Tag Archives: Barclay

143 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News December 1991 – Part 2

143 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – From Chasewater News December 1991 – Part 2

Permanent Way News

The big news is that the extension has been passed for running by the Railway Inspectorate, and on Sunday October 13th the first passenger trains officially ran over it.

On Saturday 28th September the long awaited concrete platform for Willow Vale was delivered and has been stored next to the level crossing.

From information researched by Barry Bull, it appears that this kit of parts was once ‘Burlish Halt’ which was situated between Bewdley and Stourport.  Built complete with electric lighting and a pagoda, it originally cast around £430 and was opened on 31st March 1930.  It is not known how long the halt lasted, but that line closed on 5th January 1970.  Our problem is now to rebuild it, re-name it and re-open it, hopefully by Easter 1992.

Work on this and other projects will be greatly speeded up by the use of the JCB and the dumper truck recently acquired by two of our members.  Once their initial teething troubles have been sorted out, these two machines will be of immense value to the railway.

Work has continued on track maintenance, which of course now has to include the new extension.  Particular attention is being paid to the packing and alignment of the section where the new platform is to be built, as this can then be used as a datum for the construction work.

For the next phase of the extension up to the causeway, Major Olver has said that he will expect standards to be somewhat higher and that he will not tolerate the use of concrete sleepers with ‘loose’ chairs as are currently on our running line.  To get round this, several hundred ⅞ BSF nuts will have to be removed from these sleepers and replaced with new ones before track laying can begin.

Even with this extra work load it should still be possible to reach the causeway by the end of 1992, or even sooner if enough people help with the monthly ‘track bashes’.

Carriage & Wagon News

This department now appears to be expanding with a lot of new members, and a C & W yard is being established.  Work has commenced on clearing the site for the new carriage shed by moving S100’s boiler onto a flat wagon, which has also allowed the Great Eastern to be shunted out.

Midland four-wheel passenger brake – Work has continued on this vehicle with the repair of the roof and the cleaning and repair of the solebars and headstocks.

Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln six-wheel coach – This vehicle has had a number of wooden panels replaced and some of the windows glazed.

Great Eastern six-wheel passenger brake – Glazing has been refitted to the guards’ duckets and part of the interior repainted.

Maryport & Carlisle six-wheel coach – This vehicle has remained sheeted over and no work has been carried out.

London & North Western bogie full brake – This vehicle, which houses the museum collection, has had its upper half sheeted over ready for re-roofing work to be carried out.

Wickham Trailer E56171 – This vehicle has continued to be used on passenger trains and remains popular with the public, even though one or two of its windows are now cracked or missing.

Wickham power car E50416 0 This vehicle has remained out of use, although it was used to house a model railway exhibition for the Transport Rally on October 13th.  Work on filling and priming of the bodywork has continued.

Gloucester Trailer E56301 – This vehicle has again remained in service on the passenger train, as indeed it has done for virtually every public train on our railway since the day it was bought in the early seventies.  There are rumours that it may be taken out of service next year for repairs to the bodywork.

Derby Centre Car W59444 – This vehicle has still not entered service, and is still in blue and grey livery.  Some work has been carried out cleaning and repainting the bogies.CCCC Brake Van – Work has at last commenced on this vehicle with the removal of rotten woodwork in the floor.

GW Brake vans – These two vans have run coupled together to form the works train.

More on the Midland Railway Four-Wheel Passenger Brake

What started as a minor repair to the dog-box door has developed into a major restoration project.  Back in the early part of 1990 the door had fallen off due to rot in the door post.  This was the start of what looks like years of hard work.

Before starting it was decided that it should be returned to its original Midland condition, so research into the history of the vehicle began.  What we had was clearly a four wheeled passenger brake van, heavily modified, and obviously early Midland.

Older members remember the vehicle was purchased from the Manchester Ship Canal Company during the 1960s but little other than this was known.

After a few months of fruitless digging, we contacted the Manchester Ship Canal Company.  This one phone call produced more than all the previous ones put together.  Within three hours of speaking to their Mr. Chambers he had returned my call advising that he had photocopied all the relevant documents and was posting them that night.MR Coach 22-3-1958

All of the information given to us by the MSCC relates to the vehicle after 26th January1953 when enquiries were being made by the MSCC as to the vehicle’s purchase.  The period before this is still patchy, but some we do know.

Drawings and photographs of other vehicles tend to make us think that the vehicle was built between 1874 and 1890 at Derby to drawing D529.  The number 68 is stamped on the inside of the solebar, so we may still be able to trace the original date of manufacture.

  Apart from being taken into LMS stock on 21-7-1920, little is known of the vehicle’s movement except that it was part of a fire train.  As M198718 the vehicle was moved to the Central Wagon Company Ltd. at Wigan on 21st March 1953.  It was modified to ‘Cashier’s Coach No.2’ and entered MSCC service on 21st April 1953.

The vehicle was examined by members of the Southern Locomotive Preservation Co. Ltd. at Manchester Docks on 7th June 1966 and subsequently purchased for £40 and delivered by road.

The modifications performed by the Central Wagon Co. Ltd. for the MSCC included:

·        Removal of the vacuum brake,

·        Addition of extra roof-lights,

·        Fitting of end doors,

·        Fitting of a central partition,

·        Toilet and washroom facilities added,

·        Cashier’s pay-out window added,

·        Re-positioning of stove and stack.

Work started during the early summer of 1990 with all roof fittings being removed.  All old roof felt and canvas was carefully scraped off.  The interior was stripped out and all sealed-up doors opened.

During the last eighteen months steady progress has been made, with the cashier’s window being removed and panels fitted.  Damaged roof timbers are being removed and most of the panelling on one side has been renewed.

Assistance is always welcomed, so anyone wishing to help – just come along.

Thanks must be expressed to the Historic Carriage Dept at Butterley, and to the Manchester Ship Canal Company, for their help and support over the last two years.

D.Whittle

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Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era 1855 – Highland Railway 2-4-0

Steam Locomotives of a more Leisurely Era

 1855 – Highland Railway 2-4-0

 The beginnings of the Highland railway, formed in 1865 by the amalgamation of several smaller concerns, lay in the small Inverness and Nairn Railway, opened in 1855 connecting the towns of Inverness and Nairn. Opening had been delayed from 1 August 1855 due to delays in the contractor’s equipment arriving due to weather delays affecting the seaborne delivery. The line finally opened on 5 November 1855.

There were stations at Inverness, Culloden (later Allanfearn), Dalcross, Gollanfield and Nairn. On 17 May 1861 it became part of the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railway. The line was later absorbed by the Highland Railway, which in turn became part of the LMS in 1923.

For working the line two 2-2-2 engines were built by Hawthorn of Leith to the design of the locomotive superintendent, Barclay.  They had 6’ 0” driving wheels and 15”x 20” cylinders, and were numbered 1 Raigmore and 2 Aldourie.  They were rebuilt by William Stroudley, during his short term of office on the Highland Railway from 1866-9, as 2-4-0 engines; later they acquired larger boilers and in this form embodied several features which became distinctive of Highland practice until 1896, such as Allan framing and Stroudley cab, whilst No.1 (but not No.2) was fitted with the well-known louvre chimney.  No.2 remained in service until 1899, but the other engine was scrapped somewhat earlier.

Driving wheels – 6’ 0”,  Leading wheels – 3’ 6”,  Cylinders – 15”x 20”,

Weight – 27½ tons.

Barclay No.1964 at Snibston

Barclay 1964 at Snibston, Friday 13th May – There are two short video clips on the youtube link  – Photo and clips, courtesy of Bryan Marks, Chasewater Railway.  Thanks Bryan.

AB1964 will, of course,  be at Snibston for the Festival on Sunday, May 15th.

106 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Autumn 1985 – 2

106 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Autumn 1985 – 2

 News from the line

Mention should be made here that Brian Hames has been forced to resign as General Manager due to McGregor’s decision to redeploy him at Point of Ayr, following the closure of West Cannock No.5.  (Mr. McGregor was the Chairman of the National Coal Board at the time!). Grateful thanks are due to young Brian for services rendered and his successor is Tony Sale (formerly Assistant GM) and the new Assistant GM is Nigel Canning.

Loco News

I’ve tried to remember the numbering system of the locos but failed – miserably.  I have to keep going back through the mags to find them – enough is enough I say!!

The Hibberd diesel is still for sale at a very reasonable price.

Barclay 1223 – all the superstructure of the loco in undercoat, attention has reverted to the boiler and firebox.  The front tube plate is being built up with weld whilst the eighteen stays that were unsuccessfully inserted in the firebox, as mentioned in the last issue, are in the process of being removed in an attempt to straighten the buckled walls of the inner firebox.  The man says ‘this is in fact, proving quite easy’ 

The boiler inspector has been and wants a 9” square piece of the outer firebox to be cut out to investigate the extent of a small crack which has been welded over during a previous overhaul.

Brighter news about Asbestos, rapidly coming to the end of her prolonged overhaul with a return to steam being a matter of weeks rather than months away.

The new GM has been hard at work reassembling the boiler backhead fittings, all attached with new studs, whilst the Fat Controller has been making various bits and pieces which have needed replacement.  The outside motion is being reassembled to find someone a job to keep him off the streets.  During one of the Hairy Youths infrequent visits various pieces of the machine believed to be lost were rediscovered whilst several pieces believed to be ‘in the shed’ were not, so replacements will have to be made.

The Boiler inspector has been and performed an ultra-sonic test to his satisfaction and is returning for a steam test prior to Gricers’ day.

On Sentinel, the Fat Controller has busied himself making good various faults found during the January steam test, and has also painted the beast in an attractive black undercoat after much rust treatment and filling.  A coat of gloss black is to be applied before Gricers’ day.  The Boiler Inspector has been and carried out an ultra-sonic test and having been satisfied he will return for a steam test shortly.  He has also decreed that the boiler needs to be split every five years, not every 14 months as previously feared.

The Controller has carried out his threat of giving the beast a pseudo British Railways identity and has constructed a jolly fine smokebox number plate No.59632.

As yet nobody has had the heart to tell him that vertical boilered Sentinels don’t have smoke boxes!Work on Peckett 917 proceeds as other commitments allow.  The new cabside and the rest of the cab have received several coats of paint whilst the component parts of the new bunker await fitting.  Several men have been seen struggling to excavate layers of fire brick out of the smokebox in order to expose the front tube plate to the eyes of the Boiler Inspector.  Not a wise move as the tube plate appears to be somewhat bulged.  Following further descaling work the Boiler Inspector will return to pass sentence.

The GM has made his first major decision which is that S100 is to be moved into the shed as soon as possible – a sign perhaps of old age creeping up on him?  To speed this process up the loco will be re-wheeled as an 0-4-0 i.e. only two axles will be re-fitted out of doors, the third one will be done under cover.  The owner is at present wrestling with the task of fitting and securing the new main bearings into the axle boxes.

The Other Gentleman made a start on removing the tubes from the Neilson as a mid-summer madness wager that if they were all gone by the end of July then a certain bearded person would purchase a new set!  It is now the end of August and many tubes remain to be removed as those concerned are busy on ‘Asbestos’………Will the offer still hold……. Will the ancient Neilson steam again?  ………………Who knows? …………Watch this space!   Late note; yes the offer does still hold!

Coaching Stock News

In between making cups of tea, Mr. Bull and his crew have been busy repainting and varnishing the interiors of both the Wickham cars in preparation for Gricers’ Day.  As ever, more help is needed as several panes of glass need replacing and seats and tables need to be secured to the floor, however, the work done so far is a definite improvement.

Task Force

Still not happy bunnies!  Nuff said!

Company News

Working on the precept that no news is good news it would seem that the Company is doing just fine.

Well informed sources indicate that the overdraft has virtually disappeared (along with several of the Directors!) but shouldn’t there be an AGM (or three) due?

An unusual piece to end with…

Steam Hauled Sunday Dinner

As an experiment a steam hauled ‘Sunday Dinner’ train will be run on Sunday, 17th November.

In conjunction with the Rob Duffill Catering Corps a steam hauled train will depart from Brownhills West and at the current end of the line a roast chicken dinner will be served in the Wickham Buffet aka ‘The Norton Nasher’.  This is open to members only and is a trial run to see if such a service will be feasible when public services resume.

Would-be guinea pigs should contact Barry Bull as places are strictly limited to twenty.  Remember only working members can travel on CLR trains until the Light Railway Order is granted

N.B. It is expected that all participants will be prepared to spend the rest of the afternoon working so come prepared!

100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

100 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – 1984 – 1

Chasewater News – Editorial

 The Society is approaching its 25th Anniversary which will be celebrated at the Society AGM on 13th October and at a Bus Rally and Railwayana Fair at Chasewater on the following day (October 14th) 11.00 – 4.30, admission free.

Throughout its 25 years the Society’s membership has fluctuated around the 100 mark whilst its aims have switched from creating a static museum to an operating railway.  Despite the lack of passenger trains during the last two seasons the Society membership has held its own and so far this year over 15 new members have been enrolled.  To these people we say thank you for having faith in the Chasewater Project.  Inside this magazine you will find a membership form and we are appealing for every member to enrol a new member to give us enough people to operate trains next season (as we are led to believe that we will be in a position to do so).

Members may have read elsewhere about plans to spend up to 14 million pounds on Chasewater Park and the Society/Company have drawn up plans to expand the Railway, should this scheme come to fruition.  All this is dependent on us having enough manpower to run services on a regular basis so it is up to the present membership to either come forward and operate the services or to find new members to do the same.  Members may also have read of a scheme to build a new motorway which may or may not pass through the park.  If it does come through the park then we are wasting our time.

News from the line

Loco Department – It has for sometime been felt that there ought to be a numbering system for locos at Chasewater in order to give a proper Light Railway image.

A start was made some years ago when ‘Invicta’ emerged from a repaint sporting a painted No.8 (it was then the eighth steam engine on site) on the front buffer beam and brass plates (GWR style) on the cab sides.

The following system has been devised and will be put into practise as engines are repainted, although the GWR style plates on ‘Invicta’ will not be featured on other locos as brass plates with the loco number and the legend ‘Chasewater Light Railway’ have been designed.  Some locos will also bear fictitious 21G shed plates as the Operating Superintendent reckons 21G would have been the shed code for Brownhills West (Hednesford Road) had it existed in BR days.

Loco                                                          No.

Hibberd Diesel                                 1                 First loco to arrive


Peckett 1351                                    2                  No. 2 at Wallsend Slipway

Barclay 1223                                   3

Asbestos                                            4

Sentinel 9632                                   5                 May be painted black as BR 59632

Peckett 917                                       6

R & H Diesel                                       7                 No.7 at Whitwell Colliery

Invicta                                                    8

Hudswell Clarke 1822                     10

Alfred Paget                                         11               No.11 at Gartsherrie

Hudswell Clarke 431                       15

Ex bass Diesel                                     21

L & Y Petrol                                            1

It seems strange to have two No.1s when starting a new system, even if they didn’t stay much longer!

87 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Gricers’ Day

Chasewater Light Railway

Gricers’ Day

8th October 1978

In recent years the final steam day of the year, on the second Sunday in October, has taken a different form from the normal twice-monthly summer season steaming.  Amongst popular attractions with photographers has been the freight train run pasts at intervals during the day and this will again feature.

The success of the first steam spares and tools sale held at Chasewater last February has prompted the organisation of another similar event to coincide with this ‘Gricers’ Day’.  The idea of the sale is to provide an avenue for preservationists to get together, discuss mutual problems and conduct exchanges or sales of parts and tools surplus to their own requirements, but perhaps much sought after by other preserved lines.Alfred Paget with Asbestos and one of the Kent Construction diesels – 1976

At least two locos will operate during the day – ‘Alfred Paget’ built by Neilson & Co., Glasgow (works no. 2937 of 1882), the oldest loco regularly at work in the Midlands, and ‘Invicta’ built by Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd., Kilmarnock  – 2220/1946.  It is likely that one of the two Kent Construction diesel locomotives will also see use during the day, as well as the 5-ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane (formerly steam powered).

The ex Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump will also be steamed and a 1929 ex West Bromwich Corporation single decker bus has been booked to attend.Merryweather Fire Pump

Apart from the Chasewater Light Railway Society sales stand which enjoys a good reputation locally for reasonably priced Railwayana, we would ask you to support the other stalls attending today; at the time of writing these are expected to be Mercian Model Rail, selling both new and second-hand model railway items and who also enjoy a reputation for fair prices, Walsall Railway Museum and Winchcombe Railway Museum who specialise in relics, the Princess Elizabeth Society who are in urgent need of funds for re-staying their famous LMS Pacific, and finally the Worcester Loco Society who carry a reasonable range of books.

We hope that everyone attending has an enjoyable and interesting day out, perhaps even an amusing one – how about a real ale tombola for instance?

For those wishing to partake of liquid refreshment, opening hours are 12.00 – 14.00 hours, the nearest hostelry being the Pear Tree Cottage Inn (Ansells) on the Hednesford Road where excellent cheese flans, etc., can be obtained, or the White Horse almost adjacent to the A5 road heading south which serves an excellent pint of Banks’.

Review of the Year

The year has been both happy and sad for the small but faithful band of followers of the Chasewater Light Railway, January was a disastrous month as vandals broke into the compound and set fire to our former Easingwold Railway MSLR coach, completely burning out the brake end and destroying materials contained therein, as well as partially damaging the exterior of the LNWR brake third which thoroughly deserves the nickname ‘the football special’.  Or grateful thanks go to the Transport Trust who have granted the Society £275, being approximately half the cost of materials needed for renovation, although this cannot take into account the number of man hours needed to restore the vehicle.

Following the fire, thought was given to moving one or two of the wooden bodied coaches elsewhere for safekeeping, but as the obvious answer lay in providing covered accommodation at Chasewater this matter was pursued with renewed vigour and two buildings have since been acquired.  Both are of agricultural type – one has been dismantled and removed to Chasewater; the other, larger, building has still to be dismantled.

New arrivals during the year included S100, a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T No.1822/1949, privately owned and previously preserved on the Yorkshire Dales Railway, Embsay.   The loco is presently being dismantled to enable firebox repairs, de-tubing and wheel turning to take place.  The whole project will probably take another three years to complete (still counting!).

Through the kindness of the Directors of Albright and Wilson Ltd., Peckett 0-4-0ST, 917/1902 arrived on loan together with coal, 27 spare boiler tubes and various tools.

The day following the arrival of the Peckett saw the arrival of the Smith’s of Rodley 5-ton diesel crane, a purchase from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Victoria Dock, Birkenhead.  The crane’s first job on arrival was the lifting of the two tanks off S100.

To enable the purchase of the BR owned 600 yards of double track immediately beyond our present operating limit to be effected, the former LBSCR E1 loco was sold to the Lord Fisher Loco Group, Cranmore (see previous post). The monies from the sale of the loco together with that put aside from donations, etc., has given the railway a financial security never enjoyed previously, although this will be greatly depleted when the £5,400 purchase price of the track is paid.

Current projects include the erection after repair of the former Manchester Ship Canal water tank, and the preparation of the oil-fired Peckett (The Colonel) for a major boiler examination.  The Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ is being de-tubed and the boiler sent away to Park Holland for the raising of the foundation ring about four inches to overcome the problem of badly wasted corners at the bottom of the firebox.  A complete retube with tubes purchased earlier this year will follow.

It is hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will be able to take advantage of the Government Special Temporary Employment Scheme whereby lads of nineteen plus, out of work for a period of at least six months can be employed and paid their wages by the Government.

1979 promises to be a year to look forward to and it is to be hoped that some of you visiting us today will return again next year.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 68

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 68

From the ‘Chasewater Express’ January 1976

Editorial

Steve’s Bit

Here we are, into 1976, and once again the Society is crying out.  Crying for cash and for help.  Once again it is up to members to try and help us over the winter patch, which, as in other years, is hit by poor attendance of volunteers.  Our Society is by no means unique in this respect.

I ask you then to do this:  there is enclosed in this mag a loose membership form: persuade a friend to fill it in and send it to us.  If each member gets just one new member, then our workforce should double.  Sounds glib – but is it too much to ask?

Hope you like the new magazine.  This is the ‘cheap’ winter edition, with duplicated insides, but the summer edition – in April – which will be on wide sale to non-members, will be a classier affair altogether.

Your adverts are welcome – send them to me.  I intend to widen our circulation by acting as a ‘Notice Board’ for vendors and collectors of Railwayana.

Steve Organ, Hon.Editor

Steve Organ has now taken over the editorship of the newsletter, though he tells me that he is going to modify the format slightly.  I must thank Steve for relieving me of the job, which has at times been rather difficult to achieve due to business commitments,

We are in the winter now and a difficult time to try and maintain our stock and locomotives at Chasewater due mainly to a lack of covered accommodation.

We are now in our sixteenth year, and can be fairly called a viable society; we do emphasise, however that we must have all the help that anyone can give, to continue to be viable.

Laurence Hodgkinson and I made a very enjoyable trip to Ludgvan, near Penzance, during November, and collected six gas lamps intact from an old GWR clerestory body – this entailed a lot of hard work, particularly for Laurence, who had to cut through all the plumbing.  We returned through fog, gale and rain to offload the lamps at Chasewater around midnight that evening.

Our sincere thanks to Mr. Davey Thomas who owned the coach body for his generosity and hospitality.

May I wish everyone a prosperous and happy New Year – Dave Ives – President.

I hope that at least one of these lamps will be restored and on the exhibition stands this year – Editor.

Recent Happenings at Chasewater

A pump handle trolley (YES, BUSTER KEATON STYLE!) has been restored to working order after many years of use as a timber stand.  Already, since being commissioned around 1st January, it has claimed two victims.  First Rob Duffill, who has a wrenched arm, and now Barry Bull, who the Machine’s handle lifted from the platform and hurled him through the air, to be deposited, muttering oaths and obscenities, into the Chasewater quagmire. (No photographs are available so I may ask them for an action replay!!). Thanks are due to John Elsley for the restoration of this museum piece for our torture-chamber exhibit.

The line has now been relaid and ballasted to the BR Boundary, but much packing is needed.

Negotiations twixt BR and the Council continue – developments hoped for very soon.

The compound is now fully lit by 240 volt lighting equipment – thank you Brian Hames.

Invicta arriving July 1975 – D.Bathurst’s collection

Invicta, the 0-4-0ST Barclay, ex Chatham Docks, has passed its hydraulic test – steaming soon.

Staging has been erected alongside the MSLR coach for public viewing.

Harold Wilson, the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister has made a donation to Society funds (true!)

Original Stones lighting equipment for the ‘Paddy Train’ LNWR bogie brake compo is on order – thank you J.C.James

The TPO has been re-roofed and glazed.

Chairman’s Message

Once again we are well into the closed season, a time when the Railway has to be made ready for the next season of passenger operation.  This is a vital time for the Society, for if we are to operate trains we must make good the wear and tear of last year and make improvements where necessary, and whenever possible, and to do these things, we need YOU!  You are the Society’s greatest asset – without you we do not exist!

Working members are about 5% of the Society’s membership – a good percentage when compared to other Societies – i.e. SVR’s 4%.  Unfortunately for us, our membership as a whole is much less than the SVR, so I would urge you to take up the Editor’s scheme – with the enclosed form get just one new member, more if you can, and really help the Society in this way – if you can’t help on site, is this too much to ask?

We will start the season with two steam locomotives and soon there will be three, next year probably another will be added – these are as well as diesels – never before has the Society been in a position of such strength, but this alone is not enough.  We need track to run on, serviceable vehicles, coaches, to carry fare-paying passengers and station staff.

Come and help us then.  Make 1976 a year to remember.  If you cannot come to Chasewater but can offer us some other service, or have constructive proposals to make, please write to us via the editor.  Best wishes for the New Year – Albert Haywood, Chairman.

 

Snowy Santas

Barclay No.1964 leaving Brownhills West – Pic with kind permission of Bob Anderson.

Another very successful Santa weekend at Chasewater Railway in spite of the snow.  Well done to all the staff who kept things running in the bitterly cold weather and the snowfall on Saturday, and a big ‘thank you’ to our visitors for braving the weather to come and see Santa.

There are just two more Santa days to go before Christmas – both sold out – let’s hope that we can keep the steam going to the end!

My thanks to Bob Anderson for the use of his photographs. On this occasion I was busy working inside and did not have time to take any pics – as Bob found out!! ‘Nuff said!Lovely shot, Bob.

Chasewater Railway Bits & Pieces 55

The follow-on to the previous post.

Everything out of Hednesford

From the Mercian August 1970

Secretary’s Report

They said it couldn’t be done – but it was!!!  Done by sheer hard slogging and the aid of a clapped out tractor.

Little did I think that the Cadbury van and the two open wagons at Hednesford would not be moved by road and that what I jokingly referred to last time would in fact become a reality.  It was!!  Six – yes six – of us spent two nights digging the sunken track and point out of a couple of feet of hard mud and rubble so that we could hand-shunt the wagons off the siding and onto the main section where we could couple them up to the passenger stock for removal by rail.

Deadline was Thursday evening so we had only three nights to organise the job.  It took the whole of Tuesday and part of Wednesday to dig the track out and we managed to move one of the wagons along to the point ready for transhipment.  However it stuck fast and all our efforts failed to make any impression on it.  This did not auger well for the other wagon and the van and we were almost on the point of giving it up as a bad job.

Then we spotted the tractor and after making a few quick calls we discovered that it belonged to the President, albeit he thought it was out of action with some parts missing.  A quick tickle up by the Treasurer soon proved him wrong and all was set.  We found a length of hawser and soon had the first wagon over the point.  Our troubles were solved you might think but unfortunately they were not.  There was no rail beyond the point and the wagon had to be towed onto the semi-hard ground of the yard.  The point (stub type) would not budge so the next problem was how to line up the wheels for the correct road.  This we did by towing the wagon back onto the point and then jacking up one end clear of the rail.  The jack was then knocked away sideways so as to throw the wheel flanges onto the right side of the line.  After much trial and error we managed the first one and it was coupled up to the passenger stock.  The second wagon followed similarly and by this time it was getting dusk.  We held a council of war and decided that unless the van was moved then it would have to remain at Hednesford for ever.  Out came the hurricane lamps and we trundled the van down to the points.  By this time there was quite a groove in the yard surface and the van soon found the level.  We jacked her up and with some pushing and heaving and a tug from the tractor we managed to move her into the right line where she joined the rest of the stock at about 10.30pm.

How stupid – possibly this is your first thought – can some members be? But let me say right here and now that if it wasn’t for such stalwarts and in particular those six who struggled so gamely to do a very important job, the Society would be highly successful resting on the laurels and efforts of its armchair and featherbed members.

I DON’T THINK

Those three vehicles are now at Chasewater thanks to the six, but had it been left to our non-regulars then they would have rotted away at Hednesford.  Members should be thankful that we have a solid core of stalwarts who do care about the future and who will do something about it.

Stirring it up am I – you’re damn right I am.  Where were YOU when we ran our most successful steam weekend to date?  I refer to the 27th/28th June when we were operating a small service and an exhibition as part of the Aldridge/Brownhills Festival of Sport.

I understand from the Social Organiser that he sent 10/- worth (50p) of Draw tickets and appeals for help on the days of the Festival to all members living within a 20 – 25 mile radius of the site in an effort to boost the funds.  Needless to say the response – altogether not unexpected – was NIL.  A few members did manage to sell some tickets and the surprising fact was that most of these were members whose subs were due, and not paid-up members – to me a disgusting state of affairs.

We have about 120 members scattered about the country and I am fully aware that it is not possible for all of you to attend on site due to distance away.  We have certain members who regularly donate £5 – £50 when we need to raise money urgently, we have a member who purchased one of our locos for us.  I am not getting at these members or the faithful band that turn out regularly each weekend.

I am getting at the shower – there is no other word for them – who think we can run on their subs alone.  Like other Societies I think that we can manage without this type of member even if we only have 20 members who care enough to pull their weight when we need them to.

Reverting to the weekend, the weather marred the Saturday operations, however it was all systems go on the Sunday when, had we had about another 20 members available we could have made a very fat profit form the Draw from ticket touting among the crowd which packed the Park.

I have said it many times before and I will say it again, we MUST have more help when we run these steam weekends.  The next Open Day will be Sunday August 30th.  Make a note of it NOW!

We need quite a few hands between now and then for track repairs, stock repairs and restoration and a host of other jobs too numerous to mention.  Every Sunday afternoon from 2.00pm whatever the weather we can find plenty to do, so may we see you on site fully prepared to do a little hard work.

It is a pity that every time I prepare this report all I seem to do is belay a large number of members who are close enough to the site to be able to make at least two or three visits a month.

What a change it will be when the day arrives that I can report that the turnout on working parties each week has been 30 members and that they have now completely relaid the trackwork, the three coaches are fully restored and operational, three steam locos are available and a service will be operated each weekend.

There is no reason why this should not be so if members will rid themselves of their apathy.

Hon Sec. A.A.Chatfield

 

Now a follow-up from the General Manager’s stock news

Chasewater News

Apart from the usual lack of manpower things have been happening on site this past three or four weeks in preparation for the Festival Weekend and other events.

In the last issue I summarised the various jobs to be done and this met with a fair response so I will repeat it again this month.

Asbestos

I am pleased to report that she is now fully operational and was successfully steamed on June 20th on the occasion of the visit paid by the L.C.G.B  Under the able hands of Mike Lewis she was again performing for the Festival Weekend and proved quite an attraction.

Barclay

The boiler inspector’s report has now been received and he has condemned her boiler.  This means we shall have to either order a new one, which at this stage is financially out of the question, or we may be able to buy a reasonable second-hand one from one of three or four of the same class which are known to be still operational.  To help defray the cost we propose to sell the old boiler as scrap.  In the meantime the loco will be put back together as a static exhibit.

Neilson


Work will now be put in hand to strip this loco down for a boiler inspection.  We understand that the boiler is in good condition and that we should be able to get the loco operational by next summer providing we have enough man-power to work on her.  Mike Lewis will again be dealing with the job and he will need some assistance.  Any offers?

 

Hudswell and Lance

These will be kept oiled and painted until after the work on the Neilson has been done.  Again, any offers?

 

Cannock Wood

I am pleased to report that this is now safely at Chasewater having been delivered on June 26th.  It is unlikely that she will run in the foreseeable future as a new boiler will be needed if reports which we have are correct.  Work will therefore be confined to a thorough repaint and general restoration as a static exhibit.  This should keep a couple of members fully occupied for the next few months, so may I have some volunteers?

 

Diesel No.1

This is still out of commission, have we any members who are knowledgeable enough to work on her, please?

Diesels 20/21

Pic – Ross Lockley

These are both running now and are in need of a repaint.  I hope to make one or the other available fro this purpose during the next month or so.  It should not take too long to refurbish the paintwork on both of them and if any members would like to help then please contact the Secretary on site.  He will be supervising this part of the work.

 

Petrol No.1

Through the efforts of Arthur Chatfield who did the bulk of the restoration work on this loco, it was just about ready for display at Messrs. Dorman’s Ltd. exhibition in Stafford from June 22nd to July 4th.  I am grateful to hi, for the hard work he put in on this project and for the assistance that he received from the Chairman.  The loco proved to be quite an attraction at Dorman’s and I am sure we may receive some benefit from the resulting publicity.

 

Other Rolling Stock

Apart from the stock already on site you will have read in this issue that the two open wagons and the Cadbury van have now been delivered to Chasewater.  These have also bee joined by the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the LNWR Brake bogie van.  The ‘Paddy’ coach and the TPO coach are due in the very near future and also the GER six-wheeler.   This will only leave the Royal Saloon, and the Committee have agreed in principle, subject to various safeguards, that this vehicle should be placed on loan to the Midland Railway Project Group at Derby.  Should the Group decline then arrangements will be made to transfer it to Chasewater.

From this you will note that all our assets will be at one site and there is a lot of work to be done on them.  John Elsley has already offered to repair the roof on the Maryport & Carlisle and to do other jobs on it so that it may be available for the Bank Holiday weekend.  A start has been made by Bob Ives and Phil Dunning on repainting one of the open wagons.  There is plenty of other work to do particularly reproofing jobs and if John Elsley can have two more members to assist him he is prepared to tackle the GWR Brake, the LNWR Brake and the SECR Brake roofs, so that they may be watertight before the winter sets in.

Another top priority will be the laying of the other siding in the compound so that all the stock may be put under lock and key.  It is imperative that this work should be completed as quickly as possible and as many hands as possible will be needed.  I should like to see this job done before the middle of August and if we can get a real good turnout we should be able to meet this deadline.  Is it too much to ask, in spite of the holiday period?

Well that’s about the size of it.  There is plenty to do and enough to keep 50 members fully occupied between now and the end of the year.  We can find plenty of tools and materials to do these jobs – what we also need are the hands to do them!

You have read what six members can achieve when pushed hard, please try and think what 30 regulars could do at a more leisurely pace if I could persuade them to turn up on site each Sunday afternoon for the next two or three months.

Won’t you give it a try?

A. Holden, General Manager, Chasewater Site.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 54

Time to catch up a bit!

Secretary’s Report from the ‘Mercian’ May 1970

It seems that my forecast for the movement of the smaller items of stock from Hednesford to Chasewater was way off the beam.  Let me hasten to add that several snags cropped up which had to be examined with regard to the transport.

Those of you who are familiar with the layout of the yard at Hednesford will know that there is an acute angle bend to be negotiated by any road vehicle which is delivering to or conveying from the yard any bulky items.  This unfortunately precludes all but the smallest type of low-loader, and the one that we had lined up for moving the four wheelers would not go round the corner.

We have, through the good offices of our President, made another approach to a different operator and we hope that he has a vehicle which can do the job.  If this fails then we shall have to dig out the point to the spur upon which the wagons are standing, this having sunk into the thick mud, so that we can shunt the wagons onto the main siding for removal by rail with the other stock.  The Coal Board have informed us that they will move the stock up to Cannock Wood Colliery yard either the first or second week of May and we now await clearance from British Rail that the stock is fit to run over the line to the Colliery which is their property.  Once the stock is at the Colliery yard it will be put under lock and key in the compound and the smaller items, such as the six-wheelers, E1, and, if necessary the four-wheelers will be shipped from there to Chasewater by road as there are better loading facilities at the Colliery yard to manoeuvre a big low-loader.

I sincerely hope that my forecast that most of the smaller stock will be at Chasewater by the time you either read this or receive the next edition will in fact be true for we shall require some of it for use at the Festival of Sport and also for the late Bank Holiday in August.

To impress upon you the need for better turnouts at working parties, you will find included in this issue (following) a run down on the various items of rolling stock and brief details of work which urgently needs to be either started and carried through, or which has already been started and which needs completing.

It is an impossible task for the present working parties to cope with the amount of work available, and I plead to all members with cars to try and get along to the site prepared to put in at least a couple of hours graft.  The weather seems to be picking up so we must pray for plenty of sunshine as we rely on this due to the present lack of covered space where we can operate if it rains.  May I count on your help over the next few Saturdays and Sundays???

May I, before closing this report, welcome on your behalf our newly co-opted Social Organiser, Gordon Loach.  Gordon has had many years experience in running carnivals, garden parties and other such fund raisers, and with the help of his good lady Mrs. Loach and, we hope, a ladies committee, he will be able to bring a bit of social life to the society which is lacking at the present.

Hon. Sec. A.A.Chatfield

 

Rolling Stock Report (as promised)

Chasewater Site

The following schedule of commitments refers only to the present stock on site; these will be greatly enhanced when certain other stock has been safely delivered from Hednesford.  We have a tight schedule to keep if we are going to provide a steam operated line this year and it is imperative that we get under way as soon as possible.

Asbestos

Boiler lagging and fittings have been removed and all applicable joints packed for a hydraulic test.  The initial inspection has been carried out by the boiler inspector who has okayed the boiler as fit, subject to some plugs being replaced and another test run before he issues the certificate.

The boiler barrel and underside of the tank are being red-leaded and painted.  Work is under the supervision of Mike Lewis who will need another two reliable assistants as soon as possible.  Work on lowering the tank, etc. will be done as soon as the boiler inspector has finished his tests.

Barclay – Colin McAndrew

This has been completely dismantled in preparation for repairs to the firebox stays by an outside contractor.  All the old tubes have also been withdrawn and will be replaced when the other repairs are done.  A lot of work will then be required to put the loco together ready for the boiler tests and final restoration including painting.  Mike Lewis is again supervising and needs two more assistants.

 

Neilson, Hudswell & Lance

Work on these three will have to be confined to oiling, greasing and generally touching up of paintwork, etc. until work has been satisfactorily done on the other two locos.  Volunteers are required for this.

 

Diesel No.1

This is at present out of commission with gear and clutch trouble.  Have we any reliable members who have knowledge of the workings of diesels and who could take this loco in hand?  Our regular fitters are already taxed to the limit with the other diesels.

 

Diesels Nos. 20/21

Minor repairs to the injectors and other routine work is well in hand on these two.  Both are due for a complete repaint and again volunteers conversant with the trade are asked to come forward.  Arthur Chatfield would be pleased to hear from you.

 

Petrol No.1

Cleaning down work is now well in hand.  This loco has to be ready for exhibition at Dorman’s Ltd., Stafford for week commencing June 22nd.  This leaves very little time for the two regulars seconded to the job.  More help is needed here; again, volunteers are required most urgently.

 

Other Rolling Stock

This has been lumped together because the variety of jobs required on most of the vehicles is almost identical.  Two of the coaches are sheeted over due to leaking roofs, anybody care to take on the job of re-felting them?  It will need at least two people.  There are also a considerable number of loose or cracked panels which need attention before they are painted in undercoat.  The running board on the Great Western brake needs repairing and re-bolting and of course a real good start on painting the interiors of the passenger stock would not be amiss.  There is enough work to allocate at least three people to each item of stock or a gang of five regulars tackling each item in order of urgency.  We cannot spare this number from the present compliment; we need more of you on site to help us do this vital work.

It may also be stated that there is a lot of work to be done to the Trackwork and again more help is needed.

No offer of assistance will be refused – this cannot be afforded.

A. Holden – General Manager, Chasewater Site.