To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the end of SR steam on 9 July 1967, the Bluebell Railway will be running both No. 34028 'Eddystone' (right) and No. 21C123 'Blackmore Vale' on their train services over the weekend of 14th and 15th July 2007.
On those two days, 34028 will appear in the guise of No. 34021 'Dartmoor' (by kind permission of Southern Locomotives), one of the locomotives to operate on the last day hauling a boat train from Southampton Docks to Waterloo. 21C123 or 34023 as she was then, was also one of the original Bulleid locomotives to run until the end of steam.
Over the same weekend the Bluebell Railway is delighted to announce that David Shepherd (world renowned artist, preservationist and locomotive owner) has agreed to arrange an exhibition of his paintings in the Bessemer Arms at Sheffield Park. These will include some unseen works produced during the last days of steam at Nine Elms and Guildford. The exhibition is being staged to raise funds for David's own charity 'The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation' which has won many awards for its work in the field of wildlife conservation.
David will be present during the weekend and has also generously agreed to give a talk on the evening of Saturday 14 July in the Bessemer Arms, entitled "My memories of those last days". This will be open to all members, volunteers and public, a collection will be made towards the restoration of No. 34059 'Sir Archibald Sinclair' which is now nearing the end of a protracted overhaul.
On Tuesday 10 July, The Bulleid Pacific Locomotive Association in conjunction with The Bulleid Society and the Bluebell Battle of Britain Locomotive Group are arranging a private function to commemorate the fortieth anniversary. Many well known personalities from the world of preservation have been invited and a number of railwaymen will also be present to record their own personal memories of those last days. A train double headed by No.34028 'Eddystone' (as No.34021 'Dartmoor') and No.21C123 'Blackmore Vale' (left) will run throughout the day to commemorate the previous day's anniversary.
This will be followed by a photographic charter in the evening, featuring 34028 still disguised as 34021, hauling a representation of the last boat train. This charter is being organised by Jon Bowers, is open to anyone, and details are available on a separate web page.
It is expected that there will be a lot of interest in David Shepherd's unique exhibition at
Sheffield Park and visitors are reminded that the Bessemer Arms buffet will be open as
usual along with our well stocked shop. Please do come and support David's charity and
the Bluebell Railway. Remember our steam engines will be with us for ever, but the
Tiger and many other species are now endangered and need our help now!
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