Tag Archives: West Cannock Colliery

Chasewater Railway Museum News – LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

Chasewater Railway Museum News

LNWR Private Sidings Diagrams

The Chasewater Railway Museum has recently acquired a folder containing over 200 diagrams of private sidings on the London & North Western Railway, dated Euston 1911.FolderTitle PageAs can be seen, the folder itself is rather fragile, but the diagrams inside are in very good condition.Anglesey SidingsAnglesey Sidings

Our good friend Ian Pell has put all the diagrams onto a CD, which is now in the Museum – thanks Ian.Cannock Branch, Hednesford RPSCannock Branch, Hednesford – the shed on the centre-left of the photo is the original HQ of the Railway Preservation Society.Cooper's Junction Green pipeCooper’s Junction, near to the Cannock Wood CollieryFrom Pye Green ValleyHednesford Station area, showing the sidings coming from the Pye Green Valley – West Cannock No. 1 Colliery.Holly BankHolly Bank Colliery

Just a few samples which are of local interest the the Chasewater Railway.

Back with Museum Stuff

I’m sorry that posts have been thin on the ground for the last few days, I’ve been catching up with museum paperwork ready for a meeting this afternoon.  The meeting went well, I think.  We left feeling pleased anyway! We’ve received some nice items in the last week or so.Some nice Hornby ‘0’ gauge rolling stockAnd one of our friends found two ‘Dinky’ wagons to make up the set with the tank engine.

We’ve also had a small collection of souvenir badges and some nice colliery plates – one of which is shown here.

Don’t forget the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society meeting, next Tuesday 12th October, at the Museum of Cannock Chase from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.  A talk by Alan Dean about the West Cannock Colliery.

Finally, a nice loco worksplate, BTC No.2608 from 1958, which was carried by the loco Holwell No.17.

Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society – West Cannock No.5

This morning, 29th September 2010, saw the unveiling by Alan Dean, Chairman of the Cannock Chase Mining Historical Society, of the latest information sign commemorating the coal miners of Cannock Chase.  This sign was made possible through the generosity of Mick Corns’ widow, who received the thanks of all present.Not the brightest of days but the Ceremony was completed before the rain started again.  Then it was a case of everyone inside for a cup of tea and a biscuit or cake!A nice simple Ceremony, but there are still about 30 sites to have signs erected.  Some have had permission granted and at other sites it is still being sought.

This site is now the Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre, Rugeley Road, Hednesford, owned by Staffordshire County Council, who gave permission for the erection of the information sign.

Best of luck and best wishes to all concerned.

Wednesday 29th September

Two Events this coming Wednesday – 29th September.

Cannock Chase Mining Historical SocietyGraham Burnett

On the 29th of September at 11.00am the society will unveil an Information Sign at the old West Cannock No.5 colliery site.

This is now owned by the County Council and renamed the Chase Enterprise Centre, Rugeley Rd, Hednesford.

Due to the generosity of the wife of the late Mick Corns we have been able to produce an information sign commemorating West Cannock 5s colliery.

Permission to erect the sign at West Cannock has been kindly granted by the County Council.

After the unveiling of the sign the launch of the long awaited book “The Annals of The West Cannock Colliery Company Limited 1869 – 1957” will take place.  The book has taken over eight years to research and copies will be on sale at the venue. The book also includes West Cannock No.5 Colliery until its closure in 1982. There will also be the chance to purchase books and have them signed by the author Alan Dean, who will be available until 1.00pm.

On Thursday 30th September from 10.00am to 1.00pm the book will be on sale at Hednesford Library, Alan will be available to sign copies of the book.

On Friday 1st October from 10.00am to 1.00pm the book will be on sale at Heath Hayes Library, with Alan available to sign copies of the book

Finally on Saturday 2nd October from 10.00am till 2.00pm the book will be on sale at Cannock Library again with Alan available to sign copies of the book

Please make every effort to come along to the unveiling and book launch and make the event a success.Topham at West Cannock No.5

Burntwood Chase Heritage Group and the Friends of Cannock Chase Museum

Walk around the site of Beaudesert Hall

A  walk will be taking place on Wednesday 29th September at 2.30pm with Friends of Cannock Chase Museum and anyone else who wants to come.

Sturdy footwear needed as rough ground. Walk will be about 2 hours. Meet at Scout car park through entrance past reservoir…turn left past Chestall.

Full details on the home page

Tackeroo – The Military Railway

Cannock Chase Military Railway

We have been asked on a number of occasions about the whereabouts of the Tackeroo Railway, so in this post I have tried to explain its route from Hednesford to Milford and its purpose.

This railway was constructed during 1915 to serve the Brocton and Rugeley Military camps located on Cannock Chase.  One line was constructed during the spring of 1915 from the LNWR Cannock to Rugeley line near West Cannock No.5 Colliery across the Chase to the Rugeley Camp.  Between January and April a second railway was made from the LNWR Trent Valley line at Milford to the Brocton Camp, and by mid 1915 the lines had been joined.  In addition to army and prisoner of war camps this railway system served Central Stores Depots at Brocton Camp.  The locomotive shed was also located at Brocton Camp. After the war the camps and railway were dismantled and locomotives disposed of.

Locomotives used:  (Gauge 4ft 8½in)

Manning Wardle    0-6-0ST     166/1875     Messenger

Beyer Peacock      0-4-2ST     1140/1871   Blackcock

Hudswell Clarke     0-6-0T       319/1889

Hudswell Clarke     0-6-0ST     333/1890

Hawthorn Leslie     0-6-2T       2879/1911   Pyramus

Hunslett                 0-6-0ST      397/1886    Monmouth

Avonside Engine    0-6-0ST     1742/1916   Avonside  (New)

Manning Wardle     0-6-0ST      812/1881

Possibles, identified by spares orders to Trollope & Sons, & Colls & Sons

Manning Wardle     0-6-0ST      1513/1901    Grassholme

Hunslett                  0-6-0ST       761/1902      Uxbridge

The line started from Hednesford and passed West Cannock No.5 Colliery, who laid the track, which crossed the Chase to Milford, servicing the Military Camps situated on the route.


No one seems to know exactly where the name came from or when. Various possibilities have been suggested though none can actually be proven.

One idea is that the original houses were built in one row by a Mr. Thacker and became known locally as Thacker’s Row and eventually the local dialect changing it to Tackeroo.

Another suggestion is that the village took its name from the ‘Tackeroo Express’, a train which used to take men and supplies from Hednesford to the First World War Camps on the Chase which were under construction.  The line was first built for the West Cannock Colliery Company to service their No.5 pit but it was taken over to aid the construction of the Camps. (But where did the ‘Tackeroo Express’ get its name from?!)

The line and camps were largely built by Irish labourers and one story has it that the local foreman, George Taylor, had so much trouble with his workforce that to gain their respect he actually challenged their leader in a bare-knuckle fight.  Fortunately he won and the gang’s bad behaviour eased.

Another difficulty faced by the railway was the route – the straight line went up a fairly steep hill, men often had to get off and walk the last part.  In 1915 the route was changed to run along Brindley Valley up to the White House.  The engine still had problems, as did the locals, who often had to put out fires caused by sparks from the engine.

Hednesford Railways 1

The view in 2009, looking towards Rugeley from Hednesford Station bridge.As it was in the late 1950s, a very busy railway location, with pits sending coal into the sidings from all directions.

Looking forward and to the left, the line leads to West Cannock Colliery No.5 and to the right, to Cannock & Rugeley Collieries at Cannock Wood and the Valley Pit.

From the rear, coal comes in from West Cannock Collierys Nos. 1, 3 and 4 – situated in the  Pye Green Valley.

The picture shows the site of West Cannock No.1 and No.4 Plants circa 1920s, it looks north east towards the top end of Green Heath Road.  No.4 Plant is just above the top of the chimney and steam can be seen coming from its winder stack.  The brickworks is the furthest building centre/right at the base of the mound.  A fourth shaft to the north of the brickworks has been covered by the mound.  The picture shows the enormity of the West Cannock Company’s operation in the middle of Pye Green Valley.

From here, the railway ran down to Hednesford Station via a bridge under the road by the ‘Bridge’ public house.  It then went through the left-hand arch (looking towards Rugeley) and into the sidings.With the closure of West Cannock Collieries 1-4, lines to the left found little usage.  The old station building, imposingly symetrical on the overbridge, castle-like dominated the access to the platforms.  One of  Bescot’s 0-8-0s, 49373, sorted out the empties to transfer to the collieries.

On the other side of the bridge, the sidings opened out into the marshalling yard.William Stanier designed 2-cylinder 2-6-4T no.2579, built by the North British Locomotive Company in Glasgow in 1936 and withdrawn in June 1962, runs in with a Rugeley Trent Valley to Walsall local passenger.  The station was demolished after the passenger service was withdrawn in January 1965 and the sidings were removed following the closure of almost all local collieries in the 1970s.  The signal box (formerly No.1), seen behind the water tower remains in operation. No.2 signal box closed on January 14th 1973 and No.3 from 18th December 1977.  Passenger services were reinstated from Walsall to Hednesford in 1989, using newly built platforms.  The service was later extended to Rugeley and Stafford, although, by 2009, it terminated at Rugeley Trent Valley.This is a cold view of West Cannock No.5, which continued producing coal until 1982.  The locomotive in the photo is Bagnall 0-6-0ST  ‘Topham’ 2193/1922.