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Wednesday 15th June 2011 ~ Blogger On The Road (and Railway !)

Recently my friend Peter Risebrow, a regular X1 passenger and reader and contributor to this blog, suggested that we have a day out at the Mid Norfolk Railway. This seemed an excellent idea and so it was that today we did just that. My lift dropped me at Walpole Highway at 08.35, so I had almost 30 minutes to wait for K3. I decided that I would hang around and see if Y6 08.33 to Peterborough had gone and as luck would have it, 37563 appeared almost immediately. I caught this and after showing my VIP pass to our genial driver we were off to Wisbech. I sat upstairs behind the staircase and we were soon heading into the town where it seemed that most people had decided to take a day off, as the commuter traffic was very light enabling us to make up any lost time.
The weather was better than forecast and after a pleasant wait of just under 10 minutes, K3 rolled in with - as I'd hoped - B7 Profile 20352. Peter boarded at Walton Road and was surprised to see me already on the bus, having expected me to be at Walpole. After a discussion we agreed that the last time we'd had a day out on, what was then called a Wanderbus ticket, was in 1973 !
20352 was comfortably loaded from Wisbech, but filled up well before departure from Lynn. We picked up the driver who was to take us forward from Lynn at the South Gates and he travelled 'on the cushions' to the bus station.
Business was brisk and there was a slight delay at Narborough where a less than able person took a little time to board and who quickly snapped up the designated disabled seat. Although not quite as comfortable as the Paragons, there was certainly plenty of legroom on the Profile.

20352 does a fair trade at Dereham whilst en route to Lowestoft this morning.

Part of the days plans was to sample the new Wetherspoons establishment in Dereham and here we met another old friend, historian and railway author Richard Adderson. Lively conversation ensued helped by a couple of pints of Woodfordes followed by the huge breakfast at a mere £4.10 and guaranteed to set you up for the day. Batemans XXXB was sampled too before we agreed it was time to wander down to the station to travel on the 13.15 dmu to Wymondham Abbey. Considering it was midweek and not yet the height of the season, the MNR must have been impressed with the reasonably loaded train - a 2 car Metro-Cammell unit.

 The weather remained in kind mode and although taken at a very sedate pace, the return trip was most enjoyable. Back at Dereham, we pondered as to why the X1 doesn't have a stop outside the MNR station - this would also be very convenient for the Morrisons supermarket just opposite. With the railway now attracting large numbers of visitors from far and wide, it would seem a sensible suggestion.
We retraced our steps back into the town and stopped off at the Kings Head for more from the Woodfordes portfolio in the shape of Sundew and Nelson's Revenge, all very pleasantly imbibed in the sunshine of the beer garden. Well as you can tell, there was no driving involved for any of us today !
Back at the bustling Market Place it was time to go our separate ways with Richard who had travelled up by Konectbus, returning on the 16.37 X1 (K15) with 37576

Richard at the upstairs second window looks happy to be on 37576 for the journey home !
At this point I realised that our departure westbound was at 16.35 and that this was Y6, the bus I'd started the day with. Sure enough in swept 37563 with Blondie Karen and after a brief pause we were on our way back home.

After it failed yeterday, 37157 was diagrammed on K16 today. We passed it near Scarning heading east this teatime.
 Our final chauffeur change occurred at the South Gates on our way out of Lynn and our arrival at Walton Highway where we were being met by Angela, was pretty much on time. All in all a very enjoyable day out and my thanks to all concerned.
Ironically, whilst I saw many of the X1 turns, a couple escaped me - K14 was I'm pretty certain 20126 and this may have been replaced at Yarmouth by 37159 which was spare. 37570 was revived today and worked Y13. The Gemini show on the X2 continued with 37569 providing the entertainment.

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