05h45 11 May 2022
The railroad family is getting together again for the first time in three years on Friday (May 13)…and if you were part of the family, here’s your invitation to join the party.
The Norwich Loco Welfare Fund graciously sponsored the rig staff reunion and colleagues from other grades and depots are all welcome to join former colleagues for a long overdue catch-up.
There has always been a special bond of friendship between all those who worked on the extensive rail network that crisscrossed Norfolk.
Drivers, Drivers, Engineers, Porters, Controllers, Shunters, Flaggers, Caterers, Firefighters, Office Staff, Managers, Cleaners and many more.
From steam to diesel and electric, there have been so many changes – and short-sighted closures – over the years, but the camaraderie remains.
It wasn’t much of a job. More a way of life. Keeping the city and county moving. Passengers, cargo and mail.
One man who did more than most to keep the family together was the late John Pipe who organized the annual gatherings before his death ten years ago and driver Chris Pearson, with Peter Bacon, took the reins.
The talented former pilot and boxer John lived in Hellesdon and was married to Jean. He was a great character and a lovely man who became a good friend.
John, a proud father and grandfather, spent most of his career in the railways and was chairman of the Norwich branch of ASLEF and a founding member of the Norwich Loco Welfare Fund.
“We are all part of one big family and I hope we can do everything we can to take care of each other,” John once told me.
And he reflected: ‘It’s amazing now when you look at Riverside in Norwich, with all the shops and houses, and remember what it was like with all the engine sheds and other railway buildings.
There was a time when Norwich had three stations, Thorpe, Victoria and City, while Great Yarmouth had Beach, Southtown and Vauxhall.
Most of our towns and many villages had their own stations…today too many of them are part of local history.
The meeting takes place at Sprowston Sports & Leisure Club, Blue Boar Lane, Norwich, NR7 8RY on Friday May 13 from 5pm to 9pm. There will be a free buffet and a bar is also available. Further details from Chris Pearson on 01362 691045 or 07776 123206.
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