Built for private hire by the “well to do” middle-classes. It was possible for these vehicles to be attached to any service train to travel to any destination on the network for such events as Cheltenham or Ascot. This example is fairly self-contained, though it lacks the kitchen and servant's compartments of larger vehicles of the type.
In 1937 the body was sold off by the GWR and found use as a private residence at 10 River Gardens, Purley-on-Thames, near Pangbourne in Berkshire. The new owners made few modifications to the vehicle (notably a window in one end that has now been removed) resulting in the survival of a remarkably complete period interior.
The coach body was moved to Didcot in 1972.
Originally this was quite spartan, with “wood effect” painted walls, but it was refitted in 1911 with the present decor of French-polished mahogany. The upholstery is the original material dating from its last refit in the late 1920s. Of particular note is the provision of a separate Lavatory and Toilet, and the hand-coloured photographs that adorn the walls.
The underframe is not the original, but of a similar pattern provided by a Tool Van. Privately owned, there are no plans to use this vehicle on a regular basis once restoration is complete, in order to conserve the interior, but it will continue to be a prominent display item.