The Vintage Carriages Trust (VCT) is a volunteer body, based on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. It was formed in 1965 by a group of volunteers whose interest was in wooden bodied carriages. They could see that there was a need to concentrate on the preservation of these historic items which were in grave danger of disappearing due to the weather and vandalism damage and unsuitability for regular use on preserved railways of the day.
The Trust became a Registered Charity (No. 510776) in 1981 and a Registered Museum (No. 1202) in 1992. The Collection held by the Trust is at present nine historic railway carriages, also three small industrial steam locomotives, and a collection of railway posters and other miscellaneous railway items. Richard Gibbon, formerly the Curator of Engineering Collections at the National Railway Museum, is the Trustís Curatorial Adviser.
The Trust owns the Museum of Rail Travel at Ingrow - the first station from Keighley on the Worth Valley Railway. By three phases of building work over the
last twenty years this has developed into a large museum display and associated workshop, and is the Trustís headquarters. Although the building is named a "museum", the Trust stresses that it is the Trust as a whole that is a "Museum on the Move", and functions as a Museum anywhere where the Collection can be seen in action or on static display. With the third stage of building at Ingrow now completed there are still two locomotives not accommodated in the Museum building.
As well as income from our modest admission charges, funding sources for the Trustís activities include:
Filming and other carriage hire is an important source of income. We welcome this controlled and occasional use, whether for filming or in actual passenger use on the Worth Valley or other Railways as an important way in which our Collection can be interpreted for the education and enjoyment of all.
Membership subscriptions and donations from Members (of whom there are about 600 at present) and from friends:
Grants towards the three phases of the programme which has resulted in the present Museum building at Ingrow. These include from the Museums & Galleries Commission, the English Tourist Board, the Keighley Single Regeneration Budget and (for the final phase) a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £222,800.
Grants towards equipment, facilities and restoration work from the Yorkshire Museums Council, and from the Museums & Galleries Commission's PRISM (Preservation and Restoration of Industrial & Scientific Material) Fund.
Sales profits have been important since the early days of the Trust. Today, we have a large Railway Relic Shop and our Magazine Room at Ingrow. Here we sell ice cream, soft drinks and 'Thomas the Tank Engine' toys as well as a wide range of railway relics, books and magazine back numbers - the majority of the last are kindly donated to the Trust by Members and friends.
The work of our volunteers in carriage restoration has gained recognition over the years with a number of national Awards. In 1998 the Museum building itself and the efforts put into improved access for the disabled achieved a national ADAPT (Access for Disabled people to Arts Premises Today) Award in the Museum section. We also were Runners-Up in the volunteer sector of the Yorkshire Electricity/Yorkshire & Humberside Museums Council Access Awards.
It is the Museum building at Ingrow in which all Trust members take most pride. The last 30 years have seen major advances in all facets of the Trust's activities. This been achieved by the support of all the membership and by the dedication and hard work of the working members who can now continue to enjoy their hobby and take pride in the results. If you are impressed by what we have achieved so far, and feel you would like to be a part of this activity, either as a supportive 'armchair' Member, or by practical work at Ingrow, or in our Shop, or with our locomotives. Why not join us?