Monthly Archives: November 2013

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1914 – 2-8-0 – Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1914 – 2-8-0 – Somerset & Dorset Joint RailwayNo.81 as originally built with tender cab

No.81 as originally built with tender cab

This railway was jointly owned by the Midland and the London & South Western Railways, and the former was responsible for the provision of motive power. It was not surprising therefore that the locomotives were based largely on Derby practice, and the 2-8-0s introduced in 1914 by Sir Henry Fowler were pure Midland, although, strangely enough, that railway never built anything larger than an 0-6-0 for its own heavy freight traffic. Six engines, Nos. 80-5, came from Derby in 1914, and in 1925 a further five, Nos. 86-90, were built by Stephenson & Co. These latter had larger boilers, but as these were of non-standard Derby dimensions the engine in later years were rebuilt to conform with the original ones as the boilers required replacement.

The S & DJR locomotive stock was absorbed into the LMS in 1930, and the 2-8-0s at first took the numbers 9670-80, but they were soon afterwards altered to 13800-10. On passing into BR hands they became 53800-10.53800

The class remained intact until 1959, when the first one, No. 53800, was withdrawn. The engines were built for working freight traffic over the steeply graded main line of the S & DJR between Bath and Bournemouth, on which route they have spent their entire working life. To assist in coping with the heavy holiday traffic on Saturdays during the summer months they have frequently been called upon to work passenger trains. For a few months during 1918 No. 85 was lent to the parent Midland Railway which used it on coal trains between Wellingborough and Brent, with a view to constructing some for its own use, but nothing came of the idea. Owing to the absence of a large-enough turntable they worked for many years always facing south, and because of the large amount of tender-first running involved, Nos. 80-5 were fitted with cabs to the tenders, but these were later removed.53808

Nos. 80-5 – Driving wheels – 4’ 8½”, Cylinders (2) 21”x 28”, Boiler diameter – 4’ 9”, Pressure – 190 lb., Tractive effort – 35295 lb., Weight – 64 tons 15 cwt, BR classification – 7F

Nos.86-90 as built – Driving wheels – 4’ 8½”, Cylinders (2) 21”x 28”, Boiler diameter – 5’ 3”, Pressure – 190 lb., Tractive effort – 35295 lb., Weight – 68 tons 11 cwt, BR classification – 7FWSR No.88 No.88 preserved on the West Somerset Railway

Some Early Lines – The Plym Valley Railway

Some Early Lines

The Plym Valley Railway

Train Pic B.MillsPhoto: B.Mills

The Plym Valley Railway is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) heritage railway based on what was once a part of the now-closed South Devon and Tavistock Railway, a branch line of the Great Western Railway in Devon, England.

The line was originally part of the South Devon and Tavistock Railway, a 7 ft 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm) broad-gauge railway linking Plymouth with Tavistock in Devon, England. This opened in 1859, was converted to 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) in 1892 and closed in 1962.GabionsPlymouth: Plym Valley Railway

Making gabions and erecting permanent fencing south west of the new terminus of the ‘heritage’ railway at Plym Bridge. The embankment will be built up against the gabions to allow construction of a siding or loop line. The railway is on the formation of the Great Western’s Plymouth-Tavistock branch which closed in the 1960s. The present society was formed in 1980 and in 2008 ran three-quarters of a mile to Lee Moor Crossing from its base near Marsh Mills. Opening to Plym Bridge will extend the route length to 1.5 miles  © Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 Local enthusiasts set up a group in 1982 to restore part of the line as the Plym Valley Railway. The first section re-opened in May 2008 when trains could operate over 0.75 miles (1.2 km) of track as far as Lee Moor crossing, the site where the 4 ft 6 in (1,372 mm) gauge Lee Moor Tramway (now the West Devon Way cycle path) used to cross the line on the level. A new station was constructed just north of the site of the original Marsh Mills railway station as that site is occupied by a line that serves the Marsh Mills china clay plant. The new station was provided with a shop, buffet and small museum.PlatformPlymouth: Plym Valley Railway

New platform and northern terminus of the railway by Plym Bridge car park. On the formation of the Great Western branch line from Plymouth to Tavistock (and Launceston)  © Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

 The preserved line was extended to Plym Bridge on 30 December 2012, bringing it to 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length.

The 0-4-0ST steam locomotive “Albert” returned to service in December 2007 after receiving major repairs to its boiler. Albert has operated on all passenger trains and diesel No. 13002 has been used regularly on engineering trains. In 2009 preparation work commenced on returning 0-6-0ST “Byfield” to steam, seeing the locomotive stripped down to its main components for assessment.

 The Plym Valley Railway is based at Marsh Mills which is close to the A38 road near Plymouth. It operates trains as far as Plym Bridge._Plym_Bridge_1600_ex_Marsh_B.Mills_30-12-12_[1]Photo: B.Mills1402052_468576886588178_251619902_oFree buses will be running on all of the December running days:2013.12.01 Timetable (Portrait)-1For further details –


Cannock Chase Events – Events Listings: Christmas Tree Festival

Cannock Chase Events

Events Listings: Christmas Tree Festival

Christmas Tree Festival

Date: 27th Nov 2013 – 30th Nov 2013

xmastreeLocation: St. Lukes Church Cannock

Cost: Free – £5 depending on date.

ST LUKE’S CHURCH Christmas Tree Festival November 27th – 30th DAYTIME FREE ENTRY Over 50 decorated trees Display of Nativity sets Christmas Stalls, Refreshments Open 10am – 6pm (5pm Saturday)

Wednesday 27th November 7.30pm

Grand Opening

Music by Staffordshire Youth Recorder & Renaissance Ensemble,

Gentleshaw Handbell Ringers,

SongbIrds in Harmony Choir

Tickets £5 (or pay on the door)

includes mulled wine and mince pies

Thursday 28th November

10am – 6pm    Free Visitor Entry

7.30pm Bel Canto Choir and organ recital

(music and Christmas readings)

Tickets £3 (or pay on the door)

 Friday 29th November

10am – 6pm   Free visitor entry

7.30pm Carols by Treelight and organ recital

with St Luke’s church Choir

Tickets £3 (or pay on the door)

Saturday 30th November

10am – 5pm  Free visitor entry
music provided by school choirs

 The Friends of Hednesford ParkFOHP Logo

We will be supporting Hednesford Town Christmas Light Switch On, Friday 6th December 2013
Our stall will be outside The Kitchen Cupboard, opposite the Lightworks, we will be doing a Teddy Bear Tombola.teddy bear

Canal News – Year of the Boat exhibition at Weston Park

Canal News

Year of the Boat exhibition at Weston Park

Rob PointonWaterways artist Rob Pointon

01 – 15 Dec 2013
10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Weston Park
Nr Shifnal
TF11 8LE

The fourth and final exhibition for sale of artist Rob Pointon’s works produced during his year on a narrowboat.

Weston Park will make a grand and stately setting for “Year of the Boat”, an exhibition by highly acclaimed artist Rob Pointon. Inspired by the beauty of the UK’s vast network of inland waterways, highly acclaimed artist Rob embarked on a year long painting project touring the canal network on a narrowboat.

All of Rob’s work is done on location which brings an energy and vibrancy to the atmosphere of the paintings, truly reflecting the experience and the scene being depicted. “Year of the Boat” is a collection of 80 paintings exhibited for sale.

Exact dates are to be confirmed.


258 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002 Part 4 Narrow Gauge – Early Days

258 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News – Autumn & Winter 2002

 Part 4 Narrow Gauge – Early DaysCW NG 1CW NG 2CW NG 3Narrow Gauge

More up-to-date!

Lichfield News – The Twelve Days of Christmas & Beginners’ rag rug workshop in park setting

Lichfield News

 Guild HallThe Guildhall, Lichfield

The present building was erected in 1846 although the site on which it stands was used for the Guild, or Fraternity, of Citizens as early as 1387.  Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved] © Copyright David Rogers and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

A festive show for all the family is playing in the Guildhall on Saturday 30 November to raise money for two civics’ charities.

Councillor David Leytham, Chairman of Lichfield District Council, and Councillor Bob Awty, Mayor of Lichfield City Council, are inviting everyone to get into the festive spirit with The Twelve Days of Christmas show.

Presented by Distraction Theatre Company, The Twelve Days of Christmas follows Miss Elizabeth Fairfax and her rather unusual Christmas of 1895.

Mr Edward Fitzwilliam is in love with Miss Fairfax, but since she is a ‘most charming and dear creature; no ordinary wooing will do’.

Watch as Miss Fairfax tries to cope with a few extraordinary presents and the most ridiculous twelve days of her life!

Councillor David Leytham, Chairman of Lichfield District Council, said: “What better way to get that Christmas feeling than by watching a festive play set in the Victorian period?

“I hope we have a full house as it not only promises to be an enjoyable evening, but will also help to raise money for vital local charities.”

Councillor Bob Awty, Mayor of Lichfield City Council, added: “I am pleased to be joining the Chairman in hosting this show for all the family in aid of our chosen charities. It will be a wonderful start to the lead up to Christmas.”

The Twelve Days of Christmas is playing at the Guildhall in Lichfield on Saturday 30 November at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £12 and can be booked over the phone by calling Lichfield District Council on 01543 308003.

Any profits from ticket sales will be split between the civics’ chosen charities. The chairman is raising funds for Lichfield Young Carers and Lichfield Arthritis Care. The mayor is raising funds for the Friends of Samuel Johnson Community Hospital and St Giles Hospice.


Beginners’ rag rug workshop in park settingBeacon Park

Learn how to make a beautiful rug from scraps of material at one of the three workshops taking place at Beacon Park this December.

Three rag rug workshops, aimed at beginners, are being held in Beacon Park’s Discovery Hub on Sunday 1 December.

Councillor Val Richards, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Communications & Tourism, said: “This is a great opportunity to find out how to use up scraps of material and weave them into a rug, just in time for Christmas.

“Places must be booked in advance, and if you are coming along to one of the workshops, please make sure you bring along some old clothes and material for the rags.”

Each session costs £5. They are suitable for anyone over 8 years of age.

The three two-hour workshops start at 10am, 12noon and 2pm.

To book onto one of the workshops, please contact Beacon Park on 01543 308856 or email



Canal News – An early start to Christmas on the cut!!

An early start to Christmas on the cut!!

Canal News


Santa Cruises from the Chesterfield Canal Trust

23 Nov – 24 Dec 2013
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm


                                    Various locations on the Chesterfield Canal

The Chesterfield Canal Trust will be running Santa Special Cruises in no less than four different venues this year – Chesterfield, Staveley, Worksop and Retford.

The trip boat John Varley, will be doing Santa Special trips every Saturday and Sunday from 23rd November to 22nd December, from Tapton Lock in Chesterfield on the A61 at the Tesco roundabout. There will be more trips from Hollingwood Hub in Staveley, on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th December. To book, ring 01246 551035.

Over in Retford, the Seth Ellis, will be doing Santa Special trips every Saturday and Sunday from 30th November to 22nd December and on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th December, from the Hop Pole pub on Welham Road. To book, ring 07925 851569.

Meanwhile in Worksop, the Hugh Henshall will also be doing Santa Specials on Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd December from the Lock Keeper pub off the Sainsbury’s roundabout on the ring road. To book, ring 01246 477569.

On all these trips, Santa will have a present for every child and a mince pie and a drink for every adult. The cost is £6 per person.

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – Hawthorn Leslie, 3837 of 1934

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

Hawthorn Leslie, 3837 of 1934

Bernard Mettam Collection IRSBernard Mettam Collection – IRS Collection

R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Limited, usually referred to as Hawthorn Leslie, was a shipbuilding and locomotive manufacturer.

The Company was formed by the merger of the shipbuilder A.Leslie & Hebburn with the locomotive works of R & W Hawthorn at St.Peter’s in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1886. The Company disposed of its locomotive manufacturing interests in 1937 to Robert Stephenson & Co. which became Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn Ltd.

After the merger the locomotive side continued manufacturing for main-line, light and industrial railways, including a large number built for export, usually to the designs of the Crown Agents.

John Hill Collection IRSJohn Hill Collection IRS Collection

R.W Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0 ST, 3837 of 1934

3’ 8” wheels, 16”x 24” outside cylinders.  New to Stewarts and Lloyds, Corby Steelworks, Northamptonshire, originally No. 10 but later renumbered 16.  Initially entering preservation at the Nene Valley Railway, Cambridgeshire around June 1974 the locomotive has experienced a somewhat nomadic existence since.

A move to the Battlefield Line, Shackerstone, Leicestershire took place on March 7th 1981 (where No.16 joined sister loco Hawthorn Leslie 3931 of 1938, another ex Corby loco, their No. 21).  No.21 had been at Shackerstone since October 1973 but both locos moved on to the Swanage Railway, Dorset on 17th December 1982.

Information ends there regarding HL 3837 but her sister loco HL 3931 is currently based on the Ribble Railway, Preston. (My thanks to Barry Bull for this information).Leatherhead 1985Leatherhead 1985

From the Hawthorn Leslie 3837 Preservation Society website

The Hawthorn Leslie 3837 Preservation Society purchased 3837 from Mole Valley District Council where she had been standing for over 25 years behind Leatherhead Leisure Centre.

The loco is now based at Isfield, East Sussex at the headquarters of The Lavender Line for restoration.

After a working life of 35 years at Corby Steelworks, Northamptonshire and many years languishing behind Leatherhead Leisure Centre, 3837 now requires your help!Leatherhead 2010Leatherhead 2010

We are always on the look out for volunteers and people who would like to get involved in the restoration project and become members of our society, so if you are interested please contact us

– See more at:

http://www.hl3837.orgFinal Touches to PaintworkFinal touches to the paintwork

Chasewater Railway Museum News – LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

Chasewater Railway Museum News

LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

The Chasewater Railway Museum has recently acquired a folder containing over 200 diagrams of private sidings on the London & North Western Railway, dated Euston 1911.FolderTitle PageAs can be seen, the folder itself is rather fragile, but the diagrams inside are in very good condition.Anglesey SidingsAnglesey Sidings

Our good friend Ian Pell has put all the diagrams onto a CD, which is now in the Museum – thanks Ian.Cannock Branch, Hednesford RPSCannock Branch, Hednesford – the shed on the centre-left of the photo is the original HQ of the Railway Preservation Society.Cooper's Junction Green pipeCooper’s Junction, near to the Cannock Wood CollieryFrom Pye Green ValleyHednesford Station area, showing the sidings coming from the Pye Green Valley – West Cannock No. 1 Colliery.Holly BankHolly Bank Colliery

Just a few samples which are of local interest the the Chasewater Railway.

Talon – The Best Of Eagles

TALONTalon 2

CD Cover

The Best Of Eagles

Some time ago,  Chasewater Railway had the pleasure of hosting a photo-shoot by ‘Talon’ the No. 1 tribute band to he great ‘Eagles’ , and on the weekend Nov 16/17  Nov 2013 the Railway was given a CD showing the results of the shoot, along with a very nice ‘thank you’ letter and some posters.Letter of Thanks

To see the original post about the photo-shoot go to:

Thank you very much ‘Talon’ we enjoyed your company and wish you every success in the future.

To find out more about ‘TALON’  go to their website:

Small PosterCentre Spread