Traffic & Transport
A47 is ‘unfit for purpose’, says West Norfolk councillor
The main route linking Lynn with the rest of Norfolk and the Midlands is no longer fit for purpose, it has been claimed.
£1m study plan for Welney road
A memorial plaque to Clara, provided by rail campaign group, Railfuture, was fixed to a new replica Great Eastern railway style bench at the station – which was provided as a token of gratitude by train operator First Capital Connect.
Clara died in March last year aged 85, having lived in Downham for many years.
Throughout her long life Clara was an ardent and consistent user of bicycles, buses and trains – and she never owned a car.
She was a member of the Railway Development Society long before its campaigning arm became Railfuture; throughout, she worked tirelessly for its success often raising money by lengthy sponsored cycle rides.
With the Railfuture organisation she held the position of membership secretary; she was also a founder member of the Fen Line Users’ Association, helped form West Norfolk Public Transport Users’ Association and was a committee member of MARPA (Mid Anglia Rail Passenger Association).
Although speaking flawless English Clara actually hailed from Vienna, but like so many was forced out by the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany, coming to England with her parents in 1938.
She read French at Newnham College in Cambridge, and later returned to get further degree – this time in medicine – eventually becoming a surgeon in 1955.
However with her unwavering Roman Catholic faith and a profound dislike of the changes made at the Second Vatican Council in 1965 , she renounced medicine and ran the Latin Mass Society.
Warm tributes were paid to Clara at Friday’s ceremony and present were representatives from Railfuture, the Fen Line Users’ Association, First Capital Connect, Mid Anglia Rail Passenger Association, the 1570 Society and other friends and colleagues.
Colin Sampson, the chairman of the Fen Line Users’ Association and a former Downham town mayor, added: “Clara was a tireless worker – and got things done in her own way. She especially concentrated on making rail travel better for the disabled and for moving freight by rail rather than road.
“She was a familiar figure in Downham, scooting around on her cycle.
“Sometimes she would even cycle from Downham to Cambridge, not even going by train.”
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