The Bluebell Railway, the Bulleid Society and the Bluebell Railway Battle of Britain Locomotive Group are helping to fund the cost of the firebox repairs to return No. 34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair to steam. As part of the Reed Foundation’s ‘Big Give’ Christmas challenge, any donation made between 6th – 19th December 2012 will be matched pound for pound by a combination of the railway’s major supporters and the Big Give’s sponsors funds.
The Society advises that “ 34059 was withdrawn from service some weeks ago because of a stay leaking badly and the surrounding platework showing signs of star-fracturing, and a crack in the uppermost part of the right thermic siphon. Investigation of the thermic siphon crack was inconclusive, after grinding out the suspected location and die-penning, and use of the camera on a stick did not show anything useful (mainly because the inside is covered with scale). It would have been possible to do quick-fixes to both of these problems, but it would be likely that further similar failure would occur soon. So with this in mind the rear parts of the tops of both thermic siphons were cut out, which revealed multiple fractures in the right side showing the material is life-expired. The holes thus made allow a better view inside, and as a result of this it is now obvious that significant replacement of old platework is required in order to obtain reliable service.”
If you are eligible for gift Aid, this will turn a £10 donation into £22.50 for Sir Archibald. The agreed target with the fund is to raise a maximum of £30,000 in online donations over the 13 days, with the matching funding will give a total of £60,000 plus Gift Aid on eligible donations.
The matching funds are not released all at once but over the first three days, so it is vital to get in early before the funds run out. In the unlikely event that every project is as successful as last year, there may be insufficient funds for every project, so please try to make your donation early on the 6, 7 or 8 Dec.