Saturday, 21 January 2023

Caledonian Railway preserved 0-4-4 tank engine No. 419 at the Battlefield Line

The attractive former Caledonian Railway preserved 0-4-4 tank engine running number 419 provided steam traction for the main 2022 season at the Battlefield Line. My only driving 'turn' on this interesting locomotive was on 18th June 2022 June when I was on a shared turn with Adrian L. Sadly, this was interrupted during the Footplate Experience Course which preceded the public services by the development of a serious steam leak on the locomotive. This resulted in my spending most of the day 'baby-sitting' the failed locomotive whilst a Class 33 diesel operated the passenger trains.


Preserved Caledonian Railway '439' Class No. 419 leaving Shackerstone with the Footplate Experience service. Note the pronounced steam leak at the front end.

Following a previous problem, a gasket in the main steam pipe had been replaced and this was initially suspected as the cause of the new problem. However, when the locomotive had cooled sufficiently to determine the source of the leak, we found that the front left cylinder cover was the culprit. Nothing further could be done then, so I completed the day as 'second-man' on the Class 33 performing the last passenger round trip of the day. I subsequently learnt that, once cold, the cylinder cover had been successfully tightened up and the locomotive restored to traffic. Apparently, this locomotive has a history of this problem reccurring periodically.

Limited access to the cylinders and valve chest front covers is via the hinged 'piano front' underneath the smokebox door. Accommodating two 18 inch diameter inside cylinders resulted in some of the front cover fixing studs being shared between the valve chest front cover and the adjacent cylinder front cover, as shown in the picture below.


Preserved Caledonian Railway 439 Class No. 419: View showing cylinder front covers, divided by the front cover for the vertical valve chest.

Design evolution of the 0-4-4T on the Caledonian Railway

Preserved locomotive 419 is the sole survivor of the Caledonian Class '439' 0-4-4T, introduced by McIntosh in 1900 and the standard suburban and branch line locomotive throughout the Caledonian Railway. But its origins go back to Dugald Drummond who had learned the importance of simple, rugged design through his experiences keeping locomotives running on the harsh routes within Scotland. For general use, a four-coupled tank engine with a bogie at the back appealed to him and, in 1884, Drummond had introduced the '171' class of 0-4-4T. Following rebuild, the last of these survived until 1944. Dugald Drummond's influence on subsequent Scottish locomotive design should not be underestimated. His successor, Lambie, saw fit to continue the design with some changes as the '19' class of condensing 0-4-4T and, in turn, when McIntosh took over in 1895, production of 0-4-4T carried on, first with the '92' class condensing 0-4-4T and then, in 1900, with the '439' class (very similar to the '92' class with boiler pressure raised by 10 p.s.i. and slightly better water capacity). Each of these classes used 5 foot 9 inch diamter coupled wheels but McIntosh also produced 12 locomotives with 5 foot 6 inch diameter coupled wheels giving better performance on the more demanding Cathcart Circle (Glasgow) and Balerno branch (Edinburgh) lines. So successful was the '439' class that production (with minor changes) continued from 1915 under Pickersgill with the final batch of ten emerging in 1925, with the majority of the class remaining in service until the 1960s.


Preserved Caledonian Railway '439' Class No. 419: Overall view during preparation outside Shackerstone Shed.

Braking

The Caledonian Railway was one of a number of UK railways which opted to fit the Westinghouse Air Brake System as the 'automatic brake', rather than the vacuum brake system used by many UK railways. Locomotive 419 retains its working steam-operated reciprocating air pump (mounted outside the cab on the fireman's (right) side. The pump charges an air receiver fixed below the bunker of the fireman's side. Via the Driver's Brake Application Valve in the cab, brake blocks on the coupled wheels are applied or released by air applied to the air brake cylinder. Flexible air brake hoses at each end of the locomotive allow the locomotive to be connected to an air brake system on suitably-equipped vehicles. After the Railway Grouping, the LMS additionally fitted a vacuum ejector, brake application valve and standard vacuum brake hoses to enable vacuum-braked trains to be controlled but the power brake on the locomotive remained air-operated. There is also a conventional handbrake, operated by a screw at the rear of the cab.


Preserved Caledonian Railway 439 Class No. 419: Westinghouse Air Pump immediately outside cab on fireman's side.


Preserved Caledonian Railway 439 Class No. 419: Driver's air brake application valve fixed to cab sheeting, left side.


Preserved Caledonian Railway 439 Class No. 419: Davies & Metcalfe Vacuum Ejector and Brake Valve in front left corner of cab. Just to the right, the vertical black tube with a white top is the mechanical control for the blower valve in the smokebox.

Locomotive Regulator

'Double-beat' or 'balanced' locomotive regulators are employed to reduce the effort required to open and close a steam valve against high pressure steam. The Wikipedia article here explains the principle, invented by John Hornblower around 1800. The arrangement was subsequently adapted for use as a locomotive regulator valve. There are a couple of posts in this blog about locomotive regulators - Part 1 talks about early type of regulators and Part 2 shows a modern type of locomotive 'double-beat' regulator. Whereas unbalanced regulators usually have one (or sometimes two) long handles so that the driver can produce sufficient leverage to adjust the valve, this shouldn't be needed with a 'balanced' design. Locomotive 419 is fitted with a 'balanced' regulator, controlled by a short, dual, red-painted handle.


Preserved Caledonian Railway '439' Class No. 419: View of boiler backhead showing red-painted regulator handle and other driving controls from fireman's side.

Cab layout

Because of the dual vacuum/air braking, there's a satisfying array of Bourdon gauges on the front spectacle plate inside the cab. The whistle is operated by a round plunger extending through the front spectacle plate, which produces the satisfying sound of a "Caley Hooter". The deep-toned, dignified sound of the "Caley Hooter"is my favourite whistle. When Stanier moved from Swindon to the LMS, he was asked to agree the whistle to be used on his new designs. A series of whistles were set up on a 'whistle bar' for demonstration and he chose the "Caley Hooter" so, brought up in LMS/GWR West Midlands, I became accustomed to the slightly mournful sound of Stanier engines. Many of my friends prefer 'chime whistles' but I always thought them rather 'foreign' (since I was not exposed to Gresley 'Pacifics' until later!).

More features of the cab layout can be gleaned from the collection of pictures here.


Preserved Caledonian Railway '439' Class No. 419: Gauges mounted on spectacle plate, L-R Train Pipe Vacuum, Boiler P{ressure, Duplex Air Brake, Carriage Warming. The round, polished steel plunger below is the whistle valve.

John Farquharson McIntosh

McIntosh was responsible for many Caledonian Railway designs. He was apprenticed at Arbroath in 1860 and, completing his apprenticeship in 1867, was appointed to Montrose Works where he spent 10 years. Returning to work following the loss of his right hand in an accident, he became Inspector of Lines from Greenhill to Aberdeen. In 1882 he became District Locomotive Superintendent at Aberdeen, taking a similar role at Carstairs in 1884. Next, he took charge of Polmadie running shed in 1886, next becoming Chief Inspector of the Caledonian Railway Locomotive Department at St. Rollox works in 1891 under Lambie. On Lambie's death in 1895, McIntosh became Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the Caledonian Railway until 1914.


John Farquharson McIntosh Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent Caledonian Railway 1895 - 1914

Book References

[1] ‘The McIntosh Locomotives of the Caledonian Railway 1895-1914’ by A. B. Macleod (Ian Allan 1948).
[2] 'An Illustrated History of L.M.S. Locomotives: Volume Three Absorbed Pre-Group Classes, Northern Division’ by Bob Essery and David Jenkinson (Oxford Publishing Co 1986) ISBN 0 86093 383 0.


Related articles on other websites

At the time of publication of this post, the following links were valid but, regrettably, with the passage of time, they may become 'broken'. John F. McIntosh (Wikipedia)
John Farquharson McIntosh (Steamindex)
SRPS Collection Pages: 439 Class 419
No. 419 (55189)
Caledonian Railway 439 Class (Wikipedia)

There's a YouTube video of No. 419 at the Battlefield Line by Damien le Maistre Video here.

My pictures

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Preserved Caledonian Railway 439 Class No. 419

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Review of the Year 2022

The United Kingdom started 2022 no longer in mandatory lockdown because of the Covid 19 Pandemic but still with an odd combination 'special measures' either advised or imposed voluntarily which persisted throughout the year. The practice of working from home introduced during the Covid 19 pandemic has become standardised (now called simply 'WFH') resulting in lowered productivity and other problems. The Russian Federation decided to attempt to annexe adjacent democratic Ukraine in what it called a 'special military operation', which is being pressed with astonishing cruelty but resisted by the people of Ukraine. Overall annual inflation exceeds 10% but food price inflation varies from 15% to 50%. Because of the situation in Ukraine compounding a series of poor decisions by governments here, gas and electricity prices have increased by 300% or more. Since the economic crisis of 2008, bank borrowing costs had been artificially kept at 0.5%, encouraging imprudent borrowing but during 2022, following months of political instability in the United Kingdom (three prime ministers in as many months), borrowing costs have risen to 5 or 6% even for secured borrowing and unsecured borrowing costs are much higher. Covid has not gone away and influenza and other infections (like 'Strep A') are at high levels. The National Health Service (NHS) has been struggling for years and is currently experiencing strikes of nurses, midwives and ambulance workers. Taxes have been raised here to the highest level in about 70 years in an attempt to deal with the effects of the costs of furlough during the worst of the pandemic. Railway workers, Postal workers and some civil service workers are on strike at the end of 2022 and this is currently likely to continue into 2023.

This is the 17th annual review since I started this blog and the prospects for the year ahead the least optimistic. Also, my apologies that it's taking me longer than ever to produce and publish individual posts.

OVERSEAS TRAVEL

Although overseas travel is once again possible, my impaired mobility has discouraged me from trips in 2022. To find more about overseas visits I've made in earlier years, see:-
Jan Ford's Travels (2001 onwards).
Jan Ford's Travels - The early trips (before 2001).
Jan Ford's Travels: Around the World in pictures
(alphabetic list of countries with links to pictures).
Myanmar (Burma)

My last visit was in 2019 (described here), after which Covid 19 prevented travel. Democratic elections in Myanmar at the end of 2020 resulted in a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD) but, on February 1st 2021 the result was repudiated by the Myanmar army who seized power alleging voter corruption. This spawned a peaceful Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) which was met with ruthless violence by the junta. Although Myanmar is a union of partially-devolved states representing different ethnic groups, there have always been Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAO) harrying central government for full independence. This has expanded to produce People's Defence Forces (PDF) or civilian militia in a number of areas to counter the agression of the junta. I would very much like to visit my friends in Myanmar (Burma) but this is not currently possible. For instance, Belmond's river cruise on the 'Road to Mandalay' ship is not currently in operation and Belmond's 'Governor's Residence' in Yangon is closed at present.

TRAVEL IN THE UK BY TRAIN

Railways the united kingdom are in a more perilous position than at any time since privatisation of government-owned British Rail was started in 1994. The deregulation of the industry was initiated in 1991 by EU Directive 91/440, which aimed to produce a more efficient rail network by creating greater competition. In my view, the result has been an unmitigated disaster, with poor service and high fares. In a normal year, I would expect to make a number of trips (mainly by rail) to various destinations in the UK. Despite most of the Pandemic restrictions being lifted, passenger numbers remained depressed, 'emergency' timetables seem commonplace, cancellations occur at short notice, and Trades Unions have regained an appetite for strikes. Rail travel remains unattractive but I persevered and made a few trips:-
Rail Travel in January 2022 posted 12-Feb-2022
New Brighton, again posted 18-Apr-2022
Return to Croydon posted 9-May-2022
Llandudno in April posted 9-Jun-2022
Retrieving my Camera posted 27-Jun-2022
Manchester by rail posted 6-Aug-2022
Old Locomotive Committee Annual General Meeting, 2022 posted 7-Aug-2022
Blackpool by rail, Fleetwood and Knott End posted 26-Aug-2022
Book-buying in Morecambe by Train posted 30-Aug-2022

New Brighton Beach: Fort Perch Rock, Lighthouse and Seatruck Ro-Ro ferry departing for Dublin (Return to New Brighton)


My visit to Croydon included a river trip on the RiverThames: The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Pier


Llandudno trip: The East Shore at Llandudno viewed from a descending Great Orme Tramway car


'A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley' by Rowland Emett: Science+Industry Museum, Manchester


Blackpool Tower, viewed from North Pier (Trip to Blackpool)

RAILWAYS AND PRESERVATION

Preserved railways continued to be adversely affected during 2022. I continued as a member of the Old Locomotive Committee and remained a volunteer at The Battlefield Line although my activities were on a reduced scale.

The Old Locomotive Committee

The Old Locomotive Committee (OLCO) was able to orgainise the customary two events in 2022. The Annual General Meeting was held at the Museum of Liverpool where the locomotive 'Lion' is on public display on Saturday, 7th May 2022. There's s short post on my journey there here. A full report on the A.G.M. itself has been circulated to OLCO Members. The second event was 'Lionsmeet' where live-steam models of 'Lion' are run and members can meet up. In 2022, the event was hosted at the running track of Worcester and District Model Engineers, situated in Diglis, Worcester. There's a report here.


Four 'Lion' models steamed at 'Lionsmeet' 2022, Worcester. In the foreground, John Brandrick is a passenger as 'Thunderbolt' pauses, with Jon Swindlehurst waiting behind and A J Reynolds also stopped near the marquee. Meanwhile, John Dalton has the inner track to himself.

All my posts about the Old Locomotive Committee are here and you can find more information (including how to become a member) on OLCO's website here.

The Battlefield Line

New Year's Day found me on 'Foxcote Manor', carrying out the Mince Pie services. There's a report here. The next steam turn was not until June when I was on a shared turn with Adrian L, which was interrupted by a serious steam leak on the locomotive, resulting in my spending most of the day 'baby-sitting' the failed locomotive whilst a Class 33 operated the service. The full report is still in preparation but there are some pictures of the day here. Days operating the Diesel Multiple Unit are always enjoyable (and less strenuous than steam!) and I had turns on Wednesday, 10th August, Saturday 10th September and Wednesday 26th October. There are a few pictures of October working in the album here. I was supposed to operate a DMU 'Mince Pie Special' service on 30th December. Traction was changed to 'Foxcote Manor' still allocated to me but, to my immense disappointment, I succumbed to a nasty seasonal infection on Christmas Eve and was unable to perform the duty on 30th December.


'Foxcote Manor' on Mince Pie Specials (Photo: D. Mould)


Preserved Caledonian Railway 439 Class No. 419: Overall view during preparation outside Shackerstone Shed.


DMU turn, Battlefield Line, 26-Oct-2022: "Waiting for the Road" (Photo: G. Hopwood)

You can find all my posts about the Battlefield Line here.

Incidentally, you can find all my posts about Diesel Multiple Units here (or refer to the 'Index' here).

Myanma Railways

As explained in 'OVERSEAS TRAVEL' above, my last visit to Myanmar allowing study of the interesting railway system there was in 2019 and no new posts on the topic were added in 2022. You can find all my earlier posts about Myanma Railways (in reverse date-of-posting order) here or refer to the 'Index' here.

BREWOOD HALL

Early in 2022, the organising committee (representing 2nd Brewood Scouts, Brewood Parish Church and the informal group Friends of Brewood Hall) met and agreed that we should, if possible, re-start the Annual Garden Party in 2022. I'm pleased to report that the event was held on 16th July 2022 and there's a report here.


Brewood Garden Party 2022

There's an album of pictures showing the 1-acre garden at Brewood Hall through the seasons in 2022 here with a separate album (covering a number of years) showing the fungi which appear annually here.


The Major Yew: Brewood Hall Garden 2022

During the year, as always, various repairs were carried out around the property. In 2022, permission was obtained from the Local Authority for tree maintenance which was carried out in July. There's an album of pictures showing the work here. Fairly extensive external repainting was carried out, repairs to the front doors and entrance porch, various roof and guttering work and some internal redecoration. You can find all my posts about Brewood Hall (in reverse date-of-posting order) here.

TY GWYN

Ty Gwyn is a small commercial woodland around 27 hectares in area near Corwen in Wales.

I made one visit in November 2022 with Dean to see the 're-spacing' work in progress. The weather was kind. There's a report here.


Ty Gwyn 2022: Looking east from the link road showing the 2016 planting

To see all my posts on Ty Gwyn, click here.

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Saturday, 24 December 2022

Ty Gwyn 2022

On Saturday, 12th November 2022 I visited the woodland at Ty Gwyn in Wales with Dean. Dean had studied the weather forecasts and picked the date for our trip. After a number of days of high winds and heavy rains, the day of our visit enjoyed sunshine and only mild breezes, giving us a very enjoyable day. We made good time on the drive from Brewood to Wales and, as is something of a habit, stopped at the 'Country Cooks' cafe on the A5 a few miles short of our destination for tea and teacakes. Suitably fortified, we continued to Ty Gwyn, pausing at the farmyard on the way to the woodland to chat to the farmer, Mr. Jones and one of his farming neighbours.

The woodland is accessed through a single gate which has recently been replaced.


Ty Gwyn 2022: The entrance gate and adjacent fencing has been recently renewed

The site includes a shallow valley which runs from the south-west to the north-east. The southern part of the site is served by the 'southern' road leading south-west from the gate, with a parallel 'northern' road accessing the northern sections. The two main roads are linked by a short road across the valley, resulting in a layout like an 'H' on its side. All the roads are of rolled, crushed stone (quarried from just outside the woodland boundary boundary by agreement) and are intended to be suitable for the large lorries employed in removing logs during felling.

But the productive phase of forestry is a once-in-a-generation event. Since I became involved in the already-mature woodland at Ty Gwyn in 1988, I have seen two major felling operations, resulting in most of the site area having been re-planted once. The proceeds of that felling then have to pay not only for re-planting but for maintenance for many years until it is economical to carry out further felling. What determines when felling is worthwyile depends upon many factors - not only tree growth rates, attrition from disease and pests, adverse weather events (particularly fire and windblow) but also on global economic conditions. Because Ty Gwyn was already mature in 1988, an early investment was made in installing the road system described above, in anticipation of early timber sales. But in 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed, bequeathing to a nummber of newly-independent countries well-managed Soviet forests. Seeking foreign exchange, the aggressive selling of this timber by these countries delayed felling at Ty Gwyn for a number of years. Further complications have arisen from the United Kingdom's devolution of powers to Wales (Government of Wales Act 1998, Government of Wales Act 2006 and The Wales Act 2014) with ever-changing legislation.

After the harvesting described in various earlier posts, re-stocking involved manually planting nursery-grown Sitka seedlings. But this intentional planting is augmented by self-regeneration as already-established trees on site go through their cycle of growth. This means that young trees of different ages can be seen everywhere growing conditions are favourable, which is often the roads themselves. Periodic flailing is necessary to keep the roads open to ordinary vehicles. Being unsure of the state of the forest roads, we decided to park at the gate and conduct our inspection on foot. The picture below shows a healthy-looking self-set Sitka at the roadside near the fascinating horizontal webs we found around the site


Ty Gwyn 2022: Sitka self-regeneration and horizontal disc-like webs on the heather, highlighted by water droplets

The view below shows the satisfactory growth of the 2010 planting on the left. The taller trees in the left background are the unfelled remains of the 1995 planting. The later 2016 planting is on the right and not really visible here because of the inclined ground.


Ty Gwyn 2022: Looking south-west on the southern road from just inside the access gate, with the 2010 re-stocking on the left Although growth rates are good, it will be many years before these trees are as mature as those shown below, which shows the previous trees to occupy this area in 2006, prior to felling, again looking south-west along the southern road but from a position outside the access gate.


Ty Gwyn 2006: Looking south-west on the southern road, before harvesting of timber

We took the link road across the valley to get a better view of the 2016 planting which lies on both sides of the link road, filling the valley floor. Because of satisfactory growth rates, a programme of 'respacing' is currently being implemented where weaker trees are removed to improve the growth of the remaining trees. This is discussed further in a Forestry Commission publication linked in 'References' below.


Ty Gwyn 2022: View looking east from the link road, giving a better idea of the progress of the 2015 planting. Note the wind turbines in the distance

We first inspected the eastern end of the northern road, leading to the Pool.


Ty Gwyn 2022: View fronm the eastern end of the northern road, looking down the track leading to the Pool

On the western arm of the northern road, we found two types of fungus. The first seemed to be a mature puffball, wuth the dark central pore open to allow wind and rain to disperse the spores - possibly Apioperdon. The second had a traditional 'toadstool' shape with a red cap - perhaps Fly Agaric or a Russula? We were not tempted to snack.


Ty Gwyn 2022: At various locations along the northern road, we found this interesting fungus


Ty Gwyn 2022: At various locations there were examples of this fungus

Returning to the link road, I took this shot looking east.


Ty Gwyn 2022: View looking east along the northern road, with the 1995 protective strip on the left and the 2016 planting at lower level on the right, together with various broadleaves

Finally, we inspected the west end of the south road. Dean went to the end of the road but I stopped a little short, as I was tiring.


Ty Gwyn 2022: Looking west along the south road with the 2016 planting on the right.

Walking back to the car, Dean suggested collecting one of the 'respaced' trees which had been cut down by chainsaw to allow adjacent trees to thrive so, for the very first time, Brewood Hall has had a (modest) Christmas Tree actually grown at Ty Gwyn!
Reference

Respacing naturally regenerating Sitka spruce and other conifers
(Forestry Commission)

My posts about Ty Gwyn

You can find all my posts about Ty Gwyn here (in reverse date-of-posting order), with links to albums of pictures.

Pictures of Ty Gwyn

Pictures from this visit are at Ty Gwyn 2022
You can find all my albums of pictures of Ty Gwyn here.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Brewood Garden Party 2022

On 16th July 2022, Brewood Garden Party was held, for the eighth time, in the garden at Brewood Hall.

The previous garden party had been in 2019 and, although intended to be annual, planned events in 2020 and 2021 had been cancelled because of the Covid19 pandemic. Early in 2022, the organising committee (representing 2nd Brewood Scouts, Brewood Parish Church and the informal group Friends of Brewood Hall) met and agreed that we should, if circumstances allowed, run the event in 2022. A series of meetings were held in the following months to plan the details.

Publicity

As in previous events, a 'flyer' was printed and distributed to households around Brewood by the Scouts. In 1922, the local free magazine 'Villager' published an illustrated article in their June edition.

Setting Up

On the evenings of Thursday 14th July and Friday 15th July, the marquees, tents, tables, chairs and other items needed were brought to Brewood Hall from various locations using cars towing trailers. Brewood Scouts and other volunteers erected the tents and arranged the seating areas. This work was completed on the morning of the Garden Party, with the children's games, refreshment tent and temporary electrics being completed in time for the public to be admitted at noon. The Garden Party, lasting just four hours, requires a lot of commitment from those involved before, during and after the event.


Just some of the materials brought in on trailers for the event: Brewood Hall Garden Party 2022


One of the tubular-framed marquee being erected: Brewood Hall Garden Party 2022

A Little Local Difficulty

Two days before the event, the writer tested positive for Covid19. I'd had the three inoculations specified for a person of my age at the time and it was the first time I'd contracted Covid so it was a bit of a surprise. Not wishing to be the cause of a "Brewood Super-spreader Event" I realised that I would be self-isolating in Brewood Hall during the Garden Party, just able to watch through the windows! So my report is rather second-hand this time and largely relies on pictures taken by others. My infection was fairly benign with symptoms similar to a bad cold persisting for a little over a week.

The Event

The weather leading up to the Garden Party had been unusually hot, giving rise to the fear that the event might be unpleasantly warm. On the morning of the Garden Party, there had been a very brief, light shower after which the weather became perfect with bright sun, warm but not oppresive.

Peter Plowright was a welcoming presence on the admissions table throughout the afternoon.


Peter Plowright manning the Admission Desk: Brewood Garden Party 2022

The event was opened by the Staffordshire Corps of Drums, in their impressive, colourful ceremonial uniforms, with a precision, musical display.


The event opened with a display by Staffordshire Corps of Drums: Brewood Garden Party 2022

The Refreshment Tent, with its selection of drinks and food, quickly became a focus and remained well-patronised throughout the afternoon.


Some of the volunteers from Brewood Post Office and Brewood Co-op who helped to staff the Refreshment Tent: Brewood Garden Party 2022

The ideal weather encouraged visitors to relax in the open air at the numerous tables outside the Refreshment Tent or wander around the variety of stalls.


Brewood Garden Party 2022

For a number of years, the Cannock Performing Arts Centre provided music at the Brewood Garden Party with two talented bands. Their activities had not yet recovered from the malign effects of the Covid Pandemic and they were unable to appear in 2022. However, we were able to welcome a local group, Hubbub, on their first public appearance and, with guitars and keyboard, they provided mellow music during the afternoon well-matched to the relaxed mood of the event.




A newly-formed local group, Hubbub, provided mellow music at Brewood Garden Party 2022

For the first time, Greensforge Sailing Club (who are based at the nearby Gailey water reservoir) displayed the popular RS Tera dinghy they use for training. This created a lot of interest.


The popular RS Tera dinghy displayed by Greensforge Sailing Club at Brewood Garden Party 2022

Also for the first time, local charity Bethany Children's Home, based in Wombourne, had a stall to promote their work in connection with the orphanage they built in Dhading, Nepal.


Bethany Children's Home stall: Brewood Garden Party 2022

In 2019, a Pizza Van had been a popular innovation. In 2022 Al's Pizzas offered wood-fired pizzas from a striking customised van parked on the grass just outside the entrance.


Al's Pizzas: Brewood Garden Party 2022

The Village Pantry provided a stall and, in addition, a mobile ice-cream van made a visit.


The Village Pantry Stall at Brewood Garden Party 2022

The beer tent made a welcome return and was kept busy, offering cold soft drinks, lager, Pimms and, until stocks ran out, Greene King's craft 'Level Head' ale.


The Beer Tent: Brewood Garden Party 2022

We were pleased to welcome back Chase Ferret Rescue, with their attractive animals. Some readers may be unaware that Cannock Chase (or simply 'the Chase') is a nearby area historically connected to Brewood.


Dean and ferret friend: Brewood Garden Party 2022

This was the first Garden Party since the opening of Brewood Community Hub and they provided a stall to display the variety of activities on offer there. They advertise regular clubs called Baby Sling, Art Club, Bouncing Bunnies, Dementia Support Group, Sewcialise, Weight Watchers, Yoga, Table Tennis. Rooms are used by Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Guides and Brownies and are available for hire for children’s parties or meetings.


The Sewing Club at Brewood Community Hub: Brewood Garden Party 2022

Once again, Brewood Parish Church provided an imposing Plants and Produce Stall, which was sited along the front elevation of the Hall.


Plants and Produce stall: Brewood Garden Party 2022

A wide range of prizes was on offer for the lucky winners at tombola.


Tombola prizes displayed behind the tombola drum: Brewood Garden Party 2022

Our many younger visitors were well-catered for. The ever-popular Coconut Shy was kept busy, as were 'Hook-a-Duck' and Teddy Tombola. There was a colourfully-decorated Tuck Shop, a Book Stall and a 'Soft Archery' range.


The ever-popular Coconut Shy: Brewood Garden Party 2022


Tuck Shop: Brewood Garden Party 2022


'Hook-a-Duck' and Teddy Tombola: Brewood Garden Party 2022


Archery for Children using arrows tipped with rubber suckers: Brewood Garden Party 2022

As in 2019, the 2-foot gauge steam locomotive 'Phoenix' appeared as a static exhibit, this time with smoke curling from the distinctively-shaped chimney.


'Phoenix' at Brewood Garden Party 2022

As an innovation in 2022, John Groves, a local farmer, displayed a classic farm tractor for young people to admire.


John Groves, a local farmer, displayed a classic tractor: Brewood Garden Party 2022

A section of the front lawn had been marked out with a series of parallel white lines, forming a short running track, allowing a number of Children's Races, with small prizes, to be held during the event.

After the Event

The Event closed at four o'clock but, of course, there was still lots of work for the volunteers. Admissions money and stall takings were counted on the day by Marion and the writer with Geoff then arranging refund of sums advanced by volunteers and distribution of nett proceeds to the benefiicary charities.


Brewood Hall Garden Party 2022: Marion counting cash

Dismantling the stalls and Marquees was started on the day but loading up trailers and returning equipment to storage was spead over a couple of days.


Brewood Hall Garden Party 2022: Dismantling marquees after the event

It was naturally disappointing that Covid prevented me from attending the eighth Brewood Hall Garden Party but I was touched that members of the organising committee afterwards presented me, as current chatelaine of Brewood Hall, with a magnificent floral display.


Brewood Hall Garden Party 2022: The writer, as owner of Brewood Hall, was presented with a magnificent bouquet

Reports on previous garden parties at Brewood Hall

Brewood Vintage Garden Party 2013.
Brewood Vintage Garden Party 2014.
Brewood Garden Party 2015.
Brewood Garden Party 2016.
Brewood Garden Party 2017.
Brewood Garden Party 2018.
Brewood Garden Party 2019.

Related posts on other websites

2nd Brewood Scouts
Greensforge Sailing Club
Chase Ferret Rescue


Pictures of the event

Depending on the display device, the right hand edge of pictures may not display. To see an uncropped image, click on the picture. Alternately, you can find the image by following the link below and display or download the image in various resolutions.

Brewood Garden Party 2022