As part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations, 30777 Sir Lamiel visited for a spell during the Autumn, including staring in the Giants of Steam event. I captured Sir Lamiel during her visit on a running day with the E4 and Standard 4MT also in operation.
The Bluebell Railway reopened on 7th August 1960, when Terrier 55 Stepney and P Class 323 Bluebell ran from Sheffield Park to Bluebell Halt (just outside of Horsted Keynes). 50 years later a celebration was held on the Bluebell Railway, with Stepney, carrying her 1960 lined black, the star of the show recreating the original passenger trains. 323 was still under overhaul at the time of the gala, leaving Terrier Fenchurch to take her place on re-runs of the original trains. The three day events saw an intensive timetable with attractions up and down the line including Baxter shunting at Horsted Keynes, Blue Circle visiting and operating brake van rides on the Ardingly spur, a 15inch gauge Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway locomotive on a short demonstration line at Horsted Keynes, Furness 20 operating shuttles from Kingscote to Imberhorne cutting and locomotives usually kept undercover at Sheffield Park displayed in the sunshine at Horsted Keynes.
The first big event of the 50th Anniversary year was the Branch Line Weekend. The event saw Fairburn Tank 42085 on a rear visit away from the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, joined by Standard 2mt 78019 from the Great Central Railway. A busy timetable ran through the weekend with an intensive passenger service and brake van rides at Horsted Keynes. P Class 178 "Nettle" was in light steam at Sheffield Park, fresh from overhaul.
In 1960 steam, still remained supreme on the main line, but many back waters had already closed even before Doctor Beeching's cuts. Enthusiasts and locals fought for the railway and in 1960 the line from Sheffield Park to just outside of Horsted Keynes reopened.