1955 Now in our 60th Year 2015
Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 www.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk
Volume 60 No. 6 Nov/Dec 2015
Looking back to our first meeting - see page 14!
news from railways in and around Norfolk
GE LINES UPDATE: November
GE LINES NEWS
Leaf fall nightmare:
This year’s leaf fall season has disrupted local train
services to a degree not experienced in living
memory – details in the GE Incidents section
following – and Abellio really must learn from the
most unsatisfactory service provision of recent
weeks. Blaming a higher leaf fall than average on a
given day does not absolve AGA.
The new Parkway station costing £44m is to be
constructed on the site of the former Chesterton
Junction Sidings CCE’s long welded rail depot,
closed some 30 years ago, received planning
consent in August. The new station has a
scheduled opening date in December 2016. Some
King’s Cross to Cambridge services will be Wissington heads the NNR’s Vintage train on Saturday 3rd October (Andy
extended to terminate at the new station which will Wright).
be served by the guided busway system which
currently runs along the formation of the former St
Ives branch line nearby. The station will give ready access to when the 1pm Cromer express, formed of loco plus 12
the Cambridge Science Park adjacent, and road access from vehicles, ran into a light engine on the same line on 12th July
the A14 will be made much easier compared with the historic 1913. The collision happened primarily because the
city centre station. signalman made incorrect use of the Sykes Lock & Block
release key and to a lesser extent because the driver of the
The development will provide replacement facilities for the light engine failed to act in accordance to Rule 55 (reporting
Tarmac Lafarge rail-served aggregates terminal. to the signalbox after a delay at signals). 16 passengers were
injured. Colchester station was comprehensively rebuilt on a
Colchester: straighter alignment during the 1960s in preparation for
A blue plaque has been unveiled on the former locomotive electrification.
shed now train crew signing on point building on the London /
Down side of the station to commemorate the 3 railway Ipswich:
employees (footplate crew and guard of the express) killed A £2m redevelopment scheme has commenced at Ipswich.
To date, most of the retail units on the London bound platform
2 side nearest the town have been closed (with no
In This Issue replacement newspaper facility for users). A new ticket office,
booking hall, gateline, waiting facilities and improved (read
Track Report more) retail units are to be provided funded by the National
National Network 1 Stations Improvement Programme.
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge & Miniature 4 Diss, Stowmarket and Colchester:
Pick-up Goods 5 The waiting rooms have been upgraded.
NRS News 11
Accident at Welwyn Garden City – 7th January 15 The provision of a customer information screen and the
1957 (Rod Lock) – Concluding part. repainting of the remaining station building (let to a travel
Working Timetable 16 agent) in AGA grey and white colours merited a completion of
an improvement scheme press release on the Abellio website
Kennett: Crossrail advance works:
A £500k “improvement” scheme has now been completed, In addition to an additional platform now under construction at
largely featuring a new footbridge with ramps which Shenfield, works have commenced at most stations between
necessitated the realignment/resurfacing of the station Goodmayes and Brentwood to extend the station platforms in
platforms. A small waiting shelter has been provided on each preparation for the new Crossrail trains. Step free access is to
platform. The footbridge replaced a pedestrian walkway at be created so new footbridges with lifts are likely to follow.
track level between the platforms. A similar footway still
remains at nearby Thurston. Crossrail trains:
The design of the future £1 billion fleet of new trains for
Wivenhoe: Crossrail was unveiled on 20th November. The good news is
The former goods shed, a 1902 rebuild of the original 1836 that they will be longer at 200 metres (9 cars), faster (90
building, was destroyed by fire late on the night of Sunday m.p.h.), with 3 doors rather than 2 per body side to speed
20th September. The building had been shrouded in loading, and with free access to Wifi and access to 4G. The
scaffolding and protective plastic sheeting to protect the roof seating arrangements will be a mixture of longitudinal seating
timbers after the roof covering had been damaged more than with a few 4 seat “bays”. The less good news is that the
15 years ago. The building had stood behind a protective number of seats on offer will fall from the present 75 per car
security fence. Efforts to refurbish the building for public use to only 50 per car. The new trains are expected to take over
had failed to materialise due to funding difficulties. services on eastern end of the Crossrail route to Shenfield in
Abellio has almost completed the replacement of the TfL and London Overground:
traditional metal seating benches on platforms with new The majority of Class 315 emus serving the interim TfL
timber slatted benches which are compliant with Disability services to Shenfield now carry the house livery and the
Discrimination Act requirements. London Overground services routed via Hackney Downs are
not far behind with their orange painted doors. All 315s
90001 – 90015: carried Poppy transfers on the driving cab ends during the
90015 returned to Norwich in early October resplendent in its Remembrance period.
newly applied AGA white livery. 5 of the home fleet
(90003/06/07/08/09) remain to be repainted. London Overground are re-signing stations served with the
large Underground type signs with a horizontal orange bar
Norfolk Railway Society through the totem.
Mellis – Finningham:
President: Previously reported were the embankment stabilisation works
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq. in progress on the Up/east side near an underbridge between
Mellis and Finningham. The work near MP89.5 does affect
Committee and Officers 2015-2016 Telephone embankments on both sides of the line.
Chairman Brian Cornwell GE INCIDENTS
Oh to be a train operating company – the saga continues.
Vice Chairman Ray Halliday The following details can only represent a small sample of the
incidents occurring as your scribe is not a subscriber to the
Past Chairman Peter Cooke daily Control Log!
Secretary & Andrew Wright 28th September: ahbs between Diss and Mellis manned this
Webmaster morning as a result of a signalling defect. Trains hand
signalled past ahbs at Mellis causing some delay.
Treasurer John Laycock
29th September: Signal/points failure at Shenfield first
Membership Sec Mike Handscomb delaying the 1530 Liverpool St – Norwich by an hour and
subsequent delays en route saw an 82 min late arrival at
Newsletter Editor & Norwich. Other services were delayed by up to 90 mins for
Indoor Programme Edward Mann the remainder of the evening.
Publicity & External 5th October: The 0740 Norwich – Liverpool St was halted on
the approach to Needham Market at 0812. The driver was
Events Chris Mitchell instructed to proceed cautiously to examine the line and the
train stopped just short of Baylham ahb and a footpath
Indoor Programme Graham Kenworthy crossing north of Claydon as there was a fatality ahead. The
train reversed wrong line to gain the Down line at Stowmarket
Show Day Organiser Peter Willis and returned to Norwich, arriving at 0930. Passengers for
London were advised to catch the 0940 to Cambridge. The
Non Committee main line re-opened at 1112 after a 3 hour closure.
Archivist Ray Meek 6th October: An ecs (believed to have been a DMU) failed
north of Diss ahead of the 1700 Liverpool St – Norwich
—----------------------------------------------------------------------------- service which was delayed at Diss for about 80 mins until the
errant train was assisted forward at 1950. Perhaps in reaction
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter the 1810 Liverpool St – Norwich service was terminated at
Colchester and because of late running the 1702 Liverpool St
Editor: Edward Mann – Norwich, formed of 321s, was terminated at Stowmarket to
Layout & Picture Editor: Andrew Wright
Distribution: Graham Smith
Please contact Graham if the next edition does 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 4th February 2016
Copy date: 28th January 2016
take up its return working. St failed at Witham delaying other services for up to 30
20th October: Signalling problems between Stratford and
Liverpool St and a bridge strike at Needham Market got the 14th-15th November: Late notice engineering work between
day off to a bad start. Colchester and Chelmsford introduced a blockade of that
section between 0200 Sat and 0200 Mon. A second item on
A derailment occurred at Wymondham when the Network Rail the AGA website gave similar advice in respect of
owned RHTT operated by DRS (leaving the Mid Norfolk engineering works at Witham. Replacement bus services ran
Railway for servicing) derailed on the trailing point connection between Ingatestone/Chelmsford and Colchester plus
to the MNR branch at about 1430. The trailing end of the Witham – Braintree.
leading bogie of 57009 at the front of the train derailed.
Although the Up line was not obstructed all train services The shortage of serviceable DMUs meant that services
between Norwich and Thetford were suspended for the between Ipswich – Felixstowe and Marks Tey – Sudbury
remainder of the day with road replacement services remained suspended all weekend.
operating. Single line running was not really an option given
that crossovers are now only to be found at Trowse Junc, 15th November (Sun): Train services cancelled between
Wymondham (not available due to the close proximity to the Norwich and Great Yarmouth from the 1245 Norwich
derailment), Eccles Road and Thetford. 57009 was rerailed departure to the end of service due to DMU shortage. 4 bus
during the night and stabled at Dereham pending repairs. The companies are providing rail replacement services. Are more
derailment was reportedly due to the track spreading out of buses than trains are running in East Anglia today? The next
gauge and some 20 sleepers were replaced. performance tables should make interesting reading!
The EDP reported that an “East Midlands Trains maintenance 16th - 18th November: Train services remain suspended on
train” was involved! At least the purpose of the train was the Felixstowe and Sudbury branch lines. Other cancellations
correctly reported! affected Wherry Line and Cambridge line services from
Norwich and even the GEML services experienced
21st October: “More units than normal requiring repair” led to cancellations such as the 0622 and 0703 departures from
the 0633 Norwich – Cambridge and resultant diagram up to Norwich to Liverpool St (and return services) on the 17th and
the 1112 Cambridge – Norwich being cancelled (website the 0800 ex-Norwich on the 18th.
showed road replacement service operating). The 0635
Lowestoft – Norwich was shown cancelled because of “train 18th November: Storm “Barney” resulted in a tree falling
derailment yesterday”. Several DMU services were short across the overheads near Sawbridgeworth suspending train
formed i.e. one car rather than two on the Sheringham branch services between Harlow Town and Bishop’s Stortford for
and two cars instead of three on Cambridge line services. some hours.
28th October: Congestion resulting from a reported late 19th November: 125 services shown to be cancelled at the
running freight (rail conditions?) delayed the 0928 Felixstowe beginning of the day. Ipswich – Peterborough services
– Ipswich by 24 mins, and the 0958 Ipswich / 1028 Felixstowe restored during the late afternoon.
services were cancelled in reaction.
21st November: Good news! Abellio announced the
6th November: “More units than usual requiring repair” (flats restoration of train services on the Felixstowe, Great
caused by the leaf fall season?) led to several diagrams being Yarmouth and Sudbury routes from Monday 23rd November
cancelled, reducing services on the Cambridge to Norwich / but at the cost of Ipswich – Peterborough services which will
Ipswich routes with 2 hour gaps between some services. be suspended for that week!
Wherry Line services also affected. These cancellations
continued for a few days. 23rd November: A points failure at Chelmsford at about 0820
delayed the 0755 Liverpool St – Norwich by 60 min and
7th November: 2201 (6th) Coatbridge – Felixstowe container following services were similarly delayed. Up services were
train hauled by a pair of Class 86 electric locos failed between subject to 30 min delays or cancellations. Another great start
Harold Wood and Brentwood, standing there for more than 75 to a punctual week!
mins. The 1013 Liverpool St – Southend service was trapped Peter Adds
behind passing Shenfield 62L.
9th November: The discovery of a body at Kennett station Ely North Delay & Norwich in 90 Survives
resulted in the cancellation of services for several hours
during the morning. The project to upgrade Ely North Junction, seen by many as
critical to increasing capacity and frequency of services
11th November: Abellio finally put an apology on their between Kings Lynn and London and Cambridge and
website for recent train cancellations due to leaf fall season Norwich, will not start before 2019. A review by new Network
wheel flats. Cancellations continued to affect Norwich – Rail Chairman, Sir Peter Hendry, concluded the delay is
Cambridge services (0633 and 0940 departures together with necessary in order to coordinate the improvements with work
return workings cancelled) and Wherry Lines. Services were on nearby level crossings.
suspended on the Ipswich – Felixstowe and Marks Tey –
Sudbury routes all day today with replacement bus services The transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has told local
serving most stations. East Suffolk line services called MPs he thinks extra services could be brought in without the
additionally at Westerfield which cannot be served by bus. upgrade and promised to advise them when this will happen.
12th November: Felixstowe and Sudbury services were Meanwhile the ‘Norwich in 90’ campaign seems to have
suspended again. One early morning return Norwich – Great survived both the Hendry review and the Chancellor’s
Yarmouth service was cancelled together with the 1445 Spending Review and Autumn Statement. (AW)
Norwich – Sheringham and return. 0812 Braintree – Liverpool
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature
Children in Need
As I type these notes, the BBC’s Children in Need programme can be seen on T.V. Eaton Park had their Children in Need event
on 27th September, and this montage by Mike Fordham really captures the occasion.
Y14 no. 564 heads the Quad Arts out of Sheringham during the M&GN
Members Day on 3rd October (Andy Wright).
Signalman Robert Scarfe exchanges single line tokens (left) at Weybourne
Station also on 3rd October (Andy Wright).
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall the German border) was a significant port.
“The Great Northern Railway – Not Just The French lost a lot of their coal mining areas following the
Stirling Singles” – Part 1 (Allan Sibley – 1st German war of 1870, a quirk of this war being that in the
Alsace-Lorraine region right-hand running became normal
October) whereas most of the country is left-hand. A few German-style
signals also survive.
We were very pleased to have a return visit from Allan Sibley,
Editor of the Great Northern Railway Society Journal, and his The many narrow-gauge lines were seriously pruned just
wife Marion. before WW2 but often lines were mothballed rather than
being removed. Route mileage came down from some 40,000
The G.N.R. effectively extended from King’s Cross to miles to 15,000.
Shaftholme Junc, north of Doncaster, where it made an end-
on connection with the North Eastern Railway. It was also These days, lines are powered by a mix of 1,500V dc.,
strong in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and the West Riding, 25,000kV ac and diesel, the last diesel-operated main line
and there was an odd extension between Uttoxeter and running from Paris to Belfort. Regions have responsibility for
Stafford, accessed thanks to running powers over the North their rail services, and lines running from one region to
Staffordshire Railway. We saw some views of the iconic another are somewhat poor relations.
Stirling “Singles”, in their latter days, but ⅔ of the G.N.R’s
revenue came from the movement of coal, especially to The Regiolis units are very popular with the operators,
London. running as 3, 4 or 6-car formations, either electric only or bi-
mode (electric and diesel). The flood of Regiolis units (which
We learned that King’s Cross derived its name from a statue have not been without their problems) will probably see off
to King George IV which lasted a mere 10 years before being the country’s last hauled trains. It seems that the French are
demolished. When opened, the station had single arrival and very keen on minor alterations to their standard units.
departure roads, but, of course, platforms have been added At Rouen there was the amazing sight of around 450 stored
over the years – most recently a Platform 0! The station has and withdrawn locomotives (double Barry’s number at its
been much improved now, but in the 1950s the area outside peak), though the storage area is heavily-patrolled by police
was a real mish-mash, and nicknamed the “African Village”. with dogs which makes identification and photography
There was even room for a John Laing show house! We also somewhat limited! We also saw something of the Class 66s at
saw something of the nooks and crannies of the old King’s work with private operator Euro Cargo.
Cross – the laundry baskets on Platform 16 – the signalbox
before the 1932 alterations – and the station clocks – a long- Thanks to Gerald for a most interesting evening, and to Andy
case clock somehow muscled underneath the poorly-lit main Wright for operating the projector. (EM)
station clock. And of course we saw some 1950s style
“Health & Safety”! Other rarities seen included the ticket Various 16mm British Transport Films (Robert
inspection platform near Spalding. Allan believed that Boston Scarfe - 5th November)
Swing Bridge once had a signalbox on it, so the ability to row
was a necessary skill for applicants. The rowing-boat moored It all began early this year when some rusting canisters of
to the bridge in recent times was for the benefit of the bridge 16mm film were found in a storeroom at Norwich station.
operator as there was no sign of the box. Although they were labelled, 16mm projectors are a rapidly-
vanishing technology – indeed 16mm films would not have
Suburban electrification in the 1970s saw much-needed been shown to the Society after the 1970s. A Bell & Howell
modernisation – the suburban stations were overdue for projector needed to be found, and Robert’s bid for one on
improvement, and eyesores like the pedestrian access to eBay was initially unsuccessful. Although outbid, it transpired
Oakleigh Park, for instance, had to be seen to be believed. the winner lived too far away to collect it and so Robert “did a
deal” with the seller. He had read that the worm gear often
Allan was thanked for his presentation and we hope he will be needed replacing and, having been a T.V. and audio service
able to return to show us Part 2 in the not-too-distant future. engineer for many years, not only replaced this but posted a
video on YouTube which has now had some 1200 hits!
Thanks to Andy Wright for operating the projector. (EM) The first two films (or fillums as they say in these parts) were
entitled The Way Ahead and seemed to date from around
“French Railway Development & the Current 1964. The first had an introduction by Dr Richard Beeching
Scene” (Gerald Brown - 15th October) and covered contemporary “cutting edge” rail developments –
block oil trains, liner trains (as they were originally known), a
We were pleased to have a return visit from French railways new ship for the Holyhead – Dún Laoghaire service, among
expert Gerald Brown who began his presentation with an other noteworthy developments of the period. We also saw
image of Rouen Rive Droite which won first prize in an something of the B.T.H. wine cellars which used to be at
S.N.C.F. Society competition. Liverpool St, Paddington and Derby, and one couldn’t help
but wonder what became of some very valuable vintages
French railways began in 1827 with a line from St Etienne to when privatisation asserted itself.
Lyon. State planning meant that there was little duplication of
routes (unlike the U.K.) but towards the end of the 19th The second film had an introduction by Sidney Greene,
century government guarantees resulted in the proliferation of General Secretary of the National Union of Railwaymen, and
many narrow-gauge lines often with little or no economic we learned that 6 coal-fired power stations were under
future. France did not have great coal reserves – its annual construction - we saw something of West Burton –
production of 58 million tons was a long way short of the U.K. greenhouse gases would produce blank looks then. We also
figure. It was surprising to learn that the railways faced saw the dedicated service of car parts between Dagenham
serious competition from canals, and that Strasbourg (near and Halewood, run to a very tight schedule, the
ergonomically-designed seating for Mark 2 (!) coaches, The Company are making great strides, and they are close to
prefabricated buildings from Lenwade and learned about the submitting an outline planning application for an extension to
comparative costs of road and rail transport (surprise, Wistlandpound Reservoir. The application to Exmoor Park
surprise, rail won over longer distances) and early Authority will be supported by 3” (!) of documents. Once they
computerisation to improve wagon utilisation. Unfortunately, get planning, they can apply for their Transport & Works
the film closed with the dreadful Joe Brown singing in Order.
Clapham Museum (he got into several B.T. films back then).
The story of the L & B had been brought to us via a series of
After the break we saw two films about worker safety, which slides and a very informative DVD, aided by an expert
may have dated from the very early 1960s. Safety near commentary from someone “who had been there, done that”.
overhead electric lines was concentrated on in the first, whilst Charles’s presentation was warmly applauded and we look
the second ranged more widely. Hard hats and “high-vis” forward to seeing him again at our Annual Show. (EM)
jackets were completely absent, and track work was largely in
the hands of men using shovels and wearing donkey jackets. Norfolk Transport Group Annual Quiz
Sandwiched between these was “Diesel Train Driver”, shot in
Lincolnshire and which took us back to the introduction of The Norfolk Transport Group had its team quiz on 12th
“first generation” DMUs on rural routes. November, which was much enjoyed by all who took part.
Teams were selected by hat draw, and when David Cooke,
A large audience enjoyed these films – which Robert had to Chris King and Alan Thurling were grouped together there
thread at the start and rewind at the end of each reel. Real was little hope for the rest of us! Peter Knights, Andy Wright
nostalgic stuff, and thanks to Robert for all the effort he had and yours truly were a creditable second, much helped by
made to show these films to us. (EM) Andy’s knowledge of motor sport.
“The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway” (Charles Many thanks to Malcolm Cooper for setting the questions – it
Summers – 19th November) would be good to have more participants next year! (EM)
The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway is a long way away, but we Monkeying around (Steve Cane)
were fortunate that one of the Railway Trust’s Directors -
Charles Summers – has family connections at Hopton-on- On 3rd October Luton Town were playing Hartlepool United in
Sea. a League Division Two fixture. Having never been there
before I decided it would be an opportunity to spend a few
days in the North East and visit some of the local attractions.
The original line was some 20 miles long and came about My wife and I booked a hotel in the city of Durham for four
largely due to the efforts of Lynton businessmen, notably nights and we travelled up by car on the Wednesday before
wealthy publisher Sir George Newnes. It opened on 11th May Saturday’s match. I had only seen Durham from a train
1898 and was closed by the Southern Railway from 30th carriage window before as I journeyed to or from Newcastle;
September 1935. Its gauge was 1’11½”. the view of the cathedral and castle had always intrigued me
so a visit there had always been something I wanted to do.
The line started from an island platform at Barnstaple (Town) On our first day we took the Park and Ride bus into the City
– the other side of the platform was used by the L.S.W.R’s and spent the whole day sightseeing. The cathedral stands
Barnstaple Junc – Ilfracombe services. Lynton is the only on a promontory high above the River Wear, so after a look
substantial town between Ilfracombe and Minehead, and round the interior we made our way down to the river and
North Devon remains relatively unpopulated – the loss of L & followed its path back to the city centre.
B services cast a long shadow over the development of
Lynton. To operate the services, tank engines Exe, Lyn, Taw The following day we travelled by car to “Locomotion”- The
and Yeo were acquired with a fifth – Lew – coming later. The National Railway Museum at Shildon. There were not many
company had a couple of notable “firsts” – a connecting bus people visiting that day so it was possible to enjoy the exhibits
service to/from Ilfracombe and the use of roller bearings on its in the main collection in peace and quiet, which is not always
carriages. The bus operation was unsuccessful, and the the case at the NRM in York.
vehicles were sold to the G.W.R. for its pioneering Helston –
Lizard service. Roller bearings were a victim of technology After a look round in the main building, and a “cuppa and
getting ahead of contemporary metallurgy. Arguably, the scone” we made our way outside to view the rest of the site.
position of Lynton station (300’ above the town) contributed to For those who have not been to Locomotion before, the
the line’s downfall once a Barnstaple – Lynton (centre) bus outside part of the museum follows a 1km demonstration line
service began in the early 1920s. with points of interest along the way. These include a coal
Preservation was first mooted in the 1970s but the drop where wagons were hauled up an incline and the coal
preservationists were not encouraged at the Barnstaple end, “dropped” into waiting tenders below; a goods shed; Timothy
either by the Council’s attitude or by the locals who effectively Hackworth’s house (he was the first locomotive
scuppered a planning application. Co-incidental with the latest superintendent of the Stockton & Darlington Railway) and the
setback came news that the old Woody Bay station was up Soho Engine Shed - the oldest surviving railway building in
for sale, a stroke of good luck! This was eventually bought, Shildon. (See upper image, page 7, of no. 20 passing the coal
regardless, for £70,000 in 1995, and at last a start could be drops).
made. Progress was slow, and depended on land deals being
done to extend the railway from its base. Gradually land deals Unfortunately all these buildings were closed to the public the
were done, and materials acquired, and the position now is day we were there. On the bright side the Furness Trust were
that the line runs from Woody Bay to Killington Lane. There is having a weekend for their members at Shildon, and their
a significant engineering base at Great Yeldham in Essex, but flagship loco no. 20 was being prepared for steaming the next
a replacement 2-6-2T steam locomotive Lyd was built at the day. No.20 is the oldest working standard gauge locomotive
F.R’s Boston Lodge Works. Another locomotive - Axe - was in Britain and was built in Manchester in 1863.
an ex-quarry locomotive, now returned to running order. It was unceremoniously pushed from the goods shed to the
_________PICK-UP GOODS Lately there have been some major investment projects and
redevelopments which have seen a rise in the town’s
preparation site by a diesel shunter. We followed its progress prospects.
along its 1km journey and took photos as we went. We then
watched a small team of men set to work preparing the loco Now the main reason for going “up north” was to see a
for the next day’s steaming. football match, and I’m glad to say “the Hatters” beat “the
Monkey Hangers” 4 -1! The reason for this nickname stems
My wife had seen an article in a book entitled “Amazing from the Napoleonic Wars when a French ship was wrecked
places to visit in Britain” regarding a brick sculpture of an A4 off the coast, the only survivor being a monkey wearing a
locomotive. As we were near Darlington, the location of the French uniform. As the inhabitants had never seen a monkey
sculpture, we decided to take a look. It was quite difficult to before (cf. powder monkey – Ed.) it was put on trial and.
find being on an industrial estate behind a Morrisons because it didn’t answer questions, it was hanged as a spy!
supermarket. (See image below). Thanks to Steve for the images.
Durham (Gilesgate) and Durham (Elvet) (not to
be left out) – Michael Roach and Edward Mann
When the present East Coast Main Line was built it passed to
the west of Durham, partly on viaduct, with good views of the
city and the wonderful Norman Cathedral. The line was
opened in 1857, although it did not become the ECML
immediately. However the first railway station in Durham,
opened in 1839 at a place called Shincliffe was most
inconveniently sited for residents and visitors alike. The result
of this poor siting was the construction of a short branch from
the north to the edge of the City Centre at a place called
Gilesgate, and the construction of the second station to serve
The loco is full size and stands on land that was part of the The exterior of the Travelodge in September 2010.
original Stockton & Darlington railway. It is very impressive
and was made using 185,000 bricks and took 34 bricklayers, Durham Gilesgate Station was opened on Monday 15th April
labourers and apprentices 21 weeks to build. Twenty of the 1844, and it had just 2 platforms, but it did have an overall
bricks are special “bat bricks” and encourage the animal to roof over the 2 platforms. Looking north-east from the buffer
use it as their home. At its rear is a grassy hillock and viewing stops the platform on the west side was for passengers, and
point, so the loco appears to be bursting out of a tunnel. If any the one on the east side was for goods. The station was
of you are in that area it’s well worth a visit. designed by G.T.Andrews for the Durham & Sunderland
Railway Company. He was a very well-known architect based
The weather had been very kind to us for the first three days in York, who designed many railway stations, and this one
of our trip, clear blue skies and reasonably mild. Match day was a pleasant sandstone structure. Gilesgate closed to
arrived and the weather changed to fog and drizzle, so our passengers on Wednesday 1st April 1857 soon after the
plans to view the Durham Heritage coastline in the morning opening of the new station on what would later become the
were cancelled. I had arranged to meet some fellow ECML. However Gilesgate continued as a goods station for a
supporters in the Rat Race Ale House, a micropub situated in further 91 years until complete closure on Thursday 17th
the former newsagent’s shop at Hartlepool railway station. November 1966. The station site then became a builders’
The only way to describe the “pub” is quirky, extremely small merchants depot until it was bought by Travelodge. The main
being full with less than twenty people drinking in there. For building was renovated and extended in a sensitive manner,
the attention of ale drinking readers, this pub is a must if you reopening as a budget hotel in 1994. Very cleverly, the area
happen to find yourself in “Pool” some day. between the platforms covered by the overall roof became the
restaurant. The original roof was cleaned and repaired; and
It would have been good to have seen Hartlepool in its the 1843 cast iron columns, beams and partly glazed roof can
heyday, but the decline in heavy industry and shipbuilding
since the Second World War caused periods of
unemployment, which the town has not really recovered from.
be admired by the diners as they enjoy their meal. Thanks to Reservoirs, Unexpected Engines, Cats and a
Michael for all of the images. Cinema – More Esoteric Editorial Excursions
The roof on the passenger side on the same day. (Concluding Part)
Durham wasn’t finished with its stations, however. In 1893 the Having left Humberside – although there was plenty more
North Eastern Railway reached the city from Sunderland railway interest – I made tracks for Pateley Bridge, in
and opened its station on the eastern side of the city. Nidderdale. No extant railway exists now; this had closed to
Unusually for the N.E.R. the station was built without an passengers from 2nd April 1951 - it had diverged from the
overall roof. Perhaps the lack of what we now call now-closed Leeds Northern Line (Harrogate to Northallerton)
“connectivity” – not to mention bus competition - told against at Ripley Valley Junc. A continuation to Lofthouse-in-
the line which closed to passengers from Durham (Elvet) to Nidderdale closed to passengers from 1st January 1930,
Pittington from 1st January 1931, and from Pittington to which deserves further comment, but if you’re in Pateley
Sunderland from 5th January 1953. An alternative route from Bridge do visit the local history museum.
Durham (ECML) to Sunderland was closed from 4th May
1964. Elvet, however, saw continued once-a-year passenger In the latter years of the 19th century when a major civil
use until 18th July 1954 in connection with the Durham engineering project needed to be carried out the contractor
Miners’ Gala – an event which continues to this day despite would often build a narrow-gauge railway to facilitate the
there being no deep mines remaining open in the Durham movement of construction materials, machinery and men. It
coalfield. was no different here. Bradford Corporation was concerned
for its water supplies, and large reservoirs were to be
constructed at Angram and Scar House, following on from an
earlier reservoir at Gouthwaite which had opened c.1901. In
1904 the Corporation obtained a Transfer Order of an earlier
Light Railway Order, and had the gauge changed from 3’ to
standard gauge to allow through running from the N.E.R. The
Transfer Order went on to provide that a public passenger
service would run on the railway between its own station at
Pateley Bridge and Lofthouse (no through passenger running
from the N.E.R. ever actually took place).
I had to travel in this! L & Y Directors’ Saloon of 1906 at
Bolton Abbey on 22nd August.
Although Gouthwaite Reservoir had been constructed as a
necessary preliminary for the benefit of Nidderdale residents,
work on the other two reservoirs was delayed by WW1, the
smaller Angram reservoir finally opening in 1918. Scar House
was a different proposition, and construction took place
throughout the 1920s before it was officially inaugurated in
The beautiful state of the cast iron columns and beams. They The railway – known as the Nidd Valley Light Railway – had
looked so good in 2010 that they could have been cast the been opened as far back as 1906 and, because it was to
day before! carry passengers, needed to be “passed” by the Board of
Trade. There were intermediate stations at Ramsgill and
Norwich to Durham is straightforward by rail – just one Wath-in-Nidderdale, before the passenger service ended at
change is required at Peterborough, unless you’re so anxious Lofthouse. However, the line continued to Angram and Scar
to get there that you change at Darlington as well. House (to facilitate reservoir construction), and this part was
not constructed to the same higher standards. Amazingly, the
Editor’s Note: The long arm of coincidence was really possibility of electrifying the line – using hydro-electricity from
extended when two pieces with a Durham connection arrived Angram – received consideration!
in quick succession. I find that remarkable!
Health and Safety 1926 style at Scar House! Bradford N.E.R. Tennant 2-4-0 no. 910 at Kirkby Stephen (East) on
Corporation officials on an inspection tour (Jolly?). 23rd August.
Whilst a timetable from 1910 showed a maximum of 5 trains and which closed to passengers from 3rd March 1969. This
each way, bus competition was a serious problem in the late has been imaginatively converted into a café, gallery, small
1920s and the ending of passenger services became more shop units and a cinema.
and more likely with the last passenger trains running
between Pateley Bridge (N.V.L.R.) and Lofthouse on 31st As I finish this piece, I’m conscious that mine are the only
December 1929. Some freight traffic operated for a few more holiday articles to have got into print, though Steve Cane
years, but track-lifting took place in 1936. This brief summary keeps us entertained with his football reports. I know others
has drawn heavily on Railways in Nidderdale by Philip Atkins went away, so more effort reporting holidays and visits is
which, from my point of view, has shed light on a barely- expected in 2016, please. (EM)
It is not clear what remains can be seen today. Although the
reservoirs seem to be accessible by road from both
Middlesmoor and Lofthouse perhaps a 4 x 4 would be the
preferred mode of transport! Anyone with the relevant O.S.
Explorer or Landranger maps please contact me.
I also visited the Yorkshire Dales Railway which runs from
Bolton Abbey to Embsay. This was part of the Midland
Railway’s line from Ilkley to Skipton which closed from 22nd
March 1965. Go to many heritage lines today and you’ll find
unexpected motive power and/or rolling stock. This was no
exception – G.W.R. 56xx 0-6-2T 5643 (on loan from the
Ribble Steam Railway) was in charge and I travelled 1st class
in Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Directors’ saloon no. 1
built in 1906. Have a look at the railway’s stocklist and you’ll
be in for a few surprises!
After leaving Pateley Bridge it was a lengthy drive via Kirkby Inside the former Richmond station on 24th August.
Lonsdale and Sedbergh to Kirkby Stephen where the former
East station was having a rare Open Day. This was a typical .... there is nothing new under the sun…
N.E.R. station with overall roof, and ex-industrial diesels were
topping’n’tailing a few Mark 1s along a short piece of track. This is extracted from the Book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 1
This was always a dead-end station, trains from Darlington Verse 9, and it is a useful introduction to the problems first
and Barnard Castle having to reverse if they were continuing experienced by trains on the Felixstowe and Sudbury
to Tebay or Penrith. Although the Tebay line closed to regular branches in early November. The late G.F. Fiennes was (I
passenger services from 1st December 1952, summer believe) Operating Superintendent in the early 1950s, and he
specials continued to run until 1961. The line onwards to complained to the late L.P. Parker, Locomotive Running
Penrith closed to passengers from 22nd January 1962, and Superintendent, about the time lost by Up Southend trains in
those interested to read about the “last train” are referred to the morning peak (the line was steam-worked in those days).
the November 2015 issue of Steam Days. For a detailed Parker’s reply was: “This phenomenon is not unconnected
history of the lines, The Stainmore & Eden Valley Railways with the fall of the autumn leaf”!
(Peter Walton) is well worth getting. Go to the Stainmore
Railway Company’s website and learn about the station cats There was a further exchange of correspondence, and
– Quaker & Oates! anybody with a copy of Fiennes on Rails is referred to page
Some of you will recall John Hutchinson’s contribution to our
Members’ Evening in September when he showed images of 9
Barter Books’ emporium located in what was Alnwick station.
Another former station worthy of a visit is Richmond, which
was at the end of the branch from Darlington (Eryholme Junc)
Yet Another Sorry Scottish Saga – with more between the two units and no trolley service in our section
than a touch of déjà vu (John Hutchinson) until Perth. I subsequently learnt from the conductor that the
train had been “de-classified”, i.e. no First Class, and seat
Oh no, I hear you cry – not him again! Well, it's a relatively reservations not placed. This information had not been
brief story of woe this time. Almost exactly 11 months after relayed to passengers waiting for the train on the concourse
my last escapade, travelling with ScotRail on the 0941/1045 earlier.
departures from Inverness to Edinburgh in October 2014
(NRS/NL 59/6 pp.11/12/13), I experienced another shambolic To exacerbate the situation, just like the previous year, on
journey on the same 1045 service. On the recent occasion, arrival at Perth we were informed that there would be a delay
having travelled from Norwich to Aviemore in early due to a signalling problem (slippery rails last year). We then
September and enjoying a faultless trip courtesy of East stood at Perth for the best part of 40 minutes, departing at
Midlands and Virgin East Coast (First Class, with all the usual 1340, diverting via Stirling and Falkirk (i.e. not via Ladybank),
food and alcoholic benefits on the latter's Highland Chieftain eventually arriving at Edinburgh Waverley at 1510, some 45
service), I returned southwards from Inverness to Berwick- minutes late.
upon-Tweed (for a short break) on the 7th.
The good news at the end of this saga is that I eventually got
Arriving at Inverness in good time from Nairn, it appeared a full rebate for the journey from ScotRail, plus two £5
from the Departures board that the 1045 Edinburgh service vouchers because they twice took more than seven days to
would be formed by an incoming service from Perth, due at respond to my complaints, which involved emails and letters.
1027. As the time approached, the concourse gradually filled In fairness, I should add that ScotRail's Customer Service
with expectant passengers, lots of holidaymakers at that time people were extremely apologetic about the journey and the
of year – plus excitable Scottish gentlemen, mainly in kilts, en delay in recompensing. They stated that they were dealing
route to Glasgow for that evening's Scotland v Germany with a huge backlog and I suppose that - in line with all of the
football match. The train from Perth eventually arrived around major TOCs - that is hardly surprising given how relatively
1035, as per last year formed of two Class 158 units. Another simple it is in this day and age to claim compensation for
four or five minutes elapsed whilst passengers de-trained journeys delayed for more than 30 minutes.
and, at last, the barriers were opened and we were off – with
the inevitable scurry to get self and luggage on board. A final point. I have been travelling to and from Scotland for
12 years now, since part of my family moved over (way over!)
Being booked for First Class in Coach A with seat the Border. Looking back, in the earlier years I am sure that it
reservations, it should have been a doddle. But not so! Coach was a more relaxing and less stressful journey than in recent
A was not readily identified in the first unit and by the time times. In common with the Norwich to London experience,
that we got to the second unit it was quite obvious that it was sadly in my view the reliability of the services on the East
every man for himself. So, it was a question of get on board, Coast main line and the Highland Line has become
quickly park the luggage and slump into the first empty (table) something of a lottery – in many cases due to circumstances
seat. The set consisted of 158739 and 158869, the latter beyond the TOCs' control. By contrast, I have to say that
being where I finished up. Saltire-liveried, I suspect that this annual pilgrimages to the West Country with FGW (now
unit is more likely to be seen on suburban services than on GWR) have been far more reliable – well, at least the
Highland Line duty, lacking the extra luggage space normally Paddington to Exeter part of the journey. That's enough
found on the line's services and also with not particularly griping for now; no more journeys planned in the immediate
comfortable seats. Plus there was no passenger connection future!
Where Was I? (see NRS/NL 60/5 Where Are We?
This location may have been an operational headache, with branch line trains
It was all rather easy. Thanks to Steve having to reverse to get on to and from the branch. Where are we, and where did
Cane for supplying the answer in black & the branch lead to? As usual, please send your answers by email – happy
Arnold Hoskins – A Man of Many Parts – An
Arnold William Edmund Hoskins, known to everyone as
“Arnold”, was born in Norwich on 6th June 1925 and died on
26th September 2015. Although he had no children, nor
brothers nor sisters, and his wife, Joyce, predeceased him by
a couple of months, his cremation at Earlham was very well-
Arnold at Eaton Park in April 1974 (EDP).
Arnold at the controls of a Great Northern Atlantic at Eaton Arnold was involved in the early days of the railway at Eaton
Park in the 1960s when the railway ran on elevated track Park, and became a member of the Norwich & District Society
(Mike Fordham collection). of Model Engineers for whom he went on to serve as
Secretary and Chairman. He continued to contribute notes to
His lifelong interest in railways seemed to be due to his the NDSME Newsletter, and attend their Tuesday working
mother, and several of us can recall Arnold reminiscing about parties and Sunday running days, until his health
his pre-war visits to the Talyllyn and Welsh Highland Railways deteriorated.
long before the preservation movement took hold.
He was closely involved with the Norfolk Centre of the
After military service in India Arnold joined the City’s Public National Trust, from its formation in 1970, and together with
Health Department, his one-time boss being the his wife gave illustrated talks about the Trust’s properties. He
appropriately-named Mr Smellie! also served as its local Membership Secretary, Secretary,
Treasurer and Chairman, the Membership Secretary’s job
being a particularly onerous one in the pre-computer era.
Mike Fordham read a tribute on behalf of our Society. Arnold
had been a founder-member since its formation in 1955,
serving in the Society’s early years as Newsletter Editor and
4771 Green Arrow in 1970/71 with, from left, Richard A more recent image of Arnold outside Eaton Park
Adderson, Arnold, Bill Harvey, Bernard Harrison and workshops (Mike Fordham).
Bernard Adams (Richard Adderson).
Chairman (1968-1969). He developed a close friendship with
the late “Bill” Harvey, the former Norwich Shedmaster, and
succeeded him as our President in December 1994. It was
recounted how Arnold and Bill would take lorry-loads of
surplus or obsolete equipment – no longer needed at Norwich
– over to the Talyllyn Railway where it would prove
invaluable. The legitimacy of these operations will always
remain unclear! It was also recalled how he assisted in the
restoration to running order of 4771 Green Arrow and ex- The NRS archive - Mike Handscomb
L.T.S.R. 4-4-2T no. 80 Thundersley, and was also a NNR
volunteer. Some members will be aware that the NRS archive has been
the subject of debate, mainly in committee meetings since
Another side of Arnold’s life – unknown to many – was that he 2012. Others probably don’t even realise that the Society has
played the piano, saxophone and clarinet, his piano-playing an archive.
proving popular at the care home where he spent the last 6
months of his life. It started way back in 1962. Deryck Featherstone was
appointed as Hon. Archivist and drew up the first Catalogue
As Arnold had no close relations, we are all very grateful to of the Relics and Archives which then totalled 147 items. The
his former neighbour – Barbara Cushion – with whom he was Rev. Buck was elected archivist in 1971 and was succeeded
known to share the odd tipple of cider – for making the eight years later by Peter Allison. By now there were over 500
excellent funeral arrangements. (EM) catalogued items “and about a further 300 to be sorted”.
From the Committee At the 1999 AGM Peter announced that he required space at
his house. The archive was on the point of being declared
The last committee meeting took place on 28th September - homeless - but to the delight of the meeting Ray Meek and
just too late to include a report in NRS/NL 60/5. We began the late Phyllis Youngman stepped in. There was, they said,
by noting the sad passing of our President Arnold Hoskins room at their Briston home, which already housed a similar
two days earlier. collection belonging to the M&GN Circle. With the help of a
hired van the NRS archive moved to Briston. Ray and Peter
During October the unanimous view expressed by current became joint archivists.
and some past committee members was that our current
Vice-President Ken Mills should be invited to become Sadly, Peter died in April 2014, since when Ray as archivist
President. Ken is willing to accept this invitation and we will continued to hold the collection at his house along with items
hold a short Special General Meeting on 7th January 2016 belonging to the M&GN Circle and the M&GN Trust.
when we hope the membership will agree to make the
appointment. So what is in our archive? The catalogue divides it into 11
It is good to report substantial progress on the future of the
NRS archive with a detailed proposal by Mike Handscomb A. Public Timetables - 77 items
being unanimously agreed by the committee. See Mike’s B. Working Timetables, Appendices etc. - 84 items
report on this page. C. Carriage Workings, Signal Box Openings, Freight
Following notification from URC Hall that a charge will be Train Loads &c - 54 items
imposed on any group that causes the dishwasher to D. Regulations, Rule Books, Instructions etc. - 49 items
malfunction, we decided, in common with the GER Society E. Miscellaneous Books, Records, Pamphlets etc. - 33
and Transport Group, to stop using the machine. Washing up
will be done by hand and we will supply tea towels items
F. Books - General, Reference, Technical. - 53 items
It may also be helpful to clarify responsibilities for G. Miscellaneous Pamphlets, Leaflets, Periodicals etc. -
refreshments: Peter Cooke keeps the “tea rota” book, and will
be pleased to see more names in it. Peter or – in his absence 170 items
– Ray Halliday will bring the milk. Edward Mann will replenish H. Maps, Plans, Diagrams etc. - 30 items
supplies of coffee, tea, biscuits and sugar. I. Photographs, Pictures etc. - 23 items
J. Norfolk Railway Society publications - 14 items
Regarding 60th Anniversary events, we agreed to book the K. Miscellaneous hardware - 26 items
Dining Train on the North Norfolk Railway next June and are
grateful to Ray Halliday for his efforts to make this possible - In addition:
see report on page 15. However the idea of an afternoon tea ● a GER ‘captain’s’ chair with a stamped brass seat,
at Wymondham Station Bistro has been abandoned as presented in 1965 by our former president D W ‘Bill’
● several albums and boxes of photographs, both
It was agreed to seek expressions of interest in the proposed prints and slides. Some were taken by our late
trip to Scotland next year developed by Chris Mitchell and members Bernard and Roger Harrison. There are
Spratts Coaches (See NRS/NL 60/5 p.13). Providing there is also several photograph albums with locomotive
sufficient interest the committee will make a final decision on portraits stuck on the pages.
whether to proceed at the end of January. We will need to
take account of any financial or other liabilities that may fall What a treasure trove and an asset to the Society, you might
upon the Society. think – but start delving into it and things soon become more
Work on the 2016 Show Day continues but we need to find a
PAT tester and a first aider and the car parking issue is not There appears to have been no acquisition policy, so
yet resolved. Exhibitors are gradually being confirmed and donations have been accepted irrespective of their historic
another wide-ranging show is in prospect. interest or their relevance to the NRS; thus the collection has
a rather piecemeal nature. With regard to geographical
Peter Willis indicated he is willing to organise the 2017 Show relevance, there may once have been a desire to retain only
but would like someone else to take over by 2018. If you are items of Norfolk or East Anglian interest, and many – but by
interested please speak to Peter. no means all – of the timetables, maps and plans relate to
this area; but many documents, particularly in Section G, do
Andy Wright not.
Those NRS members who are aware of the Society’s archive
rarely seek it out. We have a small handful of members who
undertake research, and they limit their use of the archive to
the working timetables. Another worry is security - last year Notice of a Special General Meeting of
Ray suffered a burglary during which several hardware items Norfolk Railway Society
were stolen. Fortunately the NRS collection escaped
unscathed. To be held on Thursday 7th January 2016 at 1930 at the
United Reformed Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich
There’s also the worry of what will happen when Ray needs NR4 6QR.
the space for something else.
This meeting has been called by the NRS Committee in
Taking all these considerations into account, the NRS accordance with paragraph 8 of the Society’s Constitution
Committee concluded that, after 50 years, the archive fulfils and Rules.
little useful purpose. Accordingly the decision was taken to
disband it and redistribute the contents to suitable AGENDA
organisations. The Committee asked me to lead this 1. Appointment of a President of the Society.
operation, assisted by Richard Adderson.
The Committee proposes that current
So what happens next? Vice-President Ken Mills be appointed
President of the Society.
It is important that we don’t regard this as a money-making
exercise. Most items were donated to the Society in the belief Andy Wright
that they would be preserved for the future. Accordingly Hon Secretary
Richard and I will do our best to identify bodies who actively 3rd December 2015
welcome donations and will undertake to preserve them in the
correct conditions and make them accessible for research. Membership Matters
These are likely to be public institutions or specialist societies.
Our membership is not quite at the record level it reached a
The archive has been moved to my house, where Richard year ago, but I’m delighted to say that in our 60th year it still
and I are now engaged in examining and sorting it with the hovers close to the 100 mark. To keep that figure at its
aim of offering appropriate items to bodies listed below: remarkable level, I regret that I have to remind you that
subscriptions fall due on January 1st. Some good news –
1. Great Eastern Railway Society or M&GN Circle (as once again, the rates remain unchanged:
2. Norfolk Record Office or Norfolk Heritage Centre (as Two adults at same address: £29.50
appropriate) Junior (under 18): £9.50
3. National Railway Museum
4. Other specialist bodies; for example, the Signalling
Record Society and the William Marriott museum.
Items not required by these organisations will then be offered I’m sure you’ll agree that membership represents
to NRS members at favourable prices. At some meetings we extraordinarily good value for money – and on top of the
may have a sales table at the back of the hall, and there will excellent programme of meetings and six issues of the NRS
almost certainly be a good selection at next year’s NRS Show Newsletter, members will soon receive another unexpected
on March 5th - so the collectors among our membership would ‘bonus’.
be well advised to come early and see what’s on offer!
I very much hope that you’ll renew your membership. Please
After all these stages, anything that’s left, provided it’s complete the blue form enclosed with this NRS Newsletter
saleable, will be offered on the open market with proceeds and return it to me with your cheque, either by post or at a
going to the Society. meeting. Thank you.
This process is at a very early stage, so if any NRS member Mike Handscomb
can suggest a suitable home for some of the items, do please Membership Secretary
contact me or Richard.
As well as the categories above, the archive held an amount
of NRS correspondence, as well as the three ‘anniversary’ It’s pleasing to report that Peter Lawrence has rejoined us.
booklets we have published over the years; these are now in
the care of Andy Wright as NRS Secretary. Roger Harrison’s Christmas Meeting
photographs and negatives, including those which were used
in the NRS- produced book Roger Harrison’s East Anglia Our traditional Christmas meeting will be held on 17th
Railways, were left to the NRS under the terms of Roger’s will December. This is your opportunity to show us your images
only five years ago and it does not seem appropriate to or films, give a short talk or maybe read something from a
dispose of them so soon. Richard will continue to store them railway book. All we ask is that you limit your presentation to
for the moment. approximately 10 minutes, to give everyone a chance. If you
are going to show slides, please give me a few days’ notice
Finally, we must be mindful of our debt to Ray Meek for so that we have a projector available. Graham & Joy
housing the archive for the last 15 years. Ray also manages Kenworthy will have been working hard to bring us some
the M&GN Trust, and he expressed interest in certain NRS mince pies, so please be kind enough to reward their hard
documents – BR(E) public timetables and working timetables work with a donation to St Martin’s Housing Trust. The Trust’s
– which were not represented in the M&GN Trust collection. stated objects are “to provide food, shelter and
At our meeting on November 5th Chairman Brian Cornwell accommodation in the county of Norfolk for poor people
presented these documents to Ray, with a letter expressing having no other residence or the place to sleep”. Food for
the Society’s gratitude. thought, especially at this time of year, isn’t it?
60 Years Old
The publication of this
Newsletter comes very
close to the 60th Anniversary
of the Society’s formation.
The inaugural meeting took
place on 16th December
1955 in the Quiet Room at
the Y.M.C.A. Norwich. We
reproduce (right) from a
scan of the original
handwritten minute book the
minutes of that meeting.
The 28 people present
elected Mr D.W. “Bill”
Harvey to be the first
President of the Society and
five others to serve as
officers. The subscription
for the first year was set at
10/- for those over 21 and
5/- for those under 21 or
engaged on National
The minute book was
among material in the NRS
Archive at Briston which is
in the process of being
disbanded and redistributed.
See the report by Mike Handscomb on page 12. Needless to say papers
relating to the Society’s history will not be lost to us. They have been passed
to yours truly as Secretary of the Society for safekeeping. This does of course
provide the opportunity to publish material of interest in the Newsletter and
also to consider making some of it available on our website. Andy Wright
A Job Well Done!
In NRS/NL 60/5 p.13 I asked for members’ help in connection with the URC’s
“Christmas Journey” display at the end of November. Many thanks to Alan
Thurling and his wife for answering my 11th hour cry for help and for devising
such an imaginative display (below), photographed by Mike Fordham.
Ipswich to Diss – got your copy yet?
Our well known author-members, Richard Adderson and
Graham Kenworthy, have turned their attention to the Ipswich
– Diss line, pausing to take in the Eye branch en route. It
retails for £18.95.
The East Suffolk Travellers’ Association have kindly sent me
a booklet – ESTA – the first 50 years – which summarises the
line’s reprieve, subsequent improvements and so forth. Two
of our members – Rod Lock and Ken Tricker – are active in
the Association, and another member – Trevor Garrod – is its
Chairman. Copies of the booklet are available from Lowestoft
Station Shop or direct from Trevor Garrod.
Hilary King’s Memorial Service
Those of you who knew my late wife Hilary may like to know that a memorial service for her will take place at Norwich Cathedral
at 12:30 on Saturday 20th February 2016. All NRS members who would like to attend, including their spouses/partners, will be
most welcome. Refreshments will be provided afterwards in the Weston Room next to the Refectory. Full details will follow but it
will help catering plans if you could let me know if you think it is likely that you will attend.
NNR Dining Train stations on the Bittern Line, due in Sheringham at 1849. We
will be back in Sheringham by 2200, again to fit in with the
As part of the Society’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations we Norwich train leaving at 2217. We hope to have a photo-shoot
have booked an evening on the North Norfolk Railway’s with the steam loco before we leave Sheringham.
Dining Train for Thursday 9th June 2016. It will be steam-
hauled and will include 2 round trips between Sheringham Anyone coming by car should note that there is a large car
and Holt whilst we enjoy a 3-course meal plus coffee and park adjacent to Sheringham station.
mints. There will be a choice of menu including a vegetarian
option. The Society will subsidise members by £10, so the More details, including menu options, will be shown in a
cost will be £30 for members and £40 for wives and partners, Newsletter in late winter/early spring plus a pro-forma to
and this will cover the meal and travel. complete along with payment details. If you would like any
further information, please speak to Ray Halliday at one of
Exact timings have not yet been finalised but it is likely we will our meetings or telephone him on 01603-721067.
meet on Sheringham station between 1845 and 1900 to fit in
with those wishing to travel from Norwich or intermediate We hope you will have an evening to remember!
Accident at Welwyn Garden City – 7th January 1957 (Rod Lock) – Concluding part
Inspecting Officer’s Conclusions: they saw the yellow light in these conditions at 250 yards.
1. The Welwyn type of control (introduced following the 9. Driver Knapp and his fireman may have failed to
1935 accident) would have prevented Signalman Betteridge hear the detonators exploding at WGC signalbox, but as
from clearing all Up Main signals for the Aberdeen train, then mentioned above exploding detonators were not heard on the
changing his mind at the last moment to give precedence to footplate during the detonator testing.
the local train. This control involved a timed release which 10. Driver Knapp must bear full responsibility for the
gave a signalman time to reconsider the change of plan he collision, but he did not receive the assistance from Fireman
was contemplating. Signalman Betteridge was considered to Tyers he might have expected. Driver Knapp was fit, steady
be a reliable witness. and conscientious, but not particularly alert or receptive. His
2. Levers 34 (UM outer home), 33 (UM inner home) route knowledge was adequate, but he had limited knowledge
and 31 (UM inner distant) were locked in their normal of driving fast passenger trains.
positions by the reverse of the crossover (Up Slow to Up
Main) and were therefore “on” when passed unobserved by Inspecting Officer’s Remarks & Recommendations:
Driver Knapp. No. 32 (UM starter) had not been passed by 1. No criticism of the substitution of Driver Knapp.
the Baldock train but the Aberdeen train had occupied the 2. Priority has been given to the ECML for the provision
relevant track circuit before the Baldock train had cleared it. of Automatic Train Control (AWS) after lengthy trials on the
Signalman Betteridge did not know if it was safe to replace route. Track magnets have been fitted at distant and multi-
no. 32 signal to danger, so he made the only possible aspect signals between King’s Cross and Grantham.
decision. In the event, this signal also was not seen by Driver 3. The WGC UM outer distant was well sited and
Knapp. Signalman Betteridge did everything possible to should not have been difficult to locate in misty or foggy
prevent the collision. weather, being preceded by distinctive landmarks. There was
3. If the outer distant was showing a green light, as strong evidence that the signal worked reliably despite
claimed by Driver Knapp, it could only be a false one, a suggestions to the contrary. The bracketed signal group,
danger side failure or a result of intentional interference. Any which includes the outer distant, has been replaced by multi-
failure must have occurred in the 4 minutes between aspect signals to re-establish the confidence of enginemen.
acceptance of the train from Welwyn North and its passage Although there are many examples of inner distants around
past the signal. the country, because many drivers said it was misleading it
4. Even more thorough testing was carried out, has been removed.
following Driver Fowler’s claim on 8th March, but, again, no 4. Although it has been suggested detonators should
fault was found in the equipment. In this case, the danger be replaced by a more modern method of warning drivers,
side failure must have occurred in only 2 minutes, between they work well, being used throughout the world, and have
acceptance from Welwyn North and its arrival within sight of prevented accidents. However, consideration should be given
the outer distant. on an “all line” basis to increasing the amount of gunpowder
5. Driver Knapp involved others in seeking to show that charge used in signalbox emergency detonators. Finally, the
the outer distant was at various times showing clear when it spacing of detonators should be examined – there is a
should have been showing caution. Each allegation was tendency for the explosion of the first detonator to remove the
examined and each proved to be without foundation. Driver second one before it can be crushed and exploded.
Fowler’s honesty was questionable. Driver Lupton was 5. Standing instructions requiring brake compartments
confused and Guard Houghton was untruthful. Driver Rolt to be at the extreme front and rear of passenger trains should
was concerned about the inner distant, not the outer distant. be reinforced.
6. The above drivers’ statements were not accepted by
the 3 signalmen involved at WGC. None had experienced Postscript:
other than fully reliable working of the outer distant. A special In his book “Obstruction Danger…Significant British Railway
indicator was installed on 10th March to monitor the signal. Accidents 1890-1986”, Adrian Vaughan concludes there was
7. The Inspecting Officer concluded there was nothing an “engine shed conspiracy” to denigrate both the signals and
wrong with the signal during the period under review. signalmen at Welwyn Garden City. The Inspecting Officer
8. If Driver Knapp saw the signal at all, he misread it steered clear of such murky waters. However, in view of the
and, by his own admission, missed four other signals in hazy subsequent alterations to the signalling, the footplatemen
or misty conditions. Drivers of two preceding trains stated involved no doubt felt vindicated.
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, The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events
Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW. For information: please visit their website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or
www.ashmanhaughlightrailway.co.uk telephone 01263-820800.
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 The Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers meets
8TL. For information: www.bartonhouserailway.org.uk – Tel: at Eaton Park, Norwich on Sundays and Bank Holiday
01603-782008. Mondays from 1300-1700. Please visit their website –
The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events
please visit their website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway. For information:
01263-733858. www. wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up
to 1700 please).
The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events
please visit their website - www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual
01362-690633. events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com -
or telephone 01603-871694.
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Brockford Station,
Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW - For details of individual events Editor’s Note: All “Mince Pie” & “Santa” Specials have been
please visit their website - www.mslr.org.uk - or telephone excluded from our Working Timetable as the information is
01449-766899. readily available elsewhere e.g. from the railway company
websites, from railway company leaflets or by telephoning the
10th Thur NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - “Railways on the screen - plus more” - Arthur Barrett - 1930.
17th Thur NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - Christmas Evening - Members’ 10 minute presentations e.g.
images - still and moving, short talks, readings etc. Mince pies will be available (in return for
JANUARY 2016 a donation) - see page 13 - 1930.
2nd - 3rd Sat - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - Festive Diesel Gala Weekend.
3rd Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Steam Sunday.
7th Thur NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - Special General Meeting at 1930 (see page 13 for details)
followed by Chairman’s Address “ Great Railway Journeys” - Brian Cornwell.
14th Thur NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - “All at sea” - Keith Greentree and David Tranter - 1930.
21st Thur NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “The Wolsztyn Experience” - Joint presentation by Chris
King and Chris Mitchell - 1930.
28th Thur GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY (Norwich Branch) - “A Trip to the Coast” - Graham
Kenworthy and “Railway Bridges and Viaducts” - Andy Wright - 1930.
4th Thur NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “Colombian and Ecuadorian Railways” - Presentation by
Ken Mills - 1930.
7th Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Steam Sunday.
11th Thur NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - An evening with Graham Smith - 1930.
The Ipswich Branch of the R.C.T.S., the Ipswich & District Historical Transport Society and the Ipswich Transport Society hold
regular meetings in the town. Anyone wishing to see or receive a copy of their programmes, please get in touch.
Printed by Express Impressions. Tel. 01603 301127