The Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust’s appeal to repair a pair of vandalised carriages has hit its £10,000 target in just one week.
Two historic carriages - ex-GNR teak corridor composite No. 2701, and GWR Collett corridor third No. 1146 – were sprayed with graffiti over the Christmas period, causing thousands of pounds’ worth of damage.
SVRCT director Shelagh Paterson said: “The speed and generosity of the response we’ve received shows us just how shocked people were when the news of this awful incident broke. It also shows the depth of their passion for the Severn Valley Railway, and everything it stands for. Keeping our heritage alive and accessible is clearly very important to the wide range of people who’ve come forward to add their support.
“With the exception of a handful of larger amounts, most of the donations we received were between £10 and £25. Each one was a vote of confidence in the sterling skills of the SVR’s restoration volunteers and staff, and we are so grateful to everyone for their support.”
Work to restore the teak-bodied 1922-built No. 2701 is well underway in the SVR’s Kidderminster paint shop. A team of volunteers spent three days removing the spray paint by hand. The gold leaf lettering and painted lining on the carriage was badly damaged but is now being painstakingly restored. The team will then apply several fresh coats of varnish to finish things off. Paint removal will begin in the next few days on the second vandalised carriage, the metal-skinned No. 1146.
The unscheduled work to restore these two important carriages has meant a delay to this month’s scheduled projects, including the conversion of a vehicle to provide first class dining accommodation, suitable for wheelchair users and their companions.
Although the initial appeal target of £10,000 has been reached, further contributions to carriage restoration are needed, and donations can be made online at www.svrtrust.org.uk or by phoning 01562 757940.