Tag Archives: Hudswell Clarke 431

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  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.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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102 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 1

102 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Spring 1985 – 1

After the last post’s slightly more optimistic outlook it seems to have slipped backward – oh dear!

Editor’s Notes – Ian Patterson

Much of what follows is of a depressing nature but there is little point in glossing over the severe handicaps that we face at the current time, and perhaps it will spur one or two to take an active part in what should, when all is said and done, be a pleasurable hobby.

Chasewater Comment

This issue’s writer is Barry Bull, Hon.Sec. of the CLRS and a member for 16 years.

When I was asked by H.Y. the ‘Managing Director’ of ‘Chasewater News’ to write this piece I was hoping to write in a more light-hearted vein than of late.

However, those of us committed to the cause of operating a railway and associated museum seem to have been dealt one body blow after another by a series of events over which we have little or no control.  The worst aspect, since the closing of the railway for passenger services in October, 1982 has been the way we have been left open to the vagaries of West Midlands County Council and their Task Force Programme.  Despite the valiant efforts of John Selway the expected successes of the Task Force Programme have not materialised,

Whatever feelings we may have as regards the work actually completed on site the main problem has been behind the scenes at County Hall.  You will have read in the last issue of Chasewater News of the intention of WMCC to reconstruct the platform drainage at Brownhills West and Stadium Halt (which was a possible halt opposite Willow Vale Nursery), fencing of the line and associated crossing gates – all to be finished by Christmas (we presumed 1984!).  Well, as those of us who attend Chasewater on a regular basis will know, none of this happened.

I’m afraid that this report went on for another three or four paragraphs all very similar, with tales of vandals, metal thieves and arsonists at all the organisations using Chasewater.

Loco News

No.1  Hibberd Diesel  The AGM in October agreed to sell this loco as it is surplus to requirements and it has duly been advertised.  Further developments are awaited.

No.2  Peckett 1351  This engine stands next to the shed door with a hopeful look on its face/smokebox.  Does its owner still realise that he owns it?

No.3  Barclay 1223  The restoration of this loco has suffered a setback as, when the new stays were riveted up, the inner firebox walls buckled around the stayheads.  The Boiler Inspector’s verdict is awaited with trepidation as he is unlikely to pass the repair, insertion of copper patches or even a new inner firebox may be the answer.

Despite this the new cab, bunkers and footplating are being installed, and jolly fine they look too!

No.4  Asbestos  Since the last set of notes great strides have been made with the restoration of ‘Asbestos’.  After much bickering the worst of the cladding sheets were replaced  with new material, generously donated by a member.

Once these had been cut to size they were fitted following lagging of the boiler with new hygienic fibreglass cladding.  The following week the tank was refitted and for the first time in some eight years ‘Asbestos’ looks like a complete steam engine.

Much work remains to be done, however, but refitting of the regulator and cleaning up of backhead fitting faces is underway.

No.5  Sentinel  The Sentinel was first steam tested on November 25th (having had the dubious honour of being the first loco to steam at Chasewater since ‘Invicta’ on 16th October, 1982).  Following this, minor adjustments were made and a second steam test followed on 6th January though a shortage of coal hampered its steaming capabilities on this occasion.  Further minor adjustments are being made whilst a new grate is on its way.  Vandal-proof shutters have been fitted to enable the loco to be left outside without fear of fittings being stolen.

During the spring the Fat Controller (for it is he that owns the beast) plans to repaint the loco in a pseudo BR black livery with large yellow numbers as No.59632 (there’s no accounting for taste, is there?)

It is planned to steam the Sentinel at regular intervals on works train duties to enable much needed maintenance to be done on the Ruston diesel No.7.No.6  Peckett 917  Slow progress is at present being made on this loco with  the installation of a new cab side and front with a new bunker to follow.  However, with the end in sight on ‘Asbestos’ progress should speed up during the year and thoughts are turning towards repairing the water tank rather than a wholesale replacement.

No.7  Ruston diesel DL7  As mentioned above, the big Ruston requires a fair amount of maintenance to make it a more reliable machine.  This will be done as soon as there is space in the shed for it.  Meanwhile, a search is on for equipment to fit the loco with vacuum brakes.

No.8  Invicta  Invicta stands outside the shed minus cab fittings – removed for safety’s sake, and whilst being nominally serviceable it is unlikely to steam this year.S100 Frame & Wheels

No.10  Hudswell Clarke S100  The new main bearing have been machined and the axle box horn faces have been trued.  Re-wheeling will soon become a priority as it needs to be moved to enable track work alterations to be done at Brownhills West.

No.11  Alfred Paget  The ancient Neilson awaits attention – new tubes and water tank repairs, but sadly it is impossible to say when this will begin.No.15  Hudswell Clarke 431  The big news is that the chimney has fallen off.  Thankfully, the AGM refused to give the committee authority to dispose of this fine machine and, hopefully, plans for its restoration can be formulated soon. (nobody has defined ‘soon’!)

It is perhaps relevant to ask what will be the loco department’s next project as within the next 12 – 18 months locos Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and possibly 10 are likely to be ready for use.  Are we really going to need 7 locomotives to pull two coaches over a three quarter mile of track?  ( No.3 took about 20 years to steam and Nos. 6 and10 still haven’t!  No.8 ‘Invicta’ left for pastures new in between times).

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 58

From the ‘Mercian’ June 1972

I thought that it might be interesting to see the state of the rolling stock at that time, so here is the rolling stock report from the magazine.

Locomotives

Asbestos – The renewal of right hand hornblocks is complete and the wheels have been replaced.  A trial steaming is scheduled for June 5th and it should be in steam for the Chasewater Festival on July 8th.

Neilson – No work has been carried out for two years.  The saddle tank was removed and ten studs drilled out of the sides of the boiler and new ones fitted.  These studs secure the water feed clock boxes, stolen before the loco left Glasgow.  Fortunately Trevor Cousens was able to obtain replacements for us.  Shortage of labour has precluded further work being carried out but we hope to restart soon.

E1 – No change.  A boiler survey may be made soon.

Barclay – The firebox was condemned at its last boiler test.  As the ‘Barclay’ soon to be delivered is of similar size, it will be used to supply spare parts to keep the newer loco running.

Hudswell Clarke – No work has been carried out for over three years. A hydraulic test was carried out and the results were not promising.  The boiler will need re-tubing and a considerable amount of mechanical work will be necessary.Sadly she hasn’t steamed since she’s been at Chasewater.

Petrol No.1 – The petrol tank and associated plumbing were cleaned out recently and the engine run.  It will start by hand when warm.  Unfortunately the carburettor appears to be icing up when the engine is subjected to load.  The carb. Is probably not the original and information as to the whereabouts of a replacement would be welcome.L & Y No.1

Diesel No.1 – Out of service with a smashed axlebox.  Once again information as to the whereabouts of a replacement would be welcome.

Diesel No.20 – One of the spare engines is being overhauled ready for fitting.  Messrs. Bass Charrington have kindly donated a quantity of their blue paint and both locos will be painted when time permits.

Diesel No.21 – An overhaul was carried out last year, the cylinder heads and fuel pump being renewed, and more recently repairs were carried out to the clutch once again.

Coaching Stock

Royal (or Special) Saloon – On loan to Derby Corporation for the Midland Railway Project.  They have undertaken to restore it

TPO – The small relics collection now looks quite orderly though the outside of the vehicle is in urgent need of attention.

LNWR 50’ Brake – One end has been painted out and will be used this summer to house the sales stand, a model railway and a display of relics.

Maryport & Carlisle – Restoration is nearly complete.  The roof was covered with galvanised sheets last summer, but the completion has been held up by the weather.  It saw considerable use last year carrying passengers on Open Days.Off to Stockton & Darlington for their 150th Anniversary in 1975.

GER Brake – Now in use again as the Mess (!) Van.  It is in urgent need of re-roofing.  The outside was painted dark brown last year.

MSL – No further work has been carried out.  The bearing brasses are missing.

MR Brake – No change.

LNWR Brake Third – No change.  The LNWR Coaching Stock Fund is attempting to raise cash for the restoration of this coach.

Goods Stock

GWR Brake – The interior has been repainted and the roof covered with galvanised sheets.

MR Crane – A new wire rope has been fitted and the woodwork painted.  Although it is 90 years old it still sees considerable use.

LYR Van – Now in use as a workshop and tool store.

MR Van – In use as a stores, mainly diesel.  It has been painted externally.

CCWR Brake – Repainted externally last summer.  Used as PW tool van.

NSR Coal Wagon – No change.

The remaining four vehicles, two flat wagons and two 12 ton coal wagons are used on the works trains.

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