Southern Railway Maunsell Carriage No.1365
This carriage was built at Eastleigh carriage works as No.7866 in 1927 as one of six diagram 2652 Third Class Dining Saloons to run coupled to one of six new First Class Dining Cars (with kitchen). These were intended for London to Bournemouth and Portsmouth services, but records indicate that they probably worked Waterloo-Exeter-West of England. 7866 seated 64 diners with tip-up seating in three saloons, with one lavatory. No further vehicles of this type were built.
In late 1930 the first of the new diagram 2005 Open Thirds (like 1336) appeared and these were coupled to additional new-build First Class Kitchen/Dining Saloons. They also frequently took the place of the 1927 dining saloons, which were then reclassified as Open Thirds for general service, 7866 being renumbered 1365. The released number series (7864-9) was re-used in 1932 for new kitchen/restaurant cars.
By 1934 the designation "Dining Saloon" (which was painted on the side at the saloon end of the kitchen cars) had given way to the term "Restaurant Car". By 1938 the diagram 2652 cars were no longer being used to accommodate diners and were assembled with older vehicles into a SW Division Special Traffic set.
In 1944 the carriage was again renumbered, as 6802, on being requisitioned for use as an ambulance coach.
In 1947 four of the First Class Kitchen/Restaurant Cars were rebuilt as Kitchen Buffet cars, and No.1365 was among the coaches selected to be rebuilt as diagram 2658 Composite Dining Saloons to accompany them; it was outshopped in July 1947. It was divided into two equal saloons, one end seating 24 first-class diners in loose chairs, and the other 31 third-class passengers in fixed seats, all with tables. It then received the number 7841 and was coupled to the modified 7864 (also preserved on the Bluebell).
On arrival on the Bluebell it was again coupled to 7864 and used in a static buffet arrangement. It was returned to passenger traffic in 1970 (in plain olive green livery with modern BR self-adhesive white numerals) as No.1365, running sporadically as required, until withdrawn from traffic pending a major overhaul.
It is seen on the left in the early 1970s, behind LBSCR E4 No.473 and Maunsell Brake No.6575.
The carriage remains in remarkably sound structural condition. Its last operational use on the Bluebell was for filming of a TV advert for the Daily Mail in April 1977, which left the interior exhibiting graffiti on top of its paintwork. No.1365's overhaul is still many years distant, and it is one of the vehicles destined to be moved into the new OP4 carriage storage shed during 2018.
Type: Composite Dining Saloon/Open Third
Right: USA Tank No.30064 hauling 1365, seen at Ketches Bridge during the 1970s (Mike Esau)
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Photos © Copyright The Bluebell Railway (Historic Collection of Locomotives, Coaches & Wagons, 1st Edition)
and Mike Esau.
© Text copyright January 2018 by Richard Salmon and Martin Skrzetuszewski.
Last updated by Jon Elphick, 15 January 2018, and Richard Salmon, 22 January 2018.
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