All vehicles, stores and equipment now protected

Smartwater

railway runs immediately in front of it, foot access being via a crossing over the line. In the heyday of the Churnet Valley Line before closure, the Black Lion’s beer was regularly delivered by rail, a box van being stopped over the crossing and the beer barrels rolled down a ladder onto the pub’s land, where they were only a few feet away from their final destination.

Sadly, this interesting method of supplying beer was

in conjunction with the CVR’s Winter Steam Gala. The usual delivery of two or three barrels was increased to 10, as part of their planned line up of over 15 real ales and ciders. Due to the number needing to be transported, they were delivered to Cheddleton station and loaded into the brake van of class 104 set

M50455/M50517. This was the first real freight the set has carried in preservation.

The 10 barrels were then transported the 2.5 miles south from Cheddleton to Consall, arriving at 12:30. M50455 positioned over the foot crossing. Two lengths of wood were placed in the set of double doors, and with a “hop” sack at the bottom to cushion the landing; one by one the 10 barrels were rolled down to the pub, making a little bit of history in the process. When the deliveries were switched to road in the 1950’s and the line threatened by closure, who could have predicted that 50 years on, beer would return by rail?