The carriage body on arrival at Horsted Keynes, 18 October 2005
(both photos: Chris Dadson)
Type: Originally 6-wheeled Full Third, later Brake 3rd (SR Diagram 174, from about 1910)
Built: Longhedge, 6 Dec 1897
Original No: 668
Other Nos: 3188 (Jan 1907), SR: 3652 (Aug 1926)
Seating: 50 3rd class, later 30 as brake
Original Weight: 12 Tons
Withdrawn: 28 December 1935
To Bluebell: 18 October 2005
Overhaul: started 15 June 2011 - web page covering the overhaul
Owner: Bluebell Railway Trust
Built as one of a large number of similar coaches to the LCDR's standard design of what might be considered "ordinary" stock, it was subsequently converted into a brake vehicle, probably around 1910. In Southern Railway days it was eventually placed in set 835 - with 12 to 14 similar vehicles, and probably mainly used for excursions or hop-pickers trains, until withdrawn from service in 1935.
After withdrawal, like many other such carriage bodies, it was sold, without its underframe, for use as a domestic dwelling in Yarcombe, Devon, in the company of LSWR saloon No.25, where it remained, lived in, until the death of its owner. Its new owners were keen to see the carriages preserved, and once planning permission was granted for a replacement building on the site, made available to the Bluebell. The costs of transport were kindly covered, at short notice, by the Bluebell Railway Trust, and the move was coordinated by Peter Milnes.
As originally built as a full third, the vehicle is of great interest to the Bluebell, since our aim is to reconstruct a train of LCDR vehicles, and non-brake coaches are in short supply. It thus had a high priority for overhaul, to join Brake 3rd 114 and Semi-saloon No.3360 on our train of Victorian LCDR/SER carriages. Although built as a 6 wheeler, it is currently more practical to restore it using a 4-wheel underframe, and indeed some coaches of this design were converted to 4-wheelers later in their life for use on the Isle of Wight.
The coach, after 5 and a half years stored under a tarpaulin at Horsted Keynes sitting temporarily on the underframe of former SR Bulleid coach 4035, entered the carriage works on 15th June 2011 and its overhaul commenced, with funding for materials provided by the Bluebell Railway Trust.
The news reports describing the work carried out on the carriage are available in the C&W Works News.