Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project shall restore
the physical remains of a unique four-wheeled brake 3rd railway coach. The coach,
built in Stoke-on-Trent for the North Staffordshire Railway in the 1880s, will provide
additional seating for the popular Knotty Heritage Train and allow access to passengers
with mobility and other impairments. The award of £89,600 from the Heritage Lottery
Fund together with £15,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation allows the Knotty
Trust to start the £150,000 “ABC” project immediately. The Trust is indebted to
Prof. Peter Worsley for his donation of £10,000 in memory of his late father, Leonard.
The £35,000 balance of the funding shall come from many other generous supporters
and the Trust’s own fundraising activities, which will continue. These include
the publication of a children’s story book “Bel and the Kittens” about the adventures
of two local children from Dilhorne on the Foxfield Railway, to be published in time
The Knotty Coach Trust has received £89,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
for its Accessible Brake Coach Project (NSR brake 3rd No. 23) at the Foxfield Steam
A similar design of NSR brake 3rd seen at Prestbury in 1890. (National Archives)
The Knotty Coach Trustees in front of Beyer Peacock 0-4-0ST no1827 (built 1879) one
of the locos used to haul the Knotty Heritage Train. (N Brazier)
This exciting project allows the appointment of an apprentice to learn traditional
restoration skills, a filming project “The Stairs at Stoke Station” to provide interpretation
of early rail travel for young people, an informative smartphone app for passengers
and allows access to members of the community who have mobility and other impairments.
The restoration of the coach to its original condition will allow the Knotty Coach
Trust to augment the popular Knotty Heritage Train from April 2019 onwards. Foxfield
Railway President Brian Allen MBE said, “The Foxfield Railway is thrilled by the
award to the Knotty Coach Trust and are looking forward to the expansion of the Heritage
Train in 2019”. Rob Millington, Head of Blackfriars FE Academy in Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent,
said, “The project will provide a valuable educational resource which will be fully
inclusive to people with special educational needs & disabilities."
CAD of ABC showing cutaway section with wheelchair accommodation. (Mark Smith)
Stanegate Restorations spokesman David Charlton said, “Stanegate Restorations Ltd.
are delighted to be involved in the next phase of Knotty Coach Trust's development
of a Victorian train. Besides being able to use our craftsmen and women's skills
to restore a piece of our railway heritage, it will provide something the Victorians
did not consider building, an accessible vehicle. Additionally the project will allow
us to take on an apprentice, enabling us to pass on the skills required for future
The Knotty Coach Trust would particularly like to thank members of the NSR Study
Group who have given funds, items to sell, and historical information very readily
to support the project. Fundraising will need to continue before we can all get the
chance to ride on the newly restored carriage.
(This article is based on the press release by the Knotty Coach Trust on 12th October