171 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News Bromford Special 1994 – Part 3
Permanent Way News
Words on Synthetic Chemicals – Arthur Edwards
This story started back in October, 1993 when a Mr. James Bates of Synthetic Chemicals paid us a visit with the news that his company was doing away with its railway network, which connected with the BR Wolverhampton to Stafford line at four Ashes. Jim told us that a number of items, some chairs and a point lever had been disconnected and were surplus.
The following weekend Paul Whittaker, Dave Borthwick, Tony Wheeler and Keith Day drove over to Synthetic Chemicals to collect the items which were brought back and stored at Chasewater. Jim said that the company would have to consider all the pros and cons on how to deal with the demise of the rest of its railway network.
In the spring of this year we learned that Synthetic Chemicals had generously donated the rest of their track to the CLR, and on May 7th a gang of our P.Way staff went back to Four Ashes to make a start on the dismantling. All of the fishplates were unbolted, some of the pointwork was split up and all of the keys were removed and brought back to Chasewater.
The second week was spent doing more or less the same again, at the end of which Chris Chivers informed me that the track was all ready for lifting in 60ft panels.
The next week, after mid-week phone calls, we managed to get a crew for the lift at SC. Meanwhile back at Chasewater Ian Buswell was hard at work with the JCB levelling the site ready for the pointwork and 30ft track panels which will be used eventually for our new sidings and shed.Nothing to do with the post – just looks nice! Beattie Well Tank in Brownhils West
Over at Synthetic Chemicals three of Cotton’s artic lorries were waiting for their loads. At around 10.30am the first lorry was ready, and Steve asked me to return to Chasewater with it to oversee the unloading. Curly brought his lorry up, and Harold set up his crane to lift the top panel, Curly then moved his lorry further forward, and Harold dropped the panel in more or less the right place. This process was repeated until the lorry was unloaded and the next one arrived.
At around 1.00pm on the Saturday the rain started, and did it come down?! By about 4.30pm I was absolutely soaked. Funnily I had brought my wet suit but it was in Steve’s car and I didn’t have time to put it on anyway. I thought it was about time to be heading back to the station where my Better Half was waiting to get away.
Ian told me on the following day he finally got away at about 8.3pm.
The new track panels stretch from the end of our current running line right across the causeway and through the platform of the new station, and there are still another two or three loads to come.
Thanks must go to Cotton’s Transport and Safe Load Indicators who provided the lorries and cranes.
Since the arrival of the panels work has started on fishplating them all together and jacking and packing to achieve the correct level and alignment. This method of tracklaying is obviously much quicker than our traditional way and it is likely that we will have a train in front of the new platform very shortly.
At the meeting on 25th March, the Board gave due consideration to the names proposed by members for the causeway station, previously referred to by the unflattering (but geographically correct) name of ‘Norton Bog’.
Members will recall that the Board had agreed to a form of competition, so that those who submitted the name eventually adopted by the Board will receive family tickets for the day of the first official public service into the new station.
The following names were suggested by members and other interested parties:
Chasewater Lakeside, Chasewater North Shore, Lakeside, North Shore Halt, Norton Biddulphs, Norton Bog, Norton Causeway, Norton Cranebrook, Norton East, Norton Lakeside, Norton Marsh, Norton Marshes, Norton Parkside.
Nominations for ‘Norton Lakeside’ were submitted by Mr.J.P.Merriman, and Mr.Chris Hatton, both of whom will be official guests on the due date. The three Board members who submitted the name are disqualified from the competition!!
By way of thanking the other members who took the trouble to submit suggestions, the Board has also agreed to offer a small token of appreciation.