Transport in the 19th and 20th Centuries

The tradition of having goods conveyed to and from market, especially in Norwich, has a relatively long history. Horse-drawn carriers were the norm in the nineteenth century, until the advent of the train. A Great Eastern Railway (GER) branch line (known locally as the "Swedes and Swimmers"), with stations at Forncett and Ashwellthorpe, was opened in 1881 to connect the main London-Norwich line to the station at Wymondham.

This line afforded a relief route between East Suffolk and Norfolk and thereby reduced the congestion around Norwich. The station at Forncett led to the growth and development of the Old Sale Yard, which handled particularly bulky goods like crops, and even livestock like cattle and poultry. However, the railway line did not stop the development of motorized transport for both goods and passengers along the Norwich Road (the present B1113). Local initiative was shown by two families in establishing buses from Forncett End to Norwich, and by publicans at the Safety Valve PH offering cars for hire.