One of the oldest carriages in the Bluebell's collection, this Second-class vehicle was built to the order of the LBSCR's Locomotive Engineer, John Chester Craven. It provides ample demonstration of the crampt conditions in which passengers who couldn't afford a first-class ticket travelled in the mid 19th century. Having four compartments, sharing a single oil lamp, and with very little leg room, I suppose one could say that it was better than the stage coaches on the roads, but little more! At this time, it had only just been decided that third-class passengers deserved a roof over their heads, if not much in the way of windows, but it is believed that second-class seating actually benefitted from upholstery, which appears to have just been a cushion placed on the bare boards of the seat.
Withdrawn at a "census", the chances are that it had been out of use for some time before the official withdrawal date. It survived for over a century after withdrawal in a garden in East Chiltington, Sussex, before being dismantled and put into safe storage on the Bluebell. The body, essentially complete, retains sufficient original internal and external features to enable an accurate reconstruction of its original condition to take place, possibly after completion of our train of Stoudley coaches.
Type: Craven 4-wheel Second
Seating: 32-40 approx.
Length: Body: 18' 6"
To Bluebell: May 1999