On Saturday September 27th, our intrepid shop manager, Stewart Green, ably assisted by Jim Nicholson, led the Trust’s first sponsored walk along the Southwold Railway trackbed. Following the original route as far as possible, Stewart walked the 10-mile-plus length of the lower Blyth Valley from Halesworth Station to Southwold Station, taking in Wenhaston (where he was able to enjoy traversing the cleared section of trackbed that the Trust owns), Blythburgh (where one original SR building remains), and Walberswick, where a Trust seat and plaque show the site of the station building.
The walk was in the aid of the Trust’s new Heritage Train Project – all monies raised will help in the building of the three-foot-gauge SR mixed train which is currently being built by volunteers, with the help of local contractors. Stewart and fellow-traveller Jim (and the SR Train) arrive at Southwold Station
Stewart was carrying with him a set of his exquisite scale models of the SR heritage train – so we can now say that a SR train has traversed the trackbed for the first time since closure in 1929. We look forward eagerly to the time when the full-size version can do the same.
The following day saw a railway social event in Lowestoft. The “Ricketty Shed Garden Railway”, brainchild of SRT members and volunteers Richard and William Stone, attracted many families and enthusiasts for an afternoon of steam, tea and cake in their beautiful garden: a great time was had by all – and some small children had practically to be dragged away at the end.
The extensive, landscaped, 45mm gauge railway, with live steam and electric power, replicates the Southwold Railway, with passenger and freight stock, locomotives and stations hand-built in memory of the historic iron road.
All proceeds were dedicated to the Heritage Train Fund.