An important notice from BRPS Membership Secretary Don Brewer: the email address for BRPS membership is changing to ...

The Railway on 31 July, 2016, by Ben Jenden.

Vintage Transport Weekend : 13-14 Aug., 2016

Punch & Judy Shows : Throughout August
Horsted Keynes OP4 Shed roof complete, by John Harwood (22 June, 2016).

The blog Anglotopia has a nice entry mentioning the Bluebell Railway. Well worth a read. 
Bluebell Railway April 2016 Video Compilation, by Martin Lawrence.


*Full Name: " Clapham Junction "
*Date: 1961
*Medium: Oil on canvas; British Railways poster artwork
*Artist: Terence Tenison Cuneo
*Collection: National Railway Museum
*Measurements: 105.6 cm x 120.7 cm
*Acquisition: Gift (1994)

BT.com has run an interesting article about the heritage steam movement, the Bluebell Railway, and other heritage railways throughout Britain. 

After much work by the photographic team from the Museum Archive we are able to make available part of the Joe Kent collection of photographs ...

The Channel 4 documentary "Full Steam Ahead" features the Railway. Read about this filming event, as well as other Bluebell Railway on screen appearances, in this article by the East Grinstead Courier . The photo shows the film crew and talent for the TV show

The Bluebell Railway "Service II," 30 July, 2016, by Bluebell Railway Hawks.

Some good news for the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway: visiting locos will once gain be able to access the railway by road.

Terrier class 0-6-0T steam train "Newport," Ventnor West, England, c.1925. From the Science & Society Picture Library.

Writes Bluebell Museum Assistant Curator Tony Hillman, "Well done to all who got this letter to the correct place. Arriving at East Grinstead Station (not in Kent), it was given to the train guard who passed it on to the Sheffield Park Station staff and then to the Museum. The letter contained a request for information about some signal boxes that John Smith may have photographed. Hopefully an order will follow!"
More grinding and drilling has been going on at Project 27, this time with the footplating and valence frames. Stay up-to-date with this project at its blog site .
Bluebell Railway Toy and Rail Collectors Fair, 30 July, 2016, by "thomasladyfan".


" Down 'Bournemouth Belle' west of Hook :" View eastward, towards London: ex-LSW Waterloo-West main line. This crack express was Pullman-only with supplementary fare. It left Waterloo at 12:30, stopped only at Southampton and Bournemouth Central and reached Bournemouth West at 14:52. The locomotive is SR rebuilt Bulleid "Merchant Navy" Pacific No. 35024 "East Asiatic Company" (built 11/48, rebuilt 4/59, withdrawn 1/65).

The Yorkshire Post muses on the last days of Yorkshire steam.
EMUs of Southern Railway, by "SouthernRailwayMan."


"Day and night, year in and year out, British Railways serve the nation. The Royal Scot to Glasgow departs Euston daily at 10 a.m. At the same time, the Flying Scotsman departs King's Cross bound for Edinburgh. At 10:30 a.m. the Cornish Riviera can be found at Paddington, starting its 305 mile journey to Penzance, and finally at 11 a.m. the Golden Arrow departs Victoria for Dover and on to Calais. Between them, four famous trains uphold a great tradition and provide a complete national transport service: swift, safe and comfortable."

(From rail.co.uk, 8 July, 2016) Two weeks on from the momentous referendum on Britain's membership of the European Community the people have spoken. We know what they said, but have precious little idea of what happens next--in common with the politicians.

A narrow, but clear, majority opted for Brexit--and politicians went into meltdown mode. Two political parties are now sorting out who to choose as their new leader while a third tries to decide if it wants to depose the existing post-holder and elect another--or possibly the same leader as at present if he can get on the ballot paper--while all shades of opinion wrestle with the "what now and when" question, implementation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which starts the two-year clock running down to Britain's actual departure from the EU.

The day after the Referendum, rail.co.uk took a quick look at what the vote might mean for the UK rail industry and how could affect our national railway network, with the emphasis on "might" and "could" - see http://www.rail.co.uk/rail-news/2016/brexit/ .

Assuming the Article 50 button is pressed, apparently not quite the immediate post-referendum foregone conclusion many expected, what is the likely effect on our Heritage Railway's? The same caveats apply now as did two weeks ago!

Heritage railways are big business

According to the All Party Parliamentary Group's Report on Heritage Railways the sector employs the equivalent of more than 4,000 workers who generate a combined annual turnover of some £110million. In 2013, almost 11million people enjoyed a visit to a heritage railway and the Report calculates that heritage rail is worth £250 million to UK tourism annually ... MORE

Bluebell Railway Service One Timetable on 19 July, 2016, by "JoeLightRailway."


An update from the V class No. 928 "Stowe" Facebook page (visit the page for many more photos and notes): "After Model Railway Weekend, we were able to remove the inner firebox, which has been sent away for assembly with the other components. A week's hard work from the coded welder resulted in the new steel half sides being fixed in position ..."


The Bluebell Railway is pleased to announce that it will be holding its fourth annual sponsored "Track Trek" between East Grinstead and Sheffield Park stations on 12 Nov., 2016. The event is to raise money for both the  Accessible Steam Heritage  
and Cash for Cover appeals.

Walkers will be required to start from East Grinstead between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. with registration and safety briefings starting at East Grinstead from 8:30 a.m. Alternatively, you can park your car at Sheffield Park and catch a complimentary bus to East Grinstead in time to start your walk before 10 a.m. Registration and safety briefings at Sheffield Park will take place between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. to allow time for the bus ride to East Grinstead. For walkers starting at East Grinstead, a complimentary bus service will operate to take you back to your original starting point after completing your walk.
Whereas in previous years only one walk has been possible, we have decided this year to offer a second, shorter walk for those who feel 11 miles is a bit too much. If a five mile walk sounds more to your liking, then you can walk from Horsted Keynes to Sheffield Park. Registration and safety briefings will start at Horsted Keynes at 11:30 a.m. and close at 12:30 p.m. with the walk starting as soon as you have completed these formalities. A complimentary bus service will operate to take you back to your original starting point at Horsted Keynes station.
We hope lots of people will take this unique opportunity to walk the entire length of the Railway as there are not many occasions when trains don't run. Plus, it's a chance to raise lots of money through sponsorship for two worthy appeals. The minimum sponsorship is £25 per person and £40 for a couple or family (two adults and three children between 7 and 16 years).
Pre-registration is essential because this will give us a good idea of the number of people requiring the use of the buses at the start and end of the day. 
To register for the Track Trek, email tracktrek2016@bluebell-railway.co.uk with the names of the members of your party (please indicate any that are children); which of the two walks you will be doing; and whether you require the use of the bus service from either Sheffield Park in the morning to get to East Grinstead or back to East Grinstead after completing the walk at Sheffield Park.
The sponsorship form can be downloaded here , which will provide a tear-off registration form if you would prefer to use this instead of following the email instructions above. Plus, you can create your own fundraising page on BT MyDonate or create your own "Organised Event" fundraising page on JustGiving.
For more information, click here .


The Bluebell Railway has created an exciting new event for anyone who has dreamed of driving a steam train!

Full Steam Ahead Day on 30 Sept., 2016, aims to be the first in a series of days for customers to enjoy the experience of firing and driving a loco and train. If successful, more Full Steam Ahead days will be planned for 2017.

For the first Full Steam Ahead Day, up to six participants will be able to experience firing and driving No. 73082 "Camelot" over the full Bluebell line. "Camelot's" train will comprise four carriages for the exclusive use of participants, who can invite up to six guests each.

Full Steam Ahead will be a full day, starting at Sheffield Park at 8:30 a.m. and finishing at the same station just after 5 p.m.

Do you know someone who has a special birthday or retirement coming up? Are you organising a corporate team building exercise? Would firing and driving a train be a dream come true for you? If so, call the Railway's Sales Office at 01825 720800 for more information and to book.

More details can be found here .  


The Disability Access East Grinstead Area charity held its annual general meeting (AGM) on 5 July, 2016. During the meeting, Burrin Awards were given to organisations that have worked on disability access in the region and that have helped the charity towards its goals.

Roger Kelly, the Railway's Funding Director (second from left in the photo below), was on hand to accept a Burrin Award on behalf of the Railway.

Disability Access has been working closely with the Railway on the ASH Project, including providing disabled participants for the promotional video starring Nicholas Owen.

As part of the new ASH display of static locos, Roger explained to the AGM, a ramp and platform will be built so that all visitors, especially those in wheelchairs, will have easy access to the footplate and controls of one of the locos.

Furthermore, a mock-up of a steam loco is planned, which also will be wheelchair accessible and built in such a way that visitors will be able to enjoy a simulated driving experience.


An important deadline is approaching for the ASH Project. The cut-off showing current fundraising efforts in the second round application for the Heritage Lottery Fund is 22 Aug., 2016. The more donations we have, the better the Railway's prospects to receive HLF funding to create the exciting Accessible Steam Heritage project.

To see the current total for the ASH Appeal and make a donation visit the Just Giving website page or download a Gift Aid form  and send in a cheque. All contributions are greatly appreciated!

Nicholas Owen's video explains the ASH Project in detail.


On 10 July, 2016, the Railway's four Senior Station Masters were present for a Song of Praise event at Kingscote, presided over by Canon John Twisleton, Railway Chaplain and Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes. (L to R) Tim Baker (Horsted Keynes); Roy Watts (East Grinstead); Graham Aitken (Sheffield Park); and Richard Clark (Kingscote). Graham is in his guard's, rather than his station master's, uniform. (Photo by Richard Salmon.)


This new book by Kevin Robertson is available in the Bluebell Railway Shop at Sheffield Park. Reading the acknowledgements will tell you that it was shop manager Nikki Flavell who suggested the idea for the book to Kevin. You also will read that the Bluebell Museum Archive provided many of the 180 pictures in the book. In fact, over a third of the
images are from the Archive, including the two images on the cover.

The book is a well-illustrated journey from Tunbridge Wells West to Polegate. All the photographs have detailed captions. The book also includes a brief history of the line plus memories from three people who worked on the line.

It's a very good read and, if you need another reason to buy it, a percentage of the royalties will go to the Museum Archive.

By Tony Hillman

The Line to the Stars: Half a Century of Filming at the Bluebell Railway 

By Heidi Mowforth  

From our very first filming contract in 1961 ( The Innocents ) to the Muppets Most Wanted film in 2013, the Bluebell Railway has seen it all over more than five decades. 

We have travelled the world, visited numerous different stations, both real and fictional, met a wide variety of characters and had many adventures along the way. 

This book explores that journey through a series of feature films, films for television, classic TV detective dramas, factual programmes, commercials, pop videos, costume dramas, educational programmes, and much more besides. 

Tastes may have changed over the 50-plus years, and so has the way that films are made and the ways that we can watch them. What hasn't changed is that when producers want historic trains within an historic setting, nothing seems to look quite like a real train than a real train--and long may that continue!

Come along for the ride as you travel "the line to the stars."

Just £10 from the Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park Station Shop, TN22 3QL, or mail order plus £2.99. For order, phone 01825 720803. 


Scores of WWII veterans headed to the Bluebell Railway for a day to remember along with their families and friends on 19 July, 2016. 

A convoy of London cabs--from the London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled--transported the war heroes from the capital to the railway's southern terminal at Sheffield Park for a trip on a heritage stream train, with entertainers and singers in 1940s-style dress ... MORE

See some lovely photos of the trip here .

Some good news for "Sir Archie:" The boiler for No. 34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair" has left Crewe and arrived at the South Devon Railway's engineering works, where the new inner firebox is to be fabricated and fitted to the boiler shell.

Writes Derek Hayward, "Here is a recent image of the Elephant Van, which has had its northern doors fitted. I am not certain if the Railway has successfully procured an elephant yet!"


That's quite a slip cordon set by Scaynes Hill CC (against the nephew of this eNewsletter's editor)! Plenty of gaps out there, though.

Thank you to our gracious hosts Scaynes Hill Cricket Club for their amazing hospitality in the annual Freshfields test versus the Bluebell Railway XI on 16 July, 2016. 

BRPS Finance Director Martin Widdowson takes to the crease. (We won't mention the impending run-out, however! The Eds.)
If you were on a train on that day, you may have seen the game. SHCC prevailed, scoring 194-7 in 34 overs, but the Bluebell Railway XI bettered last year's score, with 109 all out in reply. We're closing the gap!

Also many thanks to all who turned out for the Railway's team, including captain Stuart Marks, of the Loco Department, and Martin Widdowson, BRPS finance director, whose impressive bowling figures were 4 overs, 1 maiden, 2 wickets, for 7 runs! 

To donate to this fundraising game--money raised will be shared between SHCC and the Railway's ASH Project-- click here . (We suggest 10p per Bluebell Railway XI run--round it up for an £11 donation!-The Eds.)


The 9F club repairing a Permanent Way hut, by Martin Lawrence.

Martin Lawrence (July 2016): Martin's July gallery includes shots of the Sussex Food & Drink Festival, Bill and Ben the Enginemen, a road-rail vehicle at Kingscote, a Fish & Chips Special, the 9F club, and more. 

John Sandys (18 July, 2016): " On a very hot day! The S-15 doing sterling service on the last week of Service One running before the Summer 2 train service starts."

Keith Duke (23 July, 2016): " A few hours at the Bluebell Railway grabbing a few shots of No. 263 on the goods train."

Neil Munro-Thomson (23 July, 2016): Vintage goods train, and much more. 

John Sandys (21 July, 2016): " The S-15 preparing to haul the 1st train on the penultimate day of the Service 1 Timetable and 263 on shunting duties."

John Sandys (2 Aug., 2016): "A rather damp day, but still busy!"

Derek Hayward has updated the following galleries:

Chrissie and Izzy at Sheffield Park, by John Sandys.

By Keith Duke.

Thank you for reading our eNewsletter. Don't forget to pass it along to friends, family, and colleagues to let them know all the activities and opportunities--for young and old alike--that the Bluebell Railway offers. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have Railway news to share or if you have a question or comment.
John Walls
Editor-in-Chief, eNewsletter
Bluebell Railway

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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