Carriage Renovations

In 2005, we had the idea that an old carriage refurbished as accommodation would be a great attraction for Heacham to complement our existing waiting room accommodation at Heacham Station. The idea gained momentum and after a long search a British Rail First Class coach (63 foot long and 9 feet wide) - which had been in regular use until mid to late 2003 - was found at Shackerstone, Leicestershire (apparently known as the Battlefield Railway).

Arrival of the coach at Heacham Station was somewhat delayed to allow replacement of the carriage wheels (bogies) to wheels more suited for many years of stationary service in Heacham. The carriage had arrived in Heacham late in the day and thus rested up in the car park of The West Norfolk Hotel until the following day.

The Announcement
The first movements begin
Oh dear - there's a problem
Call in the tree surgeon
Fortunately the telegraph pole didn't have to go as well!
Finally done with literally only inches to spare!
Early on the morning Tuesday, 28 November 2006 the carriage began its final journey from The West Norfolk Hotel to Heacham Station. Although this was just around the corner, since the transporter and carriage together measure 109 feet in length and weighs 85 tonnes, this was no mean feat. 

The driver backs the carriage into the grounds
Preparing the ramp for final disembarkation
Look out! Here it comes
Carefully does it as the carriage is slowly winched home
Welcome to Heacham
Home at last!
At last the planning permission is in and renovations are able to commence. Many thanks to Kevin Carty for his hard work helping on the bodywork.

Seven compartments, but six must go!
Three gone, but with 540 slothead screws in each compartment, this is going to take some time!
With all six taken out the ceiling can be re-lined. Thanks Kevin - it's a two man job
With the ceiling done work on the stud roof an electrics starts
The corridor leading from the lounge to the bedrooms is re-instated
The twin room starts to take shape
However Terry is starting to feel the strain!
New pine flooring throughout
We start planning the kitchen design
Just the wall cupboards to build now!
The double bedroom takes shape
The view from the kitchen towards the bedrooms. The sliding door to the main bedroom  is shown
Time to start on the outside. What a pleasure to see the original number  - M13318!
Terry starts painting the roof
Next up, the crimson undercoat
First of two coats before the final top coat of British Rail maroon is applied
With the maroon on, we can start the lining. Keep it straight Kevin!
The British Rail lion crest. This was a delicate operation so Kevin took a great deal of care over this job
A few touch-ups before we start to build the platform
Making sure it's level
That's perfect!
The signal and speed sign make a nice finishing touch
The signal top
All finished. The gate completes the transformation!