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Saturday 15th February 2020 Bluebell Railway

A subtle mix of light and steam, period loco, train and re-enactors to transport us back to the 1890s

An evocative evening shoot recalling the Victorian railway when passengers of all descriptions jostled on confined platforms, a human cornucopia of light, shadow and steam at the superb Horsted Keynes Station.


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About this event

Let us transport you back to the later Victorian age, so memorably recounted in the famous Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the vivid and often poignant descriptions in the classic novels of Charles Dickens and, in more recent times, the Ripper Street television series. 

A return to the Bluebell Railway's Horstead Keynes Station for a night shoot recreating the sights and the atmosphere of a nineteenth century station environment. 

Our locomotive for the shoot will be the 1896-built South Eastern & Chatham Railway ‘01’ Class 0-6-0 No.65 along with a rake of the Bluebell Railway’s superbly-restored coaching stock. 

The scope and quality of the lighting effects achieved across a whole range of events has been steadily improving and evolving to the point where some truly stunning, atmospheric scenes evocative of times long since passed can be achieved. Tonight, with dramatic use of light and shadow, steam and silhouette, we aim to create scenes reminiscent of a nineteenth century railway station in the 1880s and 1890s. In this respect, Horsted Keynes provides an ideal backdrop for our period recreations, dating as it does from 1882 and having been the ‘on location’ setting for many film and television productions.

We will augment the period elegance of locomotive, stock and station with additional effects created with smoke machines and subtle lighting techniques to reflect the ambiance of the steam era railway station of the late Victorian period. In terms of personnel, we aim to cover the wide cross-section of British society that would have been drawn together by the myriad of different journeys being undertaken for a thousand different reasons, The first and third class, the rich and the less well-to-do, the guards and the porters, the newspaper sellers and the beggars, all forms of life were thrown together as passengers made their way collectively on so many individual journeys.

This is an ambitious and exciting project which will, we hope, set a new level in period recreations. It will be neither cheap to stage nor easy to engineer, requiring many re-enactors to bring our vision to life, but we remain confident of achieving scenes that will engender exciting and evocative images; we hope you will want to join us for the experience, one we feel will be a highlight of the 2020 calendar!

Due to the nature of the event we are limiting numbers to 25 to ease photography but this does mean a slightly higher than normal price.

Images courtesy of TLE Photographers, and are for illustrative purposes only.


Event requirements


  • Spare batteries
  • Camera
  • Lenses
  • Tripod


  • All levels welcome


  • Low

Other essentials

  • High vis jacket
  • Sturdy outdoor shoes
  • Torch
  • Warm clothing
  • Wet weather gear

Event location