Small Stations

broads-trains-berneyarms01

It was one of those ‘how did I get here?‘ moments. When I should probably have been asleep, I found myself looking at photos of particularly small or rarely used train stations. Naturally.

Berney Arms Station was a swift return to familiarity. It’s one of the least used in the country, which perhaps isn’t surprising given its location, out in the open somewhere between Yarmouth and Norwich, very much in the realm of wildlife. Its erection is all down to Thomas Berney, who owned the land when the track was being planned; he was quite happy for them to proceed, but insisted that a station be included.

I remember the days when my sisters would take me to Norwich for the day, we’d usually go by train until, at some point, we converted to the bus. I would always ask if it was going to go the Berney Arms way; it took a little longer than the usual route through Acle and Brundall, but was most definitely the more open and scenic journey. Coasting across the Broads with close-up views of Berney Arms High MillCantley Sugar Factory and Reedham was fun, and still has a certain romance about it. I highly recommend getting off at Cantley and visiting The Cock Tavern.

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I can’t remember a single passenger ever boarding or alighting at Berney Arms. My understanding is that it’s most popular on Sundays, as it’s veritably spoilt that day with the service of no less than four trains. Currently, with the pub a victim of arson and the High Mill seemingly closed more often than not, it’s perhaps not as attractive a trip as it once was, but the station will remain a curiosity, I’ve no doubt.

And, rather further from home, I got to sketching this little station shelter below: Campbell’s Platform in the Welsh country of Gwynedd, erected in 1965. Its main purpose back then was to serve Plas Dduallt, a fifteenth century manor house, connecting to the main Tan-y-Bwlch station. I took a few liberties with the reference in a bid to make it seasonably cosy, with varying degrees of success. Lots of fun, though – what a great little station!

These quiet, often secluded little stops are far more appealing to me than the crowded chaos of a large one, no matter how immaculate or warm they are. They’re like having your own little stop – as, indeed, these two were to begin with! Maybe I will look at some more of these; there was a nice feeling of being on the right track whilst making them.

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8 comments
  1. Wonderful evocative sketches Jacob, I do love the view out of the train window 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Phil. These were really refreshing for some reason, not quite sure why, but I’ll take it! Yes, I quite like that one too – a nice ‘coming home for Christmas’ feel at this time of year 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I really like those artworks. There’s something charming, romantic and a bit haunting about old town stations. I remember taking photos of Atherstone station in north Warwickshire one Sunday, alone, I felt like the last person on earth. I also remember an old episode or two of Sapphire and Steel that took place at an abandoned station – which adds to the haunting quality.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, TVTA! Having a look on Google, I really like the old station house at Atherstone – haunting in itself! There were quite a few abandoned stations in the vicinity as many of the lines were removed/replaced by road by the late 70s – sadly, many of the buildings went soon after.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the Atherstone station house is really special. I remember the building was given a grade listing, so hopefully it’ll be around for a long time to come.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks! Ahh, yes. I love taking the Tube when I visit, but suspect it’s a little less fun during the morning commute.

      Liked by 1 person

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