The Bulleid Society started life in 1966 as the Bulleid Pacific Preservation Society set up to save an original light Pacific in fully operational condition. It was hoped to keep the preserved locomotive for haulage of special trains on BR.
The founders of the Society were Hubert Browne and Alan Wilton, a Nine Elms driver. Brian Ventham, who was a fitter at Nine Elms, was invited to join them and committee meetings were held at Brian's house.
|Original appeal forms which were inserted into railway magazines. Clicking on an image will bring up a larger version. They should print out at the appropriate size.|
Originally the two Battle of Britain class pacifics No. 34066, Spitfire and No. 34086, 219 Squadron were considered. However with the end of steam in July 1967, West Country Class Pacifics No. 34023, Blackmore Vale and No. 34102, Lapford were the only unrebuilt Bulleid pacifics remaining in traffic. No. 34023, Blackmore Vale was the locomotive purchased as it was considered to be the most mechanically sound.
The locomotive was transferred to Longmoor, the site of the Longmoor Military Railway and was joined by the newly purchased Bulleid composite coach 5768, but with the closure of Longmoor in 1970, the Society, now called the Bulleid Society Ltd. found a new home at Liss on the short lived Longmoor Steam Railway. Another move occurred in September 1971, when the Longmoor Steam Railway closed, to its present home the Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park, East Sussex.
No. 96, Normandy was purchased by a group of enthusiasts, many of whom were members of the Bulleid Society, and brought to the Bluebell Railway in 1972.