IT’S been used a seed shop and a tool store but now it’s time for this lonely railway wagon to find a new home.
The late-19th-century wagon has been on the Roman Grove Allotments in Portchester for decades.
In fact, it’s been there since before the longest allotment holder can remember.
Now the Portchester Allotment Holders’ and Gardeners’ Association is hoping that a rail enthusiast will take the wagon off its hands, and give it the makeover it deserves.
Allotment manager Dave Watson, 60, from Portchester, said: ‘It’s got to go, otherwise it’s going to have a breaking burial.
‘It’s got all the rolling stock on the bottom and all the metalwork is there. It would be a shame for it to go that way but we need the room.
‘I haven’t got a clue how it got there or when, but it’s been there for years. It has had its time and it’s got to go.’
Trustee Dixie Dean, from Paulsgrove, said: ‘We believe the carriage was brought to the allotment site over 40 years ago and was originally used as the allotment shop.
‘It was replaced as the shop by the current Marley building and then used to store tools but we are not sure when.
‘We’ve got to get rid of it, and if nobody takes it, it will be burnt and the metal scrapped, which would be very sad.’
The association believes the wagon is a London South West Railway 10 Ton Van used on the London to Southampton route, from about 1899 to 1912.
The allotments are undergoing improvements by Fareham Borough Council, and as the wagon no longer meets health and safety standards as a store, it needs to removed.
Mr Dean, 58, said: ‘Examination of the wagon shows that while the woodwork has succumbed to the elements over time, the ironwork remains in good order and any enthusiasts with the right skills, right materials and time could restore the van to its original form.
‘The association would prefer to see it removed and taken for refurbishment rather than it be destroyed. However, if there are no takers then we will have to destroy it to make way for the improvements.’
Anyone interested can call Mr Watson on 07982 249873.