This web site presents information on Craven (LB&SCR) carriages that have been surveyed at
the Bluebell Railway Carriage and Wagon Works, Horsted Keynes. All drawings copyright
Ian M. White.
The above shows, from left:
Luggage brake third No. 221 (originally Second; number
Second No. 35: drawing
Second No. 204 (originally First No. 38x): drawing.
Luggage brake No. 94: drawing
In the long term it is planned that one of the specialist
kit makers will produce 4mm scale kits to facilitate the modelling of these
four carriages. Meanwhile, models of other Craven-era LB&SCR rolling stock
can be seen running at exhibitions over the next few months. For details of one
exhibition layout featuring the Victorian LB&SCR, see the web site for East Grinstead Town.
Ian MacCormac has produced 4mm scale brass etches for a
common type of 1850s first, and the longer 1860s first (his
photo; 1860s on left; 1850s on right). See also The Brighton Circular
24 (1): 46, for Simon Turner’s drawing of the common style of 1860s
There is an 1862 painting by Augustus Egg which gives a very
good idea of the original appearance of the interior, despite it being painted
in southern France (painting – bright
copy). Contrast that with a painting of the interior of an LB&SCR
open-sided third of the 1850s (painting). The
similarity with French stock is hardly a surprise; in 1854 the LB&SCR Board
Minutes reported an order to purchase two first class carriage bodies from
France, each of types running on different French railways, so there was
clearly an exchange of design ideas.
This carriage was a garden shed near Bexhill, East Sussex. It
was encased in various forms of panelling.
The following photos were taken by Sheina and John Foulkes
on the preliminary site visit in May (their copyright):
- Photo. This is a general view of
the interior looking towards the intact end wall; the other end has
domestic modifications. Note the domestic window; other doors and quarter-lights
are largely intact.
- Photo. Note the lovely sinuate
timbering under the quarter-light.
- Photo. Note the words “No. 204
Second” on the garnish rail, the deep boarding on the door, and the vestiges
of the seat rails.
- Photo. Each door has this style of
hit and miss vent at its top.
- Photo. This is all that has been
seen of the exterior. Note the large garter mark.
A site visit by Ian and James White early in June
resulted in substantial clearance of the garden wall elevation, confirmation
that the carriage is LB&SCR, and identification of the
design. Selected photos (copyright IMW) follow:
- Photo. The carriage as it
appeared from the roadside.
- Photo. The carriage, as seen
from the front garden (house side).
- Photo. Clearance of heavy ivy
growth on the other (garden wall) side exposed the Stroudley period
garter; the words “London Br…” are clearly visible.
- Photo. This door handle still
- Photo. Each door waist panel
shows traces of the word “Second” in the Stroudley manner.
- Photo. A general view of the
intact exterior on the garden wall side. Note the false louvers above each
of the “lunar” quarter-lights. The vent bonnet that would have covered the
hit and miss vent has been removed. The paint remnants are probably the
“mahogany” colour which would have been applied in the Stroudley era.
- Photo. The vent bonnet from the
hit and miss vent.
- Photo. Note the grab-handle
holes and the up-curved mouldings below the waist and adjacent the
bottom-side; these are restricted to the carriage ends.
- Photo. A false louver.
- Photo. Moulding detail just
below the cant-rail.
- Photo. The “entrance” end
showing the domestic door which has replaced 2/5 of the panelling; paint
on this door suggests it may have been made from interior
(inter-compartment) planks of T&G. Note the curve of the original
roof. At each end there are three layers of the roof, namely a roof hoop,
cut ends of the roof boards, and a roof strake.
- Photo. The bottom of each
corner post is cut to form a curve (see photo 5 above of exterior curved
- Photo. Interior view showing
the domestic window which largely replaces two compartment sides on the
- Photo. Interior view showing
some of the intact garden wall elevation.
- Photo. As above.
- Photo. Note the use of iron
“knees” (brackets) to fix the posts to the bottom-side (Nos 94 and 221 did
not use these but instead each post to bottom-side joint was fixed with a
large iron “pin”, the large head of which was visible externally); these
iron knees were used for No. 35 and are also typical of Stroudley
- Photo. These ornate mahogany
brackets were found in the carriage; they are almost certainly domestic
but they have an uncanny resemblance to cast iron luggage rack brackets
and will therefore be retained with the carriage in case they are shown to
be part of it.
In July the site was cleared, the carriage dismantled and
transported to Horsted Keynes.
- Photo. The carriage (house
side) with the cladding and vegetation removed.
- Photo. The step end (road end).
- Photo. The roof was removed and
the fine structural details of the interior framework (from which all
panelling was removed decades ago) is revealed in the sunlight.
- Photo. Dismantling in progress.
- Photo. As above.
- Photo. Arrival of the “flat
pack” at Horsted Keynes.
- Photo montage. The apparently
intact non-house side of the carriage had to be transported in two
sections as the bottom-side and the cantrail were too fragile to hold the
full 19ft together in one piece. The two pieces were photographed and this
composite produced (vent bonnets, removed for safe transport, were also
digitally replaced on two of the doors).
- Photo. End mouldings at the
- Photo. Step base.
- Photo. The large knee holding
the bottom-side and bottom-end timbers.
- Photo. A fragment of the
“American cloth” or “oil cloth” that would have clad the interior walls.
The carriage is 19ft long and 7’4” wide; all compartments
are identical in length and seat support rail height, so it was a “first” not a
“composite”. The carriage surveys indicate a three compartment first built
between 1858 and 1866; however, it was described as being 19’6” long. This
carriage would have been regarded as of the same “diagram” despite being a few
inches shorter. In 1869 it was reported that there were 156 of these, 4 painted
“lake” and the rest varnished.
There is no known GA drawing of exactly this type of
The carriage number is misleading. A carriage designated
second class in a list compiled in the 1870s says the number belonged to a
carriage built in 1852. As this carriage is clearly not that old, we must
assume it was still running as a first at the time of that survey, and was
later re-numbered into the second class series (when the 1852 No. 204 was
either scrapped or re-classified as third).
A more detailed discussion of the age of the carriage will
be provided in The Brighton Circular following more comprehensive survey
of the carriage. Details have dated it to 1866 and these will be discussed