A Nostalgic Journey

One of my local friends in Beetley sent me a link to this (silent) cine-film clip from 1968. It shows a train journey from Dereham Station into the city of Norwich. At the time, the line had been threatened with closure, and was eventually closed. You can still take the shorter train journey from Dereham to Wymondham, but only on special heritage days run by a volunteer preservation society.

I still think of 1968 as being very modern and progressive. But looking at this film, it feels as if it could have been shot not that long after WW2.

This is the text that accompanies the film on Facebook, posted by Russell Walker.

Video clip ‘Threat of Closure’ which shows a train journey from Dereham to Norwich Thorpe via Wymondham in 1968. Duration 10m 7s, no audio.
Edward Thorp, known as ‘Chib’, an undertaker from Leigh on Sea, spent his weekends throughout the year documenting the rail routes in East Anglia with wife Edna and their dog Micky. Chib always took along his 8mm camera, a good supply of Kodachrome film, and a tape recorder, to document their trips. On this journey Thorp travels from Dereham Central, passing through Yaxham, Thuxton, Hardingham, Kimberley, Wymondham, and Hethersett, arriving at Norwich Thorpe Station. The title ‘Threat of Closure’ refers, presumably, to the cuts made to many rural rail routes and train services following the Beeching Report.’

28 thoughts on “A Nostalgic Journey

  1. 1968, a good year (I was born then)
    It must have bee about this time of year as well, the blossom was out on the hawthorn at the side of the track. They still operate many of the level crossing manually out here in the country, although stop signs are more common and you take your chances 🙂
    I used to travel to Keighley to go to tech college on a diesel not unlike the ones shown, my final stop was Worth Valley and I got to see the old steam stock at the other side of the platform most days, proper trains 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a big fan of old railway photography. This is a great film and very good quality for 8mm. Recognised all the cars seen at railway gates and car parks etc. I used to like it that in these old DMUs you could sit right at the front and see down the track through the driver’s compartment and pretend you were the driver. We weren’t all rushing about everywhere then were we.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved seeing the cars too. At the same time as this film was made, I was commuting from Bexley in Kent into New Cross Station, South London, to go to my comprehensive school. After changing trains at Sidcup, then arriving at New Cross, I had to get a bus along the Old Kent Road to my school. It was all paid for then by a ‘school pass’, which I could even use at weekends.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Strange how New England seems to be ‘banned’. Theo just watched it, and he is in the Pacific North West. Wilma eventually managed to see it, and she is in Chicago.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  3. I have taken short train rides when they are available. Ontario, Michigan, and here in Washington. When I was a child of 4 we moved from Wisconsin to Indiana by train. I still have pieces of that trip in my memory. When I was 11, I took a train from Madison WI to Milwaukee to see a Braves game. I have lots of those memories. Thanks for dredging them up with this video. Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I commuted 15 miles each way to school by train, from the ages of 15-17. It looked a lot like the one in the film, except it was longer, and in South London/Kent borders. That was around the same time as this film was being shot in Norfolk. Happy to stir up some memories.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another time, another place…. I enjoyed the trip through space and time…

    Las Vegas hasn’t had passenger train service since the demise of Amtrak’s Desert Wind in 1997. There has been talk of a high-speed rail passenger train connecting Southern California to Las Vegas for years now. Projects have come and gone… The latest is that of Xpress West, which is to be operated by Virgin Trains USA. Whether or not construction gets underway this year remains to be seen…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is UK Facebook, Wilma. I had to have 3 tries at getting it on the blog, as I am not on Facebook. But Kim could play it, and she lives in Alabama. And david too, in Las Vegas. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.


  5. Lovely little film, and in colour, too! I always enjoy these, and it only serves to underline [sorry] the tragedy of the desecration of our railways at the hands of Beeching, at the behest of Marples with his road transport financial interests. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

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