Norfolk Railway Society
Founded 1955 ww.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk
Volume 59 No. 4 July/August 2014
news from railways in and around Norfolk
Rare Sighting at Weybourne
The North Norfolk Railway’s Summer
Diesel Gala welcomed Class 14
D9531 Ernest from the East Lancs
Railway. It is seen here with Class
101 DMU drag and (unseen) Luggage
Van and Class 37 D6732 on the rear
with the 14.33 service for Holt on 14th
June. On the right is the Colas Rail
Class 37 37219, a late (and colourful)
addition to the Gala (Andy Wright).
GEML UPDATE: June/July
Norwich: Long John Hill: being provided where necessary, presumably to improve
safety for users.
The rail bridge crossing over Long John Hill, south of Barrett
Road, on the climb up Trowse bank towards the former Upper Ipswich:
Junction, appears to have taken exception to one too many
bridge strikes recently. The bridge only gives road traffic a At East Suffolk Junc works are still in progress to extend the
headroom height of 10ft 3 inches. London bound trains were length and number of the Up side sidings to accommodate
subject to a 20mph temporary speed restriction over the bridge longer 30 wagon trains past East Suffolk Junc. On the north
for several days in the first week of July and the road was noted side of Hadleigh Road bridge (the first bridge over the ES line)
as being closed to all road traffic on Friday 11th July as the a new entry lead from the Up East Suffolk Line has been
bridge arch brickwork was being supported by props – at the installed (awaiting commissioning) and OLE alterations (new
time of writing (21st July) this arrangement was still in place. masts etc) are in progress to extend electrification to cover that
new junction. The heights of the bridge parapets are being
Norwich – Stowmarket footpath crossings: raised on the London Road and Hadleigh Road overbridges.
A significant number of footpath crossings have been improved Chelmsford:
recently with made-up pathways, and with steps and handrails
The new footbridge near MP28, beside a golf course on the
In This Issue 1 London side of Chelmsford, is now practically complete with
3 the Up side staircase, the Down side staircase and then the
Track Report 3 deck span (span is within a mesh enclosure) being placed into
National Network position at weekly or so intervals during June and early July.
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge & Miniature Final works to the approaches are in progress prior to the
footbridge being ready for public use.
Away from the tracks
Pick-up Goods 4 Mile End Yard:
NRS News 9
Features 10 The former Mile End Yard sidings, situated on the Up side as
12 one approaches Bethnal Green Junction from Stratford, have
Railway Walks 2 – Whitby to Scarborough “The 13 been out of use for some years and were being recovered in
Cinder Trail” - Brian Cornwell early July. The sidings were used for many years for the receipt
of rail-borne sand from quarries in East Anglia – including from
Trains, Trams & Cable Cars (yes, I’ve been on Coltishall (see NRS/NL 58/1 p.5) almost 50 years ago! The
holiday again) - Edward Mann operational use of the depot was probably compromised by the
high-rise residential development surrounding it.
The East Suffolk Line & Related Issues (Part 1)
- Rod Lock
Working Timetable 15
GEML INCIDENTS Long John Hill bridge from Barrett Road on 21st July (Peter
Abellio Greater Anglia have been beset with more than their
fair share of delays in recent weeks. 1900, 1930, 2000, 2100 and 2130 departures for Norwich were
cancelled with only the 2030 and 2230 departures running!
Tues 10th June: signalling problems at Saxmundham with no
service possible north of that location for some hours during The main criticism was the almost total absence of meaningful
the afternoon and early evening. information as to what was happening and alternative travel
opportunities. A thorough investigation was promised (again)
Tues 17th June: the 1600LV – Norwich service, being by both Network Rail and Abellio – the latter stating that
propelled by 90013, encountered an OLE defect on the country additional customer assistance provision would be provided at
side of Chelmsford station which damaged the pantograph. main stations. With NR and AGA control staff being present
The stranded train blocked the Down Main for a considerable within the same IECC building at Liverpool St there really
period of time decimating the Down evening peak services. A should not be any excuse for poor communication between the
“Thunderbird” loco is no longer utilised at the London end of two organisations. A possible suggestion is to appoint an
the line (historically at either Colchester or Shenfield) and authorised individual who can and would take executive
wrong line working between Ingatestone and New Hall, if decisions (in the event of a similar disruption) to restore a
introduced at all, is believed to have been introduced very late service and communicate what is going to happen to the
in the incident. BT Police had to be summoned to Liverpool St travelling public! A “Fat Controller” if you like!
station (which had to be closed to prevent overcrowding) to
maintain law and order. The 1600 service was recorded as The following morning a signal/points failure blocked platforms
reaching Norwich 169L, with the following 1700LV 210L (135L 1-10 at Liverpool St with intending passengers again advised
start) and the 1730LV 260L (120L start). Given the late starts not to travel. Norwich services were turned back at Stratford
it is not altogether surprising to note that the 1750, 1810, 1830, and Colchester for several hours.
Norfolk Railway Society Friday 18th July: Overnight thunderstorms and lightning
(Founded 1955) strikes disabled signalling in the Romford and Ingatestone
areas. A points failure at Liverpool St blocked platforms 7 – 10.
President: Arnold Hoskins, Esq. There was severe disruption to all AGA services until mid-
Vice-President: Ken Mills, Esq. morning.
Committee and Officers 2014-2015 Telephone Monday 21st July: A tree fell onto the OLE at Ardleigh at about
0800. A passenger was taken ill on the 1200 Norwich - LV
Chairman Peter Cooke service who required treatment from emergency services at
Chelmsford. The train terminated at Shenfield and the 1430
Vice Chairman Brian Cornwell return started from there. The following 1252 Ipswich to
London was trapped behind for about 30 minutes and was
Past Chairman Gordon Bruce terminated at Stratford, presumably to take up its return
Secretary Peter Adds
Treasurer John Laycock A unique interlaced lever frame was removed from Shippea
Hill signalbox (closed some 18 months ago) on 11th June by
Fixtures Arranged by sub-committee volunteers from the Wensleydale Railway (Northallerton –
Redmire). The frame is to be reconstructed inside the
Membership Sec. Mike Handscomb restored GER signalbox from North Wootton (Hunstanton
line) which is now sited at Leeming Bar station.
Newsletter Editor Edward Mann Peter Adds
Publicity Mike Fordham
Website Editor Andrew Wright
Archivist Raymond Meek
Norfolk Railway Society Newsletter
Editor Edward Mann
Layout and Picture Editor Andrew Wright
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 2nd October 2014
Copy date: 25th September 2014
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature Another chance to visit Didcot
Let’s Remember the Belgians! Spratts of Wreningham are running a coach to the Didcot
Railway Centre on Sunday 24th August for their Victorian Day.
If you look at the valve gear on Tornado, or on a “Merchant The fare including admission is £45 and the coach leaves
Navy” Pacific or on a “Coronation” Pacific, it was originally the Dereham station at 0530 and the Holiday Inn, Ipswich Road,
brainchild of Belgian Egide Walschaerts (1820-1901). The Norwich at 0600.
GWR stuck with Stephenson’s valve gear.
For more details please go to Spratts’ website –
Alfred Belpaire (1820-1893) - another Belgian - was the www.sprattscoaches.co.uk or telephone 01508 – 489262.
inventor of the Belpaire firebox. This time, look out for the
squarish part of the locomotive firebox where it joins the cab. Away from the Tracks
The GWR, LMS, SR & BR used them but – generally
speaking – the LNER did not. Railway Walk
Just look at some locomotive photographs to recognise these In NRS/NL 59/3 p.8 Brian Cornwell (who else?) suggested a
features. railway walk from Whitwell & Reepham station to Reepham
station (or vice versa) on Sunday 7th September, starting at
And then there was John Cockerill (1790-1840) who was a 1030. He hasn’t been overwhelmed by the response, so if
Belgian (born British) engineer and who helped start the you’d like to go please contact him either by phone or email –
Belgian manufacturing industry. Though his name is clearly the details were in the last Newsletter.
not Belgian, the name Cockerill could be found as part of
Belgian steelmaking and engineering companies until Bittern Line possibility
recently. One of Cockerill’s products was no. 2525 of 1907
(the “Coffee Pot”) restored at Yaxham just in time for the
MNR’s Steam Gala. Richard Adderson photographed it
(below) shortly after its arrival at Dereham on 26th June, with
Union of South Africa in the foreground.
Mike Fordham photographed it (below) at Dereham on 27th Jackson-Stops & Staff, Norwich, are advertising this former
June in the company of Y7 0-4-0T 1310 which has an crossing-keeper’s cottage at Tunstead, just north of
interesting history of its own. Built at Gateshead in 1891 as Wroxham. If you have £280,000 and are thinking of moving
part of the NER’s Class H, it was withdrawn in 1931 and sold why not have a look at it (Mike Handscomb).
in 1933 to Pelaw Main Collieries Ltd. Eventually becoming
NCB no. 64 it was finally purchased by the Steam Power From the Ipswich Road U.R.C.
Trust in 1965 and, after various moves, was restored at the
Middleton Railway’s workshops in Leeds, re-entering service In the run-up to Christmas last year, the Church hosted the
in 2011. (EM) “Alternative Christmas Tree Festival”. It proved very popular,
and we have been invited to participate in this year’s event –
“The Rainbow Christmas Tree Festival”.
This would mean decorating our own (preferably “real”)
Christmas tree in ribbons of a single rainbow colour – or all
the colours – and then add a few decorations reflecting our
particular interest! It looks as if we must buy (sorry, “source”)
our own tree.
The event is open to the public from 1000 – 1600 on 27th to
29th November and from 1600 – 1800 on Sunday 30th
November for an Advent “Songs of Praise”. I have a leaflet
showing when the URC will be open for tree-decoration to
take place (dismantling between 0900 – 1300 on 1st
Are any members or their families able to help please?
I’ll email the paperwork to anyone interested. (EM)
A miscellany of news and members’ contributions
Recently at the URC Hall see some pre-war colour that had survived very well. A
particularly shiny ex-Doncaster works “Manchester United”
The Spirit of Sandringham Project and reminded the audience what the project was about and what
Memories of the B17’s (Brian Hall – 1st May) we had to look forward to. It was noted however that “Norwich
City” was conspicuous by its absence! (BC)
Brian Hall, a founder member of the B17 Steam Locomotive
Trust, which is a registered charity, came to talk to us about Champion Lodge
the ambitious and exciting plan to bring back to life a much-
loved class of locomotive that did not survive into During the meeting, somebody asked where Champion
preservation. The B17 “Sandringhams” were originally Lodge (61643) was situated. Well, it was near Maldon in
designed by Sir Nigel Gresley and 73 were built over a 9 year Essex. You may also be interested to know that Kimberley
period from 1928. All were named after country houses, House, near Wymondham, was originally allocated to 2847,
football clubs and local county regiments connected with the later 61647, of course always known as Helmingham Hall.
former LNER. The first of the class was named
“Sandringham” after the Royal Family’s residence, and Brian The Rise and Fall of the Ipswich Dock Railway
explained the entire class was thereafter known as (Graham Kenworthy & Dave Pearce – 15th May)
“Sandringhams”. The B17’s, initially constructed by the North
British Locomotive Company, operated on the LNER network Our final meeting before the summer break showed once
mainly in the Eastern Counties and finally in the Eastern again how fortunate the Society is to have expert historians
Region of BR for over 30 years until 1960 when the last few and photographers among its ranks.
The story of the railways leading to and within the docks at
Brian went on to explain that the objective of the Trust is “to Ipswich is not a simple one. Graham Kenworthy and Dave
build and operate an LNER Class B17 4-6-0 express Pearce split the evening between them. Graham
passenger steam locomotive identified as 61673 SPIRIT OF concentrated on ‘the Rise’ and Dave on ‘the Fall’ - although,
SANDRINGHAM for mainline and heritage railway use”. The by their own admission, each strayed considerably from his
Queen’s Agent at the Sandringham has been approached by brief, with Dave subtitling his presentation The Changing
the Trust and no objections were raised with regard to the Faces of Ipswich Docks.
name of the new locomotive. Finance for the project will
primarily come from individual subscribers; however the Trust Both speakers had an excellent series of pictures to illustrate
is actively seeking sponsorship and support from the very their points. They had dipped extensively into Britain from
best of British business and professional individuals Above, the Aerofilms collection of photographs taken between
representing both the commercial and industrial sectors. 1919 and 1953. Graham also showed some extraordinarily
Additionally the Trust is keen to create job opportunities for historic maps and plans, some from the very earliest days of
younger people and tradesmen using current industrial railways in Ipswich. He has also walked the length of the old
facilities, equipment and processes as a replacement for the line (but not across the lock gate because of an obstructive
original construction methods. harbour official) and his photographs of the dockside
structures as they are today made an intriguing contrast with
his black-and-white steam age views. Dave had raided not
Brian was able to provide to, by now a captivated audience, a
great deal of technical detail concerning the construction
aspects of the B17 and was very pleased to advise that the
engineer responsible for Tornado’s construction was “on
board” with the project – roller bearings, axle boxes and horn
blocks will be identical to that of Tornado. It was anticipated
that the frames, which will be slightly thicker than the
prototypes, will soon be under construction at a cost of
around £5000 and a permanent construction site is being
sought. Various technical improvements will be made
including a Diagram 100A (B1) all welded steel boiler and
firebox, smokebox with better acid resistance (and possibly a
self-clean mechanism), improved steam passages, rocking
grate and injector. A better braking system (dual air and
vacuum) together with TPWS and ERTMS will bring the
safety devices on the locomotive into the 21st century.
The Trust has already sourced tender frames to accompany
the locomotive and two tenders are planned. These are from
ex-LNER No 7163 built in 1938 and GE pattern ex-B12 8510
built in 1912. Various original drawings, diagrams and charts
have been sourced including, as one would expect, lots of
material from the NRM at York. The project is expected to
cost in the region of £2.7 million and will take 11 years to
complete. Watch this space until 2025!
Finally Brian was able to treat us with a number of stunning Ipswich Dock, New Cut and town in 1950.
colour slides featuring B17’s in all the liveries that they had www.britainfromabove.org.uk/download/EAW033334
appeared in over the years, and it was especially pleasing to
just his own picture collection but also those of several other Motive power along the quaysides was often the delightful
photographer friends. J70 0-6-0 tram engines, recognisable by their wooden body,
The first quayside railway gave access to the west bank of
the Orwell. Originally known as the Griffin Wharf branch, it
had sidings serving dockside businesses including Ransomes
and Rapier and Cocksedge & Co Ltd. The branch still exists –
indeed, it is the only dockside railway left in Ipswich – but it’s
truncated, the rails are rusty and it sees only sporadic sand
03179 on Ipswich Docks trip freight 15th August 1983, with 0-6-0DM no. 11100 shunts at Tovell’s wharf in 1954. In the
R&W Paul’s mill in the background.© background, across the dock, is the Old Custom House. ©
www.railphotoprints.co.uk - John Chalcraft dunstabledasher
traffic and the occasional railfans’ special, such as last year’s cow-catcher and protective side skirts over the wheels and
Anglia Freighter. motion. In later days, their duties were assumed by BR 0-6-0
Class 03 and 04 diesels. The dock railway has proved to be a
The ‘New Dock’ was completed in 1842 and the line serving magnet for ‘rare track’ bashers over the years, and many
that was much more extensive. It began at Upper Yard, pictures featured the several enthusiasts’ specials which
between Ipswich station and East Suffolk Junction and ran picked their way carefully over questionably-maintained
down and across Ranelagh Road and the River Gipping to sidings.
Ipswich Lower Yard and then the dock’s north and east
quaysides. It then diverged: one spur continued south to Cliff Other aspects of Ipswich’s railway scene were not forgotten.
Quay, while the other route crossed the lock gate and turned Graham took us back to 1846 when Ipswich Stoke Hill (south
sharply back up north to serve the west side of the dock. of the still-to-be-bored Stoke tunnel) was the northern
terminus of the Eastern Union line from Colchester. Dave
Quayside businesses were served by a myriad of dockside showed us the present Ipswich station with steam, diesel and
lines. We saw R&W Paul, Ipswich Gasworks (in operation electric traction, interior shots of East Suffolk Junction box as
from 1822 to 1971), Cranfields mill, Ransomes Sims & well as Freightliners working over the recently-opened Bacon
Jefferies, Cobbolds Maltings and St Clements shipyard - not Factory Curve (which we must now call ‘Ipswich Chord’).
to mention a fertiliser works alongside the charmingly named
Coprolite Street. One or two half-buried lengths of rail are still Chairman Peter Cooke thanked both speakers for a
evident today. thoughtfully constructed and highly entertaining evening.
Thanks to Andy Wright for projection services (Mike
Probably the most impressive Handscomb).
waterfront structure is the Old
Custom House, which was opened in “Behind the Scenes” – Steve Cane reports on
1845. Graham noted that the historic our visit to the North Norfolk Railway on 5th
significance of this classical building June
has been recognised with the
application of a blue plaque with the As usual the final meeting of the season was an outdoor visit.
dates of its use. The Grade II listed This year about thirty members and their wives met at
building now houses the local office Sheringham station for a guided tour of the North Norfolk
of Associated British Ports. Railway. The photograph (below) by Andy Wright shows the
Down on Cliff Quay, the power
station was opened in 1949, closed in
1985 and demolished in 1994. The
end of freightliner and grain traffic to
Cliff Quay in 1992 meant that no
further freight traffic ran along the
It was a perfect early summer’s evening as we boarded the Will the (Turning) Circle be Unbroken? -
Class 101 DMU set waiting for us on platform 1. We travelled Richard Adderson reports on our visit to the
to Holt non-stop, taking in the wonderful views of sea and
countryside along the way. Epping Ongar Railway on 7th June
At Holt we were greeted by the affable Dave King, the curator “You can’t park that coach here.”
of the William Marriott Museum. He took us on a short tour of
the station where amongst other things we saw some “But I spoke to somebody yesterday who said that we could.”
examples of freight rolling stock that had been renovated at
Weybourne. This included the oldest exhibit on the railway, “Well you can’t. It’s impossible. There’s no room” (with a
the 1881 M&GN brake van with fitted breakdown toolbox. sweep of the hand in the general direction of the wide
approach road and generous turning circle in front of the
Then Dave took us into the Museum which is housed in a station).
replica railway goods shed. The Museum tells the story of
East Anglia’s railways with an emphasis on Marriott’s Midland So went the opening conversation between an Epping and
& Great Northern Joint Line. There is so much to see there -it Ongar official and Edward Mann as the NRS party arrived at
is well worth at least one visit. Just next to the Museum is an North Weald station, with the rain pouring down from a leaden
LNER pigeon van built in 1929 at Doncaster. It was used to sky. It could only get better, and indeed it did, as a more co-
transport racing pigeons to a destination where they were
released for their flight back home, and was restored at
Weybourne Carriage & Wagon shed in the late 1990s.
We returned to our train for the short journey down to
Weybourne for the next part of our tour. After refreshments in
the station buffet (much needed by the several ladies in our
party – Ed.) we split into two groups to be shown around the
loco shed and C & W shops.
Part of the loco shed is currently being used by the recently 30585 and 45379 at North Weald (Richard Adderson).
purchased Chatham Boiler Co. As this is taking up valuable
locomotive space, a new building is being constructed to operative volunteer was summoned and showed us where to
create more room. This will make it possible for the NNR to park, and shortly afterwards the rain began to ease, clearing
do its own boiler repairs on site and allow the service to be to give us a fine and sunny day.
available to other heritage railways across the UK and
abroad. This in turn will give the railway much needed extra Few of us had visited
income. the Epping and Ongar
before, and their Gala
Then we went outside to the yard, where Class 5 44767 Day, with four
George Stephenson was cooling down after a hard day’s locomotives operating
work, and although it was 2030 two members of staff were the service, was an
still working on one of the Mark 1 “Suburban 4” carriages. ideal introduction.
When all four have been renovated they will be a perfect Their resident engine,
complement to the Quad Art set, thus giving the railway a GW 2-6-2T 4141 was
working history of London’s commuter trains from the 1920s simmering behind the
to the mid-1970s. platform as we
arrived, with Black 5
Finally we entered the carriage and wagon shed where we 45379 taking water,
saw a number of coaches being overhauled or renovated. and shortly afterwards
Passenger numbers are rising on the NNR, so having well- they were joined by
maintained rolling stock has become increasingly important. “Jinty” 47406. These
Also on view was an 1886 picnic saloon which is being two were visitors from
renovated by Joint Heritage Coach Fund volunteers. The the Mid Hants and
body had spent sixty years in a garden before returning to Great Central
the NNR in 2002 and when completed it will become part of Railways respectively.
the Railway’s growing vintage carriage stock.
At about 2130 our visit ended and we returned to
Sheringham. It was a very enjoyable outing and, as
someone said later, “there is always something new to see
Thanks to Peter Adds for making the initial approach to the “Jinty” 47406 in the rain at North Weald. North Weald station
NNR, and thanks to Peter Howard and his NNR colleagues (Richard Adderson). appears to be the
for being so helpful. But that’s not quite the end. Such is the operating centre of
reputation of the fish’n’chip shop at Roughton (next to the the railway, with the
A140) that Steve was caught speeding to his supper core service operating
through a nearby village doing 35 mph! Maybe members over the 3½ miles or
will chip in (!) towards his fine, or maybe this isn’t the right so to the terminus at
plaice (!) to ask! He isn’t holding his breath. Ongar. In the other
direction, the rails extend for a couple of miles towards the
former connection with the Central Line at Epping. These are
not normally used, but on the Gala Day two trains made their
way through Epping Forest, under the M25, and on to a
remote spot near the village of Coopersale, where they
paused briefly before returning. With no facilities at
Coopersale, these were operated with a locomotive at each
Trains were running every 50 minutes or so in each direction North Weald: Plenty of room to park! (Richard Adderson).
between North Weald and Ongar, with all the locomotives
taking turns, so there was plenty of variety for photographers flypast of a Spitfire, presumably from the nearby airfield. In
and travellers alike. Adding to the attractions, a number of addition to the steam engines, there were various diesel
former London Transport buses were operating on various locomotives to be seen, including 47635, 31438, D7523,
routes from the station forecourt at North Weald – and were D6729 and an 03 shunter. None of these was operated during
free to holders of rail tickets. Many of our members enjoyed our visit, but later in the day 20048 was idling away in North
rides on these classic vehicles, which included a Weald sidings, adding its own distinctive sound to the
Routemaster, RTs and RFs. Exactly how many were proceedings. Ongar, inevitably, was quieter between trains,
operating I don’t know, but at one stage during the afternoon but nicely kept. Here we saw the hulks of two locomotives
five of them were gathered together in the forecourt of North which had been brought here from Finland when preservation
of the line was first mooted. Being of 5 ft gauge, they proved
to be of little practical use and now seem fit only for scrap, but
at least they are tucked away quite discreetly and are not
obvious to the visitor.
After some six hours at the railway it was time to leave, and
after a break for refreshments we were back in Norwich by
2015 after a very full and enjoyable day. Thanks are due to
Edward Mann for organising it (and making sure that we were
able to park the coach!), to John Laycock for the driving, and
to Graham Smith for bringing along the widely travelled NRS
headboard which adorned various locomotives during the
course of the day.
At last: Richard Adderson sets his sights on Beattie well tank Editor’s Note: “Will the Circle be Unbroken” was the title of a
30585, both seen here at North Weald as David Pearce 1970 album by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band which brought
makes another photograph for his collection. (Andy Wright) together the new and old of country music. It also happens to
describe which bus drivers managed the turning circle better
Weald station, in three different liveries (LT red, Green than others!
Line and London Country green).
On a personal note, I fully intended to sample the buses
but ran out of time to do so. This was largely the fault of
the fourth of the steam locomotives, the little Beattie well
tank 30585. In my younger days I was fascinated by
photographs of this engine and its two sisters pottering
around on the Wenford Bridge goods line in Cornwall,
working museum pieces even in the late 1950s. But it was
a long way from Norfolk to north Cornwall on a schoolboy’s
pocket money, and I never made the trip to see them.
Fortunately, two of the class were preserved, and although
they have been regular visitors to our heritage lines,
somehow our paths had never crossed. Until now. So my
afternoon’s priority was to make up for lost time and
photograph this little engine wherever I could.
So what of the Epping and Ongar itself? Both stations are 4141 enters North Weald from Coopersale (Andy Wright).
nicely restored, well maintained and atmospheric, and
there was plenty to see at North Weald, with engines being
serviced between trains, not to mention the occasional
A Different Challenge!
60511, otherwise our roving
reporter, has sent this image of an
old railway “somewhere in Norfolk”.
Please have a look at it and let me
know where you think it is – emails
to xx – and to narrow the field it isn’t
on the M&GN. If you need a
supplementary clue as we’re
breaking new ground then get in
Rail Replacement buses are
Whether it’s covering for AGA’s
shortcomings or whether it’s further
afield the rail replacement bus
service has become part of the
For example, there used to be a Nowadays, the service is remarkably good; it runs half-hourly
branch line in the West Midlands in both directions and is extended beyond Birmingham to
and Worcestershire, stretching from Barnt Green on the Sutton Coldfield and both Lichfield stations – City and Trent
Birmingham – Bristol main line, through Redditch and Valley (WCML is underneath). It is marketed as the “Cross-
Evesham before rejoining the main line at Ashchurch. The City Line”. The main line between Barnt Green & Bromsgrove
line south from Redditch closed from 17th June 1963, but the is also likely to be electrified and a new station provided at
condition of the track between Redditch and Evesham meant Bromsgrove. (EM)
that a substitute bus service was provided from 1st October
1962. And now, there are more rail replacement buses as NR New books
is building a new section of track near Redditch so one extra
train can run per hour and to do the work the line is being Sometimes it’s very difficult to find the complete allocation
closed between Barnt Green & Redditch from 6th July until history for every BR steam loco.
31st August. Replacement buses will run between Barnt Hugh Longworth’s BR Steam Locomotives – Complete
Green, Alvechurch & Redditch. Allocation History 1948 – 1968 certainly does that, though it’ll
set you back £40. It doesn’t answer why certain engines of
And, using the few old timetables that I have, I thought I’d the same class were positively peripatetic - the first 41 named
check what services were running in the “good old days”. B1s (61000-40) didn’t seem to put down roots anywhere
Well, the winter 1959/60 shows there were 4 Monday – Friday whilst 61154 was a Sheffield (Darnall) fixture from 1948 until
services between Birmingham New St & Ashchurch, calling at withdrawn in 1962; likewise 61196 clung to Doncaster from
nearly every station, and taking about 2 hours for the 43-mile 1948 – 1965.
journey. I was in for a surprise, though, when I checked the
May 1973/May 1974 timetable. Presumably Redditch was And then there’s the strange tale of K3 2-6-0 61971,
then viewed as a commuter town, as the service had shrunk presumably sent to Yarmouth (Beach) by Norwich late in
to 3 Monday – Friday services each way. Trains left Redditch 1950 to alleviate a motive power shortage on the M&GN.
at 0758, 0815 and 1835, whilst services left New St at 0658, Shame that nobody realised its weight precluded it from
1718 and 1745. But major improvements were just around the working on the M&GN! The following month saw it reallocated
corner, thanks to the West Midlands P.T.E. New stations to Yarmouth (South Town). It would be the icing on the cake if
were opened at Five Ways, University (see photograph below we knew how it got to & from Yarmouth (Beach) and whether
dated 5th April 1978) & Longbridge in the late 1970s, and the it actually did any work
line was electrified from 1993. whilst there!
Thankfully, the influx of
the 43000 series
2-6-0s soon gave
Of much more interest
to members is the
latest offering from the
Adderson – Kenworthy
stable on country lines
& local branch lines.
This time, they’ve
covered King’s Lynn
Docks, King’s Lynn –
Heacham – Wells.
Literally hot off the
press, it can be yours
Plum Duff Ahoy!
Night was fast approaching when five intrepid NRS plum duff
members left their "distraught?" wives and, after joining up
with other members of the crack(d) team, ventured across the
Channel on overnight ferry, landed in Holland and drove
onward to Pfalz in Southern Germany to pursue their never-
ending quest for that perfect photo of gleaming German
Although those left behind on the other side of the Channel
were assured that life at the front (Lambrecht near Neustadt)
was pretty tough, the pictures of wining and dining gave a
slightly different picture.
Eight days later, with all plum duffers in safe and good The happy band at the last night dinner on 28th May. Left to
condition, the adventurers returned to their loved ones - but right are: Mike Fordham, Philip Moore, John Hanchet, Tim
with a strange phenomenon! Morton, Paul Hudson, Peter Davies & Chris King. Photographer
was Colin Astbury.
The vehicles appeared slightly nearer to the ground and
made a strange clinking noise. Very puzzling.
Now all that remains is the "my photo is better than yours" Model Railway Visit
syndrome which will inevitably affect the happy participants
very soon. Best Wishes to the two travellers who were On Wednesday 10th September our members David Beeken
unable to join the group. There will be other opportunities!!! & Brian Sayer invite model railway enthusiasts to visit the
Gauge 1 Club at Church Lane, Hepworth, IP22 2PU. Please
PS Perhaps the word should be Plandampf - or perhaps not. call in from 1130 – 1500. Refreshments will be provided but
Anon. please bring your own lunch (there is a local café). Church
Lane is off the main street sign marked “The Church” 100
Corrections Corner yards on the left from the junction through double gates into a
large car park The track is in a Nissen Hut.
The front-page photo caption in NRS/NL 59/3 was marred by
the cyberspace “moonlighting” of the last line. The missing Hepworth isn’t far from Wortham on the A143 Scole – Bury St
words were “of 20th May”. Andy Wright had taken the trouble Edmunds road.
to check the MNR’s Twitter feed too – oh dear! Apologies all
round. And at the end of the Hemsby Miniature Railway item For Sale or Exchange: M&GNJR, Norfolk & Suffolk Joint &
ibid p.4 the words “trains in action” did the same thing! Eastern & Midlands Railway tickets, luggage labels &
ephemera surplus to collection. Large s.a.e. & 60p stamp for
The image of the fire-fighters in NRS/NL 59/3 p.9 has now list to Chris Wake, contact details deleted
been reliably placed in Belgium.
Steve Cane’s D-I-Y Request
Wissington – Driving Day
Some of you may recall seeing this M&GN horse dray at Postponed for this year!
Weybourne during our recent visit. As a volunteer at the C&W
Shed, Steve has been working – with others – on its Mike Fordham advises that, because of problems at the Mid-
renovation. Nigel Scarlett, the volunteer co-ordinator for the Suffolk end, the proposed Driving Day has been cancelled for
Heritage Coach Fund, is always on the lookout for new this year. He hopes that the event will be revived for next year
volunteers, and if you have a modicum of skills so much the – watch this space!
better. The image of Steve is self-explanatory.
Please email [email protected] or call in at
Sheringham station for further details.
Resumption of Meetings
Society meetings resume at the URC on Thursday 18th
September. As usual, the opening meeting is the customary
round-up of members’ images and films taken during the
summer. Please restrict your presentations to 10-15 minutes’
duration. If, by any chance, you still take slides please let
me know a day or two ahead so that we can
accommodate you. And a scribe to report the meeting is
also required, please – just contact me.
The Great Eastern Railway Society (Norwich Branch)
resumes its meetings a week later with its own “Members’
Night” (members’ summer images), whilst the Norfolk
Transport Group begins on Thursday 9th October when David
Cooke presents another instalment of “Bus Matters”. Do
come and support these meetings, please. (EM)
Railway Walks 2 – Whitby to Scarborough“The Cinder Trail” - Brian Cornwell
Readers of this Newsletter may recall my article last year line steadily declined, before closing as part of the Beeching
about my wife Julie and I walking the High Peaks and cuts in the mid-sixties with the last train running on 6th March
Tissington Trails in Derbyshire (see NRS/NL 58/5 pp9/10 – 1965. The rails were removed a few years later between
Ed.). We both had four consecutive days off work together in Hawkser and Scalby, but the northernmost stub was not lifted
May and as it was also the week of my birthday we decided to until 1974 as there were plans to site a potash-refining centre
get out there and do another walk. I had long fancied “The in the area. Even then, that was not the end - in the 1970’s
Cinder Trail” so we made the arrangements. As previously, Scarborough Borough Council acquired the track bed for use
this would be a one-way walk so train travel was required and as a footpath and cycle track. Except for a few minor
since our last trip the “Two Together Railcard” had been obstructions the whole line remains in public use today.
introduced and this gave, as it suggests, a 33% discount to
two nominated persons travelling together and cost £30. By Starting from a busy Whitby Station we worked our way
booking in advance and breaking down the tickets into where through the back streets to the start of the trail at Stokesby
a change of train was required we paid £10.55 each to get to Vale. Heading South East we made our way out of Whitby
York which was to be our starting point and first overnight through a cutting and onto the majestic Larpool Viaduct which
stop. Tickets purchased without a Railcard and on the day crosses the River Esk and the remaining line into Whitby. The
would have cost a massive £82.60 each! From there we viaduct is 915 feet long and120 feet high, has 13 spans and
would travel by Coastliner bus to Whitby with two overnights offers extensive views of the river and harbour, all the way
en route walking the 22 miles to Scarborough, then a train across to the ruined Whitby Abbey. We happened to be there
back to York and home. just before 1400 and witnessed the departing Whitby to
Pickering NYMR service headed by 4-6-0 BR Standard 4
We started from Norwich on the 0957 East Midlands Trains
service to Liverpool Lime Street and boarded 158 863 at
Platform 3. This took us, without incident, to Peterborough
where we caught the 1159 ex London King’s Cross East
Coast service to York, 91 124 providing the motive power.
Since redevelopment Peterborough station is now quite
impressive with extra platforms and a remodelled booking
office. Our service suffered a slight delay at Retford due to
signalling problems and arrived at York five minutes late. The
Premier Inn, (Blossom Street North), five minutes’ walk from
the station, was to provide the bed for the night so we
dumped our backpacks and headed into York. As previously
mentioned this was my birthday and I had been promised tea
and cake in the famous Betty’s tearooms and dinner in the
evening with my eldest son Dan who is at the University
completing his PhD. Dan’s presence in York allows
wonderfully regular access to the NRM!
After a pleasant evening and comfortable night we grabbed The NYMR service leaves Whitby for Pickering, taken from
breakfast in an Italian cafe across the street and then headed Larpool Viaduct (see text) (Brian Cornwell).
for our bus which we were catching from York station. I chose
the bus to get to Whitby because the service trains, at a 75029. The trail was not as busy as expected and we soon
reasonable hour of the day, only gave us a nine minute reached Hawsker 3¼ miles on where the station building and
connection at Middlesbrough and the train service to Whitby platform remains together with three coaches which are the
was not too regular if this connection was missed. A trip down HQ for Trailways Cycle Hire. One of the coaches is a
the Esk Valley would have been nice but wasn’t to be. converted Mk.3 buffet and can be rented as holiday
Afterwards I realised I missed a trick and could have accommodation. As we had been blessed with a warm and
incorporated a run on the North York Moors Railway (NYMR) dry day ice cream was purchased from the café there. Toilets
from Pickering to Whitby - however this would have been are available.
diesel hauled in that direction as the steam locomotive would
have been on the rear (unless it was a booked diesel, my Refreshed, we continued our walk onwards towards Robin
experience was that the loco ran tender-first – Ed) . The Hood’s Bay (RHB) which was to be our stop for the night.
Whitby bus, No.840, departed at 1020 and went via Malton, RHB is the start, or finish, of the Coast to Coast walk invented
Pickering, Thornton-le-Dale and Goathland, with glimpses of (I guess invented is as good a word as any!) by Alfred
the NYMR en route, arriving outside Whitby station at 1239, Wainwright the famously modest and somewhat reclusive
with the fare £11.00 each. Cumbrian fell walker who is a bit of a hero of mine (along with
Neil Armstrong and Fred Dibnah). RHB is split into two. The
The 22 mile railway line from Whitby to Scarborough was old town runs down a steep and narrow street to the slipway
opened on 16th July 1885, and cost £649,813 to construct. at the beach in the bay and the red-brick new part, which is
Originally owned by an independent company (the Victorian, and a result of the railway coming to town, is all at
Scarborough & Whitby Railway), it was not a financial the top. On approaching RHB the path passes through Bay
success and was bought by the much larger North Eastern Ness, a beautiful gorse-filled National Trust cliff-top area,
Railway in 1898 for £261,333, the NER having worked the which has fantastic views of RHB. On the day that we were
line from the outset. In 1923 the line became part of the there the blue skies and blue sea made me think “It doesn’t
London & North Eastern Railway; traffic increased as the get any better that this!”. Our accommodation in RHB was a
local area saw an increase in tourism. However, after the 10
Second World War competition from road transport increased
and after the formation of British Railways in 1948, use of the
charming B & B, 2 Elm Grove. Had the railway still been in
place it would have run along the bottom of the garden of 2
Elm Grove and could have been viewed from our room. An
evening’s walk down to the Bay Inn, right on the seafront,
provided us with an excellent dinner which we later found out
had been cooked by our host as he did some “moonlight
chefing” for the Inn.
The third day was a big one for us. We had 10½ miles to do The intrepid couple pause during their walk.
and the section to Ravenscar was all uphill with the summit
of the railway being at 631 feet. During railway days the former Northstead carriage sidings. The end of the track is in
Whitby to Scarborough railway was quite noted for its the quite mundane surroundings of Sainsbury’s (my current
gradients which, when combined with sea-frets*, could cause employers) car park. We had done it. The scenery had been
problems for an engine driver with a heavy train full of fantastic, the flora and fauna numerous and varied, Blackbird,
holidaymakers in tow. I kept this information to myself as Mrs Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Crow, Great Tit,
Cornwell would not have been impressed! Out on the track Magpie, Martin, Swallow, Swift, Wren and LBJ’s. Alas none
the station building at RHB is still there and has been turned of the much advertised Yellowhammer were seen. My
into holiday accommodation. The five miles to Ravenscar botanical expert advises that Bluebell, Bugle, Common Vetch,
was a slog. Our packs only weighed 20lbs each but seemed Cow Parsley, Herb Robert, Garlic Mustard, Oxlip, Primrose,
to be much more. I am convinced Julie slipped a couple of Red Campion, Red Clover, Stitchwort and Wild Garlic were
boulders into mine once she found out about the climb we encountered. The railway remains were fascinating, regular
had to make! The views back to RHB were just as impressive and sobering. Sobering by virtue of the sad loss of a fantastic
as the ones on the approach to it. After a short detour to railway route.
avoid Ravenscar Tunnel which is closed due to the
deterioration of the interior brickwork we finally arrived at the Scarborough station was ¼ mile from good old JS but we
summit and a fully deserved tea and cake stop at the teashop decided to go further into town and visit the beach. We found
adjacent to the old station. A post card showed that it had a funicular railway that I wasn’t aware of so that proved to be
been a wooden building which is no longer there. a worthwhile excursion. According to my little book of
“Amazing and Extraordinary Railway Facts” (seriously!)
Leaving Ravenscar we headed to Staintondale which still Scarborough has three cliff railways, South Cliff, built in 1875,
remains with both platforms intact and the building converted
into a private dwelling. The next target was Hayburn Wyke or Central Tramway, which we travelled
more precisely Hayburn Wyke Hotel which provided an on, and St Nicholas Cliff Lift. [It used to
opportunity for further refreshment. It also allowed us a slight have five – Ed.] Our train to York was at
diversion to walk to the Wyke itself, a beautifully scenic cove 1248 and Trans-Pennine 185 138 got us
belonging to the National Trust, with a double waterfall there in time to make our connection
straight onto the beach. We now had two miles to go that day with the 1401 from York as far as
with Cloughton being our third and final overnight. However Peterborough, 91 102 City of York
this was to be in the old station itself. And what a treat it was! providing the motive power. The change
The Station House Cloughton has two rooms for bed and at Peterborough put us back on East
breakfast accommodation (we had what had been the ticket Midlands 158 778 and we departed on
office, porters’ room and gents’ washroom), the Old Goods time at 1540 arriving in Norwich at 1713.
Shed which is self-catering Mission accomplished. The highlights
accommodation for up to six people and had to be Larpool Viaduct, RHB,
Oscar, a 1962 Derby built Mk. 1 Ravenscar Summit and Cloughton
carriage, which is also self-catering and Station. Woodhead route or Keswick
sleeps six. We had a quick tour and it Railway Footpath are now on the radar
boasts full air-conditioning, a fully for next time. I hope.
equipped kitchen including a
dishwasher and the double room has an
en-suite shower room. There is also tea
room which doubles up as a breakfast
room. It is the perfect place for railway
enthusiasts to stay. Visit
www.cloughtonstation.co.uk for more
information. Steve and Barbara
Hargreaves, Tearoom Ted the dog and
the station cats will make you very
Our final walking day was to take us the Scarborough’s Central Tramway from the Editor’s Notes: Hearty congratulations
last five miles to Scarborough. After promenade (Brian Cornwell). to Brian & Julie for covering their 22 mile
crossing the A165 at Burniston we marathon. Put into context it’s further
entered open countryside for 2 miles than driving from Norwich to Yarmouth!
until we reached Scalby which is
basically the suburbs of Scarborough. * Sea-fret or haar – a wet mist – could
The track winds itself the last 2½ miles completely disrupt services. April 1959’s
through housing estates, passing under Trains Illustrated p.224 shows what
several bridges and skirting alongside a might happen – email me for a copy or
playing field that was the site of the send an s.a.e.
Trains, Trams & Cable Cars (yes, I’ve been on holiday again) (Edward Mann)
In NRS/NL 58/5 pp9/10 Brian Cornwell described his walk day, the cyclists and walkers were now the only traffic on
along the High Peak and Tissington Trails, to which readers what has become the Monsal Trail.
are referred, as what follows overlaps slightly.
Were you aware that Buxton has its own tram service? Well,
There was no railway walking on my recent visit to Derbyshire it doesn’t really but an old milk float has been converted to
at the end of June/beginning of July, but this visit enabled me carry eight passengers, and the bewhiskered driver/guide
to revisit some old haunts and take in some new places of was a mine of information. It’s well worth the hour’s ride if
interest. you’re in the town. Buxton’s station is a shadow of its former
self, the London & North Western (Ashbourne/ Stockport
If you approach Buxton from the south on the A6 you pass /Manchester Piccadilly) side being separate from the now-
underneath four high-level railway bridges which used to demolished Midland (Manchester Central/Miller’s Dale/Derby)
carry the line from Miller’s Dale, and which closed to side. Both sides had identical semi-circular end windows, and
passengers from 6th March 1967, although part is still used for this made the station instantly recognisable.
A visit I particularly wanted to make was to the Museum of
Science & Industry, located in the old Liverpool Road station
in Manchester. Buxton – Manchester Piccadilly services seem
The transhipment shed at Whaley Bridge on 30th June. 27001 Ariadne at the Manchester Museum of Science &
Industry on 1st July.
The following day began with a drive through the spectacular
Goyt Valley on the A5004, before I stopped at Whaley Bridge popular; they run hourly, and the journey takes about an hour.
– canal, road and rail have little space between them – where Class 156 units are the mainstay. Getting to and from the
the old canal basin and transhipment warehouse have been Museum is easy – board a free no. 3 Metroshuttle bus (similar
excellently restored. Later in the day, I was at Miller’s Dale to our Optares) outside Piccadilly station and alight at Quay
St. Although there’s a strong railway element to the Museum,
most interests are catered for and make sure you visit the
adjacent Air & Space Gallery across the road – plenty of cars
and planes with a Manchester connection! There aren’t many
The Buxton Tram in all its glory on 30th June (note the
Victorian post-box behind).
station (or what’s left of it) where trains went to Buxton, whilst Matlock Bath station on 2nd July.
main line services connected St Pancras, Derby, Matlock and
Manchester. An unusual feature of this line is the Midland
route’s running beneath the London & North Western’s
Buxton line through Dove Holes Tunnel*. Being a pleasant
locos on show, but one of the MSW Class 77s – 27001 Crich isn’t far away, and three trams were operating – two
Ariadne - was repatriated from Holland and is still in NS livery. from Blackpool and Southampton 45, a rare example of
upstairs knifeboard seating, which meant that passengers sat
The Heights of Abraham are adjacent to Matlock Bath station, back to back instead of in rows, and was designed on
and are now accessible by alpine-style cable cars. Once you account of the city’s narrow Bargate Bar. My evening meal
reach the top there’s the usual attractions, an excellent view was taken at Carriages Italian Restaurant in the village of
of the surrounding area, and it’s worth spending 10 minutes Newhaven. The interior has been fitted out to resemble a
or so looking at a video of the system’s construction in Pullman dining car, and whilst a few authentic railway relics
1983/84 (French expertise was called in). Whether, having are dotted about the majority seem to be reproductions.
reached the top, you choose to go down the Masson Mine is
another matter! Matlock Bath station is unusual with its The week nearly over, it was across to Wirksworth and the
Continental-style buildings. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, coinciding with their Classic
Bus Weekend. The Duffield – Wirksworth line lost its
Heights of Abraham cable cars on 2nd July. passenger service from 16th June 1947; aggregate traffic
provided a lifeline for the preservationists. The line re-opened
The drive to Hartington on the A515/B5053 requires little over its entire length from April 2011. Heritage multiple units
comment, but do not cut the corner (as directed by the sign) (50170/59303/51188 on 5th July) operate the line, though the
and instead take the B5054 into Hulme End where the very short onwards connection to Ravenstor was worked by
Manifold Valley Visitor Centre is alongside the main road. Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST (AB2360/1954) Brian Harrison
Who remembers the Leek & Manifold Light Railway from their propelling d.m.u. 50599. Duffield station (EVR) adjoins its
railway reading? It ran from Hulme End to Waterhouses main line namesake, and is modern, but there is no rail
where a standard gauge connection was made. It depended connection to NR. Heritage buses were plying between
on milk traffic from Ecton, but after the creamery closed in Wirksworth and Derby. If you’re planning a visit to the EVR I
1933, the railway closed in 1934. Although narrow-gauge, think it needs to be combined with some sort of special
standard gauge wagons, and later milk wagons, were weekend. (Edward Mann)
transhipped on narrow-gauge flat wagons. And the Visitor
Centre is a good place to pause for refreshment – in days of Editor’s Note: * - This is difficult to explain without a map, but
yore it was the engine shed. if you refer to Page 52 of Baker’s Atlas, you’ll see the red line
curving round from Peak Forest towards Chinley which will
High Peak Junction sounds rather grand; it was the point put it in context. This part of the old Midland Main Line is still
where the Cromford & High Peak Railway met the Cromford open for aggregate traffic.
Canal, and for the keen walkers and cyclists represents the I appreciate the area may be unfamiliar to some; if so, I think
southern end of the High Peak Trail, some 17 miles long. everything can be followed from books/maps/internet. Failing
Although there’s a Visitor Centre and the usual array of that, I’ll be pleased to help.
artefacts it may not be wise to linger in view of the pervasive
smell from the nearby sewage works! “The Ravenstor Shuttle” on 4th July (see text).
The East Suffolk Line & Related Issues – Part 1 (Rod Lock)
In August 1981 I moved from Henham in Essex, nearest In the early years, the first DMU ran through to Colchester,
station Elsenham, to Oulton Broad. At that time I was working where it was routed into the Down Main platform – a slow
at BRB Headquarters in the Planning & Investment speed movement because the clearance of the subsidiary
Department, which meant a daily journey from Oulton Broad signal from Up Main to Down Main was approach controlled.
South to Euston Square and back. Out on the 0530 or If you were so inclined, a quick dash down the stairs, along
thereabouts – the time varied with the timetable changes – the subway, and up another set of stairs, might enable you to
and returning on either the 1650 through train or the 1830, catch an Up Clacton service which would be running in as the
changing at Ipswich. In 1988, by which time I was nearing Lowestoft DMU came to a stand. It was not an assured
(early) retirement, I usually caught the “East Anglian” to connection. This uncertainty annoyed one regular London-
Norwich, then on to Oulton Broad North. bound commuter, Dick, who joined the train at Woodbridge.
Dick had a love-hate relationship with BR – the staff working In 1956, F6 2-4-2T 67230 (a long-term Ipswich resident) waits
on the East Suffolk were the good guys – those working south to leave Aldeburgh with the branch service. (Richard
thereof were most definitely the villains! The slow entry into Adderson collection.)
the Down Main platform he attributed to the bolshie attitude of
the signalmen in Colchester Power Signalbox, once delays and disruptions, each affecting return journeys. One
proclaiming: “Colchester – first town in England invaded by involved a Freightliner derailment at New Hall, Chelmsford,
the Romans, some of whom are still working for BR”! If he another a dewirement on the Down Main in the same area ,
missed the Clacton service he would head straight to the and the last involving a fire at Bethnal Green. That evening I
Inspectors’ office and vent his feelings. The Inspectors was on the 1830 ex-Liverpool St, which departed at 2000, but
eventually got the measure of him with a softly, softly just as we reached Wheler St Junction, outside Liverpool St,
approach: “Calm down; sit down; have a cup of tea”. Well we came to a stand. A train had failed ahead, presumably
done them. blocking Bethnal Green West Junction. After a short delay, a
Station Inspector piloted us back into Liverpool St and we
One morning, having caught the Clacton service, we were soon departed on the Down Electric.
delayed at both Kelvedon and Shenfield. On both occasions
the guard quickly informed us that the delay was caused by a An aside; Bethnal Green featured in two incidents I dealt with
track circuit failure, which would be repaired during the in the Signalling section in the Liverpool Street Traffic
morning and would not delay (obviously not) our return Manager’s Office. One evening Liverpool Street was not
journey. As the train was approaching Liverpool St, he made performing at all well, with trains running out of sequence at
the following announcement: “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the beginning of the evening peak. This should not have
sometimes useful to reflect on what might have been. Had we caused the Bethnal Green signalman any problem – it was
not been delayed at Kelvedon and Shenfield we might have the busiest single-manned signalbox in the Network South
arrived at Liverpool St on time. Your train crew thank you for East area – nevertheless he routed the 1633 to Clacton on to
your forbearance and look forward to renewing your the Down Fast towards Hackney Downs, thinking it was the
acquaintance in the very near future”. The captains of 1636 “Fenman” to King’s Lynn. The driver was also at fault –
industry in the First Class compartments lowered their FTs the relevant rule in the BR 1950 Rule Book, Rule 127 (viii),
and murmured approvingly. Some time later, I mentioned this states that if approaching a junction the signal is lowered for
to an old mate - we were booking clerks together at Swaffham the wrong route, the driver must whistle for the proper route
and if not lowered he must bring his train to a stand at the
The view is from Saxmundham’s new Down platform as a
Class 101 d.m.u. heads towards Ipswich on 23rd June
1984 (Richard Adderson).
- by then he was one of the Operating Assistants at
Colchester. He immediately recognised the guard, explaining
that, as a lay preacher, making such an announcement would
have come easy to him.
There was drama one morning when, passing BX Plastics’
private siding at Manningtree, the fire alarm sounded in the
driver’s cab. The driver decided that to bring his train to a
stand at the Cattawade was not a good idea, and continued
to nearby Manningtree station where passengers were
quickly detrained and the DMU promptly despatched to the
Up siding. The fire brigade were called but the alarm was
found to be a false one.
On reflection, I wish I had kept a diary of timekeeping. I think A Derby “Lightweight” d.m.u. waits at the north end of
it was pretty good bearing in mind that the 7¼ years of travel Saxmundham station before taking the next branch trip to
embraced Electrification, Resignalling and the early stages of Aldeburgh on 21st May 1966. There was no bay platform for
the Liverpool St Redevelopment. Ipswich station was branch trains. (Richard Adderson collection.)
resignalled while trains continued to run., which would not be
permitted today. The Clapham accident put paid to that.
Inevitably there were serious incidents, which caused serious
directing signal and contact the signalman. Both the driver
and the Bethnal Green signalman were disciplined; the driver
accepted the charge but the signalman said that he had
received an incorrect description from Liverpool St box, which
could not be proved.
The District Civil Engineer considered that drivers were
exceeding the Permanent Speed Restrictions through certain
junctions, citing the Up Fast (from Hackney Downs) to Up
Main junction at Bethnal Green East Junction. Dick Hardy,
then the District Motive Power Superintendent, Liverpool St,
was always firm but fair with his footplatemen. He knew that if
he disciplined them using the DCE’s evidence they would
question the reliability of the equipment used. The DCE could
not give the required assurance so no action was taken.
To return to the East Suffolk, and late running on the GEML
in the evenings, before the introduction of Radio Electronic
Token Block (RETB) signalling the closing down of the East RETB-time! The “Stop” boards are self-explanatory. This a view
Suffolk on weekday evenings could not be extended to from the north end of Saxmundham station with a train from
permit late running of the last train because resident Sizewell passing on 14th October 2011. (Richard Adderson.)
crossing keepers had to be on duty early next morning for
the first up train. Special bus connections were, therefore,
provided from Ipswich for East Suffolk line passengers. On
one of the occasions mentioned above, Ipswich Buses Following this reprieve, economies were made, booking
provided the bus, but the company had given their driver only offices were closed, except for those at Lowestoft and
a hand-drawn map, a straight line with dots showing the Ipswich, and Paytrains introduced. Signalling was simplified
stations to call at. Furthermore, the driver did not know how to by the closure of six signalboxes. But no significant
access any station so he was guided by a fellow traveller and investment was made; services were kept going by increased
me from Oulton Broad. However, as Brampton was only levels of maintenance. By the early 1980s investment
accessible by a very narrow country road, and with no facility became unavoidable, in particular, the telegraph route was in
to turn a bus round, we conveniently forgot to go there! danger of collapse and track renewals were necessary, some
track in the Saxmundham area was laid on locomotive ash,
The line was listed for closure in Dr Beeching’s Reshaping although this was not uncommon on more rural branches.
Report, as was the Aldeburgh branch. However the many The eternal problem arose – how to operate a secondary
protesters were able to demonstrate this would result in route at an acceptable level of cost. The answer was RETB.
hardship, in that journey times by replacement bus services The Scottish Region was in the forefront in that the pole route
would be considerably longer compared with the existing rail on the Far North line, north of Inverness, had been destroyed
journey times. In June 1966, the Minister, Barbara Castle, in a violent storm and, to enable trains to be signalled, bell
reprieved the East Suffolk but agreed to the closure of the signals were transmitted between signalboxes by radio. This
Aldeburgh branch, which occurred in September of that year. kept services going, but did not reduce operating costs.
In Volume 1 of his 1800 page 3-volume magnum opus of the
history of British Railways and Britain’s Railways 1948-2005, The BR Research Department at Derby was asked to
Dr Terry Gourvish states that the Minister was advised by her produce an innovative, cost-saving solution. In collaboration
officials it would make good sense to announce the reprieve with BR’s Signal and Telecommunications Department, RETB
of the East Suffolk to counterbalance “awkward consents” emerged.
such as the Great Central. [To be Concluded.]
a selective look ahead at local railway events
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY, GER Society (Norwich Branch) and Norfolk Transport Group meetings take place (unless
otherwise stated) at: United Reformed Church Hall, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR4 6QR
Events are listed in good faith, but visitors should check with the organisation concerned before travelling.
Great Eastern Railway Society (Norwich Branch) - contact Mike Fordham
Norfolk Transport Group - contact John Laycock
Services on our Local Railways
Ashmanhaugh Light Railway, East View Farm, Stone Lane, Ashmanhaugh, NR12 8YW, has running every first Sunday of the
month 1400-1700 weather permitting. Please go to: www.ashmanhaughlightrailway.co.uk
Barton House Railway, Hartwell Road, Wroxham, NR12 8TL has running every third Sunday of the month – email:
[email protected] – Tel: 01603-782008.
The Bure Valley Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.bvrw.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
The Mid-Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.mnr.org.uk - or telephone 01362-
The Mid-Suffolk Light Railway, Brockford Station, Wetheringsett, IP14 5PW - For details of individual events please visit their
website www.mslr.org.uk or telephone 01449-766899.
The North Norfolk Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.nnrailway.co.uk - or telephone 01263-
The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway is now running a daily service until the end of October. Please go to: www.
wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk or tel: 01328 711630 (up to 1700 please).
The Whitwell & Reepham Railway - For details of individual events please visit their website - www.whitwellstation.com - or
AUGUST Fri -Mon MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - Dereham Beer Festival.
22nd - 25th Sun WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Steam Sunday – Victory in steam; Driver Experiences
NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - Grand Steam Gala.
29th - 31st Fri - Sun MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY - Late Summer Diesel Gala.
29th - 31st Fri - Sun
SEPTEMBER WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Steam Sunday – Victory in steam; Driver Experiences
7th Sun available.
NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY - Members’ Summer round-up.
18th Thur 1930 WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Beer Festival & BBQ.
19th - 21st Fri - Sun NENTA TRAINTOURS – “Settle, Carlisle & Cumbrian Coast Circular”. From Norwich (0430
20th Sat approx) then via Ipswich & Ely to the Settle & Carlisle & Cumbrian Coast Lines. Alternatively,
cruise on Lake Windermere & ride on the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway. Norwich return 0040
20th - 21st Sat - Sun approx. Fares from £66.75. First Class & Premier Class available.
25th Thur 1930 Details: www.nentatraintours.co.uk or tel: 01692-406152.
2nd Thur 1930 NORTH NORFOLK RAILWAY - 1940s Weekend.
GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY SOCIETY (Norwich Branch) – Members’ Night.
4th Sat 1015 -
4th - 5th 1630 NORFOLK RAILWAY SOCIETY – Joint Presentation – “Diesel Train Driver” – Roger
Kingstone & “The Train to Soller” – Bob Brister.
Sat - Sun
BROADLAND MODEL RAILWAY CLUB & BURE VALLEY RAILWAY – Model Railway Exhibition –
5th Sun Jubilee Centre, Aylsham. Park & ride available from Wroxham.
5th Sun 1000 - MID-NORFOLK RAILWAY – Dereham to Wells (50th Anniversary of Closure). Heritage Railcars;
1700 Intensive timetable; Vintage bus tours of the old route & Trains to Hoe.
9th Thur 1930 WHITWELL & REEPHAM RAILWAY – Steam Sunday – Victory in steam; Driver Experiences
FORNCETT STEAM MUSEUM – Annual Model Engineers’ Day.
NORFOLK TRANSPORT GROUP – “Bus Matters” – David Cooke.
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