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Britain’s oldest horse box returns to the rails

Mark Westley Photography
Wetheringsett Mid Suffolk Light railway restore 145year old horsebox,  volunteers and engineers gather to celebrate finishing.
L-R front Brian Scott, John Bloom and Bill Stonestreet, with John Holmes and Brian Sailsby ANL-140521-204500009

Mark Westley Photography Wetheringsett Mid Suffolk Light railway restore 145year old horsebox, volunteers and engineers gather to celebrate finishing. L-R front Brian Scott, John Bloom and Bill Stonestreet, with John Holmes and Brian Sailsby ANL-140521-204500009

Mid Suffolk Light Railway is returning a 145-year-old horse box to work - believed to be the oldest in Britain.

The dedicated team of volunteers have spent the last ten years painstakingly restoring the old horsebox back to its best.

The railway, in Wetherinsett, got hold of the box after it was found on a farm in Quy, Cambridgeshire.

The horsebox, which was built by SJ Clay in Derby in 1869, had been out of service for more than a century and was in a very poor state.

But after hundreds of hours of work and plenty of elbow grease, the box will be unveiled and ready for use on Monday, May 26.

Marketing manager John Reeve said when they received the horse box, it was in an awful state of repair.

“It was a wreck”, he said.

“The wood work on the horsebox was pretty terrible but the iron work and brass was still usable.

“Although the refurbishment really took off in 2009, volunteers have been working on the box for the past ten years. It is completely unique and something we have been able to do ourselves in our workshop.

“We are a relatively small heritage railway but we are building a collection of really interesting things for railway buffs and anyone interested in transport of the bygone era.”

For more information on the Mid Suffolk Light Railway visit www.mslr.org.uk

 

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