Wednesday, 28 June 2017

A couple of pictures from the Model Weekend

Well, following the great time we had at the model weekend I thought I would share a couple of pictures with you!  We start off with Project 27 supporter and 9F club helper Paul Booth "playing" with Frimley North, a model built by a senior member of the 9F Club.

Paul Booth having fun!

Frimley North Signal Box (Looking a bit like Horsted Keynes North!)

Stuart Bardouleau waiting for the rush!
The main purpose of us being there for the weekend was to raise funds for the Project, which we were reasonably successful at doing.  Stuart Bardouleau and Andrew Waller helped Claire and myself run the stand for the weekend, and all of us managed to get a look round the various exhibits (and spend some money too!)

Restoration News

I am led to believe we are very close to announcing some exciting news, hopefully we will be able to go public soon!  In the mean whilst, I have to report that this year is likely to be fairly expensive for us and we need to make sure we have plenty of funds ready! 

There is plenty of small scale restoration going on at the moment, and some medium sized items are also being worked on.  Ben has to all intents and purposes finished the overhaul of the steam reverser and is chomping at the bit for the next project!

If you would like to help us in any way, please let us know at the E mail address below.

Clive D. Emsley
Chairman - The Fenchurch Fund
Project Manager - PROJECT 27
A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Why not support us by making a donation at

for Text donations Simply text "FENC72 £10" to 70070 to donate £10
    - you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10;
    - you can also elect to Gift Aid your donation;
    - your operator's standard text charge applies.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Thank you

Just a quick note to thank all of our supporters that came to visit our stand at the Bluebell Railway Model Weekend.  We had an exceptional couple of days and the LBSCR War Service Badges went down very well;  over half of these have now been sold or reserved!

We will probably only be at the Saturday of the End of Southern Steam Gala (weather permitting) as I have commitments for the Sunday. Unless, that is, we can get someone else to run the stand.

There is likely to be some exciting news shortly so please keep popping back.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Frames and Cylinders

LBSCR Railway Service Badges

We look forward to seeing you at the weekend during the Bluebell Model Railway Weekend where we will be launching the new replica LBSCR Railway Service Badge, see picture below. It is offered in a blue presentation box, then badges are individually numbered and are clearly a replica due to wording on the reverse. This is a strictly limited edition of 100 pieces and when they are gone they will be gone! One will be yours at a cost of £14.50.

The replica LBSCR Service Badge available this weekend!


I have heard from Matt that the quote for the frames should be with us very shortly.  Once we have the quote the project team will sit down with the Loco Director and agree a way forward with the ordering process and what we actually want to have done for us.  It may be that the frames come "flat packed" and ready to assemble, alternatively they may arrive with the holes centre drilled but left for us to drill and ream.  There seem to be pro's and con's for both.  At the same time we will have the new drag box and some other bits and pieces cut so that we will have a complete "chassis kit", with plenty of donor parts from the old frames too!


The electronic drawings for the cylinder patterns are now with our suppliers for final approval. again once we have this approval, and a firm quote the project team will meet with the Loco Director.  When the order is made, it will be for two sets of cylinders, the second for 178.  This will allow 178 to return to "proper" work, it is also likely that whilst the boiler is out of the loco it will be made good for a further 10 years of service.

Hopefully within the few weeks we will be able to give you more news on this front.  In the meanwhilst, Matt is pressing on with small parts restoration and Ben is finishing off the steam reverser overhaul.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Just Delivered!

LBSCR War Service Badges

They have arrived, and look absolutely magnificent!  They will be officially launched at the Bluebell Model Railway Weekend on the weekend of the 24th and 25th June.  However, you can reserve on before the event by dropping an E Mail to with your name and contact details.
The price for the badges is £14.50 and the profit will go directly to the Fenchurch Fund where it will be used to help the restoration of SECR loco No. 27.
The badges are a strictly limited edition of 100 pieces which will not be repeated.  They are supplied  in a splendid blue presentation box, and will come individually numbered.
We look forward to seeing you at the model railway weekend.!

Just a quick tantalising picture!

A sneak glimpse of the replica LBSCR 1st World War Service Badge!
The picture will be getting bigger as we get towards the 24th June!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Soggy 6th June Update!

A bit more news!

We will be launching the LBSCR First World War Service badges on Saturday 24th June, coinciding with the Bluebell Railway Modellers Weekend.   The badges will be available for a cost of £14.50.  They come in a presentation box and are a numbered limited edition of 100.  They have been made as close to the original as possible, using the same vitreous enamelling process as the original badge. However to ensure that they are totally distinguishable from the original they have "Fenchurch Fund Replica" on the reverse, and of course the clasp will be a modern one.

If you would like to secure your badge before the launch I will reserve one for you to either be collected on the day, or after, or indeed I can mail one to you, although the cost of postage will have to be added I am afraid.

We still have plenty of the 75H - Sheffield Park Loco Shed badges available for £5 each these too will be available on our sales and information stands.

Just as a reminder you will be able to fin d us at the following events, both on and off the railway.  We are hoping that we will have a presence at the event in italics, but this depends on being able to find volunteers to run the stand!

June 24/25th - Model Railway Weekend - Sheffield Park
September 23rd/24th - Steam through the Ages - Sheffield Park
September 23rd/24th - Worthing Model Railway Exhibition - Durrington (
October 6th/8th - Deltic Weekend - Sheffield Park
October 14/15th - Shareholders Weekend
November 4/5th - West Sussex N Gauge Model Railway Exhibition - Angmering (The Bluebell Shop will also be attending) (

I will add a restoration update shortly, but rest assured plenty is going on behind the scenes!  We will almost certainly have some big news for you shortly.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Late May update

A Good Start to the Year

We had a good few days at the Flying Scotsman event talking to the visitors and selling the usual quality merchandise.  Our stand was situated in the yard which on one hand was great for showing our visitors what we are up to, but on the other hand we were in direct line of fire for the loco exhaust! We had many visitors who took an interest in our project and quite a few donations.

Following on from this we had a stand at the Branch line weekend (this time on Platform 1!) we again had a good time talking and selling as well as taking donations.  It was great to see both the other two P class locos working for their living pulling trains up and down the line as well as offering brake van rides at Horsted Keynes.

Since Branch line weekend, it has been announced that 323 Bluebell will be travelling to the Severn Valley Railway for their Autumn Gala, and 178 has already departed to York for use on their brake van rides.  A good advertisement for the Bluebell.

We had a slight disappointment at the AGM as we were unable to launch the replica LBSCR 1st World War service badges, unfortunately the production process has taken longer than we had hoped. They will be available soon exclusively from Project 27 for a price of £14-50.  This is a strictly limited edition of 100 pieces and will clearly be marked as a replica on the reverse.

We have also done some physical work on the loco!

Matt has been working away on the wheel sets and has turned his attention to the crank axle.  he has been beavering away at the build up of gunge and cleaned back to bare metal.  He uncovered a makers mark on the axle as seen in the picture.  This shows the axle as being made by Vickers Sons and Maxim.  The material is shown as Cast Steel  made in 1909 for the SE&CR.  there is a works number of 22094 also.

The makers name on the crank axle of SECR No.27
(Pictures by Matt Holloway)
All the gunge cleaned off!
Once the axle was fully cleaned down, a first coat of bondaprimer was added to the non bearing parts to give a good base for future coats of paint.  Being an axle the final colour will be red.  The bright work that can be seen in the picture are bearing surfaces and these have been protected by reapplying denso tape to them.
The crank axle showing freshly painted with Bondaprimer
Also to report is the finished steam reverser direction change over valve cover, in mid bronze green, and the vacuum brake cylinder vacuum discharge and application valve casting. 

In short the valve allows a vacuum to be created in the brake cylinder both sides of the piston. Once a brake application is made, introducing atmospheric pressure to the train pipe and bottom volume of the brake piston, a ball valve inside this casting closes due to a pressure difference.

Freshly painted by Matt!

This isolates the top of the piston of the vacuum brake cylinder leaving it with and almost perfect vacuum (zero pressure!!) and thus the atmospheric pressure acting on the bottom of the piston pushes up with no resistance from the now isolated  top half of the piston and applies the brakes through various levers, rods, stops the engine!

Other Stuff

Dave "The Marrow" Colwell has let me have some photos he took in the late 50s early 60s, amongst which is one of No 27 "Primrose" at the head of a train at Sheffield Park.  It also shows how Sheffield Park has changed in 57 years!
No.27 "Primrose" with the Chesham Set and No.323 Bluebell on the rear (Picture by Dave Colwell)
We are now looking forward to our next event at the "End of Steam" Commemoration.  Hopefully we will be in possession of the War Service Badges by then!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Our next new badge design!

We will shortly be in receipt of the replica LBSCR 1st World War Service badge I have been promising for 3 years!
It is hoped that we will have them in time for the BRPS AGM on the 20th of May, but this cannot be confirmed at the moment.  Each badge will be individually numbered and presented in a collectors box.  The reverse of the badge will bear the legend "Fenchurch Fund Replica" and will have a modern broach fixing.  This is to differentiate these badges from the original ones which are considerably more valuable!

This is a limited edition of 100 pieces and they are sold to raise funds for the Fenchurch Fund, currently financing the restoration of SECR loco No.27 on the Bluebell Railway.

For further details please drop me an E Mail at

Clive D. Emsley
Chairman - The Fenchurch Fund
Project Manager - PROJECT 27
A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society