177 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News Christmas 1994 – Part 3
Carriage & Wagon News
New Acquisition: ‘Dogfish’ DB992841 – This useful hopper wagon has recently arrived at Chasewater on loan for 12 months from Andy Goodman of Allely’s Transport. Following minor attention to the chute actuating gearboxes the wagon has entered service as part of the PW works train to transport ash up to the new station and beyond.
Pressed Steel Co. DMBS W51372 – This car has remained in service coupled to W59444 to form the loco hauled train. It was recently given an ‘A’ exam, and following the recent acquisition of some more spares one or two minor repairs may shortly be carried out.
Derby Works centre Car W59444 – The electrical system of this coach has recently been overhauled, including servicing of the batteries, cleaning and resetting of contactors and renewal of some of the invertors for the strip lights.
Derby Works Centre Car M59603 – This coach has remained stored out of use.
2-Car DMU: DMBS W51370 & DMS W 51412 – This train has remained in service, being run on non-steam Sundays until recently when declining passenger numbers made it uneconomical to continue.Summer congestion at Tysewater!
Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln six-wheel coach – A great deal of progress has been made recently on this vehicle. All of the doors now close properly, and all of the glass has been fitted in the windows and doors so that the interior can be kept dry. The partially burnt panelling around the guard’s doors has been removed, and new locking bolts for the double doors made and fitted. Various rotten mouldings are being renewed, and the exterior of the bodywork has been given a preliminary coat of paint to help protect it. A certain amount of work has also been done on painting the interior.
LNWR (Paddy) Coach – Work has started on this coach by a carpenter working on the Community Service Scheme. So far some of the doors have been re-fitted, and repairs have been carried out on the roof to try and waterproof it.
Battery charging – The station battery charger has now been rebuilt and connected into a network of underground cabling enabling a number of vehicles to be connected to it simultaneously.
The Board has agreed to purchase around 600 concrete sleepers, enough to relay track to the rear of the Burntwood Industrial Estate. Delivery will commence in the New Year.
The Annual October Transport Rally – Arthur Edwards
This year’s rally seemed to surpass all of the rallies that we’ve had over the last five or so years. There were more vehicles than previously, but all cordoned off in such a way that it seemed that we could have had at least half as many again.
I finished work at 2.45pm on the Friday afternoon to be at Chasewater by 3.00pm to help Dave Whittle, Rally Organiser, to put up the fencing. This involved finding the fencing stakes before I could start. Eventually it was time to make my way home, and I told Dave I would be there at 9.30am on Saturday.
I duly arrived at Brownhills West Station at the said time, collected the stakes and started to knock them in to cordon off all the stationary engines and their owners’ living quarters, caravans, mobile homes, etc.
Steam trains didn’t run until Sunday as one of Asbestos’ springs had to be re-fitted following its repair, but our illustrious General Manager (Steve Organ) decided to use his DMU set.
Sunday dawned with high skies and not a threat of rain. A few of us had to take the permanent way works train down to the far end of the running line to work on the extension. This had to be done as even after the departure of the Wickhams we were still a bit cramped in the available siding space. I digress slightly, anyway all went according to plan, and next year they are planning an even bigger event.
All credit on this occasion must go to Dave Whittle for the red-hot phone calls, and to his associate Paul Richards, with their mind-boggling train of events. All the best for next year’s rally. Thanks chaps, very much appreciated.
Commercial Manager’s Update – Rob Duffill
The season, apart from the two Santa dates which are in the future at the time of writing, is now over until Easter. However, we do continue to tick over during the winter months and any income we can generate from whatever source during this period is essential to keep the wheels turning.
In addition to the core aspects of running the buffet and shop, we have been to several exhibitions. These have been at the bonded warehouse in Stourbridge organised by Trev Cousins who was Secretary of our group in the 60s. Also the Warley Model Show at the NEC and the Societies and Hobbies Fair at Walsall Town Hall.
The NEC exhibition is in its second year and is over two days and very interesting. As usual John and I set up on the Friday and all went very smoothly as the Warley Show is very well organised. The hall was better laid out this year and the public avoided the jams of last year. We were opposite an ‘0’ gauge layout of the Taff Vale and a colliery with lots of industrials. Also, Trev Cousins has produced in ‘0’ and ’00’ a model of Hanbury from our own area. This 0-6-0ST Peckett was of very neat outline. Trev and Pete Stamper, both members from the 60s, would be pleased to sell you one. Our stand was fairly busy with its blend of both toys and relics and we exceeded last year’s takings.
The Hobbies and Societies Fair at Walsall was successful, not from the actual sales, but from the publicity point of view. A lot of interest in the Santa Specials was generated. Quite a few people looked at the old photos we had taken and said they were ex-miners who remembered them. We also displayed a Pelsall Millenium plate at both exhibitions. The Brownhills paper also took photos and promised free publicity, and several potentially useful contacts were made. This event was definitely worth John and Margaret’s (with Chris) time, and our fairly low entrance fee.
Well done to all who helped during 1994, the trick being to extract money from the public in as pleasant way as possible, and to try and make the most of it all and enjoy yourself. We look forward to next year’s opportunities to increase income with the line open over the causeway.
Bass Brewers Community Awards
Bass’s Grand to Chasewater
Chasewater Railway has received a Bass Brewers Community Award of £500 towards the £20,000 required to build the proposed carriage & wagon shed which we intend to build when funds are sufficient, and the North Orbital Road route has been finalised. The fund now stands at about £2,000, the majority having been raised by members through donations and profits from events and rallies.
For those who are not aware, this is the third year in succession that the railway has been a recipient of a Bass Brewers Community Award. In 1882 we received £300 towards the transport costs of removing redundant trackwork out of Hams Hall power station. 1993 saw a £250 award towards the purchase of rail, and £500 this year to the Carriage and Wagon fund.The presentation of the cheque at the end of the platform of Brownhills West Station platform, surrounded by what appears to be total darkness!
The presentation of the cheque took place on 27th September at 7.00pm at Brownhills West, and was presented to Alwyne Marsden and Tony Wheeler of the Carriage and Wagon Dept. (Looking at the official Bass picture, and the expression on Tony’s face, it would be easy to believe that it was Tony’s money he’s giving away rather than receiving it from Bass!).
The Award is now becoming an annual event with an open invitation to all working members and volunteers, to which over forty came, with husbands, wives and children. After the presentation of the cheque and pictures taken rather quicker than normal due to failing light, there was a trip down the line in the newly acquired DMUs by Railway members, Janice Clark, Regional Communications Manager for Bass and her photographer. This not only showed how previous awards had been wisely spent, but also showed how much progress had been made enabling us to go to the extreme end of the line where no DMU had gone before, over Spikey Bridge. (Since then the line has been laid through the platform at Norton Lakeside and on 30-10-1994, the first works train travelled through it).
On arrival at Brownhills West Station a buffet and liquid refreshment had been arranged, and was consumed by those present. With the evening turning into a social event, members could find time to talk and joke with each other in a more relaxed atmosphere, which is not often the case when running trains or events, or generally going about the various tasks on the railway.
Many thanks to those who came on the evening of the 27th, to Janice Clark, who I feel enjoyed the evening as much as we did, but also to Bass for their contribution to our railway.
Thanks Bass – and Cheers. Keith Day.