GWR/BR Mink D / Fruit D ENPARTS Vans mystery

Carriage Conundrums - top page

ENPARTS VAN ADW198 at Swindon Works on 19th May 1979. This had been converted from GWR Mink D 28919.   Keith Gunner

ENPARTS Van TDW206 at Cardiff Canton on 26th June 1973. This has clearly been converted from a BR/GWR Fruit D but what was its former identity?   Rail On line

The GWR had quite a number of what are now referred to as departmental or service stock numbering series each starting at 1. The numbers were often re-used if a vehicle was scrapped or replaced. This happened in 1947 when nine ENPARTS Vans numbered 198-206 that had been converted in 1944 from Open Siphons were replaced with nine Mink D's. These Mink D conversions continued to be used until the 1970s. In 1955 a further Mink D was converted to an ENPARTS Van. By then BR practice was to add a 'D' prefix to the number of any wagon taken into service stock rather than re-number it. Details of these ten are given below:-

ENPARTS Number Mink D Number Comments
DW198 28919 Condemned p12/78 - Seen Swindon Works 19/5/79.
DW199 28890 Condemned p10/76
DW200 28843 Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW201 28871 Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW202 28933 Condemned p10/78
DW203 28866 Condemned p11/78
DW204 28833 Condemned p10/76 - Seen Swindon Works 19/5/79. Subsequently preserved at Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway, then to Llangollen Railway, then to Cambrian Railway Trust, Llynclys, then to Gloucestershire-Warwickshire Railway.
DW205 28911 Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW206 28874 Condemned p2/80 (See below)
DW28797 28797 Condemned p10/78 - Seen Swindon Works 19/5/79, 1/3/80. Believed disposed of to Woodham, Barry 6/80 (tbc)

In later years an 'A' (CM&EE) or 'T' (Traffic) prefix was added to the service stock number of the survivors.

In the late 1960's and early 1970's a a number of GWR design Fruit C's and Fruit D's were added to the ENPARTS Van fleet. All were renumbered into the appropriate number series applicable at the time for coaching stock transferred to service stock (e.g, - 2893 became DW150423, 3466 became DB975164).

However, this does not explain TDW206, pictured above, at Cardiif Canton in 1973. This is clearly converted from a Fruit D not a Mink D! In addition the bodies of two Fruit D's have turned up on South Wales farms numbered ADW200 & ADW201, identified on examination to
have originally been 92106 & 92068 withdrawn in 1971 & 1974 respectively! The mystery deepens when the book 'BR General Parcels Rolling Stock - A Pictorial Survey' is consulted as this contains a picture of DW201 taken at Swindon in 1969. The van pictured though is clearly a Mink D!

A possible explanation is that for a period in the 1970's the GWR practice of re-using numbers of condemned service stock for their replacements was revived. Consequently several of the Enparts Vans converted from Mink D were replaced with recently condemned Fruit D's.

It does appear that three, if not four, ENPARTS Vans condemned in p2/80 were by then Fruit D conversions rather than Mink D conversions. These four, along with ADB975164 (converted from Fruit D 3466) were apparently despatched to Woodhams, Barry for scrap in 6/80. Clearly Woodhams then sold on the bodies of some, if not all of these. Those of ADW200 (ex 92106) and ADB975164 (ex 3466) are located behind Fairview, Peterstone Wentlooge, Newport (ST256796) and that of ADW201 (ex 92068) is located in a field at Fair View, Peterstone Wentlooge, Newport (ST302838) along with two other Fruit D bodies, one of these being identified as 92075. Could 92075 and the other unidentified one have once been DW205 and TDW206?

Research currently under way into Fruit D disposals being undertaken by John Hall has highlighted four possible contenders for conversion to ENPARTS Vans. These are 92043, 92068, 92075 and 92106 all of which were last known to be located at Swindon Works from where they were disposed but no further trace can be found. It is known that 92068 became DW201 and 92106 became DW200 is it possible then that 92043 and 92075 became DW205 and DW206?

Any help or comments which might help resolve this mystery would be very much welcomed by Peter Hall.

This page is maintained by Peter Hall.