The Bluebell Railway will eventually stretch all the way to East Grinstead. Photo: Chris Majer, courtesy The Bluebell Railway
The Bluebell Railway in East Sussex is celebrating after receiving its largest donation ever, of £150,000. And it was handed over in real style, at a celebrity gala put on by the L Ron Hubbard Foundation of Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead.
Hollywood actress Kelly Preston (wife of John Travolta) handed over the cheque to Roy Watts, Chairman of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, and Graham Flight, Chairman of Bluebell Railway PLC on October 28 2007.
The Foundation holds a gala every year in aid of a charity, and it was appropriate that it should this year choose its neighbour the Bluebell Railway, which is on a quest to reach East Grinstead.
The contracts for the purchase of the line have been signed, and now all that remains is to remove the council tip that still sits between Kingscote, the northernmost station on the Bluebell Railway at this time, and East Grinstead.
“The final phase of construction to East Grinstead is likely to be around some £4.5m pounds,” said Mr Watts, “so this very welcome, exceptionally large donation has been gratefully received to kick start the fund raising initiative.”
The heritage railway line hopes to continue to have good relations with the Foundation.