↑ Before and After ↓
THEODORA was built in 1926 to restriction ‘0' dimensions for use on London - Tunbridge Wells - Hastings services. The Car was constructed by the Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon Company and the Pullman Car Company's running number was 184. There was originally accommodation for 20 in two saloons. The wall panelling was mahogany, with centres of rich amboyna, surrounded by garlands of flowers in natural colours. The carpet was in brownish grey with seating in similar colours. Seating was changed in February 1932 to twelve first and eleven third class passengers and the small four compartment coupe was transferred from the lavatory end to the middle of the carriage.
Stored during World War 2, in 1946 the car was again remodelled to first class, with a revised seating arrangement, whilst retaining the coupe. It was used with two of its sisters on Ocean Liner expresses between London and Southampton, with occasional use of race trains. In July 1958 the car was repainted in Southern Region green, lost its name, became a non-supplement buffet car No. 184, and was equipped with a larger bar. It was sold to BR in November 1960, became S7874S and was withdrawn in 1963. The car was purchased by the K&ESR in 1964 and delivered to the line via Robertsbridge that September. THEODORA was used as a static buffet car until 1986 but then fell out of use. Following a bequest and a grant from the Millennium Commission, THEODORA returned to service in March 2005 as the bar car in the Wealden Pullman dining train.
BARBARA was built as sister to THEODORA for the Hastings services and was No. 185 in the Pullman Company's lists. Her interior was panelled in pomele panels in pear tree, with oval centres containing baskets of flowers. The carpet was crimson with chair coverings of similar colour. She had a similar pre-war history, but unlike her sister was converted to a buffet car in January 1946 and labelled 'Refreshment Car'. Her coupe was removed; the lavatory converted to a pantry; the bar section enlarged & completely restyled; and more modest but comfortable leather seats supplemented by stand seats and stools. She worked on the London - Hastings services until dieselisation in 1958. Repainted green and numbered S7877S following sale to BR in 1960, withdrawal from the Southampton service occurred in December 1963. The car accompanied No. 184 to the K&ESR in September 1964. Restored to Pullman livery, full interior restoration, comfortable Pullman seating and again carrying the name, BARBARA has given many years of service on the Wealden Pullman. BARBARA received further extensive restoration in 1997 and now seats eighteen at tables for two.
In 1952, ARIES became the last Pullman Car to be built at the Pullman Car Company’s own works at Preston Park, Brighton. Originally seating 20 & having a coupé, toilet & pantry, this Car was numbered 304. The series of ten Cars, of which ARIES is one, were noticeably different from earlier Pullman Cars, having less marquetry, plainer veneers and a greater use of mirrored panels. Externally, double glazed windows, flush panelling & rectangular toilet windows gave the Cars a cleaner appearance. These Cars were amongst the first to use bottled ‘Calor Gas’ for cooking. ARIES regularly formed part of the famous Golden Arrow service, which was the way to travel from London to Paris. Additionally, with these Cars being the newest in the Pullman fleet, ARIES and her sisters were the usual choice for Royal Trains from 1951 onwards. After a working life of just 16 years, ARIES was withdrawn & sold for use as a static restaurant. There she remained for thirty years until offered for preservation. After a number of owners, she was offered for sale to the K&ESR and moved to restoration workshops near Chesterfield. When restoration is completed, ARIES will join our other Pullman Cars in the Wealden Pullman.
If you would like more detailed information about ARIES please visit our dedicated page.