Southern Locomotives Ltd's volunteers have driven the company's success over the past 38 years. From our roots in an open yard at Blunsdon to our current homes in Swanage and Sellindge volunteers have provided a significant proportion of the man-hours needed to restore a steam loco. Today we have around 30 active volunteers; clusters who live close to Swanage and in Kent, and some from further afield.

volunteers   volunteers

Nick and Brian press old bushes out of a section of Manston's brake linkage.

Phil applies primer to Sidmouth's bogie wheels.

At Swanage we work alongside our paid staff and Swanage Railway staff. Local volunteers tend to adopt a regular schedule (e.g. every Wednesday and Thursday) and focus on specific tasks. If you want to join us please start with an email to Nick Thompson at nicksidmouth@gmail.com Please don't just turn up at the workshop.

Working arrangements for volunteers.

The health and safety of our staff and volunteers is of primary importance. As a Southern Locomotives Ltd volunteer you must be an SLL shareholder and a member of the relevant heritage railway before you engage in any activities. You are attending as a volunteer of the heritage railway or other location and therefore must obey their rules and personnel whilst on their premises. You should not undertake or get involved with any activities that you are not authorised by the railway or other location. Everyone has a duty of care for themselves and others so please always act in a safe and considerate manner.


In 2020 we acquired Merchant Navy 35025 Brocklebank Line, which had languished in a field at Sellindge, near Folkestone, for over a decade. Our first task has been to clear the undergrowth and then start to clean and identify the available parts. A group meets most Tuesdays to continue this work, and there is no restriction on numbers; please contact Simon Troy on 01474 833263.

volunteers   volunteers

Colin gets the rust off a Bulleid exhaust pipe.

Jim cleans Manston's frames while it was being repaired at Tyseley.


Over the past few years one or more of our locos have been at the Tyseley Museum workshop for work on axle boxes, boilers, etc. Some of that work can be done by SLL volunteers, and we arrange ad-hoc dates depending on the work required. We have a number of volunteers living in the Midlands, and more would be welcome. If you'd like to help us please contact Simon Troy on 01474 833263.

Would you like to volunteer?

We're a friendly bunch, and we welcome new volunteers. Whether you're highly skilled or just a handy person there's generally work for you to do. Work is assigned on the basis of an individual's ability and experience.

The safety of you and those about you is the top priority. You will need to bring overalls and steel-toed boots. Other equipment is available from our stores, though you may prefer to bring your own hat, goggles, gloves, etc, which are needed for some tasks. Please note that we generally work between Monday and Thursday, and Herston works is not open at weekends.

If you would like to find out more please call Simon Troy on 01474 833263.