Monday, 11 April 2022

Some Archive Pictures of SECR No.27

At the weekend we were given a few photographs of No.27 in the early days of the Bluebell Railway.  they were taken on June 15thn 1961 by Fox Photos.

There is also an interesting commentary on the back of the photos, along with a description of the subject of the photograph.

We would like to thank Richard Clarke for letting us have these important photographs.

The description of the visit to the railway 



This is actually Bluebell Halt, just south of Horsted Keynes.



Arriving in the Up Platform at Sheffield Park having shunted across from the Down Platform.




This train has arrived on the down platform and will shunt across to the up platform.


These pictures are fascinating and very interesting in the Bluebell Railway history.  A great find.

We have also had a couple of pictures donated by Peter Gilbert, one of Fenchurch and the other featuring both Fenchurch and 27 these are shown below

Fenchurch leading 27 down Freshfield Bank.  Driver Dick Cawley on Fenchurch

Fenchurch with the LNWR Observation car at Horsted Keynes

Contact Information

To make a donation, please go to the Bluebell Trust's donation page at: 

 https://www.bluebell-railway.com/make-a-donation/ 

You will then need to select "P27 - Restoration of SECR P Class No27" from the pull down menu.


To visit our on line shop please click the link below:


where you will find many items for sale, including clothing, gifts, railwayana, books and soon, models!

For general correspondence and other enquiries, please email us at:

thefenchurchfund@gmail.com

For more details on the history of No.27 please go the the Loco 27 page on the Bluebell Railway website:


We would like to thank our supporters for their continued encouragement, donations and injections of humour and goodwill over the last two difficult years.  It is much appreciated by the team.

We look forward to seeing you at various events over the coming year.  we are already getting invitations to attend shows away from the railway as well as the usual "big days" on the railway.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Welcome to 2022!

 A short update as to our activities during the winter of 2021/2022

During a visit by your roving reporter on the 29th of December a few pictures were taken, firstly the crew take breakfast, the most important activity of the day!

L-R Ben Dingley, Sean Smeeth and Matt Holloway, the core team.

 In the "Villa" much work has been carried out on the front buffer beam with all the components being trial fitted prior to being fixed to the loco when the time comes, in the near future!

The buffer beam components and end of the valance being test fitted

A detail of the end of the buffer beam

The pictures above show the front buffer beam the upper picture shows the components being test fitted. The lower shows the components in a little more detail with the buffer beam below the strengthening plate and the angles which will locate on the counter balance weight at the front of the loco.  The front curve plate of the valance can just be discerned at the bottom right of the picture.
 
The sand boxes freshly returned from the sand blaster

The sandboxes were sandblasted over the winter to remove corrosion from inside of them.  they were returned to us in a grey primer which has now been covered with bonda primer. since this photo was taken the red primer has been completed.

Ben inspecting the rear buffer beam prior to applying the final 8 rivets.

The last 8 rivets were applied to the frames between Christmas and the new year this brings the work at the rear of the frames to a conclusion.  These rivets were applied to secure the angles to the buffer beams (seen behind the beam in the picture).

We now jump forward to the 5th February to see work being carried out to the front of the frames.

Trial fitting of the front balance weight

The balance weight has been located temporarily in the frames at the front of the loco.  this has been done primarily to assist in the setting up of the side valances.  This will also involve fitting the buffer beam.
The weight located with temporary "blue bolts" 

The plates which strengthen the area behind the buffers were also added

With the weight and the plates added the next move will be to fit the metric angles around the imperial weight.  this will involve some machining to change the profile of the angles.

Some fresh paint in the Villa!

Other work carried out over the winter has included the brake gear some of the motion parts being cleaned and painted up to top coat.  This has been possible due to the temporary repair of the very leaky roof and the use of a space heater to dry things out.

The refurbished valve spindles

The Valve spindles that were refurbished last year have been painted up to final gloss top coat over the winter. The "taped up" sections are to protect some bright work from corrosion.  Note also in the background of the picture the small electric space heater which has made working in the Villa almost bearable!

The new blast pipe
The blast pipe that was purchased along with two more for the other Ps a few years back has now bee machined and is ready (when the time comes) to be installed on the loco.  This was the last piece of work carried out for the group by the Late Ian Ferguson before his untimely demise.  A real credit to his skills.

Upcoming work

The next tranche of work is likely to be fairly visible and it includes work to fit the valances and associated angles outside the frames at the edge of the footplating, the fitting of the cylinders between the frames, machining and fitting the hornblocks, painting and preparing the wheels for refitting and plenty of cleaning and painting!  Please keep popping back for updates!

Fundraising

Last year was surprisingly good bearing in mind we were limited on opportunities to have sales stands, we didn't attend a single model exhibition, and only had three weekend on the Bluebell. despite this we managed to take around 70% of our previous annual average take. A very good result and thank you to all who helped.

We are still spending as much as we take in sales and donations and we need to continue to need to raise funds to carry on with the works. So, if you are able to support us we would love to hear from you.
Below are a few contact details for donations, correspondence and a link to our on line shop which is in the process of having some new items added, this will be completed over the next couple of weeks or so.  |Please keep looking I'm sure you will find something you didn't realise you needed! 

The new items will include our latest clothing range, some new book titles and we are looking at putting a virtual model shop within the site.  We are looking for donations of sellable models and spare parts for inclusion in the on line shop.  If you have any models (in any condition) we would be interested in helping to clear your shelves!

Contact Information

To make a donation, please go to the Bluebell Trust's donation page at: 

 https://www.bluebell-railway.com/make-a-donation/ 

You will then need to select "P27 - Restoration of SECR P Class No27" from the pull down menu.


To visit our on line shop please click the link below:


where you will find many items for sale, including clothing, gifts, railwayana, books and soon, models!

For general correspondence and other enquiries, please email us at:

thefenchurchfund@gmail.com

For more details on the history of No.27 please go the the Loco 27 page on the Bluebell Railway website:


We would like to thank our supporters for their continued encouragement, donations and injections of humour and goodwill over the last two difficult years.  It is much appreciated by the team.

We look forward to seeing you at various events over the coming year.  we are already getting invitations to attend shows away from the railway as well as the usual "big days" on the railway.



Thursday, 18 November 2021

A short update for November

 A couple of picture showing a little of what has recently been happening.

Jim Painting the frames in top coat

The frames have had a "roof" of external ply fixed to them as some protection over the winter, when work is not being carried out on them a tarpaulin will also be attached. This will hopefully allow the work being carried out on the frames to be in as good a condition at the end of the winter as they are now. 

In the picture we see Jim Turtle applying a top coat to the frames, this is the first of many!  Each coat will be flattened before the next coat is added, and a strong application of paint will be created. 

Freshly sand blasted and primed sand boxes

The four sand boxes were taken off site to be sand blasted they were returned to us having been painted in primer.  The main reason for this treatment was to ensure that the corrosion inside the boxes was removed as the equipment we have at the railway would not permit this.  Soon after arrival the boxes were given a coat of black undercoat, the first to protect them from the weather.

The sand boxes with their first undercoat

The sand boxes will continue to be painted up to top coat as time and weather permits.  

Most of the work is currently only able to be done outdoors as the Villa workshop is not really suitable.  There are some fairly major problems with the building (which was supplied to us as life expired over 25 years ago!).  Some temporary repairs have been undertaken to keep most of the rain out over the winter, but it really does need replacing. We are currently discussing the requirements of the loco groups that use the building and surrounding area.

A temporary tarpaulin secured to the roof of the Villa 

Some temporary works have been carried out to try to make the building vaguely useable over the winter. The first job was to place tarpaulin on the roof and secure it with battens in an attempt to stop the rain coming in through the many holes in the existing roofing material.  A new layer of felt was applied a few years ago, but with the structure below being uneven and rough, this didn't last as long as expected, and again was intended as a short term solution.  However, the roof is not the only leaky area, water comes in freely below the door and under the walls!

To try to prevent the worst of this a strip of rubber "garage door seal" had been added to the door opening to provide a barrier to the flow which results in huge puddles inside the building.

a rubber "garage door seal" added to the doorway

It is hoped that these measures will see us through the winter and hopefully until something more suitable can be done.  More of this later.

However, without your support and contributions, we would be able to do nothing!  We are 100% self funded and every penny counts.  If we are to reach our target of getting the loco back into service your help is needed.

If you are able to help, please make a donation via the Bluebell Trust's own donation page at https://www.bluebell-railway.com/make-a-donation/ 

You will then need to select "P27 - Restoration of SECR P Class No27" from the pull down menu.


You can also visit our on line shop at: 


where you will find many items for sale, including clothing, gifts and some railwayana.

Thank you for your continued support and interest in the project.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Thirty years of the Fenchurch Fund, Who'd have thought!


was reminded over the weekend that THE FENCHURCH FUND has been in existence for 30 years!

We were originally formed as the "Chip Wood Fund" as a tribute to Matthew Wood who tragically died at the age of 25 in June 1991. It was intended to create a lasting legacy and memorial for Matthew. As it happened, Fenchurch was his favourite loco and it needed an overhaul, including a new wheel set. So the die was cast, we had money from the whip round that was organised for a memorial and this was used as a springboard to open an "official BRPS fundraising group" known as The Fenchurch Wheel Appeal and later The Fenchurch Fund.  We are now a Sub-Committee of the BRPS.

From this small beginning we assisted in the overhaul of Fenchurch by raising funds for a new wheelset as part of the required works.
Once Fenchurch was working we decided that it would be great to continue looking after the small locos in Matthews name and as a result PROJECT 27 emerged!
The Fenchurch Fund decided that sponsoring the restoration of SECR Loco No.27 fell squarely within the remit of the group and was a great option.  The physical works are being carried out by the LITTLE LOCO GROUP at Sheffield Park. Every penny of the restoration is self funded and fundraising must continue to pay for it, it would be great if you could help with the aim of remembering Chip Wood and restoring Loco No.27 to working order in the next few years.

If you are able to help, please make a donation via the Bluebell Trust's own donation page at https://www.bluebell-railway.com/make-a-donation/
You will then need to select "P27 - Restoration of SECR P Class No27" from the pull down menu.

The Picture above shows Matthew standing on Loco No.75027 at Sheffield Park (taken by the late Gerry Butler).
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Friday, 9 July 2021

The winds of change are coming!

Things are on the cusp of change, and if Boris is right we will be coming out of restrictions soon.  This will mean that it should be possible for the Engineering Side of the group to get back to meaningful work on the loco in the not too distant future.  It is hoped that the loco will be available for inspection during the Bluebell 60+1 event in August (this is to be confirmed).

We will be having sales stands at the Bluebell Railway Modelling Weekend July 31st / August 2nd.  We will be located in the usual place upstairs in the Birch Grove Suite (above the Bessemer Arms).

For the Bluebell 60+1 event, we will be back in out usual place on Platform 1 at Sheffield Park, adjacent to the main Bluebell Shop.  We will have the usual quality items plus a few extra items, and hopefully some of the new stock will have arrived by then!

The new stock will include T-Shirts in light grey (in all popular sizes),  Mugs, Coasters, Drinks Bottles and caps.  These will all have the artists impression of the loco in Southern Green painted by, and used with the agreement of, Matthew Cousins.  Below you can see some mock ups of some of the items.

These items, plus others, will also be available on the on line shop (see link below).  We will also be introducing a "bookshop" within the online shop.  This is in the process of being set up, and will include mainly railway/transport books, but also one or two other titles that may be of interest.  The selection is currently composed of donated books. 

We are all looking forward to getting back to our hobby as soon as possible, and the sales stands (and my signal box turns) is the way forward!  I know that Matt, Ben and Jim are excitedly gradually building up to getting back to major works on site!  There have been many hours putting things in place so they are ready to "hit the ground running" once the signal is given!






https://the-fenchurch-fund---project-27.square.site/

If you would like to help by donating to the cause, please donate anything you can afford to help us see our efforts and passion come to a successful end.

A donation of £27 would go a long way towards our aim.
(with gift aid that becomes £33.75)

If you can help us, please make your donation on line at: 

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/27

You can also give via standing order to the Bluebell Railway Trust (please contact us for a form) or regular payments via Virgin Money Giving.

We are a completely self funded group of Bluebell Railway Volunteers working hard to look after and promote the small locomotive fleet on the Bluebell Railway.

Thank you for your continuing support.

The Team