TERMINUS OF THE M&GN BRANCH to NORWICH
When the M&GN was closed at the end of February 1959 the section from Melton Constable to Norwich City Station remained open for freight. You will see this from the second of the documents in my post on The End of the M&GN. Particularly important was the traffic from Lenwade, where concrete girders and sections of precast buildings were produced. Access to the rest of the railway system was through the Cromer to Melton Branch. The Themelthorpe loop shortened the distance considerably and enabled the closure of the northern part of the line to Melton. This short piece of line connected the M&GN with the former “Round the World” GER line to Reepham and was not built until after the closure of the M&GN. I will just say a word about the “Round the World” line. Trains on this line ran from Wroxham through Reepham, Cawston to Wymondham. Naughty boys could go onto Norwich Thorpe with a Platform Ticket (price 1 penny – 1d) and by chosing their connections right could leave on the Cromer line and come back to Norwich on the Cambridge line, all for the price of a platform ticket. Hence the phrase “round the world for a penny”!
City Station remained open until 1969, being closed on the 3rd February, after which the line terminated at Drayton. The now derelict City Station remained until it was demolished in 1973. These pictures were taken shortly before the contractors moved in. It is not commonly known that one piece of original architecture of City Station still remains. This is the red brick wall either side of the entrance to Pickford’s in Heigham Street, with panels lined in blue brick. At one time the whole of the City Station yard was encircled by this wall. In the photo of the water tower you can see Pickford’s Warehouse in the background, so this is in a sense also a part of City Station still remaining, but not an original part dating back to the 1880s as the wall is.
My sister emails me from Calgary: In March or April, I think it was– anyway, early 1949 just after you were born and about the time you became so ill, Great Aunt Gertie, widow of Raymond Rivett, Granddad’s brother, died in Beeston Regis. They were a childless couple, and had left their money to nephews and nieces. Mummy was to inherit a thousand pounds– a huge amount of money at the time, more than Daddy’s annual income. So it was important that she be represented at the funeral. She obviously couldn’t go, and I think Daddy was on the hospital run– up to Jenny Lind every four hours for Mummy to feed you. So I was sent, by train. It was a bleak day, as only a Norfolk day in spring can be. I travelled to Sheringham. I can’t remember how I got to Beeston Regis church, but I did. A very dreary funeral at which the Rector referred to Aunt Gertie as our departed brother! Then back to Norwich. But there was no suitable LNER train, so I went by the M and GN all round the north Norfolk coast, eventually coming inland at Lenwade. It took hours! City Station, which served the M&GN, had of course been bombed by then, though I think there was still a platform– can’t really remember. But I do remember the occasion, and feeling rather pleased with my twelve-year-old self for doing the family duty! .