We had an interesting meeting before Christmas in the Museum on the subject of Accreditation. Our documentation seems to be all complete and updated as required, and the systems for the recording of Museum artefacts are also in place. There is still plenty of marking and cataloguing to do, but now the guidelines are there it should all be straightforward to make more progress on our current collection and keep on top of any new items.
During the last couple of weeks we have been asked for our help in answering one or two questions. One referred to the loco and gentleman in the picture:The gentleman in the photo is Thomas Longstaff, one time undermanager at Cannock Wood Colliery and it was thought that the pic was taken at that colliery, but we could not recognise the engine as being local – no 0-4-2 tender engine being used in the collieries of Cannock Chase. I put the pic on flickr ‘Industrial Railways’ group and they came up with the following answer
ecimitar reliant says:
A reply from a contact see below.
More from Allan Baker – not what you might have been expecting though…
> I wonder if our friend Longstaff ever visited Ireland; he may have had relations there?
> Waterford & Central Ireland Railway 10 and 11 were Avonside 965 and 966 of 1873, 0-4-2 tender, inside cylinders 16x24inch and 5ft 3inch driving wheel diameter. They became Great Southen & Western Rly 258 and 259 on take-over in September 1900. With such large drivers these were passenger engines and would have been vacuum braked following the 1889 Regs of Railways Act which at that time covered Ireland: indeed it was the Armagh accident that was partly the reason for the Act. The locomotive would appear to have driving wheels of about 5ft diameter judging by the men.
> I have scoured the country and cannot find anything to fit this side of the Irish sea!
On the plates of the loco can be seen the words ‘Bristol’ and the number 11 and ‘Railway’. I have been told since that Thomas Longstaff’s brother-in-law was probably in Ireland from 1863 til 1892, so it is possible that Thomas saw the loco while on a visit. It would be nice to think so!
Our other query cocerned Lady Hanbury of the Coppice Colliery and a possible connection with Harper Bros. bus company. We’ve answered half of the question and are waiting for more information on the other half, concerning Harpers.