TV historian, Lucy Worsley was among special guests to enjoy a ride in a newly-restored train carriage at a heritage railway. North Staffordshire Railway carriage No 23 dates back to the 1880s, but its remains were discovered at Rudyward Lake five years ago. Since then, the 'Knotty Trust' has undertaken a careful restoration of the brake vehicle, which has also been adapted to provide a heritage train experience for people in wheelchairs.
Dr Worsley and her family became involved in the project as her grandfather, the late Leonard Worsley from Cheadle, travelled on the ‘Knotty’ railway every day after winning a scholarship to Orme Boys School in Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Lucy attended a special launch of the No 23 carriage at Foxfield Railway in Blythe Bridge on Wednesday, May 1 with her nephew, Olly, who was the first wheelchair user to make use of the newly accessible coach.
The coach is now part of the Knotty Heritage Train which is run by the North Staffordshire Railway Rolling Stock Restoration Trust, also known as the Knotty Coach Trust.
The trust restores former North Staffordshire Railway coaches in a bid to bring them back to full running order and operate them regularly as part of the heritage train.
The restoration was funded by a donation from the Worsley family with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Fellow guests at the opening event were 99-year-old Nancy Coates from Ashbourne who donated one of the Knotty coaches – which was derelict and had been used as a farm building – to the trust.
The three-coach Knotty Heritage Train was running in public service at Foxfield Railway for the first time over the Bank Holiday weekend.
The train was the main feature of a Victorian themed weekend.
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