Bluebell launches Phase Two of carriage shed fund appeal


By Colin Tyson

THE Bluebell Railway Trust has announced its second fundraising appeal in relation to the new carriage shed at Horsted Keynes.

The ‘Wall-to-Wall’ appeal is part of a larger project entitled ‘Operation Undercover’ – with the aim of getting the Sussex railway’s unique and renowned collection of heritage rolling stock undercover and no longer left to the elements in various sidings.

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The new extension to the railway’s carriage and wagon works at Horsted Keynes saw its first phase of fundraising provide supports and a roof over the previously open-air maintenance road, site clearance and groundwork for four new rolling stock storage roads – two of which are in place – groundwork, steel frame and a roof over the new storage roads and latterly, the steel frame and roof for the new Heritage Skills Centre.

An artist’s impression of the completed building, with the new two-storey Heritage Skills Centre on the right. MATTHEW COUSINS

The centre structure, when completed, will house workshops for trimming (seating upholstery), varnishing and training in basic skills. It will also provide storage for valuable drawings and offices for carriage and wagon management which are both currently located in temporary portable cabins.

The proposed trim shop perpetuates the carriage upholstery skills passed down from the legacy of two former retired Lancing Works trimmers, the late Bernard Snuggs and Jim Harris, who were Bluebell volunteers that passed their skills on to others, who are now doing likewise.

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