Sister Dora named Locomotives.

June 24, 2019

A number of railway locomotives have been named Sister Dora, after the Walsall Legend Dorothy Pattison. Dorothy was born in Yorkshire on 16th January 1832 and moved to Walsall on 8th January 1865, when she worked at the cottage hospital in Bridge Street until her death on 24th December 1878 aged 46.


The first loco to bear her name was a Jumbo Class No 2158. Photo from Roger Carpenter collection.


Class 31 No 31430 was named Sister Dora during an open day at Bescot on October 9th 1988. Photo by Stephen Widdowson. The commemorative badges were donated to Chasewater Railway Museum by David Ratley.



The name Sister Dora was transferred to another Bescot Locomotive, class 37, No 37116 on 25th February 1996. Photo by Stephen Widdowson.


Midland Metro also named their No 05 after the legendary Walsall Nurse.




Steam Locomotive 431

June 8, 2019

This 0-6-0 ST, steam locomotive was built by the Leeds Company of, Hudswell Clarke in 1895. Given a works No of 431 it was supplied new to Sheepbridge Coal & Iron Company in Chesterfield as their No 15. It was rebuilt by Sheepbridge in 1928, and again in 1944, before being transferred to the Northamptonshire quarry at Desborough in March 1951.

It is seen here at Desborough taking a rake of iron ore tippler wagons to the exchange sidings.


The quarry closed in1966 and the loco was purchased by members of Chasewater Railway for preservation in 1967. The loco as the honour of being the oldest 6 coupled Hudswell Clarke steam locomotive in existence today, and is still at the Brownhills West Station of Chasewater Railway, awaiting restoration.





Walsall Steam Railway.

November 15, 2018

Situated in Walsall Arboretum, the 7 1/4 inch gauge steam railway opened at Easter 1976, with single line working using 1 steam locomotive   “Princess Elizabeth”, and 2 battery powered locomotives.


Over the following couple of years, a loco shed and two turntables were installed.


By the end of 1979 the Railway was operating with 1 1/4 miles of double track, between 2 terminal stations, making it the only 7 1/4 gauge railway to this specification running in this country at the time.


Trains were run every Saturday, Sunday, and Bank Holidays, between Easter and October from 2pm until dusk.


In its heyday this popular Railway operated regular 3 carriage trains, using 8 steam locomotives plus 2 battery powered ones.

4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth No 6201, 4-6-2 A H Peppercorn No 525, 2-10-0 Black Prince No 92203, 2-10-0 Evening Star No92220, 4-6-0 Sister Dora No 5000, 4-6-0 Lanarkshire Yeomanry No 45154, 4-6-2 Duchess of Buccleuch No 6230, GWR battery electric, and Hymek battery electric.

Unfortunately Walsall Steam Railway closed in the late 1980’s.

Information and photographs taken from brochure entitled Walsall Steam Railway by Colin M Cartwright, dated Spring 1981.



Bursnips Road Signal Box.

October 12, 2018


This rather ornate Signal Box in a photograph  taken by Jim Hardy, was situated on Bursnip Road Essington, and protected the entrance to Holly Bank Colliery.


The Colliery which opened in 1880, closed in 1952. The Signal Box however survived and as since between totally renovated and transformed, and is now a private dwelling.


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 1968, 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.




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