A High Peak pub has pulled out all the stops to restore an iconic railway sleeper carriage which has been converted into en-suite accommodation for its guests.
The Derbyshire Belle, an antique train carriage which has taken pride of place in the grounds of The Little Mill Inn at Rowarth for the past 40 years, has just undergone a £10,000 makeover, and pub owner Ian Fletcher, 55, says it’s never looked better.
He added: “The carriage ended up in the garden of the pub and it’s a bit of an icon, but it needed some work. We’ve been hands-on, me and my mate have done it together and it’s come on really well.
“It was encased in mud before, so we’ve dug it out so the undercarriage is visible.
“In the 40 years it’s been used it’s never had a restoration like this, so it’s the best it’s looked since it was built.”
The Derbyshire Belle, so christened after it was brought to the pub after years of service as a First Class car on the London to Brighton Line, was built in 1933.
It was retired in 1972, rumoured to be a sanctuary for King George V - and transported to the pub to be used as a restaurant. It was equipped in the 1980s with en-suite bedrooms, offering a place to stay for the pub’s patrons.
Now, as the pub goes up for sale, it’s time for the Belle to change hands once again.
“We’ve spent £20,000 on the pub and the train to get it on the market. It was a bit of a labour of love when we bought it, a lot of money has been spent, so I’d like to see it carry on.”
Call Sutherland Reay on 01663 744 866 for details.