Aldridge Railway Station.

August 10, 2018


To coin a phrase “ the train now standing in platform one is a Stevenson Railway Society, Railtour named Farewell to LNWR Steam”. The Station is Aldridge Station, which was opened in 1879 on the Midland Railway Line between Walsall and Birmingham via Streetly and Sutton Park. The station closed to passengers in 1965 as part of the Beeching re-structure plan. The train was hauled by two Super D, 0-8-0 locomotives No’s 49430 and 49361 respectively. The yellow stripes on the cab sides of the loco’s prohibits them from working under electric power lines South of Crewe, due to their height, and also power lines South of Crewe tended to be lower due to bridge clearance. Photo taken on 12th December 1964 by Paul Downey/JW.


Wimblebury No 7.

July 17, 2018

Austerity Class 0-6-0ST locomotive named Wimblebury is seen returning to Cannock Wood Colliery with rather an unusual load. Not the recognised procedure for the P way team to return to the colliery, but they were glad of the opportunity of a tow back to Cannock Wood. Photo by John Bucknall.


The locomotive, works No 3839, was built by Hunslet in 1956 and supplied new to Cannock Wood Colliery as their No 7 and named Wimblebury. The loco was withdrawn from service in 1970, and when the Colliery closed in 1973, No 7  was sold for preservation, and moved to Foxfield Railway at Stoke on Trent. Since being in preservation the loco has done stirling service at Foxfield and also visited other preserved railways, including Chasewater Railway. Photo by Robin Stewart-Smith.


Its last major overhaul was completed in 2017 and now this impressive locomotive, is now back in steam at Foxfield, looking as splendid as ever. Photo by Kieron Mark Rigby.


Trolley Bus 616.

July 16, 2018

When the Railway Preservation Society was at Hednesford, it had an ex Wolverhampton Corporation Trolley Bus. Photo by oakparkrunner in 1963.


This Trolley Bus registration FJW 616, fleet No 616 was built in 1949 by Sunbeam Comercial Vehicles of Wolverhampton. Also in 1949 Sunbeam was taken over by Guy Motors, another Wolverhampton based commercial vehicle builder. The Trolley bus was fitted with a Park Royal body with a 54 seating capacity. Motive power was provided by a Metro-Vickers 95 HP motor, fed from a 550 volt DC supply via overhead cables. Wolverhampton had one of the largest Trolley Bus network in the country, with a fleet of 173 buses running over 14 routes. Photo Wikipedia.


616 was taken out of service in 1963 and moved to the Preservation Society at Hednesford, when Wolverhampton gradually changed to diesel buses. Trolley buses eventually ceased to operate in the Borough in March 1967. When the RPS moved from Hednesford to Chasewater in 1965 the bus was put into storage, under cover until it moved to the Bus Museum at Wythall in July 2004. It has since been cosmetically restored, and is on static display in the museum. Photo from Museum web page.




Cannock Wood No 9.

July 14, 2018

Cannock and Rugeley Colliery locomotive was built by London Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1877. It was a 0-6-0T loco E1 class ref  No B110 and named Burgundy. It was sold to Cannock and Rugeley Colliery in 1927 as their No 9 and re named Cannock Wood. Photo by JohnBucknall year unknown.


The loco was withdrawn from service in 1963 with fire box problems and preserved by the Railway Preservation Society at Hednesford. Photo by oakparkrunner 1965.



In 1965 when the Society moved to Chasewater, the loco was stored at Rawnsley. It then moved to Chasewater in 1970, and finally moved to the East Somerset Railway in 1978.

Walsall Railway Shed.

July 13, 2018

Walsall engine shed was situated at Ryecroft and given the allocation code of 3C, a plate bearing this number was fitted to the smoke box door on all the locomotives shedded there. Photo by David Dalton 1965.



The shed which was  constructed in 1878 covered 12 roads and could house around 60 steam locomotives. Photo Jack Haddock.


It was rebuilt over 3 years 1953/1955, but only 3 years later in 1958, the shed closed to  steam traction, and catered for a number of  DMU’s and a few diesel locomotives from Bescot. Photo by Jack Haddock.


The shed closed completely in 1965 and subsequently demolished in 1970.


Littleton Colliery final day of steam.

July 4, 2018

February 18th 1978 was the day that steam power ended at Littleton colliery. The last train of the day was a rake of empty coal wagons from Penkridge exchange sidings back to the Colliery. Photo by Mike Wood.



The honour of this final journey was bestowed upon Austerity 0-6-0ST locomotive No 1752 built in 1943 by Hudswell Clarke to a Hunslet design, and known as No 7.

Although the Colliery closed in December 1993, the locomotive survived, first moving to Bold Colliery in St Helens and renamed Robert. Photo by Graham Wignall.


It was withdrawn from service in 1982 and put into preservation at Crewe Heritage Centre. It is now at Great Central Railway Loughborough, and after a full restoration it forms part of their running fleet under its J94 guise of 68067 as it was in BR days. Photo’s by Joe Nineefs Connell.




Peckett Locomotive 917.

June 18, 2018

Built by Peckett & Sons of Bristol in January 1902, this Type R1 0-4-0ST locomotive is seen at Albright & Wilson’s Chemical Works at Oldbury. photo by Mike Wood.


917 at Albright & Wilson Oldbury.

Originally sold to Crowshaw & Warburton of Shawcross in Yorkshire, and named Shawcross. It was taken in part exchange for a new one from Peckett, and resold to Albright & Wilson in 1930. It was withdrawn from service in August 1978 and is now preserved at Chasewater Railway awaiting restoration. Photo oakparkrunner.

917 a


Lord Kitchener

May 1, 2018

The main locomotive at Walsall Wood Colliery was No 5 Lord Kitchener.

wood loco

This 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotive, works No 5158, was purchased new from Kitsons and company at Hunslet in West Yorkshire. It was kept busy in the colliery as well as taking loaded wagons of coal down to the marshalling yard at Norton Junction in Pelsall. Whilst going to Norton Junction, the driver had to carry the following token, allowing him access to the single track line.

stsff jpeg

The locomotive was still at the Wood in 1962 and was since scrapped. One of the original Brass nameplates off Lord Kitchener has recently been purchased by Chasewater Railway Museum, and after renovation, it will be on display along with other original nameplates from local colliery engines.

Another Kitson locomotive at Walsall Wood was Lord French. Purchased new in 1916 with a works No of 5171, it was scrapped at Walsall Wood in 1948.

Photographs and relevant information taken from chasewaterstuffs  blog


Walsall World War 1 Hero.

April 23, 2018

John Henry Carless was born in Walsall in 1896. and joined the Royal Navy in 1915.

He was a Gunner on the HMS Caledon at the second battle of Heligoland, off the German Coast in 1917.

During this battle he received serious wounds to his stomach which lead to his death.

Although seriously wounded John stayed at his post, and continually loaded and fired his gun. For his heroic actions on that day, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.


A bronze bust was made in memory of John and was mounted on a stone plinth outside the Town Hall in February 1920.


Carless Street in Caldmore was  named after him, as well as a Diesel Railway Locomotive No 31107.


The Locomotives nameplates were removed when the loco was taken out of service in July 1995, and it was subsequently scrapped in 2009. Photo by John Morris.

The Wooden headboard from the loco is now on show at Walsall Leather Museum, along with other memorabilia of this local hero, including a replica of his Victoria Cross. Photo from Black Country Bugle.


It is unknown what happened to the side nameplates from the Locomotive.

Walsall Wood Colliery

March 22, 2018

ww colliery 5

Two 15 feet diameter shafts were sunk in 1874, one to a depth of 1676 feet, and the other to a depth of 1743 feet, making the mine the deepest in the Staffordshire Coalfields.

Ventilation was by means of a coal fired furnace at the base of the up shaft, working on the principal of hot air rising, which in turn was replaced with fresh cold air drawn down the down shaft. The furnace worked continuously until it was replaced with an electric driven fan in 1954.

ww colliery 4

In its peak days the Colliery produced 6,500 tons of coal per week. some coal went by narrow boat on the adjacent Wyrley and Essington canal.

ww colliery 3

The remainder went by rail either on the Midland Railway line via Aldridge Sutton and Birmingham, or on the link to Norton Junction in Pelsall to connect to the L N W R which later became the L M S after re grouping.

ww colliery 1

All coal seams were exhausted by 1964 which meant the closure of the Colliery.

Following the mine closure, Effluent Disposal where granted permission to discharge chemical waste down the shaft into the mine workings. This went on until March 1976 until the liquid reached the permitted level below the shaft top.

A 60 foot tall monument of a pit head has been erected in memory of the Colliery and the miners who worked there.


In formation taken from Brian Rollins book Coal mining in Walsall Wood.

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