County School Station

All photos can be enlarged, by clicking on them.

As it was brighter today, I took Ollie on the short journey to County School Station, just past North Elmham. It is now maintained by the Mid Norfolk railway, (MNR) an organisation of volunteers who restore trains and track, and put on special events. They currently run trains between Wymondham and Dereham, and are attempting to restore the old line to the coast at Sheringham, via Holt. County School Station is currently the end of the line, and the tracks run out just past the end of the platform. You can see this by enlarging the photo.

At this time of year, the station cafe and visitor centre is closed, but free car parking and pedestrian access is left open for anyone interested in visiting. If you enlarge this photo, you can see the old original signs that remain.

This area has many level crossings, a hangover from the days when trains ran regularly.

The station was built in 1886, as part of the London & North-Eastern Railway. (LNER) Its main purpose was to serve the nearby County School, which became the Watts Naval School, an institution for training orphans for careers in the navy, and run by the Dr Barnardo Charity. It was closed to passenger traffic in 1952, and taken over by the MNR in 1998.

The covered benches have been lovingly restored.

And there is evidence of ongoing carriage restorations too.

Ollie liked the change of scene, and was happy to scamper off along the nearby grassy path. But he absolutely refused to appear in a single photograph today!

Sony RX10 camera, apertures of f4 and f5.6. Most shots taken wide-angle at 24mm-35mm. All straight j-pegs from the camera, with no post-processing other than to reduce file size by 50%.

70 thoughts on “County School Station

  1. “Fair Wear or Free Pair.” I’ll buy a pair of those boots!

    But speaking of trains, here’s an excerpt from


    To experience an authentic train ride, take a trip to Boulder City, located only 30 minutes south of the Las Vegas Strip. This is the original train track used to bring supplies to the Hoover Dam. Today, guests can ride the train and listen to history about Boulder City, the city responsible for building the dam.

    Guests have the option of riding in an open air car or in one of the air conditioned/heated Pullman coaches. … In addition to the recorded narration, volunteers dressed in railroad attire are available to answer any questions and share fun facts during the ride.

    The train ride is seven miles round trip and drives up to Railroad Pass casino and back. The entire ride is 45 minutes long…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pete, as I told you, the great Travel Writer Paul Theroux wrote a terrific book called “The Kingdom By The Sea” – it’s one of his first, and he takes local trains around all of Great Britain…this was 40 years ago, and he wrote of the smaller lines in trouble…I bet most of the trains he took are now gone….this is a great collection of photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. Most of those small branch lines were closed from the late 1950s until the late 1960s. It’s possible that many of the lines he used 40 years ago may still exist, but you can bet service will be minimal these days.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like a perfect day for a walk and an interesting place too. My husband loves trains and anything related to them so this is a place he would especially enjoy. Great pictures too. Someday I need to learn to reduce the file size of photos I want to post. I end up cropping them in order to get them to a reasonable file size but end up losing something in the translation.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for taking the time to give such great instructions! πŸ™‚ I don’t have Photoshop but have been thinking of getting it. Too cheap I guess. I’ve been using the free Windows crop function that came with my computer, but it’s pretty basic and I lose a lot of my photo to get a smaller file size. 😦 I upgraded my WP Plan early on to get additional storage but at the rate I’m going that will run out too So time to upgrade to photoshop. Looks like it’s a monthly cloud subscription, the cheapest at $10 a month. I don’t know if you can just straight out buy a package anymore. I’ll shop around. thanks again for your help. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Susanne, do you have Photoshop?
      My friend sent me a guide to size reduction.

      Right click image, select ‘Open With Adobe Photoshop’
      Photoshop opens with your selected photo in a window.
      From the top bar, select ‘Image’, then ‘Resize’.
      Change the new menu that appears to ‘Percent’
      Change the 100 to 50, and OK. (or save)
      Then from the top bar select ‘File’, then ‘Save As’
      Select ‘Desktop’ from the next menu, and give the photo a title, then OK (or save)
      A small menu appears with options.
      Select 5 or 6 in the small box, and OK (or save)
      When you close or minimize Photoshop, the resized image will be on your desktop.
      Right click desktop to create a new folder, Title it ‘Resized – whatever’ so you know the file it is in.
      Then add that photo to your media library in Wordpess.

      This way, you can post 50% more photos for the same allowance. If you want, you can reduce the percentages down to 30%, and post three times as many.
      Because I didn’t do this from the start, my allowance is already close to 60% used up.
      If I had always reduced files, it would only be around 35%.

      Best wishes, Pete.


  4. If there is one thing I love it’s trains. And this just looks really amazing 😊 I love this really old look it has, and I would definitely be interested in visiting that place if I were ever in the neighbourhood.
    If you ever end up visiting Holland, I highly recommend visiting the train museum in Utrecht. It’s terrific. Wonderful post Pete, and I loved the pictures 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Michel. The main MNR station at Dereham has a lot more trains. Also a signal box, and a crane! πŸ™‚
      I have been to Holland, but it was only four days in Amsterdam. A long time ago now, July 1989, on a short honeymoon with my second wife. Because we were going on our ‘real’ honeymoon of a Nile Cruise in the December, we had a long weekend away after the wedding. I ate so many pannenkoeken, (Savoury ,and sweet) because I love them so much!
      Best wishes, Pete.


      1. Well, than if you ever plan to visit Holland again in the future: I’ll buy you some pannekoeken, and take you to one of the best restaurants for them 😊 (oh, and I love them too by the way! 😊).
        Amsterdam is great, but I honestly think Utrecht as far as Holland goes, is for me the best city (not that I have been to every city in Holland mind you 😊😊).
        I have noted that city down as well (Dereham), I like the sound of that 😊

        Liked by 1 person

          1. It looks amazing! I like small towns, they just have something really cozy. And even if you can see everything in 30 minutes, I could still spent an entire day in such a town 😊
            Leiden is terrific…also a very beautiful city (and it has a very cool museum as well 😊). Well…if you ever do visit Holland, let me know: I’ll be more than happy to show you around: and ofcourse treat you to those pancakes! 😊

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow…and another place to visit. I think I might have to permanently start living in England…so many cool places to go to 😊😊
        Have to agree though, it looks truly impressive. Thanks for sharing this 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I could do with a pair of them boots πŸ™‚
    I often ventured up to Embsay railway station as a lad, a very similar set up, although I just checked the website and they have come on quite a bit since I was last there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just use photoshop to reduce them by 50%, then add them to my WordPress ‘Media library’. When I click ‘Insert into post’, they appear like that. It’s not some process I have ever meant to do.
      The original files are around 7 mb each, so I shrink them to save on my allowance of space. But even without that, they still show up as ‘clickable’. One click to enlarge, then a magnifying glass icon appears, to zoom in for very small details.
      Here is a WordPress link about images.
      And a link from that page.

      If that doesn’t help, let me know. I will ask Jude for you. She will know. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That might be it. But if you ever need a definitive answer, I will ask Jude in the comments.
          (My few mobile phone photos are not clickable on this blog, so that’s probably because the files are too small)
          Cheers, Andy.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Charming Pete. The covered benches are ironically British, are they not? I’ve seen them in many British movies, or so it seems. They are beautiful. And cool. Please update us with photos when the carriages are refurbished–and, of course, we always up for pics of Ollie. Naughty boy, being camera shy. Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The benches are very English, Pam. You see similar examples in seaside towns, and in most old stations too. Ironically, they fail to offer much shelter from heavy rain, as the roof is usually too high relative to the seat. πŸ™‚ Ollie is a ‘Houdini’ where the camera is concerned.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They rely on donations, and the ticket money from the special events. But all the members are volunteers, and they do work hard to keep the restoration going. I’m not a natural ‘railway nut’, but I do love the history. However, their special days, especially steam trains, are always sold out, with people travelling from all over the UK to see the trains. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The photos are great….old train stuff is interesting and I wish that we had the ability to preserve the past but instead we destroy and put up some a metal and glass abortion…..kudos my friend….chuq

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is because of the enthusiasts giving their own time, and in some cases money too, that such restorations are possible. I like to support them when I can, even if only by publicising their efforts.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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