Last Blast Appeal

Steams Last Blast appeal

The Bahamas Locomotive Society (BLS) bought 45596 Bahamas in 1967, following its withdrawal from service at Stockport Edgeley Motive Power Depot.  Since then the locomotive has been three overhaul.  The first was by the Hunslet Engine Company in Leeds, completed March 1968. The next overhaul was undertaken by Society members and was completed during August 1988. At this time the engine was housed at the BLS’s base at the Dinting Railway Centre near Glossop in Derbyshire.  The latest overhaul was completed at Tyseley Locomotive Works in January 2019.

During its first overhaul it was repainted in LMSR crimson-lake livery and numbered 5596, but during its second overhaul it was restored authentically in British Railways brunswick green livery with its BR number 45596. After its first overhaul Bahamas was selected by BR to be one of the few locomotives chosen to haul a series of embryonic ‘Return to Steam’ excursions. Following its second repair we ran it on the main line (1989 – 1994) before it operated on several heritage railways until its boiler certificate expired during December 1997.  Following a long period of exhibition at Oxenhope, on the  Keighley & Worth Valley Railway (KWVR), 45596 moved to the National Railway Museum at York for their Railfest event in 2012, where it remained until its return to Ingrow in April 2013.

A small group of supporters has been saving regularly for several years and together with the assistance of the National Lottery Heritage Fund sufficient money was raised to successfully complete its third overhaul.

Why is the Appeal called STEAM’S LAST BLAST?

We have discovered that Bahamas was actually used by BR for its very last experiment designed to improve the performance of its steam fleet. That was the fitting, in May 1961, of its double chimney and blast pipe. When we bought the engine we knew that 45596 was unique but we had not appreciated what an important role it played in the history of steam performance in the UK, a progression of development that began with Rocket in the 1820s and ended with Bahamas in 1961.

How can you help?

We launched this Appeal in 2011 to raise funds for 45596’s overhaul and, although modified slightly, it is still open to support the ongoing maintenance of the engine and to ensure that funds are built up for its next overhaul.

Either one-off or regular donations can be made which, if you are a UK tax payer, will be augmented by 25% at no further cost to you if you GIFT AID your donations.

The BLS Website ( has facilities to pay by PayPal for one-off donations but regular donations can be made by Standing Order.

Donations in excess of £50 attract complimentary membership of the Society as follows:

Between £50 and £249 – 1 year’s Membership

Between £250 and £499 – 5 years’ Membership

Over £500  – Life Membership

We now have a ‘Friends of 45596’ Membership Scheme based on the level of regular contributions as follows:





JOHNSON 1F [0-6-0] £5 £60 1 year

DEELEY 2F [4-4-0] £10 £120 1 Year

FOWLER 4F [0-6-0] £15 £180 1 year

STANIER 6P [4-6-0] £25 £300 5 years

Members receive regular updates about Bahamas and some special ‘Members Only’ events are arranged from time to time.

The Action You Could Take

For one-off and regular donations, please download the appropriate form below and send it to:  Mr C.P.Ritchie, 41 Beech Park, West Hill, Ottery St Mary, Devon.  EX11 1UG.  Email Paul Ritchie
We will record your qualification for the Incentive Scheme (if applicable), and acknowledge accordingly.


Donations to STEAM’S LAST BLAST APPEAL will be added to the ‘Diamond Jubilee Appeal’ account originally established for donations from society members and supporters.

Download Form

Click on link above to download the donations form.  Thank you.


You can also donate by using  ‘JustGiving’

please visit:

For UK taxpayers please consider GIFT AID on your donation.  This increases its value to us by 25 per cent without incurring any costs to you.