“Pairs” Carriage F.66
Purchased as two four-wheel carriages in 1873 from the Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon Co., Ltd., of Saltley Works in Birmingham and later allocated fleet numbers B.11 and B.15, by 1881 these two carriages had become close coupled and were later mnounted on a new steel underframe, again supplied by the Metropolitan Carriage & Wagon Co., Ltd., in 1910 to become F.66. The carriage in this form survived in service until 1979 when it was withdrawn and partially rebuilt. At this point the panelling was amended so that the lower portions were in one section, rather like the large “F” carriages. It was also allocated a retrospective “No.1” fleet number in an attempt to make the carriages somehow appear older (!) and was the only such vehicle to be treated in this way, reverting to F.66 a short time later. The internal layout remains as built, being three open-backed third class compartments sparsely furnished. The carriage featured in a television adaptation of The Ginger Tree in 1988. Latterly it was used as a spare carriage and stored on the Birkenhead Siding at Port Erin Station, and was last repainted from the maroon and cream scheme into the then-standard purple lake and off-white in 1995, the livery it still carries today. Since withdrawal in 1999 it has been stored at various locations including the goods yard at Port St. Mary, Homefield Bus Garage and is currently in a hangar at Jurby Airfield. The last repaint featured non-prototypical class designations on the compartment doors in gold shaded in blue.
Above: as it last appeared in traffic back in 1999, F.66 was painted in an unusual mix of styles to match the then-standard purple lake scheme which made it stand out from the other carriages, it was the last of the "pairs" carriages to remain in service, the last four having been withdrawn at the close of the 1987 season; the lettering and class designations are non-standard.
Port Soderick (As "No.1")
As "No.1" Ballasalla Station