PLV (Passenger Luggage Van)

©David Jones
2186 was one of fifty vehicles, ordered in April 1934, based on a similar vehicle REL Maunsell had designed when CME of the SE&CR. The vans were built at Ashford to Diagram 3101 between 1934 and 1935. to Lot No.762. 2186 was built in December 1934 at a cost of £397. It was originally classified as a PLV (passenger Luggage Van), but after Nationalisation, all such vans were re-designated as PMV’s (Parcels and Miscellaneous Vans). On August 18th 1956, S2186 was relegated to Departmental Service (and renumbered DS150) subsequently to be allocated to Faversham, Kent for use by the Signal and Telegraph Department. For this purpose it was fitted out as a workshop and mess room. The van was finally condemned on May 31st 1978 and sent to Micheldever for scrap. It was purchased by the Maunsell Locomotive Society and delivered to Sheffield Park in December 1979. Over subsequent years it was repainted several times by MLS volunteers. By 2005 it was showing signs of its age and holes had appeared in the concrete floor. Upon completion of the restoration of 1638 in 2006 a group of the MLS working party undertook the task of completely overhauling the van. The structurally unstable concrete floor was stripped and replaced with steel plate and boarding. As most of the timber panels were in poor condition it was decided to replace all the timber bodywork and doors, with a thousand feet of best red deal being used, specially milled with a double rebate to match the original timber boards. The roof was recovered in a two layer heat applied felt, with a twenty year expected lifespan. A few corroded sections of the metal supports were cut out and replaced with new steel work. Such was the high standard of finish achieved that the rebuild project won an award from the Eastbourne Historic Vehicles Club in 2009. The Society has since ensured that the external appearance has been maintained to a high standard and the vehicle continues to provide useful storage space for loco components.