Sketch Found of Mystery Man

A sketch of a man dating from 1890 has been found during the restoration of a vintage railway carriage at the Midland Railway – Butterley.

The portrait was found on the back of some panelling, dating from 1890, when the coach was built at Derby Works. It is a little better than the usual workman’s doodles, so who drew it and who did he sketch? Could it possibly be a self-portrait or one of the artist’s workmates? Looking at it in more detail, this man is clearly wearing a wing collared shirt and a waistcoat, so perhaps it was the boss. We will never know, but it is interesting to speculate.

Sadly the sketch is no longer visible as it was on the reverse of a panel, but visitors will be able to travel in the carriage with the mystery man during the Vintage Train Weekend running from 29th April to 1st May at the Midland Railway – Butterley.

Alan Calladine, the Midland Railway Trust’s Development Officer said: “It’s great when we find a link with a person in the past. The man in the sketch was probably involved in its original construction and would no doubt have shared many of the skills that our volunteers have used in its restoration. This makes history come to life.”

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