Monthly Archives: March 2014

Model Railway Shows – April 2014

Model Railway Shows – April 2014


Stourbridge Railway Society Model Railway Exhibition

Date: 12/04/2014 to 13/04/2014
Times: Saturday :10.00am – 5.00pm, Sunday :10.00am – 4.30pm
Club Name: Stourbridge Railway Society
Venue: The Bonded Warehouse, Canal Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 4LU, England
Prices: Adult £3.00, Child £2.00, Family £9.00(Entry for 2 + 2)
Contact: Christopher Dyche
Telephone: 01384 375582
Email Address:
Free Parking41

Lutterworth Railway Society – The History of Toton Marshalling Yards

Date: 17/04/2014 to 17/04/2014
Times: Thursday :19.30
Club Name: Lutterworth Railway Society
Venue: United Reformed Church, George Street, Lutterworth, LE17 4EF
Contact: Dave Hanger
Telephone: 01455 203307
Website: http://www.lutterworthrailwaysociety.webplus.net42

Sutton Coldfield Railway Society Model Railway Exhibition 2014

Date: 26/04/2014 to 27/04/2014
Times: Saturday :10.00am – 5.00pm, Sunday :10.00am – 4.00pm
Club Name: Sutton Coldfield Railway Society
Venue: Bishop Walsh School, Wylde Green Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B76 1QT, United Kingdom
Prices: Adult £5.00, OAP £4.00
Contact: Andy Smyth
Telephone: 0121 323 4744
Email Address:
Accompanied Children (under 16) Free44

Coventry & Warwickshire O Gauge Modellers Open Day

Date: 26/04/2014 to 26/04/2014
Times: Saturday :
Club Name: Coventry and Warwickshire Gauge O Modellers
Venue: Church of the Holy Cross, Wyken, Coventry, CV2 5EA, England
Contact: Peter Foyer
Telephone: 01926 63285243


Canal News – Restoration Top Of The Agenda At New Annual Conference

IWA LogoCanal News

PRESS RELEASE: Restoration Top Of The Agenda At New Annual Conference Pic restoration

Photo: IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group ‘Canal Camp’ volunteer holiday held in 2013 to restore part of the Monmouthshire Canal.

 Issue date: 27th March 2014

Waterway restoration will be at the top of the agenda during a special workshop taking place in May aimed at starting to overcome some of the big challenges facing restoration groups across the country.

The workshop, being hosted by the Canal & River Trust and The Inland Waterways Association, is intended to become an annual event aimed at addressing some of the big restoration challenges of the time. It will bring members of waterway restoration groups, local authorities and other interested bodies together in one room to discuss a range of issues.

Those present will have the chance to share best practice and celebrate the progress on restoration schemes across the country. The event is also intended to help groups foster new relationships and highlight areas where more support might be needed to progress restoration schemes even further.

Taking place on 10th May 2014 at The Bond Warehouse, Digbeth, the workshop will also see the launch of a University of Northampton report into the benefits of canal restoration. The report re-examines the economic benefits arising from six specific canal restoration schemes (Kennet & Avon Canal , Liverpool Link, Rochdale Canal, Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Millennium Link and Chesterfield Canal) helping to demonstrate how similar schemes may benefit their local communities.

Richard Parry, chief executive of the Trust said; “This promises to be an interesting event and one which I hope will prove really useful to those coming along. There’s a vast amount of knowledge and experience out there and this is just one way of helping to strengthen those links and encourage groups to help each other on their respective journeys.”

“We’re also launching a report which we hope will demonstrate to a wider audience the benefits that canal restoration schemes can bring and help make the case for schemes elsewhere which might not be as far along the road.”

“With so much knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for the waterways in one room it should be a really fascinating day.”

Les Etheridge, IWA’s national chairman said; “There is a long and proud history of successfully restoring waterways in which IWA has played a very significant role. Sharing ideas and best practice benefits everybody. One of the challenges facing all restoration schemes is ensuring that once restored the waterway has a financially viable future. This area is one which I particularly look forward to discussing.”

“The New York Central’s Empire State Express”

Classic Streamliners

One of the New York Central System’s most famous trains was the Empire State Express, which ran through upstate New York to Buffalo and Cleveland. With its main offices in New York City, the New York Central was a large railroad with several subsidiaries whose identity remained strong in local loyalties. In the broadest of geographic terms, the New York Central proper was everything east of Buffalo with a line from Buffalo through Cleveland and Toledo to Chicago The NYC included the Ohio Central Lines (Toledo through Columbus to and beyond Charleston, West Virginia) and the Boston & Albany Railroad (neatly defined by its name). The Michigan Central Railroad was a Buffalo-Detroit-Chicago line and everything in Michigan north of that. NYC’s Grand Central Terminal in New York City is one of its best known landmarks. The New York Central System, like many Eastern U.S. railroads, resulted from mergers, consolidations, acquisitions…

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Canal News – Experts sought to help steer future of canals and rivers in the Midlands

IWA LogoCanal NewsCanal & River Trust Logo

Experts sought to help steer future of canals and rivers in the Midlands
People living in the Midlands are being called on to help guide the future development of the waterways at the very heart of the nation’s historic canal and river network.

Lock 6, Atherstone, Coventry Canal

Lock 6, Atherstone, Coventry Canal

This is a tremendous opportunity for people with ideas and energy to play a leading role in bringing others together to embrace their local canal or river”
Charlotte Atkins, chair of the
We are calling for people in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and north Warwickshire to come forward and help shape the future of their local waterways.
The Trust is recruiting three new members for its Central Shires Waterway Partnership, which plays a key role in getting more people involved in these vital green spaces and ensuring they boost tourism and employment.
Nine people currently sit on the Partnership, drawn from different interests such as boating, canoeing and angling, as well as wider regeneration, media and community engagement backgrounds. The three new members being sought will ideally have experience and expertise in the areas of health and well-being, local authority, social enterprise, volunteering and the natural environment.
Charlotte Atkins, chair of the Central Shires Waterways Partnership, said: “Our waterways are at the very heart of the nation’s historic canal network and as a result they’ve been instrumental in shaping our towns and cities and they remain an enduring reminder of our thriving industrial past.
“As a partnership we believe that it’s now time to put the waterways back at the heart of our communities and use them as a means of tackling some of the great challenges that our region faces. Our waterways have huge potential to boost the Midlands’ economy and to help people lead healthier lifestyles, to gain new skills and simply just to feel a sense of pride in where they live.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for people with ideas and energy to play a leading role in bringing others together to embrace their local canal or river and help create better waterways and closer, healthier, communities.”
The roles are voluntary with agreed expenses reimbursed, and will involve approximately two days a month. Appointments are for three years. For more information please contact waterway manager Darren Green on 0303 040 4040 or
Find out more about these partnership vacancies

We want your views on our towpaths
We’re currently consulting on how towpaths are shared to make visiting waterways more enjoyable for everyone.

Apsley, Grand Union Canal

Apsley, Grand Union Canal

Our aim is to improve people’s experience of using towpaths in England and Wales by gaining a more detailed understanding of the ways towpaths are used – whether by boaters, walkers, joggers, cyclists or anglers – and to attract more visitors to regularly use and enjoy the waterways.
We’re inviting people to share their views through an online survey, on anything from signage and behaviour to suggestions for access and surface improvements.
The National Towpath Use Policy will set out our approach to managing safer sharing of towpaths including what we will do and what visitors can do. For example, it will balance the needs of people with the need to conserve and protect heritage and the environment; also how to encourage visitors to better understand the range of towpath activities, be considerate of others and make a difference to these shared spaces.
To find out more about our proposals and give your feedback please visit


Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era 1922 – 4-6-4T Glasgow & South Western Railway

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era
1922 – 4-6-4T
Glasgow & South Western Railway

No.540 when new

No.540 when new

The last engines built for the G&SWR, five very fine 4-6-4Ts built by R.H.Whitelegg, one time superintendent of the LTSR and who had also designed some 4-6-4Ts for that railway.
The new engines were numbered 540-4, and renumbered by the LMS 15400-4. They did good work on the heavy shorter distance expresses, but being of non-standard type had no chance of survival under LMS policy, and were broken up in 1935 and 1936
Driving wheels – 6’ 0”, Cylinders (2) – 22”x 26”, Pressure – 180 lb., Tractive effort – 26741 lb., Weight 99 tons.

Lichfield News – 2014’s Cycle Rides for All

Lichfield News

2014’s Cycle Rides for All

BikesThe monthly Sunday cycle rides programme, Cycle Rides for All, is back for 2014.
Cycle Rides for All is launching this Sunday (30 March) with an eight and a half mile ride to Fisherwick Lakes.
This event signals the start of the free monthly cycle rides that take place towards the end of the month, from March through to September.
On top of rides to the National Memorial Arboretum and Fradley Junction, this year’s programme also includes the two new locations, of Fisherwick Lakes and Packington Moor Farm near Weeford.
The rides are graded from level 1, which is suitable for beginners, to level 4, which is for more experienced cyclists.

Debby Whiting, from Freedom Cycles, said: “We’re delighted to be launching the Sunday cycle rides and hope plenty of people will join us for the first one of the series. We do a quick safety check of all the bikes before setting off, to make sure they are roadworthy. We also recommend that safety helmets are worn and that you bring a packed lunch and drink, although we do have a café stop on most rides.”
Anyone who wants to join the ride to Fisherwick Lakes should turn up with their bikes on Sunday 30 March at 10am at Freedom Cycles in Lichfield Bus Station on Birmingham Road. This ride is graded level 2, which means it is suitable for all. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
The Cycle Ride for All 2014 programme is available from Freedom Cycles, Beacon Park’s Ranger Station and Lichfield District Council’s Frog Lane offices.
To see the full Cycle Rides for All programme, please visit
To find out more, or to check whether a ride is taking place if the weather is uncertain, please call Freedom Cycles on 01543 411633 or Karl Sproston at Lichfield District Council on 01543 308846.
Cycle Rides for All is run in partnership by Lichfield District Council, Freedom Cycles, Bromford Living, North Lichfield Initiative and Lichfield City Council.

40 years of golf course celebrationsGolfersGolfers helped Lichfield District Council to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Beacon Park’s golf course on Sunday 23 March.

On the day, a range of activities took place, including PGA professional tuition on the first tee and the chance to take part in a golf tournament.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Play, said: “Despite the rather cold and blustery day, golfers enjoyed taking part in the festivities, including the professional tuition provided by Robert Rock Golf Academy.
“Our thanks once again to Swinfen Broun Charitable Trust that helped to fund the golf course in 1974, in what was one of the trust’s first major projects. It has given enjoyment to keen golfers over the decades and we hope the golf course will be enjoyed for years to come.”

Well done to Fraser Hamilton-Wright who won the 12 and under category, and to Sam Brown winner of the 13 to 17 category, and to Darren Robinson who won the 18 plus category.
About the golf course
Green Flag accredited Beacon Park offers a mature 18-hole pitch and putt, par 3 golf course, with holes ranging from 90 yards to 110 yards.
The golf course is open every day (subject to conditions), except for Christmas Day. Games do not need to be booked, and are paid for at the park’s Ranger Station (which is the kiosk between Lakeside Bistro and the crazy golf course).
An 18-hole round of golf costs £7.80 for adults and £3.90 for children, and discounts are available with a LAP membership.
Players can use their own golf clubs, or they can be hired when paying for the round. It costs £1.50 a club, which includes a ball and a deposit of £1.

267 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Spring 2003 Part 7 – Chasewater Heaths & Diesel News


‘Gervase’ ready for the Industrial Gala,

March 29th & 30th 2014

267 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News – Spring 2003
Part 7 – Chasewater Heaths & Diesel NewsDiesel 1Diesel 2CWH 1CWH 2

Lichfield News – Local News Including Easter Holiday Fun

Lichfield News

Chase Terrace Park’s new swing

SwingPublished on Friday, 21st March 2014

A swing set has been installed at Chase Terrace Park this month.

Children were let loose on a new swing set in Chase Terrace Park in Burntwood on 19 March 2014, when Lichfield District Council unveiled the new piece of equipment.

The swing set was installed thanks to a donation of £1,000 from Councillor Sue Woodward’s Staffordshire Local Community Fund. Burntwood Town Council also contributed £1,000, and Lichfield District Council put in £700.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said:  “We’re ever so grateful to Councillor Woodward and Burntwood Town Council for investing in this park. Swings are always really popular with children of all ages, and we know it is sure to become a firm favourite with families visiting the park.”

In the coming weeks, the council will extend the play area’s fencing so it includes the new addition of the swing within the fenced area.

Councillor Sue Woodward, Staffordshire County Councillor for Burntwood North, said: “Through speaking to residents, I knew that a swing set was a very popular choice to boost Chase Terrace Park’s playground. I am thrilled it is in place and that it is being enjoyed by many children already.”

 Easter holiday fun

Easter BunnyPublished on Friday, 21st March 2014

Lichfield District Council is inviting children, young people and families to take a look at its cracking programme of activities on offer this Easter.

From holiday clubs and special offers on football, to an Easter trail and swimming lessons, Lichfield District Council is making sure children have an egg-citing Easter break.

The programme is now live on an online calendar at This lists the activities in date order and gives information, such as the times, what the activity involves, and how to book.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “Taking part on a coaching course or holiday club is a great way for children to improve in a sport, meet new friends and keep busy. And, with activities ranging from pool fun sessions and trampolining, through to triathlon coaching and gym workouts, there is plenty to choose from.”

The council’s holiday programme is running at Burntwood Leisure Centre, Friary Grange Leisure Centre and Beacon Park.

To see all the activities on offer, please visit


Woodland countryside conservation events

Published on Thursday, 20th March 2014

Lichfield District Council’s Countryside & Parks Conservation Group (CPCG) is seeking more volunteers to help two woodlands in the Burntwood area to thrive.

This April, the council is inviting everyone to muck in at two CPCG conservation days in two new locations.

The first event is on Wednesday 2 April 2014 at Coulter Lane woodland in Burntwood.

Councillor Andrew Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “Coulter Lane woodland was planted about seven years ago, and since then no management has taken place on the site. Our volunteers will spend the day learning forestry techniques, such as crown lifting, selective thinning and bashing ground vegetation.”

The second CPCG day of the month is on Wednesday 16 April at Larks Rise woodland in Burntwood.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Development, said: “Larks Rise woodland was created 15 years ago as part of a housing development in Chase Terrace. Six years ago, a project that saw new footpaths, information boards and planting took place, with help from the Forest of Mercia, the Forestry Commission and we contributed section 106 funding. Our conservation group will be carrying on with the management of the mature and new planting areas, including selective thinning, removing brash, repairing footpaths and doing a deep litter pick.”

Both days will run from 10.30am to 3pm and are for over 18s. All tools will be provided as well as light snacks. Wearing outdoor waterproof clothes and sturdy footwear is recommended.

To find out more please visit

To book your free place, please call Denice Deverall at Lichfield District Council on 01543 308183 or email

Model Railway Shows

Model Railway Shows

DSCF9417 Model Ex Cropped 3

• Sun 23rd March 2014

• G Scale Society – G Rail 2014

• Stafford Showground, Weston Road, Stafford, Staffordshire ST18 0BD


ADMISSION: Adults £6.00

This event is the G Scale Society’s annual show incorporating their annual general meeting. The layouts are mainly at G Scale but other scales are being exhibited. There will be representatives from other societies and preservation groups. We will have a shuttle bus service from Stafford railway station to the Showground, throughout the day as well as a smaller bus transporting visitors between the exhibition halls and the Stafford and District Model Engineering Society’s miniature railway.

CONTACT: 01902 752061

DSCF9455 Model Ex Cropped 8

• Sat 29th March 2014

• Belper Model Railway Group – Belper Model Railway Exhibition

• Strutt Centre, Derby Road, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 1UU

OPENING TIMES: SAT 10.00am – 5pm.

ADMISSION: Adults £2.50 Concessions £2.00 Children £1.50

Layouts from Z to 0 gauge. Strutt Centre is on the right hand side of the A6 when approaching from Derby opposite Babington Hospital and just after “The Tavern” Pub. from Center of Belper it is about 250 meters after the Morrison’s roundabout on the left hand side. The Trent Barton Sixes bus services stop outside the Center. Belper Railway Station (Matlock Branch Service) is about a 10 minute walk.

CONTACT: 01773 880586


Successful Train Pull at the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway


Successful Train Pull at the

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Train Pull

A team of volunteers from Derby’s Network Rail Branch successfully undertook a train pull challenge in aid of Sport Relief at Wirksworth Station.

The team of 28 participants hauled 27 tonne ‘Iris the Railcar’ for approximately 500 yards uphill into Wirksworth Station to the cheers of a packed platform of well wishers.

The event was the brainchild of Michael Nicholl from Derby, who started planning last year for the train pull attempt after watching a plane pull effort at Gatwick Airport. Michael contacted the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway for their help in hosting the challenge and it was fitting that that a Derby built DMU was chosen for the challenge.

Tom Tait the Railway’s Commercial Manager commented, “We were very happy to host this special event and congratulate the Network Rail Team in successfully completing the train pull which took a tremendous effort.”

The spotlight will be upon ‘Iris’ again in the near future with plans in place for her to be exhibited at Derby as part of the ‘Celebrating 175 Years of Derbyshire Railways’ events scheduled for September this year.