Churchill's funeral carriage in Shildon for restoration

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Winston Churchill's coffin is carried on to the carriageImage source, PA
Image caption,
Sir Winston Churchill was transported to Oxfordshire where he was laid to rest

The carriage which carried Sir Winston Churchill's coffin to his final resting place has arrived in County Durham for restoration.

Southern Railway luggage van No 2464 will be at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum, in Shildon until January.

The carriage transported Churchill's coffin from London to Oxfordshire in 1965.

It is being loaned to the museum by Swanage Railway Collection.

The museum's team will restore the carriage before moving it to the National Railway Museum in York as part of an exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the former Prime Minister's state funeral.

After the funeral in London, his coffin was loaded into the carriage which was then drawn by Battle of Britain locomotive Winston Churchill to Oxfordshire.

Thousands gathered along the route to pay their respects.

Image source, National Railway Museum
Image caption,
The carriage was moved to Los Angeles in 1966 but returned to the UK in 2007

Churchill was laid to rest in the parish churchyard of Bladon, close to Blenheim Palace where he was born 89 years earlier.

The carriage was built in 1931 and was used during World War Two on evacuation trains before being put into Pullman colours in the 1960s.

The carriage was moved to Los Angeles in 1966 but returned to the UK in 2007 where it entered the Swanage Railway Collection.

Anthony Coulls, senior curator at the National Railway Museum, said the carriage was one of the most historically significant artefacts to pass through the museum.

He said: "We are looking forward to seeing the workshop team transform the carriage as it is such an important piece of British history."