The Fenchurch Fund is part of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society. We were originally formed as the Chip Wood Fund as a memorial to a young Bluebell Railway locoman (Matthew Wood) who died in 1991 at the age of 24. The fund was used at that time to help restore his favourite locomotive LBSCR No.72 Fenchurch. To facilitate this, we became the Fenchurch Wheel Appeal, later becoming the Fenchurch Fund. We raised enough money to help with casting a new set of driving wheels to replace a cracked wheel and provided funding for much more work to be carried out.
Having raised the money and seen the loco return to traffic in 2001 we decided to get SECR locomotive No.27, a First World War veteran which worked in France on dock shunting in Boulogne, working again. For more than ten years now, we have been raising funds to restore the loco to as original condition as possible.
This work includes a new boiler and riveted smoke box, at least one new riveted tank, a complete mechanical overhaul and wheel turning. There is also plenty of plate work which needs replacing, such as the cab sheeting and bunker.
This is why we are now launching the Project 27 Appeal. We have already managed to raise over £10,000 towards the restoration of the loco to working order, but we now need to raise in the region of £90,000 more for a complete overhaul. For further information see the locomotive’s web page.
The funds raised through the Project 27 Appeal, as the part of the Bluebell Railway's “Fenchurch Fund", will be held for the project by the Bluebell Railway Trust. The appeal web page shows other ways you can donate. US donors may be able to take advantage of our 510(C)(3) affiliation with The American Fund for Charities.
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