1061 is seen here with "Fenchurch" during the time when it was operational in the late sixties or early seventies.
This coach, with its distinctive raised guard's lookout, called a birdcage, was built as a 2nd/3rd composite, later becoming all-third. The body style is known as "Ashford Gothic", having the waist and bottom of the windows in the square, Chatham, style, but the eaves and top of the window in the rounded, South-Eastern style. It spent all its days in service as part of a "Trio A" set, used initially on outer-suburban traffic, later on branch-line use throughout Kent and Sussex. After withdrawal it was partially stripped internally, and used as a staff transport coach for electrification work.
It was partially restored on the Bluebell in 1965 and put in a decade of service before withdrawn to await a major overhaul. No.1061 last ran in passenger service in 1975. Its last trip down the line was in the Spring of 1976 as part of a test train hauled by Blackmoor Vale prior to its return to traffic. Its replacement in the actual re-launch train was the then newly overhauled Bulleid open third No.1482.
Structurally reasonably sound, but requiring work on its doors and panelling, it also has a complete, but partially non-authentic, interior. Reconstruction of the interior could be achieved by copying that in similar coaches which still survive complete. Since both it and No.1084 (3363) are in the "Ashford Gothic" style, they form a good "pair" for either end of a Birdcage Trio set, and following the restoration of the latter, it can only, hopefully, be a matter of time before 1061 is similarly overhauled.
Type: Composite Birdcage Brake (later all Third)
Built: 1909 at Ashford
Original No: 1061
Other Nos: SR: 3334, DS 3208
Seating: 8 2nd, 50 3rd (later: 60 3rd)
Weight: 28 tons
To Bluebell: 5/2/1962
Go to a photo of this coach as it is now.
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