Tag Archives: Railway Preservation Society

94 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 21st Anniversary Edition – 1

94 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces

21st Anniversary Edition – 1

News from the Line

Loco Department

As a follow-on from the previous post, there is another comprehensive report on the locos, so I thought that I would reproduce it to check on the progress on the engines.

No.2 ‘The Colonel’

This loco finally entered service on Gricers’ Day, 12th October, after several test steamings.  Many repairs were carried out to the tank before it was refitted.  The loco appears to be very powerful and is mechanically superb and will come into its own when services are eventually extended.  The external finish however leaves a lot to be desired and it is hoped that the owners will rectify this in the near future.

No.4 ‘Asbestos’

Since the last report a vast amount of work has been carried out on this loco.  The boiler returned from Park Holland Ltd. in February after having the necessary fire box repairs.  Following this little work was done on the loco due to work on other engines but after mechanical problems with the ex MD and HB crane the wheels were despatched to the SVR wheel lathe at Bridgnorth and were back at Chasewater in October.  Their return signalled renewed vigour upon the loco and the wheels were stripped to the bare metal and given five coats of paint before the axle boxes were refitted.  The first weekend of 1981 saw the frames back on the wheels making the loco mobile again after eighteen months of elevation.  Following this the inside motion has been refitted and retubing of the boiler has started.  Hopefully the boiler will be hydraulically tested during the spring and refitted to the frames.  Although no firm date can be given, ‘Asbestos’ should return to steam this year.

No.7 (DL7)

The big Ruston has run trouble free most of the time and has earned its corn by performing several ‘master shunts’ over the last twelve months.  A rather garish ‘Bull inspired’ livery has been applied and has been met with the usual mixed CLR reaction to such creations.

No.8 ‘Invicta’From Railway Forum, 1975

After another trouble free year the loco is in store until the new season starts at Easter.  Unfortunately the six-yearly hydraulic test is due at the end of June, immediately after ‘Transport Scene’ 1981 which will be its last appearance for a while.  The hydraulic teat will be carried out during the winter of 1981/82 and hopefully no problems should ensue.

S100

The dawning of a new decade saw the re-emergence of one Mr. T.R.Sale Esq. which has resulted in dramatic changes – i.e. the loco is completely strewn to the four winds!  The boiler was jacked up out of the frames and then lifted onto a flat wagon and finally deposited on a pile of sleepers next to the Great Eastern mess van.  The boiler inspector has been and shaken his head at three corners of the firebox and given instructions as to what must be done and where, which basically involves building up of wasted plate work and a dozen or so new rivets.  Following removal of the boiler the chassis has been dismantled and the wheels removed which are to follow in the step (?) of ‘Asbestos’ and spend a day or so on the Bridgnorth lathe.  Most of 1981 will be spent cleaning frames, etc. which should keep one or two people out of harm’s way!

No.12 ‘Sentinel’1992 D.Bathurst Collection

This is the first time that any progress can be reported on this loco which is the ex Walsall Gas Works Sentinel loco No. 9632 of 1957.  The loco is still at Butterley on the Midland Railway Project Group’s line but following various excuses and delays the boiler has been re-tubed, successfully hydraulically tested and refitted to the frames and at the time of writing new pipework is being fabricated.  Current thoughts seem to indicate that the loco will finally arrive at Chasewater in June or July.  For newer members it should be explained that the loco (in working order) forms part of the exchange deal for the ex Midland Railway Royal Saloon Coach which was agreed upon back in 1978.

No.20

This loco has been loaned to the Bass Brewery museum at Burton-upon-Trent for an initial period of ten years.  The main reason for this is that the engine is in need of a drastic rebuild and as the sister engine No.21 is in full working order (and newly painted) neither the time nor the money will be available to repair it in the foreseeable future.

Photo from British Locomotive Preservation – 1969

No.21

This loco is, as already stated, in full working order and was repainted by the Brothers Grimm to celebrate the 21st Anniversary of the Society.

90 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Nov 1978 – 3

90 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces Nov 1978 – 3

Future Plans

Company News from the Joint Meeting

This meeting was called to enable the Board and the Committee to agree on the immediate and medium term goals for the railway and the respective roles of the Company and Society in achieving them.  The meeting was well attended, long and friendly and resulted in total agreement on all points.

It was decided to aim to operate the train services to the beginning of the causeway by 1980 and to open the line throughout its present length by March 1983.  This would mean rebuilding the causeway, erecting fences, major clearing of undergrowth and the obtaining of a Light Railway Order.  New platforms at the north end of the causeway and the far end of the line were also planned.  To cope with the increased traffic that the longer line would generate, it was agreed that in the five years up to 1983 a minimum of three locomotives would have to be put into and kept in working order and three additional revenue earning coaches would have to be acquired.  It was hoped that when the line was open as far as the causeway, i.e. by the beginning of 1980, two trains would be in operation on busy days and when the line was opened throughout, not less than two trains, each with two coaches, would be working each operating day.

It was also agreed that work should begin as soon as possible on the erection of buildings to house the working locomotives and wooden bodied coaches.  By 1981 detailed planning for the main museum complex should start with a view to beginning fund raising in the summer of 1982 and work on the buildings themselves in the winter of 1983.

It was unanimously agreed that the Society was to have sole responsibility for the acquisition, restoration and preservation of items of Railwayana and that the Company would hold all fixed assets such as track, buildings etc. and concern itself with the running of the railway and the raising of capital and income for the project.

Thus the Company will play a vital supporting role to the Society whose original aims – the acquisition, restoration, preservation and display of items of historical railway interest – now becomes the aim of what has come to be called the Chasewater Railway Project.  The Company is to raise the money for the attainment of that aim.  The Railway will be the principal show place for the Society’s locomotives and coaches.

The STEPS Project

Everything seemed splendid after the meeting and I was duly told off and to write something for Ian Patterson to publish so that the world might know where we were going.  Publication was set for September.

In August one John Selway, a Zebedee-like creature who telephones me from time to time to see if I am still awake, said ‘had I heard of STEPS and if not, why not?’

The Special Temporary Employment Programme is a creation of the present Government under which they will pay the wages of men hired under approved schemes to do work of value to the community which would not otherwise be done.  A grant towards materials would also be payable.  The Severn Valley, Festiniog and Midland Railway Trust have all benefited from the programme.

Frantic discussions were held with the Manpower Services Commission who operate the programme.  They seemed very keen to have us.  After much discussion and some reservation the Board decided to apply for a STEPS scheme.  The principal reservation concerned the quality of the overall supervision.  This was overcome by the Manpower Services Commission agreeing to allow us to appoint our own nominee as the site engineer – to be paid by them – provided he became unemployed first.  The gentleman concerned will have handed his notice in by the time you read this.

To cut a long story short, the scheme was applied for and approved for 52 weeks starting on the 2nd January 1979.  The Company will be employing up to 30 men to work on the railway.  The total wage bill, all paid by the Government, is £79,000, and in addition we shall receive a £5,250 grant towards the material cost of this work.  The scheme involves the reopening of the line throughout, including the rebuilding of the causeway and the erection of fences and platforms, by March 1980 – three whole years ahead of the rather optimistic date agreed at the joint meeting in July.Photo from D. Bathurst’s collection – 1978

To cope with the administrative problems which the scheme will create, we have acquired a site office – a mobile portacabin kindly loaned free of charge for the duration of the project by Cox’s Plant Hire of Brownhills and a telephone has been installed.

Of course, although one major problem is now solved – the re-opening of the line – another is created.  To provide the additional capacity necessary to cope with the increased traffic that the longer line should produce – and thus make more money for the project – we have got to have three locomotives in steam and three more revenue earning vehicles.  The original date for this was 1983, at the earliest.  Obviously it would be wrong to say that we must have them when the line opens throughout in 1980.  However, it is equally obvious that we cannot realise the railway’s full potential without them and so the sooner we can get them the better.

When the line is paid for in 1979, some £1,200 – £1,500 will be left in the development fund.  Before we can operate the line at maximum efficiency and put up the two buildings mentioned above, at least another £10,000 will be needed.  It can and will be raised.  One way in which I hope to raise money is by running a development fund lottery for the next few years.  This will be quite unlike the old weekly tote.  It will be on a much bigger scale and will take place about three times a year.  Tickets will be sold principally to members of the public visiting the railway rather than by Society members to their friends.  Properly managed such lotteries should raise between £1,000 and £2,000 per annum.  I shall however need help with the sales of tickets and I shall be pleased to hear from anyone who would be willing to sell lottery tickets at Chasewater at the following times: the first operating Bank Holiday of the season, Sunday and Monday plus the next operating Sunday afternoon: Transport Scene Saturday and Sunday and the next operating Sunday afternoon: the Saturday and Sunday of the Model Railway Exhibition and Gricers’ Day.  How about you?

The FutureThis was the Causeway in 1992 – from D. Bathurst’s Collection

What of the future?  Apart from the obvious delights of having two miles to operate over as opposed to 700 yards, much work must be done.  The Board will soon be considering the future of the Norton branch: the nature of the STEPS programme to follow the present one: the possible extension of the railway to the north and or south:  the museum and workshop buildings and, perennially, the raising of money.

All these are continuing evidence of the new sense of professionalism which has brought so much progress in less than two years.  We are all determined however, that this professionalism, which we must maintain, will not stop the railway being fun.  As Keith Sargeant said to me recently – we must never forget that CLR is our train set.  Quite true – but there is no doubt that the longer the line and the more bits and pieces on it, the more fun a train set is.

It is the Company’s job to provide the longer line and those extra bits and pieces.

John MacmillanLooking towards Chasewater Heaths from Lakeside – lots of work to do. Photo – D.Bathurst’s Collection 1992
Some thoughts about the future from 1969.
Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 51 and 52

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 81 – Dec 1977 – 2

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 81 – Dec 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 22 – Part 2

Editorial

We are well into the close season on the railway and as usual the volunteer force has dropped, leaving the real ‘hard core’ of members to wade about in the mud and watch their fingers turn blue with cold.  Despite these hardships some work manages to be done.  However at the present moment in time we need money, more than anything else in the world – we need money!  In fact we need £5,400 by March.  If we don’t have this money by then we shall be in debt to the amount we have failed to raise, as the bank have promised a loan of £4,000 to be repaid over a twelve month period from the day the loan is taken.  Now it is blatantly obvious to even the most starry – eyed member that there is no way that our Society can raise up to £4,000 to repay a bank loan in twelve months.  This is the sixth Newsletter I have written in the past twelve months (in itself something of a record) and in each issue there has been an appeal for money to buy the line and each time the response has been minimal.  Gentlemen, I put it to you this way, unless each and everyone of you (and I mean everyone) donates (or loans) the Track & Development Fund £40 then the ambitions of the Company and Society will fail to have been realised and we will be confined forever to running over 500 yards of single line from nowhere to nowhere, that is until the members get fed up with the lack of expansion that would be possible and then the Society would fold – a miserable reflection upon members past and present.

So the task is simple – £40 from every member (pay it in over a year and it’s less than £1 per week) or tear up your membership card as the Society will fold.

All monies to be paid to the Hon. Treasurer.

News from the line

Another season has come and gone before we’ve noticed and it came as rather a shock on the 9th October to realise that this was the last steaming until March of next year.  However the past season has been the most successful one ever, over 12,000 visitors having come to the railway and despite the worries over money, etc., next year should be even better.

Work going on has centred mainly on the tractor which has suffered a worn out cam shaft which cost the Society £50 it can ill afford.  Apart from that, work has been of the routine maintenance variety, ‘Invicta’ and ‘Alfred Paget’ being put into store until next March when they should pick up where they left off in October.  The fate of ‘Asbestos’ remains undecided until a hydraulic test in undertaken to ascertain the condition of the boiler tubes.  If many tubes blow then the engine will surely become a static exhibit until such time as the necessary money can be raised.  Negotiations for further motive power proceed on three fronts, however mums the word as they say (at least until the next issue).

AGM notes

This took place on 17th September at the Pear Tree Cottage Inn in Hednesford Road.  The meeting was opened by the President, Dave Ives, who pointed out that it was action, not words that were needed and that £5,400 must be raised by March, 1978.  Unless positive steps can be taken, then we can forget the rest of the line.  Around £40 was needed from every member and if this was not forthcoming not only would we lose the line but we would also lose the backing of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, which would be extremely sad as the Society is 18 years old this year and should have ‘come of age’.

The Meeting went on through the Agenda, the next item of importance was when it was unanimously decided to change the name of the Society from the Railway Preservation Society to the Chasewater Light Railway Society, as this was more in keeping with the aims and interests of the membership as represented by the meeting and would avoid confusion when dealing with the Press.  It also strengthens conformity between the Society and the Company.

The motion to sell theE1 locomotive to the Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary Restoration Fund was scrapped due to their inability to say that they would provide the necessary money by March 1978.

From AGM of the Chasewater Light Railway Company

Mr. MacMillan stated that it was not proper to appeal to the public for money until concrete proposals for the end of the line had been drawn up and planning permission had been obtained.  These plans were in the course of preparation and planning permission was 99.9% as Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council sees the railway as the biggest draw in the park and, apart from money, they would give as much help as they could.  For this reason alone it was ESSENTIAL that the loop line was purchased by the Society to prove to the Council that we were worthy of support and it is up to the membership i.e. EVERYONE READING THIS NEWSLETTER to pay for the line if the membership are fully behind the plans for the future.

Without determination the project would fail and the onus is on YOU.

We are at the end of the beginning – and hopefully it is not the beginning of the end.

Pictures from Laurence Hodgkinson’s Collection.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 80 – Dec 1977 – Part 1

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 80 – Dec 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 22 – Part 1

Barry Bull, Hon. Sec. of the Chasewater Light Railway Society, asked for his Secretary’s Report be included in the Newsletter and as it is a very good description of the state of the Society as a whole, here it is:

Hon. Secretary’s Report 1976 – 1977

The past year saw at least one intensive period of activity, this came during the final preparations for ‘Transport Scene’, general all round improvement was made in several directions during the year however.

Two locomotives were steamed during the year, ‘Invicta’ and ‘Alfred Paget’. ‘Asbestos’ being stripped for a major boiler test, the results of the first part of this test are unfortunate in that they show that repairs are required to the firebox, which could cost us a couple of hundred pounds to repair to the boiler Inspector’s satisfaction.  Both Invicta and Alfred Paget had repairs to the motion, re-packing glands, etc., carried out on them and both soldiered on.  Every steam loco on site had some paint or preservative treatment applied and this should help improve our image considerably, only Asbestos now looks really shabby.

The two ex. Worthington diesels also received attention and Planet No.1 was repainted.  Plans for next year include the overhaul of L & Y No.1.

On the rolling stock side of things, the main improvement came with the Chasewater Light Railway Company’s decision to have the DMU trailer repainted by outside contractors, this was duly arranges and completed in time for service on ‘Jubilee Weekend’.  The livery is maroon, with black underframes and grey roof.  Transfers and lining are to be applied by next season’s running.  Other important work carried out on coaches included the necessary re-panelling of our TPO.  Roof repairs were also carried out on this vehicle, but to date these cannot be said to be entirely successful.  Some of the goods stock was repainted also.  Unfortunately the heavy rain we had during a good part of the year did little to improve the paintwork on our two prize exhibits – the MSL and Maryport & Carlisle coaches.

The small relics collection continues to expand, albeit slowly, due to lack of available cash.  However one or two astute deals were pulled off during the year and we can boast the acquisition of some quite rare items because of them.  Several members have helped by taking home items to restore and a good standard of restoration has been reached on several items.  The ex. Cambrian Railways Merryweather fire pump was put back into a steamable condition, giving us an extra steaming exhibit on Transport Scene and Bank Holidays.

Much hard work was put into trackwork, this not being helped when the main pillar of the diesel crane suddenly snapped under the strain. The necessary repair work was carried out and the crane is now fit for service.  A point was laid in preparation for a storage siding to hold the works train, by our platelayers’ cabin.  The platform was extended and a lever frame installed on the platform, together with the erection of a fixed distant signal, albeit in a rather peculiar spot.  The platform area was also improved with the erection of lamp standards and installing several boundary markers and portable notice boards.

Train services operated on the time-tabled dates but poor weather on many days prevented the making of fantastic profits.

‘Transport Scene’ was obviously the highlight of the year, being easily the largest single event ever staged by the Society.  However, we must not allow the euphoria gained by this event to blind us to the fact that as a money raising exercise it can only be described as a moderate success.  Remember it was primarily to raise money that this event was set up.  In saying this, it was very pleasing to hear the many favourable comments of exhibitors and visitors alike.  It is to be hoped that we can cement our current good relations with several of the exhibitors at our ‘Gricers’ Day’ event on October 9th and indeed at another ‘Transport Scene’ in 1978.  Whilst mentioning exhibitions it is worth noting that the best profits yet resulted from our annual Model Railway Exhibition – these profits in fact approaching those made at ‘Transport Scene’.

On the Social side of things, regular monthly meetings were held in Brownhills during the winter.  An enjoyable and informative time was had by those who attended, but once again attendances could be said to be a little disappointing.  Several speakers from outside the Society have been arranged for the forthcoming season’s slide and film shows, so please support us and them with your attendance.  I must close with the most important item on our minds during the year – that is the purchase of the BR owned loop.  The price of £5,400 has been agreed between British Rail and Walsall Metropolitan Borough and we hope to get access to the line around next January.  Much work remains to be done before we can run a regular service on this section and this work will obviously cost money – this, coupled to the fact that we must pay for the track plus the Council’s pound of flesh in increased rents puts us in a somewhat embarrassing position.  Our Chasewater Track Fund has not been very successful due probably in part to too few people having time to push it, so may I ask those who feel they can help in any was to contact the Society.

B.J.Bull – 17.9.1977

 

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 79 – Aug/Sept 1977 – 2

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.

Raveningham Hall

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!!

We have decided to hold another ‘Transport Scene’ next year, so if you have any ideas for improvements then please let me know!”

 

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 78 – Aug/Sept 1977

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 78 – Aug/Sept 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 21 – Part 1

From the Editorial

Negotiations regarding the purchase of the line are fast approaching a climax and soon we will be obliged to undertake heavy expenditure for two to three years before any benefit from the additional length of line can be gained.  We therefore need every member to rally round and help the railway in any way they can.  We have proved that the railway can be run successfully for 1,000 yards or so and hopefully it will be three times as successful when we are running three times the length – remember, the best is yet to come!

News from the line

The compound has been tidied up during the season, especially for the ‘Transport Scene’.  Recent visits to preservation sites in West Yorkshire confirm that Chasewater has done much to shake off its ‘scrapyard’ appearance and no longer languishes at the bottom of the league table in regard to tidiness.

It is now up to all members to keep the place tidy, especially in putting kit away at the end of the day.

The platform has been extended to include a lever frame, built with considerable ingenuity by General Manager , Derek Luker.  The next task is to extend the platform down to the signal.  This will be the full length needed at that end of the line.  When this is done the track will be re-aligned (if necessary) and work will start on interlocking and signalling of the layout.  This, coupled with completion of the new siding, should keep the ‘track gang’ well occupied until the middle of the winter period.  On the locomotive side both ‘Alfred Paget’ and ‘Invicta’ continue to handle the train service with consummate ease.  ‘Invicta’ now sports a uniform coat of Great Western top coat, but further external renovation is beyond our capacity at the moment, (where are you Mike?) whilst ‘Paget’ remains much as it was.  ‘Invicta’ has had much maintenance done to it by Derek Cartwright and Mick Webb in between steamings to make it a more efficient unit.  Bob Wormington has kept diesels Nos. 20 and 21 serviceable and improved their reliability considerably. Lancs & Yorks No.1

Bob plans to restore ex L & Y ‘petrol pudding’ No.1 during the close season and a return to Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway colours is mooted. 

Hibberd No.1 Ex Pitsteel

The ex-Pitsteel Hibberd (No.1) has had a repaint by courtesy of Messrs. Bull and Patterson and the same team have given the Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST a further coat of paint.

Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST

Hawthorn Leslie ‘Asbestos’ awaits a visit by the boiler inspector.  It is hoped to avoid excessive expenditure by operating the loco at reduced boiler pressure for a couple of years.  Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ has had its boiler washed out and appears to be in excellent all round condition apart from a leaky water tank.  Its owner is looking into the possibility of returning it to coal burning when restoration is commenced, hopefully before the end of the year.  In the meantime it has had a further coat of paint.  Andrew Louch has resigned as head of the carriage and wagon department due to excessive commitments and has been succeeded by John Elsley, who has really made his presence felt by starting the long-awaited re-panelling of the LNWR Travelling Post office.  Already a third of the vehicle has been re-panelled by John, aided by Derek Cartwright, and Dave Ives has removed much of the paint off the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincoln coach in preparation for a repaint.  It is intended to get all the coaches in a similar external condition before doing any internal work.

Mr. J.C. James of Huyton, Liverpool has purchased a 1,000 gallon pillar tank from the Manchester Ship Canal at Pomona No. 4 Dock, Manchester.  This will shortly be removed to Chasewater for erection adjacent to the platform.  This will greatly ease loco watering and we are indebted to Mr. James for acquiring it.  (This tank replaces the ex. GWR tank which ‘disappeared’ in 1975, only scorched grass giving a clue to where it had gone).

Museum Acquisitions

Recent acquisitions have included a GWR trespass plate, an LNWR cast iron boundary marker and several LMS concrete boundary markers which will be placed at suitable places alongside our line.

Also obtained have been several railway postcards, including two LNWR official postcards.

Perhaps the most interesting acquisition has been some Seacombe, Hoylake and Deeside paper work by courtesy of Mr. Ray Franks of Great Barr.

It is pleasing to note that following the appeal for cast iron signs to be painted, several members have come forward to offer their services.  Several remain to be done, so there’s scope for anyone who fancies it.

Board Room Notes

Since its resurgence earlier in the year, the Chasewater Light Railway Company has undergone a great deal of internal change.  Sales of Shares in the Company have gone extremely well, 57 shares having been sold since the turn of the year, bringing in £285.  Sales are going well enough for the Company to seek to extend its capital from £2,000 to £10,000.  This will be done at the AGM.

A development fund has been established into which all money raised for any development project will be paid.  This will save a multiplicity of funds and will ease administration and expense.  (NB: the ‘E1’ fund remains a separate entity, being a project by a specific group of members).

E1 Notes

There is much of interest to report as the Committee meeting of 18th August it was agreed, in principle, to sell the ‘E1’ locomotive to the ‘Stroudley E1 Loco Centenary Fund’ for the sum of £3,000.  This is subject to ratification by the AGM of September 17th and also to the drawing up of a suitable set of terms agreeable to both sides.  The real outcome of this is that the E1 will remain at Chasewater, will stand a better than evens chance of restoration to working order, and the RPS will get a cheque for £3,000 which will be a substantial deposit for the loop line.

Late News

The water tower from Manchester arrived safely from Manchester over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

‘Asbestos’ has had its ultra-sonic boiler test and needs £300 worth of welding and riveting repairs to three corners of the firebox.  It now awaits a hydraulic test to ascertain the condition of the boiler tubes before repairs can proceed.

 

We will have access to the whole of the line soon, in all probability from 1st January, 1978, to enable essential work to be carried out.  August Bank Holiday Sunday was the third best day for passenger receipts ever, over 1,000 people being carried.

The Model Railway Exhibition over the weekend of 3rd, 4th September was a roaring success, a total profit of well over £200 being made.

Chasewater News was written by Ian Patterson typed by Dorothy Ives and printed by Robert Ives through the courtesy of the Vicar of Colwich.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 77 – June 1977

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 77 – June 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 20

The Editorial pointed out  that the more active members of the RPS are just getting over the ‘Jubilee Weekend’ to be straight away flung into the run in to the ‘Transport Scene’ weekend – the same dozen or so have to carry on the normal operating season as well!  There followed the usual appeal for more help, but explained that ‘if the response to this appeal is the usual one, then I’ve been wasting my time, but unless we get more active support then the Chasewater Project will go backwards, not forwards, and disillusionment will set in amongst the members, ending in the folding of the RPS in the not too distant future.  I’m not being alarmist but unless we are able to purchase the loop line then the active membership will be decimated and that is fact, remember ‘Bridge that gap – buy a Yard of Track’.

News from the line

There’s been plenty going on at Chasewater since the last report.  On the locomotive front ‘Invicta’ passed its boiler and steaming tests and is in the final stages of a repaint, whilst ‘Alfred Paget’ carries on regardless, being smartened up in between steamings.
‘Asbestos’ has had its tank jacked up and boiler lagging removed in preparation for an ultrasonic boiler test, which will ascertain what, if any, repairs are necessary.  Depending upon what the result and cost is, it will be reassembled as a static exhibit or be returned to traffic, hopefully the latter.

The DMU vehicle has been professionally repainted in maroon livery at great expense.  It is to be lined out and have transfers added as and when time permits.  The repainting of this vehicle has, in my opinion, been the greatest step forward taken by the railway for some considerable time.  The interior of the vehicle is to be refurbished during the wintertime.

The extension to the platform continues and the lever frame is being installed with associated interlocking and track improvements.

Stop Press: it is hoped to acquire Hednesford No.3 signal box to house the lever frame, negotiations with BR are underway.  The station has been improved by the installation of two gas lamp standards and a few cast iron signs to give a more business like appearance.  The present terminus will be named ‘Brownhills West’ on completion of the platform.

Further up the line much packing and levelling, along with spot sleeper replacement, has gone on in order to finish off the present stretch of line and to give a smoother run.

Operating Days

As you may realise we are chronically understaffed on operating days with the brothers Curtis performing sterling work in the bookstall as well as being the usual guard/ticket collector crew and managing to be in three places at once.

Train receipts are down on last season, mainly due to the inclement weather of our operating days.  Easter Monday has been the most successful day, over 700 people taking a journey.

Over Jubilee weekend, another RPS first was notched up, with trains being run on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, all being hauled by the Neilson locomotive ‘Alfred Paget’.

No.11 Neilson 0-4-0ST 2937-1882 Taken at either Bedlay or Gartsherrie, still working for a living!

Receipts were poor and the Tuesday steaming was done mainly for good public relations, 93 people from the Hednesford Road street party being given free rides to strengthen relations between the railway and the local people.  This has also resulted in a good publicity plug, as we were the only railway to run in conjunction with a street party.

The TPO roof is now watertight and re-panelling of the sides will take place in due course, whilst its tarpaulins have been placed over the LNWR 3rd brake coach in order to hide it as it continues to fall apart!

The GWR brake van has suffered at the hands of some juvenile delinquents who set fire to it.  Fortunately damage was confined to the verandah but restoration will not be speedy unless someone volunteers to take it on – outside of the usual workforce.

Chasewater Light Railway Company notes

The Kraken hath awoke and the first AGM for eighteen months was held in April.  The Board are now trying to formulate future policy for the railway in conjunction with the RPS Committee and hopefully sensible plans will emerge in the next few weeks, details of which will be placed in the newsletter for members’ comments.

Track Fund

Only £120 has been raised so far, a pathetic reflection upon the concern about the future of the Society by the members.  Money is needed now as time is running short.

E1 Fund

Most of the money so far raised has been spent on advertising.  If you feel you can contribute anything to this fund contact us.

The locomotive has been inspected by Messrs. Barlow of Warrington, a reputable firm of boiler makers, who have given an extremely reasonable set of quotes for repair of the locomotive boiler.  Time is running short if this locomotive is to remain at Chasewater as the AGM two years ago instructed the committee to dispose of the loco as a last resort to buy the loop line, and unless someone pumps a hell of a lot of money into either the E1 fund or the track fund, then the Society will have to face what seems to be inevitable – the loss of our only ‘local engine’ which is also  our only ‘main line’ loco, and the  most interesting of all our locos.

Notes from Barry Bull Hon. Sec.

The arrival of a complete 7¼” gauge railway, with a steam loco, heralded a possibility of something being in steam every Sunday at Chasewater this summer.  Unfortunately the loco blew its superheaters on a trial steaming and has been relegated to a static display.  The loco is based on the Southern Region ‘Schools’ class of loco and was one of a pair built in 1934 and so is a worthy exhibit in its own right.

Items purchased or donated during the past few months include an LNWR ‘Beware of the Trains’ sign, a concrete GCR boundary post, a few items of LNER cutlery, a selection of Kent & East Sussex Railway paper work, a Wemyss Private Railway rule book and a sign of LMS origin.

Transport Scene July 23/24

Rapid developments regarding this event have taken place and the organiser sent the following note for inclusion:-

‘This event is aimed at raising money towards our track fund and towards giving our railway a publicity boost.  This is perhaps the most important event to have been organised by the RPS so far, so I would have thought that some of our armchair members would have offered their services to our already hard pressed stalwarts.  However, this does not appear to be so.  In fact, so far, I have received only three offers of help.  We are in our most critical year, which could literally make or break our Society, so please, please help us, even if it is only in a small way’.

‘Chasewater News’ is written by Ian Patterson, typed by Dorothy Ives and printed by Rob Ives.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 76 – April 1977

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 76 – April 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 19

Editorial

With the operating season nearly upon us, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the same few regular volunteers will be responsible for the operation of the railway during the coming season.  Appeals for extra help during the closed season have had the usual minimal response but the usual crowd have ensured that the railway will reopen as scheduled on the 10th April.  In many ways the RPS is the Cinderella of the operating preserved railways, but it reflects great credit upon the dozen or so people who have turned up week in, week out, enduring rain, sleet and snow, that we have entered our sixth season of steam-hauled services, which promises to be our most successful yet.

Locomotives

Pride of place must go to the ancient Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’.  Although built as long ago as 1882 it passed its steam test on 17th March with flying colours.  This was the result of much hard work by the engineering department in re-machining parts of the motion, which had earned it the nickname of ‘shake, rattle and roll’ in some circles.  The planned repaint for the Neilson has had to be delayed due to the adverse weather conditions.

‘Invicta’ the Andrew Barclay saddletank has passed its visual inspection and now awaits re-assembly of cab fittings, etc., and then a steam test before re-entering service again.  Its owner is still threatening to complete its restoration by giving it a uniform coat of Great Western green!

Unfortunately ‘Asbestos’ repairs are beyond our financial resources at the moment and so it has been put to one side until we have the necessary cash.

The next major locomotive job is to strip the Peckett 0-4-0ST ‘Lion’ in preparation for its major hydraulic test.  The two Worthington diesels have had repairs as and where necessary and are both serviceable at the moment.

Lion in 1978 with ‘Colonel’  Plate

It is pleasing to report that the Company are financing a complete repaint of the DMU trailer coach by a local firm of contractors, in the early stages of the season.  The expected final livery is grey roof, crimson lake bodywork and black underframe and running gear.  Great progress has been made with regard to trackwork with the construction of a point for a siding at the crossing.  This took less than a month despite the fact that the recently restored petrol crane broke its main shaft whilst lifting the first piece of rail into place.  Several crossing timbers were obtained by our general manager at a bargain price.  Ballasting and packing has been completed, considerably eased by the use of the tractor and bucket scoop, kept in trim by Brian Hames.

The footings of the lever frame have been laid.  The necessary walls should be built during Easter week, enabling the platform to be extended to its full length.

Other work carried out on site has been mainly in tidying up in preparation for the coming season.  A scrap drive resulted in a load of scrap being sold to bolster the Society’s coffers.  The sale of the engine out of the scrapped J4 van realised £25.

The Travelling Post Office has been partially re-roofed, with more to follow to make it water-tight again.  Re-panelling of this vehicle is to commence when the weather becomes drier.

The visit to South Yorkshire area of the Coal Board 9mentioned in the last Newsletter) was not entirely unsuccessful, as, although we failed (only just) to obtain the locomotive ‘Beatrice’, the Hon. Sec. was successful in obtaining many locomotive spares, notably boiler tubes and firebars from Rockingham Colliery.

Stroudley E1 Locomotive Centenary FundNo.110 Southern No. 4

Not a lot to report this month, but ads in Railway Magazine have been paid for to counter the apathy amongst Society members.  A rather neat handout has been produced and is obtainable.   Certain preservative work has been done on the locomotive and a repaint is planned before the high season.  More help and money is urgently needed for this project to succeed.

Track Fund

Negotiations within Walsall Council continue and a final decision is awaited.

The Chasewater Light Railway Company has awakened from its apparent siesta and a general meeting will shortly be arranged.

Meanwhile all members are urged to take up the offer of buying a yard of track, as the success of this fund will decide the fate of our Society.  Albert Haywood is the person to contact regarding the track fund and every £10 donation is certified.

Museum

Thanks are due once again to Mr. Clift of Chase terrace, who has donated a 25 ton locomotive jack, once used in the Central Workshops at the far end of our line, and a pile of magazines for resale.  On the museum front latest acquisitions have included a Great Western and Midland Railway joint cast iron notice and two very nice bridge numbers of Manchester South Junction and Altrincham and West Riding and Grimsby Joint origins.  Smaller items include a GWR paycheck, an LNWR (Walsall) paycheck, an LNWR 1894 handbill, LSWR carriage blind, a small GWR cream jug complete with crest and six LMS tickets, mostly from the Brownhills area.

The March meeting was a slide competition and there were close on 100 entries of varying quality, though every entrant had at least one slide in the last twenty.  The competition was won convincingly by Nigel Canning’s photo of ‘Asbestos’ taken from within the dark confines of the cab of the Hudswell Clarke.

 

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 75 – Feb 1977 2

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 75 – Feb 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 18 – Part 2

On 26th January Barry Bull, Adrian Pearson and myself (Ian Patterson?) journeyed up to the North Yorkshire area of the NCB to inspect some redundant steam locos for possible purchase.  On the way up we visited Rom River Engineering of Lichfield and noticed the unique Kerr Stuart diesel alongside the ex-Cadbury’s North British diesel hydraulic.

Further north we passed the Butterley Headquarters of the Midland railway Project Group.  I understand from Derek Cartwright that our Royal Saloon, at present on loan to the Group, is at present undergoing considerable restoration at Derby Carriage Works.

The first colliery we visited was Ackton Hall at Featherstone.  This revealed a surprise in the form of Bagnall Austerity No. 2746 of 1944, which had arrived the previous week from nearby Prince of Wales Colliery.  This loco is of great interest to me because it used to work over the Shropshire and Montgomery Line.  The other engine at the colliery was the purpose of our visit, being No.S119 ‘Beatrice’, a 16” inside cylindered six coupled loco built by Hunslet, No.2705 of 1945.  This engine was in excellent condition, the fitters confirmed this, wishing it wasn’t for sale.  This engine is of the same class as ‘Robert Nelson No.4’ and others which worked at Littleton Colliery.  We also enjoyed a trip down the line to the BR exchange sidings on a diesel with the chief fitter, who told us several interesting facts about the history of the colliery and its locos.

The next colliery visited was Parkhill Colliery which revealed S102 ‘Cathryn’ a six coupled Hudswell Clarke side tank No.1884 of 1955 of the PLA Class.  This too appeared in excellent condition but inspection of the boiler report confirmed to the worst our suspicions about its firebox which needed well over £1,000 worth of repairs.

‘Monckton No.1′

Passing under the footbridge into a very quiet looking Embsay station – possibly the last train of the day? Note the bunting on the station and the stone flags through the gap by the ticket office and cabman’s shelter.

(c) Tom Ireland

North Gawber Colliery revealed a rather battered Austerity Hunslet 3212 of 1945, which was unlikely to be saved.  The same colliery also revealed another Austerity ‘Monckton No.1’ HC 3788 of 1953 which is spare engine at the colliery.  Out of the three on offer, we have bid only for ‘Beatrice’, an engine of ideal size for use at Chasewater.

The recent ARPS meeting at York was also of interest, several RPS members travelling up on BR, who managed to put an engine with no form of heating at all on the front of the train!

The National Railway Museum is well worth a visit, but the display of small relics is very poor and if the officers there care to visit Winchcombe Museum they will see what can be done with railway bric-a-brac.

David Ingham from Bury, Lancashire, England

One of the two preserved Princess Royals, 6201 Princess Elizabeth at Castleton East Junction signal box.

The meeting itself was of interest as the Annual RPS Award was given to the Princess Elizabeth Locomotive Society, a sister group of the RPS, for their efforts in restoring ‘Lizzie’ to main line condition despite enormous odds.

Well done the ARPS in choosing such a worthy group of so few members as opposed to one of the larger, richer groups, and Well Done the ‘Lizzie’ Society, in achieving such a remarkable feat.

It is pleasing to note that the Police have recovered many of the stolen objects from the museum vehicle, though the fact that the culprits were aged nine and ten is not so pleasing.

Recent acquisitions have included:

1.    A diamond weight restriction sign of Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation origin (once owned by MSLR)

2.    An Oxford Canal Navigation sign.

3.    Sharpness New Locks and Gloucester Canal Company weight restriction sign

4.    Two different sets of six official LNWR postcards from the early 1900s.  One set depicts castles and the other, Welsh Inland Resorts.

We now have 58 different LNWR official postcards, but over 1,000 different ones are known to exist.

Important

Pic from Barry Bull’s Collection

The RPS is organising a Transport Festival at Chasewater Park over the weekend of July 23rd and 24th.  This will feature vintage cars, buses, steam rollers and traction engines as well as the RPS.  We need your help for this venture, the first of its kind to be held by us.  This event may prove vital to our finances this year.

Late News

On the second of February an open meeting regarding the financial aspects of the RPS was held.  This meeting was very poorly attended despite the fact that many members were aware of its existence.  Despite this setback it was decided to launch an appeal to buy the loopline.  The people present were seen to represent an accurate cross-section of active RPS members and a majority of the executive committee were present to authorise the steps taken.  In brief these were:

1.    To set up a fund to purchase the loopline, as a proposed rent of £1,400 per year is beyond the Society’s reach.

2.    This appeal is to go under the slogan of “BRIDGE THAT GAP, BUY A YARD OF TRACK”.

3.    Money shall be raised by donations, those exceeding £10 or in multiples thereof being certified as representing the purchase of one yard of track.

4.    There will be no ceiling on the appeal as in future years the NCB may press for purchase of the northern end of the line.

5.    All monies raised will be placed in a Building Society to maximise its purchasing power.

6.    This appeal will be fully advertised in ‘Railway Magazine’ and ‘Railway Modeller’ as these are the two magazines with the highest circulation in their field.

7.    Handbills will be produced and sent to all interested persons and visitors to Chasewater this year.

8.    All RPS members are urged to start the ball rolling.

BRIDGE THAT GAP, BUY A YARD OF TRACK

The future of the Chasewater Light Railway depends on YOU.

Steam Loco Drivers

Albert Haywood, Chairman of the RPS, has asked me to inform all members of the need for fully trained drivers for the season’s trains.  To this end, training will be given at Chasewater before the start of the running season.  Al persons wishing to be considered should apply in person or in writing to Albert.  When a list of all members wishing to take part is gained then a scheme of training and passing out will be drawn up.

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 74 – Feb 1977

Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces 74 – Feb 1977

The Railway Preservation Society Newsletter

Chasewater News 18 – Part 1

From the Editorial

Recent activity at Chasewater has mainly centered on general maintenance, including some considerable tidying up of the entrance to the compound.  Footings for a lever frame have been dug at the present end of the platform and we now await some good weather to mix the necessary concrete.  The flat wagon on which the petrol crane sits has been re-timbered and strengthened and the crane itself has had some much needed maintenance.  On the locomotive side, work has been centred on the Neilson ‘Alfred Paget’ which has been re-assembled after its boiler test.  The coupling rods are at present dismantled to enable the crosshead slippers to be replaced with a spare pair which have been re-metalled.  It is hoped this will cure some of the knocks emanating from the front end of this engine.

Neilson in 1978

Extracts from the report of the visit of Major Olver of the Railway Inspectorate to Chasewater on 22-7-1976.

1.    Major Olver stated that he was quite satisfied with the present mode of passenger operation at Chasewater.  He asked that a facing point lock be fitted at the end of the main running line.

2.    When the tipping within the park has stopped, a concrete raft with the rails set into it should be installed at the road crossing.

3.    There is a major problem of trespass in the region of the causeway which is used as a public right of way.  This problem must be looked into in detail before the Society even thinks of running trains along this section of line.

4.    The arrangements for repair and restoration of locos are perfectly satisfactory.

5.    In reference to the need for a Light Railway Order, Major Olver explained that the section of line owned by British Railways was a statutory railway and therefore a Light Railway Order was needed to transfer its ownership.  He went on to say that common sense indicated that any Light Railway Order obtained should be made to apply to the whole of the Railway.  The Railway Inspectorate and Railway Administration side of the department will be happy to advise on the question of the Light Railway Order at the appropriate time.  Major Olver suggested that the most satisfactory solution may lie in the precedent set by the West Somerset Railway, which would be for Walsall Metropolitan Council to obtain the LRO and to incorporate it into the leasing arrangements.

6.    Training for drivers – the present arrangements were far from ideal as the Society relies on its own resources to train drivers.  Major Olver stated that drivers should be passed out by an independently qualified supervisor from either British Railways or the National Coal Board.  Major Olver explained that in the case of an accident there should be no room to question the basic abilities of the loco driver to drive the locomotive efficiently.  At the present time this was not proven.  Editor’s Note – This was the only point on which we were criticised and steps to rectify this are underway.

News on the purchase of the line

The executive committee heard that the Council couldn’t purchase the land and track until the 15th July.  There appear to be two present options:

1.    The Council buy the loopline and we repay £1,400 rent for ten years.

2.    We buy and pay a nominal rent to the Council.

Much discussion is at present taking place amongst members on this question and further suggestions are welcomed by contacting the Hon.Sec.

The Stroudley E1 Restoration Fund

E1 at Cannock Wood

This body is the result of the meeting held at Chasewater on 22nd January.  Only nine people turned up to this meeting, perhaps indicating the level of interest for this project within the Society.

The first aim of the Society is to raise enough money to purchase the E1 from the Society, a figure in excess of £3,000.  There are now four Societies at least, interested in buying the E1 if the RPS has to sell it.

£155.50 has so far been raised and local press coverage has been good but due to the lack of local interest the appeal must go national.  Offers of help, monetary or otherwise, should be sent to Mr. Albert Haywood.