Beach comes to mid Suffolk

GALLERY Miles inland within mid Suffolk there will be a beach this weekend - as railway enthusiasts bring Felixstowe to a long lost railway line.

MILES inland within mid Suffolk there will be a beach this weekend - as railway enthusiasts bring Felixstowe to a long lost railway line.

Rail enthusiasts at Wetheringsett have decided to bring Felixstowe to Brockford Station to recreate the magic of those times at the site where they run an engines on a small stretch of track to the delight of visitors who want to learn about the old historic line.

A beach has been constructed and during this celebration weekend enthusiasts are creating an Edwardian beach scene, with boats, bathing machine, buckets, spades, Punch and Judy, and an ice cream tricycle.

The mayors of Stowmarket and Felixstowe are adding to the occasion by being present on the Saturday, to re-enact the arrival of the excursion train.

The first 60 children to arrive on the day will also be given a stick of rock. A special centenary booklet, which will be available in the shop, has been produced.

Keith Froom, a museum spokesman, said: “If any visitors would like to attend in Edwardian costume to add to the atmosphere, that would be much appreciated, as would the presence of any suitable vehicles of the era.

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“During its existence, the Middy ran trains to Stowmarket so children from the villages it served could get to Stowmarket Grammar School.

“A reunion is planned and so anyone who used to use the train to go to school in Stowmarket will be more than welcome to attend.”

The trains notoriously did not connect with the main line services, so youngsters had to wait on the platform at Haughley to catch their train - and always had to arrive late at school and leave early to be able to make their journey.

TIMETABLE: Mid Suffolk Light Railway - celebrating the centenary anniversary of this passenger service on Saturday and Sunday at Brockford Station, Wetheringsett near Stowmarket.


N 11.45am Anne Whybrow, mayor of Stowmarket, departs Brockford for “Felixstowe”. At 12 noon she arrives at “Felixstowe Station” to be greeted by Mike Deacon, mayor of Felixstowe.

N The mayors are accompanied to the beach where they meet Victor and Janet Bignell, Mid Suffolk Light Railway (MSLR) members in Edwardian costume, a Punch and Judy operator, and tricycle ice cream seller Carol Bolton.

N Greeting and welcome to the site from Andrew Cullum, chairman of MSLR accompanied by other committee members. Mr Cullum takes the civic party on a tour of the site and museum to possibly on a train ride.

N 12.45pm: Talk about the railway.

N 1.45pm: End of formal part of visit, mayoral party to continue visit independently at their discretion.

N 2pm: Display by East Suffolk Morris Men in station forecourt.

N 2.15pm: School re-union of travellers who used to take the train service in the 1940s and 50s to travel to school.

N 3pm: Celebration school train departs.

N 3.30pm: Display by East Suffolk Morris Men in station forecourt


N 12noon and 3pm: Railway talks.