The coach is a 6-compartment third, 33 feet long, and would have been a 6-wheeler. It was built in November 1887, and is identical to No. 2162 which we failed to secure when it was sold on eBay in 2009. It was withdrawn from service in March 1926 (before receiving an SR number), and was probably sold soon after, without its wheels and underframe, to become part of a bungalow in Pagham, along with an SER brake third (which we also recovered the same day). The carriage's structure is made of teak, and is considered to be eminently restorable, although there are no plans at present to do more than conserve the body for restoration at a future date. It has now been covered by a tarpaulin.
The photo on the left, showing the two carriages at Pagham after the demolition of the bungalow, and the crane recovering them, is provided by Robert Hayward.
SER carriages are extremely rare in preservation, but the Bluebell now has a substantial collection of such vehicles. We also have a first-class saloon (No. 172) and the Gilbert Car, No. 33 (later named 'Constance'), plus the oddity, "hundred seater" No. 1050, rebuilt in 1924 from former SER carriage bodies as a prototype for 3rd-rail electric stock, but itself only ever being steam hauled.
This carriage provides us with much-needed additional third class accommodation for our eventual train of LCDR/SER Victorian carriages, for which we already have three restored vehicles of LCDR origin, brake No. 114, semi-saloon conversion No. 3360, and full third No. 3188, along with brake third No. 48 (SECR 2781) which awaits restoration. The intention eventually is to present the train in Edwardian SECR livery to match our SECR steam locomotives. As home to 6 of the 8 surviving SECR locomotives, such a set of carriages is of huge importance to us.