Kid's Week continues through August Bank Holiday Monday, with children able to travel third class on all trains for just £1! Plus, don't forget Punch & Judy shows at Horsted Keynes. Details here .
No. 473 from East Grinstead to Horsted Keynes, by Martin Lawrence.
East Grinstead Meridian Rotary Club will welcome Fergus Anckorn on 11 Oct., 2015 for a luncheon talk at Meridian Hall, East Court, East Grinstead. 

Fergus, who is 96 years old, will discuss his campaign in Burma in World War II, his capture by the Japanese, and his being forced to work on the infamous Burma Railway. Also a master of sleight-of-hand, at 18 he was the youngest member of the Magic Circle and now he is the oldest.He has been featured in Sussex Living and in BBC TV's Britain's Greatest Generation .

The event is open to the public. Tickets are £20 per person, which includes lunch and a welcome drink. Bottles of wine also will be available for purchase on the day. 

For more information email  keithrotary@talktalk.net  
or phone  07759516042. All profits from the event will go to the Burma Star Association and Rotary Charities.
Baxter and the goods train at Kingscote, 22 Aug., 2015, by Martin Lawrence.
Protection of the Railway's heritage was one of the reasons why a 200-house development between Kingscote and East Grinstead has been rejected by Mid Sussex District Council.
The Golden Arrow, by Gabriel Phillips-Sanchez.

Writes Tony Hillman: "With the recent discussion about Ardingly, I have provided John Smith images from 24 May, 1959 when the new electric stock was stored there. Images from 30 Aug.,1959 show the replaced stock in the same locations."
S15 and H Class on 28 Aug., 2015, by John Harwood.
Enjoy a traditional Sunday carvery at the relaxing Birch Grove Suite at Sheffield Park station. Choose from a selection of locally sourced meats with all the trimmings. Now booking through 20 Dec., 2016. 

This "website gem" is a new webpage created by Tony Hillman for the Bluebell Railway Museum website ...

The Withyham Signal Box is one of the exhibits in the Museum. Walk through the Museum to the north door. Visitors are able to see the box in operation with the Museum Steward explaining the operation of the levers, bells etc. Scroll down for a taster of what you will see when you visit.

Withyham signal box was built for the opening of the line between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells in October 1866. It was on the section of single track between Forest Row and Ashurst Junction. Though instigated by a private company the line was operated by the London Brighton & South Coast Railway from the start. Its main purpose was to control the level crossing and allow trains to access the small goods yard.

The box remained in use until the line was closed under the Beeching Cuts in January 1967. Long standing Bluebell member John Whiting purchased the complete box from the demolition contractor for £2.50 and moved the box to his garden where it stayed for over 40 years. When the Museum opened in 2012 John donated the box to be used as an exhibit ...

To view the webpage, click here .

No. 263 runs round at East Grinstead on 23 Aug., 2015, by Ben Jenden.
A wedding at the Bluebell Railway will give you a day to remember like no other.  Book now to employ the services of a dedicated Wedding Advisor who can discuss the individual requirements to make your wedding day extra special. 

Mike Hopps recently took this photo of "Gio Compario," the "spokes-opera-singer" for GoCompare ( played by Welsh actor Wynne Evans), who has made his comeback in a new series of adverts. Do you recognise the carriage?

The Railway has played an important supporting role in Gio's comeback! From the Railway's press release:

... the new TV campaign consists of five different commercials that will rotate across prime time television advertising slots over the next few weeks.

Commercial number five (of five) was filmed entirely on location at Horsted Keynes station (and the immediate surrounding roads) on the Bluebell Railway in Sussex on 9 June, 2015.

Produced by Kate Arton on behalf of PI Film Network and directed by Graham Rose, the Railway--led by film facilities manager Tim Parkin--provided a crew of 12 to work alongside the PI Film crew of 60, with both units fully integrated and working as a single unit and being acknowledged as an outstanding professional example of service delivery by the Railway.

Set in 1943, the 30-second commercial is a musical parody of the final train goodbye scene between Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard in David Lean's classic 1945 film Brief Encounter , originally filmed at Carnforth station ...

... The Bluebell crew of 12 directly involved in the making of the commercial were Bill White, Mike Toplis, Steve Squire, David Tandy, Mike Hopps, Graham Aitken, Mick Blackburn, Scarlett Jasmin Groom, Roger Nye, Steve Homer, Dave Phillips and Tim Parkin ...

Read the full release here .
A big thank you to all those who filled out the Western Extension Project survey either online on via hard copy. We had a fabulous 1,389 online responses, and a further 135 hard copy surveys were filled out. The data will be used to compile a passenger demand study.

By James Western.

Thank you to all those who sponsored the inaugural Scaynes Hill CC v Bluebell Railway XI cricket match, which was held at Freshfields near Horsted Keynes on a sunny (yes!) Saturday, 22 Aug., 2015. Perhaps you saw the game if you were travelling on a steam train that day, like the one above?! The team raised £210 for the Keep Up the Pressure and OP4 Carriage Shed campaigns. 

The Railway XI was captained by Bluebell Railway PLC Finance Director (and Membership Secretary of the Bulleid Society and 9F Club Secretary) Martin Widdowson (pictured).

The team also featured Widdowson's son (our top scorer!) and daughter, Railway volunteers, and this eNewsletter's editor, his brother (the eNewsletter designer), and his 13-year-old nephew. Alex Walls was visiting from the USA and playing in his first ever cricket match--he took a catch, kept wicket, and scored a doughty seven!

Scaynes Hill scored 165 for 9 in their allotted 35 overs, with Martin leading the Railway wicket-takers with three. Unfortunately, the Railway XI could not match the club players, and scored 87 for 11 (playing with 12) in 30 overs.

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable day out at a picturesque ground with horses and steam trains in the background. We were treated to special whistles from the trains and enthusiastic waving from the passengers.

Scaynes Hill were gracious hosts and both teams enjoyed a fund-raising barbecue at their clubhouse in the village after the match. It was agreed to plan a second match (possibly to be timed with a Railway staff barbecue) next year.

Tonbridge's The Company Upfront has announced its 2016 Murder Mystery evenings, to be performed on board the Golden Arrow. Two experiences will be presented: "A Death on the Ocean Waves" and "A Shot in the Dark".

The cost for the three-course meal, train journey, and entertainment is £98. Pre-journey drinks are not included in the price, but they can be enjoyed before the event as you witness the events which lead up
to and include the dastardly crime. Then take your seat aboard the Golden Arrow, where detective packs, clues, and your three course meal await.

During your journey amid the splendour of a wood-inlaid Pullman carriage, you'll have the opportunity to cross-examine surviving characters and carry out other detective tasks. But remember to keep a lookout for red herrings and obfuscations. Will you be the one to figure out "whodunnit"?

In "A Death on the Ocean Waves" an invitation aboard the new luxury flagship SS Ocean Wave is the hottest ticket of 1925. Under the command of Capt. Horatio Mainbrace, there are celebrity chefs and an acclaimed orchestra to honour the presence of fleet Chairman Lord Anossis. One could get used to a cosseted life on the Ocean Wave. On the other hand, one could have such an opportunity terminated ... "suddenly and violently"!

In "A Shot in the Dark" it's the 1930s and events are unfolding on the wonderful Darling Estate. Join an assortment of guests as they prepare for a shooting party. And with so many weapons being prepared, anything could happen?!

Dates and more information on the Murder Mystery Evenings can be found here .

Chris Hunford and Ben Coughlan have organised a charity raffle for two lucky people to get a chance to drive a steam train on the Bluebell Railway. For just £5 per ticket, you could win the opportunity to fire the engine, build pressure, blow the whistle, and be in control of a 200-ton train on its 22-mile round trip through picturesque Sussex.

All proceeds go to civil engineering company Costain's 150 Challenge charity appeal, which aims to raise £1 million in 2015 for the Costain Charitable Foundation's four chosen charities: the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Prince's Trust, and Samaritans.

The event is planned for the afternoon of 12 Sept., 2015.

For Ben, a Community and Security Manager in Costain's Rail Sector, and Chris, Project Manager and Bluebell Railway Locomotive Director, working on the Railway is both a job and a lifelong passion. While they've been friends for more than 20 years, they've been steam enthusiasts for even longer, and whoever wins the two lucky tickets will be in the capable hands of two people who know the trains, track, and stations inside and out.

"Since our early teens we've volunteered at the Bluebell Railway. Starting out as cleaners in the Locomotive Department, we worked our way up through the grades to being Fireman and then eventually becoming Drivers, which took us 14 years," says Chris. Ben adds: "We both share a passion for railways and feel really fortunate to have been able to fulfill that passion not only in our day jobs but at the Railway."

To bag yourself a ticket, please visit Ben and Chris's JustGiving page.
Did you know the Bluebell Railway Carriage Shop has its own Facebook page? The store sells books and model railway items and will be open on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Once again Vintage Transport Weekend proved a feast for photographers, and Derek Hayward was no exception. Enjoy his extensive gallery showing off traction engines, steam trucks, classic sports cars, British motorbikes, Land Rovers, and much more. More photos by Chris Ward and Keith Duke .

Peter Gibbs' photo shows that the smokebox door has been fitted to "Camelot", together with the dart and locking bar. Adjustment is required to get the door to seal properly onto the ring. 

The ejector exhaust ring has been fitted to the chimney, and the blower jets are in place on top of the blast pipe. Also, t he top row of superheater elements have been completed and hydraulic tested, but they have yet to be fitted to the header in the smokebox ...

For more on progress restoring No. 73082, visit the Camelot Locomotive Society's Facebook page

John Sandys (11 Aug., 2015): "A busy day, with a Nine Elms Special pulled by the S15 and the vintage set hauled by the C class. Also, photos of Kingscote North Signal Box, which should be ready for service early next year."

Derek Hayward (2015): More than 30 photos added to Derek's Bluebell Railway 2015 gallery. 

John Sandys (25 Aug. 2015): " A very busy day at the railway today despite the wet weather! Includes a few shots of Camelot in the workshop and the Wickham."  

John Sandys (27 Aug., 2015): "Three locos in steam today on another very busy day. Also includes some shots of the Wickham and the C&W Department at Horsted Keynes." 

By John Sandys.
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