Nº. 74 (luggage Van/PMV)- SR Nº. 1808


Nº. 74 was built at Lancing in 1942 as Nº. 1808 (the number it still carries). It has 61/2 inch planking but features a curious style of body strapping, presumably a wartime economy to lessen the use of steel. As built, there were four ventilators on each side and one at each end, with two sets of double doors on either side. Built as passenger luggage van, it became designated a parcels and miscellaneous van (PMV) during its BR service. It received an overhaul at Doncaster in June 1979 but was condemned at Bricklayers Arms only seven months later along with several hundred similar vehicles as BR wound down its parcels service. On arrival in May 1981 it was found to be in excellent mechanical order. It was subsequently converted into a stores and staff support van for the Wealden Pullman trains and entered service during 1984 in SR malachite green livery. It was fitted with a connecting gangway at one end, electric lighting and steam heating. The livery was later changed to Maunsell olive green. Withdrawn from service with a distorted underframe in 2003 it is currently used as a static kitchen at Bodiam.

Nº. 76 - (Utility Van/CCT) Nº. 1745

One of a batch of vans constructed in 1938. As well as two pairs of side doors it has double doors at each end for end loading. Initially designated as a Utility Van it was later classified as a Covered Carriage Truck (CCT). After withdrawal by BR, Nº. 76 arrived on the K&ESR in March 1982 for use as a store.

Nº. 79 - ( Luggage Van/PMV)Nº. 1145

This vehicle . Built at Ashford in 1937 as SR Nº. 1145 it was built as passenger luggage van.It became designated a parcels and miscellaneous van (PMV) during its BR service.In February 1966,renumbered as DS70217, it became a Civil Engineer's Department mess van and tool van. It arrived from Stewarts Lane in December 1984 and initially served in a similar role on the K&ESR but is now employed as a stores van for the C & W Department.

Nº. 89 - (Luggage Van/PMV) SR Nº. 2012

Built by the SECR in 1922 at Ashford, No. 2012 was one of the first production batch of these useful vans the prototype of which is preserved on the K&ESR ( No 93 -See below).It was converted to a mess and tool van for a mobile generating set in 1948and renumbered ADS 1035 . It was delivered to the K&ESR in March 1990 and employed as a tool van for the brakedown train. Needing extensive floor repairs it was withdrawn in 2005. Its body is due to be grounded as a workshop at Bodiam and the underframe used under a four wheeled coach body.

Cavell Van. SECR 132 prototype Maunsell SECR Passenger Luggage Van (BR designation-PMV)( K&ESR No.93)


The prototype Passenger Luggage Van. Used on delivery in 1919 to transport Nurse Edith Cavell's body on repatriation to the UK from Belgium where the Germans had executed her. It was also used to carry the remains of Captain Fryatt. Later it was used to convey the remains of the Unknown Warrior from Dover to Victoria in November 1920.MORE

Later many further examples were built to the same design for the Southern Railway and British Railways up to 1955, many remaining in service till the late 1980s. They were always known to the older generation of railwaymen as 'Cavell vans'

Used throughout the 1920s,30s,and 40s on mainline service by the Southern Railway . Transfered to quieter departmental use and renumbered No. 374S in August 1946, it became a stores van working between Lancing carriage works and Brighton . After this it was used for some years as a staff and tool van by the Power Supply Section with the number DS374. It was transferred to the "internal user" series in October 1967 with the number 082757 and was last used at the Guildford cable depot.

The Cavell van was purchased by the Tenterden Rolling Stock Group from storage at Hoo Junction and was delivered to the K&ESR at Wittersham Road on 22 January 1992. When its historical significance was realised  it was repaired and restored rather more thoroughly than was usual for a stores van, and was repainted in its original SE&CR umber livery with yellow lettering. In 1994 it was moved to Robertsbridge on the Rother Valley Railway and subsequently changed hands regretfully becoming somewhat neglected in the process. It was purchased by a K&ESR member in 2003 and in 2004 was moved back to the K&ESR. During 2010 it was restored it to its 'as built' condition  and it is used as a memorial exhibit to commemorate the Unknown Warrior, Nurse Cavell and Captain Fryatt whose remains it conveyed. It was inagurated on 10 November 2010 , the 90th anniversaryof its use to convey the Unknown Warrior's remains from Dover to London Victoria and a commemorative train is run on Remembrance Day.

It is usually to be found at Bodiam Station and is normally available for viewing when trains run to Bodiam.

Numbered 132,1972, 374S, DS734 and 082757 during its working life on the mainline 

cavell van restored                                                                            Image courtesy of Lewis J Brockway.

SR 2439 (Utility Van/CCT) built 1931

Built by the SR at Ashford to diagram 3101, lot 574 in 1931. Transferred to departmental stock as DS70324 and into preservation c 1990 at the Northampton & Lamport Railway. Moved to the K&ESR in 2005 for use as a stores van.