Gresley Braked Third Open 43556
A large legacy from the Estate of Keith Anthony Porter, a Society member of some years, has enabled the Society to purchase a Gresley Brake Third Open BTO. This coach was built for the LNER by Cravens in 1938 to diagram D196, a six-bay open saloon with 48 seats numbered 43556 and later E16631E. It requires complete restoration. The legacy will enable the coach to be restored at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway by LS engineering headed by Lee Sharpe. For the time being it is to remain at Epping & Ongar Railway until Lee has space in his workshop to do the work later in the year. This is another unique coach in preservation and is the final piece of the jigsaw to complete the LNER train of five coaches in crimson and cream. The other two coaches for the train, the TTO and the TK, still awaiting restoration, will hopefully benefit from being fast-tracked by outside contractors in the future. Obviously, to achieve this we require some large donations or legacies.
E16631E becomes the fifth and final member of the long term "LNER Mainline" set, which is set to become the first full rake of LNER stock to be preserved externally in its later (British Railways) condition, painted Crimson & Cream. The full set should eventually be formed from the following vehicles:
Thompson Brake Corridor Third E1866E (currently under restoration as a Brake Saloon First with wheelchair access)
Gresley Tourist Third Open E13548E (stored undercover awaiting restoration)
Gresley Resteraunt Buffet E9128E (restored and operational)
Gresley Corridor Third E12493E (in static use at Sheringham, awaiting restoration)
Gresley Brake Third Open E16631E (stored off site awaiting contract restoration)
The M&GN Society has aspirations to also fast-track the restorations of the TTO & TK by utilising outside contractors, provided the required large donations and/or legacies can be attracted! Clearly this set is in its early stages of realisation, however it it still great news to see this latest development, which coupled to continued restoration progress at Weybourne, may see three of the five coaches of this set run together much sooner than many may have thought!