Tag Archives: Merryweather

87 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces – Gricers’ Day

Chasewater Light Railway

Gricers’ Day

8th October 1978

In recent years the final steam day of the year, on the second Sunday in October, has taken a different form from the normal twice-monthly summer season steaming.  Amongst popular attractions with photographers has been the freight train run pasts at intervals during the day and this will again feature.

The success of the first steam spares and tools sale held at Chasewater last February has prompted the organisation of another similar event to coincide with this ‘Gricers’ Day’.  The idea of the sale is to provide an avenue for preservationists to get together, discuss mutual problems and conduct exchanges or sales of parts and tools surplus to their own requirements, but perhaps much sought after by other preserved lines.Alfred Paget with Asbestos and one of the Kent Construction diesels – 1976

At least two locos will operate during the day – ‘Alfred Paget’ built by Neilson & Co., Glasgow (works no. 2937 of 1882), the oldest loco regularly at work in the Midlands, and ‘Invicta’ built by Andrew Barclay, Sons & Co. Ltd., Kilmarnock  – 2220/1946.  It is likely that one of the two Kent Construction diesel locomotives will also see use during the day, as well as the 5-ton capacity Smiths of Rodley diesel crane (formerly steam powered).

The ex Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump will also be steamed and a 1929 ex West Bromwich Corporation single decker bus has been booked to attend.Merryweather Fire Pump

Apart from the Chasewater Light Railway Society sales stand which enjoys a good reputation locally for reasonably priced Railwayana, we would ask you to support the other stalls attending today; at the time of writing these are expected to be Mercian Model Rail, selling both new and second-hand model railway items and who also enjoy a reputation for fair prices, Walsall Railway Museum and Winchcombe Railway Museum who specialise in relics, the Princess Elizabeth Society who are in urgent need of funds for re-staying their famous LMS Pacific, and finally the Worcester Loco Society who carry a reasonable range of books.

We hope that everyone attending has an enjoyable and interesting day out, perhaps even an amusing one – how about a real ale tombola for instance?

For those wishing to partake of liquid refreshment, opening hours are 12.00 – 14.00 hours, the nearest hostelry being the Pear Tree Cottage Inn (Ansells) on the Hednesford Road where excellent cheese flans, etc., can be obtained, or the White Horse almost adjacent to the A5 road heading south which serves an excellent pint of Banks’.

Review of the Year

The year has been both happy and sad for the small but faithful band of followers of the Chasewater Light Railway, January was a disastrous month as vandals broke into the compound and set fire to our former Easingwold Railway MSLR coach, completely burning out the brake end and destroying materials contained therein, as well as partially damaging the exterior of the LNWR brake third which thoroughly deserves the nickname ‘the football special’.  Or grateful thanks go to the Transport Trust who have granted the Society £275, being approximately half the cost of materials needed for renovation, although this cannot take into account the number of man hours needed to restore the vehicle.

Following the fire, thought was given to moving one or two of the wooden bodied coaches elsewhere for safekeeping, but as the obvious answer lay in providing covered accommodation at Chasewater this matter was pursued with renewed vigour and two buildings have since been acquired.  Both are of agricultural type – one has been dismantled and removed to Chasewater; the other, larger, building has still to be dismantled.

New arrivals during the year included S100, a Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T No.1822/1949, privately owned and previously preserved on the Yorkshire Dales Railway, Embsay.   The loco is presently being dismantled to enable firebox repairs, de-tubing and wheel turning to take place.  The whole project will probably take another three years to complete (still counting!).

Through the kindness of the Directors of Albright and Wilson Ltd., Peckett 0-4-0ST, 917/1902 arrived on loan together with coal, 27 spare boiler tubes and various tools.

The day following the arrival of the Peckett saw the arrival of the Smith’s of Rodley 5-ton diesel crane, a purchase from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, Victoria Dock, Birkenhead.  The crane’s first job on arrival was the lifting of the two tanks off S100.

To enable the purchase of the BR owned 600 yards of double track immediately beyond our present operating limit to be effected, the former LBSCR E1 loco was sold to the Lord Fisher Loco Group, Cranmore (see previous post). The monies from the sale of the loco together with that put aside from donations, etc., has given the railway a financial security never enjoyed previously, although this will be greatly depleted when the £5,400 purchase price of the track is paid.

Current projects include the erection after repair of the former Manchester Ship Canal water tank, and the preparation of the oil-fired Peckett (The Colonel) for a major boiler examination.  The Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ is being de-tubed and the boiler sent away to Park Holland for the raising of the foundation ring about four inches to overcome the problem of badly wasted corners at the bottom of the firebox.  A complete retube with tubes purchased earlier this year will follow.

It is hoped that the Chasewater Light Railway Company will be able to take advantage of the Government Special Temporary Employment Scheme whereby lads of nineteen plus, out of work for a period of at least six months can be employed and paid their wages by the Government.

1979 promises to be a year to look forward to and it is to be hoped that some of you visiting us today will return again next year.

Advertisements

Chasewater Railway Museum June 1965 Bits & Pieces 28

Taken from the Mercian June 1965 Vol.4 No.3

There are some changes to the format and content in this and future issues of the Mercian, those that relate to the Midlands Area I shall reproduce – others I probably shall not.  The Editorial explains the changes.

Editorial

Since I took over the Editorship of Mercian last September, I have made a series of major alterations in format, the primary result being the last issue but one, and concerning long term policy, the last issue being the first of its type.

Mercian will now be composed of three sheets – as it has been in the last few issues; the extra two pages being devoted to a series of articles of general interest, for example:

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era by Casey Jones.

Renowned Branch Lines by Tre Pol and Pen.

In the planning stage at present is a series called ‘ARPS round-up’, which will take a look at the background and work of the various societies and companies in the RPS.  This will be unique in that the series will be a joint effort between the Midlands area and the London RPS.

Perhaps my most difficult task is trying to cater for all tastes, as each series is not going to appeal to all members.  Whereas say, Mr. Gibson’s articles will satisfy all those interested in the evolution of railways, they do not meet the requirements of those who will find most interest in Casey Jones’ articles and vice versa.

One of the aspects not covered yet is that ‘Oh! so neglected’ subject, Carriages and Wagons.  Is there anyone amongst our readers who would care to write a series for us?

I hope that you will appreciate the changes, and the authors and myself would like to hear your views on these articles.

Another Locomotive

Members will be pleased to hear that we expect to take delivery of another locomotive later this year thanks to the generosity of one of our members, Dr. P.G.Plummer who has offered to purchase it for us.  Although Dr. Plummer is one of our furthest-flung members, spending most of his time in Germany, he does not let his distance from the depot dampen his enthusiasm.

The locomotive is a Hudswell-Clarke 0-6-0ST built for the Sheepbridge Coal and Iron Company in 1895 (Works No. 431).  It was transferred to its present location, Desborough Warren Quarry, Northamptonshire, in March 1951 and was due for withdrawal in July when the quarry closes.  It is believed to be the oldest Hudswell-Clarke locomotive still in working order and once carried the number 15.  Now it has no number or name, although known as “Sheepbridge No.25”.

Painted in apple green it should be a valuable addition to stock already acquired, and will be of considerable use when we move to Chasewater.

As it will probably have to be delivered by road transport, costs may be quite high and we would welcome any donations to help in this matter.

I am sure that all our members will join us in thanking Dr. Plummer for his generous contribution to our Society.

And Another and Another.

To take this good news still further, we have been donated two other locomotives by the Whitecross Company of Warrington.  They are Peckett 0-4-0STs of 1900 and 1904 vintage respectively.

Both locomotives were withdrawn from service by the company in 1961, being replaced by two most handsome Fowler diesel locomotives.  They carried names up to withdrawal, the older being ‘Baden-Powell’ and the younger ‘Lancet’ – the nameplates of the latter being transferred to the diesel No.1 and those of the former being acquired by local enthusiasts.  Alas! Only the ‘Lancet’ will be able to run again, but we hope to exhibit ‘Baden-Powell’ as a static display.

As parts are common to both locomotives, we should be able to exchange those necessary between ’Lancet’ and ‘Baden-Powell’ to render the former serviceable.  The company has also given us all the spares they possess, and have offered to give ‘Lancet’ a boiler test, provided that we pay for the presence of an inspector.  In fact the test should be carried out whilst this issue of ‘Mercian’ is in the post.

We will have to pay for transport, so please send any donations to the treasurer.

Sadly the Hudswell Clarke, although we still have the loco, has never steamed here. The two Pecketts fared even worse.  The ‘Lance’ (not Lancet) 1038/1906 was scrapped in March 1972, and another Peckett – 1823/1931 was also scrapped at the same time.  The Loco ‘Baden Powell’ was in too bad a condition to be moved.  The other loco was an 0-4-0F a fireless Andrew Barclay locomotive 1562/1917 – scrapped in March 1973.

North Stafford Wagon

We are hoping to buy a North Stafford wagon from the Shelton Iron & Steel Company of Stoke-on-Trent for £15.  The matter is now one of some little urgency, and the fund has been opened with a donation of £2 by the Secretary and myself.  Any donations for this interesting wagon should be sent to the ‘Carriage & Wagon Fund’ c/o Hon. Treasurer.

Progress Report

Work is now underway after a rather unprofitable winter, the main setback being the lack of numbers in working parties.

Greatest progress has been made upon the Royal Saloon; the primer of red oxide paint being almost complete.   This has to be rubbed down and undercoats applied.  With this coach being so large, the process of rubbing down will be no mean task, and anyone skilled in the use of ‘wet and dry’ will be greeted with open arms!

Brian Kinder and Maurice Harper are lavishing their attentions on the E1 ‘Cannock Wood’, and will shortly be giving her another coat of green oxide underpaint, whilst Mike Lewis is giving the GWR Merryweather steam pump a thorough overhaul.

Amongst the freight stock, the L. & Y.R. van is in the middle of a repaint, and is at present receiving an undercoat of red oxide.  Robert Ives is doing the same on the Midland Railway crane, which sadly needed this care.

According to information sent in by Mr. Plyer of the Great Eastern Railway Group, our brake coach was numbered 44, and built at Stratford works in 1885.  The GER Group own a similar brake to ours, and we offer our thanks to Mr. Plyer who has worked to furnish us with this information.  We are wondering whether any of our members could do the same on the M. & C. R. coach which will be structurally complete on the building and fitting of another door.

Our final piece of news is from Roger Bell who says that he hopes to STEAM the ‘Princess Elizabeth’ on June 5th at Dowty’s.  On behalf of the Society may I convey to Roger and his wife – who in no small way has contributed to the successful preservation of this locomotive – our heartiest congratulations!

Secretary’s Report.

I am pleased to report that due to the appeal in my last report several lapsed members have now renewed their subscriptions, plus a few donations.

A new rule to be proposed at the AGM is that all members not renewing their subscription over a period of three months will not receive Mercian or Forum and as such will be deemed lapsed members. The Society just cannot afford to subsidise these people, especially with increased postal costs.

The committee are now awaiting quotations for buildings suitable for use at Chasewater.  We hope to go ahead with plans for the building after the final permission from Brownhills UDC has been granted.

We should welcome help from members who feel they can assist with organisation of the Chasewater project.

Sir Alfred Owen has kindly offered the services of Mr. P. Srear, Director of Research at Rubery Owen to help us in this sphere.

D.A.Ives.  Hon. Secretary.

Treasurer’s Report.

Many people think that when a carriage is successfully purchased all worry automatically ceases.  In fact, it is quite the reverse.  Apart from the labour required to restore a vehicle there is quite often the question of purchasing the materials required.

I do not intend to bore our readers with details of restoration costs since most people are aware of the price of paint, timber and the like.  I would, however, for example, ask just how far a gallon of paint goes in restoring a railway carriage.  The answer is, of course, that it does not go very far at all.

So far I have only mentioned common-place materials.  Rolling stock consists of many specialised parts which are most expensive to replace if they are worn out.  Consequently, in many cases, it costs as much to restore a vehicle as it does to purchase it.

You can help, however, if not by donating money but by donating materials.  If you have the odd tin of paint or spare pane of glass we can put it to good use and you will have played an important part in restoring these relics.

F.J.Harvey.  Hon. Treasurer