Monthly Archives: July 2014

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway – Wirksworth Commemorates 1914: Secretary of State Visits

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Wirksworth Commemorates 1914: Secretary of State Visits

Loco & British Legion The Secretary of State stands on the footplate of ‘Henry Ellison’, alongside members of the Wirksworth Branch of the Royal British Legion: 
Wirksworth, 28th July 2014:

The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway today partnered with the Wirksworth Branch of the Royal British Legion to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.

The railway operated a special passenger service throughout the day, donating 50% of all fares to the British Legion, while the star of the day was steam engine ‘Henry Ellison’ bedecked with poppies and the flag of the Royal British Legion.
A special visitor to Wirksworth Station was Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport and Member of Parliament for the Derbyshire Dales.
The day was extremely successful, attracting many visitors who enjoyed the sunshine and the many attractions and stalls at Wirksworth Station.

EllisonLocomotive ‘Henry Ellison’ in commemorative livery:

About the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

WyvernRail plc has worked with the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway Association to reopen the Duffield to Wirksworth railway in the heart of Derbyshire.
The line passes through the beautiful Ecclesbourne Valley to the award winning and beautifully restored town of Wirksworth, nestling in the foothills of the Peak District.

The line is a time capsule, with its intermediate stations largely intact and the layout at Wirksworth virtually unchanged since the days of steam.

There are 9 miles of single-track railway, which meet the Midland Main Line at Duf-field Junction near Derby. There are five station sites, two level crossings, a yard with extensive sidings and a mineral branch to the old Middlepeak quarry at Wirks-worth.

Services run at weekends between March and October and midweek throughout the summer and are timed to connect with Derwent Valley Line services between Nottingham, Derby and Matlock operated by East Midlands Trains.
WyvernRail plc t/a The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth Station, Wirksworth, DE4 4FB |

Canal News – Banbury Floating Market, Linocut exhibition at Audlem Mill, IWA Shrewsbury District Lock Wind

Canal News

Banbury Floating Market

Banbury Floating Market

Banbury Floating Market

01 – 03 Aug 2014
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
There will be plenty to see and do (and buy) at the Banbury Floating Market.
Come along to see a number of canal boats trading in all sorts of canalware, arts and crafts, gifts, souvenirs and more.
To be held on the towpath between Tom Rolt Bridge and Museum Bridge, adjacent to Spiceball Park.

Linocut exhibition at Audlem Mill

14 Jul – 03 Aug 2014
11:00 am – 4:30 pm
The Wharf

An atmospheric exhibition of linocut art by celebrated canal artist Eric Gaskell will be held at Audlem Mill alongside the Shropshire Union Canal from 14 July to 3 August.
The show features works that look at a variety of canal-based motifs; the lock gates, the tumbling water, townscapes and landscape, the boats. All the prints are taken from limited edition sets, printed using either multi-block or reduction methods.
Eric Gaskell was born in Wigan, and studied painting/printmaking at Wigan and Sunderland. He left art college in 1980, winning two scholarships to New York and Istanbul. He has been creating art, illustration and design for more than 32 years and has exhibited widely in one-man and group shows in the UK, Europe and North America. His work has been published and is in many private collections. His small book “Canal Linocuts” (available from has become a cult book for collectors.
For two days during the linocut exhibition (26/27 July), Audlem Mill hosts the annual Gathering of Historic Boats. About 50 ex-working boats will be moored in the bottom three pounds of the Audlem flight of fifteen locks, and on the Sunday afternoon, 27 July, there is also a display of 300 vintage and classic vehicles on the village playing field, close to the canal wharf. All these events are free entry.

IWA Shrewsbury District Lock Wind

02 – 03 Aug 2014
Bottom Lock
Hurlstone Junction
Llangollen/Shropshire Union Canal
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Come and watch, or join in the fun, of this traditional lock wind.
In the beautiful setting of Hurlstone Junction on the Llangollen and Shropshire Union Canals, the IWA Shrewsbury District are holding a lock wind.



This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.  Attribution: Roger Kidd

272 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News – Spring 2004 Part 5 – MR Crane & Narrow Gauge

272 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
From Chasewater News – Spring 2004
Part 5 – MR Crane & Narrow Gauge

MR CraneNG 1NG 2

Some Early Lines – Old Railway Companies – Helston Railway

Some early Lines – Old Railway Companies

Helston Railway

Gwinnear Rd PicGwinnear Rd Text

Locally promoted, and sanctioned on 9th July, 1880, this 8 miles 67 chains line between Gwinnear Road and Helston required extension of time and extra capital (31st July, 1885) before completion. It was opened on 9th May, 1887, and is notable mainly for the fact that the first GWR buses ran in connection with it. A Light Railway Order for extension to the Lizard was obtained, but buses saved the £85,000 expense of building it; they began running on 17th August, 1903, the Company having been absorbed by the GWR five years earlier, under an Act of 2nd August, 1898.

The first road motor car run by the GWR - Heston - Lizard service, 1903

The first road motor car run by the GWR – Heston – Lizard service, 1903

The Helston Railway Preservation Society was the result, 10 years ago, of a vision by a small number of enthusiasts to re-open a section of the Helston branch line.
We now have a 1000 members!
Winner of the Heritage Railway of the Year Award & the HRA Website Award
Please browse our website and learn more about our wonderful project.

Chasewater Railway’s Former Stock – Travelling Post Office

Travelling Post Office

TPO at Hednesford in the 1960s

TPO at Hednesford in the 1960s

Anyone who has been reading this blog may have noticed, in ‘Bits & Pieces’  in the 1970s and early 80s, the mention of a Travelling Post Office (TPO).  Our museum curator has recently acquired a book for the museum’s reference library – ‘An Illustrated History of the Travelling Post Office’ in which the Railway Preservation Society’s purchase is mentioned.  It was bought for £200 and housed at Hednesford, later being transferred to Chasewater and sold in 1983 for £1,000,

TPO at Tyseley

Built in 1909, London & North Western No.20 was renumbered 9520 by the LNWR and 3227 and 30244 by the LMS. The latter number, allocated in 1933, lasted until the vehicle was withdrawn in 1961. It was used on the Irish services until 1940 and its apparatus was removed in 1945.


After withdrawal it was acquired by the Railway Preservation Society, Hednesford, Staffordshire, where it housed the small relics collection, and later moved to Chasewater. In 1983 it was sold to the Birmingham Railway Museum, Tyseley, which in turn sold it to the Royal Mail Museum in 1999. It has been overhauled and had its apparatus restored, and in 2007 was put on display at the Crewe Heritage Centre.
It is currently at the Nene Valley Railway, Peterborough.

TPO Nene Valley Licensed

The TPO at Nene Valley Railway

There is another post following this one with more information about TPOs and more photos of the former CLR vehicle.

The Travelling Post Office

The Travelling Post Office.

Lichfield News – Late July-Aug

Lichfield News – Late July-Aug


Burntwood’s Get in the Games

Burntwood Pic
Published on Friday, 18th July 2014
From dodgeball and trampolining, to Zumba and table tennis, young people across the Burntwood area can try out lots of activities at Burntwood Leisure Centre on Tuesday 29 July 2014.
Positive Futures is hosting a free open day at Burntwood Leisure Centre for anyone aged between 10 and 24 years of age that live or go to school in the Burntwood area.

The Get in the Games day will offer young people the chance to try lots of activities, including dodgeball, football, golf, rounders, dance, table tennis, volleyball, trampolining, Zumba and much more.

A free gift is being offered to the first 40 young people that come along and register on the day.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “This open day is a great way to have a go at a whole host of activities for free. It’s also a chance to take a look at Burntwood Leisure Centre, to find out what facilities and classes are on offer.”

Get in the Games will take place at Burntwood Leisure Centre on Tuesday 29 July, between 11am and 3pm. There is no need to book.

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams, Sports Development Officer, on 01543 308835 or email

Get in the Games is supported by Positive Futures, Lichfield District Council, Sport Leaders UK, Street Games, The Co-operative StreetGames Young Volunteers and Doorstep Sport Club.

August’s CPCG conservation days


Published on Friday, 18th July 2014
Volunteers needed to help at two conservation events in Lichfield District this August.
Lichfield District Council is inviting adults to lend a hand at upcoming Countryside & Parks Conservation Group (CPCG) events on 6 and 20 August 2014.

The first conservation day of the month is running on Wednesday 6 August at Muckley Corner and involves cutting back tree shoots and invasive weeds and plants to protect the heathland habitat.

Councillor Andrew Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “Nature conservation is a great way to work as a group to boost important local natural habitats. It also offers a chance to meet new people and to learn new skills.”

The second CPCG day of the month is on Wednesday 20 August at Christian Fields in Lichfield. It involves cutting grass and piling it up to create habitat piles for insects and other animals.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth & Development, said: “We are grateful to our CPCG volunteers who continue to help us to manage important parks and green spaces across the district. We’re always keen for more people to join the group, so if you are interested in nature conservation, please contact us to find out how to get involved.”

Both days will run from 10.30am to 3pm. 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

Musical programme announced for Lichfield Proms

Entrance to Beacon Park
Published on Friday, 18th July 2014
Star Wars, Nimrod and Mars from The Planets will be just some of the musical treats in store for audiences at this September’s Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park.
Lichfield Proms is less than two months away and The British Police Symphony Orchestra (BPSO) is busy practising in readiness for their big performance in Beacon Park on Sunday 6 September 2014.

For more than a quarter of a century, the BPSO has thrilled audiences up and down the country. Conducted by new musical director, Richard Jenkinson, the 65-piece orchestra will lead the main concert at 7.30pm.

Richard Jenkinson, Musical Director of The British Police Symphony Orchestra, said: “Lichfield Proms is one of the highlights of the regional calendar, and we’re delighted to be invited back to lead the main concert.

“We will be playing a varied programme this year, ranging from recognisable film scores to classical hits, rounding the evening off with patriotic proms anthems that are sure to get the audiences waving their flags.

“This is my first Lichfield Proms as musical director of the BPSO, and I am looking forward to meeting the incredibly enthusiastic audience who are so very loyal to the BPSO through floods and sunshine.”

The free family event will also feature music from the City of Lichfield Concert Band that will be warming up the Lichfield Proms audience from 6pm.

The concert band has promised a range of music, including pop favourites by ABBA, Adele and The Beatles, as well as music from hit shows such as Hair Spray, West Side Story and The Sound of Music. Their repertoire is also set to include film scores from Brave, Jurassic Park, James Bond and 633 Squadron, as well as rousing classical music such as Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance, and more.

Councillor Andy Smith, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure & Parks, said: “We are delighted to announce the musical programme for Lichfield Proms, and I know my son is especially looking forward to hearing Darth Vader’s theme music in the Star Wars piece! The British Police Symphony Orchestra, along with the City of Lichfield Concert Band, is sure to keep everyone entertained and we can’t wait for what promises to be a fantastic night.”

To find out more about Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park, please visit
Lichfield Proms in Beacon Park main concert programme (from 7.30pm)

First half

Aaron Copland – Fanfare for the Common Man
John Williams – Adventures on Earth (E.T)
Léo Delibes – The Flower Duet (from Lakmé) sung by Claire Prewer and Jane Stevenson
Richard Wagner – Dich, Teure Halle from Tannhäuser with Jane Stevenson
Gustav Holt – Mars from The Planets
Antonin Dvorak – Song to the Moon (from Rusalka) sung by Claire Prewer
Gustav Holt – Jupiter from The Planets

Second half

Richard Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries (from Die Walkure) sung by Claire Prewer, Jane Stevenson and Lynne Lindner
Richard Strauss – Trio Marie Theres from Rosenkavalier sung by Claire Prewer, Jane Stevenson and Lynne Lindner
John Williams – Star Wars: Imperial March (Darth Vader’s theme) and Main Titles
Edward Elgar – Nimrod from Enigma Variations
Hubert Parry – Jerusalem
Henry Wood – Fantasia on British Sea Songs
Thomas Arne – Rule, Britannia! sung by Claire Prewer and Jane Stevenson
Edward Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance March No.1

Sponsors of Lichfield Proms 2014

This year’s sponsors include: Swinfen Broun Charitable Trust, Brownhill Hayward Brown, Central England Co-operative, Staffordshire County councillors – Terry Finn, David Smith, Caroline Wood, Janet Eagland and Alan White – through Staffordshire Local Community Fund, MoveCorp, Thornton Claverley IFA Ltd, Lichfield Chamber of Trade & Commerce, Strong Holdings, Family Assets Protection, Virgin Active, Ventrolla, Holiday Inn Express, Beacon Street Garage, Keeleys Solicitors, Merry Maids, Husse, Lichfield City Council, Moseleys Solicitors, Lichfield Gazette, PJS Autos, and Secret Garden.



Canal News – Chesterfield Canal, Audlem Festival,History Walk

 Canal News

Morse Lock, Chesterfield Canal. Copyright Roger Bunting
Morse Lock, Chesterfield Canal. Copyright Roger Bunting

Boat trips along the Chesterfield Canal

26 Jul – 30 Aug 2014
10:30 am – 4:00 pm


Hollingwood Hub
Works Road
S43 2JP

Join the Chesterfield Canal Trust on a boat trip along the Chesterfield Canal.

The Chesterfield Canal Trust will be running the trips using Madeline. This is the new boat fitted out entirely by the students and staff of Eckington School. The School and the Trust will split the takings equally between them.

Initially the trips will run every Saturday from 26th July to 30th August. However, if they prove popular, it is hoped that the run will be extended into the autumn.

If you can’t make it on a Saturday, remember that the Trust will still be running Derbyshire’s most popular boat trips aboard the John Varley every Sunday from Tapton Lock on the A61 Tesco roundabout, S41 7JB. Why not try both?

The John Varley also runs a huge range of charters and special cruises from one hour to six hours. See the Chesterfield Canal Trust website for further details.

The cruises will depart each Saturday at 10.30am, 11.45am, 1pm, 2.15pm and 3.30pm.

There will be no advance bookings, just turn up and pay on the day.

The trips will cost £4 or £3.50 for those under 16 or over 65.



The Audlem Festival
The Audlem Festival

Audlem Festival of Transport

26 – 27 Jul 2014
11:00 am – 4:00 pm



Come and see historic boats and vehicles of all shapes and sizes at this bustling annual festival.

The Audlem festival of Transport promises a gathering of around 300 historic vehicles including up to 40 ex-working boats. An old Shroppie ‘Fly Boat’ and the well-known vessel ‘Saturn’ will be in attendance.

The historic vehicles will be in Audlem on the 27th.

For more information and for times see the Audlem Mill website.


Macclesfield Canal, copyright Eddie Starck
Macclesfield Canal, copyright Eddie Starck

Guided history walk

27 Jul 2014
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm


Red Bull Wharf
Congleton Road South
Church Lawton

Join us on a guided history walk along the Trent & Mersey and Macclesfield Canals.

Led by Colin our volunteer greeter,

We shall take a leisurely walk along the Trent & Mersey Canal to the entrance of Harecastle Tunnel, and return via the Macclesfield Canal.

This is a walk into a past age when the canal was busy with cargo, horses and boats. The walk is leisurely and suitable for anyone able to cope with walking the distance of about two miles (3 km). It lasts approx. 90 minutes and finishes with light refreshments at the new Welcome Station at Red Bull Wharf.



Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era – 1934 – Class 5 – London Midland & Scottish Railway

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era
1934 – Class 5
London Midland & Scottish Railway

No.4777 when new in 1947

No.4777 when new in 1947

One of the most successful designs ever built, these engines have been firm favourites with the operating staff ever since William Stanier first introduced them in 1934. A general purpose mixed traffic locomotive which can be used on almost any duty, reliable and easy on maintenance, is bound to establish itself quickly, and the class multiplied rapidly in consequence, replacing many older and some not-so-old types over all the wide ramifications of the LMS from Wick to Bournemouth.

Nos.5000-5471 were built between 1934 and 1938, and after a hiatus owing to early war conditions the class was resumed in 1943 with 5472-99, 4800-99, then working backwards in batches until the complete series of 842 engines ran under BR numbers from 44658-45499, the final lot coming out in 1950. There are several varieties found in the class, consisting to a great extent of variations in the boiler mountings, and a few have double blast pipes and chimneys. No.44767 is unique in being fitted with Stephenson’s outside link motion instead of the usual Walschaert gear. The main variation occurs with engines 44738-57 which have Caprotti valve gear and with somewhat lower running plates and small splashers (absent in the standard design) present a noticeably different appearance, as do Nos.44686 and 44687, which have no running plates at all, to the great detriment of their looks.

Apart from these 842 engines the type was perpetuated by BR in its 73000 class, totalling another 172 locomotives, which are the obvious descendants of the LMS engines.

All of the class were still in service in 1959, and as far as could be seen there was no immediate likelihood of any withdrawals taking place in spite of the general widespread scrapping proceeding at an ever increasing rate in consequence of dieselisation and electrification. It seems reasonably certain that these useful engines may well be amongst the last to remain for as many more years as steam propulsion continues to find a place in the British Railways system, and they will undoubtedly have earned themselves the right to take their place amongst the ranks of the historic locomotive designs.

Driving wheels – 6’ 0”, Cylinders – 18½”x 28”, Pressure 225lb., Tractive effort – 25455lb., Weight varies between 72 and 75 tons, LMS and BR classification 5.



The next major event at the Chasewater Railway: Charity Day

The next major event at the Chasewater Railway:

Charity Day

Chasewater charity day 2014