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Journey back on the buses

PUBLISHED: 15:20 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:36 07 July 2010

THEY were known as the austerity years, but the cars designed in the 1950s were no worse off for it.

On Sunday vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s transported visitors back in time to 1964 when a bus service using buses from the era was reinstated to recreate a rural service launched to replace the former Dereham to Wells passenger train service.

THEY were known as the austerity years, but the cars designed in the 1950s were no worse off for it.

On Sunday vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s transported visitors back in time to 1964 when a bus service using buses from the era was reinstated to recreate a rural service launched to replace the former Dereham to Wells passenger train service.

It is uncertain when the bus service dwindled out, but that did not worry anyone at the Mid Norfolk Railway (MNR) Father's Day special transport event at the Dereham and County School stations.

A diesel service ran from Wymondham to Dereham and a fleet of five 1950s buses and coaches ran a service between Dereham and County School, near North Elmham.

“The buses would have replaced the 405, the number of the rural replacement service introduced in 1964 when the passenger service stopped on the Dereham to Wells line,” said Graham Moates, of MNR.

Another delight for the MNR was a new appearance on the station at Dereham.

A recently restored 1955 Ransome mobile goods crane, possibly once used at Dereham, was on show demonstrating how it would have worked alongside a Thames trader lorry.

Vic Ward was manning it for the day. It was Mr Ward and Terry Mann, both volunteers at MNR, who restored the vehicle.

The buses were a 1952 RF Greenline, a 1962 Bedford Duple Super Vega, a 1969 AEC Swift and two Bristols, an RE and an LSG.

A special visit was made by a class 14 diesel hydraulic train, named the Teddy Bear.

All were alongside about 85 pre-1970 vehicles, from tractors to motorbikes and buses, on show at both stations for the event which also had period music.

The next special event on the MNR is on Saturday, July 5, when the Western Region Pannier Tank steam train owned by Dennis Howells will return to Dereham to operate during the summer season.

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