Tag Archives: Desborough

Chasewater Railway’s Hudswell Clarke 431 – 1895

HC1

In my last post a Hudswell Clarke loco was mentioned as possibly being in steam on the next open Day.  This was  No.431 of 1895, which arrived at Chasewater shortly before ‘Asbestos’.  Sadly, this did not happen, and as far as I am aware, this loco still has not steamed at Chasewater Railway, over 40 years later!

‘On Saturday 2nd December, 1967, a long-awaited member of our loco stud arrived – by road – a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST, used until December, 1966, in the Ironstone Quarries at Desborough.  This locomotive was steamed by Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker (our expert loco-fitters) before purchase, and ran for some little while before they declared it a good purchase.

It was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co., Leeds in 1895, works number 431 and spent most of its life in the hands of the Sheepbridge Coal & Iron Company in whose fleet she became No.15.  It was allocated the name ‘Sheepbridge No.25’, but this was never carried and with the removal of its official number and works plates ran its last years without any identification at all.

HC3

It has on two occasions been rebuilt, first in 1928 and secondly in 1944, by the Sheepbridge Company themselves.’

‘The engine was first suggested as a suitable candidate for preservation some two years ago when it was one of several locomotives at work at Desborough Warren Quarry near Kettering.  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.

The RPS then stepped in and after pleasing, successful negotiations with Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd., the locomotive was purchased.  The firm kindly allowed us to steam the engine before purchase.’

HC7‘Steamy’ pics by Rob Duffill

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At the moment, ‘Asbestos ‘ is in the Heritage Centre awaiting a major overhaul, as, indeed, is 431.

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Hudswell Clarke & Co. 0-6-0 Saddle Tank No. 431 of 1895

As this Hudswell Clarke loco is back in the museum half of the heritage centre here is a little more information.

Hudswell Clarke & Co.

0-6-0 Saddle Tank No. 431 of 1895

August 1969

The oldest six-coupled loco from this Leeds builder in existence.

Delivered new to Sheepbridge Iron Works near Chesterfield as their No.15.  The loco worked at Sheepbridge and also at the Company owned collieries at Glapwith and Langwith prior to a move to Desborough Quarry, Northamptonshire in March 1951.

The loco’s regular working life at the iron ore quarry ceased in 1966 with the closure of the quarry.Steam coming frm everywhere – Pic. Bob Duffill

The loco came to Chasewater in 1967 after purchase for £195.

Cosmetic restoration only is likely in the near future as the loco is in an advanced state of corrosion.

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3 Bits & Pieces 42.3

This is one of a number of articles included in this magazine – there will be another couple to follow later. I don’t know what happened to this loco, but in spite of it being purchased and delivered to Chasewater, it hasn’t steamed since!

Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST No.431 – By Frank Harvey

Working at Desborough – V F Hall

The previous issue of the Mercian featured several photographs of this, our latest locomotive, and it was felt that a short article about it would not be out of place.

It was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co., Leeds in 1895, works number 431 and spent most of its life in the hands of the Sheepbridge Coal & Iron Company in whose fleet she became No.15.  It was allocated the name ‘Sheepbridge No.25’, but this was never carried and with the removal of its official number and works plates ran its last years without any identification at all.

It has on two occasions been rebuilt, first in 1928 and secondly in 1944, by the Sheepbridge Company themselves.

The engine was first suggested as a suitable candidate for preservation some two years ago when it was one of several locomotives at work at Desborough Warren Quarry near Kettering.  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.

The RPS then stepped in and after pleasing, successful negotiations with Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd., the locomotive was purchased.  The firm kindly allowed us to steam the engine before purchase – and members will have read about this eventful weekend in the last issue of the magazine. (CRM Bits & Pieces No.41).

It proved to be in good working order and required little in the way of attention save for the fitting of two new injectors which have now been purchased, and the repairing of a cracked blower pipe.  Evidence of this can be seen clearly in the photographs!

Desborough, 1968

The locomotive was delivered to Chasewater in November and restoration is now well under way.  When completed it will be resplendent in apple green, lined black, edged white and a high standard is being achieved.Chasewater August 1969

Purchase and transport charges tended to deplete the Society’s funds somewhat, but all agree that it was money well spent and in common with all other RPS stock, no money is outstanding, a fact of which we are justifiably proud.

Although restoration is unlikely to be completed before 1969, we look forward to seeing No.15, the oldest working Hudswell Clarke, in steam at Chasewater later this year.In the Heritage Centre, 2010

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.2 Bits & Pieces 41

Taken from Mercian Early 1968 Vol.1 No.2

Hon. Secretary’s Report

This is the first time I have had the pleasure of writing a report for the ‘Mercian’.

As some of you are aware Mr. D.A.Ives resigned at the AGM from the post of Secretary, after eight years of Secretaryship of the Society, in which he has put in a tremendous amount of work.  I was elected Secretary for the coming year at the AGM, and Dave has very kindly stayed on as Joint Secretary, until I am fully conversant with the job.

There have been several interesting developments recently, which I might briefly mention, as they are all very new.  Firstly the Brownhills-Aldridge UDC have kindly filled in and levelled the plot of our proposed Museum at Chasewater.  Secondly our line at Chasewater is now an isolated railway – we have been cut off from BR by the removal of a level-crossing.  (Presumably the one at the entrance to Anglesey Sidings) Thirdly on Saturday 2nd December, 1967, a long-awaited member of our loco stud arrived – by road – a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST, used until December, 1966, in the Ironstone Quarries at Desborough.  This locomotive was steamed by Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker (our expert loco-fitters) before purchase, and ran for some little while before they declared it a good purchase.  Fourthly we are now in possession of a weed-killing wagon from Holly Bank Colliery, which will be a useful vehicle.  Lastly we have the MR covered wagon ex bass Breweries, now at Chasewater.

Things have been happening in the last week or two, but as we still have to transport two coaches from Yorkshire, an engine from Warrington , and are assisting Mr. Wildish with the purchase of another engine for the Society, we cannot afford to be complacent.  We still desperately need labour and money!  Any help at all, in either of these directions, will be more than welcome, especially in the selling of Tote tickets amongst your friends, or coming along on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon fro a bit of track digging , or painting.

T.G.Cousens  Hon. Secretary

From the Chairman’s Notes

The Society had a new Chairman as well as a new Secretary, with Mr.C.E.Ives taking over from Albert Holden, who was thanked for his work for the Society, especially as the organiser of the weekly Tote, which has brought in hundreds of pounds to the Society.

In addition to the usual appeal for members to help with track work, there was also an appeal for help with the smaller relics in the museum, Mr. Nigel Hadlow was the Hon. Curator.

Also grateful thanks to our engineering staff both at Chasewater and Hixon, who are both restoring and maintaining motive power, I understand that before long, steam will be up at Chasewater.  Long may it blow off!!!

In conclusion a special thank you to one of our junior members Doug Hood, who spent most of his summer holiday painting and restoring stock at Hednesford.

Progress at Chasewater

As regular members will know a considerable amount of progress is taking place at Chasewater.  The present project is the complete clearing of all track.  This is a formidable operation but already a good portion of the Norton passing loop is complete and if progress is maintained the causeway over Chasewater should be reached by winter.  A weed killing wagon has been purchased and this will be put to use as each section is cleared.  The removal of the undergrowth has revealed the track to be in a remarkable state of preservation.

During the summer months the level of Chasewater dropped several feet ( the 2010 version really showed how it should be done!!) and the opportunity was taken to do some work on the bridge at the end of the causeway.

The works trains are now hauled by the ex Worthington diesel No.21 with diesel No.1 acting as spare engine.  The third diesel No.20 is at present being overhauled and will no doubt be in use in the near future.

At the beginning of October contractors working on behalf of Aldridge-Brownhills Urban District Council commenced the preparation of the ground on the site of the proposed museum and this stage is due to be completed by December bringing us one step nearer to our goal.

Although the winter is ahead work will proceed as usual.  General maintenance will continue to be done on Saturdays and track clearing on Sundays.  All members, old and new, are welcome.  The job is a hard one but as everyone who has helped agrees the sight of nice, clean permanent way is one of the most rewarding experiences we have yet had at Chasewater.

F.J.Harvey

Report on the Neilson Locomotive Fund

The fund was helped in no small measure by the running of a raffle, which made a profit of £92. 16s. 9d. (£92.84p) The figures seem very small by 2010 standards!

The income was £32.50 donations, £ 92.84 raffle and a loan of £80.00. The first payment on the loco of £75.00 had been made.  Payment for the locomotive has been guaranteed by the end of March – that is the other £75.  This leaves us £57.36 to move the Neilson which may well have to be moved to Chasewater in April, and another £100 will be required by then.

There followed an appeal for more funds – public appeals in the Railway Observer and the Railway Word had not brought in a penny despite good billings in both magazines.

Thanks to everyone for help with the raffle.  It is hoped that before the summer is very old we shall have Baird and Scottish Steel’s No. 11 in steam at Chasewater.

From an article by Gerald Wildish

A Weekend at Desborough by Laurence Hopkins.

Saturday 21st October, 1967. In spite of typical RPS weather, as members set out for Desborough we were in high spirits, and were looking forward to seeing the Hudswell Clarke in steam.  On arrival the members found a difficult task before them in that nearly three lengths of track had been lifted, between the points on the shed road.  While Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker got steam up, a start was made in lifting three lengths of track from an adjoining line.  This being done, and the engine having sufficient steam up, we proceeded to move the rail 60ft lengths up to the points.  This task was carried out in filthy weather, and half the distance was completed by nightfall.

Sunday 22nd October,1967. Transport was by Mike Lewis’s van, and having made ourselves comfortable, we proceeded on the way via the Chester Road, as Trevor had run out of petrol at New Oscott.  We then did a grand tour of Coventry City.  On arrival at Desborough, the remaining lengths of track were laid.  The track being completed, the engine was run out over the section laid.  After lunch the engine was put through its paces and found to be mechanically sound.  To sum up – we must thank Mr. Civil and Mr. Luker for the fine work they put in, getting the engine ready for its steaming test.