This reminiscence is called ‘Whatever next?’ because there were times when you didn’t know what would happen next at the LMLR. I really would like to hear other people’s memories, because there were some interesting goings on at times.
One charity brought a ‘Postman Pat’.
Another brought a fire engine.
One running day in 2000, a troop of Morris dancers came and entertained.
In the tunnel during one Santa special, probably in 1995 or 1996, trains were held in the shelter, rather than instructing drivers that it was signalling by sight of the tail lamp, waiting to visit Santa’s grotto in the main shed. It was drier than queuing just outside the running shed. I know about the tunnel stop, I was that intermediate block post; it’s also where my copy of the LMLR history went, as I used the red cover to make a ‘stop’ board. We had musical entertainment, with carols, to keep the waiting train of passengers entertained, and because it wasn’t difficult to hear a departing train from the grotto, delays were not that long. I promise I’ll write about a Santa Special weekend just before Christmas.
Do remember Meg? Meg was a big black pig whose sty was to the right of the Lost Line. Meg seemed to like apples and seemed unperturbed by passing trains.
There were other animals: donkeys, horses, cats and one day I had help as guard, as my folks brought the family King Charles spaniel ‘Paddy’ to help with ticket collecting. Paddy looked out of the footwell of the guard’s seat, and enjoyed watching the very adjacent greenery flash by. Paddy attended other 7¼” railways too.
I am convinced that there were other enjoyably eccentric things that went on, but I cannot recall them. On some days the weather added to the variety (wait for the Santa Special write-up), but there was something quite endearing as a brolly-roofed train rattled by.
One day, I think I was on gate duty when we opened a paddock for additional parking, a man in his late middle age was pushing a child in a push chair. He crossed the track and stopped, and from his pocket produced a tape measure, and measured the width of the track. I think we had a polite conversation over the width of the track, but I was so wrong-footed by his actions, thus I’m not surprised I’ve forgotten the content.
I recall attending the Hethersett panto in January 1996. I had a lift to and from the venue from Vine Cottage, but had to cycle back to my room on campus. I think it was nearly midnight. I’m pretty sure it was foggy. This was before the Watton Road had the main hospital added, so was not as busy as I assume it is now.
I also remember meeting up with Bob at Don Witheridge’s railway at Hemsby. That was a mainly double track line, real signals and trains in proportion to the track size. I think Bob liked the loose coupled goods train, as one of the functions of the LMLR was that LMLR stock could also carry freight. I’m sure it did, as there was timber stored in the tunnel, in differing quantities, with no road access.
If anyone can remember anything, and if you have pictures, even better, but for any reminiscence, can you let us know through the ‘Contact’ function above?
If you belonged to a charity that came, did your group bring anything unusual? Let us know.