Tag Archives: Bass

Chasewater Railway – Burton Brewery Day

Chasewater Railway News

Burton Brewery Day


Sunday 20th July is Burton Brewery Locomotive day. We are all really looking forward to this special event. The first of its type to held here at Chasewater Railway.

Please note a powerboat racing event is also taking place at Chasewater on this day for which a charge is made for parking on the field near to us from what we understand, this is not the railway’s car park. Please continue to the top of the road to Brownhills West station car park where FREE parking is available for Chasewater Railway customers visiting our event.

We look forward to seeing you there.

136 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces From Chasewater News April 1991 – Part 4 More Sid Browne Memories – Pete Aldridge

136Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

From Chasewater News April 1991 – Part 4

More Sid Browne Memories – Pete Aldridge

One Upmanship

During the 1960s many long cherished traditions on the railways were swept away.  The scrapping of steam and the closure of many branch lines are well known, but in fact almost every aspect of railway life was changed.  For many decades the railwaymen had worked to their own hierarchy, whereby the most senior guards got the best pay, and generally easier jobs.  Then the tide of change began to sweep in.

As a goods senior guard at Bescot, Sid was among the more senior of the staff and had become used to the ‘plum jobs’.  One of these was the Bescot toSheffieldgoods train as this involved maximum pay for minimum effort.  One morning, however, a new policy was introduced.

The foreman introduced a slightly scruffy looking young man to Sid.

‘This isNorman’ he said, ‘He’ll be taking over some of the Sheffields, so can you show him the road and make sure he’s OK?’

Sid was far from pleased.  The youth was a new recruit and had what we would call today an attitude problem.  Sid was determined to show him just who was the boss.  Once all their duties were done, Sid and Norman climbed into the brake van.  The driver of theSheffieldbound train also knew what was at stake, and intended that this new youth should be put in his place.

ToNorman’s surprise, Sid lay stretched out on the bench in the brake van and apparently dozed off.  Normandid not know that in this position Sid had a good view of the train through the ducket in the side of the van.  Through half closed eyes Sid watched the loco until its cylinder drain cocks opened prior to the train moving off.  Sid yawned and appeared to wake up.  ‘It’s about time we were off’ he said nonchalantly.  ‘How do you know?’ began the youth, but before any explanation was given the van jolted forwards.  They were off.  ‘It’s a sort of sixth sense you get’ said Sid mysteriously.  Sid pretended to doze off once more while all the time looking carefully through the ducket.

After a few minutes Sid stirred again.  ‘I reckon the peg’ll be against us at Brownhills’ he said.

‘Why do you say that?’ said Norman.

‘Just a feeling’ explained Sis, not, of course, admitting that he could see the approaching signals.  Sure enough, the train slowed and Sid laconically pulled the hand brake on.

At every junction, station or landmark along the way Sid would mystify his unwanted pupil, pretending to be asleep until his mysterious sixth sense popped up/

‘Smell that?’ said Sid ‘That’s the hops at Marston’s Brewery.  It’s a totally different smell to the hops at Bass brewery.  If you’re going to work this line at night you’ll have to tell the difference or you’ll not know what part ofBurtonyou’re in.’

Young Norman’s self-confidence was beginning to crack.  Did you really have to be a beer expert to become a railway guard? **

Just outside Sheffield Sid drove his point home.

‘Ah!’ he said ‘Roast mutton’.  PoorNormanwas mystified.

‘What day is it?’ asked Sid.

‘Err… Thursday’ repliedNorman.

‘Then we must be at Millhouse, you see theVictoriapub serves roast mutton on Mondays and Thursdays.  The pub’s right next to the railway, so you can’t miss the smell.   The trouble is, the Railway Hotel at Heeley also serves mutton, but on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, so you need to remember what day of the week it is and who serves what on what day of the week, otherwise if it is foggy, you might not know where you are.  Is that all quite clear?’

Normanjust did not know what to think.  Not only did you need to be psychic and a beer expert, you had to be familiar with all the pub menus on either side of the railway and a walking almanac.

Needles to say,Normansoon left the railway and the ‘Sheffields’ remained in the hands of the senior men a while longer.

9Actually, those railwaymen who knew Sid would probably say that he DID know the pub menus on the line from Bescot toSheffield!)

** Experience at Chasewater proves the answer to this question to be a resounding ‘YES!’

Please note: While these stories are as they were told to Sid’s grandson, and have not been knowingly embellished, the author cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracy!  If they are not true, they ought to be!


Heritage Centre Latest


Baguley 0-4-0 Diesel Mechanical 3410/1955

This is the latest locomotive to come into the Heritage Centre, taking the place of Bass No.5, which is going to be used in the Industrial Gala of September 11th & 12th.

Built with a Gardner type 6L3 engine of 150 brake horse-power and fitted with Wilson Drewry transmission.  The original livery was middle green with unusual dark blue buffer beams.  The loco was delivered to Marston, Thompson and Evershed Brewery, Burton-on-Trent in February 1955.

The original  Marston’s No.4

The name and number plate can be clearly seen on the top photo, but the number 4 is missing on the photo below., although the name is there!

Early RPS Diesel Locos

With the present new and late model diesel locomotive activity at Chasewater Railway, it seems a good time to go back to the Railway’s early engines.

This article is from the ‘Mercian’ of April 1969

By S. Allsopp

The locos described were three of the first diesel engines at Chasewater.

Railway Preservation Society                Diesel Locomotives

The 0-4-0 ‘Planet’ Type Numbers 1, 20 & 21

Number One was manufactured by F.C.Hibberd & Co.Ltd. in 1944, works number 2914, and was supplied new to Weston-Super-Mare Gas Works.  Until 1966, when it was acquired by the Society, it was owned by a succession of firms, finally coming into the hands of Messrs. Pitsteel Ltd. of Aldridge, Staffs.

This locomotive, weighing only six tons, is a very diminutive machine.  The four driving wheels are only 1’ 8” in diameter, and the top of the roof comes well below the height of a normal railway coach.  It is powered by a National 3DL diesel engine of 29 BHP.  The transmission system consists of an 18½ inch diameter cone-type clutch, operated by a foot pedal, driving to a two speed gear-box of the ‘crash’ variety and thence by way of a single roller, chains to both axles.  The gear-box is of the reversing type also.

No electrical system is fitted, engine starting being accomplished by hand.  A handbrake acting on four cast iron brake blocks, one to each wheel, is fitted.

This was the first locomotive to arrive at Chasewater and was of great assistance in the removal and relaying of track, though since the arrival of numbers 20 and 21 it has gone into semi-retirement.  Although only 29 BHP it has shown itself capable of moving, on several occasions, six times and more, its own weight.

A new gear-box has recently been fitted as the original box had the distressing tendency of shedding teeth from one of the first gear pinions, the last time with disastrous results.  There has only been one complete failure with this locomotive, this being caused by a blocked fuel pipe.  Another loco had to be used to haul No.1 back, British Railways fashion.

Number 20 was manufactured by the Kent Construction Company at Ashford in 1926 fro Worthington & Company Ltd., Brewers, of Burton-upon-Trent as their No.10.  This locomotive is reputed to be the only surviving standard gauge locomotive built by the Kent Construction Company.

Number 21 was manufactured by F.C.Hibberd & Co. Ltd. in 1929 for the same brewers as their No.11.  Both of these locomotives are very similar in outward appearance but differ greatly in minor details as we have found out to our cost.

They were both built with Dorman 4J0 petrol engines of 40 brake horse-power, being re-engined with Dorman 4DWD diesel engines of 54 brake horse-power during the 1950s.  They are fitted with a simple electrical system including a twelve volt starter motor, a great improvement on No.1, the clutches and gear boxes being inter-changeable between all three locomotives.  A handbrake only is fitted operating four brake blocks, one to each wheel, through a compensating arrangement.  Standard buffering and draw gear are fitted using three link couplings, although ‘instanter’ and screw couplings are used at times.

Nos. 20 and 21 with the Maryport & Carlisle Railway Coach on the causeway – Photo D.Bathurst collection.

Both locomotives gained their present numbers when the firms of Worthington Ltd. and Bass, Ratcliffe & Gretton Ltd. were merged.  They were purchased by the Society in 1967 after the closure of the Bass railway system at Burton-upon-Trent.  The remaining four Planet diesels belonging to the Company were purchased by Messrs. Albert looms Ltd., the railway rolling stock dismantling engineers of Spondon, near Derby.  The four engines and gear boxes and many other spares from these four were donated to the Society by Messrs. Looms, therefore ensuring a long active life for numbers 20 and 21.

General dimensions of these two are:  length 13’ 6”, width 7’ 6”, height 9’ 9”, wheelbase 5’ 6”, wheel diameter 3’ 1”, weight 8 tons 5cwt approximately, fuel capacity 20 gallons, maximum speed 15 mph approx.


No.1 – This locomotive has been painted all colours of the rainbow, and others as well, it would appear, since it was new.  When acquired by the Society it bore the remains of a yellow livery with the previous ones showing through.  It was then painted green, but is now in maroon with straw lining and yellow buffer beams, looking very respectable for the first time in years.  This locomotive was sold by the Society and is still believed to be working.

Nos. 20 and 21 – Both locomotives were painted Worthington black with red and gold lining when new, but both have acquired the standard Bass blue livery with red lining.  There is the possibility that one or both may revert to the original livery, but this would mean renumbering them.  No. 20 is at the Coors Museum of Brewing at Burton-upon-Trent on a long term loan, and No.21 is in the Heritage Centre at Chasewater.

No.21 at Chasewater