Tag Archives: RPS

Chasewater Railway Museum 1968 Vol.1 No.3 Bits & Pieces 42.3

This is one of a number of articles included in this magazine – there will be another couple to follow later. I don’t know what happened to this loco, but in spite of it being purchased and delivered to Chasewater, it hasn’t steamed since!

Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST No.431 – By Frank Harvey

Working at Desborough – V F Hall

The previous issue of the Mercian featured several photographs of this, our latest locomotive, and it was felt that a short article about it would not be out of place.

It was built by Hudswell Clarke & Co., Leeds in 1895, works number 431 and spent most of its life in the hands of the Sheepbridge Coal & Iron Company in whose fleet she became No.15.  It was allocated the name ‘Sheepbridge No.25’, but this was never carried and with the removal of its official number and works plates ran its last years without any identification at all.

It has on two occasions been rebuilt, first in 1928 and secondly in 1944, by the Sheepbridge Company themselves.

The engine was first suggested as a suitable candidate for preservation some two years ago when it was one of several locomotives at work at Desborough Warren Quarry near Kettering.  One by one its companions were withdrawn leaving No.15 as the only workable source of motive power.  After closure of the quarry it assisted with the lifting of the track, until the early part of 1967 when it too was withdrawn and stored in the engine shed at Desborough in company with an Avonside 0-6-0T.

The RPS then stepped in and after pleasing, successful negotiations with Stewarts and Lloyds Ltd., the locomotive was purchased.  The firm kindly allowed us to steam the engine before purchase – and members will have read about this eventful weekend in the last issue of the magazine. (CRM Bits & Pieces No.41).

It proved to be in good working order and required little in the way of attention save for the fitting of two new injectors which have now been purchased, and the repairing of a cracked blower pipe.  Evidence of this can be seen clearly in the photographs!

Desborough, 1968

The locomotive was delivered to Chasewater in November and restoration is now well under way.  When completed it will be resplendent in apple green, lined black, edged white and a high standard is being achieved.Chasewater August 1969

Purchase and transport charges tended to deplete the Society’s funds somewhat, but all agree that it was money well spent and in common with all other RPS stock, no money is outstanding, a fact of which we are justifiably proud.

Although restoration is unlikely to be completed before 1969, we look forward to seeing No.15, the oldest working Hudswell Clarke, in steam at Chasewater later this year.In the Heritage Centre, 2010

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Steam Locomotive Classes of a Leisurely Era

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era –  by Casey Jones

The London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

E1 0-6-0T

In1874 there appeared from Brighton Works the first of Mr. Stroudley’s standard goods tank engines, No.97.

The class was a six coupled version of the D1 0-4-2T and the boilers, motion and cylinders of the two types were interchangeable.

Number 97 was followed by numbers 98/9 in the same year, 100-2 in 1875, 103-8 in 1876, 109-120 in 1877, 121-138 in 1878, 139-144 in 1879, 145-152 in 1880, 153-156 in 1881, 85-96 in 1883, 157 in 1884, 159-164 in 1891, making a total of 79 locos.

Dimensions were:

Cyls 17 x 24 ins. DWH 4’ 6” THS 943 sq ft Grate 15½ sq ft Pr 170 lbs/sq in

Wt 4Tons 3cwt.No.110 before restoration, at Hednesford ‘Cannock Wood’ No.9

In typical Stroudley tradition the whole class was named, rather a strange assortment of French towns and villages being chosen, together with other continental places and a few English as well.

As the standard goods shunting tank, the class was spread all over the system, doing extremely useful work.  In fact the class was so robust that Stroudley’s successors did not bother to design a replacement.  Mr. Billington did produce his E2s in 1913 to replace earlier E1s which had been withdrawn but the new development only numbered ten locos.

In 1911 Mr. Marsh the CME rebuilt No.89 with a new boiler 4’ 6” in diameter, she was the only one so treated and later when this boiler wore out she reverted to he original style.

Quite a few were taken out of traffic in LBSCR days but the majority were taken over by the Southern Railway who added 2000 to the original numbers.

In 1932-3 four of the class were transferred to the Isle of Wight and details of these are:

No.2136     Brindisi       W1   Medina

No.2152     Hungary      W2   Yarmouth

No.2154     Madrid         W3   Ryde

No.2131     Gournay     W4   WroxallWroxall

Incidentally the LBSCR renumbered certain of the class as follows before the SR added the 2000 to the numbers.

Nos. 85-91 to 685-91, No.99 to 610,      Nos. 100-5 to 692-7,

Nos. 106-9 to 606-9,   No.111 to 611

Further withdrawals took place in early Southern Railway days and in 1927-8 ten of the survivors were rebuilt at Brighton to the specifications of Mr. Mansell as

0-6-2Ts for service in the West of England on the newly opened line between Halwill Junction and Torrington.  These rebuilds were classified E1/R and those so treated were numbers 2094-6, 2124/35, 2608/10, 2695-7.  As originally built these were found to be unsteady on passenger service but this was soon eradicated by Mr. Bulleid who rebalanced numbers 2094-6, 2608/10.  These together with number 2696 spent most of their lives at Barnstaple depot, the other four being at Exeter for banking duties up the steep gradient between Exeter Central and Exeter St. David’s.

Reverting back to the E1s proper most had their names removed before passing into Southern hands, and as already remarked the survivors continued to put in useful work at various shunting yards.  Several were sold on withdrawal and these included number 2163 sold to Ashington Colliery in 1932, number 146 sold in 1908 and number 2110 ‘Burgundy’ sold to Cannock Wood Colliery, Staffs in 1927 and renamed Cannock Wood.  This latter is now the only surviving member, albeit in slightly modified form and is at present housed at Hednesford Depot  of the RPS (1968).  A fund is at present open towards the cost of purchase and restoration to full working order of this locomotive, and I can do no other than to commend this fund to our readers – after all plenty of passenger types are being saved but not the traditional British 0-6-0 shunting locomotive of which old number 110 is a worthy representative.

Did you know that we once had a Trolley Bus?

First printed in Mercian March-April 1966 Vol.5 No.2

The Odd Man Out at Hednesford –  J. Hughes.

March 1964 saw the arrival of the odd vehicle in the form of Wolverhampton Corporation Trolley-bus 616.

This vehicle was a gift to the RPS by the Corporation of Wolverhampton to whom it was always known as ‘Groaner’ because of the double differential rear axle – it was the only one so fitted.  At Hednesford it is known as ‘The Trolley’.  No.616 was delivered to the Wolverhampton Corporation Transport Department on March 9th 1949 as one of 99 new Sunbeam and Guy trolley buses of similar design.  This order was destined to be the last one placed for new trolley buses, and when all the new vehicles were on the road all but a dozen or so of the pre-war fleet were withdrawn for scrap.

No. 616 continued in service without any serious accident or major body alterations for the next fourteen years, indeed the only body alteration was the substitution of winking indicators in place of trafficators and the removal of the shields from the trolley buses on the roof.

In 1961 the blow was struck when Wolverhampton Town Council decided to ‘write off’ the entire trolley bus system and replace it with diesel powered buses.  At this time there were 153 trolley buses operating on twelve routes.  These included the entire 1949 batch plus some war-time vehicles which had been fitted with new bodies, some were being done when the controversial plan was announced.

Needless to say the local papers were full of letters ‘for and against’ the trolley bus system, and it was at this stage that the enthusiasts got together to try and arrange some kind of preservation scheme.

Chasewater Railway Museum Dec 1965 Bits & Pieces 32

Taken from the Mercian, December 1965 Vol.4 No.6

Editorial

As you will notice, this issue of ‘Mercian’ is shorter than we have recently been used to.  This is due to the indisposition of the Editor, Malcolm Willis, who has entered hospital.  I am sure all members will wish Malcolm a speedy recovery, and hope that he may soon return to the most valuable work which he does fro the Society.

Malcolm Willis returned to the Society, but not to the Editorship of the ‘Mercian’, taking on the role as Membership Secretary.  He did an excellent job of expanding the Magazine and would surely be missed.

This is the last edition of Mercian this year, a year which has been very rewarding for the Society.  We have realised one of our major schemes, the purchase of our branch line at Chasewater.  Work has been going on there for some months, and track-laying has gone on steadily.  Early next year we hope to have a permanent building erected, and several locomotives delivered.  If work is to go ahead as planned in the New Year, more assistance will be needed, and I appeal to all members who can help in any way to visit the Hednesford depot or the Chasewater branch any Sunday, when you will be made very welcome.

From the Chairman’s Report  –  A. Holden.No.9 Cannock Wood – Stroudley E1 – J.Powell

Once again we are almost at the end of another eventful year for the Society with the prospect for 1966 even brighter.

A great deal of work has been done at Chasewater and at Hednesford by our gallant band of stalwarts who give their time each weekend to further our aims and ambitions.  Lots more work has still to be done and many more workers are needed to help carry the burden.

The Society is deeply indebted to one of our members, namely Dr. Plummer, for his generosity in purchasing and cost of transporting a locomotive to Chasewater.

Any Society which is to survive in these days of rising costs must have a healthy Bank Balance, and I strongly urge all members to participate in all money-raising efforts which are organised to help the Society to stay solvent.

We are fortunate in having many friends who are sympathetic to our cause, even if they are not members, who give willingly in so many ways, such as refreshments or prizes for various events, helping at Open Days and last, but not least, rummage for our annual event which Mr. Wooding organises each year.

Chasewater Light Railway Report  –  D.A.Ives.  Hon. Sec.

Good progress was made during the golden month of October.  Work has slowed down during the winter months.  However, a few real stalwart members have continued to lift and relay track in spite of cold and wet conditions.  Work parties are being conducted on Saturday afternoons, weather permitting.  Track-laying must continue during these winter months if the full length is to be completed by April.  The Chasewater party consists of approx. 12 regular members, who are now resigned to the fact that the job will have to be completed by them and them alone.Chasewater 1966 – Laurence Hodgkinson

Stop Press!!!  A strong steel door has been fitted to the platelayers hut at Chasewater, where we intend to store all our track-laying tools.

Treasurer’s Report  –  F.J.Harvey.

I would like to begin my report by thanking all those members who have renewed their membership subscriptions since the last issue of Mercian.  There are still quite a lot of lapsed members, however.  This is the time of year for giving, so please help the Society by sending your subscriptions as soon as possible.

The loan which was needed to buy the Midland Railway Royal Saloon has now been completely repaid.  We shall now be able to give more attention to clearing the outstanding debt on the Stroudley E1 as outlined in the last issue.

So far we have received no offers of financial help towards the transportation of the Peckett 0-4-0ST from Warrington.  As I have pointed out before, this is a matter of extreme urgency.  Unless we have some support, we shall be throwing away a working locomotive.  Please see what you can do  to help.  Any donation, no matter how small, will be most welcome.

Still not enough working members or money – but they kept going!

Chasewater Railway Museum Summer 1961 Bits & Pieces 13

Taken from the RPS Newsletter Vol 3  No.2 – Date – Summer, 1961?

West Midlands District

Our covered space at the Hednesford depot now houses the London North-Western Webb coal tank, together with the London North-Western TPO van, Maryport & Carlisle and Great Eastern coaches, which are in various stages of restoration.. A considerable amount of really hard work has been carried out during the last three weekends.

Photo: Andrew Handley

Collection of small relics continues to grow, thanks in no small measure being due to two of our junior members, Brian Kinder and Maurice Harper, of  Walsall.  Donations to the TPO fund were received from some 18 members.

The West Midlands District also toured the railway system of the Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton Company at Burton-on-Trent.  The trip was organised as a joint effort by Stafford Railway Circle, and the party travelled in a four-wheeled directors’ saloon of 1889 vintage.  Acquired from the Midland Railway, the vehicle was built by the Railway Carriage & Iron Co. Ltd. at Manchester.Bass Locos – Published by Bass Museum

The following piece is taken from an article written by A. A. Chatfield (Vice-Chairman of the West Midlands District).

The Webb Coal Tanks of the LNWR

With the arrival at our Hednesford depot of number 1054, the last of the celebrated Webb coal tank engines, A. A. Chatfield has outlined a brief history of the class.

The first of these locomotives was constructed at Crewe works in 1881, and during the ensuing years no fewer than 300 were built.  Initially they were a tank version of the very successful coal engines with the addition of a pair of trailing wheels running in a radial axle box under the bunker and rear wheel tank.  Designated for working heavy mineral trains in the colliery areas of Lancashire and the South Wales valleys, the design changed very little over the years except that quite a few were fitting with the vacuum brake for working branch line passenger trains.

Main dimensions were: cylinders  17in. x 24in., pressure 150lbs., grate area 17 sq. ft., total heating surface 10,548 sq. ft., weight in working order 43 tons. Water capacity 1,150 gallons, height 13ft. 1in., and tractive effort 16,530lbs.

It is a strong testimony to the workmanship put into these locomotives that many of them survived for so long after the Grouping, as the total was still quite large even after the close of the second world war when some of the survivors were at least 60 years old.  It is strange that so many of Webb’s simple designs should have lingered on for so long, for by the time the railways were nationalised quite a few octogenarians of this design could be found happily and usefully employed in the quiet backwaters of the LMSR.

Naturally the coal tanks were very prominent in the ranks for 30 of them were still at work in these out of the way corners when the 1950s dawned.  By this time numbers were thinning out but still the coal tanks chuffed on until only one, 1054 or 58926 as she had become, remained – latterly employed ignominiously as a stationery boiler at Pontypool Road MPD.

However, the old lady still had her final fling to come, for she was cleaned up and hauled out to pilot an LNWR 0-8-0 on the last special train over the Merthyr – Abergavenny line on which duty she was filmed and recorded for posterity.  After this brief appearance in the limelight she was sumped in a siding at Pontypool Road depot to await the last call to Crewe for breaking up.

Fortunately the story has had a happy ending for through the good offices of Mr. J. M. Dunn and a large group of enthusiasts who were familiar with these engines in their hey-day, number 1054 has been saved for posterity, decked out in her original finery, and has been put into the custody of the West Midland District of the RPS at Hednesford within a stones throw of her old birthplace.

During 1963, Mr Dunn and his supporters arranged for 1054 to be transferred into the ownership of the National Trust for display at Penrhyn Castle in North Wales, not far from where the engine worked in the 1920s.

Although Penrhyn provided public access in safe and secure surroundings, facilities for effectively exhibiting the locomotive were limited. After nine years at Penrhyn, and with the growth of railway preservation groups providing improved facilities, some of the locomotive’s original trustees arranged for the engine to be cared for by the ‘Bahamas’ Locomotive Society at their Dinting Railway Centre near Glossop in Derbyshire.

London and North Western Railway Webb 0-6-2T ‘Coal Tank’ class locomotive number 1054 giving brake van rides on the demonstration line at the Dinting Railway Centre, Higher Dinting. Sunday 3rd October 1982. Photo:  David Ingham

In 1980 the engine was overhauled, put into working order, and restored to the LNWR condition in which it would have appeared just prior to the First World War. In May that year it attended the great exhibition at Rainhill near Liverpool. This was held to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ‘trials’ won by George Stephenson’s famous Rocket, and the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830.

In the years since, 1054 has performed reliably and well.

LNWR Loco 1054 at Hednesford depot.

To the best of my knowledge, 1054 is owned by The National Trust. It is currently undergoing overhaul by volunteer members of the’Bahamas’ Locomotive Society, who have cared for the engine since 1973.

The work is being undertaken at the Society’s Museum & Workshop –
Ingrow Loco – on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in
Yorkshire, and is supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.Pictured at Oxenhope on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway by John Winters.

For video footage go to:

www.geoffspages.co.uk/grp/Movies01/index.html

Chasewater Railway Museum July 1960 Bits & Pieces 11

Bits & Pieces No.11 – also taken from RPS Newsletter 2.1 July 1960

The Tutbury Jinny

http://www.burton-on-trent.org.ukIvatt ‘2MT’ 2-6-2T No.41277  was photographed at Tutbury being prepared for its return run to Burton at 4.37pm.  The Tutbury platform was graced by beautiful cat lamps, silent and watchful platform sentries, as the tank simmered peacefully at the rear of its little train.  The fireman would be separated from the company of his driver during the 5½ mile amble back to Burton.  Hugh Ballantyne

Report of ‘Tutbury Jinny’ Outing

A party of 24 RPS members and friends and 10 Stafford Railway Circle members attended the sentimental, last journey of ‘Tutbury Jinny’ on Saturday, 11th June 1960.  The party assembled at Burton Station and the train pulled out on time at 8.12 pm amid whistle blasts, bangs from detonators, punctuated by pleasant notes from a bugle.  The train made a record run down to Tutbury with lots of spectators lining the route.  The party de-trained at Tutbury, where a huge crowd awaited the final journey back.  The Booking Office did a roaring trade selling dog and cycle tickets and other various assortments being purchased by members.  The party crossed the line and watched the little push-pull train draw in, driving coach first.  It was noted that slogans were chalked all over the locomotive, including ribald remarks about Sir Brian.  Our President, Mr. C. E. Ives managed to have a few words with the MP for Burton, Mr. Jennings, who had championed the lost cause in the House of Commons.  Society members were rather disturbed in the fact of a party of interlopers called the 17 Club being present.  It appeared that these people were not railway enthusiasts.  In fact one of their members could not give an explanation as to who they were.  It appeared it was just some kind of gimmick.  The RPS did mot get the publicity hoped for in consequence.Most branch trains seem to pick up nicknames at some time or other, and the ‘Tutbury Jinny’ was no exception.  Once worked by Midland 0-4-4 tanks and latterly by LMS-type ‘1200’ class 2-6-2 tanks, the service was withdrawn after 11th June, 1960.  The 4.15pm Burton-on-Trent to Tutbury, headed by No. 41277, passes Stretton & Clay Mills station on 4th June.

The train left eventually at 8.55 pm amid cheers, tears, bangs whistles and factory hooters.  The gentleman with the bugle blowing the ‘Last Post’  The train pulled into Burton some 10 minutes later, spectators again lining the route all the way, and so ‘Tutbury Jinny’ came to her eventful and not inglorious end after 112 years’ service.

Date: 1894 – 1900 (c.)

Description: Opened in 1894 on the North Staffordshire Railway Company branch line between Tutbury and Burton-upon-Trent. It was named Rolleston on Dove to avoid confusion with Rolleston in Nottinghamshire. The name was first used for the whole parish in 1983.
The station was closed to passengers on 1 January 1949, and the line closed in 1968. The route of the track is now the Jinny Nature Trail, named after the local name for the train which used the track: the Tutbury Jinny.

Staffordshire Past Track

The Tutbury Jinny

The Tutbury Jinny was a little train serving the delightful country between Burton and Tutbury, a distance of some 5½ miles encompassing the catchment areas of the rivers Trent and Dove.  Intermediate stations served villages, farmsteads and cottages along the line’s sickle-shaped route.  The line initially headed east from Burton, before swinging north then north-west to Tutbury, with stations at Horninglow, Stretton & Clay Mills and Rolleston on Dove.

The service ran for over a century, commencing in 1848 and saw a considerable variety of motive power – North Stafford, LMS and BR – over the years.  The push-pull ‘Jinny’ was driven from the motor compartment of the end coach for the propelled return journey from Tutbury.  Although two coaches were the normal load, it was not unknown for the train to be formed of one or three coaches.  Final motive power came in the form of Ivatt tanks; the final train running on 11th June, 1960.  Tributes to mark the closure of the service were chalked all over No.41277.  The intermediate stations, closed on 1st January 1949 to regular traffic, came back to life as locals witnessed the passing of the final ‘Jinny’.  The ‘Jinny’ was an institution, its several daily journeys a ritual; now, alas, it is but a distant memory.

Chasewater Railway Museum July 1960 Bits & Pieces 10

From RPS Newsletter July 1960 Vol  2 No. 1

From the General Secretary’s Page

More Activity Wanted

You will read in the West Midland notes the present state of our first scheme to be launched.  From the enthusiasm of one member, David Ives, and a group of his friends and acquaintances has grown the reality of rolling stock being restored on a length of line which has been offered as temporary accommodation.  There is no reason why similar successes could not be recorded from most areas of dense population.  We have enough members in the South-East, North-West and North-East to make a start.

Well done the West Midland District – later to become Chasewater Railway.

West Midland District

Stafford – Uttoxeter Line.  Great Northern Railway

Date: 23 April 1957Description: The Stephenson Locomotive Society (Midland Area) ran the last train on the Uttoxeter to Stafford line on 1957. The locomotive is seen here arriving at Stowe-by-Chartley Station with 200 railway enthusiasts on board.

The line was opened in December 1867 by the Stafford-Uttoxeter Railway Company. Nineteen years later the company folded and the line was sold to the Great Northern Company.

Passenger traffic was withdrawn in 1939, but the line was kept open for milk traffic. The high cost of maintenance proved too expensive and the line closed in 1951, having never shown a profit. It was broken up in 1959.

Staffordshire Past Track – Pic & Info

This was one of the lines under consideration as a running line for the WMD.

Date: 1920 – 1930 (c.)

Description: Stafford Common Railway Station was built in 1867, to serve the Stafford-Uttoxeter line.

The station closed to passengers in 1939, but continued to carry freight. It closed completely in the 1970s.

Staffordshire Past Track – Pic & Info

16 members of the West Midland District walked along the Great Northern Railway disused branch line from Chartley to Stafford on Sunday, 27th March.  Members assembled at Stafford Station and were taken by car to Chartley.  Our President, Mr. C. E. Ives, although not being able to take part in the walk, very kindly took members to the starting point.  A considerable number of photographs were taken en route for record purposes, as demolition of this line had already begun.  Very keen interest was shown in station buildings at Chartley, Ingestre and Weston and Salt.  Hopton cutting was duly noted as a great work of civil engineering, a tribute to the railway navvies of the 1860s.  The walk finished at Stafford Common Station (part of which is still worked by BR) where a welcome cup of tea brewed by Mr. A. Holden was much appreciated by all.  A special note must be made concerning one of our very enthusiastic members, Vice President Mr. J. Strong of Hereford, who stayed overnight in Stafford in order to take part.

Stowe and Chartley Station looking neglected. Note the two lines merging in the distance and the crossover in the foreground. Photo Hixon Local History Society.

.Unlike The building on the left was not demolished and was still there in 1990 and 1991 when we walked there. It now has been completely restored and has been moved to the Amerton Railway nearby.
Jan en Fons

Aug 7, 2008 9:52 PM

Depot

The West Midland District Depot has been kindly offered to us by our President Mr. C. E. Ives as temporary accommodation until a branch line has been acquired.  It is situated at Penkridge Engineering Co., Chase Works, Rugeley Road, Hednesford, Staffs.  This can be reached from Cannock along the Rugeley Road and from Rugeley along the Hednesford Road and is adjacent to Messrs. Bestmore Drop Forgings Ltd.

The depot consists of approx. 150 yards of siding with access to BR and NCB sidings.  Good covered space covers approx 50 yards of the track.  Members have already been advised of times of working parties, etc. and will continue to get these each month through the summer.  Negotiations are going ahead for the acquisition of two six-wheeled coaches, a full 3rd Maryport & Carlisle Railway and a full brake Great Eastern Railway.  It is hoped to have these under our covered space by the time this Newsletter reaches you.

More hands wanted at Hednesford

On June 3rd the Honorary Yardmaster, Albert Holden, gave a talk on the practical side of track maintenance to a group of members.  He expressed disappointment at the turnout of members and pointed out that work was being carried out by a small proportion of members.  If they did not get the support of more members they could become discouraged and work cease altogether.

It is the declared intention of the WMD to lease or purchase a line and run its own services.  But this needs a reservoir of skilled members and a strong organisation.  This depot gives us a chance to introduce all members to the technical side of maintenance of rolling stock and permanent way.  If full use is made of it, we shall have a reliable band of voluntary workers who can restore a line to serviceable condition in the shortest possible time.

The future of railway preservation in the West Midlands is in your hands.  Let’s all pull together and show the rest of the RPS how to run a branch line!

Stop Press

The first two coaches were moved in Hednesford depot at 9.45 am on Wednesday, 22nd June 1960.  How about coming along and helping with their restoration?

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.

Chasewater Railway Museum Jan 1960 Bits & Pieces 8

RPS Newsletter Vol 1 No.3

The General Secretary’s page discussed the setting up of a Carriage & Wagon Section, to include as much information, as detailed as possible, about vehicles which are still used as well as those no longer seen other than in photographs.

Given the timing of this post, 2010, this article in the magazine gave an interesting viewpoint.

For Posterity

On looking forward to the continued expansion of the RPS over the next 50 years, I wish to express the view that it will be desirable to reproduce the trains of main and branch lines at different periods in the steam age.

Settle & Carlisle Railway

Assuming that it may be possible to acquire such secondary main lines as Settle – Carlisle, Exeter – Plymouth, Midland & South West Junction Railway, and Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway among others, in the event of them being closed by British Railways, which occurrence is not entirely without the bounds of possibility, the running of semi-fast and local services forming scenic excursions and conveying intermediate traffic would be possible.

The bridge carries Pine Road over the old S&D trackbed (closed 1966) to the east of the site of Corfe Mullen Halt (closed 1956). © Copyright David Spencer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

In this connection the point to stress is the need to acquire a few of the older express types such as the ‘Sandringhams’, ‘King Arthurs’, ‘Patriots’ and ‘Schools’ which are threatened with extinction.  Whatever weight restrictions exist on original branch lines to be acquired let us at least endeavour to save a few more typically British express engines before it is too late.

This bridge crosses the dismantled Midland and South Western Junction Railway just west of Notgrove. It is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the Jurassic limestones exposed here. © Copyright Tamara Kwan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

It is also obvious that the efforts of various small preservation societies dedicated to the saving of one particular branch line would be better used within the united effort of the RPS as not all such branches could hope to survive by themselves.  The selection of branches in each area could then be carefully considered.

The point concerning all lines is that ‘period’ trains reproducing the locomotives, rolling stock and livery of, say, a Southern ‘Green Train’ or a 1930  ‘East Anglian Express’ could provide not only variety and colour in a standardised age, but would be in itself a strong appeal.

Of course this is assuming that the RPS becomes a railway company at some future date.  But why not?  Will someone design a suitable crest to super-impose on ‘period’ liveries?

Let us all contribute to making this a reality some day.

Platforms 5 and 4, for trains to and from upcountry, from the southern end. An Exmouth train is waiting at platform 1. © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

West Midlands District

Inaugural Meeting

About 20 people met at the Station Hotel, Stafford, on Saturday 21st November for the inaugural meeting.  The General Secretary opened the meeting and sketched out the reasons leading to the formation of the RPS and future plans.  He explained that this was the first District to be inaugurated and though the general outline had been planned out, the detailed application of this would be the concern of the WMD committee.

Mr. D. A. Ives, who has been acting as Secretary, gave a report on progress to date.  He reported that membership was over 25 and that they had received a good response from individuals contacted.  The first step was to secure a small depot in a convenient locality, where relics could be stored and members work on their restoration.  The ideal site would contain a certain amount of covered accommodation as well as rail space for carriages and wagons.  He believed the support was there in the West Midlands, it was only a question of publicity and personal contact.

The committee to serve for the current year was then elected.

Future plans were discussed and the decision taken to launch a publicity campaign leading up to a public meeting in the New Year.  The site of the public meeting was fixed as being Birmingham, but emphasis was laid on arranging future meetings in different towns to give better contact with the public and members.

Three reporters attended the meeting, leading to reports in the ‘Stafford Newsletter’ and the ‘Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel’.

The public meeting was fixed for Saturday, March 5th in the Small Theatre at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, Paradise Street, Birmingham at 2.30pm.  Everyone welcome.

Chasewater Railway Museum Oct.1959 Bits & Pieces 7

From the Railway Preservation Society Newsletter October 1959

Vol 1  No.2

Chairman’s Page

Anything from a button to a branch line

Yes, we are interested in anything of railway origin and historic interest.  We have no prejudices.  We are anxious to preserve all classes of relics from all pre-grouping companies, the big four and British Railways.  In fact, we want to build up a truly comprehensive collection of relics that will form a supplement to the British Transport Commission’s own invaluable collection of historic relics.

At the moment we do not possess either a button or a branch line!    We own about 50 relics from the range in between these two types.  Our largest is a 6-wheeled carriage, and we expect that we shall soon have satisfactory accommodation for this so that our members can work on its restoration.

The rest of our collection comprises small items, and until we have acquired the necessary rail space and land, we cannot expand our collection of large relics.  Both the West Midland and London & Home Counties Districts are working on this problem, and both hope to be able to announce a satisfactory conclusion to their searches.

We already have our eye on a few larger items such as signals, 4-wheeled, 6-wheeled and bogie coaches, as well as goods vehicles.  The number of larger items we buy each year is governed by the speed by which our membership grows.

Once again we are enclosing a second copy of this newsletter.  Please pass it on to somebody who is interested in the activities of the only national society dedicated to the preservation of standard gauge relics.

West Midland District

Outing to the Much Wenlock Branch, Saturday, 19th September.


A rather small but enthusiastic party attended the District’s first get-together and outing, exact figures being seven members, plus seven relations and friends.

The smallness of numbers did not mar the day, however, and a very enjoyable time was had by all.  The main party started from Stafford station and was joined by another member at Wellington.  The Station Master at Wellington came over prior to departure for Much Wenlock; he appeared most sympathetic to our aims, and reflected sadly on the closure of branch lines.

Wellington Station – Roger Shenton

The train pulled out on time from Wellington, headed by a 57xx class pannier tank No.3732.  The quaint halts en route to Buildwas Junction were noted, the driver, leaning through his cab window, pointed out several places of interest.  Coalbrookdale Iron Works were keenly watched by members, with interest in the fact that the first iron bridge in the world was cast there.  This was seen spanning the Severn as the train passed over a parallel bridge further up-stream.

Much Wenlock – Wellington

This delightful photograph epitomises the action on so many evocative branch lines in the West Midlands.  2-6-2T No.4142 was running under easy steam at Farley Dingle on 23rd April 1957 on a Much Wenlock to Wellington afternoon local service.  As so often happens when rural railway services are withdrawn, the trackbed was transformed into part of the modern road system.

Geoff Bannister

Buildwas Junction proved of interest, an ancient wagon turn-table being spotted, also the two platform levels, one for the Wenlock branch and one for the Severn Valley line.Buildwas Junction

The train passed Buildwas Abbey, a very picturesque sight on the west bank of the Severn.Buildwas Abbey

The gradients and curves then became very pronounced as the train made its way to the Wenlock terminus through the beautiful Shropshire countryside.

A member living at Much Wenlock met the party on arrival and very kindly took four members to Longville in his car, this line being open to freight only.  This excursion through the lovely Wenlock Edge was greatly appreciated.

The goods yard, sidings box and single engine shed (without loco) were inspected by the remaining members.  The ladies of the party visited the ancient Guildhall and Abbey, which proved full of historical interest.

After tea and a final look around Much Wenlock station, the party caught the 7.05 back to Wellington headed by the same pannier tank, but a different crew.

A vote of thanks must be recorded to the BR Staff at WR Wellington, for the kind way in which they answered questions, thus making the trip thoroughly worthwhile.

It is to be hoped that another outing of this nature will be better attended so that the RPS will continue to thrive and gain more publicity.  How about it, WMD members.

Date: 2002

Description: Buildwas Junction formed part of the Severn Valley line that ran from Hartlebury, near Droitwich, to Shrewsbury through Bridgnorth and Ironbridge. However, the line was disbanded in 1963 following Dr Beeching’s review of the railways. A section of track between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth has been preserved by the Severn Valley Company, but the track from Bridgnorth onto Shrewsbury was pulled up in the 1960’s and can no longer be used.