ecological surveying and the satisfaction of helping their local canal.

Further training and volunteer opportunities may also be available to competent and enthusiastic volunteers.

British Waterways’ volunteer co-ordinator Steve Bicknell said: “This project provides a great opportunity for people to assist us in controlling invasive non-native plants, learn about the problems they cause and help us spread the message to others. For anyone who wants to help their local waterway this is a fantastic opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ right now and to also have a role in monitoring the canal in future years.”

If you would like to find out more, contact British Waterways’ Sarah French on 01827 252097 or email

Some Early Lines – The Lyme Regis Branch

Some Early Lines

The Lyme Regis Branch Line

 The Lyme Regis branch line was a branch line off the West of England Main Line in the south west of England, opened on 24 August 1903. It ran from Axminster in East Devon, via the hamlet of Combpyne and through the village of Uplyme where the line crossed a large bridge known as “The Cannington Viaduct” and crossed the Devon county border to the Dorset port and seaside resort of Lyme Regis.PicAndy Fish – Cannington viaduct, near Uplyme, showing concrete reinforcing arch after subsidence

The Axminster and Lyme Regis Light Railway

Several attempts were made during the Victorian era to connect the seaside resort of Lyme Regis with the main line of the London & South Western Railway at Axminster. In August 1871 the Lyme Regis Railway Corporation gained parliamentary approval, and on 29 September 1874 a local public holiday was declared to celebrate the cutting of the first sod for the new line. However, funds were not forthcoming, and the powers were allowed to lapse in 1876.

Despite petitions and approaches made to the L&SWR, it was not until 15 June 1899 that the Light Railway Commissioners finally granted powers to the Axminster and Lyme Regis Light Railway for construction of the line.

The line was constructed by the independent engineer and promoter Arthur C Pain. Work began on 19 June 1900, but the difficult terrain and delays caused by bad weather meant that three years passed before the 6¾ miles branch was completed. A Board of Trade inspection arranged for 18 May 1903 had to be postponed because heavy rains had caused damage to the Cannington Viaduct.

The line finally opened on 24 August 1903. A special train carrying local dignitaries and 200 lucky schoolchildren left Lyme Regis at 12.25 p.m.

Working the line

There were significant twists and gradients, such that the L&SWR, which from July 1906 took over and operated the line, had significant difficulty finding suitable locomotives. Eventually the Adams ‘Radial’ Tank 4-4-2T locomotive was identified as capable of negotiating the route, three being assigned to the line from their normal suburban duties. They worked the branch on rotation almost uniquely until its closure, outlasting the rest of their class significantly, and ensuring one (number 30583) was preserved in service, currently on the “Bluebell Line” in Sussex, and another as a static exhibit in the national collection. This situation has parallels with the Bodmin & Wadebridge Railway, both having developed a following because of the attractive, older locomotives working the scenic routes.A famous Dorset branch line (Though its mainline connection, at Axminster, was actually in Devon) served Lyme Regis.  Opened as an independent concern in 1903 after a lengthy gestation period, it was soon in difficulties and in 1906 was absorbed by the LSWR.  It closed in November, 1965, but not before it had made its name among enthusiasts as one of the last habitats of that late Victorian classic, the Adams radial tank locomotive.  Paul Atterbury.


This branch line was closed on the 29 November 1965, as part of the ‘Beeching Axe’, a period of numerous line closures following the Beeching Report, which identified unprofitable routes on the network, and resulted in their closure. Whilst the line was exceptionally busy with tourists and holidaymakers in summer, this could not sustain it for the rest of the year, particularly with ever increasing car ownership.30583, built in 1885, arrives at Lyme Regis with the branch train from Axminster on 10th June 1957.   The branch line closed long ago, but 30583 lives on at the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.

Lyme Regis station has been dismantled and reconstructed at New Alresford, on the Watercress Line, in Hampshire. The Cannington Viaduct is a Grade II listed structure. Although subject to subsidence after its construction it still stands, notable for the significant masonry reinforcement within one of the arches giving it a distinctive silhouette.Bridge over a farm access on the old Lyme Regis branch line.      

  © Copyright Sarah Charlesworth and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence   

Canal Events – 2011

Saturday 11th June – Sunday 12th June 2011 Event:


Location: Pelsall Wood Common, off Wood Lane, Pelsall. Link: Birmingham Canal Navigations Society The Festival will include stalls, entertainment, displays and refreshments for the public as well as being a gathering of boats from all over the country. Entry for the public will be free. Boaters and exhibitors are welcome to attend, for details email: Barrie Johnson or Brenda Ward, tel. 0121 355 6351 email:
For general enquiries please contact; Ivor Caplan, mobile 07778 685674 email:

  Sunday 26th June 2011 (10.00am – 4.00pm) Event:


Location: Silver Street, Brownhills Stalls, tombolas, children’s entertainment and boat trips.

29th – 31st July 2011 (10.00am – 4.00pm) Event:


Location: Shobnall Fields, Burton-on-Trent (Trent and Mersey Canal) Link: IWA Festivals Please note the date – a change from the normal practice in recent years of holding the Festival over the August Bank Holiday

Saturday 17th September 2011 (10.00am – 4.00pm) Event: HUDDLESFORD BOAT GATHERING Location:

Lichfield Cruising Club, Huddlesford Junction on the Coventry Canal

Link: Huddlesford Gathering 2011 A Boat Gathering & Canal Festival jointly organised by L&H and Lichfield Cruising Club.
Historic Narrowboats, Trade & Craft stalls, Cake stall, Book stall, Bric-a-brac, Games
All-day Barbecue. Coffee / tea and licensed bar available in the cruising club

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era – Adams 4-4-2T LSWR

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era

1882 – London & South Western Railway

 Adams 4-4-2Ts

30582 – P.B.Whitehouse

Seventy one of these engines were constructed by W.Adams between 1882 and 1885 for suburban work in the London area.  They were built by Beyer Peacock & Co., Robert Stephenson & Co., Dubs & Co., and Neilson & Co.

The 1884 and 1885 series were slightly larger than the original thirty engines, their water capacity being increased from 1,000 gallons to 1,200 gallons.  The original series was completely devoid of side water tanks, the water being carried partly in a well tank and partly in the bunker below the coal.  Even in the later engines only very small side tanks were provided over the rear driving wheels.  Nearly all were gradually relegated to the duplicate list as 0415, etc., although a few of the last built, such as No.523, were scrapped before being duplicated.  Large numbers were taken out of service in 1916 when electrification of the LSWR suburban service began, but owing to war conditions they were not broken up and remained in Eastleigh yard in varying stages of decay for several years.  No.0424 went to the Government in 1916 for war service and No.0488 was also sold out of service, being later acquired by the East Kent Railway in 1919 as their No.5.30584 Ivo Peters

By 1928 only two remained in possession of the Southern railway, namely Nos. 0125 and 0520.  These were specially retained for working the Lyme Regis branch, which abounds in sharp curves, and for which, even till 1959, no other engines had been found as suitable as these old-timers, with their flexible wheelbases, although other types had been tried.  I course of time it was found that two engines were hardly adequate for maintaining the service, as if one was away in shops it left only one to carry on, with no spare in case of breakdown.  Fortunately the East Kent engine was still in existence and the Southern were able to buy it back in 1946, when it was restored to the fold under its original number increased by 3000, as 3488 (0125 and 0520 having in the meantime become 3125 and 1520).

One or two of the class were fitted with Drummond boilers in later LSWR days, and there are at present four boilers – two Drummond and two Adams – in use (1959), which are changed from time to time among the three surviving engines.

On Nationalisation in 1948 the three engines became BR 30582-4 and late in 1959 still continued to work the Lyme Regis branch turn about a week at a time, the other two being kept in Exmouth Junction shed.  Probably their days are numbered, as no doubt eventually diesel railcars will take on the working of the branch.No.0422, one of the earlier engines, as running in 1922, the only alteration being the provision of a Drummond chimney in place of the Adams stove-pipe. H.C.Casserley

Dimensions:  Driving wheels – 5’ 7”,  Bogie wheels – 3’ 0”,  Trailing wheels – 3’ 0” (3’ 6” on the later 1884-5 engines),  Cylinders – 17½”x 24”,  Pressure – 160 lbs.,  Tractive effort – 14920 lbs.,  LSWR and SR classification – K,  BR classification – 1P 30583 John Bradbeer

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era – McConnell 2-2-2s – “Bloomers”

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era

 1851 – London & North Western Railway

 McConnell 2-2-2s – ‘Bloomers’  Small Bloomer No. 602

These well known McConnell singles of the Southern Division of the old LNWR were of three classes, forty with 7’ 0” driving wheels, thirty-six 6’ 6” engines – all of these came out between 1851 and 1861 – and in the latter year there also appeared three larger engines with 7’ 6” wheels.  These engines have always been known as ‘Bloomers’, by being associated with a redoubtable lady of that name who expressed strong views on the subject of female apparel, the connection apparently being that the new engines had open splashers which indiscreetly revealed a large proportion of the driving wheels, corresponding to the leg in human anatomy.  However, the nickname stuck, and these celebrated engines have never been known by any other name other than ‘Bloomers’.  They did fine work on express trains between Euston and Birmingham for a good many years, and lasted until the 1880s.  In 1872 they all received names, many of which were perpetuated on subsequent classes of LNWR engines.Large Bloomer No. 249

Small Bloomers – Driving Wheels – 6’ 6”,  Cylinders – 16”x 21”,  Pressure – 150 lbs.,  Weight – 23 tons 13cwt.

Bloomers – Driving Wheels – 7’ 0”,  Cylinders – 16”x 22”,  Pressure – 150 lbs.,  Weight – 29½ tons.

Large Bloomers – Driving Wheels – 7’ 6”,  Cylinders – 18”x 24”,  Pressure – 150 lbs.,  Weight – 34¾ tons.

Ramsbottom later reduced the pressure to 120 lbs.No.895 ‘Torch’ – as  rebuilt by Ramsbottom with a cab and other details.