Taken from the Mercian, July-August 1962 1.4
It looks as though Dr. Beeching’s axe has been raised again to fall on many so-called unremunerative lines. With the roads congested and choked with traffic it makes you wonder whether the railways cannot play a great part in transportation still today. As Mr. D. Ives says in his report: Another delightful and picturesque branch line (The Wenlock) has seen its last passenger train.
The RPS is now often featured in the Model and Railway Press which we hope is doing much to gain us the right sort of publicity. ‘Forum’ our National magazine has also appeared. There has also been much criticism, but this is mainly due to the odd chappies saying ‘We’ll preserve this – preserve that’ popping up in different parts of the country does tend to give the general public the impression that ‘Preservation’ is getting out of hand, whereas they seem sympathetic to the aims of a well organised body.
We are hoping that the visit to Ashchurch of our TPO will help to increase membership and also our funds.
Our friends in the London District have made remarkable progress since our last issue with the acquisition of a permanent depot, a report on which is included from them.
We would like to draw attention to Mr. P. Cotterell’s fund for the LMS ‘Jinty’. Remember every penny helps so please, everyone, try to do all you can to make this, and our Carriage Fund a success. Inform your friends and colleagues, you may find them sympathetic towards our aims.
Hon. Secretary’s Notes & Report
Much Wenlock Branch – Last Passenger Train. Saturday 21st July 1962.
A combined party of RPS and Stafford Railway Circle members, friends and relatives attended a most memorable last trip down the delightful Wenlock Branch. (Contrast to our first trip three years ago). A huge number of people gathered at Wellington Station. Nearly everyone appeared to get on the train, this seemed to include both enthusiasts and local people wishing to participate in the final trip. The train service has served rural Shropshire for the last hundred years.
The train left Much Wenlock amid the blast of the locos whistle, the sharp cracking of detonators, the blast of a bugle, wail of whistles and clanging of hand bells operated by enthusiasts.
The loco carried a head board suitably inscribed and made by one of our members, this was in place until the final stop at Wellington Station. It is always a sad occasion to see these delightful branches fade into oblivion, but everyone is bowing to the inevitable as indeed that is all they can do. There must have been a few damp cheeks among the local people as they stood waving a last farewell to the train as it wound its way up and down the steep grades that are preponderant on the line. Many thanks to Terry Jones for providing details of train times etc.
We are now hoping to finish the TPO in time for the September exhibition at Ashchurch, I have heard this week that enquiries are already in hand asking for the cost of transporting the TPO from Hednesford to Ashchurch and the return journey of course. Several other undercoats have yet to be applied, more rubbing down and of course the final finishing coat, lining and varnishing. Plenty of work yet. (Must be finished by August 26th).
Arthur Chatfield assisted by other members is making an excellent job in the restoration of the Midland horse drawn parcels van, this has now been recanvassed and painted in maroon undercoat. A front wheel has yet to be removed and rebuilt as several felloes are suffering from dry rot.
This van is currently at Shugborough – March 2010).
Carriage & Wagon Preservation Fund
We do hope that all members will support this fund, we have tried to raise another overdraft from the bank without success, and we have therefore decided to press ahead with full speed in this vital cause. The first vehicle we hope will be the Midland Royal Saloon, if it has not already been scrapped, followed by other suitable vehicles, ordinary compartment stock, etc.
David Ives Hon.Sec.
Treasurers always seem to be complaining about the financial state of affairs but I am pleased to say that the month of June brought in a steady income and July has made a fair start.
(I included this sentence because the content is so rare!!)
F.J.Harvey, Midlands Area Treasurer.
Midland 0-6-0T Fund.
The RPS announces its intention of purchasing a locomotive to work its ex-Midland branch line (which will eventually be open to the public) in the rural North Birmingham area. The engine is to be a Midland Railway 0-6-0T of 1899 vintage
(the forerunner of the well known LMS ‘Jinty’) and will be painted in its original colours.