Taken from the ‘Mercian’ Jan, 1964 3.1
We enter yet another year – and enthusiasm still seems to be very strong. You will see from Frank Harvey’s report that we have not done too badly during 1963. Let’s hope that we have an even better year this year.
There are a number of exhibitions and open days planned for this year, but to help them go really well we are relying on our own members’ support – so please come along if you can. The cold weather is not, we know, the best for depot work, but work has gone on all the same with a faithful few.
We were all rather concerned to find vandalism striking the depot; we only hope it will not occur again, because our funds are limited to make damage of this sort good. You will notice that the committee has decided to change this newsletter to quarterly to alternate with the Forum, mainly being due to insufficient copy for a bi-monthly and to help keep costs down.
Hednesford Progress Report
Work has still been maintained during the winter, a few members have gone into hibernation but we hope to see them as the sun starts to warm up and the days draw out.
The Midland Royal Saloon has now arrived at the Hednesford Siding, and certain work has already been done on this vehicle, the ladies have been along with polish and given the saloon a much needed clean and polish. Mike Lewis has removed and serviced all the carriage door locks, and of course replaced same; the whole of the vehicle is now burglar proof. The Depot Master, John Elsley has fixed up the lighting in the saloon, the batteries are now being charged every weekend. John has also designed a very useful mobile generator, it is hoped to run this set very shortly. The set will provide power both for battery charging and welding, etc.
The LBSC E1 loco has arrived (No.9 Cannock Wood to the uninitiated), this loco requires a lot of cleaning down etc., before painting – may we again appeal to all members who are interested in this work. The depot is open every Sunday afternoon, Please Help! put this loco into a respectable condition before Open Weekend at Easter.
Our Treasurer Frank Harvey still continues to work on the Maryport & Carlisle door which he has built up from scratch – well done Frank! Perhaps members will note that there are still three more doors yet to be made, Frank would welcome some help from anyone who has first class woodwork experience.
D. A. Ives Hon. Sec.
Taken from the Treasurer’s Report
I am taking the liberty of turning the latter part of this report into an appeal. An appeal on behalf of the ex-LBSCR Stroudley E1 loco 0-6-0 tank. As some members may know, this locomotive, the sole survivor of its type, was withdrawn from service by its owners, the National Coal Board, some months ago. They have very kindly loaned it to us for one year giving us the option to purchase it at the end of that time.
The sum required is £300. This is most reasonable as a locomotive of similar size off British Railways would cost in the region of £650 – £700. We are establishing a fine collection of items of rolling stock but we do need an engine. Would it be too much to ask ALL members to make the following New Year resolution – to make a donation towards the preservation of this 86 year-old locomotive? Unless something is done, by this time next year it will be in the breaker’s yard.
Finally, I would like to mention the Midland Royal Saloon. This vehicle has arrived at the depot through the kind generosity of one member who loaned the balance required (£240) to complete its purchase. This is enthusiasm at its greatest!
F.J.Harvey, Midlands Area Treasurer
The LRPS are planning to open another depot at Luton under the charge of a very keen member, Mr. John Payn.
L44 a London Transport Met. Tank has been acquired and is awaiting delivery to the Bishops Stortford Depot. Another appeal has been launched for a Beattie 2-4-0 Well Tank, 30585 – £750 will be needed for its purchase, £250 has already been raised.I love this photo, but where I got it from I haven’t a clue. It is marked 30585 – Helland. Can anyone tell me if this is Helland in Cornwall? At our Spring Gala in 2004 at Chasewater we had a visit from her sister engine, 30587.Photo byM. Denholm. The loco suited the Chasewater Railway very well!
Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire carriage
Working party members are contributing to the cost of moving this vehicle from Yorkshire to the Midlands. A total of some £18 has now been contributed, this fund has also been contributed to by two London RPS members. We are most grateful to all these members.
Approximately £7 has been collected to date, a very poor effort. Please! Please! Send donations to the Hon. Treasurer to help secure the future of this fine loco.
Midland Crane and GWR Signal Frame.
Arrangements are at present being made for the collection of the Midland Railway Crane which is at Repton and the GWR signal lever frame from Llanfair. Both these items we hope to have at our depot for Open Day.One of the items that has stayed with us – rebuilt by Jim Twigge and Tom Mitchell.
A Day Out
Our very agile Hon. Sec. Dave Ives, Frank Harvey and Mike Lewis took a trip down to Wolverton Carriage Works on Saturday, February 15th to collect the bits and pieces that were missing from the Royal Saloon.
We gather, from a somewhat loaded Hon. Sec’s, car that they had a very good day all round. Among the small relics acquired were a uniform, carpets, pictures from coach compartments, a Midland Railway Bible in very good condition (which has sadly gone missing over the years) to name but a few, down to a few coat hooks.
A trip was made to a few stations, one being Turvey where a few more relics were added to the collection. As they sped back to Hednesford, the three gentlemen were no doubt very pleased with their days work for the Society.
Mr. Ives says that at Wolverton they are burning two or three coaches a week. If other departments of BR are working as fast as this there will be nothing left for us to preserve. So we must work very fast indeed to save what we can before Dr. Beeching has his final clear up or we will wake up one day and find the railways ‘modernised’.
Midland Royal Saloon
This vehicle is now safely stabled at our own siding at Hednesford. Thanks mainly to a wonderfully generous offer of a member, who has provided an interest-free loan. We still have a further £270 to pay off this vehicle, donations will be gratefully acknowledged by the Hon. Treasurer.
East Midlands District News
The activities in the East Midlands District have been dormant for the last few months. A period of hibernation for those in the south of the region. Future activities for the Northamptonshire members include: Excursions and Social Evenings. It is hoped that a small party will travel to Holyhead and North Wales reviewing the branch lines en route sometime in March, whilst another party will visit Swindon and Gloucester.
With the opening of the London District Depot at Luton, it is hoped again that members from this area will be able to visit on Sundays to help with the practical work.
Members in Lincolnshire and East Anglia are invited to contact Mr. M. N. Gubbins for details of activities in the two areas, as it is hoped that the East Midlands will cover this area of the country also.
With the Spring and Summer months approaching we hope that all members in all regions will continue their vital work on various photographic surveys, as this is one of the most interesting and inexpensive works that can assist the RPS.
Finally a note to lapsed members. Please renew your membership as your Guinea could save something from the dreaded ‘Beeching Axe’.
John M. Harvey. (East Midlands District Organiser).