Double Donations Dash 125
: Final Dates Announced
Our new match funding drive, Double Donations Dash 125, will take place over the two weeks of 20 Oct. to 2 Nov.
Given the recent news, the date has been put back one week to allow a slight delay in the publication of
Once again, our major sponsors have been incredibly generous with supplying matching funding, and we do hope that all our supporters are able to dig deep and try and match our sponsors' commitment.
This is an imposing target, being over double that of the starting target of the previous "Dash," but given the great success last time, we feel it is possible. It represents a unique opportunity for all those who give to the Railway to join together for another major push.
Put simply, donations will be matched pound for pound during the "Dash," up to a maximum of £125,000--
so every £10 donated is worth £20 to the Railway, and £22.50 if you have Gift Aided your donation.
It is most beneficial to the Railway if donations are made in cash or by personal cheque, with Gift Aid if applicable.
Cash should be handed in at the Sheffield Park office.
Cheques must be made payable to the "Bluebell Railway Trust" and sent to DDD125, Sheffield Park Station, Nr Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 3QL.
Online donations can be made at
Don't forget to enclose a Gift Aid form if you are eligible, which will be distributed with the next Bluebell News or can be
We had also hoped to provide a clearer picture of the overall position of the Northern Extension Project in terms of funding and timing. Unfortunately, this has proved impossible, due to the recent adverse weather.
To use Chris White's phrase, "It's now coming over the top of my wellington boots!" A crucial project meeting due around now has had to be postponed by a month, but work continues between Kingscote and East Grinstead. As soon as we have news we will tell you--watch this space!
I would like to echo Roger Kelly's words in the last newsletter. We appreciate just how much financial support has already been given. We are now so much closer than the daunting position just two years ago, when the tip was not even half uncovered.
After your tremendous efforts, we just want you to fulfill Bernard Holden's last wish and ride that train to East Grinstead for many years to come.
By John Walls, Trustee, Fundraising
Bernard Holden's Funeral Arrangements
We have received notice that Bernard Holden's funeral will take place on 16 Oct.
There will be a special train from Sheffield Park--with a 100-seater carriage--which will take Bernard and the Holden family on a round trip of the line and enable our supporters to pay their respects. This will be followed by a service at Ditchling church, before the family go off for a private burial. Refreshments will be served in the church hall.
As many of you will know, Bernard gave significant wartime service in his professional capacity, during the campaign in Burma. The Royal Engineers, British Legion, and other service associations will do a salute at the church.
Timings are still to be finalised, but are likely to be 10.30 a.m. to 11.45 a.m. at the Railway, followed by a service at 12.30 p.m. at the church. Please check
The family have expressed a wish for no flowers; however, the Railway and other organisations will be presenting wreaths.
Many of you have suggested a memorial fund should be set up in Bernard's memory, and this will be addressed. Meanwhile, any donations will be split between two of Bernard's favourite causes: the Northern Extension Project and the Brighton Directors' Saloon (the latter being a strong candidate for the fund).
If you would like to make a donation in memory of Bernard, please send it to Sheffield Park--payable to the "Bluebell Railway Trust"--indicating that it is in his memory (and please don't forget Gift Aid, if you are eligible!)
By Roy Watts, Chairman, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Track Trek has been postponed to 18 Nov., but it is still possible to register at
Please remember, a £20 sponsorship per person or £30 per family (two adults and up to three children) is required to take part.
Open Day at Undercover 3, Set for 13 Oct.
The Railway is pleased to report that our new carriage shed at Sheffield Park will be open this 13 Oct. for viewing, to coincide with the National Carriage Restorers' Convention, to be held this year at Horsted Keynes.
Tours will be at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:15 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. (leaving 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the convention delegates).
Those interested are asked to meet Nigel Longdon between the footbridge and the Bulleid Shop at Sheffield Park station.
More Progress by the Fenchurch Fund
Clive Emsley has added some pictures to his
(and very nice they are too!). These show SECR No.27 in various pieces, and the magnitude of the task ahead.
He is confident the restoration will be completed, with everybody's help. Clive is hoping to add some pictures of September's Fenchurch 140 event, hopefully within the next week or so.
Meanwhile, Stuart Marks reports there has been some more cleaning and painting, with both side tanks having been found to be beyond repair.
The better tank is being painted into Southern Green and will have Southern A 27 painted on it. This will be used to display pictures, items etc. for Fenchurch open days.
Stuart expects, "the pace will quicken when the loco is lifted off its wheels," and he reports that some new steel has already been made for the tank and temporary bolted on.
Corrections & Clarifications
Many if you spotted several errors in the last newsletter, and we are always keen to set the record straight.
Firstly, Roy Watts is Chairman of our Society, not (of course) President.
Importantly, the photo of Bernard Holden was taken by his grandson, Jim, not by his son (contrary to press reports, Bernard's two sons do not survive him).
The branch line weekend is definitely cancelled, and should not have appeared in forthcoming events.
Thank you, as always, for bringing these corrections and clarifications to our attention.
The editors of the eNewsletter appreciate your continuing support, and we expect to return to the normal fortnightly schedule, starting 21st Oct.
Trustee, Bluebell Railway Preservation Society