Plaque recalls Yarmouth station
Alan Thompson A FORMER Great Yarmouth railway station could have been forgotten and slipped in to the dark passages of time had it not been for the work of the town's Archaeological Society.
A FORMER Great Yarmouth railway station could have been forgotten and slipped in to the dark passages of time had it not been for the work of the town's Archaeological Society.
On Saturday, around 40 people attended an event to mark the closure of the Great Yarmouth Beach railway station 50 years ago and Yarmouth mayor Terry Easter dedicated a blue plaque at the former site, in Nelson Road North.
He said that although he had lived in Lowestoft as a young man, he had used the railway line to visit relatives in Stalham.
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He said: “Ironically, the last train to Lowestoft on this line was not from Southtown station as we might have expected, but was the 11.30pm train which left Beach station by way of Breydon viaduct to the south.”
Erecting blue plaques is part of an ongoing programme by the society to commemorate the history of the borough
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Chairman Andrew Fakes said: “Although we knew it as the Midland and Great Northern (M&GN), it began as the Great Yarmouth and Stalham Light Railway and the line opened between Yarmouth and Ormesby on August 7, 1877. It reached Stalham on July 5 in 1880 and became Yarmouth and North Norfolk Railway in that year. The line then connected to Peterborough in 1883 and therefore it was part of the national network.”
In 1893, the line was in financial difficulty and was rescued by the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway. Later the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) took it over and in 1948, the British Rail network was nationalised.
By 1958, low passenger numbers and freight receipts resulted in an annual loss of �640,000 a year with the need to spend half a million pounds on prot-ecting the line from the sea at Caister.
The line closed on February 28, 1959.
Mr Fakes said: “We should remem-ber it was built in an era before the easy transport of people and goods. It replaced a system based on a three times a week horse-drawn coach from Stalham, carriers carts from each village and wherry transport on the rivers.”