What next for the Society?
The achievements are many but further ambitions remain to be fulfilled. Keeping the locomotives in traffic is a constant challenge but the Society’s goal is that each engine should be repaired and returned to traffic as soon as possible once its overhaul is due. Our Members have signaled to us their wish to see the locomotives in traffic hauling trains as they were designed to do and our resources are targeted in this direction. To help achieve this goal, the Society established The Loco Club in March 2011 to support this objective. The club is now over 100 members strong and raises over £10,000 annually for locomotives.
The Joint Heritage Coach Fund will continue to build on it’s targets of developing three distinct and historic rakes of coaches – The Quad Art suburban coaches (restored and operational), the vintage Victorian branch line train (many vehicles now complete) and the main line teak coach set (yet to be tackled). Additionally, a programme is under way to acquire and restore freight vehicles to build a goods train for use on the NNR to demonstrate to the public how goods were moved in years gone by before the dominance of road transport.
A further museum shed is also on the wish list to enable the large collection of historic rolling stock to be displayed and enjoyed by members and visitors when not actually operational. This would allow a larger proportion of the Society's massive collection of railwayana to be displayed alongside some of our actual locomotives, coaches and wagons. The William Marriott Museum itself will continue to expand as the collection grows and the educational aspect of the Society’s activities develop.
Above and beyond all of this is to continue to support the North Norfolk Railway project – to restore and operate a typical East Anglian branch line in the days of steam – preserving the past for the enjoyment and education of future generations.
History of the Society articles written by David Harris.