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A Birthday Trip to Sheringham, Norfolk

by Arthur Cox

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My 87th birthday was on 8th September 2017 and my daughter Nicola took me out for the day. A trip to the steam railway at Sheringham, Norfolk (UK).  I haven’t visited this area since 1998 and it was good to see the countryside.

The journey there from Tiptree took just over two hours. We arrived at Sheringham railway station and parked the car paying for all day parking. Then got train tickets for the trip to Holt. Nicola realised that this was her very first “concessionary” ticket anywhere.

railway-ticketNicola’s ticket

There was a steam locomotive due to leave shortly and went on that train. The trains are pulled alternatively by steam and diesel engines. Nice old fashioned coaches that had many memories for me of the days when I commuted to London by steam trains.

arthur-in-the-carriageArthur in the carriage

We had good views of the Norfolk countryside and were soon able to see the sea beyond a field or two. I liked the “clickety-click” of the rails – a sound that is not heard on modern tracks. And the good old steam whistle from the engine. A short stop at Weybourne station where we could have broken our journey had we so wished. I noticed how very wooded the country was and a lot of the trip was through woodlands. We arrived at Holt station the end of the 5½ mile journey. Much smaller than Sheringham but a museum there also. We found that Holt town was 1½ miles walk away and decided to stay at the station. We also found that car parking at Holt station was only £1 per day as against £7 at Sheringham.

We looked at various engines and tried photos of various things. My old camera was set on video which I didn’t know and so I had some strange images of moving engines, the sky, my own feet and bits of buildings.

engine-53809-2One of the Steam Locos

We sat in the shade under a shelter and had our packed lunches. Then we explored the station and goods yard and the museum. Noticed that there was a “Minor Holt” station with a miniature railway there.

We admired the clean and tidy state of the stations and buildings – architecture that is unmistakably “railway style”. And with realistic trolleys and piles of old style travel cases.

station-gardens-at-holtThe neat stations and gardens

finger-post-at-holtOld Style “finger post”

railway-style-gablePicture of barge boards and joining post.

We decided that we would return to Sheringham on the next diesel train.

diesel-engine-approaching-stationDiesel engine approaching station

Once you are in the carriage it doesn’t matter much which type of engine is in use. Now the carriages were different – long open central corridor type.

interior-of-the-coachThe open type carriage

I admired the way the volunteer staff dressed in old style uniforms and many have beards and moustaches. There was much waving of flags and blowing of the whistles by the guards.

Over towards the sea we could see Weybourne village and Nicola pointed out to me the large number of wind generators out in the sea but my sight was not good enough to make them out against the sky. weybourne-with-wind-generators-out-to-seaView of the sea and Weybourne.  If you enlarge this you may just make out the wind generators.

Back at Sheringham we looked around in the station shop and I bought a calendar for next year – pictures of railways and engines.

We decided to make for Cromer further along the coast and found that town very crowded and busy with traffic and tourists. Then out eastwards with the idea of going round the coast road instead of heading straight back via Norwich. We had a hold up for a time due to a bad road accident and then onwards via North Walsham.

We went on towards Stalham and then south via Wroxham and the bridge over the water. Nicola pointed out the well known Roy’s shops.

Nearing Norwich we intended going on the east side ring road but the satnav had other ideas and we found ourselves heading further and further into the city. That was not what we wanted at all. When we saw the castle and cathedral looming up ahead of us we decided to go back. Then an awkward reversing in a small carpark and back to the ring road and then round on the west side of the city.

roads-round-norwichBy now it was late afternoon and so we met all the rush hour traffic. Round Ipswich and then round Colchester and we arrived back at Tiptree just after 6.0pm – rather later than we had first intended. So 3½ hours to get home. A round trip of 206 miles. And we had very good weather all day.

A good trip which I enjoyed – I haven’t been out and about very much lately.

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Some more pictures:

colmans-mustard-vanColeman’s Mustard from Norwich

delivery-truckDeliveries from station to home

diesel-d6732-37A Diesel Engine

steam-engine-near-fenceSteam engine No 53809 arriving at station

An internet link to other restored railways:

http://www.heritage-railways.com/nnr.php

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