Norfolk steam gala at Sheringham

8572 B12

Spent a very enjoyable weekend in Sheringham for the North Norfolk Railway Steam Gala. The journey up on Saturday was long but interesting. The computer told me to take the Jubilee Line from London Bridge to Stratford, which meant I saw some of the Olympics construction, including Anish Kapoor's tower, but also meant a half-hour wait on a platform with no buffet. The two-hour journey went through Chelmsford, Colchester and Ipswich and crossed a few estuaries. At Norwich I changed onto the Bittern Line train for an hour's trip to Sheringham, via Cromer and an enormous field full of photovoltaic panels near North Walsham.

92203 Black Prince

The line ends at Sheringham, but the other side of the road it continues as the Poppy Line, and I could see steam. Closer inspection (I didn't need a platform ticket) revealed a double header of the mighty 92203, named Black Prince by its owner David Shepherd, and a Micky (Black 5) from ELR Bury: No. 45337! What a noise when they set off for Holt! Magnificent. Also in the station was LNER J15 7564 and 4936 Kinlet Hall. I must confess it's a bit odd to see a GWR engine so far east! After a cappuccino, I set off for my digs, Camberley House, up Cliff Road. The name of the street was a bit of a give-away... yes, it was a bit of a schlep up one of Norfolk's only hills. Bags dumped, I walked down to the prom and along to the harbour and a pint of Woodforde's Nog at the Camra Best Pub in Norfolk, the Windham Arms (on Wyndham Street!). The Robin Hood, up the road had a more limited selection of ales (I had a pint of Abbot) but the three-bean chilli was surprisingly good, with the accompanying veg cooked perfectly.

Pint of Nog

After a great veggie beakfast (including the best poached egg in North Norfolk) on a glorious Sunday morning, I breezed down to the station and caught the 9.46 to Holt, pulled by the J15 7564, built in 1912 at Stratford. On the way back, being pulled by Kinlet Hall, I alighted at Weybourne and waited for the beautifully restored B12 8572, hauling the 1924 LNER Quad-Art set that once carried commuters from King's Cross to the suburbs. Quad-Art? It's a four-carriage set with each carriage sharing a bogey with the next, making the whole train much lighter. I took the Black Prince train back to Holt, where it was left and we came back with Kinlet Hall. At Holt is a 2-10-0 Dub-Dee 90775, out of service. After a cappuccino and toasted teacake break, I caught Black Prince again back to Holt and returned to Sheringham with the 5MT 45337. Also on duty was a GWR tank 5619, which I kept missing. The bummer of the day was the on-off switch of my Flip Ultra II breaking, so no videos!

LNER Quad-Art set

On the way back to the B&B I called in to the Lobster for a pint of Woodforde's Wherry, thence to the Windham Arms for some Elmtree Dark Horse stout. Monday morning, after another great breakfast, headed back the way I came, except to Liverpool Street (at Norwich you can get a train to either Liverpool Lime Street or Liverpool Street London, which could be confusing to a foreign visitor!), tube to the being refurbished Farrington and back over the river to bonny Brighton.

More photos on Flickr.

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