The Wells-Next-The-Sea Branch Via Wymondham and Dereham (OL 73)
The subject of this book is the 43 miles of railway that linked Norwich (Thorpe) to Wells-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast. The line was opened in stages and had a number of distinct parts; Norwich to Wymondham opened in 1845, and Wymondham to Dereham a year later. Continuation to Fakenham came in 1849 and Wells was reached in 1857. By 1862 the entire route was in the hands of the newly-formed Great Eastern Railway.
The line ran to the seaside, but it never developed as a true ‘seaside branch’ because Wells only became a tourist centre in the 1950s and 1960s. It remained a rural branch line, serving local agricultural industries - indeed, much of the route remained in situ as part of the railway network until the 1980s, albeit as a freight-only branch.
The northern end of the route found a new and novel use as a narrow gauge tourist line, and the Wells & Walsingham Railway - the world’s longest 101⁄4 in. gauge line - now occupies much of the former trackbed. Similarly, from 1998, the Wymondham to Dereham section was re-opened as the standard gauge heritage line, the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
Although the former Great Eastern branch lines in East Anglia were, collectively, some of the most interesting branches in Britain, they have not hitherto enjoyed much attention from writers and historians, and when the first edition of this present history was published in 1988 it was the first monograph to appear in print on the Wells-next-the-Sea branch (this new edition is some 92 pages larger than the first imprint).
The opening of the Wells & Walsingham Railway had focused popular attention on the northern part of the line and, for this reason, the first edition concentrated primarily on the former Wells to Fakenham section. Nevertheless, branch train services operated on a Wells-Fakenham-Dereham-Norwich axis, and it was impossible to tell the story of the Wells & Fakenham Railway in complete isolation; for that reason the ‘Wells branch’ was defined as a dead end branch diverging from the main line at Wymondham - a distance of 33 miles 3 chains.
This new edition of The Wells-next-the-Sea Branch contains two new chapters dealing with the route of the line, together with additional information on subjects such as the LNER steam railcars and the role of the railway in the two world wars.
Softback, 200 pages, black & white photographs, pull out map inside rear cover
Most orders are dispatched within two-three working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay (more than 10 working days), we will contact you and, where possible, give you an estimated dispatch time.
Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published.
When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time.
All orders over £20.00 are post free to all UK addresses. For orders of £20 or less, a £1.50 postage fee will be added. These are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked. If you require tracking for your, tracking options are available for a small fee. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.
Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.
Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact us, preferably before checkout.
Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.
Due to the high volume of parcels going missing, we are no longer able to send untracked orders via third party mail handling services such as Parcel Motel. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.
Some countries charge import taxes and we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.
Please note that courier services are unable to deliver to PO Box addresses. If you usually use a PO Box address, you will need to supply an alternative address if you require shipping by courier.
Updated: 1 June 2020