Spanning almost twenty years of Bluebell history, this film begins with a well attended open day at the railway - featuring a variety of locos at work, speeches and a replica of Stephenson's 'Rocket' taking centre stage. We also see volunteers attending to track maintenance and a tamping machine at work. A pair of steam survivors rescued from Barry scrapyard make their way on low-loaders along the M4, through tight turns in small towns to end at the Sheffield Park workshops.
This film shows a wide variety of resident and visiting motive power at work on the Bluebell Railway. Some of the locomotives, like the replica Stephenson's 'Rocket', were loaned by the National Railway Museum while others are part of the Bluebell's collection. The film also records the journey of two locomotives, BR Standard Class 4 tank 80100 and an ex-Southern Railway S15, 30847, purchased by the Bluebell, making their way gingerly by low-loader from Barry in South Wales to the railway's workshops at Sheffield Park. The former is still awaiting restoration while the latter is currently operational. Kingscote was finally reached in 1994 and in 2013 the line's extension to East Grinstead was completed.
Screen Archive South East is a public sector moving image archive serving the South East of England. The archive's collections of magic lantern slides, films, videos and associated materials capture the many varied aspects of life, work and creativity from the early days of screen history to the present day and serve as a rich and invaluable historical resource.