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Saturday 28th June 2014 saw the official opening of the new Mining Gallery at the Museum of Cannock Chase.
The proceedings started with the Rugeley Power Station Band welcoming visitors, not on the front lawn as hoped, but, as the weather forecast was for heavy showers, in the Conference Room.
From 12.30pm the official opening and welcome by invited speakers, again inside, this time in the Local History Gallery. The speakers were from Cannock Chase District Council, the Lottery Heritage Fund and the Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust. Thanks were given to the various bodies for having the confidence to invest in the Museum and to the Museum staff for their work within the new gallery.
Then came the ribbon cutting, by Mr. Phil Harding (from the Time Team TV programme) and a chance for guests to see the new gallery.
The Tower Players gave performances in the Lamp Room at 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
The whole event was very well organised and also very well attended.
The Great Central Railway (GCR) was a railway company in England which came into being when the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway changed its name in 1897 in anticipation of the opening in 1899 of its London Extension (see Great Central Main Line). On 1 January 1923, it was grouped into the London and North Eastern Railway. Today, small sections of the main line in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire are preserved; see Great Central Railway (preserved). Several other sections of GCR lines are still in public operation.
Belgrave & Birstall Station
Nowadays the Great Central Railway (GCR) is a heritage railway in Leicestershire, named after the company that originally built this stretch of railway.
The GCR is currently Britain’s only double track mainline heritage railway, with 5.25 miles (8.45 km) of working double track, period signalling, locomotives and rolling stock. It runs for 8.25 miles (13.28 km) in total from the large market town of Loughborough to a new terminus just north of Leicester.
I’ve come across a few photos of old stations on the Great Central Railway.
The Great Central Railway was one of Britain’s biggest closures. The line from Sheffield to London was built at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries and designed for high speed running. It was built to the continental loading gauge as the entrepreneurs of the Great Central had ideas of building a channel tunnel and running through-trains to the centre of the country. The line was built on a grand scale and the architecture was well known.
Typical country stations were Quorn, Rothley and Belgrave & Birstall. Built as island platforms, the stations were more economical to staff and operate.
Anyway I know we can rely on Our Bob so I just thought I’d fill you in on the programme we have arranged on the stage which will be sited near to the bridge.
10:10 Dr Brian Dakin will be regailing us with tales and monologues for 40 minutes, and I’m told he is brilliant.
10:55 The official opening speech.
11:00 A performance by the Spotlite theatre.
12:00 Trad Jazz with Barbara’s All Stars.
12:45 Winners or the childrens Art Competition will be announced.
1:15 Trad Jazz again with Barbara’s All Stars.
2:15 Pelsall Ladies Choir.
Tesco have donated a trophy and prize money for the Canoe Club to organise a race which they hope will become an annual event, but Sutton Canoe Club are in charge of that so I’m not sure what form it will take.
The weather has been ordered and if delivered as promised we should have a good day.
Cheers Bob and bring your camera.
If you want to know more, help out or offer your services, contact the Brownhills Local Committee with the details below – alternatively, If you want to speak to Brian Stringer directly (he’s a lovely bloke) drop me a line and I’ll hook you up.
Contact Brownhills Local Committee on 01543 361144.
Brownhills Local Committee
The Parkview Centre
Chester Road North
No.86 ‘Peregine’ in 1937 after receiving the then new blue livery
For working the fast expresses over the GNR main line between Dublin and Belfast, the timings of which it was desired to accelerate, G.T.Glover built five 3-cylinder compound 4-4-0s in 1932. This was made possible by reconstructing the Boyne viaduct so as to permit a heavier axle loading which in the new engines amounted to 22 tons. They were built with round-topped boilers with the unusually high working pressure of 250 lb. per square inch, but these were latterly replaced with Belpaire type boilers with reduced pressure. In some ways they followed the design of the well-known Midland compounds. It was the last new compound design to appear in the British Isles. For many years these engines formed the mainstay in working the somewhat difficult schedules of the tightly timed expresses, but were superseded in 1948 by five new somewhat similar engines employing simple propulsion instead of compound, and more recently, by diesel railcars.
They were numbered 83-7, and were named ‘Eagle’, ‘Falcon’, ‘Merlin’, ‘Peregrine’ and ‘Kestrel’, and like so many engines for this railway, came from the works of Beyer Peacock & Co.
Driving wheels – 6’ 7” , Cylinders – 1 HP inside: 17¼”x 26”, 2 HP outside: 19”x 26”, Pressure – 250 lb., (later reduced to 215 lb.), – Tractive effort – 23760 lb., (later reduced to 20435 lb., Classification – W
A couple of Midlands cross-country routes which did not achieve their geographical ambitions. The first one was the ambitious Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway, which extended no further than Chesterfield in the west and Lincoln in the east, and was absorbed by the Great Central in 1907. It lost its passenger services in the 1950s, and most of the line is now abandoned. This view shows a train from Lincoln at Dukeries Junction in 1946, headed by GNR 4-4-2T No. 4531.
The old Hull & Barnsley Railway was another line which did not live up to its title, in that it did not quite reach Barnsley, the connection being made at Cudworth on the Midland main line. Its passenger services ran only over the main line between Hull and Cudworth (with certain through services to Sheffield) and a branch to Wath. The latter ceased in 1929 and this view shows Wath station as it was in 1947.