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This for­mer rail­way car­riage turned hol­i­day home has been ‘Mini Mod­ernised’ by de­sign­ers Mark Hamp­shire and Keith Stephen­son. Words by Sharon Dale. Pic­tures by An­drew Boyd and Chris Snook.

Dun­geness on the south Kent coast is a Mar­mite kind of place. Known as the desert of Eng­land and flanked by a nu­clear power sta­tion, it has been de­scribed by some as “bleak” and “postapoc­a­lyp­tic”. Keith Stephen­son and Mark Hamp­shire have a friend who used to play the sound­track to the dystopian film Blade Run­ner as he drove down to the beach to visit them but they love this na­ture-rich head­land and all its strange­ness.

The York­shire-born de­sign­ers, AKA the duo be­hind hip home­ware brand Mini Moderns, are a bright ad­di­tion to the small com­mu­nity af­ter buy­ing a hol­i­day home on the shin­gle.

“We have been vis­it­ing Dun­geness for nearly 20 years and have al­ways loved the land­scape, the at­mos­phere and big skies,” says Mark.

The pair, who have a main home in Lon­don, viewed a Grand De­signs-style prop­erty be­fore spot­ting their con­verted Vic­to­rian rail­way guard’s van. It is one of sev­eral placed on the beach in the early 1920s when work­ers em­ployed by the then South­ern Rail­way bought old rolling stock and turned the car­riages into hol­i­day shacks.

“We de­cided against the Grand De­sign and went for what some might have de­scribed as ‘a shed next to a nu­clear power sta­tion’. It had been rented out and had seen bet­ter days but we loved it im­me­di­ately,” says Keith.

Its lo­ca­tion be­tween the two light­houses and its un­in­ter­rupted

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