No. 25 - p78-79

JUNE 1969


"1. A lot of Jolly Carpenters from many another place,
Went up by special Train one day to work on Cannock Chase,
The gradient is very steep, of curves there are a few,
And all the lively workers they entrain at Tackeroo.

Chorus -

Our Tackeroo Express, Our Tackeroo Express!
The scenery is wonderful as you all confess,
Everything is splendid, especially the Mess,
From the sparks that fly, as we pass by, on the Tackeroo Express.

2. You all know that the first stop is at platform Number One,
And then there is a scramble, and the sight is awful fun,
The train then starts off with a jerk, and reaches Number Two,
And after giving in our names, our work we then pursue.


3. Of all the days that we love best, that day is Saturday,
We rally round the office and there receive our pay,
But if any of our money's short, we then look rather blue,
And try to rectify it before going to Tackeroo.

Chorus. "

    These jolly verses appear on the reverse of a commercially published (by whom?) sepia postcard reproduced here. Our card had not been sent through the post, but had found its way into someone's family album with this message :-" Alf goes to work on the train night & morning. He is in one of the trucks at the back but no-one can find him on it, so he is going to try and get a front seat when they take another photo. Give both our love to Willie."

    Now we would like to know where "The Tackeroo Express" operated, and when. Our Hon Records Officer thinks it may have been during World War 1 on the Cannock Chase Military Railway which served Brocton Camp, Hednesford. They had MESSENGER (0-6-0 saddle tank, Manning Wardle 166 of 1865) on loan from the West Cannock Colliery Co Ltd from about 1915 to about 1918, and the leading engine in the photograph is certainly a Manning Wardle.

    92 AVONSIDE (0-6-0 saddle tank, Avonside 1742 of 1916) was delivered here new, but we would hesitate to say that the second engine half way down the train was an Avonside; but at least it isn't PYRAMUS (0-6-2 side tank, Hawthorn Leslie 2878 of 1911) which is rumoured to have worked on the CCMR. If only some of the "gaffers" could have been shifted off the running plate of the Manning Wardle! Our thanks are due to Dr A.L. Barnett for bringing this interesting card to our notice, and to Mr A. Wilson who loaned the card for reproduction.


This photograph, from the collection of Alan Brotchie, shows Lochearnhead station with a contractor's Barclay in the foreground, and a Caledonian Railway tank engine near the signal box. We imagine this view would be taken in 1904 when the railway was opened to traffic from Crieff - but we should like to know more.