Thursday, 8 September 2016

A few pictures from today

A quick picture round up from a short visit to the Park today

(All pictures by Clive Emsley)
Three of the four footstep waiting to be stripped, cleaned and painted
The footsteps are all inside the Villa and are in generally good condition.  Three are waiting to be stripped of paint and corrosion prior to being given a coat of rust inhibiting primer. the fourth one is in the painting area.
Right side front footstep undergoing painting
Also to be seen inside the Villa are the Guard Irons, which were given a coat of filling primer to restore a smooth appearance.
The guard irons which have been prepared for painting by Jim Turtle
The original pitted surface has been improved greatly by applying a couple of coats of filling primer  and rubbing down between them.  This fills the imperfections and pitting on the metal, leading to a smooth top coat of paint (a few weeks away!).

From the buffer bean, the hook used to stow the coupling when not in use
Even small items like the hook in the picture above need to be thoroughly cleaned and painted. This is one of the hooks used to stow the screw coupling when it is not being used. it will be repainted in Red where it is located on the buffer beam and black elsewhere.

The round piece of metal has been prepared to fit in the frames
The repair to the Right side frames will be carried out shortly by welding the round plug into the hole previously cut out of the frames.  this is situated just behind the middle axle. once this is done, the shallow weld on the left side can be attended to.

The anatomy of an SECR Bottle Buffer
One of the spare bottle buffers has been stripped down and is currently being surveyed by Matt Holloway with a view to creating a set for 27.  From the measurements and pictures a asset of 3D drawings will be produced with a view to having a set made. The buffers that the loco arrived on the railway with in 1961 were SR standard buffers, which in all honesty are too strong for such a small loco. In a way it is a pity that they were changed at Ashford just before delivery to the Bluebell as the loco up to that point had always (except for a short time on the SW division) carried the SECR buffers!  It will be good to be able to return the correct pattern ones to the loco.  The body is cast whilst the shaft and head are forged in one piece.  This may be a challenge to reproduce, but we aim to succeed!

Thanks for your continued interest and with your support we will get the loco working as soon as humanly possible.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

End of August Progress Report

So, what has been happening whilst I have been on Holiday?

The following is a short report based on information and pictures from Matt Holloway and describes what he has been involved in over the last couple of weeks.  Hopefully following the weekend we can add re[ports of more activities that have taken place.

Firstly We would like to welcome our newest recruit to the restoration team, Bluebell Railway Fireman Reuben Smith.  We do hope that he will enjoy his time working on the loco.

The good news is that we believe that the loco has been stripped down as much as it will be (apart from cutting out the rot at the rear of the frames).  So all news from now should concern putting things back on the frames!

The Last Bits! (all pictures by Matt Holloway)
The picture above shows the last pieces of footplating to be removed from the loco frames ready to be restored.  These appear to be in relatively good condition, so it should "just" be a matter of cleaning up the 106 year old steel!  

The brackets previously hidden by the footplating
The removal of the last pieces of footplating has allowed the inspection of the brackets below.  These are in generally good condition with minor to medium corrosion on the faces.  These will be thoroughly cleaned and painted to protect them from the elements.  It is expected that this should have been started by the time you read this!

The original cylinder block under plate
The last picture shows the original 1910 made Cylinder Block Under Plate degreased and cleaned by our new best chum Reuben Smith, and a fine job he has made of it!  This will be given a coat of protective paint and set aside either for restoration or to be used as a template for a new piece.  We would hope that the item would be suitable for another 106 years of service, but an assessment will need to be made.

Cylinder Fund

We are still busy raising the required funds to be able to order a set of cylinders for 27 and are busy exploring many avenues for this.  If you (or any of your friends) happen to win the lottery this weekend, we will be pleased to hear from you!

Sales and Information Stand

We will be attending the Worthing Model Railway Club's Annual exhibition on Saturday 24th September 2016 and Sunday 25th September 2016.  This is to be held at Durrington High School, The Boulevard, Worthing West Sussex BN13 1LA. 

There are expected to be 13 layouts plus traders in attendance over the weekend so promises to be a good show.

For further information about the show please take a look at their web site at

We look forward to meeting friends old and new there.

We are also looking forward to our last major sales and information stand during the Giants of Steam weekend in October.  More details to follow later, but we hope to be able to let you see the progress on the loco over the weekend.


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Trip to the Carriage Sheds

On Sunday afternoon, a couple of us went for a trip around the carriage sheds expertly guided by Dave Clarke.  We say the progress on quite a few carriages including a couple that could be in the consist for the inaugural train for 27 as well as the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the terriers.  A very interesting tour, and if ever you get the opportunity do it, it is worthwhile!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Vintage Transport Weekend and work on the restoration

This weekends activities

We had a successful information and sales stand at the Bluebell Railway Vintage Transport Weekend. Based in the show field at Horsted Keynes we had plenty of passing trade and some long and in depth conversations with people who came as visitors and left as supporters. There was -plenty to see, even a car to exactly the same specification I once owned, a Vauxhall Victor 101 in two tone green!
Vauxhall Victor 101 (all pictures by Clive Emsley)
We had the cylinder models on display for people to inspect and comment on, together with a sales stand and donation pot, which was well fed by the end of the weekend!

Restoration activities

Following the removal of the side valances from the locomotive, it is now possible to easily see the condition of the rear portion of the frames. especially the top edge which looks like a set of waves on a choppy sea!

The joint between the rear buffer beam and frames showing the erosion to the frames especially at the top
The rust on this section is loose and some can be lifted off by hand, so it is very much in need of replacement.  This repair will be done in the not too distant future.  We will then be in the stage of putting the loco back together!

The right hand side frame following removal of the side valance
The removal of the side valances show that there are no major issues with the brackets that support the footplating and tanks  the frames apart from the rear section are also in reasonably good condition.

The Left hand frame following the removal of the side valance
Other works continued over the weekend and the jobs done included preparation for the weld repair on the right hand frame by Ian Collins.  This has involved placing a support beam between the frames to assist in keeping the frames square and arresting any twist during the welding operations.  This can be seen in the picture below.  The hole into which the pre shaped patch will be welded has also been cleaned up ready for the repair to take place shortly.
The hole ready to accept the repair piece also showing the frame spacing strut
Jim Turtle was busy on Sunday preparing a pair of guard irons for final painting.  This involved the application of filling primer followed by a lot of hard work to rub this down to get a smooth finish on them.  due to the shape and curvature of the irons, the rubbing down needs to be done by hand.  This certainly is hard work and can be fairly dusty too!
Jim Turtle rubbing down the filling primer on one of the guard irons
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
Or 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.

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Friday, 12 August 2016

A few dates for your diary

Some forthcoming dates

We will be attending the Bluebell Railway Vintage Weekend this weekend which only leaves 3 more events until the end of the year!   where has the time gone?

August 13th/14th
Bluebell Railway Horsted Keynes
Vintage Transport Weekend
Sales – Information

September 24th/25th
Durrington High School
Worthing Model Railway Club Annual Exhibition
Sales – Information – Display of models
October 29th/30th
Bluebell Railway Sheffield Park
Giants of Steam weekend
100th anniversary of the repatriation of 27 and 753 from Boulogne
Sales – Information – Display – Viewing of restoration

We would be pleased to offer talks on the life and restoration of the loco to groups who may be interested and we would also welcome invitations to put on a display at exhibitions. So far next year we are reasonably free!

If you would like a talk or a display at an exhibition please, in the first instance, E Mail and we will be pleased to respond.

Thank you

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
Or 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.
Also now on Facebook

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A busy weekend for Matt and Ben

Yet more stripping of the frames!

After much drilling and gas cutting the side valances are ready for removal (all pictures Matt Holloway)
Another weekend of drilling and gas cutting took place this week.  Matt was ably assisted by Ben during the weekend.  The side valances and footsteps have now been removed and set aside to be used as patterns for new parts to be made.

The countersunk holes in the footplating following removal of the rivets

The holes that were exposed following the removal of the rivets show the shape they should be!

The Right Hand side valance removed using the fork lift.
The two side valances were removed in quick succession using the fork lift to support and then lift them away from the frames following the removal of the temporary bolts.

The second (LH side) valance was removed shortly after the first
With the removal of the valances it is possible to get a better view of the severely corroded rear end of the frames

Once the valances were removed, it was easier to see the corrosion at the rear of the frames and the amount that will need to be removed and replaced with new material.

The two side valances on a small trolley prior to being stowed before use as a pattern for new parts
The corrosion on the inside faces of the valance is evident in this picture

This end of the vallance is quite evidently totally life expired!

The work continues, but it is only possible due to the volunteering of enthusiastic and skilled engineers and with support from donations and other income raised by the project.

If you would like to help in our aim of having this loco working in 2019 please make a donation to our funds. 

We can receive donations via a number of means including via the Bluebell Railway Trust, using one our forms. These can be obtained by e mailing us at  or seeing us on one of our information stands.

We can take cash or cheque donations (with or without gift aid)  Or you can donate via our just giving page or by text giving.

Or 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.

Please keep popping back for updates which are made on a fairly frequent basis.

Thank you for your support

Clive D. Emsley

Monday, 8 August 2016

VIntage Transport Weekend

Sales and Information stand next weekend

We will be attending the Bluebell Railway Vintage Weekend on Saturday and Sunday coming.
The scale models of the cylinders will be on show together with the drawings they were constructed from.  The 7mm scale model of the loco will also be on display.  There will be plenty of information and please ask if the information you require is not on the display, if we don't know directly we will find out for you.

We will be selling tee shirts, sweat shirts and baseball caps with the P27 logo on.  There will be a selection of  pickles and preserves for sale along with other goodies.  Hopefully we will also be able to offer some "free range" vegetables too!

Unfortunately Stuart (our Project Engineer) has been out of action with a cricket injury recently, but Matt Holloway has carried on regardless and is busy beavering away on the loco.

We are also attending the Worthing Model Railway Exhibition in September with the information and sales stand and a display of relevent models.  I will post more details nearer the time.

Hopefully we will see many of you at the weekend.