Vintage bus day at the Bluebell

Getting to the Bluebell Railway by public transport is problematic, so I look forward to the vintage bus days, when I can get a free ride from St Peter's church right to Sheffield Park. This time I was joined by Peter Chrisp, Lisa Wolfe and Susan Sainsbury. So, we waited at St Peter's and along came a cream and green Southdown single decker.

Southdown bus

I wasn't holding out much hope for interesting locos - the roster said it would be guest Black 5 No. 45231 The Sherwood Forester plus the South Eastern & Chatham Railway No. 263 and SECR Wainwright goods No. 592, but arriving at Sheffield Park, we were delighted to see that the mighty 9F 92212 from the Watercress Line was in steam. I took a photo of Peter with 263, which was hauling the Golden Arrow dining train, and he waxed lyrically about poppet valves and compound locos, inspired by Flann O'Brien.

  263 pulls the diners

So, after a pint of Harvey's in the buffet and a look round the sheds, we crossed the footbridge and boarded the train to East Grinstead. The rolling stock on the Bluebell is always perfectly matched with lovely upholstery. The trip there and back was very pleasant, tho we saw little wildlife apart from pheasants, and we caught a glimpse of the Black 5 (which are common as muck Up North) at Horsted Keynes. Back at Sheffield Park we waited in the bus park until a rather boring and bumpy green single decker started up to take us back to Brighton - to await the great storm.

  The mighty 9F

The boring green bus that took us home can be seen the other side of the fence in this photo of a rather splendid Eastbourne bus:

Eastbourne bus

Previous trips to the Bluebell:

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