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Bluebell Railway Preservation Society

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The late Bob Bamberough Bob Bamberough

Sad to report that Bob Bamberough, former Station Master at Sheffield Park and Guard from the 1970s to 1990s passed away on the evening of Tuesday 15 May; he had been suffering from leukaemia.

His funeral will take place at Hills cemetery, Horsham on Thursday 14 June at 10.30am at the chapel. If members are intending to attend, please let Gavin Bennett know, email gavin(dot)bennett@bluebell-railway(dot)co(dot)uk (replace (dot) with "."), by 7 June if possible.


The late Dave Phillips, at the Vintage Transport Weekend at Horsted Keynes - Derek Hayward - 11 August 2013 Dave Phillips
It is with great sadness that we have to report that Bluebell volunteer Dave Phillips passed away on Monday 9 April 2018 after a spell in hospital. Derek Hayward's photo shows him during the 2013 Vintage Transport Weekend, at which he was one of the judges. Dave did a lot of hard work for the railway, especially in the background on the day to day running of railway. He will be greatly missed by all.

An Evening to Remember Dave Phillips - Friday 18 May 2018
We would like to invite all Dave's friends and colleagues to come along and share memories and remember Dave's contribution to the Bluebell Railway and our lives.

A special train headed up by visiting GWR locomotive 813 will operate a round trip from Sheffield Park departing at 6:15pm (Horsted Keynes 6:32) to East Grinstead and return. Guests are then invited for a meal in the Bessemer Arms, the menu will be Dave's favourite Cottage Pie and peas followed by crumble and custard.

If you would like to attend please e mail bluebell(dot)social(at)gmail(dot)com or let Neil Glaskin or Chris Knibbs know as soon as possible so we have an idea of how many to cater for.


Dave Phillips: An appreciation Dave Phillips at Sheffield Park - Stephen Garratt - 30 March 2014 When I joined my local model railway club as a junior member in 1962, Dave Phillips, several years older than me, was already a fixture and lost no time in making me feel welcome. Our friendship at the club developed over the next few years, notably when together we manned its layout at an exhibition in Dorking for most of a week, lodging at Reigate with my grandmother. After Dave acquired his first car, I got regular invitations to join him in some railway visits during the final years of Southern steam - often including his down-to-earth request at a booking office or depot for "any old stuff" that might be going begging, resulting in a fair collection of luggage labels and similar ephemera.

I joined Bluebell in 1965 and a couple of years later, Dave needed little persuasion to accompany me there - and none at all to join and start volunteering. With a background in "sparks" as a prototype wireman (and later as a BT engineer) Dave found a niche in S&T, mainly as a technician but also as a signalman, and became a Bluebell regular. Always willing and conscientious, he never minded the menial and sometimes dirty jobs that kept the railway running and, in the years after his retirement, broadened his horizons to tackle a variety of jobs around the railway, lodging there much of the time. Dave was a regular visitor to Museumstoomtram Hoorn Medemblik and enjoyed working there.

Dave's good nature was evident to all who knew him, and his Goonish sense of humour was never far from the surface and could be infectious. I have little doubt that it helped him through his time in hospital, suffering from pancreatic cancer which, alas, proved terminal. Dave died on 9 April at the age of 78; he will be sorely missed.

Nick Stanbury

This photo above by Stephen Garratt from March 2014 shows Dave in his more normal Bluebell attire, at Sheffield Park.


Q-class carrying a wreath in memory of Dave Phillips - John Sandys - 19 April 2018 I can't remember a Bluebell volunteer whose passing at life's full span has brought as many tributes as Dave. To so many of us he was a fixture - initially as a hirsute figure glimpsed up and down the line who you felt should be off in a sou'wester advertising sardines, then as you knew him better as an essential cog in the operation of the railway, popping up where least expected to perform some tedious but essential task, and unfailingly spreading good humour. Each of the tributes that has crossed my desk has highlighted his exceptional good nature - except when grievously provoked - and his readiness to take on whatever task needed doing; all too often this meant the "splosh pot" on the points at Horsted Keynes.

Gavin Bennett particularly asked that I share this story about Dave. "When we acquired an SR concrete lamp room for Sheffield Park to replace the oil/paraffin store next to the Gents, we thought that it needed a suitable 'No Smoking' sign. Dave said he'd sort something out and before we know it, he'd had an aluminium casting made showing "L&EGR NO SMOKING". When he was fixing this to the lamp room door, the late John Potter emerged from the Station House and on seeing the sign said "Phillips, you're a shitbag!" much to Dave's delight and amusement. A good example of the humour from both of them."

Dave was a huge part of the Bluebell, and one of its great characters. May he rest in peace.

Nick Comfort

John Sandys' photo from 19 April 2018 shows the Q-class during its run-round at Sheffield Park, carrying a wreath in memory of Dave.


Documents for Members


List of Notices

Older notices and documents are archived here.


Floreat Vapor - May Steam Flourish (or literally, "flower")
The Bluebell Railway was granted a shield, reproduced at the head of this page, in its early days.
The shield shows the arms of the Earl of Sheffield, those of the Lords of the Manor of Horsted Keynes,
and of the towns of East Grinstead and Lewes.

splash The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service


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