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159 – ChasewaterRailwayMuseum Bits & Pieces from Chasewater News Summer 1993 –Part 2 The Re-opening of the Museum

159 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

from Chasewater News Summer 1993 –Part 2

The Re-opening of the Museum

Bob Duffill

I am sitting in a Midland Railway chair, aptly for the article, in the museum which is housed in our LNWR full brake.  The rain is tipping it down and Easter Sunday has Chris’s pipe in danger of being flooded!  As it is not very busy I’m writing this article as for some time we’ve called ourselves the Chasewater Railway and Museum Co. but have not had a museum for the last few years.

Firstly, I would freely acknowledge past members who have gathered together a very good collection of railway relics and artefacts.  The last curator  being Barry Bull, who put in many hours over the years.

My involvement began when, a couple of years ago, I went into the museum to tidy up and dust and polish the display cabinet.  It was soon obvious, however, that all was not well.  The roof leaked badly, the exhibits had become dirty and run down, and many items were being ruined due to lack of care and attention.

The next few weeks were spent in desperation salvaging items that had become wet and taking them home to dry out as best I could.  The house began to look like a waste paper collection point as rare items were carefully dried out.  The smaller exhibits were also taken away for safe keeping, and the larger ones moved to drier spots in the brake.

Eventually the L&NW Society found that it had enough money to re-roof the vehicle, and after much reminding and being a nuisance, Steve Organ and his helpers re-roofed the vehicle, and the top-lights were rebuilt.  Adrian Hall re-wired the vehicle and installed new light fittings.  All of the remaining exhibits were taken down and moved to one end to enable a start to be made on painting the interior.  It was decided to use the coach for Santa’s Grotto, and John Duffill did most of the scraping down and painting.  Once Christmas was over and Santa’s Grotto was taken away, I re-arranged the interior to look a bit like an office and rebuilt and varnished the display case.

Keith Poynter has made a start on painting our metal signs.  He is making an excellent job of it but it is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge, there’s a lot more to do yet!A view of one end of the museum which has been re-roofed and re-decorated and is now open to the public once more.   Pic – Nigel Canning

Anyway, the museum re-opened on our first steaming of 1993, March 21st, it still needs work but at least we’ve made a reasonable start, and hopefully it will be an added attraction for the public, and reveal our collection to members who just did not know what we had in store.

The latest news is an attempted break-in during the week before Easter when two local youths broke open a door.  Fortunately they were heard by Chris Hatton, and he and Steve Organ apprehended one of them who will shortly be appearing in court.  The burglar alarm fitted to this vehicle is in perfect working order, so hopefully this will be our last break-in and I look forward to the museum being further re-opened in stages.

Part of the 2012 museum

Finally, if anyone has photos of the local engines or collieries we are always willing to copy them for the collection in order that we get a comprehensive display.

This final sentence still holds good in 2012.

Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Van

Bob Duffill

As Tony Wheeler has been busy working on the L&Y (ex Cadbury) van recently, I have found some information on this unusual vehicle.  The original design goes back to the 1860s when an 8 ton version was introduced with a single roof door.  With the improvement in springs and wheels, this was later uprated to 10 ton in the mid 1870s.  The vans continued in production until 1916 when the last few were made, these having double roof doors.

I am unable to date ours yet, but it is between 1875-1913.  The LMS started scrapping them in earnest from the mid-1930s and ours was probably acquired by private industry shortly after.

The van should be painted in grey (Tony’s favourite colour) with white lettering, but as a change there was a variation which I feel we should adopt.  If they were shopped in Lancashire they had white roofs, but if they were shopped in Yorkshire they were painted red oxide, carrying old favours into newer times.

Some of our wooden-bodied vehicles are in fact quite interesting and well worth having restoration work carried out.  More paint to the C&W dept’s elbow! It won’t be long before we can have a decent goods train.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 64

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

RPS Newsletters No. 7 & 8, March – June 1974.

Again two for the price of one!

From No.7

Spring is now with us and with the longer evenings, so the work at Chasewater increases.  In spite of the bitter cold snap just recently, it was blowing a strong easterly across the lake, it did not deter our usual band of stalwarts working on ‘Asbestos’ getting her ready for the Easter steaming.  The Society should be very grateful to this tough stalwart crew working in these conditions; we have no warm engine shed like some of the larger groups.  I am sure that absent members will join me in a warm ‘Thank You’ to these chaps.

Asbestos

Asbestos was trial steamed on Sunday March 17th, two tubes blew during this trial, and work is now going ahead fitting new tubes and other minor repairs, prior to another trial steaming on Sunday, 31st March.  As stated previously, Derek Luker and his team worked in bitter conditions to complete this essential work!

General Spring Clean

A general tidy up has now begun on the site, but further volunteers are required if we want the compound really tidy, ready to receive visitors at Easter.

MS & LR Carriage

John Elsley is still pressing on steadily with this vehicle, another compartment has been restored, and we should have a splendid vehicle ready for display this season.

LNWR Passenger Brake

A start has been made cleaning down the other half of the brake by Rob Duffill; the restored half has been repainted in gloss by Barry Bull and Rob Duffill, and looks very respectable.

Track Maintenance

A start has been made clearing the track of heavy vegetation, the bushes at the north end of the line have been cut back to allow easy passage of trains.  We do require more volunteers to keep our track in good working condition.

Among ‘Dates for the Diary’ was a reminder to members who wished to attend an Open Day at Littleton Colliery on 18th May, 1974.Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971

From No.8

We are now running a regular train service on Sunday afternoons, the first and third Sundays are steam hauled and the second and fourth Sundays diesel hauled – Bank Holidays will be steam working.

We had a record number of passengers over the Easter holiday, Easter Monday broke all records I’m pleased to report, our grateful thanks to the train operating staff and booking office staff for a really splendid effort.  We were very short of members over the Easter, this was probably due to members being on holiday themselves.

Collectors’ Fair

Held at the Forum Theatre, Cannock on April 13th and was a huge success.  Our very grateful thanks to Andrew Louch and Barry Bull, organisers, and to the members and ladies who helped in no small measure, a special mention to Paul Mason, who provided the P.A. equipment.  A truly great effort all round.  Thank you to everybody concerned.

Sunday, April 7th

A double deck bus load of enthusiasts from M & GN descended on the Light Railway, it was a case of stretching the manpower again, some members being involved with the stand at the Stafford Railway Circle exhibition, which was again well-attended.  I understand that the visit was enjoyed by all the visitors.

Neilson 0-4-0ST

Work is still progressing well on this loco.  The bearings have now been re-metalled and skimmed, the boiler has been re-clad.  Final work on repairing and painting the saddle tank is progressing well.  Thanks to our dedicated band of workers: Derek Luker, Brian Hames, Keith Sergeant, plus several of our junior members.

Asbestos

Continues to do sterling service, a few minor repairs have been affected, namely a spring hanger which broke during running, this has been welded and replaced.  Also leaking clack valves have been repacked.

Diesel Locomotives Nos. 20 & 21

No.20 is now looking quite resplendent after a complete clean-down and repaint.  The team responsible for this splendid effort is:  Nigel Canning, Steven Foster, Ian Patterson and Adrian Pearson.  No.21 is now receiving similar treatment, the start being made by Iain Smith on one of his weekends from Edinburgh.  It is a pity that a few more local members do not follow his example.

Coaching Stock

The MS & LR carriage is looking very resplendent, John Elsley informs me that he intends to install the original seats recovered in new maquette, this will cost in the region of £150, just a little idea of the inflationary spiral and the way it hits us all!  The Maryport & Carlisle carriage – Andrew Louch is replacing a few panels, the guttering has been refitted, and a complete repaint is envisaged this summer.  It is anticipated that this vehicle will go on show at the Stockton & Darlington Centenary and a Half celebrations in 1975, providing that the necessary funds are raised.

The Open day at Littleton Colliery has been postponed until 17th August.

Congratulations  to Rob Duffill on his forthcoming marriage in July.  May we wish Rob and Margaret every happiness for the future.  Rob is one of our stalwart members, serving on the committee and in a truly practical way.  Also congratulations to our hard-working treasurer Laurence Hodgkinson on his promotion to the board of the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd., with this goes the directors’ fee of £0.00, as a fellow director I forecast that we can easily double that next year!!

Compiled by Dave Ives and printed and published by Laurence Hodgkinson.

Taken from the Mercian Jan 1971