School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management

Responsible Tourism Management student Rachel Roberts' responsible upcycling building project

Responsible Tourism Management student builds sustainable summer house and gin bar in garden by upcycling 1955 goods waggon: grand reveal on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces on Channel 4 at 8pm on 3rd February.


Rachel Roberts, a Masters student studying MSc Responsible Tourism Management within the School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality Management, at Leeds Beckett University, and her partner Paul, a train driver for TransPennine, have carefully restored a goods waggon, originally built in Darlington in 1955, into an incredible, fresh new space for all the family to use.

The couple, who live in a Victorian railway station property, in Bedale, North Yorkshire are both active volunteers on the Wensleydale Steam Railway. The original plan was to build a replica signal box, but when the opportunity to purchase two railway goods waggons came up for sale at the nearby Wensleydale Railway, it was too good a challenge to ignore.

After much effort installing the goods waggon in situ in their back garden, work commenced on the complete renovation which involved fitting canvas to the roof to authentically recreate the original method of roofing carriages, and paint sourced from the original supplier. Transforming the space into a summer house and gin bar with a few special surprises.

Whilst it has been a family effort involving Rachel, Paul, and his daughter helping during the summer. Rachel is planning to escape the house to set up her study in there, to write her Masters Research Project this summer, whilst waving at trains, and drinking local gin, of course!

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