Little Egypt Go Off The Rails
Men of Glemsford Let Off Steam in North Norfolk
Sunday 27 September 1998 saw the Morris Men of Little Egypt continue their tradition of Dancing With 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. 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 with a cast iron footbridge, a splendid signal box, placed unusually mid-way along one platform, and some wonderful station buildings.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.
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.
After lunch, we re-assembled at Sheringham station for the 14 00 run to Holt. 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"). Back on the 15 30 train, we again headed for Holt.
Once there, we danced two more dances ("Fires of August" and "Vandals of Hammerwich") before making our final run down the line in time to catch the coach home at 17 00.
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.
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. 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.
Page maintained by Steve Clarke, email@example.com. Copyright(c) . Created: 30/09/98 Updated: 21/02/2003