Volume 59 No. 2 Mar/April 2014
news from railways in and around Norfolk
Crossing the River Yare on the approach to Norwich Thorpe on 21st February 2014, Class 47 47818 heads a DVT and two Mk
3s with Class 47 47810 Peter Bath 1927-2006 on the rear with a train from Lowestoft. (Andy Wright)
National Network been taken out of use as the exit signal is lying on its side and
GEML Update (as at 21st March)
Bullhead rail along the platform 3 track has been renewed
General: recently, whilst the platform 2 track was renewed with
The permanent way is seldom permanent with continual concrete sleepers etc a few years ago.
repair and maintenance taking place. Some recent changes
are summarised below. Caistor St Edmund:
Probably as a result of the winter deluge, problems have
Norwich: been experienced with cutting slopes at several locations
The middle siding between platforms 4 & 5 appears to have such as on the Down side just north of Manningtree. The
trees along the Caistor cutting slopes have been felled and
In This Issue 1 some reinforcement work to the cutting slope has taken place
3 on the London side of the Markshall Lane overbridge.
Track Report 5
National Network 11 Ipswich:
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge & Miniature The Europa Chord scheme is nearing completion and is
11 scheduled to open for regular traffic, following trials, on about
Pick-up Goods 30th/31st March. The main line connections (double junction
15 with switch diamond) were installed on 8th/9th March and new
NRS News signalling on the main line (new Up Line junction signal on the
Features Norwich side of the A14 “tunnel”) was commissioned on 16th
Summer Season Relief Stationmaster March – the signalling on the chord was awaiting
(Concluding Part) – Rod Lock commissioning as at 20th March. A media event was held on
Working Timetable 21st March with Stephen Hammond, Under-Secretary of State
for Transport, and Ben Gummer, MP, present – the former
saying that the scheme disproved underinvestment in East
Anglia and Ben Gummer saying days of GE commuters
having to wait for passing freight trains would be over. The
media spin continued with claims that hundreds of HGVs would
be taken off the road to use this new rail line - note that the
Felixstowe branch is running to full capacity; the chord just
avoids the need for trains routed via Bury St Edmunds having
to reverse in Ipswich Yard and container services will not be
barred from travelling via the GEML!
At East Suffolk Junc the former civil engineers’ sidings on the
Up side have been recovered (early March), preparing the way
for a new facility to serve Freightliner which will, in turn, see the
closure of the refuelling and loco stabling sidings beside the
station currently used by Freightliner.
The Griffin branch line, joining the GEML at Halifax Junc
London side of Ipswich tunnel, has been refettled and
reballasted but little or no use is evident at present.
The new pedestrian subway structure to replace a surface
footpath crossing has been constructed in an adjacent field on
the Up side of the railway (see photographs right) and was
awaiting “launch” beneath the railway embankment – as at 21st
March. The local MP Eric Pickles is to open the new subway.
By mid-March, construction of the new Regional Operating
Norfolk Railway Society
President: Arnold Hoskins, Esq.
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq.
Committee and Officers 2013-2014 Telephone Centre at Romford, London side of the Up Main platform, is
proceeding apace with the concrete formed stair/lift towers
Chairman Gordon Bruce complete and structural steelwork frame being erected.
Vice Chairman Peter Cooke The ROC will ultimately control all lines in East Anglia fringing
to York ROC to the north.
Past Chairman Peter Adds
Secretary Ian Woodruff At the London end of Ilford EMU depot, on a site beside the
present wheel lathe building, a structural steelwork frame is
Treasurer John Laycock being erected to create a new building believed to be
necessary as an accommodation work for the Crossrail project.
Fixtures Arranged by sub-committee
Steam loco visitors to Ilford’s wheel lathe in early March
Membership Sec. Mike Handscomb included 34067 Tangmere, followed a few days later by 35028
Newsletter Editor Edward Mann
Publicity Mike Fordham A shortage of rolling stock has seen various cancellations and
substitutions. The Mk3 overhaul programme is partly to blame –
Committee Members: plus the use of a DVT and two FOs on the stand-in dmu set top
and tailed by DRS Class 47s (DRS Mk2 coaches arrived
Graham Kenworthy on/about 25th February but do not appear to have entered traffic
yet). During the week commencing 10th March one of the
Chris Mitchell Norwich – London diagrams (0900/1400/1900 ex-Norwich) was
worked by 321443/448 (448 being the Eversholt demonstrator
Peter Willis unit showing how the 321s could be refurbished).
—------------------------------ A bird strike to the 0540 Norwich - Sheringham service on 15th
March resulted in that unit being withdrawn from traffic resulting
Website Editor Andrew Wright in cancellations on all the coastal routes from Norwich during
Archivists Peter Allison &
90013 became the third 90 (after 90005/014) to receive the
Raymond Meek new Abellio livery, being seen in traffic on 17th March.
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter
Editor Edward Mann
Distribution Graham Smith
Please contact Graham if the next edition does not arrive by
the end of the month of publication
Opinions expressed in any articles are the author's and
should not be taken to represent those of the Society.
Next issue published 5th June 2014
Copy date: 26th May 2014
Class 37s and Mk 2s to cover DMU shortage… It is expected that the 37s will work the Norwich to Lowestoft
and Norwich to Great Yarmouth services. In addition they
Abellio Greater Anglia (AGA) is hiring two dedicated sets of may visit Sheringham as that line is cleared for use by Mk 2s.
Class 37/4s and Mark 2s from DRS to cover continued DMU However this would require a carriage to be ‘locked out’ at
shortages. The trains will comprise two Standard Opens, one Sheringham so passengers would not be able to access that
Driving Brake Standard Open and a Class 37/4. The deal is carriage from the platform.
expected to run until December 2015 to allow for completion
of DMU refurbishments and overhauls. The identity of the 37s is not yet known although it could be
two from 37409/419/423/425. The formations are likely to see
The Mk2 carriages have been fitted with new carpets, new the 37s on the ‘country end’ with the DBSO leading the train
upholstery and LED lighting internally. The 37/4s will be fitted into Norwich. The DBSOs are being returned to traffic by Rail
with DRA (Driver Reminder Appliance) at AGA’s insistence. Vehicle Engineering Ltd at Derby, with the first due for
release this month.
The first set is expected to move to Crown Point this month
with the second set arriving in May or June. One set will be in …And more Class 47s
use with the other as a maintenance spare. Currently AGA
uses two DRS Class 47/8s (See GEML update) but this will DRS will again provide Class 47s for locomotive-hauled trains
end in May when the new DRS sets take over. between Norwich and Great Yarmouth on ten summer
Saturdays this year.
The Sun Shines on the NNR Spring
(and don’t mention Network Rail)
The 2014 Spring Gala on the North Norfolk
Railway took place over the weekend of 7th - 9th
March drawing the crowds as the sun came out.
A very late announcement by Network Rail
caused the withdrawal of A4 Sir Nigel Gresley
as it was not permitted to use the Norwich to
Sheringham line due to “weight restrictions”.
Whilst very disappointing for the NNR and the
A4’s owners, there was still much to enjoy.
Many NRS members attended, some in their
capacity as volunteers on the railway including
signalmen Peter Adds and Robert Scarfe.
A late addition to the available motive power GWR 1600 Class 1638 enters the cutting at Kelling Bank with a train for Holt
was GWR Class 1600 0-6-PT 1638 visiting from on Saturday 8th March. (Andy Wright.)
the Kent and East Sussex Railway.
Unfortunately 1638 and and GWR Class 5600
0-6-2T 5619 both failed overnight so were not in
traffic on Friday. The former did return to action but
5619 remained in Weybourne Yard. Additional
power was called upon in the form of D5619 (Friday)
and Class 37 D6732.
Back in operation following a major overhaul
undertaken at the railway was LMS Stanier Class 5
4-6-0 44767 George Stephenson, and this was
joined by BR Standard 4MT 76084 (running as
76034), GNR N2 0-6-2T 1744 visiting from the Great
Central Railway and M&GNJRS owned LNER Class
B12 4-6-0 8572.
B12 8572 passes Weybourne Mill with a train for Sheringham on Real ale lovers were frustrated to find the Muddle
Sunday 9th March. (Andy Wright.) and Go Nowhere Bar, situated aboard the art-deco
1937 LNER Gresley Buffet coach, trapped in
3 Weybourne Shed. However despite the
disappointments of the weekend there was much for
enthusiasts and casual visitors to enjoy. A good start
to 2014 after the NNR’s record breaking year in 2013
(See NRS/NL 59/1 p.3).
More images from the NNR Gala…
Class 37 D6732 seen at Sheringham substituting for 5619 on 44767 George Stephenson waits at Weybourne before
Saturday 8th March after arriving with a train from Holt. (Andy taking D5631 to Sheringham early on Sunday 9th March.
Wright.) (Andy Wright.)
4MT 76034 passes Weybourne Mill with a train for Holt on N2 1744 seen with a train for Sheringham on Sunday 9th
Sunday 9th March. (Andy Wright.) March. In the background are the Coastguard cottages.
Southwold Railway Trust
Some interest has been expressed in visiting what remains of
the Southwold Railway. If you’d like to discover what remains
of the railway, including trackbed & tracks, then a ride in
vintage bus (ex-Lincolnshire Road Car Co., actually) to see
the station sites at Halesworth, Wenhaston, Blythburgh &
Southwold. The tours run on many Thursdays plus Bank
Holiday Mondays from Southwold (dep 1015) (ret 1700) &
Halesworth (dep 1115) (ret 1720).
Just enter Southwold Railway Trust in your search engine &
proceed from there. Alternatively, please ring 07972 013804 –
tickets cost £19. The very number of tours means there’s no
point in trying to organise a Society trip.
Black Five 44767 George Stephenson running light engine at Eaton Park Miniature Railway Starts Again
Holt on Saturday 8th March. (Andy Wright.)
The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers resume
their popular Sunday afternoon services on Easter Sunday,
20th April, and these continue every Sunday until the end of
September (subject to weather). Services run from 1300 –
1700. Go to www.friendsofeatonpark.co.uk/railway or speak
to Mike Fordham at one of our meetings.
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall the station, which is Grade II listed, was developed by
J.Sainsbury as a supermarket in a scheme costing £1.5
Somerset’s Railways & A Look at Bath Green million. Mike was a Sainsbury employee at the time, hence
Park Station his interest in the proposal.The site, and particularly the
station building itself, has been further enhanced in more
(Edward Mann and Mike Handscomb – 6th recent times, and now includes a brasserie, various offices
February) and small shops, while the former concourse is used as a
covered market, housing local traders.
Edward Mann treated the meeting to a comprehensive
geography lesson on the network of routes passing through Edward then concluded the evening with a show of
the county of Somerset, making use of extracts from a pre- photographs and a number of historical facts and figures.
grouping atlas. This included mention of all main lines and These included details of the fitting of Ferodo brake blocks on
several of the many branches, with the Somerset & Dorset the unique 2-8-0 locomotives, the use of the standard BR 2-
receiving particular attention, due to its obvious strong 10-0 locomotives on passenger workings, and the volume of
association with the county. Summer Saturday traffic heading from “stations north” to
Bournemouth, including those leaving their home station on
The audience was then entertained by a DVD film which cov- Friday evenings. This last topic led to the question of how
ered virtually every corner of the county. The railways fea- some of the overnight travellers spent the time from their
tured ranged from a 9½" gauge miniature railway at 0500 arrival until they were able to book into their
Clevedon, using an Ivatt Atlantic, to non-stop expresses accommodation.
speeding through main line junctions at a number of loca-
tions. Between these two extremes there were examples of Chairman Gordon Bruce expressed the thanks of the meeting
the more unusual aspects of rail use, such as the impover- for the evening’s entertainment; this was followed by the
ished and, some would say, ill-conceived Weston, Clevedon customary round of applause. Thanks also to Andy Wright for
& Portishead Railway. A sequence that produced an audible projection services etc. (Graham Kenworthy)
reaction was that of wire rope haulage of coal wagons on a
very steep incline in the Somerset Coalfield; the phrases “South Eastern & North Eastern Matters”
“Health & Safety” and “Risk Assessment” were clearly not (Chris King – 20th February)
part of the 1950’s jargon.
Chris presented a tour of railway and historical locations of
Many details of opening and closure dates were covered in two European extremes, North Norway and the former State
the commentary along with those for signal boxes, other of Yugoslavia.
structures and layout alterations. As well as the comprehen-
sive coverage of many lines and stations, attention was The journey started at Norway’s Sogne and Aurland Fjords.
drawn to the surprising number of featured locomotives that The railway paralleling the fjords was constructed in the early
had since been preserved, not least the preserved S&D 2-8-0 1900s and is now electrified with passing loops. The trains
which was to feature in the second half of the programme. run from Flåm to Myrdal, junction of the Bergen to Oslo
There were interesting sequences showing complicated mainline, at approximately two-hour intervals and the journey
movements at a number of locations, such as Yeovil, where takes around 50 minutes. Trains comprise seven coach
reversal of trains was necessary to achieve through workings. formations with an electric locomotive at each end. Motive
This was also true at Bath Green Park, where the many Sum- power is Swedish built NEBB Brown Boveri electric
mer Saturday trains from the north, heading for Bournemouth, locomotives which were tested on gradients of 1 in 18 along
had to reverse. the route through a picturesque landscape of dense forest
and dramatic waterfalls.
The main impression left at the end of the film was how many An onward journey to Bergen by electric multiple unit saw
lines there had once been in such a relatively rural county Swiss built Class 460s on a freight at Voss. For the record,
and how few now survived, these being limited to the former Chris and Hilary travelled the world’s longest road tunnel of
GWR and SR main lines together with the very successful 24.5 kilometres which included lay-bys for picnic stops!!!
preserved West Somerset Railway to Minehead. The number
of intermediate stations on the various branches that were, to The Norwegian part of the journey showed pictures of
say the least, basic and which were deemed to be “Halts” was Christiansand Harbour station before they took the ferry to
very noticeable. Skagen, the northernmost railway station in Denmark, and
saw Danish designed IC3 diesel multiple units and a German
The second part of the programme was led by Mike built Class 612 unit.
Handscomb. He had, as was to become clear, something of a
rare, if somewhat distant, association with the splendid station A recent tour of the former Yugoslavia saw a much reduced
at Bath Green Park. It was opened by the Midland Railway as railway network in the now-emerging countries of Serbia,
Bath Queen Square in 1870, the terminus of an extension Bosnia and Slovenia. A metre gauge railway in Serbia was
from Mangotsfield. When the Somerset & Dorset Railway seen being restored for the re-emerging tourist industry with
opened its Bath Extension from the south, it reached an the staple motive power of Romanian built Class 54D Diesels.
agreement with the Midland for use of the station, each A unique steam locomotive of 0-8-2+2 configuration was
company having its own engine shed to the west of the Avon seen on a Sunday service. A study of local architecture along
Bridge, which was almost immediately outside the station. the railway saw many examples of the former Austro-
Bomb damage to the overall glass roof during World War 2 From Serbia to Bosnia, Chris came across a wood burning
was never repaired and, after closure in 1966, the station
deteriorated during the 1970s. However, in 1979, the site of locomotive on another metre gauge railway in action on a
special Sunday service.
The presentation continued with a tour of Sarajevo starting There was a very mixed bag of cases relating to the various
with a photograph of the location of the assassination of types of level-crossings. He explained that the train
Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28th June 1914, which derailment at Croxton was caused by an incorrectly-installed
precipitated the outbreak of the First World War. Various crossing panel; another related to a very short warning of an
trams were seen in the regenerated city carrying vinyls of approaching train. There were several relating to inadequate
product advertisements and international flags. The scale of sighting at footpath crossings – NR blithely making a
railway operation was a two-coach express hauled by a “crossing count” between 1000 & 1030 where the crossing
powerful Swedish- built electric loco. A committed effort to was used by children going to & from school! Another one
seek out the sparse railway scene was rewarded by finding related to something called “Nairn’s profiles” (steep gradients
an industrial railway 0-6-0 steam locomotive delivering its up to and down from an occupation crossing near Perth
heavy loaded coal hoppers to a hopper discharge facility. caused a tractor hauling a low-loader to get stuck and be hit
Chris was not made welcome, however! by a train in 1982). [Interested members can find a copy of
the Accident Report on the internet – Ed.] Finally, on the
Chris rounded off his presentation with historical scenes of Sudbury branch, GPS has been introduced as road users
the former Yugoslavian railway prior to the conflict, and were having to wait too long before crossing-barriers were
Sarajevo’s notorious “Sniper Alley”, quiet now but in the daily lifted to allow them through. In other words, the wrong system
news 20 years ago. was being used to control road traffic.
With thanks to Andy Wright for providing the projection A very different type of meeting for us, but one which
services. (Chris Mitchell) fascinated the audience from start to finish. (EM)
The House of Commons Transport Select Committe report
“How Inspectors Make Enforcement on level crossings can be viewed at:
(Steven Bateson, H.M. Inspector of Railways – 2010/safety-at-level-crossings/
Annual Show Report
It’s a queer do. Here am I wondering how to begin my report
on Steven’s presentation when, next day, NR boss Mark Last year’s Show (see NRS/NL 58/2 pp5/6) went ahead
Carne suddenly offers a “full and unreserved apology” to the despite the bad weather, but the weather for this year’s Show
families of those bereaved by level-crossing accidents. held on 1st March was comparatively benign. With Mike
Fordham having stood down, the 20th Show was in the
You soon realised that Steven is not a man with whom you capable hands of Peter Willis & Chris Mitchell, though Mike
take liberties. He is a Member of the Institution of Civil was lending an experienced hand. It fell to your Editor to write
Engineers and a Chartered Member of the Institute of this Report but the limitations of my model railway knowledge
Occupational Safety & Health as well as being highly-qualified were quickly exposed. The Shows (or Open Days then) were
through serving 26 years in various senior positions on the intended to demonstrate what the members could do, but
track side of the rail industry, He has spent a further 12 years their increasing popularity has led to visits from other local
as an Inspector and is required to present cases in court. He societies.
is guided by the Enforcement Management Model which
provides a range of options from verbal advice through to The Diss & District MRC, courtesy of John Hanchet and
prosecution. He explained that, although the number of track Warren Wordsworth had a display of “Helendale”, based on a
workers killed has fallen steadily – and is in single figures per Derbyshire quarrying location in N gauge. Fred & Gavin
year now – the aim was to reach zero by 2020.
With the help of illustrated examples, Steven explained
what followed as a result of his inspections and the
types of advice/formal notice at his disposal. Some of
his investigations followed very serious accidents
where the injured person suffered life-changing
Another case related to a quarry/tip adjacent to a Diss MRC’s re-creation of a line in Derbyshire. (Andy Wright)
railway embankment which might not have seemed to
be a case for Steven. The quarry had been dug out,
leaving a “vertical knife edge” railway embankment.
The quarry had been backfilled in one layer, higher
than and surcharging the embankment. Although
Prohibition and Improvement Notices were served on
the quarry owner, these had no effect; he was
prosecuted for breaching the former and received a 6
month custodial sentence.
Drainage is a constant worry, and the failure to inspect and Collinson had a 3-rail Marklin Lindental offering in HO gauge
maintain it can lead to all sorts of problems. He illustrated a of a Continental setting on a neat fibre-glass base which, later
case where he had given verbal advice regularly to inspect in the day, I saw was very easy to transport. The Norfolk
the drains and maintain them as necessary. As this advice Mardlers (Bruce Hoyle, Roger Keeley & Roger Kingstone)
was not followed, written advice was given. This was not had their O gauge display and were beavering away
acted on so an Improvement Notice was served, requiring the throughout the afternoon. Entirely new to me was the Border
drains to be surveyed, to produce diagrams and an annual Modellers Group with their representation - in OO gauge - of
plan to inspect against, and to provide the resources a cross-country line in East Anglia. Brian Cornwell had his
necessary to deliver the plan.
members’ stock and that of deceased members. Various
LNER & LMS locos from a “Jinty” upwards were exhibited
by the Gauge 1 Model Railway Association, plus a Class
66 diesel and, nearby, Ray Meek’s M&GN display was
themed around Potter Heigham Bridge (complete with
bridge plate) with various M&GN locos whilst Peter &
Christine Allison’s toy train set-up seemed smaller than
that of recent years.
The Church was given over to “larger” layouts, either in
size or gauge, and Chris Mitchell’s “Neustadt” was of a
German/Swiss station depicting pre-unification Germany
with military trains and local trains typical of the era (HO
The Border Modellers’ Group showed a 4MT 2-6-0 at their East It had not occurred to me that Hornby had a French arm
Anglian re-creation – “Wavenham”. (Andy Wright.) until I saw Terry Durrant’s “Grandfather’s Trains” with its
fine variety of French trains in O gauge. A Swiss scene in
customary “Lego” show whilst Malcolm Cooper brought a what they called “Beginners LGB” was shown by Mike
diverse display with an essentially “Thomas the Tank Engine” Fordham and Philip Moore. At the end of the church, the
theme in OO gauge with “Thomas’s Friends at the Fair” Southwold Railway – whose volunteers were suitably
added for good measure. uniformed – had a model of a train crossing the bridge over
the River Blyth in Nn3 gauge – the smallest I had seen. At
the other end of the scale Graham Smith brought a revised
Most people retreated to the Robert Scarfe DVD show at
some point, where they could see his own films of “Driver
Experience Days” (Steam & Diesel) on the NNR & MNR
The RCTS (Ipswich Branch) were paying us a first visit with
their sales stand, and other publicity/sales displays in the
circulating area were from the Barton House Railway and the
Friends of the Bure Valley Railway.
In the Blake Room – where we have our meetings – there Mike Fordham’s “Beginners LGB” somewhere in Switzerland.
was a real mix. Arthur Barrett had decided that the Southwold (Andy Wright.)
Railway would be his chosen minor railway and he had a
video show plus various books and publicity material to tempt version of his “Thomas the Tank” in G gauge, which layout
our visitors. Ken Mills had his usual display of high-quality has been exhibited near and far since 1989, its debut being at
LNER models, the selected constituent this year being the the BR Staff Association Hall in Lower Clarence Road on 4th
GCR. I had not thought about Meccano for about 50 years, February 1989 in aid of the Toy Library. This time, “Emily”
but Ron Frith showed its evolution with models from the was new – a Bachmann model based on a Stirling Single,
1920s to the present. The March – Wisbech line lost its and Alan Thurling ran his Bachmann “James the Red Engine”
passenger service almost 50 years ago, but the Friends of the based by Revd. Awdry on an L & Y 2-6-0, together with BR
Bramley Line are hoping that passenger services will
eventually be restored – they had brought publicity material to brake, correctly lettered NW in Awdry fashion as the
heighten public awareness, as did the M&GN Circle and the island of Sodor which was intended to be off the coast
M&GNJRS, whilst Mike Handscomb busied selling both between Barrow and the Isle of Man. Also a converted
LGB hopper ran as “Hector”, and younger visitors were
puzzled by the appearance of two Fat Controllers. A
new version of Wisbech & Upwell tram “Toby” seemed
to be watching the punters as he circulated.
[Older members will recall that we welcomed Revd.
Awdry to speak during one of our meetings at the
Assembly House, as well as his great friend the Revd.
Teddy Boston on a different occasion.]
Local artist and author Wrenford Thatcher exhibited his
paintings, including one of LNER Pacific 4480
Enterprise on the “Flying Scotsman” (to make a change
from 4472) and he explained to me that whilst the late
Ray Meek’s re-creation of Potter Heigham Bridge. (Andy Wright.)
Terence Cuneo’s pictures had a mouse hidden away The Mistley Signal (Roger Kingstone)
somewhere his trademark was a bicycle.
Richard Adderson’s slide show for the Great Eastern Railway
The Norwich MRC’s model of “Oberwaz” (somewhere in Society (Norwich Branch) meeting on 27th February triggered
Switzerland) was a daunting 16’ long (HOM gauge) and, by many personal memories for me, especially when we saw the
way of supplementary, they returned to our doorstep with the last GER lower quadrant signal to exist in the then Liverpool
unusual “Tombland Tramway”. We have several excellent St Division on the Mistley Quay branch. I mentioned that
photographers within our ranks, and John Hanchet & Andy there was a story associated with that signal which Edward
Wright went across the railway scene, with John re-creating a has now persuaded me to relate.
bygone era with some of his night shots. In the foyer,
meanwhile, Mike Young’s display covered more than 50 After a period of some 7 years located in York, I applied for
years, from pre-closure M&GN through to the heritage lines and was appointed to a post at Liverpool Street as Assistant
of today. General to the Divisional Signal & Telecommunications
Engineer where my duties were almost anything which no-
It just remains for thanks to be recorded. First, and foremost, one else wanted to do! The DS&TO was the worst boss I had
we must thank our loyal band of “helpers” in the kitchen who during the whole 50+ years of my railway career. He never
explained exactly what was wanted and at the earliest hint of
The Society’s Catering Corps – no further comment trouble he disappeared.
necessary! (Mike Fordham.)
On one occasion we both attended a meeting at Harwich and
made sure that everybody was kept fed and watered. Then, he insisted I travelled back to London afterwards (I lived at
thanks to Peter, Chris and Mike, for organising the Show and Colchester) where I just managed to catch my usual train
accommodating every display, and giving up a fair amount of home. I wrongly mentioned to him that I stewarded at the
their time in planning for the big day. I should also like to Model Engineer Exhibition where we were paid expenses. He
thank Peter Adds who stepped into the breach and sold raffle was there at the next show! It was a joke among the staff that
tickets with a skill born of long practice (as I was to discover when visiting a work site, he had the habit of collecting-up all
later). And, finally, thanks to every member who contributed the nuts/washers etc, which tended to collect on the
to the day’s success in some way or other, whether from the ground/floor but I never knew what use he put them to.
warmth of the building or outside on car parking duty. .
So what has this to do with the Mistley signal? Well, I was in
Before the raffle was drawn, a cheque for £400 was his office when the local maintenance engineer brought in the
presented to the NNR towards their “Suburban Four” Appeal.
(EM & Graham Smith) The Mistley signal on 7th January 1980.
Gordon Bruce presents the Society’s cheque to Clive redundant signal arm and fittings. The boss immediately
Morris, NNR Chairman. (Andy Wright.) claimed them but was concerned that the green glass was
cracked. My Stratford S&T Store Supervisor was also
present and commented that he believed there was a green
glass of the correct shape somewhere in the stores at
Stratford. At regular intervals after that, the boss would ask
me if that green glass had been found!
During this time I attended a retirement presentation at the
offices on the low-level “up” platform at Stratford when Dolly,
our long-term messenger, retired. The boys in that office had
stuck a 2p coin to the floor (BR lino) with super-glue. One of
my colleagues, John, was somewhat slow to appreciate what
was going on so I mentioned to him that we were expecting
the “Guv’nor” to reach down and try to pick up the 2p coin.
Shortly after there was a loud outburst from John: “Ha, Ha,
we’ve all been waiting for you to do that, Ha, Ha”. However
the super-glue worked! Later, we congregated around the
station platform seat for photographs but a “yes-man” asked
where the boss was. Some wag responded that he’d gone In front of the station building is a square, paved with
over to the stores to borrow a hammer & chisel! Yorkshire stone which measures 75,000 sq.ft. King’s Cross
and St. Pancras now bear no resemblance to the rundown
Sometime later I was in the Stratford office and was handed stations they were only a decade ago. There may be some
the said 2p coin, which had a large lump of lino still adhering truth in the argument that London is getting more than its fair
to it. I immediately saw the potential and asked if I could keep share of infrastructure improvements. But there are many
it? Agreed, so at home I drilled into the coin and mounted it stations all over the country also receiving upgrades.
vertically onto a piece of wood.
Although I didn’t see my team play it gave me a chance to
Not long after, the said boss retired and after the usual see some of the interesting railway improvements going on in
speeches/presentations I said I had something else for him, the Capital.
which he thought was the missing green glass. However, I
presented him with the mounted 2p piece, complete with lino Dawlish
mounted on the wooden block, inscribed: “The one that nearly
got away”. Many readers will recall Dawlish in calmer times. Below , a
Class 150 unit 150128 heads north from Dawlish with a
“Nuff said”, I feel? service for Exmouth. Centre,150202 approaches Dawlish with
a service from Plymouth. (Both images John Hutchinson.)
Windsor Links – but which one? Bottom, the ‘unsuspended railway’! (Network Rail.)
I don’t suppose too many members would be able to pinpoint
the Windsor Link in Manchester, but it was opened in 1988 to
provide a link from Salford to Deansgate, Manchester Oxford
Road and Piccadilly, and enabling services from e.g.
Blackpool, Bolton & Preston to run into Piccadilly as opposed
There is also a second Windsor Link, albeit a prospective
one. And you’d have no trouble locating it because it’s in
Windsor. At present, there’s a First Great Western service
from Slough to Windsor & Eton Central, whilst South West
Trains come in from Staines, via “the underwater route” if TV
pictures of the flooding is anything to go by, and terminate at
Windsor & Eton Riverside. The plan would simply connect the
routes, meaning that you could travel from Waterloo to Slough
if you so wished. Just another example of “connectivity” (see
NRS/NL 59/1 p. 14).
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining (Steve Cane)
On 1st February I travelled to London to watch Luton Town
play Dartford. I had pre-booked my ticket and left on the 0830
The sun was shining on arrival at Liverpool Street, but my
wife rang me to say that after an early morning pitch
inspection the game was off owing to a waterlogged pitch.
I decided to take in some of the new building work that is
going on in London. First, I got a bus to London Bridge station
where the Shard Building stands right next to the soon-to-be-
built new station concourse. It is currently the tallest building
in the European Union with 87 floors and a height of 1,004 ft.
The new concourse will take five years to construct and when
completed will cover an area bigger than the pitch at
While in the area I visited Borough Market which is adjacent
to the station. It is very popular with many local and foreign
visitors. It has become a little up-market these days (excuse
the pun) and sells cheese, meats, fish and produce from all
over Britain and Europe. All the time you hear the rumble and
screeching of trains going to and from London Bridge station,
because the market is built below elevated bridges and track.
Next I travelled to King’s Cross to look at the recently-finished
building work there. Gone is that awful drab waiting area and
in its place is a bright and spacious glass-covered concourse.
It is apparently the largest single span structure in Europe.
They have even managed to incorporate the old Great
Another Early Preservation Pioneer Is Lost the Liverpool area, plus Chester (Northgate) & Wrexham
(Rhosddu) went to the L.M.R. in November 1948, the
No doubt many of you have heard of John Snell. Some like, Wrexham coding being 6E. Surprise, surprise, from February
Mike Fordham, have worked with him. Sadly, John passed 1958 it became part of the Western Region’s Wolverhampton
away early in January, and the ranks of those who were there District, and coded 84K, until it closed at the beginning of
at the dawn of railway preservation have been thinned even 1960. Thus, the pedant could also make a good case for
John collected top jobs – witness his spell as Chairman of the The West Riding, which may have seemed promising,
North Norfolk Railway from 1969 – 1972, followed by a long seemed to confine movements between the L.M.R & the
time as Managing Director of the Romney, Hythe & N.E.R.
Dymchurch Railway from 1972 until 1999, where he was
widely credited with reviving their flagging fortunes in the If anybody would like to comment, please get in touch. (EM)
1970s. He also served as Vice-Chairman of the Heritage
Railway Association, relinquishing that post in 2002. Oh, and Letter to the Editor
he was also a Director of the Dart Valley Railway from 1992
to 2008. Michael Back of Peterborough sees our Newsletter through
the good offices of the M&GN Circle, and his comments are
Back in 1951 he fired 0-4-0T Dolgoch when it hauled the always welcomed. With reference to NRS/NL 59/1 p.11, he
preservationists’ first train from Towyn to Abergynolwyn, but writes:
Mike’s more recent recollection of John was in the late 1960s “It hadn’t occurred to me that the Fakenham SM looked after
– before John became Chairman – when John was a both stations “over the border”. I don’t think that was the case
volunteer. Working alongside him in the track gang, Mike at Murrow, for instance. But, anyway, the other thing in my
recalls that they were trying to build up a set of points from a good friend Rod’s article was about the accident at the GE
large kit of parts and move the railway towards Weybourne. station. Not exactly a reason, but in 1931 the (GE) South box
John, meanwhile, studied a diagram in an old book and tried was closed and the points at that end of the station were
to make sense of the plans and offer help! motor-operated from the North box, who had also taken over
all the signals at that end as well. Allied with track-circuiting
He had a lifetime in railway preservation and his enthusiasm through the connections, this held all the points in any case.”
will be missed. With thanks to Mike Fordham. (EM) And I couldn’t resist giving his next paragraph a subtitle [think
“School Day” by Chuck Berry (1957)].
Identity Crises ‘Ring, Ring, goes the bell; the cook in the lunch room’s ready
At the end of the Edward Mann/Mike Handscomb “Re the GN/GE (same issue pp.5/10 - Ed.) my mind is now
presentation about Somerset’s Railways & Bath Green Park, wondering about the Passenger services. In the late 1950s I
Chris King thought that the Somerset & Dorset’s Bath engine was incarcerated in Spalding Grammar School, whose
shed was the only “coded” shed (& not a sub-shed) to have playing fields were next to both this and the M&GN lines. So
been under the control of 3 different Regions at various times what on earth was that Express that we always used to rush
since Nationalisation in 1948. No doubt at all – it was London to watch as soon as the Lunch Bell rang? It was in the Down
Midland’s 22C in 1948, then Southern Region’s 71G until the direction and – to this day – I can remember it seemingly
late 1950s, and finally the Western Region’s 82F until closure. always being worked by [B17/6 4-6-0 no. 61627 - Ed.] Aske
Accepting the challenge, I thought I’d investigate. The only “And Spalding, the answer is “yes”. The “other station” was
other engine shed meeting the necessary criteria was indeed Spalding St John’s Goods, because it was Midland
Templecombe, a little further south on the S&D. It was a and the Main Line GN. In the olden days, never the twain did
London Midland shed in 1948 – 22D, then the Southern meet, and it also had its own Goods Agent and staff in the
Region’s 71H until the late 1950s, and finally the Western office there, at the end of the Goods Shed on the south side
Region’s 82G before ending up as 83G when closed in 1966. of the level-crossing.”
A much less clear-cut case exists for Carlisle Canal. This was And to answer Michael’s question … well… I think the train
originally a North British Railway establishment when opened was the 1000 Lowestoft/1010 Yarmouth – York, due into
in 1862. It was re-modelled in 1910. However, it seems to Spalding (give or take a few minutes down the years) at 1317
have been used as a wagon-works before being converted (Winter 1958/59 Timetable). My only nagging doubt is the
(back?) to locomotive use by the L.N.E.R. in 1933. As the lateness of the School’s lunch break if we assume it lasted at
coding in 1948 was CAR, and as it was an L.N.E.R. depot least an hour. My (limited) experience was that afternoon
before 1948 it presents something of a problem. However in classes resumed at 1400 after a 1¼ hour break. Be that as it
B.R. days, it was the Scottish Region’s 68E before becoming may – and I’m not giving any space to a dissertation on
the London Midland Region’s 12D (briefly) and then 12C in school lunch breaks – the simple question for Michael is: Did
the late 1950s until it closed in 1963. Its allocation included 4 the train include a buffet-car? If it did it was the York train. If it
elusive A3 Pacifics, which worked services over the former didn’t …well, it doesn’t seem to be in the public timetable, and
Waverley route between Carlisle & Edinburgh, and which we might have to think about the train running in two parts.
were headline news if seen south of Doncaster. The only
opportunity for Southerners to spot these on home territory Terminology we must get used to
would be on a visit to Doncaster Plant, or if one was on trial
after overhaul at Doncaster Plant. They were 60068 Sir Visto, The new junction at the GEML end of Ipswich’s Europa Chord
60079 Bayardo, 60093 Coronach & 60095 Flamingo. is Europa Jct whilst the one at the East Suffolk end is Boss
Hall Jct. The first train, a ballast working, ran onto the chord
Where else might we look? What about the Chester area, and via Boss Hall Jct early on 22nd February.
the Wirral? Bidston was a former G.C. & L.N.E.R. outpost, but
the L.M. seems to have snapped it up. Various E.R. sheds in
Mystery Map Answer And the latest challenge!
Congratulations to everyone who realised it was Blackwell I think this is very straightforward if you spend a few minutes
Mill Halt, Derbyshire, which closed from 6th March 1967 – see looking at it. Please give the name of the terminus on the
NRS/NL 59/1 p.9. map. As usual, answers by email to [email protected]
please. Don’t forget to add the station’s suffix if you think it
The stations just off the triangle were Buxton (west side), appropriate.
Peak Forest (north side) and Miller’s Dale (east side). I
suspect several of our walking brigade ___________NRS NEWS
had little difficulty, but David Pearce
was “first past the post”. New members
The sting in the tail was the During my 10 years as Membership Secretary I never
supplementary question about the recruited an under-18 member. Mike Handscomb has done
short-lived halt. This lay on the west- rather better, recruiting our first under-18 member for a long
north side of the triangle (still used time, although a “family connection” will be instantly
today) and not shown on the map for recognised. We are pleased to welcome Lewis Kenworthy
reasons that will be readily apparent. Its Hethersett, Norwich.
name was Cheedale Halt and it was Two more new members are Malcolm Bown and Alison Bown
opened on 5th July 1987 to serve “Peak Wymondham, Norfolk.
Rail Rambler” dmu special trains which
ran on Sundays and the August Bank
Holiday Monday. However, it lasted
only until 13th September 1987, the
HSE having raised concerns about the
adequacy of the signalling on what had
briefly become a passenger-carrying
line. Rather than incur the expense of upgrading the
signalling, BR withdrew the passenger trains.
In NRS/NL 59/1 p.14 please note that the captions for the two
photographs have unfortunately been transposed. As nobody
else seems to have spotted my error, Mike really seems to
have found an area completely outside the purview of our
well-travelled membership! See you in The Moon Under
Also in NRS/NL 59/1 p.12, Richard Adderson explains that
the photo of Wells station was taken on 3rd October 1964, the
last day of passenger services.
Summer Season Relief Stationmaster – Home booking clerk. All went well until, on one occasion, Neville
Station: Dereham (1956-1959) – Concluding was the lucky winner. Thereafter, it became known as “The
Part (Rod Lock) Swindle” but the punters remained loyal.
Swaffham I have already described in a separate article, but Narborough & Pentney was also the subject of a separate
not the proud moment when I was sent there in 1958 to cover article, but one historical fact not mentioned was that, in his
the SM’s annual leave. Whilst the RAF, from 281 thesis on the Lynn & Dereham Railway, Dr Donald Gordon
Maintenance Unit at North Pickenham, had loaded several recorded that there was a proposal to construct a cut-off,
trains with life-expired practice bombs for dumping, the avoiding Lynn, between Narborough & Pentney station and
USAAF had given me some grief. On several occasions the Magdalen Road. Donald Gordon married a Narborough girl
Americans had brought down overhead wires with their crane. and visited me at the station when he was preparing an article
They did so again during my spell at the station – it was a for the Railway Magazine [Vol. 104 (1958) pp. 376-380 & 396
case of restoring communications and immediately informing – Ed.] about the Lynn – Dereham line.
them they were liable for the cost of doing so.
Being sent to East Winch in 1956 was another proud
One humorous aspect of station life I did not mention in my moment, as I began my railway career there as a
article concerned “Pontoon”. In the 1950s, an alternative to probationary clerk in September 1948, after leaving
football pools was “Pontoon”, where you won if your team Hamond’s Grammar School, Swaffham. Both signalmen from
was the first to score exactly 11 goals; if you scored more you 1948 were still there. King’s Lynn Junction signalbox
had “busted” and had no hope of winning. Many Dereham accepted everything from East Winch under Regulation 5 –
drivers and firemen, some from King’s Lynn, and most of the section clear but junction blocked - and the East Winch
station staff participated. I ran it with Neville, the other signalmen’s interpretation of how to warn drivers of this was
unchanged. It was not correct, but all drivers understood its East Winch station, looking towards King’s Lynn (note the
meaning and, as far as I know, there was never a SPAD at post-box close to the level-crossing). (Richard Adderson
King’s Lynn. In addition to the signalmen, there was a station Collection.)
porter, and a crossing-keeper at East Walton level crossing in
the Narborough section. The main freight customer was Bull was incomplete and sent me for a lengthy stint on the M&GN.
& Northcott, corn merchants, whose private siding connected I was very grateful to him for that. I first went to Gayton Road,
with the goods yard. which I reached by walking across fields from Middleton to
the M&GN lineside and then along the track, and was at
Middleton Towers will always be associated with sand traffic Gayton Road when closure was publicly announced. Even 22
which I experienced, again in 1956. Around 100 loaded years after the M&GN was absorbed into the L.N.E.R. former
wagons were forwarded daily, to a variety of Northern M&GN men still could not forget their roots. One of the
destinations, mainly in wooden, former privately-owned signalmen at Gayton Road, knowing my background, during
“mineral” wagons, but also a smattering of highs, hyfits and one conversation referred to “that dirt track across the fields”
hybars. Trainloads of sand were forwarded from King’s Lynn – the King’s Lynn – Dereham branch. Gayton Road was
to Whitemoor “rough” i.e. unmarshalled. Empties were quiet, very few passengers, the highlight of the day being the
received from both directions, i.e. from King’s Lynn and despatch of ten loaded wagons of sand to Sheffield, the
Swaffham, in trainloads in some instances. The one daily wagons being lettered: “Return to Gayton Road”.
trainload from King’s Lynn involved complicated shunts as it
was not possible for a locomotive to run round its train at Grimston Road, also i/c Hillington, was slightly busier. The
Middleton so it, therefore, had to be double-headed involving SM was Eric Crofts, another former M&GN man, who, after
various combinations of locos. The procedure was that the closure of the M&GN in February 1959, was posted to
pilot loco would be detached and sent into the dock siding; Hardingham i/c Kimberley Park. Thereafter, he had rapid
the train engine would then draw the train into the East Winch
section; the pilot engine would be sent on to the rear of the
train and draw it clear of the points leading to Boam’s (Boam
Narborough & Pentney station looking towards Swaffham.
(Richard Adderson Collection.)
– the private siding owner) Reception sidings; the train would
then be propelled into the Reception sidings and, finally, the
pilot engine would be signalled from the East Winch section
and into the Reception sidings or Dock siding.
Empty wagons were received from Swaffham on three trains Middleton Towers station looking towards King’s Lynn (note
– the 1030 ex-Swaffham (a continuation of the 0615 ex- the sand between the tracks). (Richard Adderson Collection.)
Dereham, the loco acting as yard pilot in the interim period),
the 0855 ex-Dereham and the 1445 ex-Roudham Junc.
Swaffham had a buffer supply of wagons down “The Hole” –
the long siding which paralleled the single line to Narborough
for about a mile. Quite often this buffer exceeded 100
wagons, and was maintained by a daily train, the 1240 ex-
Trowse which ran via the West curve at Dereham.
The staff at Middleton consisted of a Stationmaster Class 4 promotions late in life to Melton Constable, Cromer and
and two porter-signalmen. When I started at East Winch there Stowmarket. Grimston Road was famous for its floral
was also a female clerk who did the charging and invoicing, displays, earning Special Class Awards. Most of the work was
but in the early 1950s weight-only invoicing was introduced. undertaken by Eric and his wife.
Charging was done at King’s Lynn Goods Office, but the SM
was responsible for invoicing; the invoices showed the I had a few days at Massingham before moving on to East
sending station as “King’s Lynn for Middleton Towers”. Rudham, also i/c Raynham Park. This was a very busy
station, predominantly grain traffic, and traffic inwards and
In 1958, Joe King, the clerk in the Staff Office at Norwich outwards for R.A.F. West Raynham. On Fridays, hordes of
responsible for Relief Staff, must have decided my education R.A.F. National Servicemen would descend on the station to
purchase tickets for their 48-hour breaks. I used to cycle from
Swaffham to East Rudham and back, about 20 miles each
way. I usually stayed until the 1345 Birmingham –
Yarmouth/Cromer/Norwich – always known as “The
Leicester” – had gone through, just before 1800. Despite a
fairly intensive service, both goods and passenger,
timekeeping was good. One afternoon passenger service
Grimston Road looking towards South Lynn on 20th May
1956. (Richard Adderson Collection)
One of Boam’s diesels shunts sand wagons at Middleton I had a brief acquaintance with the Norwich to Ipswich main
Towers; we are looking towards King’s Lynn. (Richard line, when Britannias still hauled the expresses and class L1
Adderson Collection.) 2-6-4Ts the local passenger service. In 1956 I was sent to
Flordon i/c Swainsthorpe, where Ken Blatch was the SM, who
I knew from his time at East Winch. Swainsthorpe box was
failed at Raynham Park, but the District Inspector was on the
train so I wasn’t involved in obtaining a fresh loco from Melton
My final M&GN posting in 1958 was Thursford. On the two
(summer) Saturdays most down expresses were held at
Thursford because Melton Constable West could not accept
them, but during the rest of the week traffic flowed freely. The
Down siding was occupied by a train load of loco coal for
East Rudham looking towards Fakenham in July 1956.
(Richard Adderson Collection)
Gayton Road looking towards South Lynn in February 1959. open continuously but Flordon was opened only intermittently,
(Richard Adderson Collection) for the pick-up freight and the passenger peaks. There was
also an intermediate level-crossing at Newton Flotman, which
I called at weekly when I walked the section to Swainsthorpe.
Getting to Flordon was a problem; the first train from
Swaffham arrived in Norwich at 0824, but the next stopping
service to Ipswich was not until 0957. The solution was to
cycle from Wymondham, a distance of about 4 miles,
sometimes within sight of the Ashwellthorpe branch.
Passengers were few at Flordon, but Duffield’s provided a
fairly constant flow of inwards fertiliser.
Melton Constable, which remained for the whole fortnight. I savoured the delights of the Cromer branch several times,
In the summer of 1959 I was sent to Norwich City, by then an covering both annual leave and the vacancy at Salhouse
operating-only posting. The Commercial activity, which was when John Briggs was promoted to Wheathampstead. He
considerable, was under the control of the Goods Agent, later became Head of the Timing and Diagramming Section at
Norwich Thorpe, Wilfred Tuck. My responsibility was Norwich Liverpool St. Again, connections with Wells services at
City signalbox and Lenwade – on Fridays I used to trundle Norwich were poor, so I cycled to Dereham along the A47
down to Lenwade, Class 03 and brake van, to pay the staff until I struck up an arrangement with the driver of the road
there. I found the emptiness of the station building very motor which served the Salhouse area. He met me at
dispiriting – only a few months earlier it had been busy with Norwich station around 0845 daily. My time at Salhouse
passengers. coincided with through Cromer to Liverpool St expresses,
hauled by B12s as far as Norwich.
There were three manned level-crossings in the Whitlingham loaded into Bulk Grain vans, and Sunderland was a popular
section. One of the crossing-keepers gave me a few destination. Loading was not always undertaken in a logical
headaches on manning issues, but the other two were no order, so much shunting was involved sorting loaded and
trouble. One signalman lived in one of the Station Cottages partially loaded wagons. The yard was shunted by the 0603
and the other one lived at Rackheath. He had previously been (0510 on Mondays) Class “J” Norwich Thorpe to Ely, which
a signalman at Trowse Yard, but had taken a demotion to be was booked at Eccles Road from 1004 to 1050 Mon-Fri &
nearer his sick wife. He recounted stories of wartime traffic at 0914 – 0954 Sat. It was a very lengthy train, quite often
Trowse. Such was the intensity of traffic on the main line that hauled by an O1 2-8-0, and which sometimes had to be
one of the signalmen, unable to find a gap in traffic to make a shunted from the Up Main, via the main-to-main crossover, to
shunting move across the main lines, broke down and wept! allow the combined 1010 ex-Yarmouth, 1000 ex-Lowestoft to
One morning I heard a series of engine whistles, and pass. There was no up refuge siding, but there was a down
discovered a down Cromer express standing at the Home refuge siding. One day, there was a surprise visitor. I was in
signal. Going to the box, I found the signalman asleep in his the signalbox and a down freight, hauled by a Sandringham
chair! He had accepted the train, then dozed off! He (B17) class loco, arrived at the home signal, where it had to
immediately came to and pulled off the Home and starter, be held awaiting acceptance from Attleborough. Instead of
having previously received “Line Clear” from Wroxham. It was the fireman carrying out Rule 55, the driver appeared in the
totally out of character. When Control rang him to explain the signalbox. He happened to be my uncle, Ben Rumsby – a
late arrival at Wroxham, he said it must have been a problem man of principle - refusing ever to go out on strike.
on the loco. I didn’t report the incident, but had I been asked
to explain I would have had to tell the truth. I missed a serious incident at Eccles Road. For one day only,
Friday 18th September 1959, I was sent to Wells. At 1040,
Salhouse was very busy with outwards wheat and barley in the 0830 diesel-hauled Whitemoor to Norwich freight struck
sacks, loaded in vanfits by Messrs Woods, Sadd & Moore an Austin A35 at Hargham no. 1 level-crossing, killing its
who had a depot on the former Rackheath airfield. These driver. A Relief crossing-keeper misjudged the speed and
were attached to the Cromer pick-up freight, but sometimes nearness of the approaching freight train. At the inquest, the
loading had not been completed so permission then had to be District Operating Superintendent, Norwich, was examined for
obtained from Control to attach the loaded wagons to the 2½ hours about safety at the crossing. There was no signal
following Reepham Goods. The grain traffic resulted in a lot of protection in either direction, nor were bell signals “repeated”
work with returned BR sacks. These had to be individually at the crossing. However, visibility was excellent in both
examined – those with holes being despatched to the Sack directions, and the instructions required the crossing-keeper
Superintendent at Lincoln for repair. to telephone the adjacent signalboxes if in any doubt about
I also spent a fair amount of time on the Cambridge Main The SM was also responsible for Hargham no. 2 level-
Line, at Harling Road covering annual leave, and at Eccles crossing, where one of the signalmen lived with his family.
Road, also covering annual leave and a vacancy when the The crossing is now a user-worked crossing, and Heath
resident SM made a lateral move to Hatfield Peverel station, crossing, in the Harling Road section, is now closed.
where you could make a name for yourself as operating
incidents were frequent. Editor’s Note: Rod’s reminiscences are much appreciated,
and illustrate the lot of the rural 1950s SM. He may, however,
Harling Road’s main traffic was dead ducks(!), to countrywide hold some kind of record for miles cycled to and from work!
destinations, forwarded in stout cardboard cartons by parcels No doubt he cut a lean figure in those days, especially during
train, which I think ran from Lowestoft to Whitemoor, Norwood the 17-day ASLEF strike of May/June 1955, when he was
Yard, and which was booked 4 minutes at Harling Road. The based at Walsingham, and, with very few trains running, he
ducks arrived mid-afternoon, and were sorted on to four- was faced with a 44-mile round trip from his Swaffham home!
wheeled barrows according to the through van on the train.
Each carton was endorsed in thick black crayon with the
destination route number. It was a hectic scene, with
everybody, including the SM, playing a part,
particularly in the loading process. Thankfully, face
value parcels stamps were not used, as serially
numbered ledger labels were used instead. There
were three signalmen, the box being open
continuously. In addition, there were two manned
level-crossings in the Roudham Junction section,
which are now user-worked crossings, for which the
SM was responsible and which, like all manned level-
crossings, were visited at least once weekly. Just to
the south of the station was a War Department
Private Siding, connected to the Up Main, and which
received regular traffic. Harling Road will always be
remembered because, on Friday 12th September
1958, I caught the 1753 Liverpool St service, to be
married next day to my late wife Patricia at the since-
demolished St Paul’s Church in Tottenham.
Eccles Road was also a fairly busy wayside station, B12/3 4-6-0 no. 61572 passes Eccles Road with a Summer Saturday
mainly associated with Drane & Co., whose premises train from Yarmouth in June 1961 (the late Dr Gerald Siviour).
adjoined one of the yard sidings. They had an
overloading facility whereby corn, mainly barley, was
a selective look ahead at local railway events
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY, GER Society (Norwich Branch) and Norfolk Transport Group meetings take place (unless
otherwise stated) at: United Reformed Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6QR
Events are listed in good faith, but visitors should check with the organisation concerned before travelling.
Great Eastern Railway Society (Norwich Branch) - contact Mike Fordham
Norfolk Transport Group - contact John Laycock
Services on our Local Railways
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, East View Farm, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW, has running every first Sunday of the
month 1400-1700 weather permitting. Please go to: www.ashmanhaughlightrailway.co.uk
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL has running every third Sunday of the month plus Easter Monday &
Sunday 4th May – email: [email protected]artonhouserailway.org.uk – Tel: 01603-782008.
The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone 01362-
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Brockford Station, Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW opens its programme on Easter Sunday. Please go to
www.mslr.org.uk or tel: 01449-766899.
The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway is now running a daily service until the end of October. Please go to: www.
wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up to 1700 please).
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or
APRIL Tues - Thurs, MID NORFOLK RAILWAY - School Out - Kids Go Free. Vintage heritage railcars operating.
Sat - Sun,
8th - 17th Tues - Thurs
not 11th or
10th Thurs 19:30 NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – An evening with Malcolm Cooper.
12th Sat 10:00 - NORWICH RAILWAY HERITAGE AND MODEL SOCIETY - Railway Exhibition at Hellesdon High
12th - 13th 16:30 School, Middletons Lane, Norwich NR6 5SB
Sat - Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – “1940s Weekend” (Steam).
17th Thurs 19:30 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “Stations & Structures of the M&GN” – Nigel Digby.
18th - 21st Fri - Mon MID NORFOLK RAILWAY - “Easter Special - Kids Go Free.”
20th - 21st Sun - Mon BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Easter Running.
18th - 21st 14:30 - 17:30
Fri - Mon BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – “Easter Eggspress” – See website or leaflet.
20th Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – “Easter Steam Sunday”.
24th Thurs 19:30 GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY (Norwich Branch) – Railway Signalling with Roger
26th Sat NENTA TRAINTOURS – “The Mid-Wales Rambler”. From Norwich (dep. 0535 approx) then via
Ipswich & Ely to Ironbridge & Blists Hill/Llangollen Steam Railway/Welshpool & Llanfair Light
Railway/Chester/Shrewsbury (Norwich return approx. 0030). Fares from £65.75. Premier
Class/Dining available. Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or telephone: 01692-406152.
APRIL cont. MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Engineering Work: Vintage Bus & Railcar Weekend. Special
26th - 27th Sat - Sun timetable operating. Bus Derham to Yaxham, train Yaxham to Wymondham
26th - 27th Sat - Sun BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – Macmillan Charity Sponsored Walk – See website or leaflet.
1st Thurs 19:30 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “The Spirit of Sandringham Project” and “Memories of the
B17s” - Brian Hall.
3rd - 5th Sat - Mon MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Engineering Work: Vintage Bus & Railcar Weekend.
3rd - 5th Sat - Mon NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Day Out with Thomas”.
4th Sun ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY - Open Day
4th Sun WHITWELL AND REEPHAM RAILWAY - “Steam Sunday”
4th - 5th Sun - Mon MID SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY - Middy in the War Years
NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - Visit to Jack Richards Road Transport Museum. Meet at 7pm
outside 2 Millers Close, Fakenham, NR21 8NW. Contact John Laycock for details.
15th Thurs 19:30 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “The Rise & Fall of the Ipswich Dock Railway” – Graham
Kenworthy & David Pearce.
18th Sun BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Sunday Running.
24th - 25th Sat - Sun
24th - 26th Sat - Mon NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - “Dad’s Army Live” (Remember the Royal Train Episode?)
24th - 26th Sat - Mon BURE VALLEY RAILWAY - “Everything Goes” (All available locos and coaches in action.) See
25th Sun website or leaflet.
25th - 26th Sun - Mon
31st Sat MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – “Peppa Pig Weekend”.
WHITWELL AND REEPHAM RAILWAY - “Steam Sunday”
1st MID SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY - Light Railways Days
NENTA TRAINTOURS – “Settle & Wensleydale Circular”. From Norwich (dep. 0505 approx) then
via Ipswich & Ely to Appleby & Carlisle. Visits to the South Tynedale Railway or Wensleydale
Railway if preferred. Norwich return approx. 2355. Fares from £65.75. First Class & Premier Class
available. Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or tel: 01692-406152.
ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY - Open Day
1st Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - Members’ Day & Reunion (with steam loco).
5th Thurs NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Evening Visit – please see pro-forma.
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Visit to the Epping Ongar Railway. By coach from Blofield
13th - 15th Fri - Sun 0730 & Norwich (URC) 0800 for the EOR Steam Gala. Norwich return approx. 2100. Usual
15th Sun pick-ups en route at Wymondham & Attleborough if required. Please see pro-forma.
NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Summer Diesel Gala
WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY - Father’s Day (Steam)
NENTA TRAINTOURS – Day Trip direct from Dereham MNR (dep. 0645 approx) & Norwich 0800
to York and Scarborough. Visits to the NYMR or Ripon & Fountains Abbey if preferred. Norwich
return approx. 2220 & Dereham 2345. Fares from £65.75. First Class & Premier Class available.
Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or tel: 01692-406152.
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