Bank Holiday Weekends are great opportunities to go out and spend quality time as a family and Norfolk naturally attracts its fair share of such visitors. This particular Bank Holiday Weekend promised a whole range of things to do including equestrian days out at Houghton International Horse Trials, a walk round a variety of Open Gardens in Dersingham or Sedgeford and more. Many Norfolk railway attractions also offered wonderful days out over the weekend and, in particular, the North Norfolk Railway put on a special Dad's Army Live event at Weybourne Station (part of the Poppy Line) on Saturday, 29 and Sunday, 30 May.
Since Weybourne Station did not have parking, I headed for Holt, expecting to pay for a return train journey from Holt to Weybourne. Their website indicated that a family ticket was £22.50 and I had this in my mind when I was informed by the man at the ticket office that he required £37.50!! I asked if I could have a family ticket but was told since I was one adult, not two, with three children a family ticket was not possible and the only option was to pay for one adult (£12) and three children (£8.50 each). I reluctantly handed over the amount requested and informed the gentleman that the NNR's policy was somewhat discriminatory against single parent families and asked him to convey this point to the appropriate authority in the organisation. I do hope my point does indeed come to their ears and they think again.
Despite my unhappy arrival, we intended to make the most of our visit and were delighted to see a good number of people on the platform at Weybourne Station in 1940s dress and the uniform of the Home Guard was very evident indeed. There were also a number of 1940s style vehicles to admire including Corporal Jones' much loved Butchers van.
The whole day revolved around the famous 'Royal Train' episode of Dad's Army which was filmed at Weybourne Station some 42 years ago. A host of recognisable Walmington-on-Sea stars of the Home Guard were brought to life for the day by the Thetford Dad's Army Museum. I chatted to representatives from the Museum and learned that entry into the museum is free and was open on Tuesdays and Saturdays in July, August and September from 10am till 3pm. It also transpired that the Dad's Army Museum had, not surprisingly, gained an increase in popularity since the release of the 2016 film based on the series.
The NAAFI was open selling sandwiches and a wide range of yummy cakes (yes we did try them!) with live entertainment by a singing trio called 'Timescape' and dancers (all in period costume) who demonstrated how they 'boogied' back in the 1940s too. There was quite a large NAAFI audience and a few of us managed to sing along with 'Timescape' for a good many of the well known songs.
In conversation with one of the NAAFI ladies, I was delighted to learn that an enlarged 1940s event, taking in Sheringham, Holt and Weybourne Stations, was planned for 17 and 18 September 2016. I certainly hope to get back to revisit over that weekend as I feel it would be even better. I will, however, aim to bring my husband next time so that I can take advantage of a family ticket deal! I also hope to visit the Dad's Army Museum over the coming summer months.
Our train tickets were in fact 'Rover Tickets' allowing us to get on and off trains all day long so we did manage to fit in another train journey from Weybourne to Sheringham before returning directly to Holt.