Friday, 30 September 2016

Good weekend at the Worthing Model Railway Exhibition

27 meets 72

The new Dapol "O" gauge model of 32636 (Fenchurch) was on display on the Fenchurch Fund-Project 27 stand
(along with 1027!)
We had a good weekend at the Worthing Model Railway Club's annual exhibition last weekend, both financially and in goodwill.

The display included the new "O" gauge model of BR 32636 (Fenchurch) with the assistance of Brian Jackson at Morris Models of Lancing ( Brian is a long time supporter of the Bluebell and the Fenchurch Fund.

We put on a display showing the work so far carried out and also one showing the reasons behind having to have a set of cylinders cast.  These created a lot of interest as did the power point display, which was different on each day!
The display showing some of the things we have achieved and on the end panel some of those who have achieved it!
The display showing the cylinder drawings

We also put on a display of models (which was enhanced as the weekend went on) and included a selection of locomotives that would have been seen on the Central division of British Railways Southern Region.  These included a line up of P class locos awaiting their turn for overhaul, terriers up to Standard class 4 and Ivatt class 2 and also included the C and E4 locos.  Even a B4 and USA slipped in!
75H loco shed "somewhere on the Central Division"
Also on display was the small diorama of the cuckoo line featuring 32636 and a short goods train as seen in a photo held in the Bluebell Railway picture archive.  A great place for inspiration for modellers!
32636 on a short freight train on the Cuckoo Line

A great amount of interest was shown in our 1/8th scale model cylinders especially the process used to create them.  A great feather in the cap of Matthew Holloway who designed and drew the 3D computer model.  Maybe we will get a set of 1/8th scale frames to add to the display!

The Cylinders on display
We had the usual selection of items for sale on the stand and a few new lines in the preserves range.  A selection of our merchandising will be available at a couple of exhibitions in the next couple of weeks due to the generosity of Harrison-Brown Models ( If you are at one of the exhibitions (Including this weekend, the Fareham Rail Ex) please pop along and say hello. Adrian Harrison is a "resting" working member of the Bluebell Railway.

The sales stand and display (a frontage of 20 feet!
Our next display will be at the Giants of Steam Weekend at Sheffield Park where you will be able to see the latest progress with the restoration as well as seeing the displays and sales stand.  We hope to have as many of the team on hand as possible to give you the assistance needed.  Also open during the weekend will be the Standard Class 2 project and Atlantic House, so please come along it will be a good opportunity to see the progress on these three projects.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

A few pictures from today

A quick picture round up from a short visit to the Park today

(All pictures by Clive Emsley)
Three of the four footstep waiting to be stripped, cleaned and painted
The footsteps are all inside the Villa and are in generally good condition.  Three are waiting to be stripped of paint and corrosion prior to being given a coat of rust inhibiting primer. the fourth one is in the painting area.
Right side front footstep undergoing painting
Also to be seen inside the Villa are the Guard Irons, which were given a coat of filling primer to restore a smooth appearance.
The guard irons which have been prepared for painting by Jim Turtle
The original pitted surface has been improved greatly by applying a couple of coats of filling primer  and rubbing down between them.  This fills the imperfections and pitting on the metal, leading to a smooth top coat of paint (a few weeks away!).

From the buffer bean, the hook used to stow the coupling when not in use
Even small items like the hook in the picture above need to be thoroughly cleaned and painted. This is one of the hooks used to stow the screw coupling when it is not being used. it will be repainted in Red where it is located on the buffer beam and black elsewhere.

The round piece of metal has been prepared to fit in the frames
The repair to the Right side frames will be carried out shortly by welding the round plug into the hole previously cut out of the frames.  this is situated just behind the middle axle. once this is done, the shallow weld on the left side can be attended to.

The anatomy of an SECR Bottle Buffer
One of the spare bottle buffers has been stripped down and is currently being surveyed by Matt Holloway with a view to creating a set for 27.  From the measurements and pictures a asset of 3D drawings will be produced with a view to having a set made. The buffers that the loco arrived on the railway with in 1961 were SR standard buffers, which in all honesty are too strong for such a small loco. In a way it is a pity that they were changed at Ashford just before delivery to the Bluebell as the loco up to that point had always (except for a short time on the SW division) carried the SECR buffers!  It will be good to be able to return the correct pattern ones to the loco.  The body is cast whilst the shaft and head are forged in one piece.  This may be a challenge to reproduce, but we aim to succeed!

Thanks for your continued interest and with your support we will get the loco working as soon as humanly possible.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

End of August Progress Report

So, what has been happening whilst I have been on Holiday?

The following is a short report based on information and pictures from Matt Holloway and describes what he has been involved in over the last couple of weeks.  Hopefully following the weekend we can add re[ports of more activities that have taken place.

Firstly We would like to welcome our newest recruit to the restoration team, Bluebell Railway Fireman Reuben Smith.  We do hope that he will enjoy his time working on the loco.

The good news is that we believe that the loco has been stripped down as much as it will be (apart from cutting out the rot at the rear of the frames).  So all news from now should concern putting things back on the frames!

The Last Bits! (all pictures by Matt Holloway)
The picture above shows the last pieces of footplating to be removed from the loco frames ready to be restored.  These appear to be in relatively good condition, so it should "just" be a matter of cleaning up the 106 year old steel!  

The brackets previously hidden by the footplating
The removal of the last pieces of footplating has allowed the inspection of the brackets below.  These are in generally good condition with minor to medium corrosion on the faces.  These will be thoroughly cleaned and painted to protect them from the elements.  It is expected that this should have been started by the time you read this!

The original cylinder block under plate
The last picture shows the original 1910 made Cylinder Block Under Plate degreased and cleaned by our new best chum Reuben Smith, and a fine job he has made of it!  This will be given a coat of protective paint and set aside either for restoration or to be used as a template for a new piece.  We would hope that the item would be suitable for another 106 years of service, but an assessment will need to be made.

Cylinder Fund

We are still busy raising the required funds to be able to order a set of cylinders for 27 and are busy exploring many avenues for this.  If you (or any of your friends) happen to win the lottery this weekend, we will be pleased to hear from you!

Sales and Information Stand

We will be attending the Worthing Model Railway Club's Annual exhibition on Saturday 24th September 2016 and Sunday 25th September 2016.  This is to be held at Durrington High School, The Boulevard, Worthing West Sussex BN13 1LA. 

There are expected to be 13 layouts plus traders in attendance over the weekend so promises to be a good show.

For further information about the show please take a look at their web site at

We look forward to meeting friends old and new there.

We are also looking forward to our last major sales and information stand during the Giants of Steam weekend in October.  More details to follow later, but we hope to be able to let you see the progress on the loco over the weekend.