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  PHOTO GALLERY GROUP 71
 
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And now for something completely different. Every so often, a member sends in a batch of photographs which deserve to get on the website very quickly. These are a case in point. The Pullman cars illustrated below are some of those rescued from Marazion in Cornwall, where a local businessman had hoped to restore them as holiday lets (recalling railway camping coaches from days gone by) – but the vandals had other ideas. If you want to see what these vehicles looked like at their nadir, have a look at this web page from Urban 75, and then scroll down to cheer yourself up.

Above: This is the view that greets guests arriving at The Old Railway Station in Petworth, which has now been converted into a luxury hotel – a 'must do' venue for railway ramblers, which transports you in an instance back to the age of Edwardian elegance and style. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)

 
Above: We think it unlikely that Petworth station ever received trains like this in the days of steam, but what a sight! Initially, only two Pullman cars were installed here so evidently someone has contracted RCD (Railway Collecting Disorder) – a dreadful disease that affects many railway enthusiasts and leads to acute emptying of the wallet. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)
 
Above: Petworth station, looking west towards Midhurst. The intermediate stations on the Pulborough-Midhurst line were all built of timber, so it is remarkable that all three of them (Fittleworth, Petworth and Selham) have survived into the 21st century. Midhurst had a fine brick-built station opened by the LBSCR when a separate line from Chichester reached the town in 1881, but that was demolished years ago to make way for a new housing estate. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)
 
Above: This long view of the platform shows the Pullman carriages in relation to the main station building. The platform surface deteriorated greatly after the station's closure, so it too has been renewed. The last passenger trains left here in February 1955, although freight survived – eastbound to Pulborough – until 1966. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)
 
Above: The new owners of these historic vehicles have gone to the trouble of providing information to guests about their history and previous appearance. As can be seen, this is the former interior of Alicante, built in December 1912 by Cravens Ltd of Sheffield. On delivery, it was delivered to the South East & Chatham Railway in crimson lake livery with gold lettering and lining. It was withdrawn from Pullman service in 1961 and the following year was converted into a camping coach at Preston Park works, just north of Brighton. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)
 
Above: We suppose that one could still regard Alicante as being a camping coach, albeit a camping coach with a fine pedigree and lashings of style. No doubt the bed was delivered as a flat pack – but it must still have been some task to negotiate its parts through and around the carriage doors. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)
 
Left: Bathing in Edwardian style. We doubt that British Rail provided bathroom facilities quite like this when Alicante was converted into a camping coach. In fact, BR's specification for the vehicle as a camping coach lists a kitchen, living room and three bedrooms, but no bathroom at all. After conversion, the carriage was taken to Marazion in 1963. The following year, BR's Western Region sold it (and five sister coaches) to the BR Staff Association, which used them all as camping coaches until about 1984 when they were sold to a Mr. Hitchens. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)
 
Above: The main station building includes this delightful, airy lounge which – as one can see from the ticket windows – used to be the booking hall. Given that Petworth station and its branch line closed to passengers as long ago as 1955, one cannot help but wonder if both ticket windows were ever needed during the building's railway history. If you wish to book a stay at this exquisitely maintained station, do have a look at this website. The station is situated in the South Downs National Park and is within easy reach of Goodwood (renowned for horse racing and motor sports) and Chichester, with its famous Festival Theatre and attractive harbour. 22nd May 2013. (Dave Hurley)