A 99-year-old railway carriage has been put back on the tracks on Hythe Pier.

The Hythe Pier Heritage Association put the restored Carriage number four back on the piers track during a ceremony on Saturday.

In conjunction with the Shed and support from Blue Funnel Ferries engineers, the association has been restoring the old railway carriage since July 2020.

It is the first of two ordered in October 1921 by the owners of the pier and the first of the carriages was dispatched from the constructor on May 26, 1922, arriving a couple of days later, perhaps, although it is not certain, 99 years to the day prior to the Back on Track ceremony.

The second , Carriage number 1, has been withdrawn from service for the next restoration project.

Anthony Smith, Chairman, Hythe Pier Heritage Association: “The restoration of Carriage 4 has been a year long labour of love for the members of The Shed, Tina and team as well as the engineers from Blue Funnel Ferries.

"We have also got to remember that 90 children from Hythe Primary School were involved in a project to save this carriage from further deterioration by writing to the Beaulieu Beaufort trustees”.

Tina Brown, Project Manager added that the team are "thrilled" to bring the carriage back on track after the refurbishment project.

Carriage number 4 was gifted to HPHA by Blue Funnel Ferries and is leased back to the ferry and pier operator for use on the Hythe Pier Railway.

The restoration included new side frames, new safety glass and period electric lighting units and re-staining of the seats.

Alan Titheridge, Ferry Historian and Author, said: “There isn’t a person in or from Hythe who has known a time the Hythe Pier Railway wasn’t here.

"It is heartening to know that on account of the dedication of the Hythe Pier Heritage Association and the quality workmanship put into this project, that the same will be so for many generations to come”.

Funding for the project came from a grant from the Beaulieu Beaufort Foundation and from the local community through events and donations.

In addition to the putting the carriage back on track, HPHA held a naming ceremony for locomotive 16307.

The 104 years old tractor unit was named “Gerald Yorke” by Nigel Hasted and Sara Richardson, grandchildren of Gerald Yorke, who was the consultant engineer for the Hythe Pier Railway project.