16.11.09

Bluebell vintage bus day


Air raids
Originally uploaded by fred pipes
After the storms and gales of Saturday, the weather for the Sunday vintage bus day at the Bluebell Railway was actually quite clement. I boarded a splendid but quite modern Southdown bus at St Peters again, but this time it was quite full. At Sheffield Park the nice ancient Metropolitan Railway set of carriages was about to leave, pulled by SE&CR Wainwright goods, No. 592 with its big brass dome, so I jumped aboard one of the crowded non-corridor compartments, where I took a photo of the Air Raid Warning Instruction card above the lovely art deco upholstery.

We had to wait for the Golden Arrow to pull in so we could use the single track and apparently there had been some electrical fault at Kingscote, so everything was running 20 minutes late. Eventually, in came the posh Pullman carriages full of posh diners, but the train was being pulled by a boring BR black Standard Tank, no. 80151! And I think I'd have been very disappointed had I shelled out for a luxury meal and been on that train - still it could have been worse, it could have been a diesel!

At Horsted Keynes I spotted rebuilt SR Bulleid Battle of Britain class, no. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair on the other platform. Now that's what should have been hauling the Golden Arrow, but their loss was my gain, as I changed horses mid-stream to return to Sheffield Park pulled by the pacific. There I had time to look round the sheds, then it was off on a round trip of the entire line. Bought a bottle of BSB (Bluebell Special Bitter) in the Buffet Car, and sat back to watch the agitated bunnies, sheep and pheasants in the field by the side of the line. On the way back it was getting dark, and that's no fun for a train-spotter! I caught the last bus back (a single deck Statford Blue) and cycled home for another beer.

Previous visits to the Bluebell:
Southdown buses
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