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The Broads' lost rail link remembered at museum

At the Museum of the Broads for the launch of the new Lost Railway of the Broads exhibition were, from left, Geoff Evans, chair of trustees, Peter Bower of Barton House Railway and M&GN Circle, Nicola Hems, curator, and Caroline Male, vice chairman of trustees. Picture: MUSEUM OF THE BROADS

At the Museum of the Broads for the launch of the new Lost Railway of the Broads exhibition were, from left, Geoff Evans, chair of trustees, Peter Bower of Barton House Railway and M&GN Circle, Nicola Hems, curator, and Caroline Male, vice chairman of trustees. Picture: MUSEUM OF THE BROADS

Archant

Six decades have passed since a railway line linking the Norfolk Broads to the rest of the country was closed down.

The new Lost Railway of the Broads exhibition at the Museum of the Broads. Picture: MUSEUM OF THE BROADSThe new Lost Railway of the Broads exhibition at the Museum of the Broads. Picture: MUSEUM OF THE BROADS

And now the 'Lost Railway of the Broads' has been remembered in a new exhibition of that name at the Museum of the Broads in Stalham.

About 80 people were at a launch event for the exhibition, which looks at the line that ran from Great Yarmouth, through Broadland and onto Melton Constable.

Nicola Hems, curator, said: “From there, people and goods could travel to anywhere in the country.

“For the first time, tourists from London and the Midlands could visit the Norfolk Broads and coast.

North Walsham Railway Station in 1959, on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLENorth Walsham Railway Station in 1959, on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLE

It was the start of the holiday industry our area enjoys today.

“All of the track and most of the buildings were removed long ago, but many local people still remember it.”

“The exhibition considers at how important the railway was to the Broads' holiday industry and the impact of its loss on Broadland.

Part of the old Midland and Great Northern (M&GN) network, the line was open for more than 70 years, but actually closed in February 1959, four years before the so-called Beeching Axe which saw thousands of miles of track closed across the country.

Potter Heigham Bridge Halt, part of the old Norfolk Broads railway. Picture: RM CASSERLEYPotter Heigham Bridge Halt, part of the old Norfolk Broads railway. Picture: RM CASSERLEY

The displays explore how the M&GN - once known as the 'Muddle and Get Nowhere' network became 'Missed and Greatly Needed'.

Other highlights include a model of Potter Heigham Bridge and its Halt, and of Catfield Station – complete with locos and carriages. There are posters, tickets, photos, memorabilia from Yarmouth Beach Station. Two women who grew up in a railway family in Martham share their memories on an audio guide tour.

There are also items on loan from, or made by, the M&GN Circle, the Barton House Railway, the 32A Model Railway club and Museum volunteers.

Ms Hems said: “If you like steam trains, holidays or nostalgia, this is one for you.”

Passengers alighting at Sutton Staite on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLEPassengers alighting at Sutton Staite on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLE

Guests at the launch included the museum's patron, Henry Cator, museum friends and volunteers, members of the Barton House Railway and M&GN Circle, and the 32A Model Railway Club, as well as enthusiasts and collectors.

The Lost Railway of the Broads' will be on display until the end of the 2019 season at the Staithe Road museum, which is open Sunday to Friday, 10am-4.30pm.

Stalham Railway Station on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLEStalham Railway Station on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLE

The Caister Camp Tantivy on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLEThe Caister Camp Tantivy on the old Broads railway, Norfolk. Picture: MEMBERS OF THE M&GN CIRCLE

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