Littleworth coach

Littleworth coach - South Devon Railway

By: John Brodribb
Added: 06 December 2016

The South Devon Railway Trust Museum at Buckfastleigh station has long had custody of the “Littleworth coach”, dating from about 1848. It was built originally for the Monmouth Railway, and was recovered from a field in 1974 and brought to the railway. It spent several years on display before being put into storage. It returned to the museum in May of this year.

On Thursday 24 November Thermokil came in to treat the Littleworth coach for any insect infestation, which is highly likely after all the time it has spent sheeted over in the lean-to next to the running shed. The treatment involves heating the wood to a temperature sufficient to kill the bugs. At 50oC it requires two hours; 52oC needs and hour, and above 55oC 15 minutes will suffice. It is necessary to be sure that the core of the thickest piece of wood has achieved the temperature, which was duly done. The coach remained securely sheeted over to help with achieving the temperature, the heat being generated by a very large fan heater. The photo shows it being unwrapped at the start of December. This will now allow us to make a detailed assessment of its current condition, and start to formulate a long-term plan for restoration. This is an object of national importance, being the sixth-oldest coach in the country, and when refurbished will be a major asset to the museum and railway. Visitors will be able to see it again from Boxing Day to 02 January 2017, when the SDR is open for post-Christmas running.