Stepney - Photo Dave Searle Stepney reveals his face  - Photo: Dave Searle
Both images from the LBSCR Page © Dave Searle

William Stroudley built his first 0-6-0 A1 class of the LBSCR in the gorgeous ochre livery with "improved engine green" lining in 1872; "Stepney" dates from 1875. Some of these, including Stepney (no. 55), were rebuilt in 1912 by Marsh as the A1X. These diminutive engines were known as "Terriers" on account of power for a small size; 12 survived in SR colours and into BR service, on account of their small weight for certain lines. Correspondent David Butchers informs us, "Currently there are 10 Terriers preserved — 2 each on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, Bluebell Railway & the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and one each at the Spa Valley Railway, Bressingham Railway Museum, National Railway Museum and the Canadian Railway Museum."

Stepney runs on the Bluebell Railway, which acquired the loco in 1960. The Bluebell is the oldest standard gauge preserved line in the UK and runs without any diesel traction. The Stepney Club is run for the benefit of the railway's youngest admirers aged 3-8.

The Bluebell still owns the other engines mentioned by the Rev W in his book: The "Adams" 4-4-2 radial tank of the LSWR, the SECR "P" Class 0-6-0 tanks 323 "Bluebell" and 27 "Primrose", and the industrial 0-4-0 "Baxter." All of these are awaiting/undergoing overhaul. The 0-6-0T North London Railway class 75, which the Rev W refers to as "Cromford" from its days on the LNWR, is currently on loan to the Barrow Hill Engine Shed in Chesterfield. However the line now has a bountiful supply of alternative motive power.

The Bluebell Railway locos featured in "Stepney the Bluebell Engine"
Primrose (photo: Michael Taylor, 1969) Captain Baxter
Harry Wainwright's 1910 P Class 0-6-0T No 27 "Primrose" (named 1961-3) in SECR livery. Picture © Michael Taylor 1969
Fletcher Jennings' 1877 0-4-0T "Baxter", formerly "Captain Baxter" in the 1960s, hailing from the Dorking Greystone Lime Works, where it was no. 3.
LSWR "0415" class 4-4-2 radial tank no. 488 Cromford
LSWR "0415" class 4-4-2 radial tank no. 488 designed by W Adams, built 1885. Purchased in 1946 by the SR for use on the branch line from Axminster in Devon to Lyme Regis in Dorset, to cope with extreme curves impassable by more regular designs.
No. 27505, "North London Tank" Class 75 0-6-0T was designed by JC Park and built in 1880. NLR was aquired by the LNWR, which numbered this loco 2650 and worked it on the steep Cromford and High Peak line in Derbyshire.

And to the left, "Like two peas" (Like two Ps! ouch!): No 323 "Bluebell" (named 1961-98) in wartime (WWI) olive green SECR livery.

Once again, don't miss the Bluebell Railway web-site, which is brilliantly written and designed, with fine photos of these and many other locos.

Stepney the Bluebell Engine” was published in 1963.

Fandom Corner:
“A dear, dear friend I met in June 1999”
Michelle and Stepney, June 1999
Photo © Michelle Bennett. Used with permission

Multimedia Corner:
British Pathé newsreel preview clips are now directly viewable via ITN Source
Pathé Clip Title Date Summary
Bluebell Railway 1961-08-14 On a sunny day we take a steam train trip on The Bluebell Railway.

Modeller's Corner:

The Rev W's text about his model in italics below. Model ran on the Ffarquhar Branch

From a transparency taken by WA 1981 on Ffarquhar Mark II. Stepney was built from a K's kit as an Artist's model for Bk 18 "S--- the Bluebell Engine" [1963]. Used as a spare engine MRC/63, but in 64, 65 pulled Enthusiasts Specials in 3rd part of programme. Still active 1989.

The Rev. Awdry's model of Stepney
Dapol made this detailed tool for the A1X and released it in a number of liveries including Stepney above. Image from the LBSCR Page © Dave Searle
Hornby then acquired the tool and also made many versions of the Terrier before finally making it Stepney with a face. Available from
Dapol model of Stepney Hornby model of Stepney available from

Collector's Corner:
Classic ERTL model of Stepney Classic ERTL model of Bluebell
Classic ERTL model of Stepney Classic ERTL model of Bluebell
ERTL(?) detailed model of Bluebell Pictured left: We are led to believe that this detailed model of Bluebell, replete with driver, is of early ERTL origin. Compare it to the confirmed 'ERTL' model of Bluebell pictured above.
LC Wooden Stepney TOMY Stepney from Amazon UK LC take-along Stepney from Amazon UK and US
Learning Curve model of Stepney - now retired TOMY version of Stepney available from Learning Curve take-along version of Stepney available on Amazon UK and US website


---->The Diesel