Backscene George Dent,
Musings we couldn’t fit into the issue elsewhere, but which seemed very important at the time… Deputy Editor
Passing the time in Thetford recently, I was impressed by the attractive station buildings. Only after exiting the platforms and mooching about the car park did I realise that the station actually has two main buildings, boasting contrasting architectural styles and materials. The original random stone structure dates (I think) from the 1840s and, although partly boarded-up, features ornate gables and chimney stacks. The ‘new’ building is a red-brick affair that may look a little austere at first glance, but actually possesses some fine detail touches. Featuring an incised name and opening date (1889), this building is still in use as a ticket office and waiting room. Recent re-signalling work has sadly consigned the semaphores to history, yet Thetford’s signal box remains, albeit out of use and appearing unloved. A siding and traces of the goods yard are also intact, with a traditional wagon height gauge still in situ. Thetford would certainly make for an interesting modelling subject, with the quintessential Railway Hotel across the car park completing the scene. This was part of my first ever visit to Norfolk and, after travelling along a few lines emanating from Norwich, I’m eager to return and explore more of ‘Alan Partridge country’! Modelling hours this month: 30 Note to self: Explore more of Norfolk’s surviving (and preserved) railways.
Above: Thetford’s old and ‘new’ station buildings – contrasting architectural styles and materials.
Inset above: The newer structure features plenty of attractive brick patterns, as well as incised lettering and build date.
Right: Although now out of use, the signal box remains, as does much of the goods yard – even the old wagon height gauge!