The two-day spectacular
doubled as a celebration of the return to service of
the Bluebell's oldest engine, 0-6-0T "Fenchurch" of 1872. Built originally
for the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, Fenchurch was one of
49 similar small tank engines designed by LB&SCR master mechanic William
Stroudley for service on lightly laid branch lines. Because their light
axle loadings allowed them to traverse docks and industrial spurs which
no heavier engine dared attempt, several of these diminutive "Stroudley
Terriers" remained in service after other more modern steam locomotives
had been cut up. Indeed, at the time of her retirement in 1964, "Fenchurch"
herself was the oldest steam engine in service with British Railways.
Here was see "Fenchurch" flanked by a sister Terrier and the
London & North Western/London Midland & Scottish Observation
Car 15843 heading south with the 11:23 from Horstead Keynes.
A Victorian Day Out
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