The chairman of Suffolk’s Museum of the Year has slammed the ‘mindless’ vandalism of a 140-year-old carriage which could cost hundreds of pounds to repair.
The Mid Suffolk District Light Railway, based at Brockford Station in Wetheringsett and affectionately known as the ‘Middy’, is a museum and runs regular steam trains and many events throughout the year.
The damage was discovered in the pre-service track walk for the Steam Railway Day on Sunday.
Four of the six end windows in the guard’s compartment of coach number 12 had been smashed.
“You just can’t believe the mindlessness of it,” said Middy Chairman, Jon Taylor.
“This vehicle is 140 years old and is one of the most important working parts of the railway.
“Now we are going to have to spend money and volunteer time making good the damage. We may be Suffolk Museum of the Year but as a charity we depend on the goodwill of members and supporters funding and unpaid effort.
“This will be hundred of pounds which could be used in much better ways.”
Graham Ashwell, Carriage and Wagon Manager, and John Holmes, Workshop Manager carried out temporary repairs with plywood, and templates prepared for replacement glazing to be sourced as soon as possible.
The Middy coaches had been at stabled at the Dovebrook end of the line all week due to shunting operations so it is not known for sure when the damage was sustained.
Carriage number 12 in the museum stock list was built for the Great Eastern Railway (GER) in 1875 and was refurbished by Middy volunteers at the Museum’s works during 2000 and 2002. It is the same model as coach number 14, which was bought from the GER by the Middy in 1904.