Thursday, 17 December 2015

No restoration Update this week

As I am unlikely to be at the railway for a week or two, there will be limited coverage of any progress on the restoration of the loco.  If anything does happen in the next week or so I am sure that I will be informed and be able to pass it onto you.

In the mean whilst, I thought it a good opportunity to wish all of the PROJECT 27 supporters and helpers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to your continued support and interest in the coming year.

Could I also remind you that without your support and donations the project will not be completed.  Every penny spent on the loco has to be raised from public donations.  If you would like to help us to pay for the restoration we have various methods of collecting funds.  I have outlined these below for your interest.

We are able to accept cash and cheque donations by sending your donation to:
The Fenchurch Fund - Project 27, Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex. TN22 3QL (cheques made payable to "The Bluebell Railway")

If you are able to use Gift Aid you may donate to the fund via the Bluebell Railway Trust.  Please contact The Fenchurch Fund - Project 27, at the above address, for a gift aid form.  It is also possible to use the form to set up a standing order for regular donations.

We also have a "Just Giving" page for donations via the world wide web, the address is :

and finally you can text a donation to: "FENC72 £10" to 70070 to donate £10
- you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10;
- you can also elect to Gift Aid your donation;
- your operator's standard text charge applies.

And finally if you have any model railway equipment or railway relics you would like to get rid of we can take donations of such items to sell on behalf of the fund.

On behalf of the committee and restoration team, I thank you once again for your continued support and interest in the project.


Clive D. Emsley,
Chairman - The Fenchurch Fund
Project Manager - PROJECT 27
A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Guard Irons back

The guard irons and struts have been returned to the villa from Horsted Keynes where they were cleaned and a protective coat of paint added.
The four guard irons together with the struts to the left (all pictures by Clive Emsley) 
The guard irons can now be left in store until the weather gets better, and the atmosphere drier, before further painting takes place.

The weld that was carried out during the locos days with either the Southern or BR has been ground out for investigation and it is apparent that there is some work required. The weld was found to be full of weld slag to a fair depth. Currently it is under discussion as to the way forward.  It may be possible to grind out further material and still reweld the repair. The other option will be to cut out around the weld and weld in a patch.  The decision on the course of action will be taken shortly.

The ground out weld repair showing the holes left by the weld slag.

It has been arranged that the wheels will go away on the same lorry as the wheels from 80151 to the South Devon Railway for tyre turning and journal skimming. Whilst it is good news that we can share the cost of the transport, we will need to pay the full cost of the machining of the wheel sets and we will need to make a contribution towards the transport.  The cost of this is not yet confirmed but  if you would like to help us by contributing towards the transport and machining costs we would be greatly pleased.  For further information on how to help please contact us by E Mail at: or by post addressed to The Fenchurch Fund - Project 27  via Sheffield Park.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Disappointing News

We had some slightly disappointing news at the weekend when Stuart Marks, the Project Engineer, gauged the profile of the wheel sets.  The leading and trailing wheelsets whilst worn were within tolerance. However, the middle (driving) set was found to be below minimum tolerance.

The result of this discovery is that the wheels will need to be sent away for turning.  This needs to be done before we can start on any reassembly of the loco, which, whilst not imminent is a constraint.  We are negotiating to send them away at the same time as the wheels for 4MT No. 80151. This will reduce the cost of transport, although the full cost of the machining will need to be found!  As we are not in an immediate rush to get the wheels back, they will stay at the workshop until the wheels for 80151 come back next year.  Of course, we will have to make sure that the space that the wheels are currently occupying remains clear!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Some more news from Project 27

Shot blasting of components started

The 4 guard irons and the associated struts from 27 were taken to Horsted Keynes to be shot blasted clean in the large shot blaster based in the carriage works. 

The guard irons waiting to be taken to Horsted Keynes prior to shot blasting (Photo by Clive Emsley)

The strut that was seized to the guard iron in the picture has since been persuaded to remove itself and has been straightened to its original shape.
The opportunity was taken to carry out some minor welding on the guard irons prior to recieving a coat of primer and two coats of undercoat.  Other work ongoing involves some minor welding repairs to the footstep struts. The welding repairs are being carried out by Matt Holloway with whom we are continually amazed  by his versatility and skill.
The material for the manufacture of the fitted bolts which will be used to locate the cylinders to the frames has been delivered and machining has started in so much as the bolt lengths have been faced off and centre drilled ready for the machining to take place over the Christmas and New Year period. We are grateful to Ian Ferguson for his continued assistance in the restoration.

The "left over" material is safely stored away, having been treated to a film of oil to prevent dampness affecting the steel. Thanks to Steve Booth for doing this.
We are currently trying to locate the correct machine tap and thread cutting tips to be able to carry out the machining over the forthcoming festive period. Hopefully they are available, otherwise we will need to procure them from outside the railway.

Our plans for fundraising and information stands for next year are progressing well, and we can announce our first couple of events.

We will be having a stand either close to the loco, or close to the tank on Platform 1, during the Branch Line weekend (19th & 20th March). We are hopeful that we will be able to let you see the progress on the frames and other items as well as tell you about our plans for the future.
The Project has been invited to attend the Wealden Railways Group's model railway exhibition in Steyning on the 2nd of April. This will be a larger event than that last year, and we should have slightly more space! Please, if you can, come along and support them, and us, on the day.

Other events that we will be attending will be publicised in due course.
Thank you for your continued support.