Vintage Carriages Trust 1965 – 2015, 50 years Celebration

On the 19th January 1965 Manning Wardle 0-6-0 saddle tank, ‘Sir Berkeley’ was delivered by road to Haworth, to be followed in the first months of 1965 by the first two coaches for the nascent Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. These two vehicles arrived at Keighley by rail and were stored in what is now Keighley Station car park but, back then, were sidings serving the adjacent station.

All three are now part of our Vintage Carriages Trust’s collection and will be in action on Saturday 10th January 2015 with 3 members’  shuttles between Ingrow and Keighley in celebration of these arrivals and the resultant founding of the Vintage Carriages Trust in the same year, set up to safeguard the future of antique and vintage rolling stock for future generations.

For full details of the day’s events, click HERE.

The coaches in question were Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway tri-composite, no. 176 and Southern Railway ‘Matchboard’ Brake, no. 3554

‘Sir Berkeley’

‘Sir Berkeley’ was built by Manning Wardle & Co. Ltd., of Leeds and is an example of their typical ‘1’ class contractor’s locomotive designed in the latter half of the 1800’s. These were used the world over by contractors carrying out various engineering jobs.

It was finally withdrawn from Byfield Quarries near Banbury 1963 and was purchased privately for preservation in February 1965, coming into VCT ownership in the early 1980s for restoration to running order. This was followed by a new boiler in 2006 funded with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The locomotive, when not at ‘home’ at Ingrow can be seen in operation at the Middleton Railway in Leeds.


Photos: Top left, Robin Lush. Top right, D. W. Horsfall of Halifax. Bottom: VCT

Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway coach No. 176

The first coach of the pair to be in use on the day will be the MS&LR four-wheeled tricomposite coach no. 176 of 1876. This is the oldest coach in the VCT collection and is seen as VCT’s flagship vehicle.

It owes its survival to being converted into a tool van and saw use with British Railways until the early 1960s until purchased in a dilapidated condition in 1965. Full restoration to exhibition standard commenced in 1983, being completed in 1985.

The coach rarely sees active passenger service, so anyone privileged enough to ride in this on the 10th January will consider themselves lucky indeed.


Photos: Top, Roger Derwent. Bottom left, Unknown. Bottom right, VCT

Southern Railway Brake Corridor Coach, no. 3554

The second coach in the formation will be ‘Matchboard’ Brake Third no 3554, designed by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway but built shortly after the grouping by the Southern Railway in 1924.
Initially purchased privately, the coach was purchased by the Worth Valley Railway in 1965 and was used extensively in the early years of the Railway, forming part of the re-opening train in 1968. With the Railway acquiring more modern steel bodied vehicles, 3554 was sold to the VCT for £1 in 1972 and has undergone extensive restoration to the exceptional condition seen today.
Unlike no. 176, 3554 sees occasional use in the Vintage Train formation when the Railway runs examples or historical coaches from the VCT and Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Trust.

Photos: Top Left, Roger Derwent. Top Right, Unknown. Bottom, VCT

Between them, these three vehicles are 3½ Centuries old, including between them 1½ Centuries in preservation!

By kind permission of the Vintage Carriages Trust, from the VCT December 2014 Newsletter, we re-print current President, Robin Higgins’ reminiscences from 1965.
“Tony Cox had bought the MS&L coach and had told me who to contact on BR to buy redundant six wheeled pre-grouping coaches in Engineers’ stock. I had fancied acquiring an L&Y Birdcage Brake, such as Low Moor Shed’s breakdown van. This had been scrapped, but I was sent a short list of available coaches and picked a GN Brake Third, lying at York. Payment made, transport was arranged including a permit to ride in the coach to Keighley and before long a stock movement took it up to Haworth. There followed a discussion with Tony about what to do next. The best thing was to safeguard these precious relics in a separate organisation and to encourage others to join and to save further carriages. The name “Vintage Carriages Trust” emerged, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

For more information about the Vintage Carriages Trust, click HERE to visit their dedicated website.

Featured image: Roger Derwent

2 comments on “Vintage Carriages Trust 1965 – 2015, 50 years Celebration

    • Due to the limited accommodation in the 2 coaches, the first train is for VCT members only and the 2nd and 3rd trains for VCT, KWVR and BLS members, unfortunately members of the public will not be able to travel on these travels.

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