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Awards and Loans

The Trust offers financial assistance to individuals or groups to carry through restoration or improvement projects to completion. The Trust also invites enquiries about sponsoring one or more Awards.



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Derek Osborne


Derek Osborne rerired as signalman on the Bluebell Railway for the second time in 2015 after 30 years as a volunteer. A regular face as signalman at Horsted Keynes Signal Box on a Wednesday, his links with Horsted Keynes go back further than the Bluebell Railway. 

derek osborne hrh laa2016His mainline career began 58 years ago when he joined the Southern Region of British Railways in 1958 and assumed signalman duties at Horsted Keynes. This was just after the routes to Sheffield Park and East Grinstead had closed for the second time. The electrified branch to Haywards Heath via Ardingly was, however, still open for passenger services. 

Derek remained a signalman at Horsted Keynes for more than three years, and in that time he witnessed the emergence of the embryonic Bluebell Railway and its commencement of operations between Sheffield Park and Bluebell Halt just south of Horsted Keynes. 

As part of his duties, Derek was advised to ensure that the over-enthusiastic volunteers at the Railway did not encroach north of their agreed territory at Bluebell Halt.  In the early 60s Derek moved from Horsted Keynes to Kemp Town Junction Box and then on to Preston Park, both in the Brighton area. His career with BR continued up to the early 90s when retired just before BR's privatisation. 

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award derek osborne Horsted Keyes2016 Lifetime Achievement Award derek osborne HorstedHis links with Horsted Keynes and the Bluebell Railway had already been forged, and as a volunteer he once again became signalman at his "home box", an affiliation which was to last around 30 years. 




The National Transport Trust makes loans to groups, associations and individuals at advantageous rates for the restoration of artefacts - whether mobile or part of the infrastructure.  Applications must be supported by a simple business plan which demonstrates the financial viability of the project. A sample business plan is available on request from the Treasurer.


The Trust does occasionaly make Awards for schemes which further the preservation movement. Again if you wish further information please contact the Treasurer.


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National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR