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Vounteer at Bluebell Railway

If you would like to volunteer at Bluebell Railway but are unsure about which department you would like to join, come along to one of our Find Out More Days.

Please note that you will need to be a BRPS member to volunteer at the Railway.

Find Out More Days will be held on the following dates in 2020:

  • 9 February
  • 8 March
  • 12 April
  • 10 May
  • 14 June
  • 12 July
  • 16 August
  • 13 September
  • 11 October
  • 8 November

Meet in the Bessemer Arms for 10:30am, for a tour behind the scenes of various parts of the railway and finish about 4pm.

For further information please email: volunteering@bluebell-railway.co.uk.

Signalling Designers

The S&T Department are looking for volunteer Signalling Designers to help take the Bluebell Railway forward into its next sixty years.  If you have held (or still hold) an IRSE Principles Designer licence and have had electro-mechanical experience, then you are the person we are looking for.

This role is well suited to someone who is not able to visit the railway frequently but has spare time at home.  However, occasional visits will be necessary to liaise with Installers and Testers and to see the current installation that is to be modified.

Signalling Design is a Safety Related activity and those volunteers carrying out such work for the Bluebell Railway must be a member of the BRPS.

Please contact Lisa Boyle on lisa.boyle@bluebell-railway.co.uk if you are interested in volunteering.

Signal and Telecoms Department

The S&T Department are looking for new volunteers who are active and able to walk a mile down the track, can visit regularly (once a week, once a fortnight, once a month) and would like to join us as a Painter, Installer, Maintainer or Tester.

On the job training will be given to those with gaps in their knowledge and/or experience, no previous experience is necessary.

Much of the work of the S&T Department is Safety Critical but can be carried out by anyone under the supervision of a competent, qualified department member.

If you believe you can help, then either come and visit us at Horsted Keynes on any of our regular working days, Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday (best before 10am) or email volunteering@bluebell-railway.co.uk quoting your interest for the S&T department.

Competence Standards Manager

The successful applicant will be responsible for the routine management of the Safety Critical Work training and associated competence management systems applicable to Signalmen, Guards, Shunters and Station staff.

The successful applicant will have a good knowledge of modern training and competence assessment systems and be committed to developing a strong culture of compliance to ensure the requirements of the Safety Management System are met. It will be essential to develop effective working relationships with functional Inspectors and other key operating department players who are embraced by the Safety Management System and the Railway Safety Critical Work (RSCW) regulations.

This post would be suitable for a trainer, assessor or indeed existing qualified Inspectors who hold a similar qualification and have experience of the skill sets in the disciplines concerned.

A keen desire to influence this important area of compliance using interpersonal skills appropriate to departments that consist completely of volunteers is essential.

These are also volunteer posts that carry no remuneration or specific hours of duty although the successful applicants will require sufficient time and flexibility to be present at the railway to effectively undertake these roles.

If you would like to know more about these opportunities informally in the first instance, please contact lisa.boyle@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Marketing and Events Volunteers

The Marketing and Events department is looking for volunteers to help with the railway’s marketing outputs and event delivery.

Tasks may include:

  • Inspiring new ideas for marketing and events
  • Photography and videography
  • Advert distribution
  • Gathering visitor feedback
  • Event assistance
  • Car parking attendants

Please contact Charlotte Archer by email to find out more: charlotte.archer@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Safety Assurance Clerical Assistant

The Safety & Assurance team are looking for a volunteer to help collate accident & incidents information, produce reports, file information and provide general support across a whole range of day to day safety and assurance administration tasks.

As this is a volunteer role, availability and hours are subject to mutual agreement, however some weekly help would be useful
but not essential.

Applicants will need to be computer literate, organised and ideally have some knowledge of spreadsheets & metrics.

If you are interested please use the contact form below.

Locomotive Footplate

We are currently looking to expand our team of footplate inspectors.

This is an opportunity for someone with strong footplate skills & a thorough working knowledge of both the footplate itself & the operational requirements of the Locomotive Department including the Railway’s SMS.

The importance of ensuring that a person’s ability on the footplate is correctly assessed is paramount and as such requires a structured & objective approach at all times. The role is generally suited to drivers with 5 or more years’ experience, although other candidates will be considered. You must also be prepared to commit sufficient time to undertake the role.

If you are interested in applying for this role, you will be required to participate in a formal interview & further assessment training will be given to the successful candidate.

If you would like to know more about these opportunities informally please contact the locomotive superintendent on chris.knibbs@bluebell-railway.co.uk to request an application form please contact lisa.boyle@bluebell-railway.co.uk.

Volunteer Car park attendants

We are looking for volunteers to help during our busy events to oversee our visitor parking by directing and managing our customers to available spaces and helping answer relevant queries.

Applicants should be self-motivated, enthusiastic and a good communicator. The role would require duties for 3 to 4 hours at a time, usually morning or afternoon.

Applicants must have their own transport.

Please contact Charlotte Archer for more information: charlotte.archer@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Education Volunteer

The education department of the Bluebell Railway is expanding and needs you!

Roles may include;

  • Be part of our exciting and interactive SteamWorks! exhibition as an interpreter
  • Conduct fun science experiments.
  • Assist with family event days.
  • Guide school parties around our exhibits.
  • Facilitate outdoor education.
  • Escort school parties on the steam trains.
  • Get creative.
  • Dress up and role-play in our ‘WW2’ evacuation experience.
  • Gain experience and build an attractive C.V.

We are looking for people with an interest in Heritage Learning. If you like working with people of all ages, are a good communicator, want to learn new skills and share some of your own, then this could be the volunteering opportunity for you.

Contact Ruth Rowatt on 01825 720800 or use the Contact Form below to register your interest and find out more.

Buildings Manager

The successful applicant will be responsible for the inspection, repair and maintenance of the company’s buildings.

Building management, architectural, design, surveying, construction or similar qualifications/experience are necessary to effectively undertake this role.

This is a volunteer post that carries no remuneration or specific hours of duty. However, the successful applicant will require sufficient time and flexibility to effectively undertake this role and have the appropriate technical competencies to meet the professional requirements of the post.

If you believe you have the right qualifications and experience for this job contact Lisa Boyle: lisa.boyle@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Locomotive Works department volunteers

The locomotive workshop is open 7 days per week and is seeking skilled machinists to join the team to carry out the maintenance, overhaul and repair of the railway’s historic collection of steam locomotives.

Volunteers must have either completed an engineering apprenticeship or have other equivalent qualifications. Skills essential for this post include machining and fitting mechanical parts with demonstrable competence in the use of manual operated lathes and milling machines.

Please contact Chris Shepherd by email on chris.shepherd@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Retail Volunteers

Our Sheffield Park Gift Shop is looking for volunteer retail assistants

Have you an excellent customer service aptitude? To assist and provide friendly support to our retail team?

Our gift shop at Sheffield Park Station welcomes visitors throughout the year, stocking everything from books and DVDs, to railway models and special souvenirs.

You would ensure customers have a memorable experience and receive a high level of service at all times. You would provide information on all the railway’s products and help them find the perfect gift or memento.

Applicants should be highly motivated, enthusiastic and a strong team player and commercially focused. 

Hours are flexible, mid-week or weekend working.

Contact Lisa Boyle for further information on 01825 724884 or email lisa.boyle@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Catering Assistant Volunteers

We are currently seeking Volunteer Catering Assistants to work in our buffet carriage at East Grinstead Station.

The Grinsteade Buffet is a beautiful dining carriage, serving teas, coffees, cakes and snacks to our customers every day when trains are running.  This includes weekends, special events, school holidays and every day over the summer.

You will need to be enthusiastic and willing to learn, possess excellent customer service skills and be able to work under your own initiative.  Ideally you will have some retail experience with till operation, but full training will be provided.

The number of hours per week can vary to suit your needs, and uniform and meals on duty will be provided.

Contact Megan Laughlin to find out more: megan.laughlin@bluebell-railway.co.uk

Friends of Kingscote

The Friends of Kingscote (FoK) exists to maintain the station and its environs, representing the early 1950s British Railways era.

The friends maintain two platforms with canopies and the usual facilities, a Goods Yard with two dock sidings, a picnic area with a kiosk serving summer refreshments, a kitchen garden and flower beds along the platforms.. In 2017, part of the picnic area was converted into a children’s play area with swings and various features.

The FoK force consists of three teams, although volunteers will move between them:

  • Fixtures and fittings – upkeep, repair and repainting of all the station buildings, sheds, fencing and paths
  • Gardens – maintaining flower beds, forecourt, kitchen garden and grass cutting of the lawn areas
  • Lineside maintenance – scrub clearance, grass cutting, removing fallen trees, sundry maintenance issues

If you are interested in joining as a volunteer, please go to Kingscote Station on a Tuesday or Saturday at 9am to find our more.

An application form is available here.