Little Egypt Go Off The Rails

Men of Glemsford Let Off Steam in North Norfolk

Neville as The Fat Controller

Sunday 27 September 1998 saw the Morris Men of Little Egypt continue their tradition of Dancing With Steam.

Travel By Steam
In previous years, we have danced with road-bound traction engines; this year we met the power of steam in its real environment - on Rails. 27 people, including partners and children, gathered at the hitherto unknown hour of 08 30 to board our coach which was to ferry us to the North Norfolk Railway which runs from Sheringham to Holt, on the Norfolk coast After a gentle meander through the rain-soaked countryside, including a detour to pick up John Bangs, we made our way to Holt in time to catch the 11 35 train.
Holt Staion
While waiting for the loco to run round its train we greeted other passengers with "Ring of Bells"
Boarding the train with due ceremony, we wended our wistful way to Weybourne, the first stop down the line, where we alighted and danced "Speed The Plough" and other dances
for the interest and amusement of the station staff and other travellers. Weybourne is a delightful example of a wayside station of the old Midland and Great Northern Railway Company
Weybourne footbridge
with a cast iron footbridge, a splendid signal box,
Weybourne signal box
placed unusually mid-way along one platform, and some wonderful station buildings.
Weybourne station
The station was used as a set for the filming of that grand old favourite of British TV, "Dad's Army". Camcorders were out in force to watch this latest example of semi-geriatric tomfoolery.
Dad's Army?

Exactly as planned, our valiant coach driver was there to ferry us on to Sheringham, where we visited local hostelries and ate fish and chips and danced on the sea front.
Squire Neville Takes Lunch

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

New Martin Takes The sea air
Enjoying lunch
Bluebells by the Sea Bluebells by the sea

After lunch, we re-assembled at Sheringham station for the 14 00 run to Holt.

Julie and Tommo Relax
The stentorian tones of an industrial 0-6-0 saddle tank barking its way up the 1 in 80 climb out of Sheringham, and past the golf course, was music to our ears as much as our trusty melodeon and pipes.
Back at Holt, our carefully planned itinerary involved another switch back to Sheringham by coach, for more beer, and a dance on Sheringham station (including "Milly's Bequest").
dancing at Sheringham Station
Mind the Doors!
Back on the 15 30 train, we again headed for Holt.
The sun shone late
Once there, we danced two more dances ("Fires of August" and "Vandals of Hammerwich")
Fires of August in September at Holt Steve's very last dance
before making our final run down the line in time to catch the coach home at 17 00.

Back at Holt

It was a grand day. Despite the torrential rain of the night before, we didn't see a drop on the coast. The beer was good. The fish and chips were excellent. The dancing (in Horkey gear) was fun. The trains were atmospheric and stuffed with appropriate nostalgia.
Bathing in the shadows of nostalgia

As a footnote, I have to record that my rapidly-deteriorating knees forced this to be my last formal dance with Little Egypt, although I intend to accompany them at most of their usual haunts. To mark the occasion, my elaborately-beflowered straw hat was ceremonially (and with due dignity) consigned to the flames of the loco's boiler before our last run from Holt.
The Hat Consigned to The Flames
So, as the smoke from the conflagration drifted from the chimney, the heat generated added to the power that took us homeward. Some tears were shed.
Ashes to Ashes

Page maintained by Steve Clarke, Copyright(c) . Created: 30/09/98 Updated: 21/02/2003