|The German Coal Truck prior to the move to St John's Store|
I was lucky enough to go behind the scenes in the store and look around. When walking into a room, gloriously to one side of the wall, something caught my eye. As always, like most people, I ran over like it was an ice cream truck. It wasn’t an ice cream truck but rather a German coal wagon. Now you may be thinking: a German coal wagon? It is more interesting than you may think.
The German coal wagon was discovered near Bath Spa railway station by Network Rail workers in 2001. This wagon was found when railway arches were opened to be changed into retail units. Along with the wagon, was a section of the track and a small section of the turntable.
The German coal wagon, which had been in Bristol for conservation, is now housed in the St. John’s Store. The wagon was considered of interest to the Railway Heritage Committee, so long-term plans were organized. This is why they found a lovely home for the wagon.
What more is there about this intriguing wagon? Well, the German coal wagon was built by Orenstein & Koppal. This company, founded in 1876, made railway equipment for trenches on the German side during the 1st World War. This particular wagon distributed coal from Bath station to the coal fired power station.
Finding such an item in Britain is rare. I sparked your interest, didn’t I?
You may now be pondering profusely: when can I see the German coal wagon? My dear friend, your time has come...
To learn more about the 1890’s wagon and other interesting and captivating items, come to St. John’s Store during Heritage Open Week, on October 29, 2011. Trust me when I say it is a visit you will not regret!
Solange - Collections Intern
For exact opening times please follow this link: http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/pdf/Open%20Week%20Prog%202011%20FINAL.pdf