Britain’s oldest horsebox is back in use. A horsebox built in 1869 has been carefully restored by a team of dedicated volunteers.

It was originally built by SJ Clay in Long Eaton, Derbys, to take horses to Newmarket on the Great Eastern Railway, when horses were transported by train.

The carriage was found derelict on a farm in Quy, Cambridgeshire, by a former member of the Mid Suffolk Light Railway.

Researchers from the railway found the original drawings in the National Railway Museum, and in 2009 started work.

Now it is fully restored.

John Bloom, the team leader, said: “This is probably the oldest horsebox in the UK and a unique vehicle. It was a challenging task and involved hundreds of hours of work by six volunteers.”

The horsebox was unveiled on 26 May, and will be used on special occasions on the 500-yard track heritage railway, with passengers riding in the groom’s quarters.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound on 5 June 2014.