This van is typical of the second generation of covered vans built from the mid-nineteenth century to about 1920. The body – with
diagonally braced external timber frames and with sliding doors – is of a type favoured by many pre-Grouping companies. The London &
South Western Railway built vans to this design on steel underframes from 1899 to 1912, albeit with variations in suspension and brakegear.
This is a low roofed van of similar age to 8112, but we have few details of its history or even its original number.
It was sold to or requisitioned by the War Department and ended up on the Longmoor Military Railway, numbered AD 47773. It was purchased in
1970 by the Bulleid Society and was first used by them at Liss. With the then impending closure of the Longmoor Military Railway it was moved
to the Bluebell Railway, arriving on 19 September 1971. After arrival on the Bluebell the van was repainted in LSWR livery and allocated
the number 2773, as this was appropriate to its age and similar to its 'AD' number.
In December 2008 ownership was transferred from the Bulleid Society to the Bluebell Railway Trust. The vehicle is currently out of service awaiting repairs.
An Illustrated History of Southern Wagons – Volume One: LSWR and S&DJR, by Messrs Bixley, Blackburn, Chorley, King and Newton.
First published by OPC, 1984. ISBN 0-086093-207-9
This book may be available new from the Bluebell Railway Shop.
A used copy may be available from the Carriage Shop at Horsted Keynes, which is open most weekends.