Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Norfolk Ramble, part 3 - The bus stop's here!

Bus shelter on Station approach, SheringhamBus shelter at Sheringham, 11/04/14

This little structure stands on Railway Approach in Sheringham, just by the entrance to the North Norfolk Railway station. I can't tell you much about it other than I believe it dates from the 1930s and I'm guessing that it once had Crittall windows filling those huge holes in the walls.

But take a closer look at what's inside!

Bus shelter mural, SheringhamM&GNJR locomotive mural, 11/04/14

A mural depicting a Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway class C 4-4-0 steam locomotive, a type that would have operated on the former M&GNJR line that runs a few yards behind the shelter. This area became known as Poppy Land after the term was coined in the 19th century by the poet and theatre critic Clement Scott and the NNR is marketed as 'The Poppy Line' hence the abundance of Poppies in the mural.

Unfortunately I've no idea who the artist is, if anyone can furnish me with that information I'd be grateful.

Edit:Thanks to Clive Hughes for letting me know that Colin Seal is the artist in question, for more information on Colin's work see this BBC Norfolk article.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Norfolk Ramble, part 2 - North Norfolk Railway

As usual, a trip to Norfolk means a visit to the North Norfolk Railway, easily one of my favourite heritage lines.

The warm weather had certainly brought plenty of visitors and even the first train of the day (the 09.45 from Sheringham-Holt) was pretty full. NNR stalwart 8572 (a London & North Eastern Railway B12 class 4-6-0) had no problems with its train of four coaches and one parcels van though.

LNER B12 class 4-6-0 8572 runs round its train at Holt on the North Norfolk RailwayLNER B12 class 4-6-0 8572 runs round its train at Holt, 11/04/14

The NNR is home to all sorts of beautifully restored items, from locomotives, carriages and buildings right down to this set of fire buckets, complete with Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway cast sign.

Fire buckets at Sheringham on the North Norfolk RailwayFire buckets at Sheringham station, 11/04/14

A return visit was made the following day (more on this later) as I was hoping to photograph BR Standard class 4MT 2-6-0 76084 in action (I'd missed getting a shot of it the day before) but it wasn't to be… Great Northern Railway N2 class 0-6-2T 1744 (visiting from the Great Central Railway) was out and about instead.

GNR N2 class 0-6-2T 1744 departs Weybourne with a train for Holt on the North Norfolk RailwayGNR N2 class 0-6-2T 1744 departs Weybourne with the 13.44 service to Holt, 12/04/14

I thoroughly recommend a visit to the North Norfolk Railway if you're in the area, I'd even go as far as to say make a special trip if not! The combination of steam, sea views and (if you're lucky) sunshine really is unbeatable!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

A Norfolk Ramble, part 1 - Middleton Towers

I usually manage to fit in a railway-related detour on any long car journey and last week's trip to North Norfolk was no exception with a brief stop being made to photograph a sand train at Middleton Towers.

Located on the former Great Eastern Railway (originally Lynn & Dereham Railway) line between King's Lynn and Swaffham the former Middleton Towers station site is now used as a loading point for sand trains from the SIBELCO UK quarry at Leziate.

66722 prepares to depart from Middleton Towers66722 prepares to depart from Middleton Towers with train 6E84, 11/04/14

We arrived just as GB Railfreight's 66722 Sir Edward Watkin was about to leave (27 minutes early) with train 6E84, the 08.20 Mondays and Fridays only (MFO) service to Rockware Glass at Doncaster.

66722 departs from Middleton Towers66722 makes its way across the level-crossing at Middleton towers, 11/04/14

Sir Edward Watkin (1819-1901) had links with numerous railway companies and projects but is probably best known for being Chairman of both the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway (that changed its name to the Great Central Railway in 1897) and the South Eastern Railway and for his aborted scheme to build a railway tunnel under the English Channel. Work began on the latter in 1880 and a pilot tunnel extended over 6,000 ft from Shakespeare Cliff before Parliament brought the project to a halt believing it would 'compromise Britain's national defences.'

The '3M 11C' marking on the crossing gatepost refers to the location's distance of 3 miles and 11 chains from the station at King's Lynn, a chain being a unit of length that measures 66 feet (there are 80 chains in one mile).

66722 departs from Middleton Towers66722 heads for King's Lynn, 11/04/14