Who's Who

Updated: 1st November 2022

Bluebell Railway Directors

Geoff Mee

Company Chairman

Geoff began his railway career as an engineering student on British Rail’s Southern division in 1971. He was the last graduate engineer taken on in the Southern region. His initial training was at Selhurst and he also worked at Eastleigh Works, Derby and around the country.

His managerial career included commissioning the 4VEP and he was Managing Director for Network South East’s South East Division. He wrote the timetable for the opening of the Channel Tunnel. He later became the privatisation director for the British Railways Board and, after privatisation, was the Managing Director of Connex Rail.

Geoff has also been an adviser to Transport for London, deputy chief executive of Qatar rail and has been a railway management consultant since 2012.

He first visited the Bluebell Railway in 1971 and is now a life member.

Paul Bromley

Communications Director

I am a journalist and broadcaster with 35 years’ experience working for local, regional, national and international news organisations spanning print, agency, broadcast, online, digital and social media. I am currently a freelance writer, blogger and lecturer having left my role as an editor at Sky News in 2019.

My involvement with the Bluebell goes back more than 20 years and I have been a visitor, member and volunteer. I am a museum steward and education guide.

I am also an award-winning magician and successfully passed the audition to become a member of the world-famous Magic Circle.

Steve Trigg

Finance Director

Steve has been a finance director for various companies covering different sectors including housebuilding, recruitment, oil and gas, and most recently mergers and acquisitions.  

He led commercial strategy at group board level for an international services consultancy, and was responsible for finance, commercial and resources. He is now semi-retired. 

Steve grew up around railways as his father was a rail enthusiast and he spent many hours at GWR’s Didcot centre. 

He has also been a school governor and managed the financial reporting for a charity supporting an orphanage and school in India. 

 

Neil Glaskin

Operations Director

I am Vice Chairman of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, Chief Guards Inspector and a Shunter. 

I joined the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society in 1990 and started as a volunteer on the day before my 14th birthday in 1991.  

In my day job, I’m Commercial Manager for local bus operator Compass Travel. We are the largest independent bus operator in South East England with buses operating across Sussex and Surrey and two of our bus routes serve the Bluebell Railway.  

Paul Lelew

Commercial and Marketing Director

From a career railway family, my grandfather worked for London Brighton and South Coast Railway and was awarded an MBE for his services to the railway. My father spent all his working life as a railwayman and amongst many roles managed the Royal train for a period of time.

I was born in Brighton and have spent my entire career in the food industry. I started out as an accountant and worked for Sainsburys initially, followed by a spell in sales and marketing with United Biscuits. I then entered a period of general management for a variety of smaller food businesses. During this time I gained a great deal of experience in how to turn an ailing business into a successful business and became a company turnaround expert.

Before retiring in 2012 aged 57, I spent my final 10 years building up a group of food businesses as Managing Director and shareholder. During this time I spent a lot of time in Italy and the rest of Europe as well as America and travelled extensively seeking new and exciting supply chain opportunities.

My passion is motor sport, but I do have a soft spot for steam trains which do take me back to my childhood when my father used to manage to smuggle me onto the footplate and have a cup of tea in the breakdown crane support carriage. I can remember seeing the last steam engine running from London to Brighton just before it entered Clayton Tunnel.

My other passion is music and I am finance director and presenter with Ashdown Radio and broadcast a heavy metal and hard rock programme.

Barry Luck

Infrastructure Director

I joined the railway in December 2011 as a carriage restorer, working on the Stroudley 4-wheeler known as Betty. I fully retired the following May having spent 40 years in the water industry as a civil engineer.

In 2015 I joined the platform staff at Sheffield Park, and passed as Lead Porter a year later, and subsequently as Station Foreman. I started training as signalman in 2016 and passed for Kingscote in 2018. I have been managing the construction of the OP4 carriage shed at Horsted Keynes since 2017.

The infrastructure director’s portfolio is huge and varied, from Permanent Way and buildings to air-conditioning as well as everything in between. An interesting challenge!

nigel page IT director

Nigel Page

IT Director

I first visited the Bluebell Railway in 1975 on a primary school trip. I still remember the experience and it was a lasting influence on my interest in all things mechanical and engineering. After leaving school, I found myself in one of the last traditional electrical apprenticeships and had a lucky break to move into the technology sector.

I have worked across all aspects of the technology industry from IT infrastructure, application, modernisation and digital use cases for business and the consumer. While a technologist at heart I have had the opportunity to build programs which help people and organisations evolve their culture and simplify technology so it is not seen as a barrier to using it. My current role is with Amazon Web Services where I lead a team of technical architects helping customers adopt the latest Amazon technology and move their business to the cloud.

I really appreciate being involved in organisations which have a community presence. I was the Chairman and Councillor for Cuckfield Parish Council and over nine years was able to deliver on community-based projects for the environment, events, planning and highways. Something I still look back on was saving the local playgroup and village hall from closure.

It is this belief of communities which brings me to the Bluebell Railway as IT Director.

Chris Barber

Director Of People Services

Chris comes from a railway family – his grandfather was a signalman on the East Coast Main Line and his father worked on the engineering side of signalling, so railways have always been a topic of interest for him.    

Chris has had a varied working career serving in the Royal Air Force and the police in addition to holding various senior HR and Business Change and Transformation roles in both public and private sector organisations such as PwC, Serco, American Express and Mercedes Benz. Chris currently works in the defence industry and has travelled widely with work spending a lot of time on projects in the Far East, South Africa and the USA. He also has significant board level experience in the charity and heritage sectors.   

When not working, Chris enjoys shooting, motor cycling and all things steam having for many years been involved in a hands-on role in the preservation of a Burrell Special Scenic Road locomotive. 

 

Paul Russell

Locomotive Engineering Director

Paul has worked for more than 30 years on the management of maintenance operations and major construction projects within the cement industry.

He has been volunteering for more than 40 years at the Bluebell Railway working through the grades to Locomotive Driver and has also worked on many locomotive restoration projects such as the North London Tank Adams, E4, Baxter and also the steam crane. He is also the Diesel Traction Engineering Co-ordinator for the Locomotive Department and part owner of the class 09 and class 33 diesel locomotives at the Railway.

Paul Churchman

BRPS Chairman and Rolling Stock Director

I have worked at director level in the transport industry for nearly 20 years and have also owned my own businesses.

I have been a member and working member of the Bluebell Railway since 1989. I have previously been a Trustee and Operations Director from 2007 to 2010. I was Station Master at Sheffield Park as well as having qualified as a guard, signalman and shunter.

Graham Flight

Company Secretary and Board Director

Graham qualified as a chartered accountant in 1976 and has been in public practice for more than 40 years, mostly in East Grinstead.

He has held numerous offices on the Bluebell Railway starting with the old Extension Committee and Extension Company in 1982, through managing the conversion to a Plc in 1985 as company secretary and director and serving as chairman of Bluebell Railway Plc for 18 years up to 2013.

Graham wrote the original Bluebell Railway Charity Trust deed and served as a Trustee from formation to 2013.

He was chairman of the Northern Extension Project (NEP) leading to the completion of the project and the reconstruction and reopening of the line to East Grinstead in 2013. He now chairs the Western Extension Project (WEP).

Vernon Blackburn

Bluebell Railway Trust chairman and strategic adviser to board

I have been a member and regular visitor to the Bluebell Railway since 1965 when I started volunteering in the station buffet and polishing the carriages. I am a chartered accountant with a background in dealing with trusts and charities.

In 2014 I was appointed the administrator of the Trust which supports the railway and in 2019 I became chairman.

Managers:

Chief Operating Officer – Lisa Boyle

C&W Works Manager – Rowan Millard

Customer Service & Sales Manager –

Finance Manager – Derek Koh

Infrastructure Manager – Matt Crawford

Loco Works Manager –

Marketing and Communications Manager – Ruth Rowatt

Operations Manager – Chris Knibbs

Catering & Retail Manager – Asa Griffits

Volunteer Coordinator – Graham Aitken

Locomotive Superintendent – Stuart Marks

Business Development Manager – Jon Beardmore

Data Protection Officer – Lance Allen

Bluebell Railway Preservation Society:

President – Gordon Pettitt OBE

Vice Presidents – Bill Brophy, Charles Hudson MBE,
David Quarmby CBE, Roy Watts MBE

Chairman – Paul Churchman

Acting Vice-Chairman – Roy Watts MBE

Secretary – Gavin Bennett gavin.bennett@bluebell-railway.com

Membership Trustee – Don Brewer membership@bluebell-railway.com

Finance Trustee – Ian Watson

Trustees –

  • Laurie Anderson
  • Richard Clark
  • Mike Hopps
  • Roger Kelly
  • John Knight
  • James Young

Other Society Officials –

Bluebell News Editor: Colin Tyson

Volunteer Recruitment: David Chappell

Chaplain: The Reverend David Murdoch

Heritage Railway Association Representative – Neil Glaskin

Bluebell Railway Trust – Society Governors:  Paul Churchman (ex officio) and Colin Tyson (elected by the Society)

The Bluebell Railway Trust:

Trust Chairman – Vernon Blackburn