Highlights of BRPS Meetings, 18 May, 2019

Those members attending the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society (BRPS)meetings in Burgess Hill on 18 May had a busy evening as the agenda covered the reconvened 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) from 2018, which failed to be quorate; an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM); and the 59th AGM.

On this Saturday evening it was essential that the meeting be quorate“requiring 200 attendees“and indeed we made that number, but it was tight.

The EGM came first, the key part of which was an enabling motion to authorise the Trustees to transfer the assets and obligations of the Society to a Company Limited by Guarantee, a recommendation that had formed part of the findings of the Corporate Governance Review. 

Discussions that followed indicated that there was not a clear understanding by all present of the roles of the Society and the Public Limited Company (PLC). It was emphasised that the roles and responsibilities of the three key players“the Society, the PLC, and the Trust“did not change, and these were outlined to the meeting. It was also confirmed that we were hopeful of getting dispensation to continue to use “Bluebell Railway Preservation Society” as the name for the new entity. 

There were five motions as part of the EGM, another key motion being a change from 200 to 100 as the number of attendees required for a meetingto be quorate. A number of proxy votes had been submitted, of which 142left discretion to vote with the Society Chairman. All motions were carried easily. It was confirmed that the next key step was to draw up the Articles of Association for the new entity and that these would align as closely as possible to the current Society rules. Approval of the Articles by the membership will form part of another EGM expected inlate 2019 or early 2020.

The reconvened 58th AGM agenda was accomplished quite quickly and included approval of the 2017 minutes and 2017 Society accounts. In response to a question, it was emphasised that the Society did not borrow money, only the PLC did that. Furthermore, as has been the case for many years, the Society lent its surplus income from membership and other donations to the PLC on a monthly basis, with the figure being converted into PLC shares (£500,000 of such conversion took place during2018).

The 59th AGM was then held. It included 50-, 40- and 25-year service awards for volunteers. This year also saw awards for those with 10 years’ service and also for 60! ... MORE
Late Breaking ASH Project News

Observes Locomotive Director Chris Hunford, "The new maintenance shed was completed and handed over to the Railway on 17 May, 2019, bringing a close to this part of the Accessible Steam Heritage (ASH) Project. The contractor, Sunninghill, has now achieved 'Practical Completion' and will work through the snagging list and clear the last remaining items from its site compound,all of which will be completed by the end of May". 
OP4 Update: Dwarf Wall Makes Big Progress

The Infrastructure Team is making good progress building the dwarf brickwall around the base of the carriage shed, having completed the western, southern, and eastern faces. 

The Team is now working on the dwarf wall around the Heritage Skills Centre (HSC) and preparing to cast the floor slab of the HSC (currently programmed for late June). The contract for the cladding of the shed hasbeen let to Robin Stevenson LLP, and work has started on the western wall of the maintenance road. 

The final appearance of the shed will match the yellow/green reverse profile sheeting of the existing Carriage & Wagon Works. Reverse profile insulated cladding is not available, so the cladding will necessarily be in two layers: firstly, the insulated cladding sheets, and secondly, a cosmetic face to match the appearance of the existing shed.

The Infrastructure Team will shortly be moving on to track laying, relaying the connection from the running line into the yard. This is a major piece of work taking about three weeks to complete, and it represents a significant step forward, providing full connectivity to roads C, E, F, and G (and eventually roads B, H, and J).
By Barry Luck, OP4 Project Manager (Infrastructure)
The completion of the dwarf wall on the west (railway) side of the carriage maintenance road.
The support rails for the cladding on the west side.
The start of the dwarf wall around the Heritage Skills Centre, and preparations for casting the HSC ground floor slab.

Here are some exciting summer event dates for your calendar ...

• 25-27 May: STEM Fair at Sheffield Park
• 9 June: Southern Classic Car Show at Horsted Keynes
• 15-16 June: Road Meets Rail, plus the Sussex Ales Beer Festival (NOTE: a two-day event)
• 29-30 June: Model Railway Weekend
• 27 July: Toy and Rail Collectors Fair 
• 10-11 August: Steam Through the Ages!

A "Working Steam" Festival: Road Meets Rail on 15-16 June

Step back in time for a weekend of steam-powered demonstrations and vintage fairground fun. Traction engines, road rollers, steam wagons, showman’s engines, and more will bring Horsted Keynes station to life with recreations of a bygone age.

  • See how road building, wood sawing, timber haulage, and lifting were carried out in the early 1900s.
  • Experience fairground rides powered by a Showman’s Engine!
  • Watch as deliveries are made to the station by steam wagons, traction engine, and pantechnicon (delivery van).
  • Steam-hauled passenger trains, brake van rides, and a freight train will be passing through the station amid the activity!

Don’t forget it’s Father’s Day on 16 June, so bring your dad“and grandad!“for a steam-filled day out. The beer tent in the paddock will be serving a range of Sussex ales to keep everyone refreshed. Book online today to get dad’s day“or your day!“sorted.

And if you fancy dressing up for the event, feel free to don some 1920s gear and immerse yourself fully in the vintage atmosphere of the weekend. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the best outfits …

Vacancies at the Bluebell Railway

Carriage & Wagon Fitter

The Bluebell Railway has a full-time vacancy in the Carriage & WagonDepartment for a Fitter. This is an opportunity to work as part of the team involved in the maintenance, repair, and restoration of the railway’s historic collection of carriages and wagons. 

The applicant ideally will have completed an engineering apprenticeship,although on-the-job training will be provided to otherwise suitable applicants. Skills advantageous for this post include fitting mechanicalparts, welding and fabricating, pipework, and knowledge of electrical systems. 

All applicants should be self-motivated and self-managing but also team players and happy to work with both paid and volunteer staff alike. The Carriage & Wagon Department operates seven days a week and weekend working is required. 

If interested, please contact Lisa Boyle on 01825 724884 or for an application form. The closing date for applications is 7 June, 2019.

Casual Kitchen Porters

The Railway is currently recruiting for casual kitchen porters to work predominantly at Sheffield Park station. The candidates will be responsible for ensuring a clean, safe, and tidy working environment in the kitchen. The main duties are collecting and cleaning pots and pans, equipment, and crockery and cutlery, as well as cleaning food preparation areas.

This role can be physically demanding and will require the candidate to lift and carry stock and equipment across platforms and on and off trains. A very high standard of hygiene and ability to work under one's own initiative and as part of a team are essential.

Although the Railway is open every day except Christmas Day, shifts willmainly be available during busiest times, which are weekends and duringschool holidays. The candidate will need to be prepared to work Friday and Saturday evenings as required.

This position is ideal for those seeking additional income on a flexiblebasis or for students. Personal transportation is essential as the Railway is in a rural location. Full training and meals whilst on duty will be provided.

For further information or to apply, please email

A compilation of British Rail Southern Electrics from the 1940s to 1960s.
Passenger trains at Worcester station ,about 1939. One is a LMSR train pulled by a class 2P 4-4-0 No. 529; theother is a GWR diesel railcar No. 7, travelling from Hereford to Oxford.

Exciting Times: Marketing Department Update

The Bluebell Railway PLC is pleased to announce the appointment of a Digital Marketing Coordinator, who will be increasing the amount of marketing and publicity we do electronically through social media, website forums, digital advertising, and promotions. The Marketing Department also will be looking at how to harness new technology to increase our digital presence and better engage with customers, as well as looking at the website to make it more user-friendly, particularly for mobile users. While we will continue to produce paper publicity, there is no doubt that our customers are more digitally focused these days, and this trend is something that we can be more targeted about and use in a different way.   

Sophie-Anne Madge will be joining the Marketing Department in July. She has a background in digital journalism and public relations. Digital marketing is relatively inexpensive, and it is the forum to increase customers by explaining the fantastic product that we offer and to generate new sales. When we review the numerous phone calls that the General Office receives, many are from people who have never experienced the Railway before and want to know more about what we offer. This growth is something we can work on, and I think it is areally exciting time for our new Marketing Department.

Sophie will be a fantastic addition to the team, and she will bring withher a fresh outlook on how to communicate with our customers.

By Julie Jones, General Manager
The Southern Classics Society will hold its Classic Car and Vehicle Show at Horsted Keynes Station on 9June, 2019. There will be class awards plus a raffle draw, with no booking required by vehicle exhibitors.

Free entry for Southern Classic Society members. Entry fees for non-members: classics £5 and spectators £2. More information here
NOTE: Drainage work on Waterbury Hill between Horsted Keynes village and the station means thatroad will be closed to vehicles“with long diversions in place“for the remainder of May.

´╗┐Access to Horsted Keynes station is still available from Sharpthorne and“for vehicles under 8 feet tall“from Ardingly and Highbrook.
Full Steam Ahead!

The Railway is running some very special days for lovers of steam! Experience first-hand firing and driving one of our fleet of historic steam engines“dates in June and September are still available!

No. 73082 "Camelot" will be on duty for this exciting day over the entire length of the Bluebell Line between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. The train will comprise four carriages for the exclusive use of the participants.

Included in the cost is the opportunity to fire and drive the engine, breakfast on arrival at the Bessemer Arms, and a buffet lunch on board. It's a full day, starting at Sheffield Park at around 8 a.m. and finishing at around 5 p.m.

STEM Fair: A Family Day Out with a Difference

Education and fun for kids of all ages, 25-27 May sees the return of the STEM Family Fair at Sheffield Park Station. 

Learn about the science, technology, engineering, and maths behind steam, and much more! The Railway has put together many activities, including building and testing gravity cars, bridge building, music workshops, and steam-themed interactive science shows.

PLUS ...

  • Meet our workshop apprentices, and find out what it takes to build a steam locomotive from scratch in the Atlantic House. 
  • Explore SteamWorks!, the interactive exhibition found alongside the Railway's impressive collection of steam locomotives. 
  • Free entry with the purchase of an All Day Rover Ticket. 

"Paul S" took a Bank Holiday trip on the Railway (published 9 May, 2019).
"Heritage Railway Productions": The O1 at Sheffield Park on 5 May, 2019
"Lineside South East": No. 847 makes "a spirited departure from Horsted Keynes" on 5 May, 2019.
"The Trainspotter": Shunting at the Bluebell Railway and riding on board No. 847 (9 May, 2019).
Endorsements from Twitter!
@BlindVeterans All aboard! Blind Veterans UK had a great time on the @bluebellrailway in East Sussex, enjoying lunch on the wonderful steam train (10 May, 2019).
@IRHowitt Thoroughly enjoyed a fabulous visit to the Bluebell Railway at Horsted Keynes! An inclusive, welcoming, helpful heritage railway! "Steam long and prosper" (apologies to Star Trek ) (12 May, 2019). 
LB&SCR Carriages, Vol. 3 Published

Ian White has published LB&SCR Carriages, Vol. 3, Bogie Stock 1879 - 1907 through The Historical Model Railway Society. This is the first of two volumes providing illustrated coverage of the bogie carriages of the LB&SCR, a company with a large and diverse fleet despite its limitedroute mileage.

Previous volumes (Kestrel Books, 2014 and 2016) described the four- and six-wheeled stock. This new work makes substantial use of the HMRS drawing collection where the author is a volunteer. 

New drawings are provided where needed, and examples of planned but unbuilt designs are included showing that the ambitions of the designersfar outstripped those of a conservative management. There is extensive photographic coverage with some previously unseen views, and extensive train formation data.

Adds Ian: "Like previous volumes in this series, all royalties will be going to the Stroudley Coach Fund, and a Bluebell Railway carriage is featured on the front cover. Complimentary copies have been supplied to the Carriage & Wagon Department."

From the Archive
From 20 Sept.,1952: 4MT No. 80012 at Oxted with the 4:18 p.m. from London Bridge to Brighton. 
Tony Hillman has picked out some dynamic pictures of 4MTs from the John J. Smith collection.

"HH" Model Railway Show Round-Up

We are very grateful for the part you played in last week's show, which attracted 900 visitors. All comments we received were very favourable, and there were many requests to make “HH” a regular event. We feel that Haywards Heath has definitelynow arrived in the model railway world.

We hope you enjoyed yourself too. Next year we will probably lay on a third show, and if those interested can provide comments that could assist us for 2020,they would be very gratefully received. Sadly we lost £500 on this occasion. However, we did collect for Chailey Heritage by other means, so some charitable assistance did take place (also, in 2016, we raised £3,000).

By John Ely
The webpage for BR Standard Steam Stock (Mk.1) Corridor Composite No. 16012 (1957) has been updated .
John Sandys (16 May, 2019): "A few photos from my visit today with the S15 in charge of the service train."
Writes Richard Salmon, "Steve Goodbody, who was a volunteer more than 30years ago before he moved to the United States, paid us a visit on 15 May, 2019, and was suitably impressed. His photo shows the S15 ready to leave Sheffield Park."
Derek Hayward has updated his photo galleries for non-steam motive power: D4106 (09018), Sentinel No.10241 , Britannia Iron Works Howard No.957 , and the Wickham trolleys and other Permanent Way equipment. This photo shows D4106 approaching Kingscote on 23 March, 2018. 
Steve Lee (4 May, 2019): S15 class No. 847 passes a fine carpet of bluebells at Lindfield Wood as it heads north with the 1:15 p.m. service.
Dave Bowles (18 April 2019): No. 30541 with its service train , comprising the Mets and a four-wheeler.
Jon Elphick's 12 May, 2019, photo shows the Q class over the washout pit within the new locomotive maintenance shed at Sheffield Park. Notes Richard Salmon, "The staff are already feeling the benefit of the cover for washouts, this being the third undertaken in the shell of the building."
Thankyou for reading our eNewsletter. It's because of you--our members, volunteers, visitors, and supporters--that the Railway continues its success.

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If you ever have a question, comment, or contribution, don't hesitate to get in touch with me at 

John Walls
Editor-in-Chief, eNewsletter
Bluebell Railway

© Bluebell Railway Preservation Society 2019

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