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Royal records from the Wolverton Works archive

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As the Royal Wedding draws closer, it’s the ideal time to highlight some royal records from the Wolverton Works collection. The Works manufactured royal trains, including those preserved here at the Museum. (See the previous blog post about the Wolverton Works archive.)

The archive includes drawings of royal train carriages, their components and interiors. Diagrams such as the one below can be very long – some over two metres – and show where members of the Royal Family were positioned on the train during certain journeys. You can see the butler’s compartments in the image below.

Correspondence describes individual rail journeys, listing who was travelling on the train – including ladies in waiting, children of the monarch, politicians and representatives from other countries on state visits.

The archive also contains various technical records, such as specifications that list material that went into the construction of royal carriages. Files discuss maintenance and conversion work, and include descriptions of air conditioning systems that used ice to ensure a comfortable temperature was maintained

In 1933, a large fire destroyed parts of Wolverton Works and its rolling stock. One file explains how Wolverton fire brigade rescued the royal train from the flames. Below is a message sent by the King thanking the fire brigade for their work.

This is only a small selection of Royal material from our archive collections. To take a look at a wealth of royal memorabilia, come to Search Engine, our Research and Archive Centre, from Friday 22 to Monday 25 April, 10:00 – 17:30, when these and other items will be on display.

Written by Alison Kay

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