The Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway to Poppyland (ePub)
From the Midlands to Norfolk & Norwich
M&GNJR was a Midlands to East Anglia railway linking towns and villages like a patchwork knitted together by clever business entrepreneurs. It started in the 1850s when there was intense rivalry between railway companies and two rich and powerful companies – MR and GNR – were behind the project. ‘Joint,’ added by a Special Act of Parliament in 1893, confirms this patchwork was the amalgamation of several small independent railway companies plus the MR and GNR. The company was especially interested in stealing a march on the Great Eastern Railway (GER) which believed it was the principal railway serving East Anglia. Poppyland was the nickname created for the Cromer area of the Norfolk coast by Clement Scott, an influential poet, author and drama critic of The Daily Telegraph who first visited in 1883. He claimed that ‘. . . clean air laced with perfume of wild flowers was opiate to his tired mind.’ Scott publicised his delight and many rich families, and their servants, visited too; the railway business entrepreneurs saw a growing market for their patchwork. The M&GNJR grew eastwards to Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and attracted passengers from the Midlands and London. The M&GNJR grew – then withered as cars, buses, overseas travel offered new holiday options. Closure came on 28 February 1959 but North Norfolk Railway – the Poppy Line – has survived as a heritage line so the Joint is not forgotten!
"...this is a specialist book..."The Journal of the Friends of the National Railway Museum - Autumn 2023, Issue 185
This is an elegant production too, well put together as would be expected from Pen & Sword and extensively – and appropriately – illustrated by both maps and pictures in colour and black and white.Backtrack Magazine - September 2023
This is an engaging book which is an enjoyable and satisfying read. It takes a different approach from the existing more formal histories and acts as a complement to them . . .
As featured byRailway and Canal Historical Society
. . . this is a fresh view through the eyes of a teacher, geographer, and railway social historian who addresses the subject in 21st century language.Steam World, June 2023
With this understood, we now learn why the M&GN was once so important, weaving a pathway from the East Midlands to the far side of Norfolk via Norwich, with tentacles to Leicester and Peterborough. It tapped the docks trade, tourism, the abundant supply of farm produce, and carried a few local passengers into the bargain. All of this was easy prey for road competition, and almost all the M&GN was shut on February 28th 1959. How much was BR mismanagement to blame?
....it does put an impassioned perspective on the life and times of a network that did it's job well for almost 70 years, and then disappeared off the map.
As featured inThe LNER Society Newsletter
Review as featured inBest of British
Highlight: '... a book that draws attention to this fascinating and mostly lost system...'
"A book that draws attention to this fascinating and mostly lost system has to be a good thing."Best of British Magazine - May 2023
Review as featured inRail Express
Article: "Railway bringing holidaymakers to Poppyland".Eastern Daily Press - Tuesday March 21, 2023
As featured inSuffolk and Norfolk Life
As featured inThe Bookseller, Jan 23