Railway Ron's "Swedes and Swimmers" Stories

Railway Ron is a local railway enthusiast and collector. Between March 2010 and December 2012, he published a series of twenty-nine articles in the Forncett Flyer about the history of the Wymondham to Forncett branch line. Ron's articles were based on the reminiscences of George Reynolds and his son Russell, who lived at Mill House at the top of Mill Road (now demolished). George, who was born in Fundenhall in 1888, worked as a porter at Forncett Station from 1912 to his retirement in 1952. Russell then took over as a porter at the station and worked there until its closure.

On Boxing Day evenings, George Reynolds would regale those present, including young Ron, with stories of Forncett Station and Forncett people, told through clouds of smoke from his pipe. The stories continued on Sunday lunchtimes at Ron's house, when George popped in on his way home from the Safety Valve. When the station closed in 1966, Russell Reynolds bought many artefacts from the station. In due course, Ron inherited an extensive collection of memorabilia, photographs and newspaper cuttings from Russell and then added to it himself over the years.

With Railway Ron's permission, the following pages are based on the articles that he wrote for the Flyer from 2010 to 2012.

  1. The construction of the Wymondham to Forncett branch
  2. The Great Eastern Railway
  3. Forncett Station
  4. Forncett Coal Yard
  5. Storm destroys the station in 1908
  6. The floods of 1912
  7. Railway accidents
  8. The Reynolds family
  9. The war years, 1939-1945
  10. The station 1945 to 1950
  11. Closure of the branch line, 1951
  12. Closure of the station, 1966