Thursday 26th July found our Beckenham Lunch Club members on another trip. This time, heading off to The Bluebell Railway for a nostalgic look back to when steam trains gently rolled through the countryside.
Once again, Steven planned and executed all the arrangements and David Nelson gave up his time to drive the minibus (not too much of a hardship, due to his love for steam trains!). Some members made their own way to Sheffield Park Station, where we started the journey which took us through Horsted Keynes and Kingcote Stations until arriving at East Grinstead where we all stretched our legs before returning To Sheffield Park. All the railway staff are volunteers who couldn’t do enough to help us and were friendly and courteous. We had our very own volunteer, Maria, who helped keep everyone together and assisted with anything needed.
The Bluebell Railway was one of the first preserved heritage lines in the country resulting in one of the finest collections of vintage steam locomotives and carriages many of which were preserved straight out of service from British Railways.
The Bluebell Railway started train services in August 1960 and now runs trains on a 22 mile return trip between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead, recreating trains from the 1880’s through to the 1960’s. The Railway is popular with film and television productions, especially Horsted Keynes, which has been seen regularly on television and in films, including Downton Abbey, Muppets Most Wanted movie and Churchill’s Secret.
Once back to Sheffield Park Station, we stayed for a spot of lunch in the restaurant and hid from the searing heatwave. After many an ice cream, it was time to come back to 2018 and travel homeward.
Another trip where everyone could chatter together, feel part of a club and be with friends.