47 Blackpool Club Carriage

CURRENT STATUS – available for service, normally on display in Oxenhope Exhibition Shed at Worth Valley Railway although operational reasons may prevent this.

LYR 47 Blackpool Club Carriage was built 1912 at Newton Heath works for exclusive use of businessmen commuting between Blackpool and Manchester who were members of a ‘travelling club’, for which they paid an annual subscription in addition to payment for a First Class season ticket.  The completed carriage seen here in an official L&Y photo courtesy the National Railway Museum. this photo probably taken after 1917 when the lighting was converted from gas to electric.

In 1935 the LMS Railway provided a replacement, which continued in use without the need for club membership for nearly 30 years, but it is not clear what role 47 then fulfilled, only that in 1951 it was withdrawn at Derby Works when the underframe was removed and the body was taken to nearby Borrowash to act as a cricket pavilion for General Industrial Cleaners (GIC)  They were a local large employer who specialised in what is now known as ‘workwear’ and included the Derby railway works as a customer.

The GIC factory closed in 1990 and the sports ground. together with the cricket pavilion were put up for sale as residential development under an arrangement whereby the local council would provide alternative sports facilities.  The Trust first saw the pavilion in 1992 (see photo) and registered an interest in 47’s rescue.  By 1993 Redrow Homes has acquired the land and were to start housing development. they kindly sold 47 to the Trust for £1 but also met the cost of dismantling the pavilion structure before the Trust arranged removal in May 1993.

The Worth Valley had offered the underframe of a BR Mark 1 suburban carriage on which the body was in very poor condition, so a restoration project started almost immediately and was finally completed in September 2011 (a photo of the relaunch special shown here), and 47 became available for public service in 2012.  47’s centenary was celebrated in 2012 with a visit by the Worth Valley’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Kent, and celebratory plaques are fitted above each entrance door.

The high standard of restoration has been achieved by significant amounts of private sponsorship together with receipt of some legacies, as shown in the photo below supplied by David Martin.