Bluebell Railway shortlisted for two prestigious heritage railway awards 

The Bluebell Railway’s marketing and communications efforts during the Covid lockdown have been recognised by the wider heritage railway industry.

The line’s lockdown newsletter and reopening marketing video have been shortlisted by the Heritage Railway Association in its annual awards.

Volunteers at the Bluebell Railway, based at Sheffield Park in East Sussex, started a new newsletter called ‘The Bluebell Times’ to keep staff, volunteers, members, friends and supporters informed and engaged when it closed for the first time in March. The publication was produced fortnightly for the five months the railway was shut until August and has become a monthly free newsletter since then.

‘The Bluebell Times’ has been shortlisted in the communications category of the awards run by the Heritage Railway Association which represents all preserved lines and organisations across the country.

Actor Martin Clunes, best known for TV series Doc Martin, narrated a special video filmed and produced by the Bluebell Railway’s marketing team to show the measures which had been put in place to ensure it was Covid-safe to allow it to reopen in August.

The actor had previously visited the Bluebell Railway for filming in 2014 and provided the commentary for the video called ‘Steam Returns to Bluebell Railway’.

The video is on the shortlist for the award for the most innovative fundraising project or scheme during the Covid crisis.

Bluebell Railway chairman Chris Hunford said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for these two prestigious awards. It recognises the significant work and dedication by the staff of the Bluebell Railway during what has been a difficult year.”

The awards ceremony is due to be held next spring.


All copies of ‘The Bluebell Times’ are available for downloading at:


The ‘Steam Returns to Bluebell Railway’ video can be viewed at:


Author: fiona bewers
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