Category Archives: Chasewater Railway Museum

Museum Archive – Additions to our coal mining memorabilia

Museum Archive

Additions to our coal mining memorabilia

As you are no doubt aware, without the coal industry there would be no Chasewater Railway, as the original line was built  for transporting coal, although passenger services were introduced from Brownhills to Aldridge via Walsall Wood.  We are always glad to receive artefacts from the mining industry to display in the Museum.

Baths Invitation

The latest of such items to come our way are an invitation to the opening of the Pithead Baths at Wyrley No. 3 Colliery, Great Wyrley, on August 14th, 1954, and The Bather’s Handbook.

Handbook 1

Handbook 2

Handbook 3

Handbook 4

Handbook 5

Handbook 6

These items came to the Museum from a former employee of the Colliery, his first job after National Service with the RAF.

Advertisements

News – Scamp Unveiling

2008_0714Maquette In the Museum 2

News – Scamp Unveiling

Scamp

  Mr. Ron Bradbury taking the maquette into the Heritage Centre.It was in July 2008 that Chasewater Railway was first introduced to the SCAMP project when Ron Bradbury and the Burntwood Chase Heritage Group brought the maquette to the Railway and ran a fish and chip special train to raise funds for the statue.  The maquette was proudly displayed in the Museum for a number of weeks before being shown at other venues.  Now, some five years later, the project is nearing its completion.

Scamp PonyThe pony model – and friends!

Scamp unveiling

Scamp resize 8Real progress being made

A statue to commemorate Burntwood’s mining heritage is to be officially unveiled on June 8th.

The 7 ft bronze memorial has been created by sculptor Peter Walker, who hails from the town, and will be sited at Sankey’s Corner.

The artwork was about five years in the making and was made possible thanks to public donations and £10,000 of funding from local developers.

Ron Bradbury, of Sankey’s Corner Arts Mining Project (SCAMP) said: ‘After many years of fundraising, the dream of a statue to stand on Sankey’s Corner is about to be fulfilled.’

No time has yet been set for the official unveiling, which is open for anyone to attend.  A book is being produced about the history behind Scamp and pit ponies and will be on sale at £10 each, containing a list of names on the plinth.  All profits will go to Scamp.

Anyone willing to help by providing food or entertainment, or with funding, should call 01543 677789.

2008_0714Maquette0065

Museum News – New Acquisitions

Chasewater Logo 3Museum News

New Acquisitions

An opportunity presented itself  recently to acquire by way of private purchase half a dozen items of local colliery railway interest.  Not since the 1960s and early 1970s, when in that period a good relationship existed between the Railway Preservation Society and local National Coal Board management and which resulted in several donations of interest has the chance to obtain in bulk such star items for the museum collection.

McClean 205103 McClean 0-4-2ST Beyer Peacock 28-1856 Cannock Chase Colliery CoMcClean

First and arguably the finest piece from the Chasewater Railway point of view is the nameplate McClean from the 1856 built Beyer Peacock, the first of five similar locomotives delivered between 1856 and 1872. McClean lasted one hundred years before scrapping and in her later years was considered to be the oldest loco in the country still at work. The name McClean was bestowed in honour of John Robinson McClean who first came on the local scene as engineer in the construction of the South Staffordshire Railway before later, together with Richard Chawner leased land to mine coal forming the Cannock Chase Colliery.

Marquis 2 05008 No.1 Marquis 0-6-0STIC Lilleshall 1867 C & RMarquis
The second of the three locomotive nameplates to arrive is Marquis. The name originates from the first Marquis of Anglesey, a title awarded to the Earl of Uxbridge who fought along side Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. Carried by the Lilleshall Company built 0-6-0 saddle tank new to the Cannock and Rugeley Collieries as their first loco in 1867, she or is it he lasted until cut up at the NCB Cannock Central Workshops during May 1964.

Beaudesert 205024 No.5 Beaudesert 0-6-0ST Fox Walker 266-1875 C & RBeaudesert
The third nameplate is that of Beaudesert from the little 0-6-0 saddle tank built by Fox Walker, works number 266 of 1875 supplied new to Cannock and Rugeley Collieries as their number 5. Beaudesert was the ancestral home of the Paget family who became Earls of Uxbridge before being given the title and Estate Marquis of Anglesey. Finally cut up in 1964 the other nameplate of the loco survives and is on display in Kidderminster Railway Museum.

2013_0416 RSHTwo locomotive worksplates comprising of a cast iron Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns Ltd, 7292 of 1953 and Hunslet 3789 of 1953 have come as part of the deal.
Both locomotives were of the Austerity type, the RSH coming to Littleton Colliery from its previous owner the War Department, in May 1947, originally WD 71483 she became number 6 at Littleton being cut up there in Oct. 1970.
The Hunslet was delivered to Chasetown numbered 3 and was a replacement for the aged fleet of Victorian locos, she later saw service at Cannock Wood and Granville where she met her end after a life of just 16 years.

2013_0416 Hunslet
Finally a possibly unique cast iron sign headed The Littleton Collieries Ltd. with the wording.

The Littleton Collieries Ltd
Notice No Road
all persons found trespassing
upon or damaging any property
belonging to the above company
will be prosecuted.

Quite where the above sign was fixed is not yet known, but enquiries are being made.
It may be a little while before all of the above items are incorporated into our permanent display but the intention is to make arrangements to put them on view as soon as possible.

Barry Bull
Museum Curator
Chasewater Railway Museum

Notice 2

My thanks to Barry Bull for the information and Bob Anderson for the typing! CWS

Chasewater Railway’s Hudswell Clarke 431 – 1895

HC1

In my last post a Hudswell Clarke loco was mentioned as possibly being in steam on the next open Day.  This was  No.431 of 1895, which arrived at Chasewater shortly before ‘Asbestos’.  Sadly, this did not happen, and as far as I am aware, this loco still has not steamed at Chasewater Railway, over 40 years later!

‘On Saturday 2nd December, 1967, a long-awaited member of our loco stud arrived – by road – a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST, used until December, 1966, in the Ironstone Quarries at Desborough.  This locomotive was steamed by Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker (our expert loco-fitters) before purchase, and ran for some little while before they declared it a good purchase.

It was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co., Leeds in 1895, works number 431 and spent most of its life in the hands of the Sheepbridge Coal & Iron Company in whose fleet she became No.15.  It was allocated the name ‘Sheepbridge No.25’, but this was never carried and with the removal of its official number and works plates ran its last years without any identification at all.

HC3

It has on two occasions been rebuilt, first in 1928 and secondly in 1944, by the Sheepbridge Company themselves.’

‘The engine was first suggested as a suitable candidate for preservation some two years ago when it was one of several locomotives at work at Desborough Warren Quarry near Kettering.  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.

The RPS then stepped in and after pleasing, successful negotiations with Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd., the locomotive was purchased.  The firm kindly allowed us to steam the engine before purchase.’

HC7‘Steamy’ pics by Rob Duffill

2013_01060004

At the moment, ‘Asbestos ‘ is in the Heritage Centre awaiting a major overhaul, as, indeed, is 431.

2013_01060010

Chasewater Railway’s ‘Asbestos’ Hawthorn Leslie 2780 of 1909

While clearing out the last of the first phase of cataloguing in the Chasewater Railway Museum, I came across an old video of Asbestos.  So after a little editing I put it on youtube and added some notes on this post, with the link to the video

Turner’s Asbestos Cement Co. Ltd ‘Asbestos’

Hawthorn Leslie 2780 of 1909

Flagged

Asbestos in the old Brownhills West Station

 Hawthorn, Leslie 0-4-0ST, 2780 of 1909.  Built at the company’s Forth Bank Works, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The loco has outside cylinders 14” diameter x 22” stroke, 3’ 6” driving wheels with a fixed wheelbase of 5’ 6”.  Weight in working order 27.5 tons.

Delivered when new to Washington Chemical Company, County Durham, which became a subsidiary of the Turner and Newall Company Ltd. in 1920.

A large industrial complex served by sidings and a half mile branch just south of Washington station on the line between Pelaw and Penshaw, the locomotive working here until 1933, when transferred to Turner and Newall, Trafford Park Works, Manchester.

The locomotive came to Chasewater in 1968 from the Turner and Newall factory, Trafford Park, Manchester, where asbestos was produced – hence the name.  The company asked for £100 for the loco and was asked if they could wait while the Preservation Society could organize a raffle, being short of funds.  Upon realizing the situation, the company generously waived the fee and donated the loco.

Shortly after its arrival at Chasewater, Asbestos became the first locomotive to steam on the railway.

Back in Harness Railway Forum Summer 1968

‘Asbestos’ Back in Harness

From the ‘Railway Forum’ Summer 1968

Steam open day started at 4.30am on June 29th, 1968 with the lighting of the fire in ‘Asbestos’, the Hawthorn Leslie saddle tank presented to the Railway Preservation Society by Turner and Newall, Trafford Park, Manchester.  Steam was raised slowly at first, but soon, with the blower working at full blast, there were 80 lbs on the clock at 7.00am

‘Asbestos’ then moved off to have the tank filled with water, which was drawn from the lake at Chasewater.  The train consisted of the Midland full brake and the Great Western 16-ton brake van.

At about 1 o’clock passengers began to arrive and trains were operated continuously until 7 o’clock when the fire was dropped, the smokebox cleaned out and the ash pan raked.

Steam was soon raised on the Sunday and by 1 o’clock the visitors had exceeded Saturday’s figures.  During the weekend the locomotive behaved very well, was easy to handle and similar in many ways to the old Great Western locomotives but, of course, much smaller.

For the open day, trains were run with the one engine in steam principle, but for the next open day it is hoped to have a Hudswell Clarke locomotive also in steam and to be able to operate a more elaborate timetable.  The Maryport and Carlisle Railway saloon and the Society’s MS&L brake third coach will also be used on one of the trains.

It is hoped to operate again on Sunday and Monday, September 1st and 2nd.

Help Wanted – Please can you tell me where these photographs were taken?

Information please

I’ve posted 2 photos and I would ask if anyone has any idea where they were taken, please?

Somewhere in the West Midlands I would guess – but perhaps you know better!

Chasewater Railway Museum’s first new acquisition in 2012

A very welcome addition to the Museum collection

Pic – Great Central Railwayana

A locomotive worksplate, Neilson, 2937, 1882, from a 0-4-0ST O/C new to William Baird & Co (Ltd from 1893) at Bedlay Colliery near Glenboig, their No 11, becoming part of the Scottish Iron & Steel Co Ltd in January 1939, Bairds & Scottish Steel Ltd six months later and the National Coal Board in January 1947. It returned to Bairds & Scottish Steel Ltd at Gartsherrie Ironworks, Coatbridge, in about 1950 and following withdrawal, was acquired in June 1968 by Railway Preservation Society, Hednesford, Staffordshire and later went to the Chasewater Light Railway. Cast brass 10″x 6¼”, the front of the plate has been repainted.

Thanks to the donations from our Museum visitors and the generosity of the Museum supporters in giving raffle prizes and running tombola stalls, etc , the curator was able to purchase the worksplate and eventually worksplate and loco will be reunited. For the time being it will be on display in the Museum.

Chasewater Railway Museum News Cannock Station signal box nameboard arrives

One new and a few old Museum Pieces

The Cannock Station signal box nameboard was delivered to the museum on Tuesday Nov. 14th by Stan, a good friend of the Curator and the museum.  Its final resting place has yet to be decided but it is on show in the museum.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the photographing of the museum collection continued in the stores, and I thought I might publish a few pictures of some of the station furniture which the museum has tucked away, as do many other museums, in store.This item is a roll-fronted ticket rack from about 1938.This is a wooden chair with a Staffordshire Knot carved in the back, formerly of the North Staffs Railway.Finally for this time, another wooden chair, with a cut-out letter ‘M’ in the back, from the Midland Railway.

While it is good that the museum has these and more items in store, it would be nice to think that sometime in the future (probably distant) the museum could be extended and these items could be restored to their former glory and put on show.

Some of the Latest Museum Items

Although I can’t imagine the first items shown will ever be seen in the museum, they do show something of the variation in size between items offered.This photo shows two of four signal posts which have been at Chasewater for many years and have recently been removed from the undergrowth by the overflow car park.One of them is clearly stamped with what is presumably the date, 1915.

They came from the Pinnox Junction area of Stoke-on Trent.North Stafford Railway locomotive about to leave Pinnox Junction with coal from Whitfield Colliery around the turn of the 20th century. To the right, the Tunstall Lower Branch railway from Longport to Tunstall Junction on the Loop Line and bridge carrying the Whitfield line from Pinnox to Greenhead Wharf. Staffs pasttrack

The next item is a ‘Trains Cross Here’ sign.This was found in the mid 1960s in the Wyrley Branch of the Wyrley & Essington Canal which is now under Vernon Way, in the New Invention, Essington area.  The railway crossing of the A4124 Lichfield Road from Holly Bank Colliery to the canal basin at Short heath was about 150 yards away on the other side of the M6.  It seems logical to assume that this was where the sign was originally placed.This is how the sign would have looked when in position.  Although this photo was taken on the same line, it is probably not the same  sign, being a bit too far away.  The sign was donated to the museum by Mr. D.Townsend.

The third item is the smallest.This is a badge of the Walsall Locomotive Society donated by the museum’s Chairman, David Bathurst.

We have also had a number of items loaned to us, including the nameplate ‘Beatty’ and number plate ‘139’ from an ex Dorman Long Hawthorn Leslie 12″ x 20″ 0-4-0ST preserved at Telford Steam Railway.

Chasewater Railway Museum – New Additions

 New Additions to the Chasewater Railway Museum Collection

One new addition to the display in the Chasewater Railway Museum is the industrial steam locomotive nameplate ‘Wellington’, from the Manchester Ship Canal loco No.43, supplied by manufacturers Hudswell Clarke, their works number 758 of 1906.  The loco was of the maker’s ‘short tank’ variety and lasted until 1959 when scrapped.

‘Wellington’ is on loan from David Jones of Great Central Railway Auctions and is the second nameplate kindly loaned by the same gentleman, the first being ‘Bickershaw’ which was on display for three years before being returned to Mr. Jones.

The Museum does not as yet possess a photograph of ‘Wellington’ to display with the nameplate, so if anyone can help please let us know, either in the Museum or through the blog or by telephone – 07748130215.

Amongst other items recently acquired by the Museum, although not yet on proper display (but are available for viewing!) are two railway maps, the first, Airey’s Railway Map of Staffordshire and District, and the other

   Bradshaw’s 19th century ‘Map and Sections of the Railways of Great Britain’

  This final item is of particular local interest, as they don’t come along very often.  It is a block instrument from the East Cannock Junction signal box at Hednesford.  The signal box was situated between Cannock and Hednesford where there was a junction between the Walsall to Rugeley line and the Norton Branch which went to High Bridge Sidings at Pelsall, through Norton Canes.

The block instrument was purchased by the Museum, the two maps were donated and the nameplate is on loan.

If you should have anything of railway interest that you no longer require, remember us!

Come along and pay us a visit – open every Sunday from 11.00am till 3.30pm, and it’s free!