All Aboard for Heacham Station - and its Nov 2006!

Feature and Photos a Team Effort From Stella & Malcolm
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  Click to see Heacham's Railway Station of Old  
  Click to see Terry & Judith's new website up-dating their carriage exploits  


Terry & Judith Clay have owned and run the old Heacham Station since around 1993 and have operated the site as a touring caravan and camping site offering accommodation to holidaymakers.  A year ago, Terry and Judith had the idea that an old carriage refurbished as accommodation would be a great attraction for Heacham to complement their existing facilities at the station.  The idea gained momentum and Terry, supported by Roger Dix, searched the country to locate a suitable carriage that would fit the bill. They mostly found modern ex-Virgin trains but finally they came across a disused (63 foot long and 9 feet wide) British Rail First Class coach at Shackerstone, Leicestershire (apparently known as the Battlefield Railway because it is close to Naseby) which had been in regular use until two and a half years ago.
(Note: Maureen Johnstone has pointed out - 10 July 2021 - that "The Battlefield Line" was named after The Battle of Bosworth, not Naseby, which is in Northamptonshire.)
It was hoped that the coach would arrive at Heacham Station in October but this was delayed so that the "good" bogies (wheels to you and I) could be replaced with older specimens suitable for many years of stationary service in Heacham.  Finally, the bogies were sorted and, after an overnight stay at The West Norfolk Hotel, the coach was moving to its new home at Heacham Station just after 8am on Tuesday, 28 November 2006 (despite the official timing of 7.30am - British Rail operators must have had something to do with it!).  Keep reading/scrolling to find out how they got on.
With planning permission in place, Terry & Judith will make extensive renovations to the coach starting with waterproofing the roof of the carriage and weatherproofing the the windows.  There are plans to paint the coach a nice shade of maroon (traditional railway carriage colours) and then of course the internal refurbishment commences.  The compartments will be converted to create two en-suite bedrooms, a kitchenette, reading room and bathroom so that it will appear like a modern caravan - with a difference - for many happy holidaymakers to enjoy in years to come.

The background photo of these pages shows the two railway camping coaches that were used for holidays.  They were positioned in the station yard, the photo was taken in 1961. If you want to know more about Heacham Railway Station before it closed have a look at our feature.....
Do You Remember Heacham Railway Station?


The notice tells us all we need to know

Why are we waiting!

A small enthusiastic

crowd turned up in the

rain - some began

their vigil

as early as 7am -

to witness the

moving of an

Intercity railway coach

from Shackerstone in

Leicestershire to its new

home in the back garden

of the old railway house

at Heacham Station.

As you will see it did not

always go to plan.

7.45am - Catch the fantastic sunrise

8.05am - The first movements begin

Oh that tree is causing a problem

We will cut off the top branches.


The tree in the photos (above) was identified as a possible problem early on and so a branch was removed.  After several failed attempts to clear the buildings it was decided that the tree had to come down and Mick Jennings (owner of the land/tree concerned) kindly consented to this.  Terry & Judith (and the on-lookers - who were getting cold by now) greatly appreciated this - thanks Mick.


9.15am - The tree cutting was quite an operation in itself and involved seeking
reinforcements from "Rover Rescue" - thanks also to the tree surgeon team.
9.45am - Off we go again.  Oh dear - has that telegraph pole got to go as well?
No its a tight squeeze but we should make it.
(The transporter & carriage together measure  109 feet in length and weigh 85 tonnes)
 Its done with inches to spare (not many!).  The driver clears the buildings and is safely in the back garden.
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