AN informal "roll-out" ceremony took place in Bewdley to mark the midway point of a £75,000 restoration project by the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust.

The trust is working to restore a 1943 ex-London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) Gresley-designed Gangwayed Brake Pigeon Van.

It held the roll-out ceremony after the vehicle was given a new roof ,which completed the exterior repair, restoration and reconstruction.

Guests attending the event included Nick Paul, chairman of Severn Valley Railway (Holdings) PLC and a trustee of the SVR Charitable Trust and Tim Godfrey, a Shropshire resident and grandson of Sir Nigel Gresley, who designed the carriage.

Mr Godfrey is also a vice-president of the LNER (SVR) Coach Fund and of the Gresley Society Trust.

David McIntosh, chairman of the Gresley Society Trust, several supporters of the project, the workers who have built the new roof and other representatives of the SVR Trust were also in attendance.

Mr Paul paid tribute to the dedication of the people helping with the major restoration and said that creating the SVR Gresley Teak Train had spanned a period of 42 years.

The trust’s volunteer working group is now focussing on the interior detail.

Finance for the restoration project is being raised mainly from SVR supporters, who are sponsoring individual items ranging from £25 for a small teak panel to £3,000 for a complete compartment.