From the earliest days of rail travel, Norfolk’s geography
and its flat landscape offered the great railway
companies the ideal conditions for expanding
their empires. Lines were opened criss-crossing the
county and at one time it seemed almost every town
and village had access to a nearby station. Then the
Beeching Axe fell and much of what had been part
and parcel of the way of life in Norfolk, sleepy little
stations and plumes of smoke following well-worn
rural routes, began to disappear forever. Only through
aerial views can the full extent of Norfolk’s railway
heritage be clearly seen, and in the photographs included
in this book what remains of these old stations,
signal boxes, cuttings and sidings is fascinatingly revealed.
It also shows how recent developments on
the outskirts of settlements have been affected in their
layout by the original rail infrastructure.
For many years it has been Mike Page’s ambition to
produce a book featuring his photographs of Norfolk’s
railways from the air, and expert authors Graham
Kenworthy and Richard Adderson were delighted to
have the opportunity of working with Mike and his
fine pictures to help him achieve this aim. Their
text provides additional and fascinating information
regarding the historic significance of the locations
shown in the images. All the photographs were taken
by Mike Page between 2001 and 2009 and range
from pictures of today’s 100 mph electric trains and
preserved steam locomotives in action, to fading
traces of railways abandoned in the 1950s. The
selection is wide enough to satisfy the most critical of
readers and where necessary the book strays briefly
over the border into adjacent counties in order to
complete the story.
This unique book is aimed at both the rail enthusiast
and for anyone with an interest in the Norfolk landscape.
The aerial images alone are intriguing and
Mike Page has for many years been able
to combine his love of flying with his interest
in photography, and has produced
several books featuring aerial views of his
native East Anglia. Pictures from his collection
have also appeared regularly in
newspapers and magazines.
Graham Kenworthy’s railway interest
dates from his teenage years in the mid-
1950s, assisted by the fact that his secondary
school was enlightened enough to
support its own railway society. He joined
British Rail as a Student Civil Engineer in
1960, and, in 1965, transferred to the
Divisional Office in Norwich, remaining
there until early retirement in 1996.
Richard Adderson’s interest goes back
to his childhood in the 1950s. Despite the
drastic changes over the years, he has
continued to follow the contemporary
railway scene, as well as researching the
past. His particular interest is in East Anglia,
where he has lived and worked all his life.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 946 2, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published September 2009. Reprinted June 2010.