A working volunteer and keen supporter of the Wagon Group has privately purchased two (Nos. 4726 and 4730) of the ex-Ministry of Defence 5-plank opens, that were offered in an auction of surplus MOD equipment. They touched down at NVR a couple of weeks ago and appear to be in incredibly good condition – which in some ways is a shame, as my sources indicate the other similar examples from the same auction went for scrap and were quickly given the chop… 4726 is seen above.
No.4730 is next in line. This floor of this one has some holes, but nothing too serious that can’t be replaced. Otherwise it is in the same excellent condition requiring barely more than a wire brush and a repaint into 1950s BR ‘fitted’ bauxite livery, which both these wagons will receive in time – hopefully after completion of current restoration project, ex-LMS CCT 37071. Although these wagons were built for the MOD in 1963, they are in fact copies of the BR diag. 1/044 ‘Highfit’, although the original planked bodies have been rebuilt with steel sides in more recent times.