On May 20, I attended a wedding near Holt at one of the most important houses of the Arts and Crafts period in England.
‘Voewood’ was designed by architect Edward Schroeder Prior and completed in 1905 for the Rev Percy Lloyd and his family.
There are various theories as to why they never lived in the house, but it cost nearly £60,000 and probably exceeded their budget.
Instead, Voewood was rented to the Meyrick-Jones family.
Most of the materials used to build the house were quarried on site, including vast quantities of flint.
The land was completely flat to start with, but after the extensive quarrying it was transformed into sunken gardens and terraces.
Voewood was used for a variety of purposes throughout the last century, but in 1998 it was purchased by rare book dealer Simon Finch.
The restoration of the house and gardens took eightyears, with artists living and working on site.
It is easy to see why it is now one of the most popular venues for weddings in the east of England.
For me it was a journey back in time, made even more nostalgic by the occasional whistle from steam locomotives on the North Norfolk Heritage Railway.
By way of contrast, the disconnected status of the rail service in west Norfolk came to my attention the day before the wedding, when our daughter arrived in Lynn by train from London and had to walk to the bus station, because buses from Lynn to Hunstanton no longer call at the rail station.
This is just one more reason to sign the petition to reinstate this rail link.
To simplify the process, Georgina Turner has given me this shorter link: http://bit.ly/2qAvUpU
For his part, Andrew Murray reminded me that the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Plan (part of the Local Plan) was adopted by the Borough Council in September 2016, and Policy DM 13 concerning railway trackbeds states:
“The following existing and former railway trackways and routes, as indicated on the Policies Map, will be safeguarded from development which would prejudice their potential future use for paths, cycleways, bridleways, new rail facilities, etc.
“Unless the proposals for trackway use are accompanied by appropriate alternative route provision that makes safeguarding unnecessary: 1 Lynn Harbour Junction - Saddlebow Road; 2 Lynn east curve; 3 Lynn docks branch to Alexandra Dock and Bentinck Dock; 4 Denver to Wissington; 5 Lynn to Hunstanton; and 6 Part of the former Lynn to Fakenham line route from the West Winch Growth Area to the Bawsey/ Leziate countryside sports and recreation area.”
In the 1998 Local Plan, the Lynn to Hunstanton rail trackbed was listed as a Green Corridor but was not included in the list of rail lines to be safeguarded.
In Andrew’s submissions on behalf of the Civic Society, he requested that the trackbed from Heacham to Wells and from Watlington to Wisbech should be protected.
He also suggested that the ‘sand line’ should be used and a branch constructed to go from the east of the A149 southwards to serve the large development at West Winch: 1,600 houses, possibly rising to 4,000...