|Built By||FR Co.|
|Designation||Port hole Bugbox|
|Seating||Knifeboard 6(?) x2|
Carriage 12 is a new replica "Porthole bugbox".
Details the first Carriage 12 van be found here. It is now numbered Van 5.
The second carriage to be allocated the number 12 was the "Flying Bench" but it has never carried this number, and now is to be numbered 11. Details can be found here.
Norman Bond and Team X are currently (early 2008) building another replica vehicle, to be numbered 12. This will be another bugbox, of the type known colloquially as 'Porthole', on account of the ventilators in the ends, as seen in the photograph below. It will incorporate the last of the metal 'underframes' built for Ron Jarvis and will be vacuum braked. It will use two original doors!
Though the photo illustrates No.11, (identified at bottom of door), the identical carriage No.12 is the next in the train. Note the different liveries, typical of the time.
The flying bench was found beneath one of these carriages when the late C19th bodywork collapsed during the 1950s when the derelict carriage was being moved at Boston Lodge. The enclosed bodies had been added to make 1st class observation carriages, in place of the original leather aprons and canvas canopy, and the side windows were completely glazed with a single pane of glass either side of the central door, which had a glazed droplight. It does not take much imagination to see that the glazing would have acted like a greenhouse in any sort of sunlight. By the time of Wheeler's photo the 'portholes' had been glazed (or more likely had fine mesh fitted to stop midges and flies) but originally they had sliding ventilators which were in evidence to the end. There are two different styles of ventilator and a sample of each exists and are being used to produce replicas.
Some time soon after the Great War the glazing was removed and substitued by the wire mesh and rails, seen in the photo. The small board in the waist panel of the door bears the legend 'Observation Car' and was applied when the carriages were first enclosed. The current (2009) revision of the Rule Book allocates the number 12 to the flying bench, so it remains to be seen what the final number allocation of this carriage will be.