Bluebell Railway and Sheffield Park Gardens

We set off for Sheffield Park in sunny weather, me with some trepidation, as we had to use the M25 for a good part of our journey. In the event, Darren, our Superman driver got us there and back, spot on time to the minute. Our timetable was tight as always when we visit two properties. Sheffield Park was glorious, as ever. Jill and myself have visited there many times and it never fails to delight. The lakes looked wonderful, particularly the giant water lilies (!!). Time for a quick taster walk, a cup of coffee and then the 3 minute coach dash over the road to The Bluebell Railway. A terrific bunch of volunteers run the railway and do it with care and an obvious love. Our places were reserved and we boarded for an excellent trip with most of us enjoying a picnic en route. It was good to go back 60 years or more and enjoy the smell of the steam train and even the smuts through open windows as we went through the tunnels. The ticket inspector clipped our group ticket and duly accepted that there were 50 of us on board. The journey to East Grinstead seemed to pass in a few minutes (rather than 50) and it was wonderful to see the beautifully restored station of Horsted Keynes en route. There were also many old steam trains parked along the route. A great nostalgic day out with Sheffield Park as a big bonus.

Roger Smith