This coach was built to a Southern Railway design by Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. It is unusual in its "semi-open" seating arrangement, having 8 seats in a compartment, another 4 in a "coupé", or half-compartment, and 32 in an open saloon.
Initially used out of Waterloo in three-coach set No.804, from September 1948 it was on London to Dover, Ramsgate and Margate services, including the named 4.15 from Charing Cross, "The Man of Kent". In 1954 set 804 was expanded to become an 8-vehicle set, No.474, remaining on London-Chatham-Ramsgate services until electrification in 1959.
Throughout the latter part of the 1950s set 804 worked normally as follows -
6.06am Ramsgate - Cannon Street (arr 8.28am) via Chatham
8.36am ECS Cannon Street to Victoria (arr 9.28am)via Ludgate Hill
9.42am shunt Victoria to Victoria Carriage Sidings
9.49am shunt Victoria CS to Victoria (arr 9.54)
10.35am Victoria to Ramsgate (arr 1.10pm) via Chatham
4.15pm Ramsgate to Victoria (arr 7.22am) via Chatham
7.22pm propelled Victoria to Victoria CS
7.50pm Victoria CS to Victoria (arr 7.53pm)
8.35pm Victoria to Ramsgate (arr 11.12) via Chatham
The eight coach set operated with other vehicles attached at different times of day.
From June 1961, it was allocated to Waterloo - Salisbury, Waterloo - Bournemouth - Weymouth and through services to other Regions, ending up, in 1964 on a regular Bournemouth-Sheffield service.
It was transferred to the Western region on 19 October 1964, running in the West Country until, in 1966, it was withdrawn and converted into a cinema coach. Sold initially to a maritime preservation group at Bristol Harbour for use as a store, a swap with a full brake was arranged to enable this interesting coach to come to the Bluebell, where it awaits eventual restoration.
Type: Semi-Open Brake Third
Built: (Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co.) May 1948
Original No: S4227S
Other Nos: W4227S, ADW 150385, ZDW 150385
Seating: 44 3rd class
Length: 64' 6"
Weight: 32.5 Tons
To Bluebell: 2/4/1987
Photo, Right: No.4227 when used as a store at Bristol Docks, 23 August 1985 (Jeremy Ovenden)