Bulleids in action II, by Nick Deardon.
Bulleids in Action: Nos. 34081 and 34007 in tandem on the Bluebell Railway, by Nick Dearden.
Congratulations to Peter Henshaw, Peter Richards, and Nigel Cornish, currently in a three-way tie at the top of the Football Competition table (raising funds for Maunsell Restaurant Car No. 7864).

The Locomotive Working Group reported a "very productive day" on 18 Jan., 2015, with the Maunsell Q class's smokebox doors and fire grate fitted. "It won't be long before a steam test."

From the East Grinstead Courier : residents of East Grinstead say they do not want a travellers' site on Imberhorne Lane.
Rare footage: A cab ride in a Deltic Diesel prototype.
Kings Cross-to-Doncaster in steam days, viewed
from the cab of a prototype Deltic.

Celebrate St. Valentine's Day with your special someone in a special way this year on board the Wealden Rambler Afternoon Tea train or the Golden Arrow Evening Pullman. 

Both trains run on 14 Feb., 2015, the Rambler offering a classic high tea with cakes and other sweets and the Golden Arrow offering a delicious three course meal prepared by Head Chef Vince Rickwood, served on the luxury Pullman Cars "Christine" or "Fingall". 

More information can be found here .

Rare footage: Isle of Wight Railways in the 1940s.
Rare footage: Isle of Wight Railways in the 1940s.
To raise funds for the restoration of Maunsell Dining Saloon No. 7864, the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society Social Sub-Committee, in conjunction with the Maunsell No. 7864 Group, will present a professionally run Quiz Evening on 21 Feb., 2015 in the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park Station.

The bar will be open before and during the quiz, which starts at 7:30 p.m. A ticket includes an evening meal (meat or vegetarian options). Tables for six are available, so bring a team! 
For tickets and more information, e-mail rasalmon@btinternet.com . or call 01737 772811. 
Eagle-eyed reader Giles Enders has this correction to the Southampton Docks piece that ran in the previous issue. The story's photo mis-identifies the ship shown in the docks as "Arundel Castle". But, writes Giles, "She was the last liner built with four funnels and during the 1930s was re-engined, and the funnels reduced to two. The ship in the picture looks more like the 'Durban Castle.'"  

Don't forget that No. 61306 "Mayflower" will pull a steam excursion from Horsted Keynes to Cambridge and Ely on 21 March, 2015. More details via Steam Dreams, operators of The Cathedrals Express.

FLYING P-27   

The project to restore South Eastern & Chatham R ailway P class No. 27 got a "lift" the other day when the crane used to put "Camelot's" boiler back in its frame also moved No. 27's frame into a more suitable position for work.

U class No. 1638 in action, by Nick Dearden.
U class No. 1638 in action, by Nick Dearden.

The Bluebell Railway is proud to work with partners at the Felbridge Hotel, Buxted Park Hotel, and Ardingly Inn to create special overnight offers, for R&R getaways and to explore Mid-Sussex attractions.  The three different hotel packages can be found here .
Southern Steam: A Brighton Miscellany.
Southern Steam: A Brighton Miscellany.

Six images, curated by Tony Hillman, from the John J. Smith Collection: "industrial this time; all Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, taken well before the line was handed to the Locomotive Club of Great Britain in 1969."


Those looking for a lovely Bluebell Railway getaway this spring or summer might want to check out Sackville House , a rentable 16th century timber-frame house in the center of East Grinstead.  

Here's a fascinating photo , courtesy of "tomylees" via Flickr, bought as part of a set of old snaps at a Braintree antiques store. On the print's reverse is written "Push and Pull at Steyning, looks M7ish." It was probably taken in the 1950s or 1960s.

The Push and Pull might bring back memories to some readers of this song by Terry Lightfoot and His New Orleans Jazz Band and the Rediffusion TV show named after the song. The Old Push 'n' Pull was produced by Elisabeth Beresford in 1961-1962 (her book Danger on the Old Push 'n' Pull came first).

The TV show used footage taken on the Hawkhurst Branch in its last year. Beresford would later bring "The Wombles" to British TV.

Does anyone recall the Push and Pull TV show? What about the Hawkhurst Branch? We would love to see a piece on the branch line in this eNewsletter. If you are interested in writing something, contact j.walls1@btinternet.com .

By Neil Cameron
The London Brighton & South Coast railway stations of T.H. Myres.
The London Brighton & South Coast railway stations of T.H. Myres.
T he latest poster from Mike Hopps' Heritage Rail Posters  is of the new-build/reconstruction Brighton Atlantic project. Copies available for purchase !


Operation Undercover 4 (OP4) Steering Group Secretary Roger Kelly reports that the OP4 project is now formally underway. A series of news bulletins will keep interested parties up to date.

Bulletin 1 (January 2015) covers the organisation of the Steering Group, including the addition of rail engineer Kevin Beauchamp, and the group's remit; the full scope of the project; activity and timescales; communication strategy; and finance and fundraising. Don't forget that Cash for Cover is still active--if additional money is raised, it may be possible to place a contract for more than the carriage shed roof.

Roger reports that the first objective will be to erect the roof and get carriages under cover. However, the scope of this phased project is far larger than that. OP4 Includes not just a carriage shed but a connecting building incorporating workshops and other facilities and a separate building to be used for materials and parts storage.

The initial activity will be to clear the area for the construction of the roof with its supports. Simultaneously, detailed specification will be drawn up and contract discussions held with potential contractors. The Delivery Team has been given the remit by the Steering Group to produce a detailed programme that would see construction starting by the autumn.

With just a week to go before trains are scheduled to run again, the Infrastructure Team has been working flat out to finish the earthworks at River Slip so that the two ends of the formation can be connected. 

The slip has been stabilised with the same plastic grid netting used at Imberhorne tip. When the Railway was built the river was moved by about 20 feet to the west, and it is likely that spoil for the embankment was simply tipped on to the edge of the existing riverbank.  Without suitable compaction to consolidate different layers, the formation has been sliding down the original riverbank ever since. 

Rather than digging out the bank completely, we piled the foot of the slip and cast two retaining walls to link the piles together to support the embankment and reduce washout when the river floods. Sixteen 0.5m by 4.5m piles, each reinforced with old rail, were spaced about 2m apart. Another old rail was set in front, and the whole arrangement encased in concrete. 
Bruce Healey takes up the story: "By Thursday evening [22 Jan., 2015], the shuttering had been removed from the first headwall, backfilled, and a second headwall cast. There was also more progress on levelling the trackbed. By the end of Friday, the trackbed was nearly all levelled enough to need the laser dozer, which certainly saves a lot of digger time.

"The signal and telegraph ducting is complete, apart from three lengths because there is a pile of ballast in the way. Three track panels were removed, and there are five more to go. Sleepers were brought down from the West Hoathly stack. Saturday should see the remaining track panels removed and the laser dozer in action.

"Next week will see shuttering removal or loosening, more ducting, and track laying. If all goes well, tamping is pencilled in for Friday."
To read more infrastructure progress and to see more photos, click here .

By Mike Hopps
, Infrastructure Volunteer
Help with the repair of No. 34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair's" firebox by joining the Bulleid Society's 500+ Club. Membership closes 25 March, 2015. Details here .  

With the engineering works in full swing at Lindfield Woods and the line being closed to enable these works to take place, from an operational perspective, it has been very quiet for the locomotive department.

Our operational fleet has been undergoing boiler washouts, maintenance of the fireboxes, and other maintenance requirements. With the advent of the recent cold weather, they have all been placed inside the running shed to help protect them from the frost.

Inside the loco works 90% of the broken stays on C class No. 592 have now been removed and drilling/taping of the platework has begun. The Maunsell Locomotive Society continues to work on Schools class No. 928 "Stowe's" boiler, with the throat plate jig now in place and nearly all the old stays removed. We are in discussion with companies to make the new throat plate and also roll the firebox outer wrapper sections to the correct radius.

Q class No. 541 is in the closing stages of completion now, with 90% of the painting complete, the smokebox complete, lubrication pipework installed, and weighing/setting of the ride height done. Items to complete include machining and fitting the main steam pipes, the remaining pipework/fitting, and, of course, the all-important final steam test and trial running under its own power.

The highlight of the month, though, is the return and placement into frames of No. 73082 "Camelot's" boiler, which arrived from LNWR-Crewe on the 19 Jan., 2015 and was placed in frames the same day using a crane (which also lifted P class No. 27's frames onto a stand). Once the Q class is complete, attention will turn to "Camelot" and final assembly of this useful and reliable locomotive.

By Christopher Hunford, Locomotive Director


This Ben Brooksbank photo shows Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Train passing Clapham Junction on 30 Jan., 1965. The train is hauled by Southern Railway's No. 34051 "Winston Churchill". This loco was built in 1946 as No. 21C151. After withdrawal in September 1965, it was preserved in the National Collection at York. For the Funeral it carried a unique disc head code representing "V for Victory". The hearse vehicle of the seven-coach Pullman train conveyed the coffin, Churchill having died on 24 Jan., 1965.

Writes Neil Cameron, "This British Rail (Southern) scene was a key part of a national, televised mourning event. Churchill's funeral train attracted large crowds along the line from London to Oxfordshire. British people who had lived through World War 2 turned out for the man who stood up for Britain, and for them, when our country faced down the Nazi threat and banished thoughts of appeasement.

"The state funeral procession led from St. Paul's Cathedral, onto the River Thames, where  the barge travelled from Tower Pier and the Pool of London ( cranes' jibs were dipped as a memorable gesture of respect as the barge passed)  to the Royal Festival Hall landing stage. From there, the procession went by road to Waterloo Station to entrain for a private family interment in Bladon, Oxfordshire .

"Remarkably, the loco photographed by Ben Brooksbank and its train components all remain in preservation. Nine Elms depot had the honour of providing the train's crew. Royal Train Driver A.W. Hurley and Fireman Jim Lester worked from Waterloo station to Handborough, north of Oxford. The loco and standby were spotlessly prepared for the task."

The Funeral Train: Battle of Britain class No. 34051 "Winston Churchill"; Pullman guard-parlour car No. 208; hearse van S2464S (an SR gangway bogie luggage van repainted to Pullman colours); Pullman kitchen-parlour cars "Carina" and "Lydia"; Pullman parlour car "Perseus"; and Pullman guard-parlour car "Isle of Thanet".

Winston Churchill's State Funeral.  
The funeral train at London Waterloo.
Download Mike Hopps' lovely 2015 calendars featuring your favourite locos at heritagerailposters.co.uk/calendar.htm .  




Peter Gibbs, Chairman of the Camelot Locomotive Society, took this 14 Jan., 2015 photo of the steam test for the boiler of No. 73082 "Camelot" at LNWR-Crewe . The safety valves are blowing at full pressure once again!


I recently suggested the 1965 tank wagon at Kingscote, used as a loco water supply, might be removed now that East Grinstead has a working supply. With the Friends of Kingscote continuously trying hard to recreate a 1955 atmosphere, a relatively modern 1965-built wagon is a little out of place. However, I am told it is policy to have a water supply at all stations.

Perhaps one day a Bluebell Railway train will arrive at Haywards Heath, and this thought reminded me of a photo of No. 473 taking water there.  Taken by Ian Nolan in 1963, this photo has many interesting features--not least, how does the Inspector float in mid air?! I expect the Fireman was trying to ensure he shut off water before the Inspector got soaked. A wet Inspector is asking for trouble. However, the Driver seems to be more interested in watching an electric accelerate away to the north. 
Meanwhile, in the second photo, our Chairman's favourite engine has escaped from Horsted Keynes and is seen scurrying along--having heard there is a water supply at Haywards Heath! 

By Graham Poore
The Railway has received more than £15,000 from EasySearch and EasyFundraising! Learn how you can help us with these easy-to-use tools here .
By Dave Braley.
THANK YOU for supporting the Bluebell Railway, whether you are near or far from Sussex, young or not-so-young, a volunteer or visitor, or new to steam or an old hand. Don't forget to pass this newsletter on to family and friends, and see you trackside! 
John Walls
Editor-in-Chief eNewsletter
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Bluebell Railway | j.walls1@btinternet.com | http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk
Sheffield Park Station
East Sussex
Near Uckfield, TN22 3QL