Norfolk ticket office sold

A piece of railway history will stay in Norfolk and will go on display to the public after being sold at auction.

A piece of railway history will stay in Norfolk and will go on display to the public after being sold at auction.

The former ticket office from Norwich station had spent the last 10 years as a garden shed, but its history had changed with the railways. Built to sell tickets to the rush of holidaymakers travelling to Lowestoft and Yarmouth in the 1940s, when the seaside crowds died away it became an office for postmen taking mail on and off the trains.

When the postmen got an proper room of their own - until the mail moved off railways and on to the road - Peter Willis bought it for £50 out of sentimentality for the happy hours he had spent in banter with colleagues, with as many as 10 people squeezed into the 6ft square hut amid a haze of pipe and cigarette smoke.

Ten years later, it had not crossed the retired postman's mind that it was worth anything, but yesterday it sold for £250 at Durrants auction rooms in Beccles. It was bought by David Turner, who owns Wymondham station and runs a small museum there along with the tea-room.

He only discovered it was up for sale when he read Tuesday's EDP, and was thrilled with his purchase.

He said: “Thank God I take the EDP! I opened the paper and I thought, that will serve a purpose. I dearly wanted to get it because it is a nice piece of railwayana with a secret history to it.

Most Read

“It will be assembled here alongside the railway line by the railway cottages where it can be seen. I have got a purpose in mind for it but I can't say what it is yet.

“It will be smartened up and painted a nice One railway blue which will match the rest of the station. It will have a very nice potted history with a smart plaque above the door.

“It would have been a shame if it had become someone's garden shed and then broken up for firewood.”

Mr Willis said: “I couldn't believe it. I would have thought someone would have bought it for firewood. I am pleased it is going to be done up.”

He said he looked forward to visiting the ticket office in its new home, which by coincidence is just round the corner from his son Thomas.

The 95 lots from Mr Willis' collection made about £5,000 in all, of which the star performer was a 1978 Gosling 0-gauge locomotive which went for £620.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter