News from the Bluebell Railway        4 August 2013

Recreating the golden age of steam for passengers of all ages, the Bluebell Railway has a large collection of vintage locomotives, carriages, and equipment and holds many special events throughout the year.
Floreat Vapor: Let Steam Flourish! The Bluebell eNewsletter is sponsored by the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
In This Issue
Welcome to East Grinstead!
Help us "Keep Up The Pressure!"
Loco News Is Good News
Pot of Gold
C&W News: No. 5768 Progress
Prairie Memories
Paying Respects to a Poignant Couple
A Trip Down Memory Line: Stroudley Six-Wheel First No. 661
Spoiler Alert: Last Tip Train!
A Hot Idea for the Summer Holidays! August Fun Days
Autumn Tints Dates Announced
East Grinstead Firefighters Take the Railway
Back to the Future
Enjoy These Latest Photos!
Archive Quiz: Some Answers, One Stubborn Mystery

Bluebell Railway Website


Sales & Information  


Timetable & Fares  


Google map  




Disabled Access  


Frequently Asked Questions  


Gift Vouchers  


The Bluebell Railway Arrives at East Grinstead.
The Bluebell Railway Arrives at East Grinstead.

Bluebell Shop  


Bluebell Museum & Archive  

East Grinstead to Kingscote, 12 July, 2013.
East Grinstead to Kingscote, 12 July, 2013.

Locomotive Roster  


Public Train Information


  Line Map & Gradient Profile 


Local Accomodation List  


  Local Attractions  



Walkscene "Railway Children" Walks  


Lineside Photographers
Track Safety



No. 92212 and No. 33103 at work on 7 July, 2013.
No. 92212 and No. 33103 at work on 7 July, 2013, by Martin Lawrence.
No. 09018 running to East Grinstead on 10 July, 2013.
No. 09018 running to East Grinstead on 10 July, 2013.

Northern Extension Project Progress  


   Just Giving  


50th Anniversary Appeal  


Bluebell Railway Trust  




Bluebell Railway runs its
Bluebell Railway runs its "33."


Order prints online from the Bluebell Railway Archive's
John J. Smith or Colin Hogg collections.

A selection of non-steam photos from the John J. Smith Collection:

  Photo 1
   Photo 2
Photo 3
  Photo 4
  Photo 5
  Photo 6

  Brighton Belle1
Carriage & Wagon Updates
& Societies

A nice view of a trip to East Grinstead.
A nice view of a trip to East Grinstead.
Station Facilities

This is a superb (for its year) colour cine with added sound video of Bluebell 1961-1963,# includes the through railtours before Horsted Keynes ceased to be a junction 50 years ago, steam at Haywards Heath, Brighton and crossing the viaduct. Don't miss this video!
Writes Neil Cameron: This is a superb (for its year) colour cine with added sound video of the Railway 1961-1963. It includes the through railtours before Horsted Keynes ceased to be a junction 50 years ago, steam at Haywards Heath, Brighton, and crossing the viaduct. Don't miss this video!

Welcome to East Grinstead! 

Entrance Sign
John Sandys' photo shows a beautifully improved entrance sign in gold and black at East Grinstead.


Help us "Keep Up The Pressure!"

Keep the Steam Alive


The first week of the Keep Up The Pressure Appeal (KUTP Appeal) resulted in just over £15,000 in donations.

There is a long way to go to reach the target, but this is an excellent start for this time of year. Many people are away on holiday or about to depart, so thinking about making a donation to the Bluebell Railway may not be high on the agenda.

While the short-term success of the KUTP Appeal is vital in giving immediate confidence when making plans and taking action to speed up locomotive overhaul, it is also an appeal for the long term. Boiler overhaul is a lengthy process, so standing orders are very welcome as these give us the confidence I referred to, that the funds will be there when needed.

For full donation details and to set up a standing order please visit this webpage . For the JustGiving webpage, click here .

By Roger Kelly, Funding Director
Steve Sedgwick3
Photo by Steve Sedgwick.


Loco News Is Good News    

Some very good news to report. No. 592 has been on trial the past two weeks and is expected to commence working trains this weekend, for the first time in almost a year. No. 263 is also back in service following its annual boiler exam and some repair work, and both locos are due to double-head trains next week.

The boiler for No. 847 is likely to be replaced in the frames at the end of next week, which suggests it may be completed during the autumn.

The current strategy for improving our loco fleet is two-pronged:  use of contractors for boiler overhauls to speed up the work and recruitment of staff to enhance our in-house boiler overhaul capacity. 

The boiler for No. 34059 is due to go away at the end of September for overhaul at Crewe, which is estimated to take up to 18 months.  Once No. 847 has been reassembled, the next loco to have its boiler overhaul done in-house will be No. 80151, with work due to commence once No. 541 is completed early next year. 

These are the current plans, though of course circumstances may change in the future.

By Lewis Nodes, Director, Locos
& Rolling Stock


Need a holiday? Why not have one and donate to the Bluebell Railway at the same time? For every holiday booked by phone quoting "Blue0713," Sussex-based You Go Anywhere travel agents will donate 5% to the KUTP Appeal. You can go on a cruise and sail the seas or lie on a lovely sandy beach, soak up the sun, and relax. Whatever you want, You Go Anywhere will endeavour to find you the perfect holiday. Give them a ring and speak to an advisor today at 01903 714000 or 01903 725000, or e-mail .   

Pot of Gold  

Life Member Andy Clark found a pot of photographic gold at the end of this rainbow. He writes, "I often look at the excellent photos that are included in the eNewsletter and thought I might send you one of my own. I was in the loco sheds with a friend and turned around to see the effect the sun was creating on the shed wall with the reflected colours from the locos." See a larger version here .


C&W News: No. 5768 Progress    

The longest day of the year saw a major step forward in the restoration of Bullied Corridor Composite No. 5768. The NW corner pillar was installed, the final framework repair to the first class half of the coach.

Built in 1947 during a period of national austerity, the coach is constructed from an unidentified hardwood which has on the whole survived pretty well. However, in places the passage of time hasn't been too kind to the framework.

The main structural pillars are held in place at bottom, or build rail level, by bolts and steel plates and by brackets at top, or cant rail level. Corrosion of this metalwork and the presence of a few shakes and rot in the timber led to the replacement of several sections, including part of the cant rail, with framing salvaged from the Bullied Semi-Open Brake Third No. 4035's sections of teak waist rail and corner pillars.

The latter are of prime importance because not only do they hold the ends and sides together, they also provide a hinge or closing pillar for four of the six external doors. As a result, a new sapele pillar was fitted in the northeast corner about 18 months ago. The northwest has just been replaced and timber for the two southern ones has been ordered so that they can be prepared and fitted when required.

With the northwest pillar in position, attention has turned to fitting the steel bracketry that holds it in place. This work most likely will be followed by resheeting of the northern end with Zintec and re-erection of the gangway connection.

Within the northern end, the shell of the lavatory compartment has been re-established and the water tank refitted so that the pipework can be reinstalled. A new tank will be fabricated in due course.

Elsewhere the plywood floor has been laid in the central vestibule and the first of the Third Class compartments. Lino will be laid on top of this towards the end of the restoration. Sheeting is also being applied to the second of the three Third Class Compartments. Also, the white bulkhead panelling has been installed in the First Class compartments while that for the corridor partition and centre vestibule is being prepared and will be fitted shortly.

For progress photos, visit my Flickr site .

Below is a photo of the newly installed northwest corner pillar.

By Dave Clarke, C&W Volunteer

No. 5768 NW Corner


Read about Cowan Architects' trip to the Railway, one of the first firms to organise a corporate reception from East Grinstead. Said David Cowan: "We're based in the town and wanted an unusual venue for our 30th birthday celebrations--and if possible something relating to East Grinstead--so this seemed the perfect choice." The Railway's business services webpages can be found here
Prairie Memories

Small Prairie
Chris Jennings' fine black and white photo   shows another Prairie Tank visitor--No. 4561--on 17 March, 1996. For photos of the new Prairie visitor, see below. (See more of Chris' photos of the Bluebell Railway , the Railway in the 1970s , and Southern steam .)

Reader Mike Mason recalls No. 4561's visit: "She was with us for about six weeks (February to March) on loan from the West Somerset Railway. I was guard on the gauging train which ran before it worked any public trains. (I have now retired from the Guards' Roster and now spend my time in Sheffield Park Booking Office.)


Paying Respects to a Poignant Couple   

St Giles Stone

On 31 July 1943, 22-year-old Gunner Ronald Knapp (Royal Artillery) married 21-year-old ACW (2nd Class) Winifred Ellen Knapp, née Standing, (Women's Auxiliary Air Force).
After their wedding reception the couple walked from Nobles Farm with members of their family who were departing on the Haywards Heath bus from near Waterworks Bridge.
When the bus had gone, the young couple returned alone to Nobles Farm in a very heavy storm. For a reason that will never be known, they elected to walk along the railway track rather than the farm track.
They were walking north, sheltering under a large military cape, and in the heavy storm they failed to hear a northbound train approaching through Caseford Bridge. The crew saw and heard nothing--the young couple were run over by the train and killed.
On its arrival at Horsted Keynes Station, the cape on the front of the locomotive indicated signs of an accident. The track south of the station was immediately searched, and their bodies were found.
The clergyman who had just married the couple was obliged subsequently to conduct their funeral, and they were buried together in the churchyard of St. Giles, Horsted Keynes.

A Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial stone was erected on their grave. The stone is unique in the United Kingdom, with the two regimental badges intertwined, signifying a military couple who had just married and who died together. 

Over the years weathering had caused their memorial to become indistinct, and, following application to the CWGC, a new stone has been erected .
For this renovation, we thank CWGC and the persistence of the recently deceased St. Giles archivist Col. Tom Irlam, who, like Ron Knapp, was a gunner.

The inscription reads:
1790567 Gunner 
R. Knapp 
Royal Artillery 
31st July 1943 Age 22

2029508 A.C.W. 2nd Class 
Winifred Ellen Knapp 
Women's Auxiliary Air Force 
31st July 1943 Age 21

Underneath Are The Everlasting Arms

On 31 July, 2013, the 70th anniversary of the accident, the Bishop of Chichester blessed the stone in the presence of members of the congregation of St. Giles and a delegation from the Bluebell Railway. 
St Giles Clergy
Pictured in Derek Hayward's photo are: Tim Baker, Commercial Director, Bluebell Railway; The Right Rev. Dr. Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester; Canon John Twisleton, Rector of St Giles and Bluebell Railway Chaplain; Hilary Nicholson, Chair, St. Giles Churchyard Committee. Also present (in uniform) from the Bluebell Railway are John Hotstin, Ian Fribbens, and Geoff Peters. Derek Hayward's full set from the day is here .


A Trip Down Memory Line: Stroudley Six-Wheel First No. 661

  As a member of the eNewsletter editorial team, Neil Cameron is often called upon to offer advice or to delve into his Railway memories. Recently, Neil was asked an innocent question: "Were The Rev. W. Awdry's Annie and Clarabel Railway Series characters drawn from the carriages that run with the Railway's Chesham set?

Here's Neil's answer, and his trip down memory line: "The Rev. Awdry made these stories up for his children in the 1940s and 1950s. The key though is the illustrator of the early books, whose carriage subjects happened to be of this type of four- and six-wheel carriage. They were operated in 19th century by, among other companies, the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway (LBSCR), and many were sold, body only, post-World War I to become very effective seaside and holiday homes , from Dungeness to Hayling Island, especially where a railhead was convenient. More than 100 of these remain in the Selsey area alone, usually built over and incorporated into houses .

"To create these homes, carriages were detached at a railhead, wheels removed, and the carriages were then mounted on transit bogies andhauled to site in a road train, often by traction engine. My guess is the carriages Annie and Clarabel were sketched while the artist was on holiday, seen before many were incorporated into houses. Many of these carriages are still out there, mostly surveyed by Carriage & Wagon experts, and not all from LBSCR origins by any means, there's even early Pullman carriages to be found.

" No. 661 went to Bracklesham Bay in 1919 and was covered a year later by an overall roof and mezzanine, with a brick-built kitchen area and chimney, and stables outside in its own grounds and a cut-through direct to the beach.

"It was a fantastic period holiday home, going by the name 'Wind Demon.' The bedrooms were the carriage's four individual compartments, including their original etched glass. The carriage looked in remarkably good order. It was sat level on a concrete plinth in fantastic condition. The doors swung-to with an easy clunk. I learned these early carriages were originally made from top-quality timbers, and being kept dry in a ventilated space made all the difference.

"Kindly gifted to the Bluebell Railway through BRPS Chairman Terry Cole, John Reynard and Roger Barton led the carriage collection and house demolition, assisted by many volunteers, and I was delighted to take part.

"We had to take down the house, chimney, and stables to ground level as the price for taking away a carriage that I thought may never be restored . As BRPS representative to Bluebell Railway Trust 10 years later, I was able to recommend to Trustee Peter Thomas that it was a very worthy candidate for financial assistance. Now it runs in the trains on weekends with two fellow restored four-wheeled carriages!

"Visitors should try the 19th Century travel experience of the Chesham set and the three four-wheelers , including No. 661. It's good to know that No. 661 is continuing to give pleasure, as it did during 64 years of service as a holiday home."

The photo below, by Richard Salmon, shows No. 661 on her first day of service.

No. 661 Richard Salmon


Please note that the weekend of 26 and 27 Oct. will no longer be "Giants of Steam" as had originally been planned. We hope to run an alternative special event that weekend--stay tuned for details. 

Spoiler Alert: Last Tip Train!  

Last Spoil Train
John Sandys' photo from 19 July captures a major landmark in the Northern Extension Project, with the very last spoil train leaving East Grinstead!


A Hot Idea for the Summer Holidays! August Fun Days  


Children's August Fun Days return in summer 2013, running every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout August with Punch & Judy shows at 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. at Horsted Keynes Station.

Get the train from Sheffield Park or East Grinstead to Horsted Keynes to enjoy the show, and then get a later train back at your leisure.

For more information, click here .  


Autumn Tints Dates Announced  


Enjoy the changing Autumn colours while travelling though the Sussex countryside.

Our Autumn Tint trains for 2013 will run on weekdays: 30 Sept. and 1 to 4, 7 to 11, 14 to 18, and 21 to 25 Oct.

This event will be slightly differently to previous years, with the use of two of the 1950s coaches, hauled by one of the P Class locos and the service running to and from East Grinsted

Seats are limited for the Autumn Tint services, so booking in advance is essential. Seats must be reserved with advance payment for both the outward and the return journey. Tickets are valid for one return journey only. A refreshment service will be available on board the train, serving drinks and snacks.

More information can be found here .   


East Grinstead Firefighters Take the Railway

(From This Is Sussex ) "Firefighters turned Bluebell Railway passengers on Sunday when they caught a train along the heritage line to a track side fire.

"East Grinstead's retained service was called to a small fire on a railway embankment off Keysfold Lane, near to Horsted Keynes station.

"But when there was no way of getting a fire engine close to the blaze, which ignited at 1:45 p.m., firefighters hopped onto the next train out of Horsted Keynes with buckets of water to douse the flames. "

For the full story, click here

Firefighters July 2013


"Folkstone Jack" enjoyed his day out at the Railway, and in particular No. 33103 "Swordfish." Read his blog entry here .  

Back to the Future 

No. 34067 Ouse Valley
Peter Austin's photo at the turn of evening shows No. 34067 "Tangmere," an unrebuilt Battle of Britain Pacific northbound enroute Three Bridges on 29 June, returning from Bristol and Bath. (Note: the Ardingly branch is the other side of the Ouse Valley Viaduct and behind the train.) Click here for a larger photo.





















Enjoy These Latest Photos! 


No. 5521

Tony Sullivan's photo above shows GWR "Small Prairie" Tank No. 5521 (No. L150) on loan courtesy of The Flour Mill Ltd., which entered Bluebell service on 11 July.

Derek Hayward's gallery of fine Sussex Food Festival photos, plus Derek's photo below shows the 9F approaching Horsted Keynes on 7 July.

A number of photos from John Sandys: 23/07/2013 , 25/07/2013 , and 26/07/2013 .

Bottom, a proud moment for No. 55 "Stepney," stepping in on 14 July to top-and-tail the lunchtime Pullman Dining train with No. 323 "Bluebell." Photo by Nathan Gibson.  

Stepney Golden Arrow


Archive Quiz: Some Answers, One Stubborn Mystery  

Archivist Tony Hillman has been sent some answers to three of his four "mystery photos," but one remains elusive. Where is Endeavour Morse when you need him?!
  • Photo 1 --After much discussion it is agreed that this is Wimbledon, LSWR side, looking towards London.  
  • Photo 2 --Merton Abbey.
  • Photo 3 --Polsloe Bridge Halt, near Exeter.
  • Photo 4 --There has been only one offering on this one. Anyone else prepared to have a go?

Send your ideas to , and thank you to everyone who has taken part so far. 



Thank you as ever for your support of the Railway. Don't forget to share this eNewsletter with friends, colleagues, and family, through social media and e-mail. See you trackside, now from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead!

John Walls
eNewsletter Editor-in-Chief, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society