With no motorways leading to Norfolk this UK county has continually managed to lag about a decade or so behind the rest of the country. After moving away to London after college I paid frequent visits back home wearing the latest fashions from the capital, drawing unwanted attention and sniggers from the local farmers. I thought I was fashion forward, but based on the response I may have been teetering on the edge of fashion disaster.
Fast forward a few decades and this weekend we visited Sheringham to explore the biggest live event in the North Norfolk Railway Calendar – their 1940s weekend where locals descend upon the railway station to take a ride on the steam train and smooze with other locals on the station platform who have joined them to step back in time to the days of the blitz, rationing, and utility clothing. I didn’t get the memo about the dress code so this time I wasn’t one of the folks being stared at.
Well done to all the Norfolk locals who got into the spirit of the weekend’s event. The platform was a crush of activity and you got a sense of what it was like during the war when platforms were awash with men in uniform and ladies in faux silk stockings.
1940s Photo Album
One of the trains running today
WD 90775 was built at Glasgow in 1943 as part of an order for the Ministry of Supply. The engine from new was sent abroad to work, and never worked for British Railways. The locomotive was repatriated for preservation in 1984, and has been working on the North Norfolk Railway since 2003
We may still be a little behind the times in Norfolk, but for this weekend at least this lag was embraced and honoured.