On Saturday May 29th 2021 Hythe Pier Heritage Association were delighted to welcome volunteers, members and visitors to the Pier for the first event in almost 18 months.

Back on Track saw the official launch of the lovingly restored Carriage 4, a very proud moment for HPHA and all those who were involved in the project. The project got under way early in 2020 when the carriage was taken out of service on the pier railway and gifted to HPHA by Lee Rayment of Blue Funnel Ferries. Coinciding with this, HPHA undertook a project with Hythe Primary School which highlighted the plight of the historic railway carriages. The school children wrote 90 letters asking for financial support for the restoration project to Beaulieu Beaufort Foundation followed up by a letter from HPHA. As a consequence a grant for £10,000 was awarded for the project.

The bulk of the work was completed by the members of Hythe Shed (at the Pier) supported by engineers from Blue Funnel and project led by HPHA board member Tina Brown. The restoration included new side frames, new safety glass and period electric lighting plus re-staining of the of the original seating. The restored Carriage 4 is now leased back to the pier operator and is in daily service on the Pier Railway.

Also part of ‘Back on Track’ was a naming ceremony for the railway tractor unit, now named ‘Gerald Yorke’ after the original consultant train engineer. HPHA were honoured to welcome Nigel Hasted and Sarah Richardson, grandchildren of Gerald Yorke, to cut the ribbon at the ceremony.