Bob & John B hard at work.
The remains of a very fine Victorian carriage. Lucky hens!

Having featured our Wenhaston site in the previous blog, it’s now back to Blyth Road for most of the team. Under John Barber’s supervision the newly imported topsoil now has a splendid ‘revêtement’ (as James has it!) to support and consolidate the foundations of the BVLR 7¼” trackbed. Not only that, but concurrently they are also creating a pathway from the entrance gate down to the distant summerhouse. This will ultimately improve parking safety on site. The fencing started at the deepest level of soil and the embankment has now dwindled to be almost on the same level as the car park. John, Bob & Richard have also led the team salvaging whatever is possible from and ancient railway carriage currently in use as a hen coop in Wenhaston.

In imminent danger of collapse, the carriage has been offered to the Trust; with anything of use being salvaged as the coach undergoes dismantling for safety reasons. While much of it will ultimately make a most excellent bonfire (!) no doubt, we are hoping to save the roof trusses, metalwork and door furniture to be incorporated into some passenger stock for Blyth Road. Even if the roof trusses are past their best, they will at least give us a template for our Heritage Cleminson carriage. The finely-panelled doors may well be made from teak, while the Victorian brass door handles would add a touch of class to any ‘new build’ carriage. It is also possible there may be something usable in the way of an underframe or chassis, but at present this is an unknown quantity. Look out for further reports in due course and don’t be surprised if strangely shaped pieces of woodwork start to appear on site!