No. 21C123 New Inner Firebox Appeal
Blackmoor Vale Plate
To enable No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale to be overhauled and returned to traffic it requires a new inner firebox costing £199,900
Further Details spacer Donation Form
  West Country Inner Firebox

14th September 2020

No. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair

Credit No. 34059 Firebox spacer


Stay heading has stared in No. 34059's new firebox.

24th August 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

Below is another picture of No. 21C123's new firebox taken on Monday 17th August at South Devon Railway (Engineering).

Funding for this project is still needed – click here for further details.

Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  Fettling of the new inner firebox.

29th July 2020

Covid – 19 The Bulleid Shop

It is with great regret that we are unable to open the Bulleid Shop at the moment. The safety of our customers, shop staff and Bluebell volunteers must be our main priority. The shop will remain closed for the time being or until there is a change in the Government guidelines which will enable us to re-open in a safe manner.

We would be grateful if you would not bring any donations until the shop opens again, as we do not have the facilities to quarantine any items at the moment.

Please accept our apologies for this ongoing closure. We are working with the Bluebell Health and Safety manager and as soon as possible we will re-open. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.

22nd July 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

More pictures of No. 21C123's new firebox taken on the 16th July at SDR (E).

Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  The firebox with the holes cut for the thermic siphon diaphragms.
Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  The fabricated thermic siphon diaphragms being positioned for welding.

9th July 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

Below are two further pictures of No. 21C123's new firebox taken by Richard Elliott on the 5th July at SDR (E).

Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  The firebox with the foundation channel welded in place.
Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  Rob Hext marking the outline to be cut out for the diaphragm for the base of the thermic syphons.

24th June 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

Below are further pictures of No. 21C123's new firebox which were taken earlier this month at SDR (E).

Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  The firebox being assembled in the jig.
Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  The throatplate is in situ and partly welded in with the front tubeplate being added to the construction.
Credit No. 21C123 Firebox
  Inside showing the syphons, which are now part of the crown. The tricky bit will be fitting them into the diaphragms.

25th May 2020

No. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair

Ten years ago the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Bluebell Railway was celebrated. No. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair, complete with Golden Arrow insignia, awaits departure from Sheffield Park on 8th August 2010.

Credit No. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair - Sheffield Park

13th May 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

Some picture taken earlier this year showing stay fitting to the new syphons for No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale at South Devon Railway (Engineering) in January 2020.

Credit No. 21C123 Syphon
Credit No. 21C123  Syphon
Credit No. 21C123  Syphon

No. 96 Normandy

  No. 96 Arrival spacer


A cutting from the local paper showing No. 96 having a clean at the Bluebell in late 1972 after its arrival.

Click on the image to view larger version

14th April 2020

Society AGM - Postponement

In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Bulleid Society committee have decided to postpone the Society's Annual General Meeting which was due to be held in the Bluebell room at Sheffield Park Station on Saturday 23rd May 2020. Members will be notified when the new date for the meeting has been arranged.

John Fry, Chairman

The Hayling Island Branch, The Hailing Billy by John Scott-Morgan

Credit 34059 Syphon Repairs

As a youngster I lived adjacent to the Hayling Island branch, in a house which, according to my parents, had been bought to keep me happy! I cam well remember the LB&SCR line and its Terriers and could tell the time by the trains, visible from my bedroom window. Yes, it was an enchanting railway, initially opened for freight from Havant to Langstone Harbour, taken over by the LB&SCR in 1872, then by the Southern Railway in 1923 before becoming part of BR in 1948 until closure in 1963. The line was probably best known for the Stroudley AIX Terriers, often hauling a single coach or occasionally a mixed train, and the mainstay of the motive power.

Traffic peaked in the summer months as Hayling Island was a popular holiday destination but with line closures in the 1960 period, and improved bus services with a new road bridge, 3rd November 1963 saw the last trains on the line. Preservation attempts were not successful and today the track formation from Havant to Hayling Island is a pleasant bridleway. The majority of the volume is a photographic record of the line, its motive mower and rolling stock and also the Isle of Wight Ferry at Langston in the line’s early days - the unsuccessful attempt of transport of freight from the mainland to Bembridge on the Isle of Wight.

The photographs, of variable quality,  but useful to the modeller,  are divided into sections and include No. 72, Fenchurch, hauling the last train on 3rd November 1963 and an appendix of station plans. A good book, but lacking in a good quality map and with the rare mis-spelling of Bulleid, but there are competitors on the market

Pen and Sword, ISBN 978-1-526726810, hardback, £25.00

12th March 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

The pictures below show No. 21C123 with the backhead fittings removed. The intention is to remove the flue tubes, small tubes and elements so that the boiler can be removed and sent to SDR for the fitting of the new firebox. The air smoothed cladding will be removed and then replaced on the frames.

Credit No. 21C123 Backhead
Credit No. 21C123 Backhead

Roger Williams a tribute by Richard Salmon – reproduced with permission from Points & Crossings

One of the longest standing members of our Carriage & Wagon Department, Roger Williams died in hospital on Thursday 30 January. Roger had dedicated most of his approximately forty-five years on the Bluebell to leading the restoration and maintenance of our Southern "Bulleid" carriages, along with Mk.1 Corridor Composite No.16210, probably the first Mk.1 in preservation to have had a full top-to-bottom structural, mechanical and internal overhaul, completed back in October 1991. The recent comprehensive overhaul and rebuild of Bulleid Composite No.5768 was his crowning achievement, which has just been recognised by winning the Southern Railways Group's Denys Fletcher Award.

It would be no exaggeration to say that, were it not for Roger, we probably would not have any of our present four Bulleid carriages in working order. Quite apart from leading the overhauls, and doing most of the welding, he also personally financed a lot of the material cost of recent Bulleid carriage overhauls, and even undertook training to enable him to do simpler asbestos removal tasks (those that could be done as non-licensed work under very strict controlled conditions).

Roger (and others on the Rolling Stock Sub- Committee) had long felt it a shame that we had missed out on an example of an early Mk.1 TSO (with veneer rather than Formica interior panelling, and other earlier design details), and when the opportunity to purchase one in excellent condition for its age (having been stored under cover for 25 years at the Bicester Military Railway) came up, he inspected it and recommended purchase. With no budget available Roger loaned the railway the purchase price.

In his work as a solicitor in the BR property department, and subsequently with private firms undertaking work for Railtrack/Network Rail, he was highly regarded and respected by his colleagues. In retirement he was able to devote more time to the Bluebell and, in spite of having been diagnosed with Parkinson's a few years ago, continued largely unaffected with most of his activities on the railway. Late last autumn his condition deteriorated rapidly; it is now known that this was quite separate from the Parkinson's, and it was apparently a fast-growing brain tumour which took him from us, at the age of 68.

Credit Steam Railways Article spacer


An article by Roger Williams, printed in Steam Railway December 1991, describing the restoration of MK1 CK S16210.

Click on image to access larger version.

Steam Railway

Two  snippets from Steam Railway, 1995, covering No. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair and No. 30096 Normandy.

Credit 34059 Steam Railway spacer 30096 Steam Railway Credit
  Click on image to view larger version.  

4th March 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale has been moved into the maintenance shed at Sheffield Park for protection.

Credit No. 21C123 Maintanance Shed

No. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair

The picture below shows work in progress on the piston with the rear gland being freed

Credit No. 34059 Piston
Credit No. 34059 Syphons spacer


Left shows work continuing on the staying of the combustion chamber / throat plate.

Coach 5768

The picture below shows the Society’s coach, along with the other Bluebell Bulleid coaches, awaiting transfer to the Mid Hants Railway for use during the visit of Flying Scotsman. This took place by road due to landslips closing the line north of East Grinstead. 

Credit 5768 Mid Hants

The Somerset and Dorset from the Footplate by Peter Smith

Credit Somerset & Dorset Book spacer


Even if you have a copy of the original combined volume, this new edition is worth the money. New photographs and, most of all, the book is ideal for holiday reading or commuting! The story of the S&D up to its closure in March 1966 is well known and what a useful line it would be today. Peter Smith relates the story of his footplate life on the line from engine cleaner to driver from 1953 to 1963 and the photographs chiefly from the camera of Anthony Richardson add illustration to the well written text. An enjoyable volume and now pocket size.

Crecy Publishing, ISBN 978-1-90932-892-1, 288 pages, paperback, £9.95

31st January 2019

Roger Williams

Spacer Track Treck Poster spacer

It is with great sadness that we have to report that Roger Williams has died after a short illness. His long term involvement with the Society, which included nine years working on the overhaul of coach 5768, will be greatly missed.


Roger securing section of body sheeting to coach 5768.

29th January 2019

The Bluebell Battle of Britain Locomotive Group 2020/21 500+ Club

The 2020/21 500+ Club is now open for membership. Application Form

20th January 2020

No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale

The picture below shows the second thermic syphon for No. 21C123 Blackmoor Vale being working on at SDR Engineering. This is still at a relatively early stage, having the stay holes drilled out.

Credit No. 21C123 Syphon