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Churchill’s funeral van restoration

In anticipation of the significant 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's funeral, this project aimed to restore the van which carried the statesman's coffin from London to Handborough, where he was buried.

Aim

The goal was to restore the van to its former glory in preparation for an exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of Churchill's death.

Context

2015 saw the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, and the running of his famous funeral train. This anniversary was marked by an exhibition at the National Railway Museum which opened on 30 January 2015.

The anniversary prompted restoration of the van, with the intention that it would go on long-term display following the exhibition.

Outcomes

Full restoration and repainting of the van completed in the workshop at Locomotion. The restored van was displayed alongside locomotive No. 34051 Winston Churchill and Pullman carriage Lydia as part of the exhibition Churchill's Final Journey at the National Railway Museum.

Outputs

  • All rotten woodwork (about 80%) was removed from the van
  • All steel frame/body work had the old paint removed
  • All new window frames were made and fitted
  • All wooden boards were removed and replaced with new
  • The van was fully repainted inside and out

Replacing woodwork on Churchill's funeral van.
Trainee Steve Hopper begins work on the doors of Churchill's funeral van

This project was supported by Friends of the National Railway Museum.

Logo of Friends of the National Railway Museum