June 14, 2015
Many of us older persons can remember the Jolly Collier Public House, situated at the junction of Coppice Side, and Pelsall Road in Brownhills.
In the years that I lived opposite, the Inn was run by Bill & Olive Hopley, Olive being the daughter of the previous licensee, Mr Chapman, known as Chatty to his customers. An old photograph has been given to me by local historian Reg Fullelove (AKA Aer Reg) of the establishment in earlier years.
At the time the photo was taken, the licensee was George Yates, and the Brewery was Blencowes. The Blencowe Cannock Brewery, as its name suggests, was in Cannock, and it was taken over by Butlers in 1925, who subsequently closed it after 3 years of ownership. Butlers Brewery, who later merged into Mitchells & Butlers, then ran the Collier until closure in the 1970’s.
February 19, 2015
An update on my previous post of the TV Series Arthur & George.
The 3 part series, one of which tells the story of the Wyrley Ripper is scheduled to commence on Monday March 2nd on ITV. Which episode is about the Wyrley Ripper is not known by me, but all three may be worth watching.
February 14, 2015
Built originally to harvest the tea & other vegetables from the sides of the Himalayan Mountains, the 2 foot narrow gauge railway runs for 48 miles between New Jalpaiguri & Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal. Numerous bends & loops are incorporated along the line to cope with the altitude difference of 1920 metres between Siliguri and Darjeeling. Taking two years to build the railway was officially opened in July 1881.
A total of 34 0-4-0 steam locomotives each weighing 11 tons were used on the line, built by British companies, Sharp Stewart & Co, & the North British Locomotive Company, but sadly only a few are now in use or being overhauled.
One Beyer Garrett 0-4-0 0-4-0 was purchased in 1911 but could not cope with the hilly sections of the line. Most of the traffic today is hauled by one of the 4 resident diesel locomotives.
Steam power is used mainly on the daily tourist trains, at times overloaded with passengers on the carriage roof.
Despite the very steep slopes of up to 40% in places, no rack system is used. Track friction is maintained by two Indian Railway workers, who sit on the front buffers of the loco, and apply sand when wheel slip occurs.
February 13, 2015
Coming soon on ITV ( date to be announced) will be a 3 part series called Arthur & George. This series star’s Martin Clunes & Charles Edwards as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and his assistant George (known as Woody).
One episode which was filmed in November 2014 on The Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, has a local interest when they investigate the story of a solicitor who was accused of mutilating animals.
This was known as the Great Wyrley Rippings. and although filmed on the Bluebell, there are many references to Great Wyrley and Cannock, including Pubs, Shops, and geographic features of the area. It may be worth a look but as I say I do not know when it will be shown, but if & when I find out I will post it here.
September 5, 2014
A total of 22Locomotives were built in this class during 1961 & 1962, by English Electric, to run express passenger trains between London & Edinburgh.
With an overall length of 69 feet 6 inches, and a width of 8 feet 91/2 inches, the 12feet 10 inch high loco’s weighed 101 Tons and were capable of speeds of 100 miles per hour, with a tractive effort of 50,000 lbs/feet. The DC generators were powered by two Napier Deltic diesel engines, fed from a 900 gallon supply tank, which enabled the locomotives to haul the Flying Scotsman train in a record time of 5 hours 55 minutes. With continued track improvements, the journey time was reduced to 5 hours 30 minutes by the mid 1970’s.
In 1978 the Intercity 125 took over the Flying Scotsman run, and the Deltics then worked general duties on the ECML until their withdrawal in 1981. The last service run was on December 31st 1981, with an enthusiasts special on January 2nd 1982.
Six of these fine Locomotives have survived and 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier is seen here arriving at Hampton Loade Station on the Severn Valley Railway, with the 15.20 passenger train from Bridgenorth to Kidderminster on Wednesday September 3rd 2014.
June 20, 2014
As to be expected Marion’s first visit when in the USA was to a Railway Museum. Greenville Railroad Park and museum, is home to engine 604,which is the sole remainder of the class of largest steam switch engines ever built.
A switch engine is the American name for a shunting engine. Built by Baldwin’s of Philadelphia a total of 9 were constructed for the Union Railroad in 1936 for use in the steel industry. With a unique wheel arrangement of 0-10-2, the loco weighs 322 Tons, and carried 14 tons of coal, and 12000 gallons of water, which usually lasted the day. Replaced by diesel traction in1949, it was transferred to the Duluth, Missabe, and Iron Range Railroad, were it stayed until it moved to its current home in March 1985. The free to enter Museum, is operated entirely by volunteers, and has a motto of. That the old will remember and the young will know.
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January 30, 2014
BR Standard Class 9F 92214
Named in 2011 as ‘Cock O’ The North’ by the previous owners, and fully lined out in fictional BR Lined Black livery of which the 9F’s never carried. 92214 is now fully operational at the Great Central Railway. Between 2006 and 2008, 92214 was at the East Lancashire Railway on loan. The locomotive was bought by the 92214 Locomotive Group (based at the Midland Railway Centre) and was fully restored to working order. On the 27th January 2014 it was announced that 92214 was to stay at the Great Central Railway. Like no. 92203, this locomotive was named after being preserved. The name had previously been carried by three locomotives on the former London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), of classes P2 its rebuilt form as A2/2, and C11.
The name was suggested by Valerie Walter, the Company Secretary of the company owning the locomotive (PV Premier Limited), whose grandfather served with the Gordon Highlanders during the First World War (Cock o’ the North being the traditional epithet attached to the Chief of the Gordon Clan of Scotland), with no prior knowledge of the name having previously been used by the LNER for some of their locomotives. A ten year boiler overhaul was completed over 2012/13 and the locomotive and on 29th June, 2013 it gained a full ten year boiler ticket.
November 17, 2013
Built by Andrew Barclay at their Caledonian works in Kilmarnock in 1902, the 0-4-0 CT locomotive was given the works No of 880.
Sold new to Glenfield & Kennedy Foundry, at Kilmarnock, the loco was used to lift and transport around the works, the large castings, which were produced on the site. The loco was fitted with a 16 foot rotating turntable, with a lifting capacity of 5 Tons.
A new boiler was fitted in 1961, and the loco was still used at the works until the late 1960’s. In the 1970’s Glenfield moved to the Great Western Railway Centre at Didcot, and was worked on by the Oxford Polytechnic Transport Society, based at Market Overton.
Glenfield ceased to steam in the 1980’s and became a static exhibit at Steam Town in Carnforth. In year 2000 it was purchased by John Lees, and then in 2006 it was acquired by the LH Group and moved to the Statfold Barn site in Tamworth. On November 6th 2013 it arrived at Chasewater Railway for storage.
The future plan for this rare locomotive is that it will stay at Chasewater until Easter 2014, then travel to Crewe for restoration, with the aim of ending up at Beamish Museum.
October 17, 2013
Why travel a lot of miles to see Santa when he will be at Chasewater Railway during December.
See website for running days, or pick up a brochure from one of the stations. Book early to avoid disappointment.
September 20, 2013
One of the hundreds of memorials at the National Memorial Arboretum is one for Rail Workers.
This magnificent monument, situated near to area 336 on the 150 acre site at Alrewas is dedicated to celebrate the achievements of railway workers, and to remember the people killed in the construction, and running of the industry. It was unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire Ian Dudson, along with former British Rail Chairman Sir Bob Reid, on May 22nd 2012.
The main feature of the 9 feet wide, 7.5 feet high statue is a 2-8-0 Stanier class 8F locomotive in black granite, which sits on a large granite base.
The front face of the base block is engraved with the following inscription.
On the rear is a picture depicting several scenes of typical railway operations.
Both ends have emblems of Railway Groups.
In conclusion this is only one of the many large tributes to the Military & auxiliary forces, plus other civilian organisations on this immaculately well kept site. Admission is free, with a small parking charge, and is well worth a visit.