Tag Archives: Cannock Wood

Chasewater Railway Museum – Recent Addition – Railway Heritage Designated Signal Box Sign

 

Chasewater Railway Museum 

recent Addition, Dec 2015

Railway Heritage Designated Signal Box Sign

The Railway Heritage Committee has the function of designating records and artefacts (or classes of record and artefact) which are historically significant and should be permanently preserved.

Stafford 150 Yards

This enamelled sign came from Stafford No.5 signal box, and was given to the Museum by Network Rail – our thanks to the Company.

stafford5 tillyweb.bizPhoto:  tillyweb.biz

The sign can be seen set into the signal box.  On one end is a white patch with a red arrow, and on the other, a clear white patch to balance up the sign.

It may be of interest to Chasewater Railway members that the Station Hotel, Stafford, where the inaugural meeting of the Railway Preservation Society, fore-runner of Chasewater Railway, was held in 1959, was approximately 150 yards from the signal box!

Advertisements

Chasewater Railway Museum News – LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

Chasewater Railway Museum News

LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

The Chasewater Railway Museum has recently acquired a folder containing over 200 diagrams of private sidings on the London & North Western Railway, dated Euston 1911.FolderTitle PageAs can be seen, the folder itself is rather fragile, but the diagrams inside are in very good condition.Anglesey SidingsAnglesey Sidings

Our good friend Ian Pell has put all the diagrams onto a CD, which is now in the Museum – thanks Ian.Cannock Branch, Hednesford RPSCannock Branch, Hednesford – the shed on the centre-left of the photo is the original HQ of the Railway Preservation Society.Cooper's Junction Green pipeCooper’s Junction, near to the Cannock Wood CollieryFrom Pye Green ValleyHednesford Station area, showing the sidings coming from the Pye Green Valley – West Cannock No. 1 Colliery.Holly BankHolly Bank Colliery

Just a few samples which are of local interest the the Chasewater Railway.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 82 – March 1978 – 1

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 82 – March 1978

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 23 – Part 1

Editorial

The operating season is now a mere fortnight away as I write this Newsletter and despite a fair response to the appeals in the last Newsletter, the purchase of the line is still as precarious as ever.  To date we have raised £1,200, less than 25% of the total amount of £5,400 required.  It is quite clear that some drastic action will be required during the next six months in order to effect the purchase of the line, the favourite course of action amongst the ‘hard-core’ at Chasewater being the sale of the E1 locomotive ‘Cannock Wood’ for reasons already expanded upon in these pages and elsewhere.  Suffice to say it is time for those who care to stand up and be counted (many members already have) or accept the consequences.

(No, we haven’t!)

News from the line

Much activity during the winter has been centred upon putting in a new siding leading up to the platelayers’ cabin.  Access to this siding is controlled by a two lever ground frame which marks the start of interlocking on the railway.

It is intended to extend the siding up to the crossing at a later date and outline planning permission is available for construction of a building over the siding.

The present end of the siding has a railbuilt buffer stop – another first at Chasewater.

Work is now concentrated upon improvements to the two points leading into the compound and the installation of their associated control gear which will, in due course, be controlled by the platform lever frame after the running line has been slewed to clear the extension to the platform.

The extension to the platform will be built once the worst of the frosts are over.

The platform fence has been painted black, Midland style, and a box-van body is being acquired to be used as a waiting room and to provide some much needed shelter.

The bookstall now sports a new roof, by courtesy of Adrian Pearson, and it is actually waterproof!  The brothers Grimm have been noticed performing strange exercises which, apart from resulting in the bookstall being repainted in Midland Railway colours, are reputed to be in readiness for the ‘forthcoming influx’ (of visitors I presume!).

The rear compartment of the DMU coach has undergone refurbishing, which has included repainting the roof, seat frames and heating ducts, re-covering the seat backs and a thorough clean.  The rest of the coach is to receive similar treatment next winter.

(I don’t know if it’s just my reading of this section, but it gives me the impression of being much more optimistic than past articles.)

Locomotives.

Invicta – this is currently being prepared for the new season, its yearly boiler test not being due until July, when it is hoped to give it a final top coat of paint.

Alfred Paget & Invicta – Gricers’ Day 9-10-1977

Alfred Paget – currently being prepared for its annual boiler test and it should be back in service by May.

Asbestos – The hydraulic test will take place within the next few weeks, when a final decision will be taken as to whether the necessary firebox repairs can be afforded.  Hopefully the money will be forthcoming as ‘Alfred Paget’ is due for its six yearly hydraulic test next year.

Lion – Following a change of ownership, plans are being made to give this loco its six yearly major boiler test during the summer, with a view to steaming it at the tail end of the season.

Work involved entails lifting the saddle tank, stripping of boiler cladding and lagging to expose the boiler, repairs to the saddle tank and overhaul and refitting of all boiler and cab fittings.  Mechanically the loco is sound.  The loc is to be renamed ‘Colonel’ using the nameplate off the now scrapped Hudswell Clarke loco, latterly at Granville Colliery, as a pattern. 

05406 The Colonel 0-6-0ST HC 1073-1914  at Granville 12-6-1964

The name is doubly appropriate as ‘Lion’ started its working life at Woolwich Arsenal, whilst the name ‘Colonel’ conjures up visions of Colonel Holman F. Stephens the godfather of light railways, and who would probably be highly delighted at the current set up at Chasewater.

Long standing members will recall that the loco was originally purchased minus safety valves.  Happily the recent sale of loco spares held at Chasewater was of particular value, as a pair of Ross pop safety valves were obtained suitable for the loco.

It is considerably less than pleasing to report that on the afternoon of Monday 23rd January someone broke into the compound and deliberately set fire to the brake end of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln coach.  There can be no doubt that this was a deliberate malicious action and if it wasn’t for a sharp-eyed resident of Hednesford Road then every wooden bodied vehicle in the compound would have been razed to the ground.

The damage is estimated to coast at least £1,000 to repair.  Allied to this fire, has been the theft of several items from the museum coach on three separate occasions.  It is interesting to note that all three break-ins occurred during the school holidays.  Two vacuum gauges, lettered MSL, were not recovered from the wreckage of the coach, though it is of small comfort that they were, in fact, BR gauges with false lettering.

The nature of the break-ins suggest that the person(s) responsible were familiar with the way things are run at Chasewater and the nature of the stolen items suggests that they knew what they were after and knew where to get it from.

The Police have been informed, but as it was the 270th crime reported in Brownhills in the first five weeks of the year, it is unlikely that they will have any success.

Changing the subject, it is indeed pleasing to report the acquisition of two more locomotives for use at Chasewater.

More about these next time!

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 73 – Dec 1976

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 73 – Dec 1976

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News – Part 2

Outline Planning Permission has been granted for an engine shed between the platform and the crossing.  Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a suitable building which could be obtained cheaply or be donated is urged to contact the Hon. Sec.  Also needed are sources of cheap, good condition crossing timbers and sleepers, the latter preferably concrete.

Whilst on the subject of wants it is interesting to note that a small group of members have been trying to purchase another locomotive for the line, but have been outbid on three successive occasions.  The locos in question were the Bagnall 0-4-0ST at Northampton Power Station, the Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST at Carlisle Power Station and most recently, a Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn 0-4-0ST at Leicester Power Station.  With the current prices being paid for locos it may be that we need more cash.  Any offers of help should be directed to the Hon. Editor.  We have several more locos in the pipeline, all of which are in, or near to, working order.  We really want an 0-6-0ST or Tank, but these are few and far between and so a four-coupled is more likely.

Littleton Colliery. A successful open day was held here on November 20th, many RPS members being in attendance.  The Austerity No.7 performed in its usual vociferous style.  Thanks are due to Messrs. Matthews and Worgan of the National Coal Board.

Austerity No.7 at Littleton

Winter Work Programme. This is largely centered on the long awaited completion of the platform and installation of a lever frame.  Associated trackwork. Manly involving packing, is already in hand.  Other projects are the dismantling of ‘Asbestos’, general maintenance and tidying up and when the weather improves, a start on re-panelling the TPO.  Once again more help is needed and no offers refused, don’t be shy, we don’t bite!

The loco shed siding is also due for laying before Easter, involving construction of another point.

Museum Exhibits. Despite the break-in several interesting items have been added, notably a Cannock Chase colliery bridge plate – many thanks to Mr. Clift of Chase Terrace for this unique item.

Cannock Wood with Asbestos at Chasewater

E1 Locomotive – ‘Cannock Wood’

The E1 locomotive came into the possession of the Railway Preservation Society in 1964.  Had it not been for the RPS the locomotive would probably have been scrapped at that time.

From that time until the present, it has received a couple of coates of paint and a tidy up sufficient for a Boiler Inspector to shake his head in dismay at the firebox.

Its future depends on you! As some of you will recall, the AGM of 1975 gave the Committee permission to sell the E1 as a last resort to raise cash for the purchase of the British Railways section of track and land.

The Walsall Metropolitan Council, it would appear, will be unlikely to supply the cash for the purchase of land and track, although this has not been confirmed.

Two verbal offers have been received for the E1 and a written offer is being obtained by the Committee from the interested parties.  The locomotive is likely to bring in £3,500 which is probably about a third of the cost of the land and track.

Notice of Meeting

A meeting will be held at Chasewater at 2.30pm on the 22-1-1977.

The meeting will be for the purpose of bringing interested parties together with a view to the following:

1.    To set up a restoration fund to purchase the E1 from the RPS at current price.  The fund should be a separate body from the RPS.

2.    After purchasing the Locomotive, raise the cash to restore it.

3.    Operate the Locomotive at Chasewater.

 

It should be noted that only a few months are available to raise the first £3,500.  If we have the ability to do that, we have the ability to restore and operate it.

If we are not able to raise the purchase price, the Locomotive will be better off elsewhere, where it can be restored and operated.

Remember

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.

Built 1877  Brighton Works.

No.110.

Name: ‘Burgundy’

100th engine built at Brighton Works under Stroudley.

Sold 1926 to Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Ltd.

Name: ‘Cannock Wood’

No.9

Sold 1964 to the Railway Preservation Society.

 

1877 – 1977 Centenary

No other locomotive of this type survives.

Happy 100th birthday ‘Cannock Wood’

A.W.Haywood – Chairman RPS

The following is from the East Somerset Railway website:

Withdrawn for a second time in 1963, the engine was sold to the Railway Preservation Society and stored at Hednesford until 1970, when it was moved to the Chasewater railway. There it remained until sold to three members of the East Somerset Railway, finally arriving at Cranmore in September 1978.

A general overhaul was commenced in 1986 and it returned to active service in 1993, painted in green livery and numbered 110. It pulled it first train in service on Sunday 24th October of that year. In 1996, No. 110 could be found transporting visitors to the Festival of the Sea on Bristol’s Harbour Railway. Unfortunately, firebox problems resulted in No. 110 being prematurely withdrawn from traffic in 1997.

During 2000, work commenced on stripping the locomotive down to assess the extent of the firebox problems, after which the locomotive will be rebuilt. Current progress on this project can be found on the <a href=”http://www.railwayweb.com/clf”>Cranmore Loco Fund website</a>.

 

Steam Locomotive Classes of a Leisurely Era

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era –  by Casey Jones

The London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

E1 0-6-0T

In1874 there appeared from Brighton Works the first of Mr. Stroudley’s standard goods tank engines, No.97.

The class was a six coupled version of the D1 0-4-2T and the boilers, motion and cylinders of the two types were interchangeable.

Number 97 was followed by numbers 98/9 in the same year, 100-2 in 1875, 103-8 in 1876, 109-120 in 1877, 121-138 in 1878, 139-144 in 1879, 145-152 in 1880, 153-156 in 1881, 85-96 in 1883, 157 in 1884, 159-164 in 1891, making a total of 79 locos.

Dimensions were:

Cyls 17 x 24 ins. DWH 4’ 6” THS 943 sq ft Grate 15½ sq ft Pr 170 lbs/sq in

Wt 4Tons 3cwt.No.110 before restoration, at Hednesford ‘Cannock Wood’ No.9

In typical Stroudley tradition the whole class was named, rather a strange assortment of French towns and villages being chosen, together with other continental places and a few English as well.

As the standard goods shunting tank, the class was spread all over the system, doing extremely useful work.  In fact the class was so robust that Stroudley’s successors did not bother to design a replacement.  Mr. Billington did produce his E2s in 1913 to replace earlier E1s which had been withdrawn but the new development only numbered ten locos.

In 1911 Mr. Marsh the CME rebuilt No.89 with a new boiler 4’ 6” in diameter, she was the only one so treated and later when this boiler wore out she reverted to he original style.

Quite a few were taken out of traffic in LBSCR days but the majority were taken over by the Southern Railway who added 2000 to the original numbers.

In 1932-3 four of the class were transferred to the Isle of Wight and details of these are:

No.2136     Brindisi       W1   Medina

No.2152     Hungary      W2   Yarmouth

No.2154     Madrid         W3   Ryde

No.2131     Gournay     W4   WroxallWroxall

Incidentally the LBSCR renumbered certain of the class as follows before the SR added the 2000 to the numbers.

Nos. 85-91 to 685-91, No.99 to 610,      Nos. 100-5 to 692-7,

Nos. 106-9 to 606-9,   No.111 to 611

Further withdrawals took place in early Southern Railway days and in 1927-8 ten of the survivors were rebuilt at Brighton to the specifications of Mr. Mansell as

0-6-2Ts for service in the West of England on the newly opened line between Halwill Junction and Torrington.  These rebuilds were classified E1/R and those so treated were numbers 2094-6, 2124/35, 2608/10, 2695-7.  As originally built these were found to be unsteady on passenger service but this was soon eradicated by Mr. Bulleid who rebalanced numbers 2094-6, 2608/10.  These together with number 2696 spent most of their lives at Barnstaple depot, the other four being at Exeter for banking duties up the steep gradient between Exeter Central and Exeter St. David’s.

Reverting back to the E1s proper most had their names removed before passing into Southern hands, and as already remarked the survivors continued to put in useful work at various shunting yards.  Several were sold on withdrawal and these included number 2163 sold to Ashington Colliery in 1932, number 146 sold in 1908 and number 2110 ‘Burgundy’ sold to Cannock Wood Colliery, Staffs in 1927 and renamed Cannock Wood.  This latter is now the only surviving member, albeit in slightly modified form and is at present housed at Hednesford Depot  of the RPS (1968).  A fund is at present open towards the cost of purchase and restoration to full working order of this locomotive, and I can do no other than to commend this fund to our readers – after all plenty of passenger types are being saved but not the traditional British 0-6-0 shunting locomotive of which old number 110 is a worthy representative.

More on Trolley Buses

The one who got away!

Not everyone who is a member of Chasewater Railway knows that when we were based in Hednesford, we had a trolley bus.  One member who definitely did know took the following photographs in the 1960s.  The first one is of his brother sitting in the cab of the trolley bus, and the second is a group of young ladies posing in front of ‘Cannock Wood’ the lady in the centre is our man’s wife, also a member.  What I would like to know is how did they get away?  Considering the fact that they were visiting the railway, it was to be some 40 years before we got any useful work out of him!  To be fair, he has been worked fairly hard since we did get hold of him – getting the full set – TTI, Guard, Second Man, Diesel Driver and Station Master.

He’s certainly proved his worth in the museum

but we are getting a bit worried about where he wants to go next!!!

Regards to Jean and Godfrey Hucker!

Chasewater Railway Museum 1964 Nov Bits & Pieces 23

From The ‘Mercian’ November 1964, 3.2

Due to the Editor Mr. David Bullock having other heavy commitments he resigned with Mr. M. D. Willis taking over.

The first annual Dinner and Social Evening was announced, to be held at the Eaton Lodge Hotel (demolished about 2006), tickets 12/6d each (62½p) on Monday 30th November 1964.

The Secretary thanked Mr. Bullock for his work over the past few years, wished Mr. Willis well and put out the usual appeal for members to help with the restoration work.

Treasurer’s Report

It is now some considerable time since my last report appeared in these pages and the financial situation has been through many changes.

At the present moment, I am pleased to be able to report that we have the healthiest bank balance there has been to date.  This does not mean, however, that we can afford to relax since much of our money is already committed to paying for such items as the lease for the Chasewater branch, outstanding loans and the E1 0-6-0tank locomotive.  Incidentally, over £200 is still needed to save this engine from the scrapyard.  The deadline is January, so the matter is URGENT.

A few weeks ago we held our AGM at which it was unanimously agreed that the subscription rates be increased from 21/-  (£1.05) to 25/-  (£1.25) for ordinary members and from 5/-  (25p) to 10/-  (50p) for student members.  I would like to state now, that this was done with some reluctance but with every good cause as many members are aware.

F.J.Harvey.  Hon. Treasurer.

General News

We are not responsible

One may have read in the Railway press that the ‘Railway Preservation Society’ is to attempt to purchase a 30 mile stretch of line between Uttoxeter and Buxton.  This is entirely due to a mis-use of the Society’s name.

The Society which appears to be responsible for this irresponsible scheme is the Derbyshire Railway Society, who used our name, and this month, November, has changed it to the ‘National Railway Preservation Society’.  We deplore such use of our Society’s name, or any name which might be remotely confused with ours.

Has this Society yet looked at current branch line prices?  A line of this size would cost at least £100,000.  How could such a line be purchased, and if by some miracle it was, how could any Society afford to maintain it, yet alone run their own trains over it?

Railway enthusiasm in this country does not justify such a hair-raising scheme, as that Society will find out – to their cost!!!

First in a Line?

On June 6th, British Railways held an auction at Stoke-on-Trent.   What was for sale?  The mourning remnants of stations in North Staffs. And South Cheshire, which were closed under Dr. Richard Beeching’s economisation programme.

A rare sight the auction room was!  Scores of platform seats of all types, lined up in two rows to seat their likely buyers.  Station nameboards of all shapes and sizes positioned around the room, intermingled with various types of Railway notices.

The bidding was unexpectedly fierce, two cast iron notices, which the present Hon. Ed. Attempted to purchase for 2/6d  (12½p) almost reached £5, and four well-rotted ‘GENTLEMEN’ notices reached the ludicrous price of 50 shillings  (£2.50).

As always the RPS was in the bidding!  The West Midlands District bought two North Staffordshire Railway Clocks averaging about £9.00 each, and a Midland Railway Lamp Standard, among various other things.  They were joined by Mr. Ken Vincent, Secretary of Dowty RPS and Mr. R. W. F. Smallman, of Yieldingtree Railway Museum Trust fame; their purchases including an NSR platform seat and a GWR short grandfather clock.

British Railways made over £1000 from the so-called ‘rubbish’, the bulk of which would normally provide heat for a cold workman on an icy winter’s day.

Another auction of this type is to be held at Derby on November 7th, and it looks very much as though fantastic prices will be reached yet again.

Recent Additions

The latest relics to arrive at Hednesford are as follows:-

  1. Two private owner wagons of the Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Company.      Bought from the NCB @ £5 each.
  2. A London & North Western Railway Brake/Third, the Guard’s compartment of which has been converted to a fully operational cinema.  It was purchased from the NCB for £10, but needs a lot of attention.
  3. A Midland Railway Crane.  £8.

Midland Railway Royal Saloon

This unique example of Midland Railway Regal coachbuilding has been purchased by the RPS (West Midlands District) from British Railways at a cost of £300.  This was only possible with a loan of £240 from a generous member.

The loan is being paid back at the rate of £10 per month to this fine member, who wished to remain anonymous.  His name was released at the AGM but to save further embarrassment, we will not mention it in these columns, but let it be ‘broadcast’ by word of mouth.Furnishings inside the Midland Royal Saloon

Chasewater Railway Museum April 1960 Bits & Pieces 9

From 1960 April RPS Newsletter Vol 1 No.4

West Midlands District

Public Meeting, Saturday, March 5th 1960

Mr. G. T. Cox,  WMD Chairman, opened the meeting at 3.00pm.  He expressed his regret that there were not more people present, and said that possibly the unusually fine weather had diverted persons to outdoor pursuits.

Mr. Cox went on to say, “Many of us often look back to the bygone days.  We younger ones can only remember the pre-nationalisation days, whilst older ones can remember quite clearly the pre-grouping companies and put down their memories in black and white.”

“The best way of showing any exhibition piece is in its natural surroundings, and this is what the RPS means by a ‘living’ museum.  You will not get one by asking, but you will if you support the RPS to the best of your ability.  There is little preserved in contrast to the vast scrapped during the last 50 years.  It is within our reach to extend the range, if action is taken now.”

The General Secretary, D. Noel Draycott, briefly described the origins of the RPS and the district organisation which gives local groups the chance to build p local collections.  The first programme for the WMD has been drawn up, covering the purchase of rolling stock and other large relics.  The programme is divided into three stages, but it is not necessarily the order in which items will be purchased.  The selection of relics depends on the speed with which our funds grow.

Mr. R. De Lacy-Spencer pointed out that many relics were kept by persons who did not realise their historic interest to railway enthusiasts.  An example of this was the Midland Railway stationmaster’s hat which had been presented to the RPS by a lady living in Lincolnshire.

The WMD Secretary, D. A. Ives, gave an account of progress in the area.  Membership was growing and a keen committee were considering more plans for the future.  Members were contributing many smaller relics, and a good selection was on view.  He had been corresponding with BR for some time about a possible depot site, but with no result to date.

Mr. F. J. Harvey read a branch line survey he had recently made.  It was an account of the present condition of the MR branch from Aldridge to Brownhills and Chasewater.  The civil engineering features appeared to be in good condition, but the permanent way was neglected towards the end of the branch and part had been lifted.  At present only a section of it was used for a daily freight trip.

The meeting was wound up at 4.30pm and Mr. A. Holden from the audience proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers which was carried.

Stop Press! – Depot established in WMD

We are pleased to announce that negotiations for the establishment of a depot have reached a definite stage.  The site is at Hednesford, about 11 miles from Wolverhampton, and contains 150 yards of siding, part of which is under cover.  Fuller details were given to members at the visit to the Stafford/Uttoxeter branch on Sunday, March 27th.  These details are not to hand at the time of writing this, and a description with information about working parties will appear in the next issue of the newsletter.

This will enable the WMD to launch an intensive campaign to purchase rolling-stock, etc., of the Cambrian, Great Western, London & North Western, Midland and North Staffordshire Railways.  All persons interested in these railways are invited to send donations direct to the West Midlands Treasurer, RPS.

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