The Picnic Saloon Trust

   Registered Charity Nº1024538

How We Began

Carriage waiting to be saved
This photo of the carriage waiting to be saved dates from 1992
LNWR Picnic Saloon 182 was built at Wolverton in 1894. On withdrawal from service the body was sold to the Ancell Trust at Wolverton, who used it as a croquet pavilion. The Trust acquired other bodies for football, cricket and tennis clubs and eventually they were all replaced by more permanent buildings. They very kindly donated the to body to us in 1991 and we moved it to Quainton Road, near Aylesbury.

When carriages were no longer required it was common to offer the bodies for sale at a fixed price per foot. If you wanted enough feet, then you were given a complete carriage. Otherwise they were cut off to length, usually two, three or more compartments and until very recently these could be found in gardens, on allotments and in fields all over the region.

Usually the underframes were also life expired, but occasionally they were re-used and in this case it received a brand new body by the LMS, also built at Wolverton.
A new body on a Picnic Carriage underframe
A new body on a Picnic Carriage underframe in Wolverton Works
It became a covered carriage truck and when that too became surplus to requirements it became an internal-use vehicle at Wolverton Works to carry sawdust from the sawmill to the furnaces. We persuaded the Works Manager that it was no longer required, he put it up for auction and we managed to buy it. We removed the LMS body and donated parts to help restore another similar van, and in due course mounted our body onto it. Which carriage this underframe originally carried is unknown but it is of exactly the correct type for our Picnic Saloon body.

CCT body removed and underframe stripped
CCT body removed and underframe stripped. the parts painted black are made of steel, but just to make them stand out, wooden parts were painted pink.
Most "preserved" carriages have to earn their keep and are kept running by whatever means are necessary, which means many compromises. We however were determined that our restoration would be authentic and use as much original material as possible. That ethos has remained throughout the job as you can read elsewhere on this site.

The body propped up temporarily
The body propped up temporarily on its "new" underframe
We are very fortunate to be housed under cover at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton, HP22 4BY and wish to place on record how much we are indebted to them for their hospitality, facilities and encouragement over many years. We are not currently on public display but can be viewed by appointment.

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