Four Wheels and More Wheels: A Spectacular Day at Dungeness!

This April, Dungeness was buzzing more than usual with an exciting blend of horsepower and steam power as we celebrated National Drive-It Day 2024 in style! The legendary Bexhill 100 Motoring Club revved their engines and made their way down to the Marsh, where we, together with the ever-enthusiastic Clare and Geoffrey Stoddart from RH&DR, had cooked up a thrilling welcome bash.  National Drive-It Day was created by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs in 2005.  It is the occasion when historic vehicle enthusiasts and the public at large have the opportunity to celebrate the One Thousand Mile Trial organised in 1900 to prove the viability of the new invention, the motor vehicle. It’s also a chance to raise awareness and support amongst the public for the historic vehicle movement and keeping transport heritage on UK roads. 

The day was a fantastic fusion of classic cars and locos. Thanks to our collaboration, visitors were treated to a locomotive spectacle with a different engine on display every hour at Dungeness station. But that’s not all—the Romney Marsh Model Engineering Society wowed everyone with a special display with 3 ½ inch gauge “Spitfire” built by GW Smith in 1934 on the platform in steam, and the array of classic cars parked shimmering under the sun added to the festival vibes.

In a nod to our guests, Steve Town crafted a unique headboard to welcome the drivers, which became a piece of memorabilia later auctioned off to boost our fundraising efforts for the “Typhoon” overhaul project on JustGiving.

Bexhill-on-Sea’s motoring heritage is nothing short of legendary. Back in May 1902, it was the scene of Great Britain’s first motor races along the seafront—a spectacular event that saw vehicles zooming at unprecedented speeds and included notable figures like Lord Northcliffe and Monsieur Leon Serpollet. Though plans for a permanent race circuit by the sea never materialized, and subsequently moved to Brooklands, the spirit of those early days of motor racing lives on through the Bexhill 100 Motoring Club, established in 1999 to celebrate this rich history and cater to the passions of motoring enthusiasts.

The day was not just about engines and speed; it was a perfect opportunity to mingle, share stories, and unite two communities with a love for all things driven by wheels—whether fuelled by steam or petrol. The event was a roaring success, reminding us of the seamless blend between heritage railways and classic cars, each with their own unique allure but together providing an unforgettable experience.

For more on this spectacular day and the motoring legends that graced it check out this review

Supporters’ Association Celebrates Successful Launch Day Welcoming Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Loco No 9 “Winston Churchill” Back from Overhaul

The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway Supporters’ Association (RH&DRSA) proudly hosted the triumphant return of Locomotive No 9 “Winston Churchill” following an extensive in-house overhaul.

No. 9 was originally ordered from, and started by, Davey Paxman (who built original locos for the RH&DR). Building then continued at New Romney using boilers from Krauss in Munich designed from drawings originated by Greenly, completed by A.L.S Richardson and based on Canadian Pacific practice. In the end the Yorkshire Engine Company of Meadowhall, Sheffield finished the job and delivered to the railway (along with No.10) in 1931. Founder of the Railway, Captain Howey, was a fan of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and loco No 9 came complete with a very “American” Vanderbilt tender and was originally named “Dr Syn”. The loco was re-named “Winston Churchill” in 1948. Whilst it is famously known for its red livery, No 9 had a short stint painted black in 1962.

Not unaccustomed to an in-house service, No 9 underwent a major overhaul at the RH&DR in 2013 and went back in our workshop in 2022 again for its next round in the capable hands of Martin Blackwell and his team.

The launch day event, held on Sunday 17th March captivated enthusiasts and the local community, marking a momentous occasion, seeing this magnificent loco back on the Marsh.

Amidst an atmosphere buzzing with excitement, “Winston Churchill” made its grand return, greeted by throngs of eager spectators. The event, meticulously organised by RH&DRSA, saw the successful culmination of months of hard work and dedication. Highlighting the day’s festivities was the exclusive first passenger trip, where 120 passengers revelled in the nostalgia of the returning loco, while enjoying panoramic views of the Romney Marsh. Additionally, ticket holders were treated to an insider’s glimpse of the new locomotive shed, showcasing the excellent project delivered by RH&DR Engineering team and led by Richard Featherstone. Richard was on the regulator for this special day, just as his father did before him many years ago.

Among the day’s highlights was the participation of young members who enthusiastically polished Loco No. 4 “The Bug,” a firm favourite among our younger railfans. Their involvement underscored the intergenerational appeal and community spirit being fostered by the RH&DRSA.

“We are thrilled to witness the resplendent return of Loco No 9 “Winston Churchill” and the overwhelming support from the Supporters’ Association,” remarked Danny Martin, General Manager of the RH&DR, “The full Special Train and the enthusiasm of our young members truly exemplify the enduring legacy of our railway heritage.”

Chair of RH&DRSA, Pat Newsome, said “the Supporters’ Association is going from strength to strength, and we have used today’s event to ramp up our fundraising efforts for the next loco in Overhaul, No. 7 “Typhoon”. The success of the launch day celebration reaffirms the significance of protecting and preserving the rich history and tradition of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway for generations to come.

Donations are open for the Overhaul of No.7 Typhoon at


December 2023

1st Andy Coward

2nd Pete Bishop

3rd Anon

January 2024

1st Lynn Rossiter

2nd David Gilliver

3rd Andy Coward

February 2024

1st Graham Mallaband

2nd Heather Bateman

3rd John Weaver

If you have not yet joined the 200 Club and want to support the Association – and have the opportunity to win a prize – then please just click the link

Many thanks to all those who support the Association!