Rye & Camber Coach Chassis Relocated
November 2008

After languishing for more years than we care to remember in various corners of the Museum, the Rye & Camber Tramway coach chassis passed into the care of the Colonel Stephens Railway Museum at the Kent & East Sussex Railway at Tenterden, Kent, in November.

The Rye and Camber Tramway, in East Sussex, was of 3ft gauge and opened in 1895. The line had two W G Bagnall 2-4-0T locomotives, "Camber" and "Victoria", which had more than a passing resemblance to our own "Polar Bear" which was built by the same company. The coach was also a Bagnall product having been built for the opening of the railway.

The chassis had been acquired by members of the Brockham Museum Trust and passed to Amberley on the amalgamation of the two collections in 1982.

It had long been realised that the chassis, although an important artifact, was not the highest of our priorities at Amberley so when we were approached by Colonel Stephens Society we quickly entered into negotiations with them which culminated in an agreement for the chassis to leave Amberley.

The Society's plans are to complete a cosmetic restoration and then put it on display outside their Museum.

Here the chassis has been extracted ready for collection.

The bogies, which are complete, are fairly substantial items. Not sure whether the wheels go round though.

On 5 November a hiab lorry arrived accompanied by several members of the Colonel Stephens Railway Society, and soon the chassis was being lifted for transport to Tenterden.

The chassis is held steady as it is lowered onto the lorry.

The bogies soon followed .....

..... and fitted neatly within the chassis frames.

After loading had been completed, we had a cup of coffee and then our visitors were given a tour of the collection, including a quick trip down the line in the Wickham car.

Further reading:-
The Rye & Camber Tramway - A centenary History by Laurie Cooksey
Published by the Plateway Press - ISBN 1-871980-26-7

Colonel Stephens Railway Museum
Colonel Stephens Railway Society

Gerry Cork & Amberley Working Museum - November 2008
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