Yarmouth Beach Railway Station

Great Yarmouth's Beach Station was originally the terminus of the Great Yarmouth & Stalham Light Railway and was situated in the north of the town on Nelson Road, close to some of the principal hotels. It opened on August 7th 1877 and was initially isolated, serving only the stations at Caister-on-Sea, Great Ormesby, Hemsby and Martham. In the following year the company changed its name to the Yarmouth & North Norfolk Light Railway and began extending to Stalham and North Walsham. The line opened as far as Stalham in 1880 and included additional stations at Potter Heigham and Catfield. In 1883, the company amalgamated with the Lynn & Fakenham Railway to form the Eastern & Midlands Railway, itself becoming part of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway in 1893.
During the early years of the 20th century Gt. Yarmouth became a very popular destination for holidaymakers from the Midlands with thousands arriving at the Beach Station during peak periods. Additional halts opened in 1933 at Yarmouth Newtown, Caister Camp, California, Scratby, Little Ormesby, Potter Heigham Bridge and Sutton Staithe to cope with the extra traffic and to deliver the visitors directly to the holiday camps. However during the 1950s traffic started to decline with the rising popularity of the motor car and on February 28th 1959 almost the whole of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway network, including the line from Gt. Yarmouth Beach Station closed for the last time. The station was converted for use as a coach station in 1962 and the majority of the station buildings and the platforms remained in place until 1986 when they were demolished to allow the site to be "improved". It remains in use as a coach station to this day where a short section of line is displayed as a memorial to its past.

"YARMOUTH BEACH: Engines must not come from the Engine Shed, or the Turntable road, into the Yard until instructed to do so by the Signalman or Shunter. The Shunter before giving instructions must obtain permission from the Signalman." (LNER General Appendix to the Rules and Regulations and Working Timetables with Sectional Appendix for Southern Area, 1st November 1947, p205)

  Picture Gallery (Click on picture for larger view)

Yarmouth Beach goods yard (1)
Taken in the early 1920's, this picture shows what appears to be a marching band passing the entrance to the "Goods and Coal Depot" in Euston Road.
(c1920 - courtesy Robin Hambling)

    Yarmouth Beach goods yard (2)
A similar shot to the last, though this time with soldiers marching past the entrance, possibly on their way back from or to a campaign.
(c1920 - courtesy Robin Hambling)

Yarmouth Beach station staff
This photos shows the large number of staff that were required to run a station of this size, ranging from office assistants, porters, signalmen to the stationmaster himself. Fifth from the right in the centre row is Robert Bennett, does anyone recognise any more faces? To the right of the picture a row of carriages can just be seen.
(c.1927 - courtesy Robin Hambling)

    Yarmouth Beach engine shed
Fully coaled engine no. 3, a Johnson 4-4-0, simmers outside Yarmouth Beach engine shed.
(1935 - courtesy Gordon Bennett)
    Engine 92 near the turntable
0-6-0 engine no. 92, stands next to the turntable at Yarmouth Beach station. The rear of the houses on Wellesley Road provide a backdrop to the scene.
(1935 - courtesy Gordon Bennett)
    Electric coal hoist at Yarmouth Beach
Johnson 4-4-0 engine no. 52 waits alongside the electric coal hoist at Yarmouth Beach station.
(1935 - courtesy Gordon Bennett)
    Island platform
Platforms 2 & 3 on the island remain in use as part of the coach station. Platform 3 (nearest) originally extended for 330 yards and was the longest on the M&GN system.
(November 10th 1985)
    Nelson Road entrance
Yarmouth Beach station pictured from Nelson Road looking north. The concrete building dates from 1879 and beyond it the 1903 extension and the platform retaining wall along the road can be seen.
(November 10th 1985)
    Platform view
View looking north along the island platform shows the original Eastern & Midlands Railway columns and spandrels supporting the canopy.
(November 10th 1985)
    E & MR roof spandrel
A closer view of the Eastern & Midlands Railway spandrels supporting the platform canopy. The E&MR lasted for only ten years up to the time it was vested in the Midland &Great Northern Joint Railway on July 1st 1893.
(November 10th 1985)
    Bay platform
View looking south along the original bay platform, (No. 1). The shortened island platform can be seen to the left.
(November 10th 1985)
    The days are numbered
The bulldozers begin their work on the destruction of the remaining platforms and buildings. Most of platform 1 has already been reduced to rubble and the island awaits its turn. (June 6th 1986)
    M&GN roof spandrel
The Midland & Great Northern lettering can be seen in the roof spandrels on the 1903 extension to the bay platform just prior to its demolition.
(June 6th 1986)
    Canopy no more
The bay platform minus its canopy reveals the extent of the support girders. Within a month much of this was all gone. (June 6th 1986)