A £10,000 appeal has been launched by the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust, after two vintage carriages were attacked by vandals over Christmas.
The carriages – ex-GNR teak corridor composite No. 2701, and GWR Collett corridor third No. 1146 – were sprayed with graffiti while the SVR was closed for the festive holiday.
Volunteers have already begun repairing the damage, and 1922-built No. 2701 has already been moved into the railway carriage & wagon workshop at Kidderminster where it will remain for up to a month.
Supervisor Hugh McQuade says: “Our first task was to remove the spray paint by sanding down to the varnish. Fortunately, the layer of soot acquired during the carriage’s service in December, has acted as a protective layer, stopping the cellulose-based spray paint from reacting with the varnish and our own white spirit-based painted lining and gold leaf lettering. We’ll need to touch up the lettering and lining in a number of places, but the main job now is to prepare the undamaged remainder and apply several coats of new varnish to the entire side of the carriage.”
The second vehicle – No. 1146, which is owned by the SVR-based 813 Preservation Fund – will follow the Gresley-designed coach in February, and is likely to take a month to complete.
SVR Charitable Trust director Shelagh Paterson says: ““As soon as the news of the attack broke, we started receiving offers of help from people who were clearly as shocked as we are. On the first day alone, nearly £1,000 was donated online. We very much hope that this generous support will continue to help us meet the total cost of £10,000 to get these important carriages back into service as soon as possible.”
Donations can be made online via www.svrtrust.org.uk or by calling 01562 757940.