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!


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: 


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:


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.

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