A4 4464 BITTERN in Garter Blue with valences and
the ‘longest-ever’ (as of 2012) restored teak train approaches Highley Station.
Photo James Bryan.
In December the transfer was completed of Brake Composite
No.24068, TTO No.43600 and Pigeon Brake Van No.70759 from the
LNER (SVR) Coach Fund to the SVR Rolling Stock Trust Co Ltd. This
is with a view to securing the long term future of these vehicles on the
Railway and opening new tax-efficient Gift-Aid donations towards
current LNER projects (see above).
The new ownership will be recognised by specially designed owner’s
plates to be affixed to each of the transferred vehicles.
New owner for some of the set.
* * * TWO LNER PROJECTS NEED YOUR HELP * * *
Both projects are being undertaken by the LNER Carriage Group of the SVR Rolling Stock Trust Co Ltd.
The schemes are:
The enhancement of the interior of Tourist Third Open 43600 to give it the ‘Gresley touch’. You can
help with this project by gift-aided dedicated donations to sponsor new fixtures and fittings.
The major restoration of 1943 Gresley Brake Pigeon Van No.70759. This will be a costly project
requiring new teak and many other new items. Full details of opportunities for gift-aided sponsorship
Alternatively, use the menu bar to go to the “CAN YOU HELP?” section.
All help received towards our restoration work is greatly appreciated.
Contributors sponsoring by dedicated donations or regular donations to the Trust Company automatically
become a “Friend of the Teak Train” and will receive occasional email newsletters with the latest news.
Trust Company Buys
Gresley Third Open 52255.
The good news is that this formerly privately owned carriage will not now be leaving the SVR. This had been a
risk, as another heritage railway was interested. Thanks to the efforts of the SVR Rolling Stock Trust Company
and the generosity of several individuals, 52255 has now been bought by the Trust. But this has only been done
by the Trust providing substantive temporary funding to secure the deal. Further donations are therefore still
needed to offset this. Such donations can be gift aided, and for a Gift Aid form Click here. Cheques, payable to
SVR Rolling Stock Trust Co Ltd, and gift aid forms should go to the Trust’s Secretary, Stewart Clark, at - 47
Talfourd Road, London. SE15 5NN, marking the envelope ‘52255’.
1. TTO 43600: Planning and fund-raising are progressing for the interior upgrade project.
2. TTO 52255: With this vehicle now securely in the ownership of the SVR Rolling Stock Trust Company, work
has already begun on the interior improvements. The Trust has fitted new coat hooks to fill the gaps, and work is
starting on preparing the luggage rack brackets. There remain two funding needs. First the Trust Company needs
to replenish its finances used to secure purchase of the carriage. So an especially good response is needed to
the current SVRA "Keeping it in the Family" raffle. Tickets are available from the Bewdley Station Shop and from
the promoter (Mr J Bond, 4 Greenacre Drive, Codsall, Wolverhampton WY8 2JA). Further tickets can also be
obtained at Arley Station. Secondly, we always welcome sponsors for the coat hooks, luggage rack brackets and
mirrors for 52255. Further information and a sponsorship form are available by emailing to email@example.com
3. Pigeon Van 70759/70442: Much progress is being made at the LNER group's Bewdley base. Work is
concentrating on the repair and fettling of the newly acquired underframe from Pigeon Van 70442. This 1941-built
ex-LNER Pigeon Van 70442 frame is generally in good order, and the work done or nearing completion includes:
a. Construction and fitting of a refurbished battery cupboard from 70759.
b. Fitting the electrical Regulator Box.
c. Fitting a newly-fabricated dynamo hanging bracket.
d. Overhaul and refitting the buffers and buffing gear.
e. Fitting a new vacuum brake pipe and a new steam heat pipe, with all the requisite junction points to the
passenger and guard compartments. The steam-heat pipe required much ingenuity and patience as it follows a
particularly tortuous route under the carriage to avoid the multiple obstacles of the frame members, bogies and
f. Frame repairs including welding-in some new steel to maintain the frame's integrity and deal with a few areas of
corrosion. Some straightening of the headstocks has also been needed to repair the effects of a rough shunt at
some time in 70442's history.
g.General derusting and painting the frame, taking advantage of the absence of the body to do a thorough job on
those parts of the frame not normally accessible and to make the frame ready for the next stages.
4. Bewdley Station Shop: New stock includes a number of Dapol kits, dolls house items and some novelty cake
candles. Additional handrails have been fitted at the shop entry doorway to assist access for less-able customers.
Also obtainable are books of the "Keeping it in the Family" SVRA Raffle to assist the Rolling Stock Trust's funding
of 52255's purchase. Please give the raffle as much support as you can, as the Trust's purchase, while depleting
their resources, has ensured that this carriage did not leave the SVR.
Carriage Updates 26th June
70759 Get a new set of underframes
12th July the body of ex-LNER Pigeon Van 70759 was moved from its original heavily corroded underframe. The
body was rolled onto a recently acquired underframe refurbished by the group. The transfer, a 'first' on the SVR,
was achieved in little over three hours to within a quarter inch accuracy.
GNR COMPOSITE 2701
NOW A FILM STAR!
SVR was the location for filming in February when the cast and crew of the BBC drama 'Dancing on the Edge'
arrived to film at Kidderminster and Bewdley. For two days Kidderminster became Folkestone (Junction) and
Bewdley was South Bromley. The shooting starred Stanier Mogul 2968 and our rake of LNER teak vehicles.
GNR 2701 was especially chosen for its correct 'period atmosphere'. Filming the night scenes at Bewdley lit up the
whole town. Acclaimed writer/director Stephen Poliakof has gathered some of the UK’s finest big screen talent for
the project. It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew Goode, along with British stars Mel Smith, Anthony Head,
Caroline Quentin and Jane Asher. International star Jacqueline Bisset also features,
The drama is set in the early 1930s and follows black jazz musicians, the Louis Lester Band, as they find fame
amongst the parties and performances of London’s upper class society. Although many recoil at the performance
of black musicians in polite society, the city’s more progressive socialites take the band under their wing. But when
the band becomes entangled in their shadowy world, it results in a suspected murder. The walls begin to close in
on Louis and the band.
'Dancing on the Edge' should be screened on BBC2 towards the end of 2012.
Further information about the series can be found at:
70759 is a changing!
The transformation of BG(P) 70759 into a Brake 3rd (BTK) has begun. At the Bridgnorth end, which will become the
passenger accommodation, the first section of corridor side framework, a 9’ length between the guard’s door and
the nearest passenger door was constructed over a twelve week period and fitted in place on 13th and 14th March.
The framework was made entirely of recycled timber from 70442, 70759 and Birmingham University.
Before the end of 2012 it is hoped to complete and fit the remaining two sections of framework to complete the
corridor side. The five sections of compartment side should follow in 2013.
Meanwhile at the other (Stourport) end, which will remain in its original “Pigeon van” form, great efforts are being
made to clean, de-bug, repair and recycle enough of the original planking to clad the interior. About half the planks
have been completed and fitted in place, and there are definitely enough to complete the third section. The fourth
and final section includes the space in front of the guard’s compartment and it may be necessary to buy some
planks for here.
New toughened glass has recently been purchased for the remaining toplights at the Stourport end, and a start has
been made on installing it.
A start has also been made on cleaning down and inspecting the exterior doors. Three have so far been dealt with,
and some repairs will be necessary before these can be hung.
Finally, the teak panels have arrived in the UK and will soon be coming to Bewdley, accompanied by a large bill.
Many panels are still available for sponsorship and details may be found by clicking the link
The SVR's Spring Steam Gala celebrated Britain’s longest-ever restored LNER varnished teak train formation
in the heritage era – the first time on any railway with eight carriages. It also produced the long awaited sight of
an A4-hauled teak train in authentic 1930s art-deco livery of Garter Blue with valences, red wheels and gold
leaf numbers. This is a sight not seen for seventy years - though it went un-remarked by the 'official SVR'.
The Gala also produced the first run in public service of the Trust's magnificently restored LNER kitchen
restaurant carriage No.7960 – making the eighth vehicle in the ‘longest-ever’ restored teak train.
The experience was enhanced by the presence of the Gresley Society Trust’s preserved N2 in its
Great Northern Railway apple green along with the delightful J72 69023 in its BR apple green creation –
Recalling its days as Newcastle’s station pilot. These two locos also double-headed the teak train.
There were moments when Kidderminster serendipitously echoed King’s Cross in steam days, with an A4-hauled
express impatiently awaiting departure and an N2 fussing with the empty stock of an incoming train.
The A4 had reverted to its correct identity as 4464 BITTERN, having run for a year as 4492 DOMINION OF
NEW ZEALAND. The engine looked magnificent in its correct Gresley LNER livery with valences over the wheels.
Why has it taken so long to reproduce this art deco design icon on a working A4? The name change did upset the
Bewdley Brewery who had crafted a special beer by using New Zealand hops so as to mark 4492's visit. Never
mind, it's a great beer!
Personalities present at the Gala included Peter Townend, author and former King’s Cross shedmaster; Dick
Hardy, another well known railway author with a long LNER/BR operating career; Peter Neesom (formerly a
TORNADO ‘minder’, now with BITTERN); and Tim Godfrey, grandson of Sir Nigel Gresley and our Coach Fund
LNER kitchen restaurant carriage No.7960 Bridgnorth
A4 4464 Bittern Kidderminster
Milestone reached on
with the completion of the passenger compartment framing.
A3 60103 FLYING SCOTSMAN and
the ‘longest-ever’ restored teak train approaches Victoria Bridge 23 Nov 2016.
Photo Michael Cranmore.