Pugh Ryan (Author) Guest Blog

By webchoiceadmin On April 18, 2015 · Add Comment · Pugh Ryan (Author) Guest Blog

The following is an excerpt from my next book, Kismet Quick. It is a travelogue/guide/ramble/rant through 40 of Norfolk’s towns and villages (I spent last year visiting each via public transport). Kismet Quick will be available from Spring 2015. Check ryantpugh.co.uk site for regular updates. 

 

A Morning on the North Norfolk Railway (Sheringham to Weybourne) 

North Norfolk Railway, norfolk, steam traiins
Life Goes By

Once we pulled away from the town centre the view transformed from Victorian town houses and hotels to a panorama of Sheringham’s cliff-top golf course. It was still early but the course already had players, all of them performing that classic piece of golf body language: taking off their hat, rubbing their hair slightly, putting their hat back on. The North Sea provided the backdrop. On sunny mornings like this, the North Sea looks magnificent. It turns the darkest blue. It makes you want to jump in. If I’d been out on the course, I’d have thumbed my tee into a tuft of grass near the cliff edge and simply smashed golf balls into the sea all morning, shouting ‘Fore’ with each swing. Naturally, every now and then I’d stop to remove my hat, rub my head slightly, and then put the hat back on. It would be such fun.

Pleasure, as we all know, is a short-lived thing. No sooner had I decided that the North Norfolk Railway was the best thing ever and that I really ought to ditch the day job and become a train driver than we arrived with a juddering, grinding halt at Weybourne station. The reverie was snapped. I had to get off and do some walking. I wandered along the platform. The reverie slipped back into view. (Unpredictable things, reveries.) It was a beautiful old station. The kind of thing you’d see in ITV Sunday night family dramas about evacuees.

North Norfolk Railway

The noticeable difference between this train-line and a regular train-line was that the NNR staff were clearly all delighted to be involved with the project. Every time I walked past people wearing the official uniform I’d overhear one say to the other, ‘Well, nobody told me about it.’ I’d heard the phrase used about sixteen times already that morning. It’s a phrase people use when they care. It’s also a phrase people use when they feel they ought to be involved with proceedings from a slightly higher position than that which they already hold.

I took my notebook out of my bag and realised that I’d forgotten to bring a pen. I was half an hour into my Norfolk odyssey and I’d already failed. Undeterred, I headed for the station gift shop. There was a box of NNR novelty pens just near the door. Huzah! I picked one up and took it to the till. The pen didn’t have a price on it. This became a topic of great debate to the two old ladies assigned to deal with such purchases. I stood in silence as they deconstructed the crime:

‘Someone hasn’t priced the pens.’

‘Aren’t they all 75p?’

‘I thought they were all a pound.’

‘Whoever could have forgotten to price the pens!’

‘I think all pens are a pound.’

‘Well, nobody told me.’

I paid a pound and made my exit, before it started to turn ugly. After five minutes brisk walking, it became clear that the station was situated far enough from Weybourne village for the name Weybourne Train Station to be seriously questioned by the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. The village church was still way on the horizon. But at least it was downhill. For now.

All I really wanted to do was go back and ride the steam train all day.

North Norfolk, trains, railways, steam
Old Style Carriage

2 thoughts on “Pugh Ryan (Author) Guest Blog”

  1. This is the weekend before the last full week of A to Z. You’re amazing for staying with us this long. Thanks for your commitment. You’re almost there. This event only happens once a year, so get ready for the home stretch!

    Stephen Tremp
    A to Z Cohost
    P is for Paranormal Vs. Supernatural

  2. ‘..ride a steam train all day.’ That’s got me thinking what a good idea it would be. Living within easy walking distance of a great steam railway I think I’ll have to book a day when I do just that.

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