161 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News Summer 1993 Part 3 – A couple of extra bits!

161 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News Summer 1993

Part 3 – A couple of extra bits!

Permanent Way News – Dave Borthwick

As if Dave Bathurst’s ‘Hole in the ground’ article wasn’t enough PW news for one magazine, the track gang have continued to make progress on the existing section of railway.  A number of bad rail joints have been re-packed and work has continued on extending the line-side fencing up to the start of the causeway.

A number of lengths of 60 ft bullhead rail have been bought in so that as soon as the earthworks on the causeway are complete we can lay track across with the minimum of delay.  This is important, as it has been whispered that the Railway Inspectorate may be invited to inspect the line in the autumn for running through to Norton Bog station in time for Gricers Day!  If this is to become reality the track gang will need all the help they can get.  PLEASE if you can, spend a Sunday helping on the line – you will be most welcome!

The E1 at Cranmore – Barry BullAsbestos with E1 No.9 on crossing at Chasewater

The E1 hauled passenger coaches for the first time since its days on the Cannock Wood ‘Paddy Train’ when it worked a three coach test train from Cranmore to Mendip and back on October 24th 1992.  Further problems were experienced with the regulator blowing by, and also with a far from efficient steam brake.  Apparently when the brake was applied the piston was found to be hitting the cab floor!

 Further rectification work having been carried out the loco is now in the paint shop and further steam trials are planned before an entry into service, hopefully by mid to late summer 1993.

The Colliery Line – Dave Whittle

One Sunday just before Christmas, Nigel Canning mentioned that two adverts were to be placed in the next issue of Chasewater News.

“What’s this” I thought “Is Arthur selling his Montego or is Clippie going into the leisure business with caravan holidays at Chasewater?”

Seriously, one of the adverts was for the position of Publicity Officer fro the railway.  After a few minutes the message came through loud and clear – I had been complaining for a long time about the lack of press coverage we had been getting, along with the lack of finance this had been directly responsible for.  I gat the message “put your money where your mouth is”.

After a few words with a few people, yours truly became the new holder of this position.

Many hours of thought went into the next move.  What are we going to tell the world about Chasewater, and what are we trying to achieve at our beloved railway?

Over a lunchtime cuppa with Steve Organ and Rob Duffill I outlined my ideas.  Unless there was a change in government or a second coming of the industrial revolution, Chasewater would not be main-line linked for the foreseeable future.

Let us sell our strengths and tell everyone what we have and what we are trying to do.  Our roots are very clearly in the Cannock Chase coalfield, so the colliery line was the name to use.  Now we had an identity – “The Colliery Line”.

A chance conversation with my brother, (a miner in the Nottinghamshire coalfield) made me think that with a few strings pulled in the right direction we might be able to acquire some redundant mining relics to put round the site to give it some atmosphere.

British Coal were contacted at Clipstone, and after a short period of time, two one ton pit tubs (mine cars), a length of track and a pulley wheel were ours.  Many thanks to Martin Bradshaw of British Coal for his efforts in making these items available to us.The two tubs on Brownhills West Station 2012

The main task now was to tell all the railway publications and let them know that we were alive and kicking.  The response from the press has been first class, all were pleased to hear that all was well and that we were progressing.

“Give us as much as you can and we will give you the space” was their reply.

Now, after many hours of writing numerous articles, the show seems to be on the road, let’s hope that it brings the rewards we think it will.

As they say “watch this space!”


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