Steam Railways in Preservation In the 1990s
Including Littleton Colliery
Work begins on the removal of the shuttering at the ‘Bahamas’ Locomotive Society’s new purpose built workshops at Ingrow on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Revealed underneath them is the inspection pit which has taken the summer and autumn to complete. The ex-LMS Jubilee 4-6-0 was recently passed for 75mph running (when track and timing permits, of course) in a complicated procedure which included having the loco’s speedometer re-calibrated at Crewe Heritage Centre, its resting place between North Wales Coast excursion duties at the weekend. She returned to Keighley on Monday but will be out again on the main line, Rail Tours organiser Tom Cozens reminds enthusiasts, double-heading with Black Five ‘George Stephenson’ over the Settle & Carlisle Railway on December 18 1993 and January 1 1994. (Photo: John Fairclough
Whiston & Wimblebury in the yard – Melville Holley
The staging of the most ambitious photographers’ charter steam train event ever – over the three day period November 12-14 1993 – became even more poignant in the light of subsequent events.
Within 48 hours of the event, British Coal announced that Littleton Colliery in Staffordshire firstly under review, was to close following losses of £2.9 m since April.
And that effectively means that the sight of working steam within a working colliery environment is unlikely to be repeated.
Over 140 of the country’s leading railway photographers were invited to the three-day event, organised by Railway Magazine Assistant Editor Chris Milner and photographer Robin Stewart-Smith, together with Steve Turner and other members of the nearby Foxfield Railway. Following the success of a similar one-day event at Littleton last year, it was proposed that the event be repeated but this time using two locomotives over the full length of the pit system.
Motive power came from Foxfield, appropriately in the shape of two ex-NCB 1950s-built Hunslet 0-6-0STs, ‘Whiston’ (ex-Bold Colliery) and ‘Wimblebury’ (ex-Cannock Wood Colliery). Foxfield also brought along their recently-acquired ex-LMS brake van, appropriately out-shopped in NCB blue and yellow livery.
- Wimblebury and the Foxfield Railway’s brake van beside Littleton’s loading bunker – Robin Stewart-Smith
Chemicals giant ICI have swapped Llangollen Railway more than three-quarters of a mile of 95lb bull-head line worth at least £25,000… for hundreds of seats for disabled and under-privileged children on their renowned ‘Santa’ services along the Dee Valley!
Imperial Chemical Industries say the site of redundant sidings is now wanted for further development at their sprawling Castner Kellner Works on the mouth of the Mersey estuary at Runcorn – and when the giant firm named their price, the North Wales line were more than delighted to oblige.
This special deal was arranged by ICI chief and Llangollen member Mr. John Rutter, who was anxious to ensure that the metals weren’t simply cut up for scrap.
Thousands of excited children and their parents from throughout Dorset and Hampshire are expected to deluge the volunteer-run Swanage Railway every weekend this December and the annual fund-raising ‘Santa Special’ steam trains on the relaid Purbeck Line.
And rail passengers can beat the traffic this year because volunteers are laying on a special vintage bus service from Weymouth and Christchurch – and many points in between – to the Swanage Railway. A rare 1961 double-decker Bristol Lodekka bus. ‘Nelly’ will be transporting passengers from Weymouth, Dorchester, Wareham, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.
A preserved Bristol Lodekka FS6G/ECW at the Fleetwood Tram Sunday 2006. It was previous operated by Cumberland Motor Services, whose successor is Stagecoach North West. Bristol Lodekka F56G – 1961 – reg 109 DRMCC BY 2.0view termsTerry Wha from Bolton, UK
License details This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Posted in Steam Preservation in the 1990s
Tagged Bahamas Locomotive Society, Birmingham Railway Museum, Bristol Lodekka Bus, British Coal, Festiniog Railway, Foxfield Railway, Great Central Railway, Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Littleton Colliery, Llangollen Railway, Old Railway Lines, Railroads, Steam Engines, Steam Locomotives, Swanage Railway, Whiston & Wimblebury
An opportunity presented itself recently to acquire by way of private purchase half a dozen items of local colliery railway interest. Not since the 1960s and early 1970s, when in that period a good relationship existed between the Railway Preservation Society and local National Coal Board management and which resulted in several donations of interest has the chance to obtain in bulk such star items for the museum collection.
First and arguably the finest piece from the Chasewater Railway point of view is the nameplate McClean from the 1856 built Beyer Peacock, the first of five similar locomotives delivered between 1856 and 1872. McClean lasted one hundred years before scrapping and in her later years was considered to be the oldest loco in the country still at work. The name McClean was bestowed in honour of John Robinson McClean who first came on the local scene as engineer in the construction of the South Staffordshire Railway before later, together with Richard Chawner leased land to mine coal forming the Cannock Chase Colliery.
The second of the three locomotive nameplates to arrive is Marquis. The name originates from the first Marquis of Anglesey, a title awarded to the Earl of Uxbridge who fought along side Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. Carried by the Lilleshall Company built 0-6-0 saddle tank new to the Cannock and Rugeley Collieries as their first loco in 1867, she or is it he lasted until cut up at the NCB Cannock Central Workshops during May 1964.
The third nameplate is that of Beaudesert from the little 0-6-0 saddle tank built by Fox Walker, works number 266 of 1875 supplied new to Cannock and Rugeley Collieries as their number 5. Beaudesert was the ancestral home of the Paget family who became Earls of Uxbridge before being given the title and Estate Marquis of Anglesey. Finally cut up in 1964 the other nameplate of the loco survives and is on display in Kidderminster Railway Museum.
Two locomotive worksplates comprising of a cast iron Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns Ltd, 7292 of 1953 and Hunslet 3789 of 1953 have come as part of the deal.
Both locomotives were of the Austerity type, the RSH coming to Littleton Colliery from its previous owner the War Department, in May 1947, originally WD 71483 she became number 6 at Littleton being cut up there in Oct. 1970.
The Hunslet was delivered to Chasetown numbered 3 and was a replacement for the aged fleet of Victorian locos, she later saw service at Cannock Wood and Granville where she met her end after a life of just 16 years.
Finally a possibly unique cast iron sign headed The Littleton Collieries Ltd. with the wording.
The Littleton Collieries Ltd
Notice No Road
all persons found trespassing
upon or damaging any property
belonging to the above company
will be prosecuted.
Quite where the above sign was fixed is not yet known, but enquiries are being made.
It may be a little while before all of the above items are incorporated into our permanent display but the intention is to make arrangements to put them on view as soon as possible.
Chasewater Railway Museum
My thanks to Barry Bull for the information and Bob Anderson for the typing! CWS
Posted in Chasewater Railway Museum, Museum, Museum Collection
Tagged Aldridge, Beyer Peacock, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Burntwood, Cannock, Chasetown, Chasewater Railway Museum, Cheslyn Hay, Fox Walker, Great Wyrley, Heath Hayes, Hednesford, Hunslet, Industrial Locomotives, Lichfield, Lilleshall Company, Littleton Colliery, Locomotive Nameplates, Norton Canes, Pelsall, RSH, Staffordshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton
Posted in News
Tagged Bagnall 'Linda', Brownhills, Burntwood, Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society, CCHMS, Chasewater Railway Museum, Class 08, Hornby, Huntington, Lichfield, Littleton Colliery, Littleton Green Community School, Norton Canes, Ribble Steam Railway, Staffordshire