Tag Archives: No.9

Chasewater Railway Museum 1964 Nov Bits & Pieces 23

From The ‘Mercian’ November 1964, 3.2

Due to the Editor Mr. David Bullock having other heavy commitments he resigned with Mr. M. D. Willis taking over.

The first annual Dinner and Social Evening was announced, to be held at the Eaton Lodge Hotel (demolished about 2006), tickets 12/6d each (62½p) on Monday 30th November 1964.

The Secretary thanked Mr. Bullock for his work over the past few years, wished Mr. Willis well and put out the usual appeal for members to help with the restoration work.

Treasurer’s Report

It is now some considerable time since my last report appeared in these pages and the financial situation has been through many changes.

At the present moment, I am pleased to be able to report that we have the healthiest bank balance there has been to date.  This does not mean, however, that we can afford to relax since much of our money is already committed to paying for such items as the lease for the Chasewater branch, outstanding loans and the E1 0-6-0tank locomotive.  Incidentally, over £200 is still needed to save this engine from the scrapyard.  The deadline is January, so the matter is URGENT.

A few weeks ago we held our AGM at which it was unanimously agreed that the subscription rates be increased from 21/-  (£1.05) to 25/-  (£1.25) for ordinary members and from 5/-  (25p) to 10/-  (50p) for student members.  I would like to state now, that this was done with some reluctance but with every good cause as many members are aware.

F.J.Harvey.  Hon. Treasurer.

General News

We are not responsible

One may have read in the Railway press that the ‘Railway Preservation Society’ is to attempt to purchase a 30 mile stretch of line between Uttoxeter and Buxton.  This is entirely due to a mis-use of the Society’s name.

The Society which appears to be responsible for this irresponsible scheme is the Derbyshire Railway Society, who used our name, and this month, November, has changed it to the ‘National Railway Preservation Society’.  We deplore such use of our Society’s name, or any name which might be remotely confused with ours.

Has this Society yet looked at current branch line prices?  A line of this size would cost at least £100,000.  How could such a line be purchased, and if by some miracle it was, how could any Society afford to maintain it, yet alone run their own trains over it?

Railway enthusiasm in this country does not justify such a hair-raising scheme, as that Society will find out – to their cost!!!

First in a Line?

On June 6th, British Railways held an auction at Stoke-on-Trent.   What was for sale?  The mourning remnants of stations in North Staffs. And South Cheshire, which were closed under Dr. Richard Beeching’s economisation programme.

A rare sight the auction room was!  Scores of platform seats of all types, lined up in two rows to seat their likely buyers.  Station nameboards of all shapes and sizes positioned around the room, intermingled with various types of Railway notices.

The bidding was unexpectedly fierce, two cast iron notices, which the present Hon. Ed. Attempted to purchase for 2/6d  (12½p) almost reached £5, and four well-rotted ‘GENTLEMEN’ notices reached the ludicrous price of 50 shillings  (£2.50).

As always the RPS was in the bidding!  The West Midlands District bought two North Staffordshire Railway Clocks averaging about £9.00 each, and a Midland Railway Lamp Standard, among various other things.  They were joined by Mr. Ken Vincent, Secretary of Dowty RPS and Mr. R. W. F. Smallman, of Yieldingtree Railway Museum Trust fame; their purchases including an NSR platform seat and a GWR short grandfather clock.

British Railways made over £1000 from the so-called ‘rubbish’, the bulk of which would normally provide heat for a cold workman on an icy winter’s day.

Another auction of this type is to be held at Derby on November 7th, and it looks very much as though fantastic prices will be reached yet again.

Recent Additions

The latest relics to arrive at Hednesford are as follows:-

  1. Two private owner wagons of the Cannock & Rugeley Collieries Company.      Bought from the NCB @ £5 each.
  2. A London & North Western Railway Brake/Third, the Guard’s compartment of which has been converted to a fully operational cinema.  It was purchased from the NCB for £10, but needs a lot of attention.
  3. A Midland Railway Crane.  £8.

Midland Railway Royal Saloon

This unique example of Midland Railway Regal coachbuilding has been purchased by the RPS (West Midlands District) from British Railways at a cost of £300.  This was only possible with a loan of £240 from a generous member.

The loan is being paid back at the rate of £10 per month to this fine member, who wished to remain anonymous.  His name was released at the AGM but to save further embarrassment, we will not mention it in these columns, but let it be ‘broadcast’ by word of mouth.Furnishings inside the Midland Royal Saloon

Chasewater Railway Museum April 1960 Bits & Pieces 9

From 1960 April RPS Newsletter Vol 1 No.4

West Midlands District

Public Meeting, Saturday, March 5th 1960

Mr. G. T. Cox,  WMD Chairman, opened the meeting at 3.00pm.  He expressed his regret that there were not more people present, and said that possibly the unusually fine weather had diverted persons to outdoor pursuits.

Mr. Cox went on to say, “Many of us often look back to the bygone days.  We younger ones can only remember the pre-nationalisation days, whilst older ones can remember quite clearly the pre-grouping companies and put down their memories in black and white.”

“The best way of showing any exhibition piece is in its natural surroundings, and this is what the RPS means by a ‘living’ museum.  You will not get one by asking, but you will if you support the RPS to the best of your ability.  There is little preserved in contrast to the vast scrapped during the last 50 years.  It is within our reach to extend the range, if action is taken now.”

The General Secretary, D. Noel Draycott, briefly described the origins of the RPS and the district organisation which gives local groups the chance to build p local collections.  The first programme for the WMD has been drawn up, covering the purchase of rolling stock and other large relics.  The programme is divided into three stages, but it is not necessarily the order in which items will be purchased.  The selection of relics depends on the speed with which our funds grow.

Mr. R. De Lacy-Spencer pointed out that many relics were kept by persons who did not realise their historic interest to railway enthusiasts.  An example of this was the Midland Railway stationmaster’s hat which had been presented to the RPS by a lady living in Lincolnshire.

The WMD Secretary, D. A. Ives, gave an account of progress in the area.  Membership was growing and a keen committee were considering more plans for the future.  Members were contributing many smaller relics, and a good selection was on view.  He had been corresponding with BR for some time about a possible depot site, but with no result to date.

Mr. F. J. Harvey read a branch line survey he had recently made.  It was an account of the present condition of the MR branch from Aldridge to Brownhills and Chasewater.  The civil engineering features appeared to be in good condition, but the permanent way was neglected towards the end of the branch and part had been lifted.  At present only a section of it was used for a daily freight trip.

The meeting was wound up at 4.30pm and Mr. A. Holden from the audience proposed a vote of thanks to the speakers which was carried.

Stop Press! – Depot established in WMD

We are pleased to announce that negotiations for the establishment of a depot have reached a definite stage.  The site is at Hednesford, about 11 miles from Wolverhampton, and contains 150 yards of siding, part of which is under cover.  Fuller details were given to members at the visit to the Stafford/Uttoxeter branch on Sunday, March 27th.  These details are not to hand at the time of writing this, and a description with information about working parties will appear in the next issue of the newsletter.

This will enable the WMD to launch an intensive campaign to purchase rolling-stock, etc., of the Cambrian, Great Western, London & North Western, Midland and North Staffordshire Railways.  All persons interested in these railways are invited to send donations direct to the West Midlands Treasurer, RPS.