Catch the last coach from Clent

During the History Day, held in Nov 2012 one of our visitors spoke fondly of holidays she had spent in Clent as a child. She remembered the chalets in the Clatterbach area opposite the Vine Inn and thought she might also have seen ‘an old railway carriage, somewhere over Walton Hill.’ …….. We thought it was time to revisit this article, written by John Partington for the Parish magazine in Oct/Nov 2006.



This coach was built in 1895 by the Asbury Carriage & Wagon Co. of Manchester for The Barry Railway in South Wales. It is 33ft 11ins long by 7ft 9ins over body, and is a first and second composite, having two First Class compartments seating eight people in each compartment.

Built as a 6 wheeler – to Barry Diagram 5, originally number 15 but renumbered circa 1910 as number 163. Six of these coaches had been built in 1895, number 163 was the last to be built in that year.

The Barry Railway was absorbed into the Great Western Railway in 1923 and coach number 163 was renumbered yet again being given the number 6058. It was withdrawn from service on 28th November 1928.

What , you may ask , has this to do with Clent ? After being withdrawn the coach was sold, transported to the Clent Hills and used as a holiday home on the Clatterbach side of Walton Hill.

Many will remember the holiday homes at Clatterbach  (and also those on the other side of Walton Hill). These were very popular with people from the Black Country, offering a welcome weekend and holiday retreat from daily work and life in the towns. Some were kept beautifully whilst others became neglected in later years.

The railway coach, along with its sister coach number 16, fared well enough, remaining in place until 1990. At that time coach 164 was broken up and it was thought the same fate lay ahead of 163. Fortunately it was saved for preservation and on being removed from Clent on 21st April 1992 was then taken to Hampton Loade on the Severn Valley Railway, 25th April 1992. Since then it has been lovingly restored to almost it original design. (Mr David Flavell – Restoration Project Manager. Info from Internet) It rests there, in its glory, in a short siding at Hampton Loade. 



If you, or members of your family, enjoyed holidays in either the chalets or railway coaches at Clent, do please get in touch with us , or if you can add further information about coaches 163 and 164.

 Photos would be lovely!

It would make a good walk from Severn Valley Park, (Has a visitor centre WCs & Refreshments) crossing by the river bridge and following the railway or river path to Hampton Loade, to see out how our Clent Coach is doing.You could  combine the walk with a journey on one of the steam trains!!  That would be a real treat.

*Check out train times/opening hours of Visitor centre before you go.

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