NNR Education – The Education Department is home to a 1930’s ‘Railway Cottage’ which is used as an essential learning tool within our workshops as a period ‘living experience.’
Originally built by the Great Eastern Railway Company in 1899, the five compartments third class commuter carriage ran from London Liverpool Street on the East London line, and was sold out of service in 1930. Eventually purchased by the Allen Family, the carriage was transported to a smallholding plot at Kerdiston, Norfolk, where it joined another out of service railway carriage to become the family home ‘Glenhome.’
When the last owners decided to construct a new house on the site in 2010, the carriage was donated to the North Norfolk Railway.
After a full restoration funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the carriage and surrounding land have been ‘taken back in time’ to recreate a Railway carriage cottage and garden as it may have looked in the 1930’s. This unique project highlights a much-forgotten part of our social history and demonstrates a way in which many people lived between the two world wars and beyond.
The Railway cottage features heavily in many of our education workshops where it is home to our fictional family Billy Gallant, a platelayer employer by the M&GN Railway, his wife Flo and their three children Elizabeth, ‘Little’ Billy and baby Rose.
The Cottage is set out exactly as it would be if the family was residing there. Each drawer, shelf, and cupboard are filled with the everyday items used by the Gallants. Billy’s ‘Great War’ memory tin includes his medals, photographs, the cap badges that he swapped with his comrades in the trench and even the pieces of shrapnel from his ‘Blighty’ wound. The family’s pantry houses an array of stored items including Flo’s handmade bottled produce, and in the children’s room, you can even find their collection of shells and stones gathered from Weybourne Beach on a special day out.
The cottage is also open to the public on selected weekend and weekdays. (please note the cottage is opened and manned by volunteers and therefore we are unable to guarantee opening times)