Bananas

On 8 March 1969, GWR Banana Van 82554 arrived from Worcester.

It was originally built as a Mink A goods van to diagram V12, lot 576 at Swindon in 1908, and converted to the Fruit B in 1925, which involved removal of vents, and installation of insulation and end-centre shuttered louvre. It has a capacity of 10 tons.

Fruit B banana vans were built to transport bananas – with insulated bodies and fitted with steam heating to allow bananas to be shipped green and ripen en-route.

In GWR telegraphic code, Mink was a covered goods van and Fruit is obvious. The extra letter identifies variations, so the Mink A was a 16ft ventilated van versus the Mink G being a 21ft ordinary van.

82554 ended working life at Worcester, and was restored for storage use at SVR Bewdley. Following a major overhaul by the Wagon Dept completed in 1994, it is mostly used at BH MPD for storage.

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