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Tag Archives: Maryport & Carlisle
233 – Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces from Chasewater News – Spring 2000 – Part 5 – Carriage & Wagon 2
Chasewater Railway Museum Exhibits
Time to show another selection of our latest museum items.
Last Sunday, February 17th, the museum was given a framed photograph of what looks like a group of P way workers. The photo is marked: H.W.Davies – Brownhills, but unfortunately we have no real idea of the location, apart from guessing the local sidings, so if anyone has any suggestions as to the whereabouts of the location, we would be very happy to hear from you.
This wagon plate is one of a number of items loaned to the museum by one of our occasional visitors from his private collection, some 19 at the moment. He is pleased with the care taken of his objects, especially since we achieved the Accredited Museum standard. On February 17th he happily agreed to extend the loan on all of his objects for a further two years.
A nice booklet for our reference library, about the Maryport and Carlisle Railway. Of particular interest as we have a 6-wheel coach from the line in the Heritage Centre, donated by the Cannock & Rugeley Colliery Co. Built in 1875.
We have another local history book for our collection, this time about Great Wyrley. This was donated by David Bathurst, and we also have two signs from the old Great Wyrley station.
Lastly for now and biggest, is this 7-lever signal frame from Hemyock station on the Culm Valley Railway, Devon, closed in 1965. It came to Chasewater from the National Railway Museum at York.
95 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
21st Anniversary Edition – 2
Twenty one not out
The history of the Chasewater Light Railway goes back to a meeting called at the Station Hotel, Stafford on October 10th, 1959. This meeting led to the formation of the West Midlands District of the Railway Preservation Society, whose aim was to set up regional depots around the country where railway relics could be collected, restored and eventually returned to their native area.Hednesford Depot
The first West Midlands Division was set up at Hednesford, Staffs. in a siding belonging to Penkridge Engineering Limited, and was in fact the 3rd Standard Gauge Preservation Society.The first items of stock acquired were the Maryport and Carlisle and Great Eastern coaches from the National Coal Board, Rawnsley. The siding at Hednesford was partially covered and so in 1962 the ex London & North Western Railway coal tank 1054 was offered a home there. This engine later went to Penrhyn Castle, North Wales, and then to Dinting Railway centre, appearing at the ‘Rocket 150’ celebrations in 1980.1054 at Hednesford
The West Midlands District decided in the early 1960s to find a suitable length of line on which to operate their growing collection of rolling stock.
In 1963 it was suggested that the remnants of the Cannock Chase and Wolverhampton Railway around Chasewater would make a suitable length of line. At this time the area was desolate, and it wasn’t until 1967 that the Society actually moved to Chasewater, development of a Pleasure Park had made the line more attractive. By this time all the National Coal Board buildings and workshops had been demolished and all that was left was 600 yards of double track belonging to British Rail (ex Midland Railway) and 1½ miles of former Cannock Chase and Wolverhampton Railway, plus a 300 yard spur which formerly led to Conduit Colliery, upon which a lease was taken.The state of the track
The first task at Chasewater was to lay over 800 yards of track, partially along the former Midland Railway track bed and partly along new formation into the Pleasure Park. Much of this work was done by hand – even the first wagon was a luxury. Pittsteel No.1
It wasn’t until late 1967 that motive power arrived in the shape of Pittsteel Hibberd No.1. Development at Chasewater was slow and laborious and it wasn’t until 1970 that all stock at Hednesford had been transferred to Chasewater and the Hednesford depot closed.
To return briefly to general aspects of Railway Preservation Society’s history, apart from Hednesford, depots had been set up at Quainton Road (London Railway Preservation Society and Falkirk (Scottish Railway Preservation Society). However the main movement of Railway Preservation was to either preserve solitary engines or complete branch lines and so the broader aspects of Railway Preservation Society policy evolved into a body known as the Association of Railway Preservation Societies, which is an advisory body which gives help, advice and information to many preservation groups and has over 200 member societies.
Returning to Chasewater, as already stated all stock was there by 1970 housed in a security compound and thought was given to giving regular steam-hauled train rides.
During 1968/9 and 1970 several open days had been held with either AB1223 (Colin McAndrew) or HL 2780 (Asbestos) in steam, and limited train rides were given. The formation of the Chasewater Light Railway Company in 1970 was necessary to enable trains to be run legally. In 1971 a regular service was given using Nos. 20 and 21 at either end of the Maryport & Carlisle coach whilst ‘Asbestos’ was under repair. Regular steam-hauled services began in September 1972 when ‘Asbestos’ was re-commissioned. For the rest of the 1972 season ‘Asbestos’ hauled a train comprising of the 1875 Maryport & Carlisle six-wheeler and the 1880s 16 ton Great Western brake van – as far as the bridge at the Southend of the double track section where the embankment was burning. 1973 saw a start made on building a permanent platform at what is now Brownhills West and also saw the purchase, from British Rail, of E56301 (non-powered) driving trailer – ideal for observation and working push-pull.E56301 on her way
The Society’s aims were to run a service along the whole two miles of railway as and when track was brought into usable condition. In 1974 British Rail ‘rediscovered’ that they owned what is now the central section of Chasewater Light Railway and banned any use of it, due to the burning of the embankment. This was a major blow as Society members were just ready to start work on this section. In 1975 British Rail allowed work to start on the burning embankment, which was completely dug out and replaced with non-combustible material and negotiations were opened for the purchase of this section. The purchase price was raised by 1978, actual purchase taking place in 1980.
In keeping with its aims, the Railway Preservation Society changed its name to the Chasewater Light Railway Society in 1977, owning most of the rolling stock and relics whilst Chasewater Light Railway Company is responsible for the legal implications of running trains, i.e. insurance, etc.
In 1979 a great step forward was taken with using a Government sponsored STEPS project for rebuilding the railway, especially the causeway across the lake, which had been much eroded by wash from power boats on the lake. The work accomplished in 12 months would have taken Society working parties 3 to 4 years to accomplish and will allow regular steam-hauled services to run over the majority of the line in 1982, subject to the granting of a Light Railway Order and a satisfactory inspection by the Railway Inspectorate.The Neilson with Gloucester E56301 working at Chasewater.
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 79 – Aug/Sept 1977
The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter
Chasewater News 21 – Part 2
To continue – Enthusiasts’ Day October 9thIn past years the last steaming date of the year has seen unfamiliar activity, usually the use of the Maryport & Carlisle coach and the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln coach instead of the DMU. This year it is proposed to put on a few extra attractions in the hope of attracting a good crowd of gricers and general public alike. It is proposed to have two locos in steam, one on passenger trains and one on a freight train, with photographic runpasts at suitable intervals. Several vintage vehicles, notably buses and cars are expected to be on display and a ‘mini mart’ of upwards of six sales stands will be present, offering a variety of goods of railway interest. Several ‘dead’ engines will be on photographic display and several relics, not normally on display will be visible. In addition, the ‘Merryweather’ fire pump will be doing its thing, perhaps even roasting chestnuts. There is little else of steam interest this late in the season, so please make every effort to attend and tell friends, etc., and let’s end the season on a memorable note.
Admission – 30p for adults, 15p for children, including a free train ride!
On a grander scale, the Severn Valley Railway holds its ‘Enthusiasts’ Weekend’ on September 10th & 11th. 12 locos will be in steam. Of special note are:
- BR2-6-4T 80079 – recently restored and immaculate.
- GWR 4-6-0 6960 ‘Raveningham Hall’ – recently arrived from Steamtown, Carnforth.
- GWR 4-6-07819 ‘Hinton Manor’ – the latest ex. Barry engine to be restored and making its debut on public trains.
There are many other attractions and a frequent train service employing five makes of coaches will be in operation. The best chance to see ex. BR steam in a genuine setting and thoroughly recommended.
Transport Scene 23rd & 24th July
This was certainly the most important event on the RPS’s calendar in the last five years and although it was hard work I think its success is proved by the fact that everyone spoken to enjoyed themselves immensely, whether members of the public or members who spent three days on site to help in the multitude of tasks that needed doing. It is unfair to single out anyone for praise as it was teamwork that made the event a success, ably led by our captain, Andrew Louch, who reports as follows:-
“Well as some of you will know, this event has been a success, although I must admit it had us guessing right up to Sunday morning. Over the weekend we netted a grand total of £1,014, which is our best ever for a single event. However, expenses came to £764.84, which left a profit of £249.16.
I would like to thank all our members who helped, including some less familiar faces, which goes to prove that our pleas for help don’t go unheard. I would personally like to thank our Chairman, Albert Haywood, for organising the arena events and making up the original commentary which put the BBC to shame!!
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 67
RPS Newsletters No. 14, 15 & 16 May – Oct 1975.
I am pleased to report a fair influx of new members these last couple of months, several of these members have already proved their worth and capabilities. I only wish that a few of our absent, long-standing members could pay a visit to the site now and again, I am sure that they would enjoy the odd weekend.
A very good effort has been done by our track laying gang, the bed has been levelled, sleepers and rail relaid almost to the underbridge. A splendid effort by the usual stalwarts!!
Maryport & Carlisle Carriage
Work is progressing slowly but surely towards the final repaint of this vehicle, this carriage is being shown at the Stockton & Darlington 150th Railway Anniversary Exhibition at Shildon, Co. Durham. It is going to be a race against time to finish it by the end of July!! A few more skilled painting volunteers would be very welcome. Messrs. Pomlett Sen & Jnr, I am pleased to report have answered the call, but further help would be very much appreciated.
Horizontal Single Cylinder Engine, Staffordshire Industrial Archaeology
This engine has been collected by the RPS and is now undergoing restoration on Chasewater site. Staffordshire Industrial Archaeological Society have promised help in this work. During this excursion the Midland Railway horsedrawn box van was loaned to Shugborough Museum. (It’s still there – Jan 2011).
The horse-drawn box van can just about be seen to our left of the building
Spring Bank Holiday – Sunday and Monday
Thanks must be expressed to all members running the trains over this period, the effort was quite fruitful. Thanks to Andrew Louch, Albert Haywood and helpers who prepared the site and erected the Birkenhead Railway Bookstall, this bookstall has great potential.
The bookstall is top left in the picture – above ‘BROW’ of Brownhills West
Thanks again to Mr. J.C.James for purchasing same. A large number of visitors also went round the compound. Many thanks to the stewards who held the fort in the TPO and LNWR brake.
LNWR, TPO & 60ft Brake
Urgent maintenance work is required on the roof of the TPO during the dry summer months. Volunteers please!! Rob Duffill has also made a start on the painting and restoration of the second half of the LNWR brake, he would appreciate help in this venture, also painting of the exterior of both vehicles.
Dave Ives. President & Editor.
We are still in the midst of this marvellous weather, what a glorious summer indeed. We have had a long run of steaming and train running these last two months, but takings, alack, have been sadly down on last year, also lack of members to run the trains, the task of running the trains has fallen yet again on the same old crew. May I appeal for members to get over to Chasewater and give a turn, we shall be running until October.
This month of course sees the 150th Anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, I expect and hope most members will attend. As most members are aware, we are exhibiting the Maryport & Carlisle carriage, also we are manning a sales stand. Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. is in charge and would appreciate a little help, he will be on duty all week from 25th August to the 31st – a long stint. We shall appreciate a little help in this direction. We also look forward to a good attendance at the AGM in September, see separate notice from the Hon. Sec.
Andrew Louch has truly done a first class job getting this vehicle ready for the Anniversary. I am sure it is really credit due to him and his few helpers! All members will be sorry to learn that Andrew’s mother has broken her ankle, with an unfortunate accident at their home. All members, along with me, will I’m sure wish her well during what will be a drawn out recovery.
Work continues to progress on this engine. I understand that we should see her moving, possibly in service, before the season ends.
Pump Action Mechanical Trolley
Keith Sergeant has spotted and bought a trolley for the Society. We are however having a members’ whip round to offset the cost for Keith. The total amount being £30 + transport. £19 has been donated to date. Please don’t forget to add the odd £1 next time you renew your subscription. The trolley will be a valuable acquisition.
Dave Ives – President & Editor
Several events have now come and gone since the publication of the last Newsletter. The 150th Anniversary at Shildon was probably amongst the most memorable. The Cavalcade at the end of the week was to me the most memorable and unforgettable experience. A lot has already been said and reported on this subject, but I still have my personal experience, one that I would not have missed!! Our very sincere thanks to our Hon. Sec., his friend Ken, Adrian Pearson, Iain Patterson, Andrew and Richard Louch and Bob Ives, Mike Wood and Gerald Wildish for manning the RPS Stand at Shildon through a long and somewhat arduous week. I understand that a clear profit in the region of £350 was made. A truly excellent effort on the part of the above mentioned members.
My wife and I also had an invitation to attend the Official Opening of York Railway Museum by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh. This again was quite an impressive ceremony, and of course yet again, a chance to meet several old friends and colleagues. I understand that a visit to York Railway Museum is being planned by one or two Chasewater members; it is certainly well worth a visit.
The meeting was quite well attended this year, the highlight event being after the meeting and members were able to participate in trips behind the Neilson down the line. I am sure that all members were thrilled to make this trip and sincere thanks to loco staff and operating staff for the wonderful effort put into getting this loco back in working order.
Maryport & Carlisle Carriage Exhibited at Shildon
We are all justifiably proud of the fact that this carriage was duly exhibited at Shildon. We must again thank Andrew Louch and his helpers for making this possible. We had the misfortune to have two door handles stolen by a ‘souvenir hunter’; these were replica handles but will cost the Society something like £10 to replace. We must all agree that this was a despicable act!!
Progress at Chasewater
The running season has now come to a close. Passenger receipts this year were a little down on last year, but this is to be expected with the expensive, inflationary times we live in.
Albert Haywood very successfully negotiated with the Council (Walsall) for the RPS to run and maintain the 7½” gauge railway in the park. This has been operated and run by our members during the closing weeks of the season. This should prove a very worth-while project, the Society receiving 50% of passenger receipts. Our very grateful thanks to Albert and his operating staff, Ted West and Colin Finch.
(I haven’t managed to get a photo of this yet – can anyone help, please?)
This arduous but necessary work continues, thanks to our general Manager Derek Luker and his gang of stalwarts.
The slotted signal at our original Brownhills West Station
Steve Organ (that’s the first time that I’ve seen that name mentioned!) has made good progress with the station platform, he intends to extend it to its full length during the winter season, weather permitting. The Cannock Wood Colliery signal has been installed, a start signal, this is all good progress, thanks to Steve and his helpers.
Cannock Forum Theatre RPS Exhibition
This exhibition was held again fro the third occasion and was a great success, financially and publicity wise. Our sincere thanks to Andrew Louch, the organiser, Barry Bull, our energetic Hon. Sec. and all other members who helped with this successful event, in particular to the non-stop catering team led by Rob Duffill. I understand that a profit of £125 was made.
Nigel and Helena Hadlow
Our very sincere congratulations to Nigel and his wife on their marriage in September. Nigel is one of our stalwart members, having served the Society for some 15 years. I am sure that all members will join in wishing them a long and happy marriage.
Eric Haswell. It is with sadness and regret that I write these lines. Eric dies suddenly whilst on a visit to our old friend Teddy Boston at Cadeby Rectory on Tuesday 14th October. I am sure that all members will sadly miss that tall figure at the exhibition, with that wonderful talent for locomotive drawing. Thus passes another Gentleman.
After something like 30 years outside, the Maryport & Carlisle could do with another Andrew Louch!!
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 66
RPS Newsletters No. 12 & 13, Jan – April 1975.
Again two for the price of one! – But sadly no number 11!
This locomotive has had a stationary steam test and the reports prove very favourable. Derek Luker informs me that the next step will be valve gear and motion. We should see this loco in steam with ‘Asbestos’ this season.
Maryport & Carlisle Carriage
Work steadily progressing but more help is needed as the carriage must be ready for August this year for the Stockton & Darlington Anniversary.
Work has now commenced lifting track. The track bed will be re-aligned and the rail relaid, sleepers will be replaced where necessary. This job must be completed before commencing the season’s running.
North Eastern Railway Van
Mr. J.C.James of Liverpool recently acquired a station bookstall from the Birkenhead Railway. This has been delivered to Chasewater and should prove a useful item. Our grateful thanks to Mr. James.
Notes from Barry Bull, Hon. Sec.
The two meetings already held were quite well attended with 25/30 people on each occasion. There were to be two further meetings at Aston University , one in March about ‘Main Line Steam’ and the other in May about ’Spanish Steam in 1963’. This to include both main line and industrial steam, and some real antique British built locos.
With another season ahead we have been busy obtaining items for the sales stand. In the past we have had to rely very much on the generosity of members in donating second-hand mags, etc. for resale. In recent weeks our thanks must go to Nigel Canning, Rob Duffill and Laurence Hodgkinson for giving many suitable items for resale. If any other members have any photos, relics, magazines, etc. which they would like to donate or perhaps sell at reasonable prices, would they please contact the Hon.Sec. It is worth recalling that sales for the last 12 month period to July 1974 together with social activities raised £274 – remember ‘Sales Support Steam’.
We are now attempting to get ourselves geared up for the season’s running, the actual news will follow in items listed below. All members will sympathise (after a period of considerable and very cruel laughter!!) with Barry Bull, our Hon. Sec. who unfortunately broke his ankle playing football during February. Barry, although partially immobile, has managed to get over to Chasewater and cleared the decks for action in the sales portion of the LNWR brake (It takes more than a broken ankle to keep Barry away from his vacuum cleaner!!). He is of course doing an immense amount of work on the correspondence side for the Society. We all wish Barry a speedy recovery. I know he is itching (!) to throw those crutches away. Just a final word on this matter, may we advise Barry, in future, it is far safer at Chasewater RPS site than playing football on Sunday afternoons!!
I understand from the loco dept that this engine will be in trim for the forthcoming season, let us hope that it will be a busy one! PS Two tubes were hastily fitted on Easter Monday morning!
I am also assured that this locomotive will also be assisting with the season’s traffic later this year, a few last minute snags have yet to be sorted out.
In spite of the inclement weather, our usual stalwarts have been very busy lifting track, the bed is being levelled by Colin Vincent with his bulldozer and should be relaid during April. This effort is very praiseworthy, our sincere thanks to all participating in this hard graft.
Birkenhead Rly Bookstall
It is hoped to assemble this bookstall as a ticket office and sales stand this season. We are of course short of volunteers for this operation, more about manpower appeal in a later item.Maryport & Carlisle CarriageMaryport & Carlisle Carriage with No.21 – D. Bathurst Collection
Work is going ahead slowly with this vehicle, due in the main to the weather, and the call for manpower on other jobs. The carriage has to be ready for the 150th Anniversary at Darlington, by the end of July at the latest. Volunteers for painting please!
DMU Trailer Coach
A thorough cleaning of the interior is taking place, in readiness again for the 1975 running season, this should be completed by Sunday April 6th.
Manpower, Womanpower Appeal!!
May we once again appeal most earnestly for manpower during this special year, viz. the 150th Anniversary of Passenger Railway Travel (Stockton, Darlington 1825). We have plenty of restoration jobs, and in particular, a list must be drawn up for the train operating crews. Vacancies for firemen, Guards, Stewards on trains, sales stand and ticket issuing and collector staff. Members should report to the General Manager and Chairman Derek Luker or any senior member deputising in his absence. Please come and help if only for a couple of times this season, we desperately require extra help this season!
This signal has been kindly donated by the NCB, it will eventually join our collection of NSR and LNWR signals at Chasewater. The NSR signals came from Pinnox Crossing, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent and were also donated by the NCB several years ago.
Discussion at Chasewater
Loco spares, carriage spares, etc., this will be held on Saturday afternoon 3.00pm , 19th April 1975. All members are invited to attend and comment.
Littleton Colliery Visit – Engine in Steam
Canal Boat Rally
Birmingham Navigation Canal Society, 10th and 11th May 1975. Catshill Junction, Lindon Road, Anchor Bridge, Brownhills.
Dave Ives, President.
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 62
From RPS Newsletters Nos.3 & 4, July – October 1973
One short newsletter and one a bit longer so I thought I’d put them in the same post.
Due to the grand summer weather our train running operations have proved very successful, this of course has also been enhanced by having the DMU trailer unit now in regular service, our train crews have carried out the job of keeping the wheels rolling most efficiently. Members wishing to participate in train duties should report to Steve Allsopp for instruction.
This locomotive has now passed its boiler test successfully and is now in the process of being re-assembled. I understand that the main bearings are being re-metalled. The whole project is in the capable hands of our General Manager, Derek Luker, with Keith Sergeant acting as chief assistant. We are heavily indebted to these two members for sticking to the job.
Restoration of this vehicle still continues, also a long slog by John Elsley. John would appreciate a little more help with this vehicle. Anyone who is reasonably skilled in woodwork should report to John Elsley.
The platform building had been slowed down due to the train operations, and the Railway held a very successful Railway Exhibition at the Forum Theatre in Cannock. Very many thanks to all the people who set up the stands, acted as stewards, and in particular, to Rob Duffill and his team of ladies who manned the refreshment bar.
The running season had been a good one, helped by an excellent summer. Restoration work and maintenance will now continue throughout the coming autumn and winter months, weather permitting. Priorities, I understand, will include trackwork, embankment restoration and completion of the platform.
Restoration work on the Neilson continues – should be in steam next year.
Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Asbestos
This loco has finished for the season, and now enjoys a well-earned rest. Boiler fittings have now been removed and the boiler washed out. The fitting flanges are to be reseated prior to the forthcoming boiler tests. This work again is in the hands of Derek Luker, our hard-working General Manager.
Excellent progress is still being maintained by John Elsley, Nigel Hadlow and Albert Haywood, cracked panes have been replaced with new ¼” plate glass (at a prohibitive price), painting still continues, the teak centres can actually now be seen on the Mansell wheels. John tells me he hopes to restore the compartments to the original as far as possible. This vehicle is proving well worthy of preservation and is a credit to John and his team.
Work has now started on the panelling of this vehicle, under the capable hands of Andrew Louch. It is indeed gratifying to us all that our historic ‘Maryport’ is at last receiving restoration attention. After being in service for a full season last year, the vehicle is undergoing a refit and later a repaint. More about this at a later date.
Worthington Diesel No.20
Chasewater Terminus Platform
Work still continues on this very vital asset. Lawrence Hodgkinson is in charge of this project, the Council have helped with a good graded red ash approach to the platform, and provided car parking facilities. I’m sure the Society is most grateful for this help.
Derailment of No.21 Diesel
A derailment occurred this month (Sept) during the hours of darkness, the above diesel came off the road when towing the DMU into the compound around 8.00pm. Two slabs were loosened on the platform and the driver, Lawrence Hodgkinson, somewhat shaken. A team of stalwarts (6) worked until 11.30pm by the light of Tilley Lamps to re-rail the locomotive, this was finally achieved and both loco and carriage shunted safely into the compound.
The AGM was well attended this year, it was followed by the Chasewater Light Railway Co. Ltd. AGM. A special train took members a trip down the entire length of the line, this consisted of the L & Y No.1 Petrol Loco and the GWR 16 ton brake. Slides were later shown in the DMU carriage, this depicted work done over the season on and around the site.
Compiled by Dave Ives and Printed and published by Lawrence Hodgkinson.
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces No.61
RPS Newsletter No.2 – May 1973
Since the last newsletter (March) we have been pleased to see a few members turn up at Chasewater as a result of the appeal for more support. We would like to see a few more however. There is an interesting variety of jobs, i.e. trackwork, platform building, locomotive and carriage restoration, installation of signals and signalling equipment. (Sounds familiar!!)
There was a successful Easter Weekend Steaming in spite of awful weather, and a thank you to the members who stayed overnight to light up, and those who operated the service in such vile weather.
This vehicle has now arrived at Walsall from March, Cambs. And is now awaiting collection and transportation by low-loader from Walsall to Chasewater. This should prove a spectacular operation (albeit a costly one). We deserve to get maximum publicity from this enterprise. As most members will realise, this carriage has been purchased to give maximum seating capacity for the summer season’s running, also to replace our vintage Maryport & Carlisle coach now in service. The M & C now needs some restoration work, new panelling and a complete repaint.Pic – Lawrence Hodgkinson – Top of Pleck Road, Walsall
Stop Press – 3rd May!!
Pic – Lawrence Hodgkinson – Coming through the farm gate at Chasewater.
NER 8 Ton Box Van
Due to the efforts of our Hon. Sec. Barry Bull, the Society has acquired the last wooden bodied Box Van used by Messrs. Cadbury of Bournville. Messrs. Cadbury have very kindly donated the vehicle to the Society, arrangements have now been made for collection of this vehicle on May 5th. Our grateful thanks to both Messrs. Cadbury for donating this vehicle and to Barry Bull for negotiating the deal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taken from The Mercian, February 1965 4.1
Then follows an interesting Editorial about the future of the RPS movement after a change in government.
Over the last few months of 1964, the winds of change swept through Parliament. A Government which favoured the railways taking the form of a profit making concern was replaced by a Government which believes that the railways should provide a complete social service.
With this news came the resignation of Dr. Richard Beeching, Chairman of the British Railways Board. What effect will these major changes have on our Society and its fellows?
Although the internal affairs of British Railways are nothing to do with our Society, their attitude – based on the policy of the BRB certainly does affect us. Up to the present, the attitude has been somewhat cold, and certainly not what could be called encouraging. British Railways appear to be trying to make a profit on anything that they possibly can, with no sympathy to museums or museum societies, as we have found.
We have been charged extremely high prices for coaches that would be sold to scrap merchants at one third of the price. We do accept the fact that the railways are trying to work at a profit, but this exploitation of an historical society, in its first years and struggling to survive is surely uncalled for.
With the introduction of a socialist Government, we certainly expect the greater part of the Beeching plan to be abandoned, and concerning the connecting branch line to Brownhills and our Chasewater line, we would greatly appreciate a reprieve, but how does the remainder of the plan concern us? Very little indeed! It does affect some small branch lines for sale – at rather high rents, and on the other hand some well loved and beautiful branches which no society could afford to maintain or buy will be swept away.
On the whole, the RPS should look forward to the abandonment of the Beeching plan and perhaps a softening of BR policy towards us, although my personal feelings on the plan are the contrary to those of society in general. Our own attitude seems rather selfish but we aren’t the wealthiest of Societies, and at this critical stage we must be selfish to survive. As it has been said many times before in dealing with other problems, ’the world does not owe us a living!’
Hon. Ed. M.D.Willis
The Titfield Thunderbolt
It’s interesting to see that back in 1965 the Society held a film show at Walton Village Hall and 70 people attended in dreadful weather in January. We have a copy in the Museum right now!
As you will read in the Officers’ reports, work on the Chasewater line will begin in the near future, and a great deal of organisation will be necessary to make it the great success on which we are planning. A great deal of hard work will have to be done by our members, and in order to discuss it openly, individual members will be receiving a visit from an official. (In long macs and dark glasses??!)
With this project will come a great deal of publicity for the Society, and in order to assure that this will be put to the maximum possible use for effect, we must have one united outlook. In order to prevent any contradictions, however petty, will members please send any correspondence about the project to the Committee, via the Secretary so that any such ‘slips of the pen’ may be pointed out.
The Chasewater project was repeated in the Chairman’s report.
Hon. Secretary’s report
Due to wintry conditions, restoration work has temporarily come to a halt at the depot. Work has been maintained on the smaller relics. John Elsley has however continued working on the generator set in spite of the cold. The TPO dynamo coupled to an Austin 6-cylinder lorry engine, donated by the President, comprises the set. It is now in full working order and provides adequate power for our coach batteries. Many thanks to John and his small band of helpers.
Hinges have now been cast for the Maryport & Carlisle carriage doors, an effort will be made to clean up these castings in the near future and fit to the doors.
Plans are now being formulated for our line at Chasewater, and the Committee will be discussing and drawing up plans for the project for some months to come.
A small party of members (7) braved the elements on Sunday 17th January to attend the last train run from Walsall to Rugeley. Two members – D. J. and J. J. Bradbury – attended as official mourners, vintage MR and GWR caps were worn. For our Treasurer, Frank Harvey it was a nostalgic journey, Frank having travelled on the line for some 7 years to and from school.
(The line from Walsall to Hednesford was reopened in 1989, and to Rugeley in 1997.)
D.A.Ives, Hon Sec.
Without doubt, 1965 will prove a most expensive year if all our plans are to be achieved. For the benefit of our more distant members, (And for those of us reading this some 45 years later!) I would like to outline a few of these.
First we must consider the lease of the Chasewater branch. Naturally, we have made preparations for this and the general fund is in a position to be able to settle this account without delay. However, before any of the stock can be moved up there, a building will have to be constructed to provide accommodation. The building which we have in mind will be large enough to house our present collection of large relics with room to spare for future acquisitions. The estimated cost of such a building has been put at around £3,000. This matter is urgent and the full support of all our members is needed. (As a comparison, a three bedroomed detached house in Hednesford at that time would have cost about £3,500, so the equivalent cost would be in the region of some £160,000).
Apart from this, repairs to the line and its accessories will account for another large sum of money.
The time limit given to us by the NCB to raise the money for the Stroudley E1 (Cannock Wood No. 9) has now been reached. £100 out of the £300 needed has been collected. We are hoping that negotiations with the Board to keep the locomotive for a further period of time will be successful. I would like to thank those people who have donated to the fund, but generally speaking, I am rather disappointed at the response shown by our own members. The attitude I am afraid has been rather apathetic. Most of the money has been donated by people who live well outside our own area!
A branch line without a locomotive is a rather ludicrous situation. It is up to us to rectify the position since we will require at least two engines. The Stroudley E1 could so easily be one of these.
Sound coaching stock will also be required. The stock we have at present will not be suitable for service until a vast amount of restoration work has been completed. Carriages which require little or no repair work need to be purchased. These will cost in the region of £300 each.
I realise that our expense problems sound formidable but they can be overcome. After all, preserved standard gauge lines are still very few and far between. There is certainly room for one in the Midlands.