News From the Bluebell Railway
Archive - July-Dec 1998

This is an Archive for the main News from the Bluebell page. Please note that due to the historical nature of this page, some links may no longer work correctly.
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News Flash 30/12/98

Launch of the SE&CR Centenary Year:

January 1st 1999

Whilst the focus of the year will be the celebrations in August, coinciding (we hope) with the return to steam of the South Eastern Railway O1; to mark the start of this special year January 1st will find SE&CR locos, coaches and goods wagons in use.

New Year's Day will see the SE&CR C-class, No.592, working the passenger trains as per Service 3 in the new timetable. The train will consist of two SE&CR coaches, Nos.1098 and 971, together with Southern Railway Guards Van No.404, and the LNWR Observation Car, newly repainted in LMS livery as No.15843.

The SE&CR goods train will be in the hands of SE&CR P-class loco No.323, newly repainted in SE&CR Olive Green. Its train will consist of SE&CR 7-plank wagon, No.16358, an SE&CR 5-plank wagon, the LBSCR Hi-bar wagon, SE&CR Box Van No.15750 and SE&CR "Dance Hall" brake van No.11916.

The goods train will operate at the following times.

Sheffield Park (dep)           1:00   3:57
Horsted Keynes (arr)           1:15   4.12
Horsted Keynes (dep)   10:45   1:40
Kingscote (arr)        11:00   1:55   

Kingscote (dep)        11:32   2:37
Horsted Keynes (arr)   11:45   n/s
Horsted Keynes (dep)   12:16   2/50
Sheffield Park (arr)   12:29   3:05

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - News - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site
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Update 21/12/98

Loco matters:

"Bluebell" is now in the loco works for its repaint into SECR Olive green, in preparation for hauling the SECR centennial goods train on January 1st.

Further loco news is provided on Lewis Nodes' photo News pages. The latest update concerns the GWR Dukedog and Baxter. The work on the Dukedog is concentrated on the boiler, with the front tube plate removed, along with foundation rivets and crown stays in the firebox. Baxter has been receiving some minor repairs to one of its valves, where the spindle had come loose. Lewis has also provided a 6Mb video clip (MPEG) of Baxter working a vintage goods train in 1997.

Carriage News

All is looking good for the use of the first two of the Metropolitan Carriages on the Winter Steam-up weekend in mid-February. This will be the culmination of seven years hard labour and fund raising by BASH. We hope the other two coaches will be rather quicker thanks to the experience gained!

The new restoration project, that of LCDR 4-wheel brake 2nd No.106, has made a good start. It was thought that two new doors were going to have to be made, but the missing doors were found inside the vehicle, and more useful bits are discovered as the interior is cleared of the stuff stored in it. One door has so far been completely restored, and a second is well in hand. The finish will be varnished teak, so the discovery that some of the external panels had been renewed with Mahogany at some point in the coach's history is a bit of a blow!

The restoration of SR Maunsell Droplight third 1336 and the winter's maintenance of the GNR Directors' Saloon have come across a new problem which we've not previously encountered. To start with the GN saloon. It has been apparent for some time that there was some corrosion within the end structure which was causing the teak panelling to bulge out in a few places. This winter's target was to identify and rectify the cause of the problem. The end of the coach has large drop-lights (opening windows) and these will be repaired and have the glass replaced with modern safety glass. The teak rail below the window opening is reinforced behind with a strip of steel, screwed to it, and jointed, with the rail, into the structure of the coach. It is this that has corroded, within the body pillars, and will have to be removed and replaced. This is not going to be too much of a problem on the saloon, which only has four s! uch drop-lights.

Now the similarity with the Maunsell coach is striking, in that it has exactly the same problem with each of its 14 large drop-light openings, causing every bodyside pillar to split at waist-level. Suggested methods of repair go as far as removing the entire side of the coach!

The LSWR carriage (1520) has been sheeted over for the winter, now that two-thirds of the brake-end structure has been replaced. The new body-sides and bottom-side to complete this half of the coach are prepared, and await better weather before fitting.

The LBSCR Bogie First (7598) was hauled out of the shed by Stepney earlier this month, and passed its steam-heat test without a trace of a leak. Only one of the twelve luggage racks remains to be fitted (unless this was done yesterday!).

Signalling Work at Horsted Keynes

As from 5th January the signal box at Horsted Keynes will be taken out of use for major rebuilding and repairs, to be followed by the implementation of the re-signalling scheme. In the interim the Signalman will still be in overall charge, with access to the passing loop controlled from two ground frames. One of these has been used at the North end of platforms 2 and 3 for some time, and a new one will control the South end. Trains entering the station area will have to stop to phone the signalman for permission to pass the up outer home and the down home signals. Further details of the work are towards the end of the page on the signalboxes.

Bluebell Web Site

As you may already be aware, the 1999 timetable is now available on the web site. Another development is that all of the carriages now have individual web pages, accessible from the carriage stock list.

The page for the Track Layout at Kingscote now includes a new drawing showing the layout at the time of the 1958 closure.

The Web Site has been awarded a Compuserve TrainNet-Forum Web Gem Award.


Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Good 1999 - SECR Centenary Year!

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
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Why not become a BRPS Member? - Get more involved as a Volunteer

Maunsell Loco Society Update 23/11/98

With thanks to Peter Jessop.

As of last Saturday afternoon, the tender for U-class No.1638 is now rewheeled with the frames lifted onto the wheelsets and axles boxes. Quite a lot of the hornguide slides are left exposed as there is little weight on the springs comparatively speaking, but that will change as we add the tender tank and so on. The full story is on the Latest Project News, at the Maunsell Society Website. The next task is to get the tender tank sorted out.

The progress made with S15 No.847 continues well. Now that the boiler has been "gutted" and freed from the frames in anticipation of a boiler lift when in the works, work has commenced on firebox repairs. A new part of the Maunsell website has been created to cover the work to 847, and there you will find some interesting photos of what is involved, and the working conditions.

The immediate restoration future. With No.1638, the tender tank will get started, and the rods will return from machining work in Manchester. We have borrowed the patterns from the Mid Hants for the brass bushes that go into the "eye" of the coupling rods, so we will get them cast soon, as the patterns must be returned. Once they are cast, we can machine them to suit at our own convenience. The cab roof still wants riveting up, but that's not such a major job. As winter approaches (has arrived really) the type of job changes, and the prospect of drilling out the new tubeplate for the boiler in the near vicinity of the workshop heaters seems a favourable prospect. The chance to make/repair a few of those bits n' bobs that go onto the engine later will be taken as the outdoor weather becomes inclement.

U-class No.1618 remains on static display, and Q-class No.541 has a place in the queue, but until "Blackmore Vale" and the GWR Dukedog are outshopped, that's where it will stay,... in the queue.


News of the SER O1, No.65

The SER O1 is in the works and moving on apace, but it may be there for at least another year, even at its fast track progress. A full report of current progress is available on another website.

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - News - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site
Why not become a BRPS Member? - Get more involved as a Volunteer

Update 5/11/98

Southern Railway Battle of Britain class, No.34081, "92 Squadron" has been used each weekend in October, and also for the occasional Footplate Experience course with Clive Groome. The loco has performed as required, and not slipped too much! I understand it will not be used this coming weekend, and leaves us on 9th November to return home to the Nene Valley. Good photo coverage in the new edition of Steam Railway Magazine.

Looking for a venue for your Christmas Party?

The web site now has details of what we could offer as a venue for your Christmas Party/Dinner Dance or straight-forward Dinner or Lunch, in our new Birch Grove Suite at Sheffield Park.

Special Events:

The Santa Specials are booking well, in fact, much faster than they did last year, so if you fancy a ride (with mince pies for adults and a present from Father Christmas for the Children) it would be a good idea to book soon.

The stormy weather rather spoilt the Starlight Special evening, although steam heating did make the compartments of the two SECR coaches very snug places to shelter from the wind and rain!

However the Giants of Steam the following day saw sunshine and crowds, and plenty of varied loco action from the 5 big-uns. Click here for a full report.

The Special Events section of the web site also gives advanced notice of next year's special events. Of special note are the following:

June: Fri 25, Sat 26 & Sun 27: "Friends of Thomas".
July: Sat 24 - Sun 25: Steam Fair & Vintage Vehicle Rally.
August: Sat 7 - Sun 8: SECR Centenary Weekend.
September: Sat 11 - Sun 12: Summer Steam Gala.
The Summer Steam Gala, which was in August this year, was successful. For next year though, it moves to September, both to make way for the SECR centenary event, and also to see if it can find a better date in its own right.

As part of the SECR centenary theme for 1999, an SECR goods train will run on: 1st January, 15th May, 4th September and 23rd October.

LSWR Carriage Project Report from Andrew Pepper:

The LSWR sponsored walk on October 10 went off successfully, with a dry day, despite rain on the previous two days. Andy Mills did a very good job of running the whole event, and researching the walk routes, incorporating the Ardingly line, whilst group members acted as stewards at key points along the route. Once all the sponsorship money comes in we shall have raised £2,500. George Nickson raised the most - £343. Kate Mills ran a 'bacon and sausage butty' barbecue before the walkers set off, which got everyone started in the right spirit ! (including the crew of 'Birch Grove', which was very conveniently sitting in Platform 1 road !), and returning walkers received a cup of best LSWR Coach Group tea and home-made cakes.

Talking of the LSWR coach itself, the framework for the end-frame over the headstock was installed on Sunday 25 October, making three sections of framework now in situ. Work is well advanced on the timbers for the two west side sections to complete the brake-end framework, and much of the brake-end chassis has now been needle-gunned. We remain on target to get all this framework completed and installed by early December - weather permitting.

News snippets:

The Permanent way work carried out in October focused on renewing the drainage at the south end of Horsted Keynes station. Also the track at the south ends of Platforms 1 and 2 has been straightened, removing some dog-legs which dated from when points connected these lines to the Ardingly branch and the goods yard.

A footbridge, displaced from Mitcham by the tramlink works, is now on site, and will be repaired, possibly for use at West Hoathly.

With financial assistance from the Bluebell Railway Trust, the goods shed at Horsted Keynes has been relocated to Kingscote, where it greatly enhances the period feel of the goods yard. This move was another piece in the jigsaw which clears the way for work to start on the extension of the carriage workshops.

New on This Web Site

Latest new pages and updates to the web site include:

Carriage & Wagon news:

The main area of activity evident in the last month has been the considerable work being done on the LNWR Observation Car, which is having a new roof canvas and several of its body-side panels replaced. One door is also being substantially rebuilt with new timber. Since it has to be back in traffic for the Santa trains, it is being repainted in LMS period-3 livery, which should match well the maroon set of Mk.1s with which it normally runs.

A meeting of the Carriage and Wagon department has discussed what should be the main focus of the department for the next ten years. The meeting unanimously agreed with the proposal that the department should concentrate on overhauls of Bulleid and Maunsell carriages. In particular, Maunsell Nondescript Brake 4441 is favoured as a priority for restoration.

The ten pre-grouping bogie vehicles (plus some 4-wheelers) already in traffic or under restoration are seen as sufficient for the immediate future when considering non-corridor vehicles.

A brief update on the Loco situation

(With thanks to Martin Nichols and Dave Abbot)

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - News - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site
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Update 29/9/98

Ex-Southern Railway Battle of Britain class, No.34081, "92 Squadron" arrives on Thursday 1st October, and is rostered for use every weekend until 1st November.

It stars at the Starlight Special and Giants of Steam events on 24/25 October - see this page on the web site, for which I now have more details, as follows:

Saturday 24th October: Starlight Special

During the day "92 Squadron" is the main train engine. The Vintage branch-line train also operates, hauled by "Birch Grove" (11.45am and 2.22pm departures from Sheffield Park). "Normandy", for the very first time, hauls the vintage train, 4.15 ex SP and 5.18 ex Kingscote, as the evening service starts to operate, using 92 Squadron, plus our four centenarian locomotives: 3 "Baxter" (station pilot at Sheffield Park), 55 "Stepney" with the SR Maunsell coaches, 473 "Birch Grove" with three SR Bulleid coaches (also hauled by "92 Squadron" and 96 "Normandy" at different times during the evening) and the Golden Arrow Pullman train, consisting of four pre-war Pullmans plus our two 1920s SECR coaches and an SR passenger brake van.

Sunday 25th October: Giants of Steam

Several titled trains will operate, including the "Pines Express", "The Man of Kent", the "Atlantic Coast Express" and the "Golden Arrow". The engines will carry appropriate Headboards or reporting numbers in the Kingscote direction.

Intensive Timetable/Itineraries & timing sheets with B&B Guide available at £1.50 (with S.A.E.) from:
Bluebell Railway (GoS),
Horsted Keynes Station,
Nr. Haywards Heath,
West Sussex RH17 7BB


Bluebell Web Site

Unfortunately this has been unavailable for a few days due to a problem with the server. It is now back on line, and new features include a Tour of the Web-site and a page for the Bluebell Railway Letter Service.

Photographic Evening

Mike Esau, well-know photographic contributor to Bluebell News, will be visiting Mid-Sussex on Friday, 23 October, to give a talk organised by the Haywards Heath & District Camera Club entitled "Images of 48 Years of Railway Photography". Whilst not exclusively a Bluebell event, archive Bluebell photography years will feature in his talk. Further information is available on the Club's web site.

Tickets (which include some refreshment) are £2 each at the door or £1.50 each if purchased in advance. To purchase please send a cheque payable to HH&DCC for £1.50 per ticket required, plus S.A.E. to:
10 Foxwarren, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 1EN
or phone 01444 456615 for further information.


In spite of a recent refurbishment the Bluebell still keeps a presence in the Haywards Heath (Railtrack) up platform buffet, now "The Lemon Tree". Not surprisingly the framed photographs (featuring 80064 & 488) by Mike Esau were no where to be seen at the official re-opening. However, in spite of the best efforts of the design consultants, they were returned to pole positions complete with brand new up-lighters to set them off soon after!! Clearly a local tradition in the making.

Carriage & Wagon news:

After a year's effort by a combination of voluntary and full-time staff, the latest carriage to return to traffic had its test run and formal launch on Saturday. 5034 is one of the ex-Travelling College dormitory coaches, and was stripped of its previous interior and entirely re-fitted internally. At one end standard seating was fitted, and at the other, an open saloon with loose chairs has been created. Electric lifts and new double-doors give access for wheel-chairs, but the coach is intended as a multi-purpose saloon, able to cater for buffets and exhibitions in addition to parties of disabled visitors.

Preparations for the SECR Centenary next year are hotting up: The SECR Passenger Luggage Van has received a new roof covering, and the Horsted Keynes station staff are repainting an SECR 5-plank wagon.


Sponsored Walk - one last reminder that on Saturday 10th October you can have an enjoyable day out and at the same time help raise funds for the restoration of the LSWR brake third carriage. Information is available elsewhere on the web site.
Last, but not least, an update on the Loco situation from Martin Nichols:

Operational Locos

BR 9F 92240, BR 73082 "Camelot", BR 4MT 75027, SR Q1 Class C1, LBSCR 473 "Birch Grove", SECR 323 "Bluebell", LSWR 96 "Normandy", LBSCR 55 "Stepney" and 3 "Baxter"

Locos In Works

SECR C-class 592. The cab and firebox cladding have been removed to allow some broken stays to be replaced.

SR 34023 "Blackmore Vale". All the new boiler tubes are in situ, but not expanded / beaded yet. Some of the large (injector delivery) pipes were removed on Sunday (27th Sept) for examination and annealing.

GWR 3217 "Earl of Berkeley". The smokebox tubeplate retaining ring was removed on 27th Sept, following a noisy day on 13th Sept. when 160 rivets were removed using the large rivet breaking pneumatic gun.

SER O1 No.31065. The wheels and frames are still receiving attention.

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - News - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site
Why not become a BRPS Member? - Get more involved as a Volunteer

Update 2/9/98

The Summer Steam Gala went off very successfully. In total ten locomotives were steamed, and a number of interesting other items of rolling stock were included in the cavalcades. The weather turned damp on the Sunday, so the new canopy on Platform 1 at Horsted Keynes came into its own! A brief report is available on the web site.

Here is a brief update on the Loco situation as of 31st August from Martin Nichols:

Operational Locos

BR 9F 92240, BR 73082 "Camelot", BR 4MT 75027, SR Q1 Class C1, LBSCR 473 "Birch Grove", SECR 323 "Bluebell", LSWR 96 "Normandy", 3 "Baxter"

Locos In Works

SER O1 No.31065. The chassis has been lifted from the wheels using the gantry crane. The frames are being needle gunned and painted.

GWR 9017 "Earl of Berkeley". The smokebox tubeplate was removed today (31/8/98) as this will have to be replaced. After removal it was found that the ring (to which the tubeplate was riveted) will also need replacing. The crown stays are being drilled out as these too will have to be re-newed.

SR 34023 "Blackmore Vale". The boiler has now had some stays replaced, and is being re-tubed.

BR 4MT 2-6-4T No.80151. Is in the works and has been worked on during the week by the owning group. [Contrary to reports in the press, the owning group approached the Bluebell to move from their previous location, and not the other way around - RAS.]

Outside

Lewis Nodes' team have turned their attention back to Fenchurch following the return to traffic of 473. The frames are being painted and the tubes are being removed from the boiler.

The Maunsell Men are still busy on 847 and 1638 + tender chassis.

Awaiting Works

Apart from the normal long queue awaiting 10 year overhauls:

SECR C-class 592 is due an annual boiler examination, but a preliminary inspection has revealed that some stays will have to be replaced, so this loco will replace 80151 in the works during the coming week.

LBSCR 55 "Stepney" has some broken driving wheel springs, but is otherwise operational.

At Kingscote:

Great progress on the canopy on Platform 2 is now evident, with much of the second-hand zinc sheeting now in place following completion of the woodwork.

Carriage News

The first luggage racks went up in the LBSCR bogie First on Monday (31/8/98). This is not as easy as it sounds since the bolts go right through the partitions, holding luggage rack brackets on both sides simultaneously, and also fixing the view-frames in place!

Also this last weekend saw the completion of the rebogieing of the newly complete Metropolitan Third, No.394. Gold leaf lettering of the Metropolitan brake has also commenced.

The LSWR Brake Third is taking great strides forward. Fund raising is just keeping pace with the costs of employing, for the occasional day, a professional carpenter/joiner to help with the construction of the replacement sections of bodyside, and the first two sections, three corner pillars and first length of bottom-side are scheduled for installation next weekend. In connection with this:

Sponsored Walk - Saturday 10th October

A reminder that full information about this fun day out which has the added bonus of helping raise funds for the restoration of the LSWR brake third is available.

And wagons as well:

The SECR box van has received many more new planks, and the SECR Dance Hall brake is also receiving a new roof covering and a repaint. It is believed that SECR goods livery was a somewhat darker grey than we have hitherto used on such stock.

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
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Why not become a BRPS Member? - Get more involved as a Volunteer

Update 6/8/98

Summer Steam Gala

22nd and 23rd August 1998
With cavalcades of Locomotives and Rolling Stock See the New Summer Steam Gala web page for full details.

Sponsored Walk

This year's sponsored walk, being held Saturday 10th October, is in aid of the London & South Western Railway Lavatory Brake Third Restoration Project. When restored this coach will have accommodation for our disabled passengers, including hydraulic lifts for wheelchairs.

The route takes in the recently aquired trackbed of the Ardingly branch, and is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to examine the line at close quarters.

Full information is available on the web site here.

Carriage Shed Extension

The proposal to extend the carriage works and thus also provide some covered accommodation for seven coaches in part of the existing shed which is really too cramped for restoration work, has taken another step forward. Full planing permission was granted last week, subject to the condition that we do not use machinery in the new building outside of 8am to 9pm. The next stages, which will progress simultaneously, are site clearance and building regs approval.

Locomotive Roster

Lewis Nodes has created a web page for the locomotive roster. This will be updated frequently. It should be borne in mind that the loco roster may change at short notice should a locomotive be un-available for some reason, or even because another locomotive has been repaired and can therefore take over a duty assigned to another. With the proviso that it can only be a guide as to what locos might be in use on any particular day, I'm sure you will find this page useful.

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - News - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site
Why not become a BRPS Member? - Get more involved as a Volunteer

Update 22/7/98

Steam Fair Weekend

A reminder that this coming weekend (25th & 26th July) sees our annual Steam Fair and Vintage Vehicles weekend. Full details are already on the web site, but don't forget to take advantage of the real ale tent. It should be a bumper weekend on the railway with three passenger trains, including "Birch Grove" on the Vintage Branch Line Train late into the Saturday evening, as well as about 500 vintage vehicles both on static display and taking part in parades in the fields at Horsted Keynes.

Trains depart Sheffield Park starting at 10.50 and then every 40 minutes until 5.30, and then 6.03 (HK only, and return on Saturday)
and from Kingscote at 40 minute intervals from 10.48 until 5.28, and then 6.15 (To HK only on Sunday)

On Saturday evening: ex-SP at: 7.05, 8.15, 9.30, 10.47
and ex HK at: 7.30, 8.45, 10.05, 11.15.

LOCO NEWS

from Martin Nichols:

In works

SR Bulleid Q1 No.C1. The new piston valve liners have been machined and fitted to the valve chests. New valve heads are being made. The pistons have been prepared for new rings. Should be back in service in a couple of weeks all being well.

SR Bulleid 21C123 "Blackmoor Vale". Stripping continues. Overhaul of some of the boiler fittings has commenced.

GWR Dukedog 3217. The smokebox was removed from the boiler on Sunday (19/7/98). As this is quite thin in places it will be replaced by a new one. Work continues on the combined brake valve / ejector. The boiler mounting brackets have been removed, and a sheared off washout plug drilled out.

Pullman Car 64 is in the loco works for a quick repaint.

Outside

92240, 73082, 75027, 592, 473, 323, 55 Operational

96 Due for washout and spring change.

3 Due for annual boiler exam.

73082 failed (19/7/98) when just about to go off shed with injector problems. The problem was traced to debris in the steam cone which was removed by lunch-time. By this time Stepney had been lit up to double head with 592 and the loco diagrams altered. Services were not affected.

The Maunsell men are busy on 847 and the 'new' tender for 1638.

80151 is in the old shed, and looks good.

Web Site

A new page is now available which presents details of our operational engines.

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Return to Bluebell Home Page, or to the UK Heritage Railways News Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - News - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site
Why not become a BRPS Member? - Get more involved as a Volunteer

Update 13/7/98

ANOTHER LOCO ARRIVES

80151 has arrived on the Bluebell from the East Anglian Railway Museum, under a long-term agreement with its owners. The ex-Barry scrapyard Standard 4 tank is therefore our third of the class. It is said to be less than a year away from the completion of its restoration.

AND A VAN AS WELL

A Southern Railway Van C (BY) has also arrived from Woking. This is considered to be in excellent condition, and will be restored to use using components (such as the periscopes) from 442, which it will replace in the "preserved" fleet.

Toy and Collectors' Fair

A reminder of our next special event, on Sat 18 - Sun 19 July. Tony Hillman has provided a web page for this event.

Visiting Engine for Giants of Steam

It is hoped that, for a five-week period in the Autumn, recently restored Bulleid Pacific 34081 "92 Squadron" will be paying us a visit from the Nene Valley Railway. It's some years since we had a malachite green air-smoothed pacific to haul our Bulleid coaches, so Giants of Steam (Sunday 25 October) should be an attractive event.

Engines with Faces

We steamed eight engines for the Thomas weekend (or nine, if you count Bluebell, which was visiting Holland). Thomas itself failed with a hot box, but our own fleet performed as required. Stepney looked as though it was about to be swallowed by Camelot at the head of one of the three service sets. The C and Birch Grove double-headed, and 75027 had to manage without Thomas' help on the Sunday. Baxter shunted troublesome trucks at Horsted, where Thomas became available for footplate visits under the beaming eye of Driver Pearce, and Normandy was station pilot at Sheffield Park. So four of the eight engines were 100 years old, and with the C not far behind at 96, even Thomas weekends would be an enthusiast's dream if one could ignore the faces and the hoards of children!

Other News

Doors from the various ex-SR vans being scrapped to provide underframes for 4-wheel coaches have been put to use in returning one side of the GBL to its original condition with standard width doors in place of the wide ones fitted for its wartime service as an ambulance coach. It is being re-painted, and Van C (BY) 404 has also now been lettered.

The Canopy on Platform 1 at Horsted is progressing well. The south end timber work has been completed, and work now moves to the brick-built fireplace and chimney towards the north.

The World Cup football finals being completed, the outcome of our own World Cup Competition, in aid of the Carriage Shed Fund, is now available. 21 of the 54 entrants won something, although with 7 entrants choosing France the winings are spread thinly!

Web Site

I am in the process of re-doing the photos as proper captioned pages. This involves moving them to a new directory, so anyone who has linked to photos on the Bluebell site should note that they may have moved (or may do so in the next few weeks). I will inform you when this work is completed.

Access to the photos is unchanged, by means of thumbnails on relevant pages or through the three stock lists.

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Return to Bluebell Home Page
See also Lewis Nodes' Loco Works News Photos and News from the Maunsell Locomotive Society.
Visitor Info. - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Extension - Locos - Carriages - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search the site - FAQ
Why not become a BRPS Member? - Get more involved as a Volunteer

Go to earlier News from the Bluebell Archives:
Jan-June 1998
July-Dec 1997, Jan-June 1997
Aug-Dec 1996, Jan-July 1996
June-Dec 1995, or the latest news page.
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