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Story of county’s first railway is told at new station museum

PUBLISHED: 12:52 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:52 16 June 2017

The bier in the station museum
Picture: Greater Anglia

The bier in the station museum Picture: Greater Anglia

Archant

In 1844 Norfolk entered a new transport age with the opening of its first railway line.

The line ran from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and was officially opened in the May of that year, with 200 guests on board a train on a single track standard gauge line.

At first trains left at twice daily in the city and the resort and as its popularity grew so did train schedules.

Today trains leave for Yarmouth more than 20 times a day.

To help celebrate the success of the line and its heritage one of the stops on the route has opened up a museum.

A team of local volunteers have opened a museum in a redundant building at Reedham train station to tell the story of the first railway in Norfolk.

Residents and station adopters, Catherine Ford, Colin Brown, Mike Stoker, Mike Warner and Ann Thompson have converted an old waiting room at the station into a museum.

The room on the Yarmouth/Lowestoft bound platform, was built in the late Victorian era and has been repainted in LNER heritage.

Memorabilia and artefacts from the village’s past are now on permanent display in the museum, telling the story of the Norwich to Yarmouth railway line.

All of the artefacts come from the four residents, including a bier used to carry coffins found by Mr Stoker in a dilapidated state in Cantley.

Mr Stoker said: “We’re delighted that the museum is now open and look forward to developing the displays and information to tell the story of the line.

“We hope local people will pop in from time to time and it’s been very rewarding opening up the old waiting room again and giving it a new lease of life.”

Greater Anglia’s area customer service manager, James Reeve, said: “Reedham station continues to go from strength to strength thanks to this huge community effort and we are very grateful for all their hard work and creative ideas that have transformed the station.”

The Adopt a Station scheme enables individuals or groups to adopt their railway station and contribute to its presentation.

The museum is open every Tuesday and on Sunday afternoons in the school summer holiday. Visits can sometimes be arranged outside of these times by emailing jenwarner1@aol.com

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