The old way of hauling timber has a number of advantages, used here so there was minimal disturbance to the ground. The wood floor is covered in bluebells in April. Here the volunteers team are using a timber tractor, tackle and block to work amongst the trees and to haul timber between them. Finally the timber is loaded onto a pole trailer.
As a volunteer for The Claude Jessett trust I attended the Volunteers experience day on Saturday April 22nd. The idea of this day is to give volunteers a chance to experience driving or operating as many items in the collection as possible as well as a chance to socialise with other volunteers who may not be able to attend the regular volunteer evenings or weekends. As a volunteer you get the chance to work on any number of on-going projects. You may change your project as time goes on or you may stick to one particular area of interest, traction engines, tractors or railways for instance. The Volunteer experience day gives you the chance to see the overall picture of what is currently being worked on, as well as items in the collection that have already been restored but that you may not have had the chance to get acquainted with.
Over the Easter weekend the Bluebell Railway was host to a particularly famous locomotive, Number 4472 ‘Flying Scotsman’. Appearing in its BR guise and numbered 60103 the Bluebell advertised the event under the title “Flying Scotsman Flying South”. The Claude Jessett Trust was approached by the railway to provide two steam road engines to form part of the display in the loco’ yard at Sheffield Park. They particularly wanted a showmans engine so the 1913 Aveling and Porter ‘Southern Queen’ converted by Claude Jessett and Owen Mitchell in the 1960’s fitted the bill and it was backed up by the Tasker roller ‘Little Giant’ originally built as a light haulage tractor in 1909 and shown as such at the Royal show at Gloucester in that year although later converted to a steam roller.
CAP 229, RF & RTSince the Claude Jessett trust was formed in 2003 several important new items have been added to the collection based at Tinkers Park these include two double deck buses which, like other vehicles in the collection, are often shown off to the public as working examples of our transport heritage. The buses are an ex London Transport RT double decker ( The original big red bus as seen in the film Summer Holiday starring Cliffe Richard) and an ex Brighton Hove and District Bristol K type convertible open topper dating from 1940. This was the archetypal seaside bus and used to run a regular Service along the seafront from Rottingdean, through Brighton and on to Hove. Both vehicles were donated to the trust by their previous owners who wanted to see them go to a good home where they would be enjoyed by enthusiasts and the general public.