"The Blue Circle" at Quainton Road in June 2001 (Richard Salmon)
Aveling Porter were well known for their road-going steam engines. They also built a few railway locomotives, and most of those surviving are 0-4-0s. This example formerly operated at Snodland Cement Works, and was presented to the Bluebell in 1964 by its owners, Associated Portland Cement.
Finally restored to working order after many years of inactivity, it was not a locomotive which really fitted any niche on the Bluebell Railway, so was initially loaned (in 1997) to a group who owned another similar locomotive, based at Quainton Road, and subsequently sold to them. It then moved on, in 2005, to the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway, and in 2007 to the Battlefield Line at Shackerstone. In January 2015 it again moved, this time to the Rushden, Higham and Wellingborough Railway.
The photo, right, (by Mike Esau) shows the loco at the Bluebell, in the old dock at Sheffield Park, prior to restoration.
Built: 1926, Aveling Porter
Arrived on Bluebell: 23 April 1964
Sold by Bluebell: 2001
Currently located at the Rushden, Higham and Wellingborough Railway
Above: The Blue Circle at the Bluebell Railway for a photo charter, 23 June 2004. (Tony Pearce)
Below: "The Blue Circle" being admired by the photographer's wife at Sheffield Park, 4 September 1964. (Ben Brooksbank)
Some photos and videos of the locomotive on other web sites:
- Film footage of this and other Bluebell locos running on 21 June 1964, from Paul Plowman.
- Two photos on "Roy's Rail Page", from 1964 and 1967.
- Great photo of the locomotive hauling a passenger service on the Bluebell in October 1964, by Geoffrey King.
- Photo taken at Sheffield Park about 1966 by David Cooke.
- Leading the Bluebell Railway's 50th Anniversary Cavalcade, 8 August 2010, by Martin Lawrence.
- Photo from Mark Andrews at our 50th Anniversary Cavalcade, 6 August 2010.
- Video of the locomotive in use at The Battlefield Line in 2012 from Graham Day.
Your ideal Film/TV location?