Bat raised towards Freshfields pavilion! We've grown quite a bit since Issue #1, which was sent to 2,832 readers on 24 Nov., 2011. In fact, Issue #99 was sent two weeks ago to a list 6,461-strong!

Our first issue was published while Waste by Rail was ongoing; now East Grinstead station is open and our thoughts and efforts have turned to OP4, Ardingly, and an upgraded, interpretive Loco Shed! The Railway goes from strength to strength. 

Thank you to all who make the eNewsletter possible, from the Railway's Directors and Trustees; to our regular and occasional contributors, videographers, and photographers; to everyone who reads, forwards, or prints the newsletter--and to those who contribute to fundraisers when the call comes! Here's to 100 more!

By John Walls, eNewsletter Editor
Bluebell Railway eNewsletter Issue #1 (24 Nov., 2011)


* 150th Anniversary of London Underground
* Welcome to the Bluebell Railway's eNewsletter
* Welcome from Chairman Roy Watts
* Big Give Opportunity
* Waste by Rail Update
* Easyfundraising & Easysearch
* Historic Photographs Now Online
* Trustees Recognise Steam Crane
* Fenchurch Fund Appeal
* Trust AGM Meeting Scheduled
* Your Bluebell News Here!

Read it  at the Bluebell Railway Museum Archive.

The Bluebell Railway Museum has recently acquired, on loan, a set of Bluebell Line enamel plates from the Brighton Station Departure Board.

The seven plates (from Barcombe northwards to Kingscote and also Ardingly)
are now included within the Museum's drawer display on this subject. The Museum already owns a number of these plates, including East Grinstead.

The newly displayed plates are on loan from the late Jim Budd Collection
(he was a BR signalman at Ardingly, Haywards Heath, and latterly, Barnham) and come to us courtesy of his nephew, who is a Bluebell Railway Life Member.

By Tony Hillman
Philip Bull's video of "Camelot" at Sheffield Park.
"For edition Number 100, here's six appropriate images of locos numbered 100 by John J. Smith and Colin Hogg"--Tony Hillman 
The Railway on the 7 Nov., 2015, by Darren Hickey.
Don't forget you can travel between Brighton (Churchill Square and Old Steine), Horsted Keynes, and East Grinstead (and points in-between) on Metrobus Service 270. 

The service to and from East Grinstead station runs Monday through Saturday.  On Saturdays, the service also stops at Horsted Keynes station (and at Church Lane in Horsted Keynes Mondays through Saturdays). 

Access the complete timetable here . For more on getting the the Railway by bus, click here
Ultra high definition Giants of Steam (31 Oct., 2015) video, by Member John Ray.

The former Marine Station at the Port of Dover is now used as a cruise terminal, so there is no longer public access owing to port security. However, on Remembrance weekend earlier this month the station, located at Dover Western Docks, was open to the public for the arrival of the British Torch of Remembrance on its way to Flanders.

The torch, lighted at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey, was carried by a delegation of British ex-servicemen and welcomed by representatives of Dover Harbour Board and Southeastern Railway before it was carried by ferry for France.

The photo of the service , from the Dover Express, shows the Dover Marine War Memorial, which remembers the 556 men of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway who laid down their lives in the Great War and 626 men of the Southern Railway who died fighting in World War II.
UK Trains/Locations 2015 Episode One: North Lincolnshire, by Bluebell Railway Hawks.


* Date painted: 1946

* Oil on canvas, 88.5 x 127 cm

* Collection: National Railway Museum

Click on BBC image to see larger version.

Writes Neil Cameron, "The location is the engine roundhouse at Willesden loco shed; the loco is  LMS Coronation class No. 6255 'City of Hereford'."
A Day on the Bluebell Railway, by TMR.


At the Heritage Railway Association (HRA) meeting on 11 Nov., 2015, Trevor Rapley was presented with the HRA's 2015 Carriage & Wagon Awards "Best Coach" award for SECR Birdcage Brake No. 3363 .

John Crane's photo shows Trevor receiving the award plaque from Brian Simpson, HRA Chairman. This is the third successive award collected by Trevor, who also led the restorations of Maunsell Open Third No. 1309 and LBSCR Bogie First No. 7598.

Says Rolling Stock Director Lewis Nodes: "A well-deserved award for many years work, demonstrating again the continuing outstanding excellence of the Railway's Carriage & Wagon Department."

No. 3363, completed four years ago (and seen in Richard Salmon's photo below taken during its first day in service), fell within the scope of this competition because it had been considerably delayed in its judging and presentation.

The carriage, built in 1910, was restored by a team of volunteers at Horsted Keynes. Having been converted for departmental use for measuring the clearances through bridges and tunnels in 1954, it arrived on the Bluebell in 1999, with water coming through the roof after years sitting in sidings elsewhere.

Its interior and exterior have been meticulously restored to its 1920s/1930s running condition. Back then, No. 3363 might well have passed over Bluebell steel, since birdcage stock was often used on this line.

It has been reported elsewhere that the Infrastructure Team were unable to get on with re-laying 2 and 3 roads at Horsted Keynes during the three-week closure, so we have been getting on with a few other jobs that needed doing.

Some things can't easily be done with the trains running, particularly on the extension where we can't side the road railer at East Grinstead in between the services while we are working.

The Signal and Telecommunications (S&T) Department also has been very busy, getting ready to commission the new box at Kingscote, and we have been helping them with point motor installation, cable pulling through the narrows, extra ducting, and concreting location cabinet bases on the viaduct.

Another small job that had been waiting in the wings was finally installed last week. We made up the fence to go around the Kingscote Up Outer Home signal some time ago in the yard at Sheffield Park, but it has only now been planted. Why one is needed is not immediately apparent from the photo, but one false move getting down from the signal ladder and you are on an almost vertical trip to Vowels Lane!

Darren the Digger Driver also has been flailing in between heavy lifting jobs, and for the first time we are starting to trim the hard-to-reach growth in the cutting. It is amazing to think that only two years ago, it was bare rock and black plastic. Now that the buddleia is taking over, any odd remains of rubbish will soon be completely covered and the cutting will look a bit more like it used to.

There is always good cooperation between the two departments and everybody is willing to lend a hand no matter how big or small the task is, using the various skills available. This collaboration was particularly the case last Tuesday, when during the fitting of the lino in the new box, it was discovered that there was some unevenness in the floor.

Given the amazing attention to detail and finish in the new installation, this situation did not go unnoticed. So an "Orange Army" team was dispatched to deal with the problem. It was a case of all hands--and in this case knees as well--on deck, while Jon planed the right of way and Martin stood by with the dustpan (see photo).

It is likely that our attention will be turned next to some repairs and renovation work to Oakham Bridge at the bottom of Freshfield Bank, as well as anything else which can be fitted in before Santa season really starts.

By Mike Hopps, Infrastructure Volunteer
The Camelot Locomotive Society   reports that upcoming scheduled running dates for No. 73082 are 5/6, 12/13, and 19/20 Dec., 2015 (Santa Specials and Golden Arrow services). Also 23, 24, and 26-31, Dec. (Christmas Week). 

As any recent visitor to Sheffield Park will have noticed, the progress on the porch restoration has been proceeding steadily.  The autumn weather has been incredibly kind, and Friends of Sheffield Park (FOSP) Wednesday gang volunteers have been able to paint the new woodwork, although poor light levels in the afternoons on cloudier days has sometimes necessitated an early cessation. 

Away from the Railway, our glazier has completed the manufacture of the stained glass panels, and we will very shortly see them fitted. Hence, the whole job will be substantially complete by the time Santa makes his first appearance of the year. Some further detailing will need to be completed post-glazing, and we are hopeful that the Post Office will consent to remove an official notice next to the postbox which rather offends the eye. It is anticipated that we will plan a formal ceremony to mark the official opening of the completed porch in the New Year.

In other activities, FOSP has completed a cosmetic refurbishment of the "Travelling College" sleeping coach volunteer accommodation. Weather-proofing the guttering and window seals has arrested the water penetration that had been damaging the fabric; the north end toilet/vestibule has been re-floored; and the rest of the floor has been "re-skinned" with ply in preparation for commercial grade vinyl floor covering to be professionally laid. 

Externally, the accessible parts of the roof have been repainted and, with new mattresses for the sleeping berths already installed, once the floor is completed, a significant improvement in the facility will have been realised at fairly economical cost. 

Otherwise, our regular Wednesday volunteers have been busy attending to the many jobs around Sheffield Park that need our attention.  Also, our long-awaited workshop accommodation--in the form of a Portakabin recently liberated from the Salt Yard at Horsted Keynes--is receiving a new roof to make it fully weatherproof before internal refurbishment can commence.    

By Chas Melton

With thoughts of the Kingscote signal box, eNews reader and Railway Volunteer Sean Smeeth sent us this fascinating photo taken in October 1936.

It shows his grandfather--Lewis--and his colleagues gathered around a Maunsell N15X "Remembrance" class loco on platform 11 of Waterloo Station to commemorate the completion of the new Waterloo signalling scheme, housed in Waterloo's large concrete signal box, which led to the closures of several older signal boxes no longer required. "It's a remarkable photo, going back to Southern days" says Neil Cameron.

On the back of the photo, according to Sean, his grandfather has written: "I am front smoke shield next to Alf Holt, both linesmen Signal & Telegraph, Waterloo Station. The Dock no 11 Platform in Oct 1936 after completion of the new signal box which controlled just beyond Vauxhall Station. This replaced Waterloo A, B & C and also the signal box at Vauxhall."

Click here to see a larger version of the photo.
From the wbsframe.mste.co.uk website: 
Waterloo signal box with its Westinghouse Brake & Signal Co. Ltd. Style 'L' Power Lever Frame was commissioned on the 18th October 1936, as the final part of the re-signalling project to modernised the the main lines to Hampton Court Junction from Waterloo. 
The signal box lever frame remained in use for 48 years until its operation was take over by a new NX Panel on February 5th 1984 in the same signal box. 
Waterloo box was closed and the entrance-exit panel was moved to a temporary box (to allow construction of Waterloo International station). 
The signal box closed on 30th October 1990. The signal box was demolished to make way for the Waterloo Eurostar train terminal. The panel/temp box finally closed when control of Waterloo station passed to the Wimbledon Signal Centre Wimbledon on 21st April 1991. 
The signal box was by far the biggest signal box structure built by the Southern Railway and a one-off design. It was built almost entirely of concrete on the site of the old blacksmiths shop at the west side of the station throat. The ground floor provided the relay room, and room for the signal maintenance staff and small workshop and stores ..." 
Thanks to Bluebell Railway supporters who shop online with Easyfundraising, the Railway is to receive £720.05 (plus gift aid) to go towards the Keep Up the Pressure Appeal. To take part in this very useful fundraising scheme, click here

The photo above shows work by volunteer Ben Dingley (both the metal work and photo), who has started to make new bronze bushes for SECR No. 27. The bushes will support and guide the piston rod as it travels up and down in the cylinders.
Members of the Railway's 9F club spent time recently on Project 27, supervised and guided by Steve Booth and Jim Turtle. The boys and girls worked hard with scrapers and wire brushes to remove the rust from the brake hangers, previously stored outside. They also spent some time cleaning up the horn guide and axle keep, recently removed from the frame for crack repair.
Once the items were cleaned up Jim applied Chelade rust converter to all items. This product stabilises any remaining rust and leaves a protective polymer barrier on the surface ready for the layers of paint.

More Project 27 updates can be read here .

John Sandys (10 Nov., 2015): "Bittern" getting ready for the road and other shots of the loco yard. 

Keith Duke (14 Nov., 2015): " Short service today from Sheffield Park to Horsted Keynes only due to engineering work. 323 Bluebell and the Metropolitan coaches in use and looking great even in the rain."

Neil Ball  (31 Oct. & 1 Nov., 2015): Neil's "Giants of Steam" gallery.

By Keith Duke.

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