On the 28th March 1930, the journey of one of the Great Western Railway’s strangest export loads started. The load was a complete dismantled Cotswold cottage. Motor magnate, Henry Ford, occasionally holidayed in the Cotswolds, liked what he saw and ordered the Chief Engineer at his Manchester factory to buy him a suitable cottage to move to the USA. For the princely sum of £500, Rose Cottage, Lower Chedworth, Gloucestershire was bought. The entire building was carefully dismantled and taken to the nearest station, Foss Cross, where the 475 tons of stone etc were loaded into 67 wagons. The train was then taken to Brentford Docks where the contents were loaded onto barges and taken to London Docks for the Atlantic crossing. The cottage was then re-erected by Gloucestershire builders at Ford’s site at Dearborn, near Detroit USA. Henry Ford later bought a 17th century forge building from Snowshill, Gloucestershire, and this too was transported to the USA by the GWR using the same route and methods.
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By Mike Peart