Swanage Railway News Gallery - Page 319
£40,000 APPEAL TO SAVE & RETURN TO THE UK THE RAILWAY VAN THAT CARRIED WINSTON CHURCHILL TO HIS FINAL RESTING PLACE
Press Release from Andrew P.M. Wright - dated 29th August 2006
Official photographer & press officer, Swanage Railway.
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IMPORTANT UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2008
Setback as Churchill's funeral van, now back in the UK, is refused Lottery funding.
Click here for latest details.
Churchill News Index at foot of this page.
The coffin bearer party from the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars places the coffin in
van S2464S on the funeral train on 30 January 1965 (PA).
A £40,000 appeal has been launched to save the historic railway van
that carried Winston Churchillís body to his final resting place more than
40 years ago - and return it to this country from the United States of America
and a new home on Dorsetís Swanage Railway.
Please scroll down the page for details of how to easily contribute to this project
It was on 30th January, 1965, that the Southern Railway parcels and luggage van -
specially repainted in Pullman colours and suitably decorated - formed part of
the wartime leader and prime ministerís funeral train.
Full details of the funeral procession can be found on the
Havengore website, by following
Later, in 1965, the historic van was exported to California - thanks to the late
Darius Johnson - where it resides at a resort hotel in Los Angeles, sitting somewhat
out of place as part of a mock English railway station on a golf course.
Photographs of the van at its current location are shown below.
Now, the historic van has been declared surplus to requirements by its current
owners - the Los Angeles City of Industry - with the Los Angeles City of Industry
Mayor, David Perez, offering it "as a gift to the British people."
But, unless the £40,000 can be raised to return the van to Great Britain and restore it
back to running order for use on the Swanage Railway, the historic Southern Railway
van No. S2464S faces an uncertain future.
The Churchill Project appeal to save a very special piece of British railway history
is the idea of Steve Doughty, Deputy Chairman of the Swanage Railway Trust - which
runs the Swanage Railway.
Steve explained: "We are endeavouring to avoid any possibility of the
historic van deteriorating and eventually being lost and are now seeking support for its return to the UK because of its historical
importance. The Los Angeles City of Industry mayor David Perez has offered the van 'as a
gift to the British people'.
"The van - No. S2464S - was painted in Pullman Livery in 1962 and stored in anticipation
of its eventual requirement to bear Winston Churchillís coffin on its final journey to
Bladon, near Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire after his state funeral.
"The special funeral train was hauled by the locomotive - a Southern Railway streamlined
Bulleid Pacific - that bore his name and which is now preserved as part of the national
collection at the National Railway Musuem in York.
"The van has been located at a resort hotel near Los Angeles ever since leaving the UK,
where it sits out of place as part of a mock English railway station on a golf course.
The Swanage Railway Trust would like to restore it to its Pullman liveried splendour
and put it on display. I have been helped enormously in trying to achieve this by ťmigrť
British enthusiast Ivan Godfrey, who is based in Mexico, and who has worked with the
City of Industry to secure the van," added Mr Doughty.
The cost of returning the former luggage and parcels van to the UK from California - and
restoring it - is estimated at around £40,000.
Southern Railway Churchill funeral van - S2464S - at its location in Los Angeles.
Photographs copyright Jeff Parriott.
The Swanage Railway Trust is now appealing for donations and offers of sponsorship which
can be sent to the Swanage Railway Trust at Station House, Swanage, DORSET, BH19 1HB - marked Churchill Project.
Cheques should be made payable to "The Swanage Railway Trust (Churchill Project)".
The Swanage Railway Trust website now has an Appeals section with the ability to make online donations to the
Churchill Project, the Heritage Coach Fund and to the General Fund.
Donations are processed via PayPal and the payment process includes an
electronic Gift Aid form that conforms to HMR&C requirements. Donors do not need a PayPal account.
Please click here to visit the Swanage Railway Trust Appeals section at
In the event that the project is not successful,
donations received with a return address will be refunded. Any balance will go to progress other projects.
The Southern E-Group website has an excellent illustrated page covering Winston Churchillís funeral plus a
copy of the original Railway Magazine article from March 1965.
Please click here to visit the Southern E-Group pages.
Please click here to read the article Sir Winston Churchill's Last Journey.
This document is copyright The Railway Magazine and you'll need the free Acrobat Reader to view it.
Churchill News Links Index:
Setback for volunteers as Churchill's funeral van is refused Lottery funding Sept 2008
Handover of Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Van No. S2464S (150 photos)
Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Van No. S2464S Repatriation (5 photos)
Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Van No. S2464S Repatriation (updated 50 photos)
Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Train Van No. S2464S £40,000 Repatriation Project
BBC news item - Cash needed to save Churchill van - 31/08/06
All photographs are copyright as acknowledged
Last Updated 3rd Nov 2008
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