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Brockham Narrow-gauge Railway Museum

Quick links to :-     Brockham Museum     Brockham's Locomotives     Articles and photos from 'Brockham News'     Amberley Museum

Brockham Museum, 1962 - 1982

The story of the Brockham Museum starts in 1960, when the Dorking Greystone Lime Co. of Betchworth, Surrey, was disposing of its railway stock and the company's general manager, Major Taylerson, was keen to see the locomotives preserved. The London Area Group of the Narrow Gauge Railway Society (NGRS) purchased one of the pair of 3 ft 2 1⁄4 in (972 mm) gauge Fletcher Jennings tank locos, Townsend Hook. Initially this was placed on display at Sheffield Park station on the embryonic Bluebell Railway. However this was not a particularly satisfactory arrangement, and efforts were made to find an alternative home. A site was found at a disused chalk pit at Brockham, only a stone's throw from the old stamping grounds of Townsend Hook at Betchworth. Townsend Hook moved there in 1962. That year the two Orenstein & Koppel diesel locos from Betchworth were acquired: No. 6 Monty and No. 7, later named The Major in honour of Major Taylerson. The Brockham Museum Trust was formed as a separate entity from the NGRS, although the NGRS retained ownership of Townsend Hook and later acquisition Peter (Bagnall 2067) until the early 2000s. In 1967 the current flagship of the museum fleet was acquired, the 1905-built Bagnall 2-4-0T 1781 Polar Bear, from the Groudle Glen Railway. The story goes that Brockham were offered both Polar Bear and her sister, Sea Lion, along with all the carriages, for £50, but the museum could not raise that much money and instead purchased Polar Bear and two carriages, along with many spares from Sea Lion, which had been out of use since 1939, to keep Polar Bear in traffic. The museum continued to expand, becoming home to most of Amberley's current collection. Planning permission for public openings was not forthcoming but despite that, The 'Doctor Who' team filmed 'The Deadly Assassin' episode featuring Tom Baker at the site. However, by the early 1980s the limited access to the site, up an unmade road with a manual level crossing over the Guildford - Redhill line, forced a transfer away from Brockham, and Amberley was deemed the best locationfor the exhbits. (Wikipedia)

1965

Before my time but the arrival of 'Peter', built by W G Bagnall ltd, works number 2067, in 1917. It was a 2' 0" gauge, 0-4-0ST loco built for the Cliffe Hill Quarry Co, Leicestershire. It arrived at Brockham on 21 August 1965.

1966

My first visits to Brockham and I soon get caught up with the working parties, just crud removal on the arch over the Pilgrims Way

1967

Guinness loco '23' and it's 5' 3" gauge converter wagon arrive at Brockham. The demolition of the arch proceeds, back-breaking work.

1968

This year two RH diesels arrived from the Colne Valley Water Board, near Watford, 'No 1' was Ruston & Hornsby no 166015 of 1933 and 'No 2' was Ruston & Hornsby no 166024 of 1933. They arrived at Brockham in February 1968. There are some more photos of the waterworks itself here :- Hertfordshire

1969

Gordon Edgar has fond memories of Brockham, first visiting in 1968 and says "It was a great pity that the Brockham Museum had to close after all the hard work many people had put in over the years, but it was fun while it lasted. I made some good friends at the time but have long lost contact with them. I would imagine there are a few that volunteer at Amberley now, but the majority, like myself, I assume got dragged away due to work and family commitments and relocations.

Tony Deller and Roger Thornton were the main guys leading the working parties when I was there and Adrian Skilton, Dave Bilmore and a few others whose names evade me now became good buddies and even went to North Wales to Dinorwic to retrieve equipment for the museum. I remember sponsoring the purchase of a loco snowplough from Dinorwic for which I donated £5, a fair amount then, in fact the equivalent of purchasing a class 76 loco worksplate from Collector's Corner then to put things into perspective!"

Gordon has hundreds more transport and industry photos on his very comprehensive Flickr account :- Just Click Here !

1970

The demonstration line reaches its full extent into the woodland to the site of some of the hearthstone mine shafts. My working time at Brockham draws to a close as I move to South Wales.

1971

More photos from Gordon Edgar

Merton Steam Fair, 1974

A demonstration line was erected in Merton Park for a Spring Steam Fair using a Lister diesel with the Hunslet diesel on display. Merton Council had great plans for moving the Museum to Merton Park but they came to nothing.

1975

Monty being used to bump-start HE

1978

Gould's Shed has acquired a new roof

1971 to 1982

John Failes has sent this range of photos from the late 1970s, early 1980s

Historic Brockham

Brockham was heavily industrialised with not just the quarry but limekilns, brickworks and hearthstone mines. These were owned by the Brockham Lime & Hearthstone Co Ltd from 1872 to 1960. The eight limekilns date from c1870 and form a backdrop to the museum area. A couple of kilns were modified in 1890 to a design of the works manager, Alfred Bishop. The kilns closed in 1936 along with the railway connection, opened in c1874. The siding was cable-hauled using a haulage engine from 'Filmer & Mason' of Guildford. A grilled shaft here is part of the hearthstone mine under the site, which worked from the mid 19th century until 1925. Lower down the railway line, close to the main lne, is the claypit and site of the brickworks of the Brockham Brick Co Ltd.


Brockham locomotive stock list

Quick links to :-     Brockham Museum     Brockham's Locomotives     Articles and photos from 'Brockham News'     Amberley Museum

Brockham's locomotives

These are the locos owned or under the conrol of the museum, in order of arrival. Full details can be found in the IRS Surrey handbook. Other locos were stored here by their owners at different periods.

Name or number         Type         Gauge         Builders details         Source and date
Townsend Hook 0-4-0T 3' 2½ FJ 172, 1880 Dorking Lime Co, Betchworth, 1962
Monty 4wDm 3' 2½ OK 7269, 1936 Dorking Lime Co, Betchworth, 1962
Scaldwell 0-6-0ST 3' 0" P 1316, 1913 Scaldwell Ironstone Quarries, Northants, 1964
The Major 4wDm 2' 0" OK 7741, 1937 Dorking Lime Co, Betchworth, 1962
Peter 0-4-0ST 2' 0" WB 2067, 1918 Cliffe Hill Granite Co, Leics, 1965
No 2 4wDm 2' 0" R & R 80, 1937 Chinnor Cement Co, Oxon, 1966
- 4wPm 2' 0" MR 1381, 1918 R Brett, Sturry, Kent, 1966
- 4wDm 2' 0" HE 3097, 1944 Merton Sewage Works, Surrey, 1966
23 0-4-0T 1' 10" Spence, 1920 Guinness, Dublin, 1966
Polar Bear 2-4-0T 2' 0" WB 1781, 1905 Groudle Glen Railway, IoM, 1967
- 4wDm 2' 0" RH 166015, 1933 Colne Valley Water Board, Herts, 1968
No 2 4wDm 2' 0" RH 166024, 1933 Colne Valley Water Board, Herts, 1968
- 4wPm 2' 0" L 6299, 1935 Howick Quarry, Northumberland, 1968
- 4wPm 2' 0" FH 1830, 1933 Boothby Peat, Cumberland, 1968
4396 4wDm 2' 0" HE 4396, 1952 Hall Aggregates, Hants, 1970
23 4wPm 2' 0" MR 872, 1918 C V Buchan, Warwicks, 1971
Layer 4wDm 2' 0" JF 21294, 1936 APCM, Cliffe-at-Hoo, Kent, 1972
Peldon 4wDm 2' 0" JF 21295, 1936 APCM, Cliffe-at-Hoo, Kent, 1972
Redland 4wDm 2' 0" OK 6193, 1937 Redland Pipes, Ripley, Surrey, 1974
WD 904 2w-2Pmr 2' 0" Wkm 3403, 1943 WD, 1975
50, 2 4wBE 2' 0" WR 5031, 1953 Redland Bricks, Warnham, Sussex, 1977
15 4wDm 2' 0" MR 1320, 1918 Redland Inns, Herts, 1978
- 4wDm 2' 11" MR 10160, 1950 Bedfordshire, 1980

Other locomotives

These are locos that are known to have worked at the Museum at one time or another but were owned by John Crosskey and Peter Vallins. Full details can be found in the IRS Surrey handbook. Many other locos were only stored here by their owners at different periods.

Name or number         Type         Gauge         Builders details         Source and date
22 4wDm 2' 0" RH 226302, 1944 Probably North Wales, 1973
22 4wDm 2' 0" RH 226302, 1944 Probably North Wales, 1973

Articles and Photos from 'Brockham News'

Quick links to :-     Brockham Museum     Brockham's Locomotives     Articles and photos from 'Brockham News'     Amberley Museum

'Brockham News'

I'm clearing out a lot of old paperwork and found these extracts I'd saved from the 'Brockham News', the Mueums periodic newsletter, published from 1967 to 1974. They're as I found them and roughly in date order but I will try to tidy them up as time passes.


Amberley Museum

Quick links to :-     Brockham Museum     Brockham's Locomotives     Articles and photos from 'Brockham News'     Amberley Museum

The New Location for Brockham Museum

Where to take my Grandson during the half-term holidays? I know! Amberley! My first visit here and happy reunions with some old friends and meeting with some interesting new ones.


Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks for addition photos and information to :- Michael Bishop, www.brockhamhistory.org, Gordon Edgar, John Failes and Dan Quine.
The Amberley Museum website :- Click here
'Industrial Railways and locomotives of Surrey and Sussex' by the Industrial Railway Society


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