Our first visit to the Bluebell Railway was on Friday 13th May. Unluckily, it was a dreech (wet, miserable) day, a trip on a steam train was thoroughly unappealing. As a result, we found ourselves wandering around the shopping Mecca that Brighton isn’t (my wife can find shops anywhere, thankfully the rain slows her down!) I’m sure Brighton has its attractions and it’s probably a lovely place to visit when the weather is good. But, since the weather wasn’t nice, I didn’t think much of the fact we were out and about in a wet town that was unknown to me. Why couldn’t we just go to the pub, at least until the weather cleared? It was a Pizza Hut lunch, carefully discovered by my wife, despite my attempts to thwart her finding it…sometimes the stomach can be a marvelous motivator when it comes to walking long distances! C’est la vie!
Anyway, we returned to the Bluebell Railway on Sunday 15th May to find a re-enactment of our boys returning from The Second World War. The sun was shining, the jazz band were playing period tunes at just the right volume and all around us were guests wearing period outfits. The military, of course, took full control of the situation, ration books were issued, travel tickets and particulars were checked. We, the general public, became immersed in a drama that took us back to 1945, we became actors, we (all) helped make the day. Except for those of us with digital cameras…we took our 21st century technology back in time to capture the moment. The re-enactment made the day.
The Bluebell Railway offers you the chance to ride on authentic steam trains running on a timetabled schedule. Departing from Sheffield Park, briefly stopping at Horsted Keynes before terminating at Kingscote. There are some good pictures here.
The Bluebell Railway is definitely worth visiting if you are looking for something to do whilst here. I can strongly recommend visiting during a re-enactment…check their web-site for more details. Further information can be found here.
Actually, thinking back to the day itself, there was one thing missing: beer. I couldn’t find beer anywhere!
Here are a few photographs, trimmed for posting here…it seems that even text messaging was popular back then, as one of the photographs below demonstrates!
There are more photographs of the Bluebell Railway here.
Michael Taylor has some great pictures over here.