Tag Archives: Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society

News – July 2011


 Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society

Peter R.Lewis 2005 – Longton on Tern Aquaduct
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.

On Wednesday 13th July, the Society held its third talk of the year at the Museum of Cannock Chase.  The subject on this occasion was ‘The Life of Thomas Telford’, given by Richard Bifield.  It was a very informative and entertaining talk – as they always are – and well received by the members and non-members alike.The Pontcysyllte Aquaduct on the Llangollen Canal, Denbighshire, Wales. Photographed by Adrian Pingstone on June 30th 2008

Unfortunately, the Chairman, Alan Dean, had been admitted to hospital on Tuesday so could not be there.  We send Alan and Margaret our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Menai Suspension Bridge. By Mick Knapton 25-12-2004
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License.   Menai Bridge

 The final talk of the year will be on Wednesday, 19th October, 2011, at 3.00pm at the Museum of Cannock Chase – all welcome, on the subject of the ‘Restoration of the Hatherton Canal’ by Bob Williams.

Hatherton Canal – Waterscape.com


Occasionally Dobermanns are mentioned in my blog – and seen in photographs – so I thought that I would give the Birmingham & District Dobermann Club a mention, (I am an Honorary Life Member and a former Chairman) as they have recently changed venue.  The Club can now be found at Walsall Wood Methodist Church, Lichfield Road, Walsall Wood, WS9 9NP  from 8.00pm till 10.00pm each Tuesday.  Perhaps oakparkrunner will be tempted to rush out a buy a Dobe – the venue is on his doorstep!  But there again, praps not!!

Chasewater Railway Museum and Other News

Chasewater Railway Museum and Other News

Friday 4th March.

The Headteacher, Alan Dean from the CCMHS and one of the sponsors.
Members of the School Council

Some members of Chasewater Railway joined the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society at the unveiling of two Information Signs at Littleton Green Community School this morning to commemorate Littleton Colliery. These signs have been sponsored by local Funeral Directors Faragher Maguire of Hednesford.

The sign on the other side of the school was unveiled by a local Councillor.

The school is on the former colliery site in Stafford Road, Huntington, Cannock. The short ceremony took place at 11.00am followed by a tour of the school by the Head Teacher and light refreshments in the new community cafe.

The school is an excellent facility for the local community, and not just during school hours – there are lots of after-school activities and the school is open 364 days per year.  Everyone we spoke to were proud to be associated with the school, and justifiably so.

Class 08 getting ‘Linda’ ready for bed!
Bagnall engine ‘Linda’ returned to Chasewater Railway on Wednesday, March 2nd after a weekend on duty at the Ribble Steam Railway.‘Linda’ at Riverside – One of Bob Anderson’s excellent photographs

Also on Wednesday, the items in the only display case not catalogued were numbered and photographed.  The majority of these items were from the Hornby companies.Hornby Dublo 3 rail 0-6-2 tank No.69567Hornby ‘0’ gauge LMS brake vanHornby ‘0’ gauge 0-4-0 Tank.

My thanks to Godfrey for pointing out that I don’t know where I am on which day!!  We were in the Museum last Wednesday, not Tuesday, when I was at New Cross Hospital having my eyes looked at  – not my brain! Honest!

Chasewater Railway Museum and other News

New Museum Items

Signal Box Nameboard from Hednesford No. 1Hednesford No.1 Signal Box.

South Staffordshire Railway Share Certificate.Wagon Plate  (on loan)Good progress on the carriage ceiling.The Brains Trust on a Signal Post!

The first 2011 Meeting of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society was held at the Museum of Cannock Chase on Wednesday, 23rd Feb.  This was a very interesting talk by Mr. Arthur Aston, ‘The Town That Died’ on the subject of the Halifax Explosion which occurred on Thursday, December 6, 1917, when the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, was devastated by the huge detonation of the SS Mont Blanc, a French cargo ship, fully loaded with wartime explosives, which accidentally collided with the Norwegian SS Imo in “The Narrows” section of the Halifax Harbour. About 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, or collapsed buildings and it is estimated that over 9,000 people were injured. This is still the world’s largest man-made explosion.

This may be the only photograph of the remnants of blast itself reportedly taken 15-20 seconds after the explosion. Indications are that it was taken Bedford Basin, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, from approximately a mile’s distance looking southeast. Photographer: unknown.

The next talk at the Museum of Cannock Chase by the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society will be on ‘The Staffordshire Hoard’ by Ian Wykes.  Wednesday 13th April,  at 7.00pm.

Finally – caught red-handed – one of our members (who shall remain nameless – Godfrey) taking tea from another member’s mug! This after failing to destroy the priceless relic by bouncing it round the mess-room!!If you are unable to read the name of the loco, it is the ‘City of Truro’ – on a mug that I probably pinched from Barry Bull!!

Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society Talks for 2011


Founded 2002

Dear Member

Below are the dates, times and subjects of the talks to be given at our members meetings during 2011

Wednesday 23rd February: Arthur Aston “The town that died” 3.00 pm

Wednesday 13th April: Ian Wykes “The Staffordshire Hoard” 7.00 pm (evening meeting)

Wednesday 13th July: Richard Bifield – “Life of Thomas Telford” 3.00 pm

Wednesday 19th October: Bob Williams – “Restoration of the Hatherton Canal3.00 pm

Tea & Coffee will be available at all meetings with the usual raffle being held to subsidies the fee that some speakers charge.

If anyone has an article for “A Day in the life of” please bring it along to the meeting or send it to

27 Melbourne Rd, Heath Hayes, WS12 2SH, and I will put it on the web site.

We hope to see you all at your meeting and let’s have another successful year.

Best Regards

Alan Dean (Chairman/Secretary)

Back with Museum Stuff

I’m sorry that posts have been thin on the ground for the last few days, I’ve been catching up with museum paperwork ready for a meeting this afternoon.  The meeting went well, I think.  We left feeling pleased anyway! We’ve received some nice items in the last week or so.Some nice Hornby ‘0’ gauge rolling stockAnd one of our friends found two ‘Dinky’ wagons to make up the set with the tank engine.

We’ve also had a small collection of souvenir badges and some nice colliery plates – one of which is shown here.

Don’t forget the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society meeting, next Tuesday 12th October, at the Museum of Cannock Chase from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.  A talk by Alan Dean about the West Cannock Colliery.

Finally, a nice loco worksplate, BTC No.2608 from 1958, which was carried by the loco Holwell No.17.

The things they find in Hednesford….

West Cannock Colliery

West Cannock Colliery No.5,  from Hednesford Hills

This week saw the launch of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society’s latest book – the Annals of West Cannock Collieery – written by Alan Dean, which coincided with the unveiling of a memorial information sign at the site West Cannock No.5 pit, now the Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre.

Also around  this time the bridge from West Cannock 1, 3 and 4 pits was partly uncovered by the road builders working on the new road through the Pye Green Valley.   I have spoken to one of my dog walking friends, who was a relief fireman, and had actually been on a train under the bridge on the way up to No.1 to collect some rail!

The map below shows the position of the West Cannock pits.


This follows another bit of underground West Cannock Colliery activity from a few years ago.

It is actually the tunnel that went from West Cannock No.4, 1 and 3 plants down to the other side of the main Cannock to Rugeley mineral line, from where it emerged alongside West Cannock No.2 plant which closed in 1887 in the valley below East Cannock Colliery, it then ran over land going under the East Cannock Road below the Globe Inn to end at East Cannock canal basin.

For much more information about the West Cannock Colliery Company a new book has been published by the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society, written by Alan Dean – price £10.00

Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society – West Cannock No.5

This morning, 29th September 2010, saw the unveiling by Alan Dean, Chairman of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society, of the latest information sign commemorating the coal miners of Cannock Chase.  This sign was made possible through the generosity of Mick Corns’ widow, who received the thanks of all present.Not the brightest of days but the Ceremony was completed before the rain started again.  Then it was a case of everyone inside for a cup of tea and a biscuit or cake!A nice simple Ceremony, but there are still about 30 sites to have signs erected.  Some have had permission granted and at other sites it is still being sought.

This site is now the Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre, Rugeley Road, Hednesford, owned by Staffordshire County Council, who gave permission for the erection of the information sign.

Best of luck and best wishes to all concerned.

Wednesday 29th September

Two Events this coming Wednesday – 29th September.

Cannock Chase Mining Historical SocietyGraham Burnett

On the 29th of September at 11.00am the society will unveil an Information Sign at the old West Cannock No.5 colliery site.

This is now owned by the County Council and renamed the Chase Enterprise Centre, Rugeley Rd, Hednesford.

Due to the generosity of the wife of the late Mick Corns we have been able to produce an information sign commemorating West Cannock 5s colliery.

Permission to erect the sign at West Cannock has been kindly granted by the County Council.

After the unveiling of the sign the launch of the long awaited book “The Annals of The West Cannock Colliery Company Limited 1869 – 1957” will take place.  The book has taken over eight years to research and copies will be on sale at the venue. The book also includes West Cannock No.5 Colliery until its closure in 1982. There will also be the chance to purchase books and have them signed by the author Alan Dean, who will be available until 1.00pm.

On Thursday 30th September from 10.00am to 1.00pm the book will be on sale at Hednesford Library, Alan will be available to sign copies of the book.

On Friday 1st October from 10.00am to 1.00pm the book will be on sale at Heath Hayes Library, with Alan available to sign copies of the book

Finally on Saturday 2nd October from 10.00am till 2.00pm the book will be on sale at Cannock Library again with Alan available to sign copies of the book

Please make every effort to come along to the unveiling and book launch and make the event a success.Topham at West Cannock No.5

Burntwood Chase Heritage Group and the Friends of Cannock Chase Museum

Walk around the site of Beaudesert Hall

A  walk will be taking place on Wednesday 29th September at 2.30pm with Friends of Cannock Chase Museum and anyone else who wants to come.

Sturdy footwear needed as rough ground. Walk will be about 2 hours. Meet at Scout car park through entrance past reservoir…turn left past Chestall.

Full details on the home page

Cannock Chase Miners and Chasewater Stuff

Off to the Museum of Cannock Chase this morning to attend the AGM of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society – it’s nice to know what’s going on and, let’s face it, without coal mines there would be no Chasewater Railway.  There are some interesting talks coming up in the months ahead – on April 13th, our old friend Ron Bradbury is giving a talk about John Robinson McClean – one time owner of the Cannock Chase Colliery Company and the South Staffordshire Railway (not a lot of coal went down the cut for a while!).  In July there will be a talk about the War Camps, I’m afraid that I missed the details about this one, and in October, Alan Dean is giving a talk about West Cannock (the book on this subject should be out well before then).  On Saturday, 17th July there is a 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the closing of Brereton Colliery and the opening of Lea Hall Colliery at Brereton Parish Hall.  Together with school visits, etc., the new committee will have a very busy year ahead – good luck gentlemen.

At the end of the AGM it was off to Chasewater to do a bit of office work (I call it work, anyway!!) and on the way into the park, the latest evidence of Dave’s handiwork.This was erected by two of our young lads – Albert and Ray!!  First class job all round.

As people probably know by now, Linda will not be in action at the Winter Gala.Something definitely missing……Ah – there they are!!

After a frustrating couple of hours on the PC I was off home before I threw the thing into the pool!  Mind you, the way it’s going down now. I don’t think I could reach!I reckon it’s going to be a long couple of years before it’s back to it’s former glory.

A bit of a chat.

I haven’t put much on here other than Museum Posts over the last few weeks, no excuse really just a bit busy over the Christmas period.  Been in the Museum quite a lot during December, which was open every running day.

I’ve still got more about Hednesford railways to post but I need some more photos, it doesn’t seem the same to walk around Hednesford with my camera but without the dog!  She is making good progress, by the way, up to 2 x 15 minute walks per day, and doing them quite easily.  Back to the vet’s on Friday for a quick x-ray to confirm that all is well and hopefully start giving her more exercise.This photo of Ellie could have been taken today, but was in fact taken last February – she can’t walk quite that far yet!

The railway is not running until February, we are told, so we should be able to get some more paperwork done in the Museum, although it will be open on Sundays, weather permitting.  There should have been a Santa Specials de-briefing meeting tonight but it’s been called off due to the weather – we don’t have sleighs!  Could have been interesting, perhaps.

The Burntwood Chase Heritage Group are holding a meeting on February 2nd at St. John’s Church, Ironstone Road, Chase Terrace – I don’t know what the subject is yet but will find out.

The AGM of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society is to be held at the Museum of Cannock Chase on Tuesday 16th February at 11.00am.