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Author Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
ditzy

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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 09/09/2010 15:32:25
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tickets arrived this morning.

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IP: 81.154.121.172
ditzy

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Chatterley Whitfield
Posted: 11/09/2010 17:23:59
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Had a trip this morning for about an hour and a halv
looked in the lamp room, bath house and a shed with a big hauling winder thing.
had lots of chat from the guide about all the bits and piec es but most of the site was fenced off and we couldnt get a proper look, could just see a row of lancashere boilers in the old boiler house
2 of the shafts were shuttered for ventilation - think these were in -downcast and the other 2 were open for out/upcast but couldnt really here the guide as it was very windy
heres a link to my pics
[web link]

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im the ditzyest ditzy in ditzy land
IP: 81.154.121.175
mike2030

Joined: 11/09/2010
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 11/09/2010 18:39:48
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Like the photo's but dismayed at the state of the place. Have you been to Apedale.....this has deteriorated as a visitor centre over the years as they struggle for cash and volunteers and also the bickering amongst the "senior" members/trustees.
There are so many of these "restoration" projects about that are sadly underfunded and are unlikely to survive as a commercial enterprise because many of the volunteers have no experience in running a business.
It's having photo's that you have taken in many unique places that will serve as a memory for the future.....well done.
IP: 87.113.207.97 Edited: 11/09/2010 18:42:49 by mike2030
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 11/09/2010 19:19:25
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mike2030 wrote:

Like the photo's but dismayed at the state of the place. Have you been to Apedale.....this has deteriorated as a visitor centre over the years as they struggle for cash and volunteers and also the bickering amongst the "senior" members/trustees.
There are so many of these "restoration" projects about that are sadly underfunded and are unlikely to survive as a commercial enterprise because many of the volunteers have no experience in running a business.
It's having photo's that you have taken in many unique places that will serve as a memory for the future.....well done.


Unfortunately Apedale & Chatterley Whitfield are two totally different propositions as "restoration" projects. I can't really comment on Apedale, but am aware of its "problems" both past & present, but with regard to Chatterley Whitfield the major stumbling block is Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the owners of the site & the North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership, which is currently in melt down! Despite the numerous consultations, surveys & masterplans that have been undertaken over the last 10 years there is still no definitive future for the site.

English Heritage make all the right noises when approached, but seem either unwilling or unable to actually get things moving. In fact a well respected member of EH has stated that CW was the 1st pit to produce 1million tons of coal & the 1st regeneration project to produce 1 million sheets of paper Angry

Hopefully someone will take a grasp of the situation soon & perhaps divert the money currently being used to "line the pockets" of consultants & project managers, into positive actions to prevent the loss of some or all of this unique place.

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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 11/09/2010 19:19:41
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[web link]
This is to a collection of pics of the Apedale site, think I have linked it before but here it is again

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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 11/09/2010 20:54:46
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I first visited Apedale last September when the Moseley Railway Trust had an open weekend. I thought at the time that the site has now become almost swamped by the addition of the railway. IP: 92.26.191.83
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 07:49:37
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I'm afraid that very few of the people involved in the preservation and restoration of these structures and locations have any idea what they are really taking on.

Bill L at Geevor, and Tamarmole at Morwellham, have offered some very interesting and though-provoking opinions on the matter.

I suspect that like the railway preservation field, there are simply too many projects costing too much to maintain, for long-term viability. A preserved railway CAN be viable - look at the Festiniog, who seem to go from strength to strength, constructing complete new locomotives and other rolling stock, experimenting with oil and coal firing, rebuilding miles of line and generally running a serious railway with traffic densities unknown in any former life. In fact, you might say ( and some do ) that it is a misnomer to regard the Festiniog as 'preserved' at all, rather having been replaced by a reconstructed line along the main part of the original route and far beyond.

But, there are any number of preserved railways with yards full of deteriorating and unrestored - possibly unrestorable - locos, short running lengths ( sometimes little more than 'across the yard' or 'to the first level crossing' ) and generally, no real expectation of generating the funds for their plans.

A peculiarly narrow-gauge variant of this, is the 'reconstruction project' consisting of a short length of track and one or two of the ubiquitous small Hunslet or Barclay tank locos, plus a grandiose presentation showing how the original route remains largely open.

I suspect that the whole preservation sector will shrink considerably in the coming years, as structures deteriorate with time and the skills and funds to renew them are simply not available

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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 08:54:16
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Thanks for your reply.....you obviously have a great deal of interest in this industry. I worked at Bestwood from 1960-1970 and recently was invited to the "re-opening" of the visitor centre featuring the unique vertical winder. This wouldn't have been possible without lottery funding and bearing in mind the pit closed in circa,1972 it has taken a long time and countless hours of unpaid work by local volunteers to save this feature of our heritage for future generations. Neither the council or EH have the funding or motivation to restore these projects because there are "too many" to consider and often replicated in other regions. I don't know what the answer is but for someone dedicated to their local project it is an emotive frustration. Remembering mining will soon be like a first world war memorial, a monumental tribute without survivors. IP: 80.229.116.114
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 10:01:50
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this isn't confined to mining remains by any means. I pass the Bennie Lifts tower in Northampton from time to time, and it's clear that there is no coherent plan and more important, no funding for this structure. Various things are touted from time to time, but when I see the words 'could' and 'plans' I tend to switch off a little.

The vast 'political correctness' beaurocracy left by Labour as a means of 'outdoor relief' for areas with no remaining economic function is probably their most problematic legacy, but the 'heritage' and 'redevelopment' pseudo-industry isn't much better

people do, from time to time, make unfavourable comments about the Festiniog, especially their focus on modernising some aspects of their opperations and their sometimes abrupt and seemingly unappreciative way with their less useful volunteers; but to me, they appear to be a serious operation who know what they are seeking to achieve, and how to go about it, and that's what counts.


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staffordshirechina

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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 10:38:08
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Sadly, whatever Stoke-on-Trent City council touch tends to turn to sh*t. Anybody who lives in the area is not surprised.
Fortunately, Apedale is in Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough so marginally better off.
Now that Apedale has got a railway crew that appear to be able to get organised, the site is looking more prosperous.
Such mine preservation sites always look like a sad collection of rubbish, mainly because they are. They accept anything that is mine related rather than see it be destroyed.
Having said that, compared to when the mine was working, the site is now much cleaner and sanitised!!
As a representaion of an underground mine, Apedale is quite close to the real thing. It was built by real miners not 'designers'. As time goes by it will be increasingly difficult to find people with the skills and in the case of coal mines, the qualifications to continue. As I am sure FFestiniog understand, volunteers come in all types from the great to the absolute liability!
Incidentally, I believe it is the Apedale open weekend again next weekend, 18/19th September so I'll probably walk over the hill for a look on Sunday to see how they have progressed.
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 10:39:49
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I am aware of the Bestwood project Mike2030, having managed to get a "behind the scenes" tour before it was officially opened. Unfortunately the size of Chatterley Whitfield (33 buildings & structures) provides not only its uniqueness but also its major problems, ie what do you do with it. Have to admit that progress has been made with the refurbishment of the offices into an Enterprise Centre, but its the total lack of vision for the rest of the site that is the frustration. Any future plans have to include a means of financially supporting the heritage element & I have no problem with this as long as its done sympathetically.

The last I heard "officially" from the then MD of the North Staffs Regeneration Partnership was that they want to get rid of CW as its seen as a liability Angry we have attempted to argue that it should be seen as an asset for both the local community & the wider area, but this falls on deaf ears.



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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 11:21:08
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staffordshirechina wrote:

Sadly, whatever Stoke-on-Trent City council touch tends to turn to sh*t. Anybody who lives in the area is not surprised.
[snipped]
Incidentally, I believe it is the Apedale open weekend again next weekend, 18/19th September so I'll probably walk over the hill for a look on Sunday to see how they have progressed.

. very true

. railway is opening that w/e but only a short littlr bit of track is built so far. they have a small steam engine and a diesel one as well and lots of rolling stock
the u/g bit there is part mock up and part real
mr c is the one to ask i think

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IP: 81.154.120.28
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 12:21:51
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Personally I think Hopewell in FofD is one of the best mining museums. Posiibly because it is still a (part time) working mine, so really does look "as it should be". Off Topic IP: 78.150.240.180 Edited: 12/09/2010 14:15:59 by JohnnearCfon
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 13:08:44
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Did you mean Hopewell? IP: 86.146.185.122
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 14:15:19
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Oops Yes, Hopewell! Stupid IP: 78.150.240.180
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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 15:57:32
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Yes, the Apedale underground is part and part.
In fact, the real part, in the Bassey seam was my District when I worked there as a Deputy in the 1980's.
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mike2030

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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 17:35:21
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I installed a new shaft signalling system in the engine house in 1968 but on my recent visit noticed that, amongst other items, it had been removed and "sold on" to another colliery before the pit closed for good.

From the bowels of a ship to being installed in the lovely victorian engine house building to haul coal and men and now restored to its former glory, minus the steam, is a credit to those who persevered.

As for the commercial success of the project it will never ever recover the restoration and running costs.......but will be there for future generations, or not!!

For the life of me l cannot see any "governmental" organisation funding a project like CW........the cost would be monumental and for what return when they could argue that we have a National Mining Museum plus countless other "reminders", albeit in various states of decay ?

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Chatterley Whitfield on Country Tracks
Posted: 12/09/2010 18:07:47
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mike2030 wrote:



For the life of me l cannot see any "governmental" organisation funding a project like CW........the cost would be monumental and for what return when they could argue that we have a National Mining Museum plus countless other "reminders", albeit in various states of decay ?



There has never been a plan to open CW as any form of mining museum, but we have argued that any future plan must incorporate the extensive mining heritage that is there. There is no problem with alternative uses as long as any work is done sympathetically (remembering that this is a scheduled ancient monument) and allows public access with an element of interpretation, perhaps using some of thev many artefacts & archives still on site. It can be done, the work already carried out proves it, but until the local authority see the rest of the site as an asset, then the future seems bleak! Perhaps the idea of selling the site off to private investors may be the way forward, but at this time who would invest in a former industrial site thats been neglected for decades & has all the limitations associated with being a SAM Confused

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