Fenchurch's 150th Birthday Bash




Come and celebrate Terrier No. 72 Fenchurch’s 150 birthday with an event that celebrates 150 years of transport from 29 – 31 July 2022.


It is with regret that immediate repair work is needed to be undertaken with Poplar, which means that the locomotive will not be able to take part for the rest of the weekend. A amended timetable will be in operation for both Saturday and Sunday and W11 “Newport” will still be running trains throughout the weekend. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience caused by this amendment.


All bark, but no bite!

This event will be an enthusiast and family-friendly affair which celebrates the small, but mighty A1, or ‘Terrier’ Class locomotive and looks at how transport has changed over the last 150 years since they were first built.

Built at nearby Brighton Works, the Terriers were designed in 1870 to haul commuter trains on the heavily congested lines in South and South-East London. Over the weekend we will feature special guest engines, but the big celebration will be to see Fenchurch in all her glory, celebrating her 150th birthday!

The nickname of ‘Terrier’ referred to the distinctive bark sound the locomotive produced when working. A busy timetable will give plenty of opportunity to see the little engines in action and ride behind them. Hop on and off trains all day with your event ticket. With this ticket you can start your journey at any of our four stations, but don’t forget to refer to the timetable for the day of travel so you can plan where and when you will catch your trains.

Family Fun!

This event will be educational and fun! With hands-on and interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) family activities and workshops, children’s authors plus displays of vintage transport from air, sea, road and rail, there will be something for everyone. Free history of transport trails will help children trace a timeline from Fenchurch to the future.

Book onto Chris Vine’s Young Engineers Day Out, this tour will take you on a VIP tour around SteamWorks! and behind the scenes viewing area of the workshop. Plus get a copy of Peters Railway. You can book on the tour at Sheffield Park Station via the Booking Office, £5 per child, no additional cost per child. Tours are approximately 45minutes and start at 11am and 2pm.

‘Science Magic… Magic Science’ gasp, gape, wonder and laugh with Ian Dunne through a whole lot of demonstrations full of tricks, science, and just plain magic. Shows start at 10am, 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm, in SteamWorks! each show lasts around 1 hour.

Keep an eye on the website and social media for a taster of the displays and announcements of bookable workshops.

A downloadable programme of activities and displays will be available on the website nearer to the event.

Programmes will also be available on the day.

Unfortunately the proposed vintage bus service has been withdrawn due to the bus developing a fault which cannot be repaired in time for the event.
More Bark, Definitely no Bite!

During the weekend, there will be a fun dog show at Horsted Keynes Station with classes for Terriers (of course), Terrier wannabes and Terriers in disguise. All dogs welcome. (Dogs can travel on our trains, just keep paws on the floors and no doggy feet on the seats!) Entry is just £2 per class, payment (cash only), and registration on the day.

Special guest judges to include lookalikes Simon Cowell (Friday) and Mrs Brown from Mrs Browns Boys (Saturday).

The Stars of our Show!

The Bluebell Railway is home to Terrier No. 672, Fenchurch.

We are sorry to announce that, despite the hard work and best efforts of our locomotive department, difficulties in obtaining raw materials and parts mean that Fenchurch will not be ready to steam for the Fenchurch 150th Birthday Bash. However, visiting Terrier friends Poplar and Newport are still coming to the party and Fenchurch can be seen on display alongside Stepney in the running shed at Sheffield Park Station.

Fenchurch will be wearing the Stroudley Improved Engine Green livery (a sort of yellow ochre) and the number 72, as it would have done in 1872. Fenchurch looked pretty sad in a dark corner of the running shed while she waited for an overhaul – there was even a tree growing out of her coal bunker!

Terrier No. 55, Stepney, is currently in pride of place in SteamWorks! the interactive learning zone in the running shed at Sheffield Park. Here you can step onto his footplate and imagine what it was like to be a fireman or driver back in the Victorian times. Stepney starred his own Thomas the Tank Engine story – Stepney the “Bluebell” Engine written by the Rev. W. Awdry.

Stepney is also the star of The Stepney Club, our club for children up to 9 years old. Members of this club enjoy receiving birthday cards from Stepney and a magazine packed with stories three times a year, plus members benefits too of course!

Announcing our Special Guests!

We are pleased to announce that No. 72 Fenchurch will be joined by two guest ‘Terrier’ class locomotives. From The Isle of Wight Railway, we will welcome W11 Newport. Newport will travel by road and by sea to reach us – which should provide quite a spectacle for onlookers! From our friends at Kent and East Sussex Railway, we look forward to welcoming No. 70 Poplar. All appearances by locomotives are subject to availability on the day.

Watch Newport’s journey from the Isle of Wight Steam Railway to the Bluebell Railway

Toy and Rail Collectors Fair

This will feature at Horsted Keynes Station on Sunday 31 July. Perhaps there, or in the Gift and Model Shop at Sheffield Park Station, you will be able to find a model Terrier for your collection and ride behind a real one too!

Get Animated about this Event!

Please enjoy the short animated film created by Max Davies on behalf of the Bluebell Railway to celebrate Fenchurch’s 150th Birthday. Look out for all the little details in this clever piece of stop-motion animation:

Fenchurch 150th Anniversary Bash Tickets


Advance (online)

On the Day

Event with Travel – Adult (One Day)



Event with Travel – Child (One Day)



Event with Travel – Carer (One Day)



Event with Travel – Family (2A + 3C) (One Day)



Event with Travel – BRPS Member Adult (One Day)



Event with Travel – BRPS Member Child (One Day)



Event with Travel – BRPS Member Family (2A + 3C) (One Day)



Event with Travel – BRPS Life Member (One Day)