1970 I became a founder member of the Cheshire and Staffordshire
Railway Society which, through various incarnations, has become
the North Staffordshire Railway Company (1978) Limited from which
has spawned the Churnet Valley Railway plc. Predominantly a steam
hauled private railway operating in North Staffordshire, England,
Join me as I reminisce.
In the beginning....
was the Cheshire and Staffordshire Railway Society, born out
of ideas formed by Ken Simpson and enthused to a small group
of would-be railwaymen. The target was the Biddulph Valley route
which branched North from the Stoke-Leekbrook line at Milton
Junction, passed by the Victoria Colliery, crossed the Cheshire
border and ran under the Stoke-Manchester line to Congleton Wharf.
soundings to Cheshire County Council met with lukewarm interest
and really there was little encouragement from anyone. However,
faith moves mountains, and, when Cheddleton Station was about
to meet its end, a local Councillor stepped in with a rescue
plan. With help from Sir John Betjemen and the Victorian Society,
the building gained Grade II listed status and an invitation
to us to become tenants was quickly, and gratefully, accepted.
This prompted a rapid change of name to become the North Staffordshire
Railway Society, later amended to The North Staffordshire Railway
Co.(1978) Ltd.. The rest, as they say, is history and these and
other events to date have been well chronicled elsewhere.
days demanded much from the few and I have lost track of the
different administrative roles I played in the development of
the railway. The highlight of my "career" on the railway
was the acquisition and movement of the Elton Crossing Signal
Box to Cheddleton where it remains today. In those early days
of the 70's there were not too many serious photographers to
be found around Cheddleton and I certainly had no decent camera,
just an instamatic! I did, however, manage to accumulate a few
shots of pioneering endeavours which, together with the more
modern images, are displayed on the related pages.