The North Norfolk Railway has, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, undertaken a full renovation of the carriage to recreate a cottage as it may have looked at the height of railway carriage homes. This is a unique project and it highlights the way in which many people lived between the wars. Railway carriage cottages are a much forgotten part of our recent social history.
The carriage that makes Railway Cottage was built by the Great Eastern Railway Company in 1899. It was a third class, five compartment commuter carriage seating 60 passengers and as many standing as could cram themselves in. It ran from London Liverpool Street on the East London Line.
The carriage was sold out of service in 1930 and it was eventually bought by Cecil Allen who lived in this and another carriage at Kerdistan for many years with his wife and daughter. They called the cottage ‘Glenhome’ and turned it into a smallholding.
The carriage was sold out of the family when the couple died and was bought by the former owners, who have constructed a new house on the site and donated this carriage to the North Norfolk Railway. The coach arrived at Holt in June 2010.
The education department will use the coach for workshops for schools and it will be open to the general public as often as possible as an example of what life was like for carriage dwellers in the 1930s.