Middleton Press

Adderson, Richard and Kenworthy, Graham
Branch lines around Cromer. Midhurst: Middleton Press, 1998. 96pp. [Series Editor  Vic Mitchell].
This highly (depressingly) uniform series is typified by this specific volume. The main features are reproductions from large scale Ordnance Survey maps which show the main features of stations and junctions plus illustrations, mainly of the lines when in use (including the old postcard type, from picture collections, etc): many are early, but some are relatively recent. There are additional notes, but insufficient attention is paid to freight or even to the nature of the passenger traffic. This book only gives a visual impression and fails to show how the railway served, or now serves, the local community. In many respects even the title is a misnomer as the line is more like a mainline than a rural branch line. In its day it carried The Norfolk Coast Express, non-stop from Liverpool Street to North Walsham, and even today the alignment is obviously intended for fast running and it is not too difficult to imagine expresses carrying the elite to stay at Gunton or in Cromer as the trains race across the broad landscapes of Norfolk, crossing the Bure at Wroxham on a bridge worthy of such trains. The series is probably more appropriate for tramway scenes where the streetscapes provide additional social focus: nevertheless some information has been gathered together in a useful way.