Now that the work on the MS&L 6-wheel carriage is drawing to a close, the team have moved onto its next restoration project, another of the GCR Rolling Stock Trust’s carriages, but with one big difference, reports Clyde Pennington, the Trust’s coordinator on site. “We are very effctively preserving this vehicle for a future restoration, as well as utilising the stripped out interior as our main parts storage facility”.

The result is a great deal of activity on board the 1905-built Gorton-manufactured 8 compartment 3rd class GCR Suburban carriage no.799. Led by Clyde Pennington, Doug Atkins, Roger Penson and Francis Bailey, this vehicle is at the start of an invaluable conversion into our stores-van, to cope with the growing volume of materials that are required to prepare for and restore the eight remaining original MS&L and GCR carriages dating from 1888 to 1911.

As Clyde explains: “Our plan is to make this vehicle water tight and vandal proof, by re-covering the roof and sheeting the sides with galvanised panels, then converting the interior into an archive and accessible store. This will mean we have the space we need to clear out the Barnum no.228’s stored materials and in due course transfer its workshop, as well as relieving it of a substantial internal load. This will enable us to work on its restoration and recovery. In addition we can now group and categorise other stock and materials spread throughout the site.

Pat Sumner, the RST’s CME says: “Our Suburban carriage is in quite reasonable structural state considering its neglect of years in the aggressive atmosphere of Hull Docks and will be a sound structure for its planned new life as a storage facility and archive. In time we will change the springs and other mechanicals as we progress to its recovery – which actually is not a priority at this time.”