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Update from Steve Doughty - 30th September 2008
Project Leader and Deputy Chairman, Swanage Railway Trust.
Photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright, official photographer & press officer, Swanage Railway, unless otherwise noted.
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Churchill News Index at foot of this page.

Please scroll down the page for details of how to easily contribute to this project

Handover at Southampton Docks 24th September 2007. Photo copyright Andrew P.M. Wright
After an 8000 mile voyage from California via the Panama Canal, Southern Railway van S2464S - or the Churchill Car as it is better known to our USA friends - arrived at Southampton on the 'Tamerlane' last year. Shown with Sir Winston Churchill's funeral van - Southern Railway van S2464S - at Southampton Docks are Swanage Railway Trust Deputy Chairman and Project Leader, Steve Doughty (extreme left) with, next to him, James Cox Swanage Railway Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Manager and the team who loaded the van onto the low-loader on Wednesday 3rd October 2007.

Steve Doughty writes:

Many people have asked recently for an update on the Swanage Railway Trust's plans for the Churchill van, which was successfully returned last year to the UK from the USA and which has since been subject to a Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

I regret to advise you that the HLF has declined to support the Trust's £50,000 bid to restore the Churchill funeral van and use this to house a museum focussing on the role of railways in the Second World War.

The Trust was surprised by this decision, given the detailed submission made and what it felt was a comprehensive but modest plan to tell a story of national and international importance in the context of this historic artefact that is assciated with the man regarded by many as the greatest Briton of all time and who, of course, led this country at this critical point in its history.

The bearer party places the coffin on the funeral train (PA)
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).

Nevertheless, the Trust respects the HLF's decision, which reflects the reduced funds available for heritage projects as a result of the diversion of resource to the Olympic games.

The Trust would like to thank the many people who have supported the project so far and have helped to secure the return of the car from Calirornia, where its future was uncertain. The Trust would also like to thank the Heritage Railway Association, the Imperial War Museum, the Churchill Centre & Museum, His Grace the Duke of Marlborough, Dorset County Council and many others for their formal support for the bid.

The Trust is now seeking alternative funding for the project. Offers of support and further details of the project are available from me at the address below.

In the event that sufficient funds are not forthcoming to complete the museum project, such funds as are available will be used to conserve the car, which will then be made available for general use on the Swanage Railway.

The next stage will very much depend on how much can be raised by our supporters.

Full details of the repatriation project, including how to donate to the next phase, can be found below and on our news page at http://www.swanagerailway.co.uk/news319.htm and donations can be made via the Trust's website via this link or by contacting the Trust's Deputy Chairman Steve Doughty at stephen.doughty1@btopenworld.com.

I am grateful to those who have already contributed to the costs of returning van S2464S to the UK. However, we do still need to raise much more to finish the job so even if you have already contributed please consider sending a cheque to the Swanage Railway Trust (Churchill Project), Station House, Swanage, DORSET BH19 1HB or via our website at this link.

Steve Doughty
Deputy Chairman Swanage Railway Trust
30th September 2008


Southern Railway Churchill funeral catafalque - bogie luggage van S2464S Donations to the Churchill project can be made to the Swanage Railway Trust (Churchill Fund), Station House, Swanage, Dorset BH19 1HB or on-line by debit or credit card via the Trust’s website at ‘www.swanagerailwaytrust.org.uk’ by following this link.

Please click here to visit the Swanage Railway Trust Appeals section at http://www.swanagerailwaytrust.org.uk/appeals/index.htm#Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill's funeral train catafalque started its long journey back to the UK from the USA on Monday 13th August 2007, when preparations began at the Industry Hills golf resort near Los Angeles for its move to the port of Long Beach. For a full photo report of the preparations for the journey, please click here, and click here for photos of the first photos of the arrival at Southampton on 24th September 2007. Further photos of the removal from Southampton Docks on Wednesday 3rd October 2007 can be found here

Contact details:
Steve Doughty
Deputy Chairman
Swanage Railway Trust
Station House
BH19 1HB
Tel: 07860-108754
Email: stephen.doughty1@btopenworld.com

Churchill News Links Index:

Link Setback for volunteers as Churchill's funeral van is refused Lottery funding Sept 2008 - 30/09/08
Link Handover of Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Van No. S2464S (150 photos) - 03/10/07
Link Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Van No. S2464S Repatriation (5 photos) - 28/09/07
Link Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Van No. S2464S Repatriation (updated 50 photos) - 19/08/07
Link Sir Winston Churchill's Funeral Train Van No. S2464S £40,000 Repatriation Project - 29/08/06
Link BBC news item - Cash needed to save Churchill van - 31/08/06

All photographs are copyright Andrew P.M. Wright unless otherwise acknowledged.
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Last Updated 3rd Nov 2008 by Keith Morgan.
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