The carriage body on arrival at Horsted Keynes, 18 October 2005
(all photos: Chris Dadson)
Type: Originally 6-wheeled 1st/2nd saloon (diagram DB9), later Brake First (SR Diagram 594)
Built: Birmingham Carriage & Wagon Co., 1885
Original No: 25
Other Nos: 025 (June 1911), SR 0905 (1923), 7937 (May 1926)
Seating: 15 1st class and 7 2nd class
Withdrawn: 21 April 1934
To Bluebell: 18 October 2005
As can be seen from the diagram above, accommodation consisted of a first class saloon and separate compartment, lavatory, second class compartment for servants, and a luggage compartment. It would have been hired for the exclusive use of a family for a specific journey, being added to the train as required.
It was "ciphered" in June 1911 (i.e. removed from the capital stock register and, with a 0 preceding its old number, was kept in reserve for occasional use). In 1923, on the formation of the Southern Railway, it was renumbered as 0905 and then in May 1926 was returned to the capital stock list as First No.7937. It became part of set 339, together with mainly former SECR 6-wheelers, and used for excursions etc. At some stage it was converted for use as a brake vehicle (the Southern "Guard" lettering being visible on one of the luggage compartment doors), finally being withdrawn from service in April 1934.
The vehicle is of considerable interest, being an unusually intact survivor in many respects. The sections of body-side removed would be fairly easy to replace, and virtually all of the original doors have survived in remarkable condition. It retained to the end its large Beresford silver-plated folding hand-basin, which has now been removed for safe keeping.
The coach will be stored under a tarpaulin at Horsted Keynes, sitting temporarily on the underframe of former SR Bulleid coach 4035.