May 23 2013 Latest news:
Monday, July 23, 2012
Railway enthusiast Nigel Digby will be leading guided walks of Cromer’s rich railway heritage in August.
Imposing viaducts, the only railway tunnel in Norfolk and the remains of a long abandoned station are among the attractions on the two routes.
The first walk goes via Cromer Beach and is designed to reveal the works of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway (M&GN). The three-and-a-half mile route takes in Cromer Station and continues as far as the East Runton viaducts, which were built at the turn of the 20th century.
The slightly longer four-mile walk explores some of the hidden parts of Cromer, showing what remains of the town’s ‘high’ station, which was built some distance from the town in Suffield Park by the Great Eastern Railway.
Mr Digby will be explaining the history of the sites and telling anecdotes along the way, including a story about a dog that would regularly ride the train from West Runton to Cromer alone. Enlarged pictures of the different sites will also be available so walkers can appreciate how they looked in days gone by.
Mr Digby, who also works as a guitar teacher, said: “The railways were at their height 100 years ago, before the first world war. Only the aristocracy had cars so the railways were indispensable to ordinary people for moving goods around and travelling.
“There were two railway companies serving Cromer at that time so they obviously thought rail travel was something worth having.
“It wasn’t until after the war when there were a lot of army lorries available that road transport really started to take over.
“A lot has changed since the golden age of rail travel but there is a rich and fascinating heritage in Cromer and I hope to bring some of that alive through these walks.”
Mr Digby inherited his love of railways from his father, who was one of the founder members of an M&GN railway society.
In 1993, he published his first book about the M&GN and has since published two more as well as numerous articles and letters about railway history and modelling.
Cromer Beach and the M&GN walk will take place on August 4 and 18 while Cromer High and the GER is on August 11 and 25. Both walks will start from Cromer Museum at 11am and are expected to last two hours.
Participation costs £10 per person. Contact Mr Digby on 01263 514735 or 07949 919401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book in advance.