There is now less than a week now until the 100th anniversary of the SECR sending two locomotives to France with the Railway Operating Division on April 24th. A date that should be remembered as it was the first occassion that the ROD requisitioned Standard Gauge locos during the First World War.
Preparations are now in place for the Commemoration day on the Saturday 25th.
The day will include parades and drill demonstrations by the 10th Essex Regiment (Historically accurate reinactors) who will be cheerily marching to the station at 10:30 ready for "final drill" before joining the train off to the "front" at 4pm. Come and wave them off and wish them well in Flanders.
The Right Hand sidetank from SECR No.27 will be unveiled at 2:15, in the livery it carried exactly 100 years ago when she went off to war in Boulogne. The ceremony will, hopefully, start with an "Edwardian Girl" singing "Keep the Homefires Burning" before the Guard of Honour is called to attention and a few words are given by Society Chairman, Roy Watts before he unveils the tank side.
A commemorative badge will be available to remember the day at a cost of £5 which will help to restore SECR Loco No.27 to working order.
In addition to the badges we will be seling the usual quality items on a stand close to the tank. These include Strawberry Jam, Marmalade, tee shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, Fenchurch mugs, tea cans, the list goes on and on!
The tank for display has been given two top coats of plain olive green paint and is ready to be lettered. The lettering will be applied using vinyl letters specially produced by Matthew Cousins, to whom we are most grateful.
The rear of the tank, which no one will see, has been painted in plain black, and the bottom of the tank will be similarly treated before the tank id positioned ready for the ceremony on Saturday.
There was no progress on the frames this weekend as the crew that work on the loco, lead by Stuart Marks, were all involved in either the tank painting or were involved in the organisation of the Deltic Weekend!
The tickets are selling well for the Baxter Special Train on Sunday 3rd May, but there is still chance to reserve your place by sending a cheque for £18 per ticket (made payable to "Bluebell Railway")
to "Project 27, Millfield, Manor Road, Upper Beeding, West Sussex. BN44 3TJ"
Thanks for your continued support.