We meandered on a training walk for the LDWA 100 through the village of Lingwood, about eight miles from Norwich, which retains its railway service on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth line.
Not much has changed in terms of the railway in Lingwood, although some of the associated buildings have fallen out of use.
The station building survives and is now a B&B, remaining in use for passengers until the 1960s. The railway station was originally built in 1882 by the Great Eastern Railway (GER) and it sits between the stations of Brundall and Acle. The railway station building isn’t currently listed and perhaps it and the associated structures should be.
The station’s only platform. In 1891, GER allowed the placing of a box at the railway station where locals could deposit information about the local workhouse, a building which had been constructed in 1837. It’s a reminder of the community value that the stations once had, with the workhouse buildings surviving until 1976, when they were demolished for housing for the elderly.
The train line, looking towards Great Yarmouth. In February 1888, a man was killed when crossing the line to get home, leading to a bizarre situation involving a smacksman named William Benns. He saw the man, Richard Frosdick, had been injured and likely killed without the train driver knowing, but only mentioned this to a station porter after Benns had realised that he had missed his own train. Benns then went to the pub for three hours to wait for his next train and he made no inquiries as to what had happened. The coroner referred to the behaviour of Benns as “extraordinary and inhuman”, with suggestions made that perhaps Benns knew more than he was willing to admit to.
A short distance from the railway station is this building where the crossing operator would once have lived and worked from. A new crossing system has just been installed by Network Rail (not least because a train ran into it a few years ago), so it all looks new and shiny, with the crossing until very recently being operated manually. This three-bedroom cottage is still owned by Greater Anglia and is currently available to be rented for £5,000 per year, it would prove handy for those who use the railway frequently.
Also looking new and shiny is the train itself, heading from Norwich to Great Yarmouth.
Hopefully looking back on these photos in a few years, rules and requirements such as this will be just a distant memory. At the moment, we can’t use the railway network for the purposes of getting to and from walks, but hopefully that situation will change in the relatively near future.