WHAT THE APPEAL IS FOR...
This fund has been set up to help cover the costs of transport of LMS ventilated goods van from its current storage facility in Worcestershire to a heritage railway (details to be confirmed once various agreements have been signed by all parties involved).
We need to raise £950 plus VAT making a total of £1,140 to cover transport costs from its current home in Worcestershire to a heritage railway (to be announced, once agreements and details have been finalised and signed. Keep an eye open on our website and social media pages...)
Once the van had been transported work can begin in earnest as we have already sourced various parts and components needed for the restoration but are currently stored all over the country including Yorkshire, Bath, Gloucestershire and South Wales.
If we reach or exceed our target of £1,140, all funds raised thereafter will be put towards the restoration of M187085 such additional costs include: paint (£50 per tin), oil and grease and also the transport of "Cadbury No.14" in due course and a separate transport appeal fund will be set up for that.
In 2020 the Museum was given notice by landowners that M187085 needs to be relocated to a new home due to redevelopment work being undertaken, we are in the final stages of reaching an agreement with a heritage railway of which details will be released in due course as mentioned above once this agreement has been signed by both parties. The notice has given us until the end of March 2021, which means we have less than 64 days to raise these funds.
HISTORY OF THE M187085...
The 12 T Ventilated Goods Van, diagram No. D1828/D1829 were built between 1929 and 1930 by a number of different carriage and wagon builders including the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited and Metro Cammell/Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon for use by the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company.
We currently do not know much of its operation during the LMS period at the moment but we are currently undertaking some research on this but on the other hand we do know rather a lot of its preservation history which can be seen below...
Out of a total of 1000 original built only approx. 32 similar goods vans have made it into the present day mostly being located on farms and in fields as when these vehicles they were disposed of and used by farmers and others as garden sheds, they were taken off their wheels and sometimes chassis and placed directly onto the ground so they can be accessed from ground height (grounded). Since then, most of these van's have deteriorated and have been scrapped but some still survive on farms and in fields still grounded but two examples are still in existence being on the chassis and wheels they were made for and these are LMSR 179162 built by Metro Cammell/Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon in 1929 based at Washford, Somerset and Dorset Railway Trust and the other example is Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon M 187085 built 1930 which you can see further information below.
M 187085 (other Numbers: 187085,KDM 187085,I/U 024531) was one of 300 built to diagram D1828/D1829 by the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited in 1930 with a Lot No. 485 being allocated. M 187085 and one other built to the same diagram and lot number by the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited were preserved but now only M 187085 is known to be preserved.
We in the UK are lucky to have one example for both build years of 1929 and 1930 preserved although both are not of Gloucester origin but the 1930 built one is and has a rather interesting build history being given different diagram numbers with a number of differences and it seems Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company Limited combined these drawings to create what we know as M187085 which in our minds is a unique survivor of its class and type.
Although we do not know its exact colour scheme we can look at other examples of this type of wagon that have been created in model form to which the colour was Standard LMS Wagon Grey with grey underframe and chassis with black W irons, Brake rigging and running gear with white rim wheels, LMS Lettering in white with the wording 'Ventilated Van' also in white on the lower door panel also on the side of the wagon would have been it's TARE weight, Wagon Number and a few other details. On the chassis of M187085 we as a museum are lucky that it is still has to this day it's Builders plate which is easily identified as GRC&W as well as a gently repaired plate.
During the Nationalisation of the Railway by British Railways in 1948, some wagons and vans changed usage while other stayed the same but painted differently and many of these LMS Ventilated Vans had their colours changed to a Bauxite livery as well as a white/grey livery. We are not sure what liveries M 187085 carried other than LMS Grey but we are currently researching this and also during the BR Period M 187085 was given a TOPS Code of ZRO which in basic terms means Stores Vehicle.
M187085 was purchased by the Southern Catering Project Group (SCPG) in February 1999 and arrived on the Avon Valley that same month, in 2005 it moved to the Swanage Railway. During it's period being owned by the Southern Catering Project Group, M187085 was loaned to a preservation/preserved railway to undergo full restoration during which the vehicle was used to store road salt rather than be restored and anyone who what salt does to metal would know that this was not a smart or good move as the salt has started to corrode the metalwork on this wagon so once the SCPG found out the wagon was immediately returned to them and where is has spent the remainder of it's preservation life siting in a siding waiting like many wagons and carriages on heritage railways awaiting restoration and a brighter future before being purchased by Avonbank Engineering Services Limited and gifted to the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Museum on a permanent loan basis. In December 2018, M187085 was initially transported from its former home on the Swanage Railway to a temporary home in Worcestershire awaiting a new home where restoration and overhaul back to its former glory and back into potential operating service. While in storage in Worcestershire we have sadly not been able to give the public any opportunity to view the van or attend the site it has been stored on. This will change in the coming weeks/month or so.
While on permanent loan to the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Museum it will undergo a full restoration to its former LMS Grey Livery and then it is hoped that the Museum collection will be housed inside the vehicle which would make an added benefit for both the museum and the Goods Van gaining a new use and once the museum has gained a more permanent premise then M187085 will go on display within the Museum and on the occasion may be hired/loaned out to other heritage railways subject to contract, agreement and arrangement (with permission from its owners).
As mentioned previously a total of 1000 goods vans were built and here you can see a breakdown of total numbers, builders and Lot Numbers:
Lot No. - Total Number – Builder
Lot 484 – 400 – Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon (1 preserved)
Lot 485 – 300 Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon (1 preserved)
Lot 486 – 150 Charles Roberts
Lot 487 – 150 Pickering
December 2018/January 2019:M187085 is now at a temporary storage facility awaiting a permanent home and the funds to enable us to restore it. We initially made £35 from our first restoration attempt back in 2018 while awaiting for the van to arrive at its temporary storage facility, now that it is there we are now looking to kick-start its restoration. We made a total of £136 during our previous appeals and therefore, these funds will be added to the restoration appeal for M187085.
October/November 2020: we have managed to source 2 corrugated ends for the restoration of M187085, these are currently in storage in Yorkshire with their current owner, we will need to raise £300 for the panels plus transport costs once the van has been moved to it’s been site where restoration can start and progress
December 2020: 2 Wagon Label holders have been sourced are currently awaiting the funds for purchase and transport which comes to a total of £100 including delivery.
January 2021: a new home has been found for M187085 and we are currently in the process of sorting out and signing various agreements needed to allow us access to the site. We cannot release any further information at this current stage as these agreements have not been finalised or signed, once this has been done, we shall release this information, please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for further information.