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Bluebell Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Jamessquared, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. ruddingtonrsh56

    ruddingtonrsh56 Member

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    I wonder, if 0488 had held a drummond boiler at withdrawal but, say, 0125 had the Adams boiler, which one would the Bluebell have gone for? Would they have gone for the loco with the Adams boiler, or the loco with the original frames and slide bars? Or would they have tried to get the Adams boiler onto 0488 before moving it to Sheffield Park
     
  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    There were examples of BR shed staff being 'rather more than sympathetic' regarding the offloading spares with no further prospect of gainful employment on 'the big railway'. At least one Terrier arrived on the Bluebell at (let's just say) something over it's nominal tare weight!

    I don't know whether it's just another of those urban myths, but recall mention a K Class mogul was actually earmarked for a journey to SP (which obviously never happned :() and went for scrap with enough spares to have lasted a while, had history been kinder. Perhaps Tom might be in a position to confirm or deny this one.
     
  3. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Don't precisely know about that one, though certainly a K class was held for some months in the hope that money might be found for its eventual preservation - sadly not to be.

    The one that really got away was the Wainwright C class No. 592, which was offered with "sundry spares" that just happened to consist of a set of frames, axle boxes, wheel sets, cylinders, motion, boiler, cab, tender and assorted framework and plating &c - all in one handy self-mobile package. Alas, transport costs precluded ...

    Tom
     
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  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    How often was that sort of thing the case? :( Our younger members might look askance at the sums of money which defeated so many early preservation attempts, but mightn't realise just how much the inflation of the sixties and seventies totalled our views of the value of money. The average price of a UK house in 1960 was a staggering £2530*.

    * source: https://www.sunlife.co.uk/articles-guides/your-money/the-price-of-a-home-in-britain-then-and-now/
     
  5. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Well I met someone who claimed to have been involved on the B.R side. According to him the K was fresh from major overhaul and was going for ''peanuts''. He had never forgiven the Bluebell for not proceeding.

    Obviously, I cannot verify this but is as told to me.
     
  6. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    Maybe it was considered to be a bit too big a chuffer at the time? ;)

    It has to be remembered that the Bluebell was at the time leasing the line from BR, which was costing thousands every year - compare that with the figure that @30854 gave for a typical house price. So every penny at that time had to go into raising the money to buy the freehold. It's hard to say at this remove that the priorities were wrong. The realities of pretty much every preservation society of that era was that the financial realities of basic survival meant there was "stuff that got away". The Bluebell hired a loco out to a contractor to ensure the destruction of its own future extension ...

    Tom
     
  7. Steve B

    Steve B Well-Known Member

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    Also later when 75027 arrived on the line, there were those who said it was far too big for the Bluebell's needs*, and indeed it dwarfed everything else in the yard at the time. There were 4 locos that could handle the 5 coach trains that were the usual maximum at the time - 488, the NLR tank, Dukedog, and Birch Grove, although to be fair only Birch Grove worked at the time - just. As Tom has mentioned the line purchase absorbed any bit of spare cash there was, leaving everything else woefully under resourced. The railway entered the 1970s with just the 2 P class tanks and Birch Grove (mechanically worn out) available, and a fleet of coaches rapidly disintegrating, but then, with the future of the railway itself secured improvements took place - some commendably quickly.

    *Ironically my first trip behind 75027 was soon after it arrived was on a post Christmas special (I think Boxing day) when it was given a 7 coach train including the Brighton Saloon and the newly arrived GNR Saloon, and it slipped to a stand on Freshfield bank and had to reverse to Sheffield Park, where a hastily steamed "Bluebell" assisted her on a shortened train getting on for 2 hours later. Maybe it wasn't too big after all...

    Steve B
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  8. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Member

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    Not a precise parallel, but when BR(S) offered the Taylor Hubbard 10-ton cranes for sale one of the 2 that went to the Mid Hants was sold without a boiler. Between tenders going out and purchase being made the planned other use for the errant boiler had de-materialised, and was still in situ when delivered.
    Pat
     
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  9. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    I take your point absolutely but as a result no genuine Brighton tender locos survive in operating condition.

    41313 is another machine which escaped. She was used on Lewes to East Grinstead but sculled around Barry scrapyard for some time before the Ivatt Trust arrived fortuitously.
     
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  10. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Or the sanders didn't work for one cause or another.
     
  11. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    That was back when Horsted Keynes still looked like Clapham Junction to preservationist eyes! A photo published in one of the magazines a few years ago (taken from the bridge at the north end of HK) of that first first through charter, dangling off both ends of the , rapidly put things into sharp perspective. :)

    Undoubtedly a tragedy, as was the inability to save a C2x. On your own stamping grounds, Paul, Drummond (pattern) boiler or no, the loss of W31 Chale still rankles too. How useful would any of those been, down the years?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  12. torgormaig

    torgormaig Part of the furniture Friend

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    As I recall, at the time, a choise had to be made between purchasing a K or an E4. There is no doubt that they would dearly have loved to have purchased both as both were on their shopping list.However the money just was not available to do this and given the circumstances at the time it was considered that a tank engine was more suitable. Had they gone for the K we would no doubt be regretting the loss of "Birch Grove".

    Another hostoric loco on the Bluebell's shopping list that had to be allowed to go for scrap due to lack of funds was 80154. This was the last loco constructed at Brighton Works and also hauled the final BR train over the line. It was withdrawn in 1967 by which time The Bluebell was fighting to purchase the line to prevent eviction. Fortunately an ex-Barry sister loco 80151, which also worked over the line, eventually found a home at Sheffield Park. Pity about 80154, but lets be grateful for what has survived - the Bluebell pioneers of 60 years ago can never have imagined the riches that we would have today.

    Peter
     
  13. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right, Peter. Looking back with regret never got anyone anywhere. It was the days of "pennies on the line", when what looks like chicken feed today seemed like an insurmountable cliff, then. Rather let's look forward to what we can do with the future. Good husbandry is the key, and "Jewel in the Crown" is exactly where we need to be, right now. OP4 is just about up and running, thank the Lord, and not a moment too soon. From one major conservation project to the next. Who could have conceived that back in the austerity days of the mid-late 60s? A large Brighton tender locomotive on the final run-up to completion, several completely rebuilt carriages dating between 1880 and 1930 in a similar position, and almost incidentally, a project to build an extinct SECR locomotive, representatives of which used to run on the Bluebell in SR and BR days, is gathering pace. Who could have dreamed it, then?
    But it's the rock-solid policy to conserve our assets for the future, which I find the most commendable. However, I'd love a bit of detail regarding the future shape of East Grinstead...
     
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  14. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I might be too close to be objective, (or just a PR stooge ;) ) but I get a sense of a renewed energy around the railway in places, particularly on long term strategy. The Heritage Skills Centre part of OP4 was signed off by building control in October and the trimming shop has already moved in (photos in the next issue of Bluebell Times); the wagon group is revitalised; there is a revised strategy document waiting to go (it would probably have been released already, but for the untimely death of BRPS Trustee Mike Priestley, who was driving it forward); capital projects review etc. There's a group looking at East Grinstead I know (but I don't know what the thinking is, or even what the possibilities are - space is very tight).

    Tom
     
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  15. Paulthehitch

    Paulthehitch Member

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    Sounds very good but earnings are the vital factor at the moment
     
  16. Mark Thompson

    Mark Thompson Well-Known Member

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    Or rather donations. Remember that OP4 and Jewel in the Crown are both being funded separately from revenue, as will EG, ditto the Stroudley project.
     
  17. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    From photos on Facebook, looks like the last section of line round about milepost 9 is being relaid this winter - that joins up the two long sections south of Horsted previously done, and means in effect there will be entirely new line from immediately south of Horsted Keynes all the way to the foot of Freshfield Bank, with just the last 1/2 mile or so into Sheffield Park Station to do south of HK. (Almost a mile immediately north of HK has been done as well in previous winters).

    It is 15 full panels and one half panel - 310 yards in total. No report in tomorrow's Bluebell Times, but I'll try and get one for the February edition.

    Tom
     
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  18. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    There’s no need for winter blues as there is good news from all around the Railway to start 2022.

    In this issue:
    • Unique surviving South Eastern Railway locomotive No. 65 is acquired by the Bluebell Railway Trust
    • The Jewel in the Crown appeal hits its initial fundraising target – but more match funds have been released to raise even more
    • A packed schedule of special events for 2022 …
    • … and a commercial round up from 2021
    • The C&W trimming team are the first to move into the new Heritage Skills Centre
    • The Bluebell archive moves to a new home at Beare Green
    • Workshop progress on ‘Fenchurch’, ’Sir Archibald Sinclair’ and No. 30541
    The Bluebell Times is published monthly on the second Friday of every month. The next issue is due out on Friday 11 February.

    You can download the latest edition using the link below.

    https://www.bluebell-railway.com/bluebell-times/

    Tom
     
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  19. Dan Hill

    Dan Hill Member

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    I guess it's a wait and see if it happens kind of thing at the moment, but Trackside Magazine are reporting that after a undergoing a quick turn around on it's overhaul, Flying Scotsman is due to make a return visit to the line between 20th August and 2nd September.
     
  20. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

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    I wouldn’t bet against it knowing Mr Riley and his team, wasn’t some maintenance work bought forward regarding 60103/4472/103 in the last year or so?
     

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