Image from the Fenchurch animation created by Max Davies for Bluebell Railway.
Submitted for publication by The Bluebell Railway
The Bluebell Railway in Sussex is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its No. 72 Fenchurch ‘Terrier’ class locomotive, with events scheduled for July 29-31.
The heritage line that runs from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead kicks off the events with a special anniversary party, celebrating the history of transport over the past 150 years. This will include all manner of vintage air, sea, land and rail transport, as well as special guest locomotives.
The family-friendly event will include STEM workshops, children’s authors, and other science, technology, engineering, and math-based activities, as well as the story of transportation trails for kids.
Little Bluebell engines, like Stepney and Fenchurch, have great appeal for
youth. The iconic ‘Terrier’ Stepney locomotive is already on display in the
SteamWorks exhibition at Sheffield Park Station where visitors can ride the historic small engine platform. Now the Sussex Heritage Railway is eagerly awaiting Fenchurch to roll again in 2022.
Geoff Mee, Chairman of Bluebell Railway PLC, said: “We are so excited about the redesign of Fenchurch and that we will be able to see it running again on the Bluebell Railway line, and given that the locomotive is now in its 150th year , it’s incredible. .
“The engineers in our workshops are doing a wonderful job. That’s the difference between heritage railways and other museums, they are living museums, where heritage skills are preserved, and visitors can interact with their history and live truly the age of steam.”
Known for its distinctive “bark” when racing, this class of engine is aptly named the “Terrier” class. As part of the event, the Bluebell Railway welcomes all dogs and hosts a fun dog show for terriers, non-terriers and dress-up terriers.
During the event, two other “Terrier” locomotives will visit the Bluebell Railway. Poplar of the Kent and East Sussex Railway and Newport of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
Steve Backhouse, Managing Director of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, said: ‘We are delighted that W11 Newport is heading to our friends at the Bluebell Railway to help celebrate Fenchurch’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Our “Terrier” locomotives have a popular following, and I’m sure many supporters will be delighted to see it in action on the Continent.
For more information and to book tickets, visit https://www.bluebell-railway.com/terrier-150/