Prison stay for old railway wagon
A RAILWAY wagon has been sent to jail in the hope that it will come out reformed to the glory of its historic heydays.The 50-year-old truck used to carry mustard around Britain from the Colman's factory at Norwich.
A RAILWAY wagon has been sent to jail in the hope that it will come out reformed to the glory of its historic heydays.
The 50-year-old truck used to carry mustard around Britain from the Colman's factory at Norwich.
But the rotten shell has been sitting sadly in a siding at the North Norfolk Railway steam preservation line awaiting money and manpower to restore it.
It began a "stretch" at Hollesley Bay prison on Friday where young offenders will do the work as part of their training.
Thirty teenagers, some of them "lifers", will tackle the task at the prison's Carlford Unit - one of just three specialist jails for youths, aged 15-18, on long-term sentences ranging from two to 16 years.
The wagon is likely to spend at least a year at the jail, and maybe up to four, as the lads do the refurbishment as the community element of their Duke of Edinburgh Award and Millennium Volunteer schemes.
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Instructor Wayne Howlett said the boys - serving sentences for crimes ranging from murder to burglary - were in full time education at the jail.
But they could obviously not go into the community for their projects, so they decided to bring one into the jail instead.
It would also give some useful outside activities to youngsters who otherwise spent a lot of their time indoors.
"It will get them away from the television room or playing on the Playstation," he added.
The van was "pretty rotten" in parts, and a lot of the structure would need replacing, using metalwork and carpentry skills.
But the truck would be "restored to its original glory" assured Mr Howlett, who said the project helped the youngsters by getting them out of the claustrophobic surroundings of the jail block, and giving them a "purpose."
North Norfolk Railway director Julian Birley said they were very grateful for the jail's help.
Without it the van - which used to carry finished mustard to distribution centres across the country - faced a long wait for restoration.