159 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
from Chasewater News Summer 1993 –Part 2
The Re-opening of the Museum
I am sitting in a Midland Railway chair, aptly for the article, in the museum which is housed in our LNWR full brake. The rain is tipping it down and Easter Sunday has Chris’s pipe in danger of being flooded! As it is not very busy I’m writing this article as for some time we’ve called ourselves the Chasewater Railway and Museum Co. but have not had a museum for the last few years.
Firstly, I would freely acknowledge past members who have gathered together a very good collection of railway relics and artefacts. The last curator being Barry Bull, who put in many hours over the years.
My involvement began when, a couple of years ago, I went into the museum to tidy up and dust and polish the display cabinet. It was soon obvious, however, that all was not well. The roof leaked badly, the exhibits had become dirty and run down, and many items were being ruined due to lack of care and attention.
The next few weeks were spent in desperation salvaging items that had become wet and taking them home to dry out as best I could. The house began to look like a waste paper collection point as rare items were carefully dried out. The smaller exhibits were also taken away for safe keeping, and the larger ones moved to drier spots in the brake.
Eventually the L&NW Society found that it had enough money to re-roof the vehicle, and after much reminding and being a nuisance, Steve Organ and his helpers re-roofed the vehicle, and the top-lights were rebuilt. Adrian Hall re-wired the vehicle and installed new light fittings. All of the remaining exhibits were taken down and moved to one end to enable a start to be made on painting the interior. It was decided to use the coach for Santa’s Grotto, and John Duffill did most of the scraping down and painting. Once Christmas was over and Santa’s Grotto was taken away, I re-arranged the interior to look a bit like an office and rebuilt and varnished the display case.
Keith Poynter has made a start on painting our metal signs. He is making an excellent job of it but it is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, there’s a lot more to do yet!A view of one end of the museum which has been re-roofed and re-decorated and is now open to the public once more. Pic – Nigel Canning
Anyway, the museum re-opened on our first steaming of 1993, March 21st, it still needs work but at least we’ve made a reasonable start, and hopefully it will be an added attraction for the public, and reveal our collection to members who just did not know what we had in store.
The latest news is an attempted break-in during the week before Easter when two local youths broke open a door. Fortunately they were heard by Chris Hatton, and he and Steve Organ apprehended one of them who will shortly be appearing in court. The burglar alarm fitted to this vehicle is in perfect working order, so hopefully this will be our last break-in and I look forward to the museum being further re-opened in stages.
Part of the 2012 museum
Finally, if anyone has photos of the local engines or collieries we are always willing to copy them for the collection in order that we get a comprehensive display.
This final sentence still holds good in 2012.
Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Van
As Tony Wheeler has been busy working on the L&Y (ex Cadbury) van recently, I have found some information on this unusual vehicle. The original design goes back to the 1860s when an 8 ton version was introduced with a single roof door. With the improvement in springs and wheels, this was later uprated to 10 ton in the mid 1870s. The vans continued in production until 1916 when the last few were made, these having double roof doors.
I am unable to date ours yet, but it is between 1875-1913. The LMS started scrapping them in earnest from the mid-1930s and ours was probably acquired by private industry shortly after.
The van should be painted in grey (Tony’s favourite colour) with white lettering, but as a change there was a variation which I feel we should adopt. If they were shopped in Lancashire they had white roofs, but if they were shopped in Yorkshire they were painted red oxide, carrying old favours into newer times.
Some of our wooden-bodied vehicles are in fact quite interesting and well worth having restoration work carried out. More paint to the C&W dept’s elbow! It won’t be long before we can have a decent goods train.