The Bluebell Times

The June issue of The Bluebell Times has pictures and stories from around the Railway as we are once again able to run public passenger trains. The issue also contains information about our first events of the year, including Road meets Rail and Model Railway Weekend.
In issue 21:
  • Details about the first events of 2021
  • An update on the arrangements for the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society AGM
  • The future for our splendid Pullman Train
  • Readers’ reaction to the pressures on our carriage fleet
  • Pictures from the Sheffield Park gift shop following its refit
  • The Bluebell Railway Museum – 10 years on
  • Buy a limited edition 60th anniversary cushion – and support the Heritage Skills Centre
  • And much, much more

 

The Bluebell Times is published monthly on the second Friday of each month. The July issue is due out on Friday 9 July.

You can download the latest edition using the link below.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive The Bluebell Times straight to your inbox. All you need to do is sign up for News updates here.

May 2021:

May’s issue of The Bluebell Times was released ahead of our reopening on Thursday 20 May.

Issue 20 also includes news from the Society and updates from across the Railway.

  • News of Fenchurch’s overhaul as our oldest locomotive approaches its 150th birthday
  • The pressure to maintain our carriage fleet
  • Update on plans for our 60+1 anniversary
  • The launch of our new Kingscote virtual tour
  • Five minutes with a former naval pilot now kept busy at Horsted Keynes
  • An original song celebrating the rhythm of our locomotives

Please click the picture below to read the May 2o21 issue.

Bluebell Times May 2021

April 2021:

It’s a good news issue of The Bluebell Times newsletter in April with details of the plans for reopening the Bluebell Railway after lockdown and the first tickets going on sale.

Issue 19 also contains information on the latest successful grant application and how the money will be spent in the coming months.

  • More virtual tours coming soon
  • A new addition to SteamWorks!
  • A special Easter message from the Railway’s chaplain
  • An in-depth look at ‘Camelot’
  • And much, much more

Please click the picture below to read the April 2021 issue.

April 2021 Bluebell Times

March 2021:

Preparations for reopening after lockdown are in the March issue of The Bluebell Times newsletter.

Issue 18 also contains detailed reports and photos of the work which has been carried out at Bluebell Railway over the winter months.

  • Updated schedule of events for 2021
  • Government promotion of our virtual tours
  • Memories of trainspotting in the 1960s
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read the March 2021 issue.

Bluebell Times March 2021

February 2021:

Details of a surprise 100th birthday present for a lifetime member are in the February issue of The Bluebell Times newsletter.

Issue 17 also contains an update from the board on the current activity while the Railway is closed and information about the latest virtual tour for people to enjoy in lockdown.

  • A closer look at H class locomotive No. 263
  • Detailed information on how smoke deflectors work
  • Your help needed identifying some old photos
  • Puzzles with links to local branch lines
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read the February 2021 issue.

The Bluebell Times, February 2021

January 2021:

The first issue of The Bluebell Times in 2021 has news of the latest lockdown and details of the provisional plans for the whole year.

Issue 16 also contains an update on board changes as well as a message of thanks for all those who helped on the curtailed SteamLights and Santa Specials season.

  • Wishes from across the Bluebell Railway for 2021
  • An honour from the Queen for one volunteer
  • The first virtual tour using some of the Government’s grant money
  • Three generations of one family who all volunteer at the Railway
  • An update on the tender plate from SE&CR Stirling F class No. 31
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read the January 2021 issue.

December 2020:

An end-of-year message and reflections on 2020 from senior Bluebell Railway personnel are in the December issue of The Bluebell Times which is out now.

Issue 15 also contains a special Christmas greeting from the Railway’s chaplain as well as a report and photos on the start of the SteamLights service with illuminated trains and lineside displays.

  • Reasons to feel positive about 2020
  • News of sponsorship deals for equipment for the locomotive department
  • How the filming generator van was prepared for SteamLights
  • An update on the appeal to return the 9F to traffic
  • A festive Spot the Difference competition
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read the December issue.

November 2020:

Information about the latest lockdown and how it affects the Bluebell Railway are in the November issue of The Bluebell Times.

Issue 14 also contains an update on the latest grant money given to the Railway as well as details of how some of the Emergency Appeal funds have been spent.

  • A review of the “Off the Rails” event showcasing goods trains and vintage vehicles
  • How the locomotive department reached “Peek” performance in its cleaning
  • Suggestions for Bluebell-related Christmas presents
  • Auction success in obtaining one of the nameplates for ‘Ardingly’ locomotive
  • Word Search puzzle about Railway Works
  • Down Memory Line and On This Day with tales of yesteryear

Please click the picture below to read the November issue.

October 2020:

October’s edition of The Bluebell Times contains more details of the exciting new SteamLights illuminated train service which will run from mid-November until early January – and how you can help to light up the experience for our customers.

Issue 13 also has information about our first post-lockdown event with a transport-themed gala ‘Off the Rails’ and an update on the plans to celebrate ‘60+1’ years of operating as a heritage line.

  • Help support the Railway at no cost to yourself
  • Searching railway auction catalogues for items of interest
  • A day on the footplate with a visiting charter
  • Down Memory Line and On This Day
  • Guess the Year and Word Search puzzles
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read the October issue.

September 2020:

Details of the Bluebell Railway’s heritage grant from the National Lottery fund and plans for the autumn/winter are in September’s issue of the new monthly The Bluebell Times.

Issue 12 also contains two reports on the completion of the Accessible Steam Heritage (ASH) project in SteamWorks! with the installation of a ramp for footplate access and new buffer stops.

  • The story behind the Elton John album cover photo opportunity
  • More tales of working goods trains
  • A debate over the colour of The Bluebell Railway nameplate
  • Guess the Year and Word Search puzzles
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read the September issue.

Issue 11:

There are extensive reports and photos of the Grand Reopening at Sheffield Park station as well as the sight of steam trains on the line once again.

The view from the platforms and from the footplate are covered in depth alongside the Virtual Gala for those who couldn’t be there for the anniversary weekend.

Please click the picture below to read issue 11.

Issue 10:

  • Find out why there’s more to being a Train Guard than waving green flags and blowing whistles
  • A closer look at one of our industrial locomotives which featured in the 50th anniversary celebrations
  • An explanation of why train crews regard the line as effectively a staircase
  • A themed Word Search puzzle to coincide with the 60th anniversary
  • New puzzles as well as the regular favourites
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read issue 10.

Issue 9:

  • Details of the limited edition 60th anniversary souvenir Edmondson tickets
  • Learn more about the married couple who cover everything from footplate turns to filming liaison
  • A closer look at the oldest locomotive at the Bluebell
  • Find out how Sheffield Park station got its name
  • What goes on inside the museum
  • New puzzles as well as the regular favourites
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read issue 9.

Issue 8:

  • A report on the reopening after the pandemic of our twin railway in the Netherlands
  • TV coverage of one of our locomotives … in a programme about paintings
  • What a Running Foreman does at the railway
  • The second and final part about living on the site of a former railway station
  • A personal rundown of the top 10 railway films
  • New puzzles as well as the regular favourites
  • Special kids’ section with a new challenge

Please click the picture below to read issue 8.

Issue 7:

  • Meet the couple who live on the site of a former railway station
  • Find out how a loco was rescued from the scrapyard and restored
  • Read about ‘A Day in the Life’ of a senior station master
  • New puzzles including a Spot the Difference challenge
  • Special kids’ section with a carriage shed shunting puzzle
  • And much, much more

Please click the picture below to read issue 7.

Issue 6:

  • The initial plans for a phased reopening of the railway
  • Closing in on the fundraising target for the Emergency Appeal
  • Details of a ‘Virtual Track Trek’ sponsored walk
  • The start of the 60-day countdown to the railway’s 60th birthday
  • New puzzles as well as the regular favourites
  • Special kids’ section with a new puzzle and evacuation story
  • And much, much more

Please click the picture below to read Issue 6.

Issue 5:

  • A major milestone is reached in the emergency fundraising appeal
  • Details of how to nominate the railway for more money
  • A family connection to our new-build locomotive
  • Photos from the month of May in years gone by
  • An in-depth look at a locomotive which some call a “spaceship”
  • New puzzles as well as the regular favourites
  • Special kids’ section with a signalling challenge

Please click the picture below to read Issue 5.

Issue 4:

  • Raising funds for the railway’s recovery
  • An update on plans to celebrate 60 years of heritage running
  • How the online shop is bringing a little magic into youngsters’ lives
  • Storytime with the Bluebell Railway
  • Plans for a virtual gala of Bluebell Railway locomotives
  • A profile of a locomotive driver nicknamed ‘Yeti’
  • The story of special Bluebell Railway postage stamps
  • An in-depth look at one of our operational locomotives
  • A new Word Search and the answer to the previous puzzle
  • Guess the Year – plus the answers to the competition in the last issue
  • Special kids’ section with a World War II-inspired game

Please click the picture below to read Issue 4.

Issue 3:

  • Details of the railway’s fundraising strategy
  • An update on the emergency appeal
  • Branch Line Weekend as imagined by a train guard
  • The story behind the special cardboard Edmondson tickets
  • The connection between digital election graphics and directing fundraising
  • The next instalment of the memories of a wartime evacuee
  • An in-depth look at one of our operational locomotives
  • A new Word Search and the answer to the previous puzzle
  • Guess the Year – plus the answers to the competition in the last issue
  • Special kids’ section with puzzles and a story
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read Issue 3.

Issue 2:

  • The story of the first member of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
  • Life as a wartime evacuee by train
  • An in-depth look at one of our bigger locomotives
  • How “Railway Time” came and went
  • A new Word Search and the answer to the previous puzzle
  • Guess the Year – plus a bonus question from a reader
  • Special kids’ section
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read Issue 2.

Issue 1:

  • Life as a train driver
  • An in-depth look at one of our locomotives
  • Update on the emergency appeal
  • Word search
  • Guess the Year
  • Special kids’ section
  • And much, much more.

Please click the picture below to read Issue 1.