Come on Baby, Do the Loco-motion with Me

With low eastern skies the colour of Milk of Magnesia, I’ve been pining for the hazy days of last summer when we were giants of the steam age, quite a result for a hobbit like me. It was the hottest August bank holiday in years when we rode the Dinky toy Bure Valley Railway to…

…experience a nostalgic trip by steam on Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge railway which runs between the historic market town of Aylsham and bustling town of Wroxham, at the heart of the Norfolk Broads…

… as it says in the blurb. We choo-choo’d past lush, glowing pastures. Our green and pleasant flatland had never seemed quite so green or quite so pleasant. For the spotty trainspotters among you, here are a few snaps to put you in the picture.

And, as per, Liam had to do the silly arty video. It’s enough to make you travel sick. No, really, it is.

Ours was to be a two-centre beano, or so I’d been promised. At the end of the line, Liam had intended to press gang me onto a double-decker pleasure boat to cruise the Norfolk Broads. For the uninitiated, the Broads are a network of flooded medieval peat excavations popular with those who like to mess about in boats. As much as I love a landscape of reed-beds, grazing marshes, rare wildlife and wet woodland, it was the on-board bar which really drew me in. Sadly, the rest of Norfolk had the same idea and we couldn’t get a ticket for love nor money. We settled for a bottle by the Bure instead. Daffy, the nosey duck wasn’t too impressed by the vintage. I don’t blame him.


Roy’s Town

Roy’s Town

At the tail end of summer, we took an afternoon excursion to Wroxham, gateway to the Norfolk Broads. We expected pretty and quaint with teahouses, old pubs and happy holiday-makers splashing about in boats. We were disappointed. Anything worth preserving got bull-dozed in the Seventies. The small town is entirely dominated by someone called Roy – Roy’s Supermarket, Roy’s Pharmacy, Roy’s Toys, Roy’s Garden Centre (and, no doubt, Roy’s Baby Care and Roy’s Undertakers – a company town from cradle to the grave). Even Ronald McDonald, that global corporate clown, has thrown in the towel by flogging his sweaty burgers and thin chips inside one of Roy’s gaffs. It’s probably a franchise. Far be it for me to criticise anyone who provides local employment but what’s the special deal if Roy kicks the bargain bucket?