CURRENT STATUS – currently unavailable for service as some of the doors need replacement or repair after nearly 20 years of use on Worth Valley services, the carriage may be on display in Oxenhope Exhibition Shed at Worth Valley Railway whilst out of use although operational reasons may prevent this.
Built probably in 1882 at the L&Y Newton Heath works, after nearly 30 years of service the underframe was removed and body relocated to Valley Gardens, Hapton near Burnley, where initially from around 1910 it provided accomodation for newly-employed miners.
There were over 10 similar carriage bodies in the area, most of which were later built into bungalows as normal family homes. By the 1980s many had been removed (typically burned) and replaced by bungalows of conventional construction. This was the case with 1507, which was the last but one in the area, and in 1991 the owner, the late Tom Bell, donated the body to the Trust for restoration. This photo was taken after the surrounding bungalow structure had been removed during preparation for craning out of the plot.
Restoration started immediately but was constrained by the lack of an underframe, but this was resolved fairly quickly by the acquisition of an ex-LMS BGZ carriage M32988 built in 1938. This was purchased from the Strathspey Railway, where the body had been damaged beyond economical repair by an arson attack. Other parts of the BGZ have been used on our projects, such as the corridor connections on Club Carriage 47.
The restoration ran in parallel with Club Carriage 47, but was completed by 2005 at a cost of £17000 and 1507 made available for public service on the Worth Valley. Seen here not long after completion being prepared for use in a special event with L&Y loco 957.
Mostly routine maintenance has been required since 2005, with further panel replacement proving necessary. Like all our carriages, it is now fitted with steam heating as seen here and a through electric lighting system using replica gas lamps.
One of the interesting features were discovered during the restoration was that originally the partitions between compartments did not reach full height, as 3 oil lamps had been used to light the 5 compartments, only the centre compartment having the luxury of its own lamp – the oil lamps were actually fitted in from above by railway employees before a journey. Later on the partitions were made full height and 5 gas lamps fitted into the compartment roof with supply pipes fitted across the roof down to a tank in the underframe.
Gas is not permitted nowadays but the supports for the gas pipes have been used to fasten external-grade low voltage electricity cables to power the replica lamps fed from a battery in the underframe. The lamps were manufactured using an original loaned to the Trust (as seen here) by the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Museum.
The original plain glass shades have not been reproduced, principally due to safety risks, but now use a heat-resistant acrylic clear material from a manufacturer in Leeds.
The upholstery is made from horsehair fabric as was used by the L&YR for third class carriages to counter the effects of the thousands of workmen carried in their heyday, similar material being used on trams. First Class passengers were of course provided with cloth material.
Although not visible here, steam heating has seen fitted in each compartment to replace the original system that must have been removed and sold for scrap when the body was converted to accomodation for miners. This is standard for all our carriages along with a through lighting system which can be controlled by the guard from our Brake carriage 1474 or Club Carriage 47.
The luggage racks have been assembled from sheets of ‘woven wire’ fitted onto replica brackets designed using L&Y photos and replica end brackets as found in an L&Y carriage in use as a hen house in Scotland.