Further to my post earlier this week regarding the availability of the Hornby R4538 Maunsell open second class coach in BR green, its arrival has generated some discussion on a number of forums and email lists with respect to the prototype that Hornby have chosen to model.
Friend and guru of all things Southern coach related Chris Knowles-Thomas kindly provided a useful summary for the R4538 model, so I hope he does not mind me using his information as the basis of this post.
R4538 has the running number S1314S and carries set No. 104 on one end. Coach number 1314 was one of the diagram 2005 open thirds (1312 – 1361) built in 1933. Its designation changed to open second in 1956 when British Railways abolished the use of Third.
It was loose, i.e. not allocated to any particular set, from 1933 until November 1959 when it replaced the ex SE&CR diagram 52 non-corridor second 1063 in 2-set ‘W’ Number 104. [Edit: although, see Clive Standen’s comment below, that it appears as allocated to South Eastern Division boat train set number 8 in 1957.] The other coach in set 104 was Maunsell brake composite to diagram 2401 No. S6589S.
Hornby have also previously released a Brake Composite to diagram 2401 though not yet with the appropriate running number for set 104. This set was disbanded in June 1962 and 1314 reverted to lose stock. It was withdrawn in November 1962.
It is currently being debated whether S1314S carried set numbers in reality. Generally the Southern only applied set numbers to brake ends but at least some of the open seconds in 2-sets ‘W’ 100-110 are known to have had set number applied, e.g. set 103, so if anyone has any photo references for set 104 it would be good to know.