After the realization that our shed was actually a railway carriage, we began to have some fun.
The official unveiling of the ‘shed’ began about a week after re-doing the calligraphy on the walls. We began to look at the carriage in more detail to see just as to what we could encounter. Slowly but surely we began to discover the secrets of the carriage, bit by bit.
Firstly, we found, hidden by our tree, a small window sticking out of the carriage side. Immediately we began to cut the tree back to discover this window in more depth. To our surprise, we found that this ‘small window’ was actually a “ducket”. The ducket is what the guard used to use to look back onto the doors of the carriage to see that all his passengers were safely aboard the train. This we found interesting as the original glass remained in the window of the ducket.
In continuation, we began to explore the newly discovered guard part to the carriage. Inside, we found the little wooden seat that the guard would have sat in to look out of the ducket. There was also the guards door, which with the “T” key opened and the guards window which, would’ve been used by the guard when he got hot or to talk to someone outside. To our surprise, it still slid up and down as it would’ve done back in the day! This we found fascinating as the carriage floor is actually very sunken, and a window to work in this condition is considered very rare, especially as the carriage has been rotting in our garden for over 115 years now!
Continuing our search, we ventured further into the carriage until dad noticed a small oval shaped piece of metal above the calligraphy on the main passenger door. We began to rub the dust and grit off of the metal oval and uncovered this build plaque, which, when asking around was found to be quite rare! Further into our discovery, we managed to find two other of these illusive build plaques which means that our carriage must be in a better condition than we first thought.
Since our last blog post, we were very pleased to receive your information and thoughts about our carriage. We are very happy to reveal part of an answer as to when the railway carriage might have landed in our back garden. According to one of our readers, our carriage came out of service in 1899 and would have probably come straight into our garden then. Another task added to our list; is to find who lived in our house in 1899 and see if they had a link to the railway. We have also found out that there were two styles to our 3rd class carriage an early version and a later version.
The earlier version had a single large window for each passenger seat (the later one had two smaller windows). Ours is the earlier version and is much rarer to find apparently. On with the repair.