The Amberley Museum celebrates the return of the Peter steam locomotive

The Amberley Museum in West Sussex plans to celebrate the return of 0-4-0ST to steam Rock during its Gala Weekend on Saturday July 23 and Sunday July 24.

Volunteers are now completing the overhaul of the Bagnall 0-4-0ST Peter locomotive and firm plans are in place for its official return to service during the Museum’s Railway Gala weekend on Saturday 23rd July. The museum is located next to Amberley station near Arundel.

Rock will carry one of the passenger trains all weekend. During Saturday afternoon, a ceremonial banner will be cut.

The locomotive has undergone its 10-year boiler overhaul, which includes the fitting of a new barrel, front tube sheet and new tubes, and a complete re-doweling of the boiler. The regulator and the mechanical parts were also completely overhauled, and it was completely repainted.

RAF Bogie Fauld trainer. Credit: Amberley Museum.

This year, Polar bear, the museum’s Groudle Glen Bagnall locomotive, is nearing the end of its 10-year ticket. The gala will be the last chance for a time to see the two Amberley steam locomotives racing together. Polar bear is very popular with museum visitors, especially younger ones, probably due to its bright yellow paintwork.

During the gala, the museum’s collection of narrow-gauge locomotives will also be in action on passenger trains and industrial demonstration trains. In the railway hall, there will be a model railway exhibition where local modellers and railway traders will demonstrate their model layouts and modeling techniques. There will also be trade stalls selling books, kits and other transportation-related collectibles.

The Museum’s RAF Fauld bogie car also received a lot of attention. This includes new wheelsets funded by the Sussex Industrial Archeology Society (SIAS) and provided by Alan Keef; the cost of exterior painting was included in this work. A plaque acknowledging their help in this project will be unveiled on Saturday by a representative of SIAS.

John Blackwell, president of SIAS, said.

“The car is resplendent and a credit to everyone involved, volunteers and contractors at the Museum. Once back in service, it will allow wheelchair users and other visitors with reduced mobility easier access to the train for a trip on the Museum’s tracks.

Tickets for the gala can be booked online on their website here https://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/whats-on/rail-gala/

The museum is located in the heart of the South Downs National Park and has over 20 exhibition spaces. These cover everything from vintage vehicles and communications to electrical appliances, crafts and nature trails, narrow gauge railway rides and historic buses. The Museum is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. all year round.

Jose P. Rogers