Tag Archives: Cannock & Rugeley Colliery

The Latest Museum Arrivals – Including a Local Colliery Wagon Plate

The Latest Museum Arrivals – Including a Local Colliery Wagon Plate


This Cannock & Rugeley Colliery wagion plate is not the most common item ever seen in the museum – in fact, no-one we have asked has ever seen one!  This obviously makes it a bit special.  Unfortunately, it has a crack (repaired) through the right-hand bolt hole – I wonder how that happened?!


This next item, a book for the library, has come along at a good time – as we have recently seen the return of the horse-drawn parcels van.

It should be pointed out that the horses in this book used to pull carts, vans, etc. unlike the Chasewater Railway Museum version, which seems to prefer to ride in them!



The final item was a raffle prize at the recent Gerald Reece talk about Brownhills, and shows Brownhills High Street in the early 1900s, won by one of the museum staff.  If you’ve seen the photo on Brownhills Bob’s site, the bald headed bloke on the back row, right-hand side!



Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era 1861 – Manning Wardle Saddle Tank – Selsey Railway

Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era

1861 – Manning Wardle Saddle Tank – Selsey Railway

The engine as running in 1927

This engine is shown as an example of the well-known Manning Wardle light saddle tank, many hundreds of which were built for contractors’ lines, industrial firms and light railways during the latter part of the nineteenth century.  This particular engine was built in 1861, Manning Wardle works No.21, and had a varied history.  At one time it worked on the East and West Yorkshire Union Railway, and in the early part of the twentieth century it was at a waterworks near Bristol.  It was overhauled in 1907 by Hawthorn Leslie and sold to the Chichester and Selsey line, on which it became No.2 Sidlesham, and in whose possession it remained until 1932, when it was cut up.  The railway was closed entirely in 1935.  Its small miscellaneous collection of engines included two other Manning Wardles, one of them from the Shropshire and Montgomery Railway.

Many of these engines could still be found around the end of the twentieth century in various parts of the country, all either privately owned or the property of the National Coal Board and kindred organisations, none having gone into the ownership of British Railways.

Dimensions vary somewhat in individual cases, but those of Sidlesham may be taken as typical of the design, which remained basically unchanged for many years.

Driving wheels – 3’ 2”,  Cylinders – 12”x 17”,  Wheelbase – 10’ 3”,  Weight – 17 tons

A later model, No.1913 of 1917, at Cannock & Rugeley Colliery, their No.6 Adjutant.

Hednesford Railways 3

The second part of my last post, Hednesford Railways 2, went missing – the photos were in the library and according to the library information, attached to Hednesford Railways 2 – but, nowhere to be seen.  Very frustrating! So here we go again!

I shall start with the first photo again.The line that we are interested in is behind the rake of coal wagons heading off to Cannock Wood.This photo shows where the line moves away from the Cannock Wood branch, and the next shows the trackbed a little further along.The line is now approaching the Rugeley Road, which was crossed by an over-bridge.Now that there are houses on the opposite side of the road, it is not easy to find the exact spot where it crossed, but it couldn’t have been far from this point.In this photo, the line came up from the Rugeley Road and passed in front of the chimneys, passed all the buildings, went under a footbridge and up the valley for a short distance.  This is the site of the footbridge.

The footbridge was erected for miners from Hazel Slade and Rawnsley to gain access to the colliery without crossing the railway (and was used as a short-cut to get to the shops in Hednesford!).

Up the valley the line ended and the train went over a set of points which enabled it to change track and come back down the valley to the sidings to the front of the photo.  The line also carried on through to rejoin the up-line below the buildings, and travel back to Hednesford.This is the present view of the old Corn Stores, now housing the Museum of Cannock Chase, the down-line would have followed the line of the tarmac road for a short distance before swinging over to join the up-line.

If anyone has a photo of the road bridge or the footbridge, I would be very grateful for a copy.  Thank you.

Hednesford Railways 2

The previous post took care of lines to the left from Hednesford to Rugeley, now to sort the right hand ones out!  This first photo is a busy one…..From the front, view of half a coal wagon on the line to West Cannock, then the double track main line Hednesford to Rugeley and then, the first home of the Railway Preservation Society (West Midlands Branch), with the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway loco now No.9  ‘Cannock Wood’ 0-6-0T.  The next line is up to Cannock & Rugeley Colliery’s Cannock Wood pit and somewhere between that line and the pit in the background is the line to the CRC Valley pit.  The buildings to the rear of the photo are those of the Valley pit, and in between the two sets of head-gear is the old corn stores which now houses the Museum of Cannock Chase.The line to Cannock Wood crossed the Hednesford-Rugeley Road at Bates’ Corner.

It’s a bit different nowNo bridge, no general stores!   And as for the Paddy train….But now….It carries on in a similar vein – the track bed completely overgrown.  From the sidings to the bridge, the Council have put down a cycle/footpath,whichturns sharp left at the bridge and passes the former West Cannock 5s site instead of crossing the road and following the trackbed.  I think there were some objections from residents about a high level path at the bottom of their gardens – quite understandable, I think.Further up the line, approaching the level crossing, is ‘Rawnsley’ Lilleshall built No.4 0-6-0ST, formerly 2-2-2 built fot the Paris Exhibition.A similar view showing just how overgrown it has become.  Moving on towards Cannock Wood pit there is a level crossing at Hazel Slade.Well overgrown nowOne more level crossing, in Cannock Wood StreetThen the train carries on into Cannock Wood pit