94 Chasewater Railway Museum Bits & Pieces
21st Anniversary Edition – 1
News from the Line
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.