Volume 57 No. 4 July/August 2012
news from railways in and around Norfolk
Maybe the Last Air Show ?
Since 2001, when 67015 hauled one
of the Norwich – Lowestoft specials
for the Air Show, Class 47s have
monopolized these trains. On 24th
June, however, here’s 37425
crossing Reedham Swing Bridge with
47828 at the rear of the 15:40
Lowestoft – Norwich service. In
addition, 37419 and 47841 were in
“top’n’tail” use on 23rd June. This may
however have been the last Air Show
as many yokels and visitors avoided
paying any sort of admission
altogether ! Serve them right I
(Photo - Richard Adderson)
Would you believe it ? planned for opening in 2015 and would avoid London
commuters having to drive in and out of the city centre. Oh
The Cambridge – St Ives Guided Busway has been short- yes, and there’d be an extension of the guided busway as
listed in the “most innovative transport project category” at well.
the National Transport Awards 2012 to be held in October.
It has been attracting 200,000 trips each month since it Olympic Challenge
opened last August.
The fragile quality of our main line will be seriously examined
Second Station for Cambridge during the Olympics, but the “hot weather week” which be-
gan on 23rd July led to cancellations and speed restrictions.
The Chesterton sidings site, which proposes new vehicle Unlucky passengers on 9th July had to endure a 321 EMU
access to Cambridge Science Park, has been included in the after the 1200 to Liverpool St was cancelled due to a train
Government’s consultation on the new franchise for the defect. The unit picked up the diagram at Colchester and re-
King’s Cross route. The proposed station, costed @ £26M, is turned on the 1430 from London as far as Ipswich where the
train was terminated and passengers taken on to Norwich by
IN THIS ISSUE 1 DMU 156418; after the usual stops, arrival was 13 minutes
2 late. On the morning of 4th July, a major signalling failure at
Track Report 3 Colchester meant that the 0830 from Norwich was virtually
National Network 4 on time at Ipswich but then lost 41 min. to Colchester where
Heritage, Narrow Gauge & Miniature 9 the train was terminated. The following 0900 ran through
Away from the Tracks 9 and, after a 37 min. late Colchester departure, lost no further
11 time to Liverpool St. (Peter Adds)
NRS News 11 Loco-hauled diesel passenger trains to
Membership Matters Chiltern Railways, which operates out of Marylebone, has
Features invited expressions of interest for the supply of between 8 &
Some June Holiday Outings 13 new locomotives to replace its Class 67s, and be ready
Swaffham in the Early 1950’s Part 2 for service by the end of 2014.
Working Timetable 15
New use for an old tunnel ! Sheringham Mallingford, complete with new signs. The
railway’s own Wisbech & Upwell tram car No 7 newly restored
Clayton Tunnel, on the former GN route from Bradford to complete with drinks bar, replaced its scrapped sister No 8
Keighley, has apparently been serving West Yorkshire’s drug used in the film. A GWR 14xx No 1450 was hired and
addicts as an engineer on a routine inspection discovered a renumbered 1401 to replace the scrapped starring loco, a Toad
large cannabis farm! Electricity from a nearby substation was brake van was also hired to complete the train. The villainous
cabled down a ventilation shaft to several large tents in the Pearce and Crump’s Bedford OB coach was supplied by Lodge
tunnel ! Coaches, this was painted correctly and carried the right
signage, a steam roller and Morris car were also in evidence.
MNR, Main Line and NNR in One Day On the Friday Graham Smith and I twice travelled in the train
and made four trips in the Bedford coach. On each occasion
Pannier 9466 got its leg loose on 23rd June, working the first both drivers acted out their parts well, recreating the race
MNR train to Wymondham and then escaped on to the main between train and coach despite the heavy rain. On the
line to join the fun with Tangmere at Norwich and later on to Saturday the arrival over the crossing of "Tangmere" with a
the NNR before returning to Dereham. This is believed to be special from London all helped to give the impression of the
the first steam loco to work service trains on the MNR & NNR mainline junction at Mallingford. All the staff were dressed up
on the same day. The first of many, perhaps ? to portray the film actors which all added to make a marvellous
(Mike Handscomb) weekend.
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and On November 22nd the GER Society at Ipswich Rd will be
Miniature holding a Titfield Thunderbolt evening. Did you take photos or
film of the NNR event ? if so contact Mike Fordham. On that
The Titfield Thunderbolt evening we will also show the Ealing Studios Film of The Titfield
Thunderbolt. (Mike Fordham)
The North Norfolk Railway organised a Titfield Thunderbolt
weekend in June to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Ealing The NNR’s “Titfield Thunderbolt” re-creation was a great
Studios film. To recreate the story Holt became Titfield and success. Above we see the Pearce & Crump Bedford OB
“racing” GWR 0.4.2T 1401 past Sheringham Golf Course on
Norfolk Railway Society 23rd June. Below “Day could Dawn” as soon as the train left –
(Founded 1955) what a marvellous drinks bar ! ( Mike Fordham)
President: Arnold Hoskins, Esq.
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq.
Committee and Officers 2012-2013 Telephone
Chairman Peter Adds 01508 492070
Vice Chairman Gordon Bruce 01603 861389
Past Chairman Peter Davies 01603 929283
Secretary Ian Woodruff 01603 700856
Treasurer John Laycock 01603 720125
Fixtures Arranged by sub-committee
Membership Sec. Mike Handscomb 01953 605068
Newsletter Editor Edward Mann 01603 456372
Publicity Mike Fordham 01508 493437
Graham Kenworthy 01603 714479
Chris Mitchell 01603 451692
Peter Willis 01508 492562
Website Editor Andrew Wright 01508 492010
Archivists Peter Allison & 01508 499723
Raymond Meek 01263 860662
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 mid-October 2012
Copy date: Thursday 4th October 2012
Dereham Bump From Signalling Equipment to the Humble Oil-
The EDP website (5th July) howled that the previous
weekend’s collision (bump ?) between Pannier 9466 & the Only part of Mike Handscomb's Railwayana piece was
MNR Class 20 could cost thousands of pounds. Hardly; the published in NRS/NL 57/3 p.3. SRA stands for Sheffield
Pannier was soon likely to be off to the South Devon Railway Railwayana Auctions (sale 10th March) whilst GCA stands
but it may be back before the end of the MNR’s steam for Great Central Railwayana Auctions (sale 14th April). As
season. (Mike Handscomb) signalling equipment continues to exercise fascination for
many collectors - our Chairman included - here are some
Locos for NNR diverse local items.
The 26B Group’s “Black Five” 45337 looks like staying at the Single-line tablets are eminently displayable reminders of
NNR until after the Grand Steam Gala and it may be joined long-gone lines and their train control methods. On offer
by sister 44767 “George Stephenson”. Who remembers were two Tyers No. 6 tablets in brass-faced steel from the
Agecroft was 26B ? The 76084 Locomotive Society which is, King's Lynn to Hunstanton route which closed in 1969:
oddly, restoring 2.6.0 76084 has reached agreement with the SNETTISHAM - HEACHAM sold for £380 and WOLFERTON
NNR that the loco will spend a couple of years at the NNR – - DERSINGHAM for £200 (GCA).
it is likely to be steamed at the end of this year. (Mike
Handscomb) Another brass/steel tablet DRAYTON - LENWADE, from the
M&GN and of the No. 1 design, sold for £320 (GCA).
Renaming at Dereham Slightly less appealing are the later alloy tablets.
SWAFFHAM STATION - NARBORO, from the Kings Lynn to
Mike Handscomb has reported that 37003, freshly repainted Dereham route sold for £240 (GCA)
in Rail Blue and bearing its new alloy nameplates Dereham
Neatherd High School 1912 – 2012, was in traffic on the
MNR on 7th July. He understands that the plates were un-
veiled on 6th July by a former headmistress, following which
a party from the school had a trip part way down the line.
Those with exceptionally long memories may recall that in
April 1963 this loco – as D6703 – was briefly named First
East Anglian Regiment but that the name was never un-
Away from the Tracks More signalling items came in the shape of these three.
The M&GN POTTER HEIGHAM signal box diagram, just 2 ft
Whither the Waverley wide and in its original frame, was used in the gate cabin at
the station. It realised £270 (GCA). Also from the M&GN, a
It is probably generally known that the line is being reinstated brass SHERINGHAM EAST signal instrument plate made
(although not on the same alignment) south from Edinburgh
to the terminus at Tweedbank. The contract has been let to
BAM Nuttall, and provides for 49km of new route with a 55
min. journey time. Although there were plans to have the line
completed by the end of 2014 this seems to have slipped
(surprise, surprise, Ed). No Pacifics, sadly, merely Classes
158 & 170 are planned to work the line.
World Heritage Site Protected ?
The 200 year-old Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is Thomas Telford's
masterpiece high above the Shropshire and Denbighshire
countryside. It is pleasing to read that a 10 mile buffer zone
to limit development is being considered by councillors in
response to a recommendation by UNESCO which gave the
site World Heritage status in 2009.
£90 (GCA), while a GER block bell, below left, from the Lowestoft area, with an early hand-engraved COKE OVENS brass plate,
and in 'excellent original condition', sold for £190 (GCA).
Oil cans may not be to all tastes, but what a history this pair must have! The M&GN can, below centre, was stamped 'M&GNJR'
on the front and bore a brass plate inscribed 'MC51 Gates' (Melton Constable). Surprisingly, no-one wanted it (SRA). The LNER
example, below right, had a brass plate stamped 'LNER CROMER BEACH RETURN WHEN EMPTY TO OIL STORE
YARMOUTH SOUTH TOWN'', and an additional plate on the neck 'AXLE OIL ONLY'. The auction catalogue went to the trouble
of explaining that the empty can's route would have been via North Gorleston Junction on the N&SJ, reversing via a spur to South
Town. Intrigued, one assumes, by this lengthy journey, a buyer paid £150 for it (GCA). (Mike Handscomb)
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Away From the URC Hall
The Ashmanhaugh Light Railway Revisited
The ALR has always been popular with Society Above ALR Locomotives No 3 Hotspur and No 2 The Shay
members, and a goodly number of members, their wives sporting the NRS Headboard. Below, Hardingham Station
and friends assembled on Thursday 31st May. The > Andy Wright
weather had not been encouraging, and there were some
sharp showers in the early evening, but the sun stayed
out for our benefit, and we were able to continue until
dusk. Four engines were in use: steamer Hotspur, and 3
very different i.c. locos: The General, The Shay and
Thunderbox, the latter having a motor-cycle engine.
Although the circuit is much the same, there is now a
small overbridge. As usual, we were made very welcome,
and thanks to all at the ALR, and to our member, Alan
Ball, who kindly arranged our visit. (EM)
Hardingham Station - well worth a visit !
A blustery evening, Saturday 16th June, saw a party of
members, their wives and guests (14 altogether)
assemble at Dereham station to take advantage of one of
the MNR's "Fish' n' Chip Specials”. It was a surprise to
find that 78019 was on the train, albeit tender-first to
Wymondham. However, we were not going to
Wymondham and back - the plan was to have a special
stop at Hardingham (normally private) and view the
excellent restoration work carried out by Nigel Teulon.
We were shown, first, into the ticket office where Nigel
explained the office's features, including a large desk with
ticket divisions that seemed to pre-date the Edmondson
era as these would not fit ! He had unearthed a lot of
archive material and photographs of stationmasters, one
of whom met a grisly end ! A look outside showed that the
pillar box had gone but he had replaced it with a brick box for to Briston where we were met by our Archivists Ray Meek
his own mail. He had also acquired a red telephone box from and Peter Allison.
Wolverton Works, of all places, which had been repaired with
some LNWR door hinges ! Although the signal box says The Society archives are housed at Ray’s home, and in
"Snettisham" it is by no means a replica of the West Norfolk particular in his substantial garden. The collection of M&GN
box, and the box he has is part Hardingham and part mileposts and gradient posts is legendary – Ray told us how
Snettisham. Interior fittings have yet to be installed but Nigel a couple of these were acquired from M&GN members who
had preferred to sever the tops off the posts, rather
than dig up the whole item! Ray has repaired a
number of these. There are also some boundary
posts on display, a goods-yard lamp-post from Melton
Yard (complete with stepladder, for any budding Les
Nixons wanting a good photographing vista of the
garden!) and a distant signal, together with some
station lanterns from Cromer and Sheringham.
However, although there are a number of buildings
dotted around the site housing sundry objects, the
gem of the collection is probably the old Great Eastern
coach body at the far end of the garden. Built as a
GER 5-compartment second (later down-graded to
third class), this vehicle has received a considerable
amount of attention from Ray and Peter since my last
visit many years ago, and is now protected from the
worst of the elements by a rudimentary shelter.
I’m not going to attempt to detail exactly all the items
exhibited at Ray’s (or even attempt to break the
78019 approaches Hardingham Station as Gordon Bruce and Graham surface), I will leave that to our Archivists. Needless
Smith look on. Chris King is in the box. > Andy Wright to say we all marvelled at the collection of signalling
equipment in the carriage, along with everything from
signs, posters, buttons, uniforms, hats, carriage door
has been fortunate in sourcing some rare items. locks, sundry documents and labels, photographs, an M&GN
fruit barrow, models and even an outside privy! It had been
The ladies had not joined our visit, but 78019 repeated its too long since I had last visited Briston.
special stop, and many thanks to the MNR for their co- After a cup of tea and a biscuit, all too soon it was time to
operation, and to Nigel for taking the time and trouble to leave – however, John Laycock could not resist the
show us round a little-known gem in the middle of Norfolk ! temptation to take the driver’s seat for the return to Norwich.
Thanks to Mike Handscomb, 78019’s unexpected presence Fond memories were recalled of travelling home from school,
can be explained. We were expecting Pannier 9466 to be on back in the days of real buses with crash gearboxes, heavy
duty, but as it had to pay a short visit to Barry the MNR were rack & pinion steering and tungsten lighting. The young
short of a loco to meet their “steam service” pledge. As ones today with their power steering and computerized
78019 was on its way back to the GCR from the South engine management systems that keeps going wrong, they
Devon Railway, the diversion was arranged and 78019’s never had it so good! [Grapes Hill was slow work – Ed.]
loan ended on 24th June. A pleasant change, some would
say. Thanks to Ray, Peter, Christine and the ETS members for a
memorable and enjoyable evening out. (Gordon Bruce)
Anyone thinking about a repeat visit may wonder if there's
time to eat their meal before they get off. Not a problem.
Visit to the NRS / M&GN Circle Archive
Centre, 12th July 2012
A good turnout of about 30 members and wives were at
Ipswich Road URC on a pleasant July evening, for a visit to
the Archive Centre. Transport was provided by a wonderful
old vehicle, in the form of 1950-built Bristol LL5G KNG 718,
lovingly cared for by the Eastern Transport Society at
Attleborough. Travelling into the centre of Norwich, and
getting more than just a few curious glances, we assumed
the route of First No 28 as far as Drayton Road roundabout
– now I would use the bus a bit more often than I do if I
could be sure of a vehicle like that! After picking up at
Valpy Avenue and The Firs, it was out along the Holt Road,
with a detour through Corpusty and Saxthorpe, and then on
On board the Bristol LL5G > Mike Fordham
Peak Rail Buckinghamshire Railway Centre
As its name suggests, this is in the heart of Derbyshire's This is at Quainton Road, and is probably best reached from
Peak District, and runs between Matlock (EMT services the A41 Aylesbury – Bicester road. Most impressive is its
alongside) and Rowsley, essentially on the site of the former lightness and airiness, under a glazed roof transplanted from
MPD. The BR line through the Peak closed in 1968, thereby Oxford Rewley Road. When I paid a chance mid-week visit
ending through services between St Pancras and there was lots of activity as they prepared for a “Thomas”
Manchester via Derby or Nottingham. The line is, perhaps, weekend at the end of June. Even on a steamless day there
best known for its extensive fleet of diesel shunters (up to
Class 14) and never featured very strongly on your Editor's is plenty to see, but the Enthusiasts’ Day on 14th October is
radar since services began from Matlock Riverside, which probably the highlight, though there is steam activity until the
involved a lengthy and damp walk to the trains. Things are beginning of September.
better now, though in Jan/Feb 2013 (for what it's worth) Website: www.bucksrailcentre.org
services again start from Matlock Riverside. Weekends are
the best times to visit, though a few mid-week services run in Oxford Bus Museum and Morris Motors
high summer. Parking is available at both ends of the line, Museum
and at Darley Dale. Website: www.peakrail.co.uk
As its name suggests, this is the place for the bus enthusiast
Evesham Vale Light Railway and those who have enjoyed the good old Morris cars. It’s
next to Hanborough station, or reached from the A4095
This is in Evesham Country Park, just north of Evesham off Bicester – Witney. They open Wednesdays & Sundays all
the A46, and offers about a mile’s travel around the country year, with Saturday opening from May to September.
park. They operate every weekend, and seem to have a Website: www.oxfordbusmuseum.org.uk
pleasant variety of locos and rolling stock. Website:
How Times Change
If you enjoyed the reproduction L.N.E.R. publicity postcards extolling the virtues of
Woodhall Spa (NRS/NL 57/3 p.8) here's four more. For those unfamiliar with Norwich, this
(right) is looking across Gentleman's Walk from the present Market Place. The postcard is
a reproduction of a 24" x 40" Austin Cooper poster of 1932 entitled "Old World Market
Details of the second card (below left) may be available from Volume 2 of "Poster to Poster
- Railway Journeys in Art - Yorkshire & the North East" by Richard Furness, and if any
member has this volume I would appreciate his researches. Clearly, the coach is
somewhere in Yorkshire, Durham or Northumberland (the weather conditions suggest one
of these rather than Scotland), but the happy campers seem to be oblivious of the
difficulties surrounding matters we take for granted. I mean, of course, a shower or decent
w.c. facilities ! Maybe there is a Calor gas cylinder somewhere to heat the water for the
tea. Although the accommodation may be from £2.10.0 (£2.50) per week I believe those
renting a camping coach were also required to buy a minimum number of return rail tickets
from their starting point.
Unfortunately, the "Upper Thames" GWR postcard cannot be dated with certainty. James
C. Inglis (later Sir) was its General Manager from 1903 - 1911, having been a noted civil
engineer. Presumably the locomotive depicted on the right-hand card is meant to be a
"City" 4.4.0 following the exploits of "City of Truro".
Scotland Again !
Barry Stevens has kindly opened his diaries and recalled the
halcyon days of summer 1958.
Following Edward Mann's article in NRS/NL 57/2 p.7-9 I thought it
might be of interest to give some details of locomotives in use in
that part of Scotland in the summer of 1958.
In August / September 1958 I was touring with a "Freedom of
Scotland" ticket and came into the area on the 1555 from
Inverness to Aberdeen hauled as far as Elgin by 4MT 2.6.0. 76108.
At Elgin, 4MT 2.6.4T 80115 took over and I left the train at Keith
Town to stay overnight and visit the shed.
It was a time of change and Standard classes were becoming more
common as older locos finished their days. By 1959 diesels
replaced steam on some services on the Speyside line from
Craigellachie to Boat of Garten. Bradshaw's Guide for February
1959 noted diesel trains. At Keith shed (61C) I recorded 12 locos
comprising 1 B1 4.6.0., 2 K2 2.6.0s, 2 ex-L.M.S. 4.4.0s, 1 ex-
Caledonian (CR) 4.4.0, 2 ex-CR 0.6.0s, 1 ex-CR 0.4.4T, 2 ex-North
British (NB) J36 0.6.0s and 1 ex-NB N15 0.6.2T.
The next morning I set off on the 0839 from Keith Town to Cairnie
Junction, consisting of a B1 and one coach which, at Cairnie Junc, 54398 “Ben Alder” inside Boat of Garten shed in
was attached to the train from Aberdeen to Elgin via the coast. September 1958 > Barry Stevens
While waiting at Cairnie Junc 4MT 2.6.4T 80005 came through with
engineers' inspection saloon 982002 - an ex - G.N.of S. clerestory
coach of 1898. I boarded the 0745 from Aberdeen to Elgin, via Buckie and the coast, which left Cairnie Junc at 0934. At
Tillynaught I alighted to travel over the 6 mile branch to Banff, the service being worked by ex-C.R. 0.4.4T 55221.
I continued my journey to Elgin behind 4MT 2.6.4T 80121. K2 61783 "Loch Shiel" was seen at Elgin. The short branch to
Lossiemouth was worked by D34 4.4.0 62469 "Glen Douglas" with 4 coaches and a parcel van. On returning to Elgin I took the
train to Craigellachie for the Speyside line train which was hauled by 2MT 2.6.0 78053. A K2 and a J36 were seen at Knockando
and ex-Highland Railway 4.4.0 "Ben Alder" was in the shed at Boat of Garten. [Ben Alder was scheduled for preservation, but
was broken up in the mid 1960s in a burst of bureaucratic vandalism - Ed.] After returning to Craigellachie 4MT 2.6.4T 80122
hauled the 1824 (1600 ex-Inverness) to Cairnie Junc where there were evidently later connections to and from Aberdeen than in
the 1956 T.T. [See Editor's Note below]
My notes record that 80115 and B1 61343 (double-headed ?)
arrived at Cairnie Junc from Aberdeen, 80115 taking the portion to
Elgin via the coast line. The train to Aberdeen departed at 2036
with 4MT 2.6.0. 76105 & 3 coaches. The following day was spent
centred on Aberdeen before going south behind 72007 "Clan
. Ex-C.R. 0.4.4T 55221 waits at Tillynaught with the In the Bradshaw's Guide the Aberdeen - Inverness T.T. has an
branch train to Banff on 4th September 1958 > Barry unusual note. "The 0445 from Aberdeen calls at Dyce nn and the
Stevens 1545 at Kinaldie nn". Both places are just north of Aberdeen, and
nn = "calls to take up on timeous notice to the Station Master". The
more usual footnote would be "calls when required". Another
unusual footnote is found in the T.T. for Inverness / Aviemore /
Perth. The 1740 from Inverness - "The Royal Highlander" - with
sleeping cars to Euston called at Dunkeld at 2110R (= "on notice to
take up for England") - fair enough as it calls at Carlisle, Crewe etc
and even adds an international flavour ! Maybe there's scope for
an article on unusual timetable footnotes !!!
Editor's Note: The Freedom of Scotland ticket could hardly be
bettered. It was valid throughout Scotland and extended south to
Berwick-upon-Tweed and Carlisle. I was aware of the mid-
afternoon train from Inverness (dep 1555) to Aberdeen (arr 1948)
but as it was "through" and did not divide anywhere I did not refer
to it. "The Royal Highlander" - after its call at Dunkeld & Birnam -
made a Perth stop, so presumably the note was to deter mere
locals from lowering the tone of such a prestigious service !
It is, perhaps, an opportune moment to mention that no less than
25 B12s were transferred to the "Great North" from 1931, with the
last one, 61539, being withdrawn in November 1954.
_________PICK-UP GOODS This has been rebuilt and reinforced over the years, including
low level G gauge lines for the grandchildren, to become
The East Poringland Railway – A Thumbnail what can be seen today.
The railway has always been a test-bed for whatever was
By Graham Smith (who also took the new at the time, from Timpo Wild West, Triang, Big Big and
photographs) Faller Hit Train to the larger narrow gauge offerings of later
years, including Mamod. Straight electric was eventually
The EPR, which is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, abandoned due to the track cleaning problem and the feeble
started in 1972 as a small ‘O’ gauge electric oval accessed motors provided in Lima locos, to revert to battery with
from a hole in the wall next to our kitchen, built on £12 worth rechargeable batteries.
There is a little steam sometimes, but 16mm locos have
become very heavy and wide, too much for this old track.
You are welcome to visit at our Open Days, and private
viewings can also be arranged. Later in the year there may
be an opportunity for an extended slide/video programme at
Meanwhile I should like to record the help and support given
of spare bricks left over from that extension! It went through
various phases of fine scale Peco and coarse
Bonds/Bassett-Lowke type rail as seen up to now. The bad
bits are being gradually replaced with Tenmille plastic
sleepering, reusing the existing brass coarse bullhead rail as
far as possible.
by the late Colin Thomas, Colin Gray, Deryck Featherstone,
John Levick, Uniko Fabricius, Tim Christian, David Wright
and Neil Hacker. Thanks also go to Keith Buttifant for
electrics, video recording and building the brick curve,
Michael Rayner for the Class 20, Richard Adderson for the
Royal Coach and Mike Fordham and Peter Willis for able
assistance, amongst others.
In due course the oval was extended along the fence
(bracketed to it) and after a dramatic collapse of fence and
railway in a storm, it was gradually rebuilt there on concrete
blocks to a further return oval on a solid concrete pad.
Eventually it was further extended across the garden and
uphill back to a tunnel through a rose bush (in a plastic
cloche!) and straight to the garage, then newly built.
Ultimately a reverse curve was built to provide a continuous
run in dumbbell fashion, planning permission having been
refused by the domestic authorities for a suspension bridge
across the lawn beneath the washing line. (She was
A Return on our Investment !
As many of you will know, various Society Show Day raffle
proceeds have gone to help restore Wissington (Hudswell
Clarke 1700 of 1938). The loco is now steaming again and
will be the resident engine at Brockford for the rest of the
year. Richard Adderson photographed it on the Mid-Suffolk
on 29th July, the last day of the Railway’s 3-day Gala marking
the 60th anniversary of closure. The left-hand engine
(actually in red livery) is another visitor – Peckett Hornpipe,
an ex-APCM loco privately preserved near Windsor. The
Mid-Suffolk were also running Falmouth Docks no. 3 at the
Gala, which has been their resident loco for a few years,
although this is going to Whitwell fairly soon. Three engines
in steam at Brockford was a preservation “first” and probably
an all-time “first” as well !
At the MNR Gala on 13th July (a very wet day) Graham Smith In NRS/NL 57/3 p.6 there were a few details about the
& Dave White took advantage of the supporting Yaxham Corris Railway. Here’s a photo Malcolm Banyer took in
Light Railway “Drive for a Fiver” and here we see them on May; Corris can be reached by bus from Dolgellau.
0.4.0ST “Kidbrooke” (Bagnall 2043 of 1917) as B1 1306
“Mayflower”storms past (Mike Fordham)
Unsung Heroes In my view, the rôle of a guard on the Bure Valley Railway
can be quite demanding at times, especially on a very hot,
Having retired in the Summer of 1999, one day early in 2000 busy day – or, conversely, a very wet one – in the height of
John Hutchinson parked his car at the Bure Valley Railway the season. Let's look at a fairly average sort of day in the life
station at Aylsham, looked up and was confronted with a of a guard during the main season (say June, July and
notice portraying a Lord Kitchener-type face, a finger pointing August on a 'Red' service, when two trains are operating). If
in his direction, and the words . . . 'The Bure Valley Railway rostered for the first departure at 1000, a typical day would
Needs YOU!' How could he resist? He became a volunteer be to sign in at Aylsham station at 0820, carry out safety
and 13 years later is still active. John has penned the checks on the train, i.e. alarm tests in each carriage,
following description of life as a guard on Norfolk's premier ascertain that the set is properly coupled and that all is in
narrow gauge railway. order underneath the coaches – not forgetting to add the
lamp to the rear of the train. Then the set, usually seven or
Training initially to become a guard, it didn't take me too long eight coaches, plus a brake van (i.e. guard's van) has to be
to decide that I didn't want the sole responsibility of being a cleaned internally; this involves sweeping the floors (in a very
fully-fledged guard, in charge of a busy, fully laden train. confined space), cleaning seats where necessary – and if
However, with the agreement of the BVR manager at that there is time, cleaning the windows! Coach parties are a
time (Paul Conibeare, now General Manager at the West regular feature of life on the BVR and 'Reserved' labels have
Somerset Railway) I became what the railway term a to be placed in position on compartment doors for the
'Trainman'. This involves assisting the qualified guard in all appropriate size of the party prior to the group arriving.
aspects of life in the guard's van and communicating and
interacting with passengers (and the driver!). It is the title Time for a quick cuppa in the mess room, then it's back to
normally given to anybody who is being trained to be a the platform to start the day proper. The driver may need the
guard, and although I am up to scratch with compulsory guard's assistance to couple the loco up (although there is
lineside examinations and am experienced in virtually all of often another member of staff or driver's mate, known as the
the guard's duties, I am happy to remain an 'assistant guard' Second Man, to aid this operation). Then it's time to start
or Trainman. checking tickets; holes are punched and checks made to see
if any passengers wish to alight at one of the intermediate
stations at Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. If anybody 1. every time the train enters or departs a loop, or clears
requires the former two, they are directed to the front points, the guard will signal to the driver by means of a
carriages, as both platforms are quite short and will only fully raised arm from his window to signify that the complete
accommodate two coaches. Occasionally, somebody with a train is clear of said point or loop;
large pushchair, a wheelchair, or a bike may require one of 2. likewise when the train is clear of the open crossings at
those two stations. In that instance they are directed to one Spratt's Green, Hautbois Hall and Belaugh;
of the 'Special Saloon' carriages (there are normally three in 3. a visual check is made to ensure that the shadow arms
the set at busy times), which are partially open style with have correctly dropped back into place after exiting points;
large, easy access centre doors. These saloons are normally 4. at various other locations there are laid down
situated nearer the centre of the set and thus require special instructions to communicate with the driver, either by hand
treatment on arrival at Brampton or Buxton, inasmuch as the signal or buzzer (this is for safety reasons, to ascertain that
guard will wave the driver slowly through until the saloon is the driver is still on the footplate!) – the locations differ,
adjacent to the platform. depending on 'up' or 'down' journeys (Aylsham to
Wroxham is 'up');
But to return to the pre-departure scene, at some point the 5. approaching each intermediate station, the guard will
guard will check the brake and alarm system by moving a confirm to the driver either by means of a low arm wave to
lever on the rear coach up and down to ensure that air is pass through or a downward pointed hand and finger to
present throughout the train and then press a button on the stop – both actions being repeated by the driver as his
lamp to activate the alarm buzzer in the driver's cab; driver confirmation that he understands (if there are passengers
and guard will then raise a hand in the air to acknowledge on the platform, the driver will normally indicate to the
that all is satisfactory. Any wheelchair passengers will be guard that he is stopping anyway);
assisted into one of the saloon carriages, sometimes 6. when passengers board at intermediate stations, fares
requiring a ramp. Once the ticketing is completed, usually are collected and tickets issued by the guard;
with three or four minutes before departure time, the guard if stopped in a loop to wait for a train travelling in the
will walk from the rear to the front of the train, checking that opposite direction, when that train has passed the guard
all doors are securely closed and counting the number of indicates to his opposite number by means of a downward
passengers on a 'clicker'. On arrival at the loco, further pointed hand to confirm that the rear light on his train is
confirmation will be given to the driver that the brake and working correctly;
alarm test has been successfully completed at the rear of the 7. finally, throughout the entire journey, especially when
train, also notifying him of the number of passengers on trains are busy (and lots of children are on board) regular
board and if there any wishing to alight at intermediate checks are made on both sides of the train to ensure that
stations (trains stop only if required to). At the start of the first no doors have mysteriously opened; if this occurs, the
journey of the day the guard will also notify the driver of the guard will stop the train – three buzzes to the driver – and
train's consist (this also applies if coaches are added to or close the rogue door before flagging the train on its way
removed from the set during the day's services – a regular again; the driver will notify the OiC of the stoppage. The
occurrence on busy days). On a 'Green' service, i.e. when same procedure applies if a carriage alarm is set off
only one train is operating, another responsibility for the (usually by a small, wandering hand), in which case the
guard is to check that the driver has the necessary tokens on driver will stop automatically. However, a train will not be
the footplate before each journey. When the driver has stopped in Aylsham tunnel, over any of the open crossings
confirmed that he has permission from the OiC (Officer in or whilst entering or departing a loop.
Charge) to depart, it's back to the guard's van, making sure
that the handbrake is off before giving a hearty wave of the Throughout the journey the driver is in regular radio
flag and a resounding whistle to get the train under way. communication with the OiC at Aylsham, constantly reporting
his position. All movements from and into Aylsham and
Then the 'on journey' ritual kicks in. Departing from Aylsham, Wroxham stations, and all entrances and departures into and
one of the first tasks is to put the carriage lights on for the from passing loops en route are controlled by the OiC;
tunnel, remembering to cancel them once out in the open drivers can only proceed when permission is given. All
again. During the 45-minute journey to Wroxham the guard conversations can be heard on a radio in the guard's van
will be constantly alert and in action, carrying out the and every single word is recorded.
On arrival at Wroxham, the guard will secure the handbrake
10 in his van, assist any wheelchairs off the train, uncouple and
assist the driver with turning the loco on the turntable (unless
there is a 'second man' on the footplate), then walk to what is
now the front of the train to collect the lamp and walk back
down the offside to check that all doors are securely closed
before placing the lamp on the rear of the set. Then the
routine starts all over again: help couple the loco to the train,
check tickets, liaise with the driver, flag the train off, etc, etc .
. . and return to Aylsham. Three round trips a day, totalling
54 miles, finishing at around 1730 (or 1830 on the second
train when two are running) – a long day!
As I stated earlier, this is the routine that a guard working
alone will face on an average day, sometimes dealing with
less than 200 passengers in that period, or perhaps as many
as 700 at a busy time in the peak season. What I am doing is
basically assisting the guard with many of these tasks and
trying to ensure that the journeys run smoothly and – most
importantly – that the passenger experience throughout is a
In conclusion, I have politely taken your editor to task Member’s Request
concerning the title of this series of articles, to no avail. In no
way whatsoever do I consider myself to be an 'Unsung Hero', Chris Wake, is one of our newer members and he seeks M &
inasmuch as from Spring to Autumn each season I am doing G N and N & S Joint tickets, luggage labels and other
something which I thoroughly enjoy that is totally different ephemera for purchase or exchange, also any other M & G N
from anything else that I do in my life. And with people, both or N & S Joint relics.
staff and volunteers, whose company it is a pleasure to be in.
As one of the oldest volunteers at the BVR, and certainly the Membership Matters
oldest actually working on the trains, I say long may it
continue – well, at least while I've still got my health and the It is sad to report that Colin Woolhead, a member from
energy to do it ! Dereham, passed away on 29th May 2012. Colin had
joined the Society in the summer of 2007, and had been a
Letter to the Editor volunteer on the MNR. Although he did not attend many
meetings, condolences have been sent to his widow.
Our Newsletters get read by non-members too, and Mr W D
Gee of Felixstowe has followed up on David Pearce's report Resumption of Meetings
of the visit to the Appleby-Frodingham / Tata Steelworks
(NRS/NL 56/5 p.6) by advising that J67 7332 was at We resume our URC meetings on Thursday 20th September
Frodingham depot in August 1937. Previously a Cambridge with the usual members’ summer round-up. Please ask if
& Norwich loco, he wonders if it may have been on you need a slide projector.
temporary loan whilst one of the steelworks' own locos was
under repair. Our meeting on Thursday 4th October breaks new
ground insofar as we’re starting at 7 pm because our
(Editor's Note: 7332 was renumbered 8495 in 1946, and presenter needs to catch the 2200 back to Shenfield. We
became 68495 in BR days, being withdrawn in May 1958. hope you will be understanding, and show the presenter
The class wandered far from their native heaths, and the respect by arriving at the earlier time and not drift in
1948 allocations show a few at Boston & Lincoln, several at later. Notices etc will be dealt with at the end of the
former C.L.C. sheds around Liverpool & Manchester and a meeting.
good few in Lowland Scotland. Notably, J67 7329 (68492)
was sent to Scotland in 1944 for a trial on the Lauder Light
Railway which had a severe weight restriction. As it was, the
J67 was too heavy, and the problem was overcome by
attaching it to a tender from a J37, the loco running with
empty tanks. The loco was sub-shedded at Galashiels but as
it was withdrawn in May 1956 and the branch closed in
October 1958 it is not clear how final services were powered.
Fascinating stuff, eh !)
Some June Holiday Outings
We range far and wide for our holidays – a party went down to Devon; Mike Handscomb visited a famous Paris cemetery, and
yours truly fulfilled an ambition to visit Bletchley Park, home of the famous WW2 code-breakers. Without further ado, here’s a tale
of some vacationers on the English Riviera.
The Jubilee Pass at Torquay
Thirteen members and wives travelled to Torquay in June with Jon & Lynn Moore of Spratts’ Coaches. We stayed at the splendid
Headland Hotel overlooking Torquay Bay. Our stay included six course meals which, after a full day out and about, was no problem!
[What, no menu – Ed ?]
On the journey down (Friday) we were dropped off at Exeter to catch the service train (a 142 unit) to Torquay. During this, our first
train ride, we travelled along the English Riviera Line past Starcross with the views of the River Exe along to Dawlish and
Teignmouth. The tide was in, and the sea rough, but not washing over the train. Then inland to Newton Abbot still with several
platforms, once a busy junction, the loco shed is now gone and the buildings now retail units. Onward then to Torquay, where we
left the train which went on to terminate at Paignton.
During the next two days we had the use of two-day Jubilee Passes for the Dartmouth Steam Railway & River Boat Company also
Route 100 Bus. Each morning & late afternoon we were taken to and collected from Paignton Station, from where we made our
own travel plans for the day.
The two stations are located together: the national rail one being very busy as all trains terminate here from London, Cross Country
and local services - 140's 142's 221's & HST's. At both ends of the station are level crossings which cause traffic problems but
offer photo opportunities.
Saturday was very wet; passing GWR 2.8.0T 4277 Hercules (1920) we joined our 9.30am 7 coach train to Kingswear hauled by
GWR 4.6.0 7827 Lydham Manor (1950) in BR black. The 7 mile line follows the coast then after three viaducts and a 495-yard
tunnel follows the River Dart to Kingswear, past hundreds of yachts & small boats. As we passed Goodrington Sands we could
see why this is often featured in photos and made a note to return. On arrival at Kingswear we crossed the River Dart by ferry to
the busy town of Dartmouth where we joined the MV Cardiff Castle
for the journey up the Dart to Totnes. We passed the Greenway
railway viaduct and Agatha Christie's house of the same name;
at Dittisham the Dimblebys’ yacht was also pointed out. At Totnes
our plan had been to take the 100 bus to Goodrington Sands to
photograph trains by the sea but as it was very, very wet we
stayed on to Paignton, catching a train to Kingswear and back,
but by the time we reached the Sands on the return trip the rain
had stopped so we jumped off and went our separate ways to find
the best locations to photograph the returning train. A short walk
to Paignton followed beside the railway and a wildlife park where
we joined the coach for our return to the hotel, but not before
photos were taken at the crossings.
On Sunday the sun came out and at Buckfastleigh some joined
the first train to follow their own plans, but we decided to watch
the first South Devon Railway train depart pulled by the loco of
the day GWR 2251 0.6.0 3205 (1946) smartly turned out in green.
We instead looked round the shed & yard watching volunteers
practise shunting movements with D2241, D3721 and a Bubble
car unit while awaiting the returning train. Inside the station
museum the star was broad gauge, vertical-boilered SDR 0.4.0
Tiny of 1868, a reminder of the railway’s past. After our 7 mile
journey beside the picturesque River Dart to Totnes, we crossed the river & under the main line as a HST passed. A ½ mile walk
beside the river, where a salmon was seen to leap, brought us to the Quay for our trip again in Cardiff Castle to Dartmouth. While
cruising down the river - in the sun this time - we passed the
beached remains of the first Kingswear Castle (now not
much more than spars). This paddle steamer was built in
1904 for service on the Dart, but was called up for WW1
service by the American Navy. When returned it was
considered beyond repair; a replacement was constructed
in 1924 (using the steam engine, paddles and many fittings
from the old one) before it was beached. The replacement,
in turn, was replaced in 1967 by the present Cardiff Castle;
it was then sold for preservation on the River Medway. Our
day was completed with the 7 mile steam trip to Paignton
and coach to Hotel.
On Monday we set out for home but with Jon and his
excellent full programme there was still much to see. Our
first stop was at the Babbacombe Cliff Railway (1926) for a
quick trip to Oddicombe Beach. Then on to Dawlish for an
hour's trainspotting on the sea wall, shopping or just having
Above - GWR “Manor” class 4.6.0 7827 “Lydham
Manor” at Goodrington Sands on the outskirts of
Paignton. Right - GWR “2251” class 0.6.0 3205
approaches Buckfastleigh on the South Devon Railway
> Mike Fordham
ice cream ! Then on to Swindon for the afternoon to visit
the Large Designer Outlet Centre or, as I and many others
did, visit the Steam Museum of the Great Western Railway.
The Museum, a partner of the NRM, is well laid out showing
how the construction of locomotives took place. There is
plenty of room to view the exhibits and operate displays.
While trying to build the Great Western Main Line for Brunel
I was sacked (twice) for being too slow ! The signal box
was very good talking you through the actions to unblock
the main line for the Royal Train. To me again it was a broad
gauge loco that was the star of the day ! This was the 1925
replica built with some of the original parts of GWR 2.2.2
North Star of 1837. Built to the order of I.K.Brunel by Robert Stephenson it worked the first GWR train on 4th June 1838, having
a top speed of 36mph. Our journey home saw us back in Norfolk by 10.30pm.
If you get the opportunity, do ask Bernice if seagulls eat carrots ! (Mike Fordham)
Editor’s Note: Well, everybody enjoyed themselves. But top marks to Jon Moore for the programme.
Others, meanwhile, wander round cemeteries…
Occupying a 110-acre wooded hillside in eastern Paris, Père Lachaise
cemetery is a popular tourist attraction on account of the many famous
people who have graves or mausolea there, such as Oscar Wilde, Ettore
Bugatti, Frédéric Chopin and Édith Piaf – and not forgetting Jim Morrison.
The grave of The Doors' singer, who died in 1971, is surrounded by
barricades as it seems to attract more visitors than the rest.
When my wife and I were wandering though the avenues of tightly-packed
monuments, many in advanced states of decay, I was astonished to see an
engraving of a TGV on one headstone.
Further research revealed that the tomb's occupant, Gilbert Morard, (1945-
1999) seems to have been a Senior Official within SNCF. Some websites
(all apparently getting their information from each other) call him 'Father of
the modern French Metro in Paris', while others show the grave decorated
with scattered train tickets and a railway cap.
But I can find nothing about M.Morard from an authoritative railway source.
Does any NRS member know more ?
And bringing up the rear…
My own contribution is insignificant by comparison. Coming back from visiting Bletchley Park I stopped in Winslow for a cuppa
and saw a sign to Verney Junction. Must have a look – it was the northernmost point of the Metropolitan & Great Central Joint,
and was the junction for a branch to Quainton Road (closed from 6th July 1936) as well as being on the Oxford – Cambridge
route. It’s just a scattering of houses. Later in the week I visited Stoke Bruern which is most noted for its canal museum and is a
few miles south of Northampton. The Stratford-on-Avon & Midland Junction Railway meandered west from Ravenstone Wood
Junc (near Olney) eventually ending up at Broom, a few miles west of Stratford-on-Avon, but Stoke Bruern’s claim to fame is that
the SMJ’s forerunner – the East & West Junction Railway – saw fit to close the station as far back as 31st March 1893, though
goods survived until 2nd June 1952. Its neighbour – Salcey Forest – fared even worse, closing to passengers at the same time,
and to goods on 1st July 1908 ! A ticket to or from either of these must be worth a small fortune ! I also happened to go to
Wendover – a few miles south of Aylesbury – screaming anti-HS2 posters were everywhere. No doubt, in this posh part of
Buckinghamshire, nothing foments revolution as much as a perceived lowering of property prices ! (EM)
Swaffham in the early 1950s - A Career Railwayman Looks Back - Part 2
The passenger guards, who worked trains only on the Thetford branch, were provided with a small rack containing bus-type
tickets for local journeys and books of blank paper tickets about the same size as books of excess fare tickets. Most of the tickets
they issued were paper tickets. Details of these issues were entered in a Blank Card Register, the original of which was sent to
the Revenue Accountant, Marylebone at the end of a month with the Balance Sheet and other returns and the carbon copy
retained at the station. Cash was paid in on arrival of the 1131 ex-Thetford. On Mondays, paper ticket issues usually filled two
pages of a Blank Card Register, representing mainly Forces Leave and Forces Duty issues to RAF personnel from bases at
North Pickenham and Watton.
Sorting collected tickets, which were sent to the Revenue Accountant, was a chore I and my fellow booking clerk, Neville Crowe,
detested. Thankfully, we found a solution. One of the Station Foremen was willing to undertake the task providing we supplied
him with the occasional packet of Players Number One.
Parcels were delivered and collected over a hinterland of 50 square miles, in the town itself and 17 villages, the most distant
being seven miles. Received traffic greatly exceeded outwards. Fish was received daily from Grimsby and Hull on the first train
from King's Lynn for three merchants, plus an occasional box from Lowestoft on the 1350 (1402 SO) Yarmouth Vauxhall to
March. Fish was usually collected by the consignee as the rate charged was station to station. The empty boxes were returned to
the ports by freight train, being stored in the goods shed until a full wagonload was accumulated. There were "cake days" when
significant numbers of cartons of cakes were received from Joe Lyons at Kensington Olympia and Scribona from Birmingham
New Street. Those from Joe Lyons had highly visible printed instructions on each carton: 'Mr Railwayman Please Handle With
Care'. Ice Cream in refrigerated boxes was also received from Kensington, the rate charged included return of the empty box.
Cooked meats were received from Southall, sides of bacon in hessian sacking from Elmswell and sausages from Harris's of
Ipswich. Day old chicks, in specially constructed cardboard boxes, arrived from Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge fairly regularly,
some of them on Saturday mornings for auction on Swaffham market. On a cold winter's day the inclination was to place them
near the office fire until they were collected or delivered, but instructions on the boxes warned against this, asking that they be
kept away from draughts. Other livestock included baby calves, enclosed up to their necks in sacks so that they did not foul the
brakevan floor, and racing pigeons for release. The wicker baskets were taken out into the station forecourt, away from overhead
wires, and released. The time of release was recorded on the reversible label and the basket, after the wood shavings had been
emptied and burned, was returned to the sender. Boxes of bullion from King's Lynn Barclays to the local branch were telegraphed
forward by the B.T. Police. On Fridays, wages cash for Pointer's Transport's local depot was received from the company's head
office in Norwich. This was insured and signed for from hand to hand, the final signature being that of the Swaffham booking clerk
before the consignee signed for it. Mail Order parcels arrived off almost every train from the following stations and senders:
Manchester Victoria - Littlewoods; Bradford Forster Square - Grattan; Oldham Mumps - Brian Hill; Romford - Freemans;
Worcester Shrub Hill - Kays (when "sheeting" parcels the porter always called out: 'Worcester Scrub Hill').
Agricultural spares emanated from Uttoxeter and
Ipswich, and motor spares from Norwich Thorpe,
King's Lynn and Liverpool St.
Also arriving from Liverpool St were films for the local
cinema. Stockings were received from Kayser Bonder
at Baldock and shoes from Pudsey Greenside for the
local shoe shop. National newspapers were received
by rail at King's Lynn and distributed from there by
road, but the Salvation Army "War Cry" arrived
weekly from St Albans City and the Eastern Evening
News from King's Lynn. It was transported by road
from Norwich in the afternoon for the racing results
(and football half-times? - Ed.) to be included in the
"Late News", arriving at Swaffham off the 1740 ex-
Lynn. Another bulk traffic was boxes of cigarettes,
sometimes received in sealed bags. If it could not be
delivered the same day it was stored in the Station
Master's office overnight. Finally, parcels of civilian
clothing were received from Oswestry (Army),
Padgate and Cardington (both RAF) from National
Servicemen recently enlisted.
Livestock also figured in outwards traffic. Prize pigs in
crates were collected from a farm in Ashill by the
parcels road motor, loaded with the help of farm
employees. At Swaffham a couple of goods porters
were recruited to help unload the crates which
weighed around 3 cwt. They were unloaded on to a
In NRS/NL 57/3 p.13 Rod Lock’s article referred to Ivatt 2.6.2T 41200. four-wheeled barrow, transferred on to the weighing
It spent a couple of summers working on the Aldeburgh branch, but machine in the booking hall and back again on to the
here it is on the Norwich turntable c.1950, having been loaned by barrow. The pigs were usually forwarded on the 0812
Bangor. The turntable was close to Carrow Road, but as the area has ex-Dereham, and Lynn was advised that additional
changed so drastically in recent years you’d be forgiven for not help was needed for the transfer between trains.
knowing it. (NRS Archive) Brood mares were forwarded in horse boxes, of which
Swaffham usually held two spare vehicles, from a
farmer at Castle Acre and destined for Kirton Lindsey
in Lincolnshire. The train to which the horse box was
to be attached and the overall transit was decided by the District Operating Superintendent's Movements Section. The rate
charged included both outward and return journeys, the latter with mother and foal.
Considerable numbers of dead turkeys were sent by a South Pickenham farmer at Christmas. Miscellaneous items included
medicines to local stations, newsletters from local reporters to the Lynn News & Advertiser and the Eastern Daily Press, milk
samples to the Milk Marketing Board at Norwich and cartons of canned fruit from Corbatch Canners - the bulk of their output was
forwarded by goods train under an agreed flat rate. Unusually, during the autumn and winter months, five wagons (hyfits) of
Brussels sprouts charged at parcels rates were forwarded. Three wagons, for Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool, were
attached to the 1320 Yarmouth Vauxhall to Spalding (via the M & G N) parcels train. As each hyfit had to be attached to the
through vanfit on the train, this required the Foreman Shunter and Guard to be on their toes; the timetable allowed only 6 minutes
but as there was a recovery allowance at Swaffham, plus the fact that the train was booked to call at Wendling, Fransham &
Dunham, which it rarely did, it provided adequate time for the several shunts. Another hyfit, for Birmingham, was attached to the
Yarmouth - March service. This was usually attached next to the engine so the hyfit was positioned at the entrance to the goods
yard, requiring a straightforward shunting movement. The fifth wagon, for Spitalfields Market, was attached to the 1957
passenger train to Thetford. During summer months, two growers each forwarded a 4-wheeled barrow load of tomatoes to
Bradford, which were loaded into the through Bradford van on the Spalding parcels.
Forwarded Irish traffic was dreaded because of the complicated procedures involved - senders had to provide a declaration plus
a Customs clearance note. Customs clearance charges and port dues had to be obtained from a mighty tome - the Coaching
Arrangements Book - for which amendments were received each week, plus carriage charges on the Irish network ! On my first
day as a Relief Station Master, Easter Monday 1956, I stepped off the
train at Yaxham to be told by the signalman that a man was waiting in the
booking office who wanted to forward a rabbit to Ireland !
Only small amounts of GPO mail were received - usually one bag from
Peterborough on the 1131 ex-Thetford. A letter bag was always received
off the last train on Christmas Eve. This was held overnight in the Station
Master's house to be collected Christmas morning when the postman
always received something to warm the inner soul.
Face value parcels stamps were glued on to most outwards parcels.
These were serially numbered and accounted for in a similar manner to
tickets. For security purposes, stamps always overlapped the address
label to prevent a new label being substituted en route. In addition, a route
number was indicated on each parcel in thick black crayon - e.g. Liverpool
St's number was 150. It was not possible to attach parcels stamps to
some consignments because of the high values involved or the
impracticability of so doing e.g. the wagons of Brussels sprouts and
tomatoes. For these, waybills were issued and forwarded by passenger
train in distinctive envelopes.
Much of the received traffic was stamped with ledger labels, which were
serially numbered and showed the sending station and the charging
arrangement, indicated by numbers from 1 to 7. The most common
Ledger Label 1: Deliver within free area (2 miles); outside this distance
consignee to pay cartage charges;
Ledger Label 2: Deliver and debit cartage charges outside the free
delivery area to the sending station (this was done at the month end);
Ledger Label 3: Station to station - no free delivery; This quaint starter at the west end of Swaffham
station was photographed on 23rd October 1956.
Ledger Label 6: Deliver free anywhere regardless of distance (e.g. mail (NRS Archive)
[to be continued]
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.
AUGUST NENTA Traintours - South Western Adventurer.
18th Sat Excursion from Norwich, stations to Stratford to Taunton (for WSR), Exeter, Totnes (for SDSR) or
Plymouth. Adult fare from £61.75. Details: tel: 01692 406152 or www.nentatraintours.co.uk
19th Sun MID-SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY Vintage Cars 11.00-5.30
25th - Sat - BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Wroxham - Running Day 2.30 - 5.30
26th Sun MID NORFOLK RAILWAY - REAL ALE FESTIVAL at Dereham.
31st Fri A variety of steam, diesel and railcar services
WHITWELL AND REEPHAM RAILWAY - Bank Holiday Steam 12.30 - 16.30
NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Grand Steam Gala
SEPTEMBER NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Grand Steam Gala continued
1st Sat -
2nd Sun NENTA Traintours - Buckingham Palace & Gardens By service trains from East Anglian stations.
1st Sat Adult fare £122. Details: tel: 01692 406152 or www.nentatraintours.co.uk
ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY
2nd Sun Open Day - locos running from 2.00 - 5.00. Visit from MG Owners Club
2nd Sun WHITWELL AND REEPHAM RAILWAY - Steam Sunday 12.30 - 16.30
8th Sat 'THE GREAT EASTERN FREIGHTER' Charity Railtours in aid of The Alzheimer's Society.
For details see www.charity-railtours.co.uk
15th Thur 'CATHEDRALS EXPRESS' NORWICH TO SALISBURY - HAULED BY 'TORNADO'
Sat Steam Dreams. http://www.steamdreams.com
20th NENTA Traintours – Settle, Carlisle & Cumbrian Coast Circular
From Norwich (0430) via Ipswich & Ely to Carlisle via S & C and return via Coast. Approx return 0040.
21st - Adult fare from £61.75. Details: tel: 01692 406152 or www.nentatraintours.co.uk
22nd Sun BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Wroxham - Running Day 2.30 - 5.30
Thur NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Members’ Summer Round-up 19.30
Please bring your digital masterpieces (pictures/films from this Summer only). Unless somebody
needs one, we are not proposing to have a slide projector
Fri - Sun MID NORFOLK RAILWAY - Class 47 Golden Jubilee Weekend
Sat BARTON HOUSE RAILWAY - Wroxham - Evening Running 1900 – 2200, BBQ, Tombola etc
Thur G.E.R. SOCIETY (Norwich Branch) – Members’ Evening 19.30
29th Sat BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – History Down the Line – Celebrating the line’s history and commemorating
30th Sun the 60th anniversary of the line’s closure to passengers on the standard gauge (www.bvrw.co.uk)
30th Sun MID – SUFFOLK LIGHT RAILWAY - Steam Trains & Historic Machinery
4th Thur NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – “1960s East Anglian Railway Images In Colour” – David Soggee
PLEASE NOTE EARLIER STARTING TIME of 19.00
7th Fri - Sun WHITWELL AND REEPHAM RAILWAY - 9th Beer Festival 12.30 - 16.30
Sat AYLSHAM MODEL RAILWAY EXHIBITION (jointly with Broadland Model Railway Club & BVR) – Jubilee
7th Centre, Aylsham. 10.15 - 16.30
Sun ASHMANHAUGH LIGHT RAILWAY - Open Day 14.00 - 17.00
11th Thur NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP - Members’ Evening 19.30
18th Thur NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - “The Fall and Rise of the Marshalling Yard plus Steam in the
Freezer” - Dr Michael Rhodes - 19.30
BOOK THESE DATES
Four - Day North of England trip by coach from Friday 2nd August - Monday 5th August 2013 staying at the Beamish Park
� Friday Norwich pick-up - visit to Weardale Railway. Hotel and evening meals for 3 nights.
� Saturday All day visit to Beamish.
� Sunday Visit to Tanfield Railway
� Monday Visit to Locomotion-Shildon - then head for Norwich.
Cost - £325 each in double room or single supplement another £45 - great value! This includes all entrance fees and rides.
More details in the next Newsletter.
Printed by Express Impressions. Tel. 01603 301127