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13 hours ago, Edwardian said:

We have, I recall, touched on the architectural similarities between flinty Norfolk and flinty Sussex.  The latter very much Undiscovered Lands for me.

Just wait until you discover Mathematical Tiles.

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Maps ....

 

The Opening Post now has this system map included in the section dealing with the WNR

 

952141908_WNRMap-Copy.jpeg.47205577f1a5bf2c7223bcf129dc4d46.jpeg

 

Wolfingham 

 

Turning to the matter of the Wolfringham branch ...

 

Much of the history of this branch has been investigated by Nearholmer, rather than by me, and he has created the maps below.  Before we turn to them, a little bit of background might assist.

 

I suggest a construction date of 1876 for the main branch to Wolfringham Staithe and harbour. This suits Nearholmer's wider history, I am told. 

 

So, the WNR opened a line from a junction north of Castle Aching to Wolfringham via Aching Constable in 1876, which latter place, during the 1880s, was developed into the WNR's Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Works. Subsequent to the building of the Wolfringham Branch, a further line was built out of Aching Constable to the south, linking to the GER via a spur to an end-on junction at WNR Trinity Hallsend - GER Magdalen Road.  The mainline continued to sweep south through the Thetford Forest to terminate at Bury St Edmunds (Milddenhall Road), in Suffolk.  I propose 1882 for this extension.  Later (1885) a junction on the Wolfringham branch was formed by the addition of the GE-WN Joint Bishop's Lynn Tramway. Thus, the Wolfringham branch starts from a pretty bustling railway hub and then rather peters our!

 

Wolfringahm is a minor port, like Birchoverham Staithe, and the chief source of seabourne coal from the North East on the the stretch of coat east of Lynn, though, whereas Bishop's Lynn's new (1880s) docks can accommodate the larger, modern steam colliers, Wolfringham sees the last of the wooden collier sailing brigs, a model of one of which would be a rather fine thing.  Thus, we have a harbour dedicated to coastal trading and perhaps some fishing.

 

The other notable local feature is the shrine to our Our Lady of Wolfringham, which attracts an annual pilgrimage that causes the branch's passenger receipts in one week to exceed those of the rest of the year. This is all a little spells, bells and smells for my simple Anglican tastes, but never let it be said that the world of Castle Aching is anything but ecumenical; we welcome those of all faiths and none.    

 

Notoriously there was an ill-fated attempt to develop Shepherd's Port as a genteel resort to rival to Hunstanton (Hunstanton was once genteel, trust me on that).  Nearholmer was very much on the money dating the branch extension to 1897. There is a large and largely redundant hotel, also funded by the WNR.  When the resort proved a flop, it was the straw that broke the line's financial back, having over-extended itself with the Bury and Norwich extensions in the 1880s, the development of Birchoverham-Next-Sea also in the 1880s, lots of new stock (1880s-1890s), the development of the Aching Constable Works (1880s) and permanent way renewals (1890s). Finances had largely recovered by 1905, however, but there were a few very precarious years around the turn of the century.  As part of the retrenchment measures, the Wolfringham Branch was downgraded to Light Railway status.

 

The other notable feature of the Wolfringham branch is that it provides the WNR's connection with the, thus far somewhat shadowy, Norfolk Minerals Railway. 

 

Turning to the maps, these were drawn at various times by Nearholmer,  I have deleted such features as I believe post-date 1905 and added some additional information in type in order to place the scene.  I think the detailed plan of the station needs some work to reconcile it to the general map, assuming I understand it correctly, but this is an evolving story.

 

Comments and amendments welcome.

 

787051435_WNRWolfringhambranchNMR-Copy-Copy.jpg.9165f2f210e7c1542d2bcf42cae35e00.jpg

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The only change the station plan needs in my mind is to rotate it 180 degrees - I think it then matches.

 

There is something to be thought about in respect of how the WNR crosses the GER, which I started on yesterday evening, but then got distracted by reading about shrines - we need to decide whether the shrine is ancient, forgotten, then revived, and if so what parent abbey/monastery it was associated with, or whether it was newly established in C19th as the result of somebody having a vision. I know next to nothing about shrines except perhaps in Ireland, where the tradition is far stronger and there are all sorts, from newly realised to quite obviously converted from pagan well/spring devotion.

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1 hour ago, Edwardian said:

Maps ....

 

The Opening Post now has this system map included in the section dealing with the WNR

 

952141908_WNRMap-Copy.jpeg.47205577f1a5bf2c7223bcf129dc4d46.jpeg

 

Wolfingham 

 

Turning to the matter of the Wolfringham branch ...

 

Much of the history of this branch has been investigated by Nearholmer, rather than by me, and he has created the maps below.  Before we turn to them, a little bit of background might assist.

 

I suggest a construction date of 1876 for the main branch to Wolfringham Staithe and harbour. This suits Nearholmer's wider history, I am told. 

 

So, the WNR opened a line from a junction north of Castle Aching to Wolfringham via Aching Constable in 1876, which latter place, during the 1880s, was developed into the WNR's Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Works. Subsequent to the building of the Wolfringham Branch, a further line was built out of Aching Constable to the south, linking to the GER via a spur to an end-on junction at WNR Trinity Hallsend - GER Magdalen Road.  The mainline continued to sweep south through the Thetford Forest to terminate at Bury St Edmunds (Milddenhall Road), in Suffolk.  I propose 1882 for this extension.  Later (1885) a junction on the Wolfringham branch was formed by the addition of the GE-WN Joint Bishop's Lynn Tramway. Thus, the Wolfringham branch starts from a pretty bustling railway hub and then rather peters our!

 

Wolfringahm is a minor port, like Birchoverham Staithe, and the chief source of seabourne coal from the North East on the the stretch of coat east of Lynn, though, whereas Bishop's Lynn's new (1880s) docks can accommodate the larger, modern steam colliers, Wolfringham sees the last of the wooden collier sailing brigs, a model of one of which would be a rather fine thing.  Thus, we have a harbour dedicated to coastal trading and perhaps some fishing.

 

The other notable local feature is the shrine to our Our Lady of Wolfringham, which attracts an annual pilgrimage that causes the branch's passenger receipts in one week to exceed those of the rest of the year. This is all a little spells, bells and smells for my simple Anglican tastes, but never let it be said that the world of Castle Aching is anything but ecumenical; we welcome those of all faiths and none.    

 

Notoriously there was an ill-fated attempt to develop Shepherd's Port as a genteel resort to rival to Hunstanton (Hunstanton was once genteel, trust me on that).  Nearholmer was very much on the money dating the branch extension to 1897. There is a large and largely redundant hotel, also funded by the WNR.  When the resort proved a flop, it was the straw that broke the line's financial back, having over-extended itself with the Bury and Norwich extensions in the 1880s, the development of Birchoverham-Next-Sea also in the 1880s, lots of new stock (1880s-1890s), the development of the Aching Constable Works (1880s) and permanent way renewals (1890s). Finances had largely recovered by 1905, however, but there were a few very precarious years around the turn of the century.  As part of the retrenchment measures, the Wolfringham Branch was downgraded to Light Railway status.

 

The other notable feature of the Wolfringham branch is that it provides the WNR's connection with the, thus far somewhat shadowy, Norfolk Minerals Railway. 

 

Turning to the maps, these were drawn at various times by Nearholmer,  I have deleted such features as I believe post-date 1905 and added some additional information in type in order to place the scene.  I think the detailed plan of the station needs some work to reconcile it to the general map, assuming I understand it correctly, but this is an evolving story.

 

Comments and amendments welcome.

 

787051435_WNRWolfringhambranchNMR-Copy-Copy.jpg.9165f2f210e7c1542d2bcf42cae35e00.jpg

 

After looking at your map, I was inspired to study a railway map of Norfolk from Pre-Grouping times up until the present time. I was shocked at how much of the network has gone, not so much decimated, as duas ex tribus interficere.

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This is the least implausible that I can come up with, four years on from when I previously tried, and came-up with exactly the same answer! The WNR has to cross the GER on the level, because the lie of the land says so. Going under would involving being flooded too often, and going over would be far too expensive, because so much fill would need to be imported.
 

76B742BE-4B88-4FA1-9FA4-C3184012DAC9.jpeg.5be392dd1ea4fb13c3dfcbc8a0abf638.jpeg

 

It could be a direct flat crossing, rather than two junctions, but either way is going to involve paying the GER for signalling, track maintenance, staffing a signal box etc. The place to study might be the WHR/Cambrian crossing in Portmadoc, although there I think the minor railway came first, in the form of the Croesor Tramway, so cost probably fell to the Cambrian. [Actually, maybe not a good example - it appears to have caused an absolutely immense amount of legal wrangling over the years!]

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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This isn't getting the lawn mown, but it is quite educational. https://catholicherald.co.uk/the-history-and-survival-of-englands-shrines-to-our-lady/

 

I'm wondering if the folk tradition that Our Lady's Isle, a small hill in the midst of Drossingham Fen, had been a site of pilgrimage in ancient times might have turned into a full-blooded revival, with the building of a new chapel, when a shepherd sheltering his flock there during a storm uncovered a statue that had lain buried just below the surface for four centuries or more.

 

I'm thinking that the story of the discovery of the statue would be particularly powerful if the shepherd had thrust the but of his crook into the ground, and struck something solid, whereupon the sky suddenly brightened and the sun broke through the clouds. Would make a particularly dramatic large oil painting in the high Victorian style I think.

 

Views?

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Does it have to be on the flat? The ground was sufficiently undulating that a railway on an embankment shouldn’t be too demanding. You could then tie in with a high level, low level station setup, not often seen in a model. Three Cambrian examples, Builth Road, Minffordd, Whittington.

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Northroader,

 

I've gone over it on maps, particularly the very good zoomable topo map with spot-height facility, twice, cycled round it, and walked round it, and I still keep coming back to the flat crossing. 

 

The ground is indeed quite rumpled once you come up a tiny way above the river/fen area, but to use that, one would have to come up out of the broad valley of the Cabbingley that one would naturally follow from Flitcham, then descend again to get to the harbour.

 

I'm currently being driven mildly insane by self-imposed-near-lockdown, so if the weather is suitable one day next week, maybe I'll waste a lot of time and petrol by driving over there to have another look. Of course, I'll have to use the map with the fold in it.

 

Kevin

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3 hours ago, Edwardian said:

Maps ....

 

The Opening Post now has this system map included in the section dealing with the WNR

 

952141908_WNRMap-Copy.jpeg.47205577f1a5bf2c7223bcf129dc4d46.jpeg

 

Wolfingham 

 

Turning to the matter of the Wolfringham branch ...

 

Much of the history of this branch has been investigated by Nearholmer, rather than by me, and he has created the maps below.  Before we turn to them, a little bit of background might assist.

 

I suggest a construction date of 1876 for the main branch to Wolfringham Staithe and harbour. This suits Nearholmer's wider history, I am told. 

 

So, the WNR opened a line from a junction north of Castle Aching to Wolfringham via Aching Constable in 1876, which latter place, during the 1880s, was developed into the WNR's Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Works. Subsequent to the building of the Wolfringham Branch, a further line was built out of Aching Constable to the south, linking to the GER via a spur to an end-on junction at WNR Trinity Hallsend - GER Magdalen Road.  The mainline continued to sweep south through the Thetford Forest to terminate at Bury St Edmunds (Milddenhall Road), in Suffolk.  I propose 1882 for this extension.  Later (1885) a junction on the Wolfringham branch was formed by the addition of the GE-WN Joint Bishop's Lynn Tramway. Thus, the Wolfringham branch starts from a pretty bustling railway hub and then rather peters our!

 

Wolfringahm is a minor port, like Birchoverham Staithe, and the chief source of seabourne coal from the North East on the the stretch of coat east of Lynn, though, whereas Bishop's Lynn's new (1880s) docks can accommodate the larger, modern steam colliers, Wolfringham sees the last of the wooden collier sailing brigs, a model of one of which would be a rather fine thing.  Thus, we have a harbour dedicated to coastal trading and perhaps some fishing.

 

The other notable local feature is the shrine to our Our Lady of Wolfringham, which attracts an annual pilgrimage that causes the branch's passenger receipts in one week to exceed those of the rest of the year. This is all a little spells, bells and smells for my simple Anglican tastes, but never let it be said that the world of Castle Aching is anything but ecumenical; we welcome those of all faiths and none.    

 

Notoriously there was an ill-fated attempt to develop Shepherd's Port as a genteel resort to rival to Hunstanton (Hunstanton was once genteel, trust me on that).  Nearholmer was very much on the money dating the branch extension to 1897. There is a large and largely redundant hotel, also funded by the WNR.  When the resort proved a flop, it was the straw that broke the line's financial back, having over-extended itself with the Bury and Norwich extensions in the 1880s, the development of Birchoverham-Next-Sea also in the 1880s, lots of new stock (1880s-1890s), the development of the Aching Constable Works (1880s) and permanent way renewals (1890s). Finances had largely recovered by 1905, however, but there were a few very precarious years around the turn of the century.  As part of the retrenchment measures, the Wolfringham Branch was downgraded to Light Railway status.

 

The other notable feature of the Wolfringham branch is that it provides the WNR's connection with the, thus far somewhat shadowy, Norfolk Minerals Railway. 

 

Turning to the maps, these were drawn at various times by Nearholmer,  I have deleted such features as I believe post-date 1905 and added some additional information in type in order to place the scene.  I think the detailed plan of the station needs some work to reconcile it to the general map, assuming I understand it correctly, but this is an evolving story.

 

Comments and amendments welcome.

 

787051435_WNRWolfringhambranchNMR-Copy-Copy.jpg.9165f2f210e7c1542d2bcf42cae35e00.jpg

 

I lived in the west of Norwich for a short while over thirty years ago, so would be interested as to where the Norwich West station is to be located. I have been looking at my old ordnance survey maps of the area, and find myself surprised as to how close I was living to the track bed of the dismantled Midland and Great Northern joint railway line. The flat that I was living in looked out over the river Wensum, and the line ran a little further back on the opposite side of the river.

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14 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

Northroader,

 

I've gone over it on maps, particularly the very good zoomable topo map with spot-height facility, twice, cycled round it, and walked round it, and I still keep coming back to the flat crossing. 

 

The ground is indeed quite rumpled once you come up a tiny way above the river/fen area, but to use that, one would have to come up out of the broad valley of the Cabbingley that one would naturally follow from Flitcham, then descend again to get to the harbour.

 

I'm currently being driven mildly insane by self-imposed-near-lockdown, so if the weather is suitable one day next week, maybe I'll waste a lot of time and petrol by driving over there to have another look. Of course, I'll have to use the map with the fold in it.

 

Kevin

 

There is no substitute for such local knowledge; this is as close as I could get using Google Maps and it's not particularly close.

 

If you were minded to capture photographic images of the locus in quo, that would be a boon. 

 

The view below is from near to the 'Catnaps Cattery' and is looking inland to where the GE's Lynn & Hunstanton line once ran.  Remember those desolate views from the line in the seaward direction in the Betjeman documentary?

 

 

457795704_LookingtowardtheLHR.jpg.e8997b4b3b6040f935f6ca082498c4f2.jpg

 

 

EDIT: Close up of the crude route map.  The 'survey' is only approximate

 

133100828_WNRMap-NorthernCentral-Copy.jpeg.7452630039f8cbcdbaf2e7440f70d24d.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Edited by Edwardian
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5 minutes ago, rocor said:

 

I lived in the west of Norwich for a short while over thirty years ago, so would be interested as to where the Norwich West station is to be located. 

 

So would I.

 

I don't know the area at all, so any thoughts you may have would be most welcome.

 

 

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OK, using the church at Wolfringham as our bearing point.

 

Approaching the church along the road from the SE. The gravel road on the left, across the front of the church leads to the WNR station. A little further down the road we are on you can see a house that is the crossing cottage where the GER crosses.


B04AE427-6199-4E4C-BB68-BE44CF29D082.jpeg.85900076f94bcdfc2ce5a84d7e552de0.jpeg

 

Now standing beyond the GER, looking back toward the crossing cottage and church. We can see that the church is on a very slight rise.


10E449CD-056B-4AD3-889B-0CB27E9AECE3.jpeg.691afbefbdec1af20b4cec92741c19ec.jpeg

 

Now we turn around and look NW, towards The Wash across low-lying fields. The WNR is crossing our view, as shown in red, where it crosses the GER being to the left, and it’s course toward the harbour on the right.

 

D27C39BD-881A-42A4-8924-4848697748EF.jpeg.3474492f8df524123fa5184e0a29df7d.jpeg

 

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And, quite conveniently, The Daily Mail of all things has an aerial survey photo for us.

 

This makes clearer how generally horizontal the terrain is.

 

GER in blue, WNR in red, WNR station off to the left.

FA6E4174-5BF6-44C6-AE4E-484E3D97BF66.jpeg

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That is helpful.  Are we assuming that Wolferton is renamed Wolfingham?

 

I think that is your intention, and just south as I think that just south of Wolferton station is where the lines must cross.   I wonder, though, if we may not let real places keep their names?

 

Wolfringham perhaps a hamlet nearby towards the coast?

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1 hour ago, Edwardian said:

 

So would I.

 

I don't know the area at all, so any thoughts you may have would be most welcome.

 

 

 

The Midland and Great Northern Joint railway had their Norwich City railway station located in the West of the city. Could the West Norfolk Railway maybe have had an arrangement to share their terminus. If not, there are many other roundabouts on the ring road that could have been the original location for the West Norfolk's station.

 

Totally off topic and also irreverent, the White lion pub shown on the google satellite image is somewhere that I've enjoyed a few jars in the distant past. :pleasantry:

 

Then and now....

 

 

Norwich City Station.jpg

Norwich City  site.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

Are we assuming that Wolferton is renamed Wolfingham?

 

I wasn't thinking re-named, so much as supplanted by, in that Wolfringham is clearly a bigger, busier place, which simply happens to be in roughly the same location as, and share one or two buildings with, Wolferton.

 

But, as Master of The Achingverse, clearly the decision is yours.

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5 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

 

 

I wasn't thinking re-named, so much as supplanted by, in that Wolfringham is clearly a bigger, busier place, which simply happens to be in roughly the same location as, and share one or two buildings with, Wolferton.

 

But, as Master of The Achingverse, clearly the decision is yours.

 

Understood, and perfectly proper reasoning.  However, renaming a real place, as opposed to adding new ones, would be novel in my scheme!

 

I had thought something like the route below, how does that compare with your scheme?

 

1577229652_Wolfertonaerial1-Copy-Copy.jpg.fefafe1a2d14b1d9bcdde9237526d9ca.jpg

 

15 minutes ago, rocor said:

 

The Midland and Great Northern Joint railway had their Norwich City railway station located in the West of the city. Could the West Norfolk Railway maybe have had an arrangement to share their terminus. If not, there are many other roundabouts on the ring road that could have been the original location for the West Norfolk's station.

 

Totally off topic and also irreverent, the White lion pub shown on the google satellite image is somewhere that I've enjoyed a few jars in the distant past. :pleasantry:

 

Then and now....

 

 

Norwich City Station.jpg

Norwich City  site.jpg

 

The Lynn & Fakenham announced its push to Norwich in 1879, reaching it in 1882.

 

I imagine the WNR taking up that challenge.  The dates work for the WNR expansion.  How both schemes made it through Parliament remains a mystery, but clearly both companies were heading for the west of Norwich at around the same time!

 

Not sure which company got there first, but, though the angle of approach is different, both must have been heading for a similar spot to that occupied by Norwich City.  So I imagine we are looking for a plot in the general area of the MGN station.  

 

678604016_WNRMap-East.jpeg.60489cb26131859ece71d7cd6a900f4c.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, Shadow said:

Not sure if it's come up before, (quick search say's no!) but there is a ruined church to St Felix about 1.5 mile SSE of Wolferton

 

image.png.ed9e6346cd64a2e32630d4a70fea4d0b.png

Copyright Gintaras Girdzius

 

https://goo.gl/maps/VGQDG839qLxcMxQT6

 

Yep, I had spotted that.  You can see it at the bottom of the satellite view below. 

 

 

Wolferton aerial 1 - Copy - Copy.jpg

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Your route is more or less identical with what I had in mind.

 

Now that Shadow has clued me to St Felix, I’d have no objection to a mass relocation/renaming of the primary settlement to put it roughly there.

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BTW, Wolfringham is a corruption of Wuffingashaem, so called because the Norfolk royal family of the early Saxon period lived there, and they were the ones who invited St Felix over, so it all fits.

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4 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

BTW, Wolfringham is a corruption of Wuffingashaem, so called because the Norfolk royal family of the early Saxon period lived there, and they were the ones who invited St Felix over, so it all fits.

 

Perfect.  That extrapolation of 'primary world' history is very much what we aim at.

 

In the meantime, I've been doodling.  Is this the sort of thing you meant by your previous comment?

 

 

Wolferton aerial 1 - Copy - Copy - Copy.jpg

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Well, looking at Babingley on Wiki, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babingley) St Felix was the first Christian church in Norfolk.

 

A legend claims that Felix was shipwrecked on the River Babingley but a colony of beavers saved him from drowning, so in gratitude Felix consecrated the chief beaver as a bishop. The village sign records the legend, showing a beaver wearing a bishop's mitre, ministering to other beavers.

 

A shrine to Beavers, you couldn't make it up any better!

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