Car No.9 of 1910
In 1910 a new car entered service unlike any of the others so far built. As we have seen with the original Cars 3 & 4, Magnus had experimented with open cars fitted with canvas weather screens, and with the original Car 5 he had built a saloon with removable windows.
With his new car Magnus went one better as from the north side the car looked just like an ordinary open crossbench car but from the sea-side it looked like a semi-open with two sliding doors and a fixed centre panel. The reason for this was that it would give some solid protection from the chill wind off the sea but would also allow free movement of air around the car when the weather was fine – thus Magnus hoped to reap the benefit of both an open and a semi-open car on the same chassis. It also sports a four panel dash at the western end and a three panel dash at the eastern end.
This strange hybrid system lasted until the car was fitted with the Volk’s standard chassis during 1923 / 24 Although the side panel and doors were removed during the rebuild the glazed bulkheads were left in place to give some protection. Car dimensions are: Overall length 24’6″, width 6ft and height 7’8″. An 8hp C.E.B motor supplies the traction.
One confusion with this Car results from the post-war renumbering when it became Car 2. This lasted from 1948 until 2000 when all of the cars reverted to their ‘as built’ numbers. By the 1990s the wheel profiles on this car had become extremely worn and it was sidelined as an emergency spare – but it did see some service as shown above where it waits its driver at Halfway.
rebuild and refurbish
In 2002 the decision was taken the rebuild and refurbish the car. Financial input from both the Council and the Association allowed the staff and volunteers to re-wheel the car, overhaul the underframe, renew the wiring and install new control gear. The car then had new canvas applied to the roof and underwent a complete repaint in a ‘Pullman’ style livery suggested by the Association.
An ornate numbering scheme was applied to the centre dash panels (see pictured above) and the build date was affixed to the central roof support on each side. The car re-entered service in 2003 in time for it to take the starring roll in the 120th Anniversary celebrations on Sunday 3rd August of that year. Jim Hawkin’s photographs show the details of number and date, and also show the Mayor of Brighton, Councillor Jeanne Lepper posing alongside the car at Halfway (see above). In the background special guest to the 120th, Julian Clary, leans off the rear platform. The final picture on this page comes from Gerry Cork and shows a well loaded 9 heading off to Black Rock from Halfway. In the murk of the shed you can just make out the remaining Southend car awaiting it’s fate or restoration.