So the date was set to give us a different experience on the North Norfolk Railway (NNR). A month earlier than usual our date coincided with the Vintage Transport Weekend. This gave us an intense train timetable with buses and other road vehicles to use or view whilst on display.
We originally didn’t have the use of a reserved coach nor the usual NNR hospitality afforded by the use of the Dining Set. With a week to go and yours truly enjoying a holiday in Fife near to St. Andrews a subtle change to our itenary was given to us by our friend Hugh Harkett, MD of the NNR.
We would have the use of the Severn Valley Railway’s GWR Inspection Saloon on loan to the NNR and a TSO behind. Our first trip would depart 30 minutes before the arranged meet-and-greet was scheduled to take place. How does that work!?!
I managed to obtain the list of attendees from our online data store and sent an email to those with such facilities (sadly missing one important attendee more of which later) then telephoning the others. One call was to the shareholders coming from the North East by people carrier. They were already scheduled to set off at 5am. To be on the 10:00 departure they needed to rearrange their departure time which they did to 4am.
Travelling down on the Thursday beforehand we met up with others for an evening drink discussing the arrangements within earshot of the party I’d omitted to inform of the changes. They heard about the earlier departure of the people carrier from the north east but not the rearranged train departure time.
Come the day we arrived at Sheringham station in good time to park and meet p with the NNR’s Events Organiser to discuss fine detail. The party form the North East arrived in good time. The stock for our train was shunted into the platform, the refreshments loaded and evryone shepherded onboard. A runaround with our list revealed two no-show parties and a couple of general public who were ushered to the rear of the train. A message had been receivedfrom the Chairman, Mike Elliott that he and his party would be catching the second train. An email informed us of another party that couldn’t attend on the day. So one party unaccounted for.
We set off on time with one shareholder on the footplate acting as ‘Owner’s Representative’. This was special as the ashes of former shareholder Goeff Alcock were put into the firebox on Kelling Bank accompanied by a long toot on the whistle.
Food and drink was distributed as we mingled with the shareholders and swopped around so we all enjoyed the comfort of the Inspection Saloon. Most had had enough after the 3rd round trip but a hardy 5 remained in the GWR Inspection Saloon for the 4th and last round trip.
We held an on-board raffle which raised £164 and received some donations on the day.
From the happy smiling faces we saw at the end of the day everyone enjoyed themselves immensely.
Thank you to all at the NNR for putting on a special mini private event in the middle of a much larger public event.
We are already looking forward to next year’s event