Named after the famous Victorian era engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, our first carriage has lived a charmed life.
She was built in 1911, which makes 'older than the Titanic and more successful' says Ross. When WWI broke out, she was taken into France and used on the French railway as a makeshift ambulance. This very carriage transported Doctors, Nurses and injured troops back from the battle of the Somme and various other dangerous locations.
Following on from the war, she was brought back to Britain and served in a number of different capacities, although none as brave as the one previously mentioned.
The carriage was stored in a lovely old disused train station in Oswestry, Shropshire, it was there that we purchased her from Andrew Wilson, a keen train enthusiast. Andrew was selling the carriage to aid the purchase of a new boat, as one does at the age of 85. Not an easy process though and it took some gentle persuading from us. The reason being that Channel 4 programme Hollyoaks also wanted to buy the carriage, so that they could use her in a train crash scene. They were offering substantially more more money and it took the vision of the new lease of life in Dorset and refurbishment for Andrew to eventually agree to sell. And luckily for us he did!