In August our family holiday took us to the north Norfolk coast and my treat was a visit to the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway (WWLR).
I do like the WWLR. The two main locos are 10¼ inch gauge 2-6-0 + 0-6-2 Garratts. It’s easy to describe them like that, but when you stop and think about it a 10¼ inch gauge Garrett is really rather special. On this visit the rostered loco was Norfolk Heroine. Last time I visited it was the sister loco Norfolk Hero. Now I have been hauled by both locos and I can say that I’ve completed the set. (Dangerous train spotter tendencies are emerging here!)
Perhaps the thing I like the most about the WLR is the relaxed atmosphere. The staff are friendly and talkative and the line feels like a sleepy rural line without some of the fancy polish you see on some tourist lines today. I can’t describe it so I’ll share some photos and you can see for yourself.
On the WWLR you travel along a former standard gauge branch line in a small 10¼ inch gauge carriage.
You are overshadowed by the original bridges.
You go through standard gauge cuttings.
Then it’s out into the countryside on old embankments. It’s all very charming. I’d like to capture some of these things in the model of the fictitious miniature railway I’m building (The Granta Valley Railway).
In the yard at Wells is this Great Eastern Railway coach dating from 1900.
Some of the LNER painting on the coach panels is still visible and, surprisingly, it is well preserved.
The coach will become additional seating for the cafe at Wells and the WWLR are looking for volunteers to help them restore it. I couldn’t resist sitting inside it to enjoy a slice of cake and a coffee brought from the Signal Box Cafe.
Finally, here’s a great use for an old cable drum. The WWLR have converted it into a table for small children. Somebody should model that!