This photo shows the carriage as originally painted in maroon soon after arrival on the Bluebell. The photo below shows the coach in November 2003, as re-painted in BR(S) green.
Both photos: Richard Salmon
In 1963, around 190 BR Mark 1 BSKs could be found allocated to the Southern Region. However they were from Lots much earlier than this, without modern aluminium window units. SR coaching stock was largely formed into sets with a BSK at each end. 3-car sets (with a CK in the centre) were most common and these could be seen working across the Region. The large van area reflected the early 1950's need to carry, variously, heavy luggage, parcels (a railway business), bags of mail (Royal Mail), perambulators and accompanied dogs. Apart from the Mark 1 vehicles used on the "Royal Wessex" service, all SR stock sat four-a-side in third (later second) class.
Lot 30728 comprised three vehicles for the London Midland Region with Commonwealth cast bogies, vacuum braking and dual (steam and electric) heating. 35448 spent most of its working life on the LMR, being transferred post-1986 to Intercity Special Traffic at Heaton (Newcastle) and then charter work at Old Oak Common in 1989.
Seating only three-a-side in four compartments, this low capacity vehicle was not intended for use on the Bluebell as more than a stop-gap. It was however a very comfortable vehicle to travel in, and served as the brake for our set of maroon Mk.1 coaches for several years. Then in 2002 it received some structural repairs and a re-paint into Southern Region green, securing its future for some years to come. To match the new identity, the seats have been replaced with the BR(S) style, 4-a-side, trimmed in 1960's "Trojan" moquette.
After 20 years on the Bluebell, having received only minimal repairs in that time, was in need of a complete overhaul, and was replaced by newly overhauled No.34556, which has been placed on loan to us. 35448 left the Bluebell for service on another heritage line in early 2013, as seen in Steve Lee's photo, below.
Type: BSK (Brake Corridor Second), Diagram 181
Built: February 1963, at BR Wolverton Works (Lot 30728)
Original No: M35448
Current No: S35448
Seating: Originally 24, now 32, 2nd class
Length: 63' 6"
Weight: 37 Tons
To Bluebell: 29 March 1992
Left Bluebell: 27 January 2013
Current status: see Carriage Register entry for this vehicle
Your ideal Film/TV location?