The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund
The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund was formed in summer 1976, initially to purchase LNER Brake Third Open 23834 (later 16600), then in use at Gateshead as a work study coach numbered DE 320942. This duly arrived on the SVR, but unfortunately proved to be in worse condition than thought, resulting in a period of storage at Highley followed by eventual scrapping for parts recovery. Parts recovered from 16600 are incorporated in most restored LNER carriages on SVR, but unfortunately no photographs of it have come to light.
In late 1978 the Fund’s next acquisition was LNER Composite Corridor Brake 24068, already at the SVR under private ownership. Further purchases of LNER rolling stock followed, including Open Third 43600 and BTK (Corridor Brake 3rd) 70759. In 2010 ownership of these three carriages was transferred to the SVR Charitable Trust; at the same time the LNER Carriage Group was formed as a department within the Trust, having common volunteers with the Fund.
For a time the Fund owned Gresley Composite Corridor Brake GNR 229 (later LNER 4229 and BR mess van TDE 320700) which arrived at Bewdley in 1977 having been acquired by The 4150 Fund as a mess van. It was later used by the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund as a workshop and was considered a candidate for future restoration for service. However in 1994 the Fund announced that 229 was to be sold, partly to fund the purchase of GNR 2701 and partly to free up space. It left for Llangollen in 1995, where its restoration in 2018 featured in Channel 4's TV Series 'Great Rail Restorations with Peter Snow'.
In early 2016, the Fund transferred ownership of Wheelchair Open Third (WTO) 24105 and GNR Composite (CK) 2701 to the SVR Charitable Trust. The LNER (SVR) Coach Fund continues to support the restoration and upkeep of all LNER carriages on the SVR.
In autumn 1990 the “Wash & Brush Up LNER Style” SVRA Wolverhampton Branch raffle raised money the Fund, which was later used in the restoration and conversion of LNER 24105 Open Third. The Fund historically sought donations or sponsoring parts for particular projects, although these are now solicited through the SVR Charitable Trust by the LNER Carriage Group for tax-efficient giving.
The Fund frequently issues newsletters, now jointly with the Carriage Group. These are available online on the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund website.