What on first glance looked like a typical garden shed, in fact started its life as a Brighton train carriage from the 1800s.
The discovery came to the astonishment of Pulborough resident Jonathan Harding when he moved into his new home in 2012.
Now the cladding on the facade has been removed to reveal a rare and beautiful sight.
Jonathan said: “It wasn’t until we noticed a sign above one of the doors that we began to get excited, this shed, complete with flower pots and cladding, was actually an 1875 London to Brighton railway carriage in disguise!”
The County Times reported on the amazing find last June when Mr Harding and his daughter Kimberley began their long journey to restore the third class passenger carriage and connecting guard’s carriage.
Now, Jonathan has revealed its progress which includes fixing the door frames, putting in new flooring and giving the fading signs a fresh coat of paint.
The passenger carriage was also elevated so Jonathan could dig down 700ml to remove all the mud and put in sleepers.
For certain jobs, however, Jonathan brought in professional carpenter Nick Chapman of Chapman Construction.
Jonathan said: “We needed a carpenter to take away the rotten wood of the door frames and connect the new door frames upright to the floor we put in.
“He’s never worked on anything like it before.”
The train carriage began its service in 1875 but was decommissioned in 1901.
As the director of Kimberley Systems Engineering Limited, a company that specialises in trains, it only seemed fitting for Jonathan to take on the ambitious task.
“I’m excited! The next thing I want to do is get started on the guard’s carriage – there’s lots of interesting features there.
“I’d like to eventually get a wood burning stove in and put a paraffin light above.”
Jonathan said the restoration is expected to take another year, but when complete will become his office space with decking out the front.
“We’ve also found the original logo of the Brighton Railways and will be putting that on the door,” he said.
Kimberley, who does all the creative stencilling, writes a blog to keep people up to date on their progress.
To see how they are getting along, visit http://ksel.org.uk/ and click ‘Blog’.
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