Wiltshire Publications

All aboard! Former Victorian train carriage transformed into art gallery

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A RUSTY old Victorian train carriage has been converted into a shiny new art gallery showroom in Bratton by the daughter of a popular local rail enthusiast who died in 2016.

Vicki Martin, daughter of Tim Martin – who worked as a general engineer from his workshop on Imber Road from 1968 – inherited the workshop site, along with the carriage and many other pieces of railway memorabilia.

For two years, Vicki has worked to restore the carriage, converting it into a art gallery, giving local artists the opportunity to exhibit their work. The site of the workshop has also become home to Vicki’s business, Pond Croft Workshops, where she works as a master gilder and framer. 

Vicki said, “Dad would be astounded. The project has given me an enormous sense of wellbeing. It was a rusty shell when I started, I can’t believe how it has turned out. I tried to keep as many of the original features as possible like the window at the back, the door and the ceiling of the carriage.

“I believe that the carriage was a braking carriage, placed at the back of a steam train. If the steamer picked up too much momentum, the operator would apply the brakes – that’s what I believe anyway. 

“If there is someone that can tell me any more, I would love to hear from them. Please come and visit, I’ll make a nice cup of tea in return! Anyone is free to come and visit the carriage, whether your interest is in railway memorabilia or the art on display in the carriage.”

Pond Croft Workshops on Imber Road in Bratton is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 9.30am until 4pm and is free to visit. For more information visit the Facebook page: www.face book.com/pondcroftwork shops