MARK Spriggs and wife Michelle painstakingly restored 1880 carriage to its former glory with period features and real train memorabilia on this week’s Amazing Spaces
What do you do with a rusting, rotting old train carriage dumped at the bottom of your garden, just weeks before the arrival of your child? Restore it of course.
Mark Spriggs set himself an impossible challenge: to restore a vintage train carriage not an incredible living space, complete with bathroom, kitchen and lounge before the birth of his son.
Mark, from Brighton, gave himself just 12 weeks to turn his 140-year-old carriage into something spectacular for the perfect spot for visiting relatives.
Read the full story at: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/718489/amazing-spaces-channel-4-train-carriage-conversion-home-garden
Already dad to daughter Poppy, 3, Mark and wife Michelle feared their home wasn’t big enough for a family of four.
So they set about turning the old carriage, which once housed soldiers returning from the First World War, into extra living space for their growing family.
Ahead of the ambitious project, Michelle said: “Stress levels will go up but it will be done. Fingers crossed.”
But tree surgeon Mark, who vowed that “it would be completely finished“ by the time of his son’s arrival, had never done anything like this before.
The carriage, which was at the bottom of their garden when they moved in, had been there since 1920.
lMade from mahogany, the carriage had been left to rot and rust for 140 years.
But Mark and Amazing Spaces host George Clarke were left stunned when they peeled back the felt off the roof to find the roof in an immaculate condition.
Putting aside £14-15,000 for the project, Mark told how he planned to create an open plan living area, kitchenette, a chill out space with double bed and a bathroom and shower too.
But he insisted he wanted to restore it to how it might have looked in its heyday, vowing to use antique versions and period items instead when restoring the carriage.
Mark said: “It’s got to have a few wrinkles like you and I. To make it immaculate would not do it any justice.”
Hundreds of parts needed to be reconstructed or carve dby hand, a challenge even for the most skilled of carpenters.
Yet undeterred by the challenge, Mark continued with his ambition, working 12-hour days to painstakingly restore the carriage.
But unsurprisingly, it took a lot longer than anticipated, and son Harry could not wait for his dad to be finished.