The Bluebell Railway Trust

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Appeals:   TrAction Appeal   |   Cash for Cover (OP4) Appeal   |   Keep Up The Pressure Appeal

The Bluebell Railway Trust is a Charitable organisation which supports the conservation of
skills and heritage on The Bluebell Railway in Sussex.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

We are grateful to the Arts Council Museum Resilience Fund who awarded us the sum of £84,150 for the restoration and adaptation of a railway vehicle as a play and educational facility. Further details are available here (PDF), and the vehicle chosen, "The Elephant Van", is now open to the public daily at Horsted Keynes at the south end of platform 5.


The Bluebell Railway Trust needs your help to conserve, preserve, restore, and maintain in operational condition the Railway's steam locos, carriages and infrastructure. The volunteer-run Bluebell Railway re-opened a closed branch line in 1960, and recently completed its extension to East Grinstead. The Trust is a Registered Charity, No.292497.

263 light engine move - Peter Edwards - 28 July 2012 The Trust is the owner of several historic locomotives and carriages:
SECR H-class Locomotive No.263, seen on the right in Peter Edwards' photo at Three Arch Bridge on the day of its re-dedication after overhaul, Saturday 28 July 2012, and SECR C-class Locomotive No.592.

LBSCR Stroudley and Craven-era Carriages including Nos. 661, 949 and 328 (plus 6 other historic Brighton carriage bodies), LSWR No.25, SER Saloon 172 and LCDR carriage No.3188.

Accredited Museum The Bluebell Railway Trust is also the governing body for the Bluebell Railway Museum, which is now an Accredited Museum.

The Bluebell Railway Trust is able to accept legacies, covenants, gift-aid donations or CAF vouchers, either for the Trust's general funds or for specific projects which fall within its remit.

Full details of the way the trust works are available, in terms of Funding opportunities and mechanism, and the advantages in leaving Bequests/Legacies.

At present the Trust is actively seeking funding for the Tr(ack) Action Appeal, Cash for Cover (OP4) Appeal, Keep up the Pressure Appeal, the Bluebell Atlantic Project, the provision of Apprentice positions in the locomotive workshops, as well as general donations towards many other worthwhile Bluebell Railway projects, such as the overhaul of the Schools Class No.928 "Stowe", the Standard Class 2 project, the Steam Crane, the SR Maunsell Dining Saloon and SECR P-class No.27.


Stepney with 114 and 661, 4 November 2006 - Jon Bowers Donate online You can give to The Bluebell Railway Trust on-line using your credit or debit card, with the Gift Aid recovered on our behalf. If you wish to donate through this to a specific project or appeal, there is provision for adding a message to that effect.

Gift-Aid it! If you are a UK tax payer and you complete a Gift Aid Form, this enables us to increase the value of your donation by 25%. Higher rate tax payers are also able to claim additional relief from the tax they have paid via their tax return. A Gift Aid Form for general donations and all other projects is available here to print out. The same form also has details of how to set up a regular Standing Order.

Send this, or any other donation or a CAF cheque voucher, either to the individual fund raising group, or to:

The Bluebell Railway Trust,
Sheffield Park Station,
Nr Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 3QL
Please note that, to keep costs down, acknowledgement of donations may not be sent unless you include a Stamped Addressed Envelope.

Photo above right: The trust funded the cost of materials for the restoration of both of the carriages seen here, LBSCR 661 and LCDR 114. LBSCR Terrier "Stepney" is hauling the coaches on the day that 114 returned to service, 4 November 2006 (Jon Bowers).

Donations via 510(C)(3) affiliation with The American Fund for Charities

 

US donors can use our 510(C)(3) affiliation with The American Fund for Charities


Current Projects

In addition to the above, the Trust is currently involved in the funding of the following projects: Other projects have been approved in principal for funding, and are awaiting specific requirements.


Shed Wall - 2 Feb 2006 - David Chappell

The completed Loco Shed wall, largely funded by the Trust (David Chappell, 2 February 2006)


Past Projects

LCDR Brake Third 114 - 4 Nov 2006 - Richard Slamon The Trust has been involved in the following projects, to a greater or lesser extent:
  • The restoration and adaptation of the Elephant Van as a play and educational facility.
  • Funding for materials for the overhaul of LCDR carriage 3188.
  • Funding of the Northern Extension project, from bequests specifically left for the purpose as well as through the 50th Anniversary Appeal.
  • Fund raising for the boiler repair for Battle of Britain class pacific "Sir Archibald Sinclair"
  • Lengthening of the platform 1 canopy at Sheffield Park to its original length
  • The NRM Drawings Project - undertaken by Bluebell volunteers, assisting in the cataloguing of the NRM's extensive collection of SR engineering drawings. The Trust has funded accommodation and travel costs.
  • Funding though grants obtained from outside bodies of the conversion of Mk.I carriage 4941 into a wheelchair-accessible saloon.
  • Funding for land-purchase and museum aspects of Operation Undercover phase 3 at Sheffield Park.
  • Funding for the overhaul of the Trust's own locomotive, SECR H-class No.263, completed in 2012.
  • Provision of a significant proportion of the match funding for the Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project completed at Sheffield Park in 2012, which provided a carriage shed, museum, toilets, refurbishment of Platform 2 including extension of the platform canopy back to its original length, new loco washout pit and new locomotive department welfare building.
  • Materials for the restoration of two SECR Open Wagons - restoration report.
  • Funding to enable the Bluebell Railway's original two locos to play their part in the Bluebell's 50th Anniversary celebrations.
  • Funding to rescue LBSCR full brake 94, and LBSCR and LSWR wagon underframes from Preston Park, the recovery of two other Craven-era LBSCR carriage bodies, and parts of an LBSCR Balloon Carriage body.
  • Funding of items required in overhaul of locomotive No.3 Baxter.
  • Funding of the materials used in the restoration of the body of LCDR Brake 3rd carriage No.114 (seen in photo, Right). The carriage body had been used as a bungalow from 1926, and was rescued by the Bluebell in 1977. It is now running on an adapted SR van underframe, after 8 years restoration.
  • Purchase of tarpaulins to protect historic railway carriages.
  • Funding of the design of the museum portion of the Sheffield Park Heritage Lottery Fund application.
  • Funding the repurchase of SECR P-class Locomotive No.178
  • Funding to bring one of the railway's historic ticket printing machines into operational order.
  • Transport costs and tarpaulins for LCDR, LSWR coach bodies, and LBSCR Stroudley carriage bodies, and replacement tarpaulin for LBSCR coach 676.
  • Provision of the majority of the funds required to complete the Loco Running Shed East wall (photo above).
  • Providing 80% of the costs of construction for a shed for the Brighton Atlantic project.
  • Funding for decorative posters in Brighton style for the exterior of the new Shop building.
  • Phase 3 of the Horsted Keynes Canopy project; the new buildings on Platform 1 and 2, plus the electrical installation for the building.
  • Materials to complete the restoration of the unusual SR 10-ft wheelbase Open Wagon.
  • Replacement of the paint-shop roof in the carriage works with a modern insulated roof.
  • The restoration of LBSCR Box Van No.8196, for which an almost completely new underframe has been constructed.
  • The restoration of the body of LBSCR Stroudley coach No.661, which is owned by the Trust.
  • Funding for a signwritten tarpaulin for the Bluebell's LBSCR tarpaulin wagon.
  • Funding of the artwork and production of LBSCR Carriage transfers.
  • Complete funding of new overhead cranes for the Locomotive Workshop.
  • Funding part of the cost of the completion of north end of the Locomotive running shed.
  • Provided the majority of the funding for the acquisition of rail and sleepers for the last two miles of the Northern Extension.
  • Funding of a proportion of the costs of the construction of the Carriage Works extension.
    SECR 7-plank completed, 4 June 2003
  • Provision of materials for the restoration of SECR 7-plank wagon No.5542 and SECR 7-plank wagon No.16194 (Photo right).
  • Substantial support of the Bluebell Railway's Northern Extension.
  • Part funding of materials for the construction of phases 1 & 2 of the New Canopy on Platform 1 and 2 at Horsted Keynes.
  • Provision of Luggage Racks and costs of some other work on LBSCR Bogie First Carriage No.7598.
  • Transport and some restoration costs for moving the Horsted Keynes goods shed to Kingscote.
  • Funding a replica stained glass window at Horsted Keynes Station.
  • Organised manufacture of reproduction LBSCR carriage carpets, both for sale and to provide carpets for our LBSCR carriages.
  • Signwriting and part-funding the re-tyring of some wheelsets for Metropolitan Railway Carriage No.394, mechanical work on the bogies of No.368, and casting of new luggage rack brackets for No.412.
  • Purchase of LBSCR Stroudley brake coaches Nos 676 and 949.
  • Transport costs for the recovery of SER Gilbert Car No.33.
  • Funding towards the purchase of locomotive No.3 Baxter.
  • Support of restoration work at Kingscote station.
  • Assistance with restoration of seats, lamps and the footbridge at Sheffield Park Station.

Rebuilt canopy as of March 2003

Horsted Keynes Platform 1/2 canopy, during the course of construction.


Trustees

The current trustees are:
Bill Brophy (Chairman)
Vernon Blackburn (Administrative Trustee)
Sam Bee
Terry Cole
Roy Watts MBE

The current BRPS representatives, who are invited to attend Trust meetings, are:

Richard Salmon
Colin Tyson

The principal objects of The Bluebell Railway Trust are the encouragement of research into railway equipment and safety, the maintenance and support of museums for the preservation of railway equipment, the provision of facilities for recreation activities connected with railways and the assistance of persons in need connected with railways. Subject to these objects the Trustees may bear specially in mind charitable purposes connected with the Bluebell Railway.

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Appeals:   TrAction Appeal   |   Cash for Cover (OP4) Appeal   |   Keep Up The Pressure Appeal

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The Bluebell Railway Trust is a registered charity, No.292497