Saturday 7th August was a day for Oasis ladies, partners, friends and allies to step back in time and join the Mid-Norfolk Railway “Railway at War” event.
The weather forecast was not great but with tickets purchased in advance, everyone who signed up to go arrived at Dereham station at around the 9:30am agreed meeting time.
Having parked our cars tidily in the car park:
A good Oasis turn out included Beccie, Lauren, Claire & Jules, Serena, Joy & Ralf, Katie, Lorraine and myself Theresa, we all met in the station café for a quick refresh of teas and coffees, the café and the whole station was decked out in 1940’s wartime theme with event participants wearing authentic clothing and uniforms, some visitors also dressed the part adding to the nostalgic atmosphere. The train was due to depart for Wymondham Abbey station at 10:30 so we assembled on the platform alongside the local Bobbies.
Once in position we boarded the train in what turned out to be the front carriage, we were pulled by a steam locomotive and I guess assisted by a diesel locomotive at the rear. A good choice of carriage providing the full effect of sounds and smell from the steam engine.
There were a couple of stations on the way to Wymondham, firstly Yaxham which was guarded by British and French soldiers complete with built up sand bags and machine gun. The next station Hardingham was occupied by Germans, once the train stopped a German guard boarded the train and paced up and down the carriages menacingly asking for ID, I explained we were all travelling back home to Switzerland and showed him our tickets which seemed to suffice.
Upon stopping at Wymondham Abbey we got off the train and walked round the corner to a field set up with 1940’s wartime displays, stalls selling various paraphernalia and a beer tent complete with a female trio singing tunes of the era. The ground was soft underfoot and two of us realised stiletto heels were not suitable footwear (a mistake I seem to make far too often).
Eventually time for us to hit the Green Dragon pub for lunch, should have been a pleasant ten minute walk but half way there the heavens opened, we all had an assortment of rain coats and umbrellas but nothing could protect from such a deluge. Stopping for a brief moment under a tree we splashed the rest of the way to the pub absolutely dripping wet.
Trying to make myself comfortable I was wringing out the bottom of my dress creating a bit of a puddle on the floor.
Once we all settled we ordered lunch, the food was delicious, some of us had two courses and some even three👌
Beccie must have been hiding under the table. Once all paid up we left the pub and walked back to the Wymondham Abbey platform to wait for the 3:50pm train back to Dereham.
Last stop back at Dereham station we sat in the café for more drinks and chat. Everybody really enjoyed the day even though we didn’t get to see the whole programme of event.
I’ll definitely look out for this event again next year.
See you all soon