NORTH NORFOLK BRANCH LINES
Wells was the first North Norfolk town to be connected to the railway system, in 1857. The village of Gunton was next and got its railhead in 1876. Cromer High Station was opened in 1877. Holt, on the M&GN, was opened in 1884.
The Cromer to Mundesley line, including Overstrand & Trimingham stations, was closed in 1953. Wells to Heacham was also closed in that year; it been badly damaged in the 1953 floods. Hunstanton to Kings Lynn was closed in 1969, Almost the whole of the M&GN, except for freight only traffic on some sections, (e.g. South Lynn to East Rudham, Spalding to Sutton Bridge and Whitwell to Norwich City Station) was closed on 28 Feb 1959. The remaining section, from Melton Constable through Holt, Weyborne and Sheringham was closed to passengers in 6 April 1964, and to goods shortly after. Now the only remaining part of the M&GN still part of Network Rail is the line from Sheringham to Cromer.
Dereham – Wells was closed to passengers 5th October 1964 although freight to North Elmham lasted into the 1980s. North Walsham to Mundesley was closed 5 October 1964.
All local stations became unstaffed 2nd Jan 1968 . Freight service north of North Walsham ceased 31 Jan 1969 (n.b. North Walsham gas condensate terminal continues in use. The pipeline from Bacton runs under the trackbed of the old Mundesley line.)
The CNR spandrels at Melton Station commemorated a railway company that never came into existence.
HOLT It is stated that the pit sidings remained open until at least February 1959. (The pits were just the north of Holt Station to the east side of the line.) The pits were used to dig sand for use on the railway. I remember B12s shunting there, just across the level crossing from the station, on games afternoons in 1960 and possibly as late as 1962. But by then the pits were used as land-fill, and the gulls used to drop chicken bones, removed from thence, on our (Gresham’s) junior school rugby pitch!
WEYBOURNE The signal box now at Weybourne was moved by road from Holt, the original having been demolished. En route one of the two finials became broken going under a bridge possibly Gresham’s School footbridge (I can’t think of another road under bridge which it would have needed to negotiate). My father made a replacement on his Myford lathe, casting a lead cone for the extremity from old gas piping. As far as I am aware it us still there.
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