He may have retained his Lancashire accent, but for Ray Davies Norfolk would become the platform from which he launched a successful and long-running enterprise. 

Mr Davies, who has died at the age of 76, had been interested in railways from a young age. 

But it was during the mid-1970s that he became truly enthused after joining several British Rail-organised 'rail cruises'.

Many of these excursions involved travelling overnight to places such as Blackpool and Oban, Fort William and Loch Lomond in Scotland.

These trips would become the inspiration for him to do something similar, starting closer to home.

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Raymond Bowden Davies, known by all as Ray, was born in Burnley, on January 22, 1946, to parents, Nella and John. He had an older half-sister, Jean. 

His father left home when he was a young boy, so he spent his childhood with his mother in and around Burnley, Bradford, and Keighley.

He fondly recounted memories of climbing trees for conkers, falling and breaking his arm on one occasion. 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: A NENTA Traintours poster - Picture: NewsquestA NENTA Traintours poster - Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

His first job after leaving school aged 16 was with a television rental and repair firm.  

After a holiday to Norfolk in the early 1960s, his mother decided to uproot them from the north and settled in Sea Palling and subsequently Bacton. 

Mr Davies took up window cleaning in Norwich with a friend. Their successful round included properties in The Close and Newmarket Road. 

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During the mid 1960s, he started hosting discos in the Bacton Institute and, with the help of friends, launched The Ray Anton Disco which went on the road to weddings and parties.  

The disco had two turntables and an old telephone receiver was used as the way to mix in the next record. They group also rigged up homemade lighting.

Expanding his capabilities, on the day of the moon landing, Mr Davies installed an old black and white television for everyone to watch the event.

During this time, he met Sarah, who he would later marry.

The couple had a son, Stuart, and lived in North Walsham before moving to a new-build bungalow at Happisburgh where they remained for 14 years.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: NENTA Traintours founder, Ray Davies - Picture: NewsquestNENTA Traintours founder, Ray Davies - Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

By this time, he had sold his disco equipment and took up television DXing, the hobby of receiving and identifying distant radio or television signals or making two-way radio contact with far-off stations.

This brought him friends from as far afield as Derby and the Netherlands. 

In the early 1980s, he became a member of the North East Norfolk Travellers' Association (NENTA) and decided to organise train tours to support the association, thus founding NENTA Traintours. 

It ran successfully for nearly 40 years and took passengers from Norfolk and Suffolk on days out across the country including on special trains until the Covid pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 programme. 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: There would often be early morning starts and late evening finishes for the passengers of NENTA Traintours. Picture is one of the trips pulling into Great Yarmouth station - Picture: NewsquestThere would often be early morning starts and late evening finishes for the passengers of NENTA Traintours. Picture is one of the trips pulling into Great Yarmouth station - Picture: Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

The trips usually started in Norfolk, often at his home station of North Walsham, but also picked up passengers in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, and other locations.

The day trips ran all over the country, including to places such as Edinburgh, Plymouth, Yorkshire, North Wales, and the south coast.  

Mr Davies ran the trips with Sarah.

In recent years they divorced but remained good friends and she continued to help him organise the excursions.

He was always at the heart of these trips and would meet and greet passengers, many of whom were regulars that he came to know personally.  

Mr Davies died on Saturday, January 13, following ill health. 

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