1894 London and North Western Picnic Saloon

picnic saloon elevation and plan
London & North Western Picnic Saloon


The coach body was used as a family home for 60 years until the owner Hannah Bacon passed away.  Her family Alan Bacon, who was brought up in the coach, and Marjory his wife donated the coach to RDRPS with a sum of money towards the restoration in 2004.

Sadly, as evidenced in the attached pictures, the coach has suffered from years of exposure and the interior bears no resemblance to the original depicted in drawing no:2191; all the interior panelling and furniture is either missing or damaged beyond repair.


The coach body has now been moved to its new location.  A foundation of sleepers and a series of 8” x 4” RSJs now forms a solid and level structure for the reconstruction to start and to ensure that the body remains square.

Currently we’re removing what remains of the interior including a modern partition, plumbing, electrics and a kitchen sink and cataloguing what we find.  In doing so we have found the original body number stamped on the old WC door being 189.  These numbers were changed when in the early 1900’s smaller companies such as LNWR were amalgamated to become London, Midland and Scottish, the LMS number being 589.

Creating cover to protect what remains and to allow the continuing work is critical, and in this the current yard proprietor has been most supportive in the positioning of the coach adjacent to a stack of large containers.  He’s also leased us an elderly lorry body for storage and a workshop.

As we dismantle the coach, every part will be numbered and either reconditioned or replaced.

picnic saloon elevation and plan


A project team from the Royal Deeside Railway Preservation Society has embarked on the restoration of a London and North Western Railway D 85, 30 ' 1” Picnic Saloon from the Victorian era.


Built at Wolverton works in 1894, this is the second of two such remaining picnic saloons to be left out of several hundred.  It was built to drawing No: 2191 with copies below showing the upholstery shaded to give an impression of the full Victorian luxury.  An example of what the coach will look like when finished can be seen at the right.

This project is being supported by the Marr Partnership

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

The Picnic Saloon sitting on a four wheel chassis, before its move from the lay-by to the new location

Updated 13/10/16


For the moment the main participants are from Monymusk, another stop on the old Kintore to Alford line. We have Bill Youngson, Doug Harper and Fergus McGhie who jointly have 211 years of experience in vascular surgery, subsea and offshore project management and painting and decorating.  That should just about suffice! We will also welcome other help from volunteers with practical skills in joinery and carpentry.


RDRPS would like to recognise the encouragement and invaluable advice being given by Tony Lyster from the Picnic Saloon Trust based at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton.  Tony and colleagues are well advanced with the restoration of the other remaining LNWR Picnic Saloon which interestingly spent several years as a Croquet Pavilion!  In recent years they have donated several items to our coach including a whole section to replace the gap in the side.  Thank you Tony.


Whilst the RDRPS has started with self-funding, we are delighted to announce that we’ve been awarded a significant sum towards the restoration by The Marr Area Partnership Initiative.

The coach will take many hundreds of hours to complete all of which with the exception of specialist services will be provided FOC by the volunteers.  The interior being mahogany, birch panelling, carpeting and luxurious buttoned upholstery will require significant expenditure in the later part of the restoration.  We shall be pursuing other fund raising methods in time.


Some of the exterior fittings such as brass handles and roof ventilators are missing so if anyone is aware of where these can be sourced then please let us know.

Contact Fergus McGhie for further information, volunteering and finding of bits :



The attached video shows excerpts of the period when from 1944 and for 60 years the LNWR Picnic Saloon served as a home for Bill and Hannah Bacon.  

After the second world war when houses were in short supply, the redundant Picnic saloon was converted to provide a home for Hannah where she her raised son Alan.

He and wife Marjory donated the saloon to RDRPS in 2004 on Hannah's death, along along with a sum of money contributing to the transport and restoration.


PROGRESS REPORT - 26th February 2018


The various clips show the Picnic Saloon as the core of a comfortable home, the couple on their wedding day and subsequent removal and journey north to Aberdeenshire where the saloon was stored for 12 years before restoration commenced in October 2016.

RDRPS intend that when the restoration is complete, the picnic saloon will be named 'Hannah' and will be used for weddings, celebrations and corporate events.



"So, last update was through to November 22nd 2017, bad weather during December delayed real progress and of course then Xmas and New Year breaks during which some of The Team members were assisting with the Santa Train services being caterers and in my case a somewhat aged Elf for Santa. Much has changed since the last update.


We're very thankful to Bert McIntosh of McIntosh Plant Hire who has given us a  corner of one of his sheds to locate the picnic saloon allowing us to work undercover for the remainder of the restoration work and with the added benefit of electricity; just as well given that both of our generators have packed in!  Some of the attached pics show the PS being transported to the new location at Echt and establishment of a level foundation for the PS.  Being able to work all round the coach body is major progress, previously and weather permitting we had to lift individual tarpaulins to access each area for work


With the complex reconstruction of the 4 corners being largely complete we've been able to commence with repair to the composite flooring which in some cases was rotten and in others had to be removed to gain access for the corner repairs.

Re-panelling of the exterior continues with one side and both coach ends being completed and starting the process of removing the mahogany panelling from the the untouched side.

Our intention is to finish the exterior re-panelling in 9mm marine plywood then sand and fair the exterior and apply several coats of WEST epoxy when this is done in the warmer weather we will then start the process of remaking all the exterior beading ready for fixing.

Work has started on stripping the doors for subsequent rebuild and with some of the drop pane window frames missing or beyond repair we've purchased a Jarrah wood sleeper to experiment with this as the replacement window frames.

The roof exterior protective layer:

We have started the process of removing layers of the original french chalk and linseed oil coating, this is heavily caked and the process is slow. Once complete we will sand and fair the original pitch pine roofing planks, these will have to be re-fixed with new SS screws. Once complete the roof will be covered with a product from Switzerland namely Sarnifil, we are very grateful to A & B Buchan roofers from Alford  who have kindly offered to both provide and apply the materials for the roof.


Totalling some £6800 we have exhausted available funding for the moment but have applied to I.A.A. for funding to reconstruct the coach interior and to get the chassis into running condition. We have adequate materials to finish the exterior to wind and watertight but excluding the final enamel paint required for the complex L.N.W.R. colours."

The Team:

We have a steady core of 5 to 6 bodies although we're moving resources onto work for this seasons running programme namely construction of a new platform at the West Lodge siding and indeed early preparatory for construction of a new bridge over the Bennie Burn near Banchory."