Forncett Station

Alternate history for Forncett Station

With the completion of the line from Wymondham to Forncett, and its connection to the main line from London to Norwich in 1882, local industries began to prosper. In particular the local cheese makers now had good access to markets in Norwich, London and Lowestoft.

In 1884 the line was extended to Market Pulham. A village with a reputation for leatherwork, this extension saw a marked increase in the production of quality leather goods intended for the population of London.

Farmers also saw a way to get the livestock and produce to extra markets in the area. Previously the journey by road was long and tortuous. Live stock and produce markets were held weekly in the adjacent Sale Yard. The company ensured that market day trains had sufficient passenger and stock wagons to take account of the increasing traffic. In 1886 the company began to run two trains for Norwich market, one passenger and goods, and the other livestock.

James Harvey, the Forncett coal merchant was able to increase his turnover because of the easier method of bringing coal into the district. In 1886 he built new coal staithes at the station, thus increasing his capacity, and profit. In 1891 Thomas Grimes, another coal merchant retired and sold his business to Harvey. In 1926 Harvey became the main coal agent for north Norfolk. The business is run today by his great grand son James.

By the end of the 19th century Forncett station was the hub for a thriving community. Train revenue had increased annually for the past 15 years. The population gradually grew and became more prosperous, because of the increased communication the railway afforded easy access to the local towns and villages for both people and business.

The railway continued to prosper, as did the local population and business' right up to the present day, 7th May 1962.

Some history of Forncett and the railway

Forncett St Peter is a parish, 2.5 miles W. of Long Stratton, and 11.5 miles S.S.W. of Norwich, contains the hamlets of Forncett End, 1.5 miles W. of the church, and Buster's Green, on the east side of a rivulet, in 1854 it had 138 houses, 712 souls, and 1,829 acres of land, by 1881 this had changed to 616 inhabitants, living on 1831 acres of land

The National School erected in 1848 is a neat building, with a residence for the teacher.

The Eastern Union Railway intersects the parish, and has a small station about three quarters of a mile from the village.

Railway Conveyance. Eastern Union Railway Station. 

In 1848 trains ran to Norwich (Victoria Station), Ipswich, and London, 6 up and 6 down daily. On Sundays 4 up and 4 down. Luggage trains 2 up and 2 down daily, (Sundays excepted), when there only one each way. Mr. Edward Cooper was thestation master.


The E. U. Railway Company, to all parts, and Geo. Lloyd to Norwich, every Wed. & Sat.

In 1883 the carrier is listed as  Jas. Williams, to Norwich Wed. and Sat.

1854 village census

Austin Saml. blacksmith
Cooper Edwd. station master
Grimes Thos. coal & timber dlr. & shopkpr (Good name for a coal merchant)
Hardy Mrs. Ann
Harvey Jas. vict., Safety Valve Inn, corn, coal, & timber merchant, & Flys for hire
Hurn Jas. bricklayer
Moore Jno. vict., Norfolk Arms
Smith Matthew, shopkpr
Stimpson Hy. tailor & draper
Took Jno. shoemaker
Wilson Rev. Wm. G. M.A. rector
Woods Eunice, schoolmistress

Farmers. (Marked * are Owners.)

Aldborough Geo.
Bacon Eliz.
Brewester Susnh.
Cannell Jno.
*Goodram Jno.
Leighton Maria
*Nash Spooner
Oakley Jno.
*Palmer Martha
Todd Jno.
Williams Fredk.
Smith Martha
Smith Wm.
Stimpson Stepn


1883 village census

Browes J.  vict. Trowel and Hammer
Caston Charles, carpenter
Caston Mrs  Chas., infant schl.mistress
Cooper William,butter-dealer
Day Robert, collar and harness maker
English Thos., shopkper & beer retailer
Furness John, solicitor, Norwich;  Forncett St. Peter
Gibson Benjamin, corn-miller
Keeler Robert, vict. Safety Valve, coal dealer and posting
Knights George, corn-miller
Knights Mrs Jdth., brws, Jolly Farmers
Ludkin Henry John, miller, merchant, and seed-grower
Moore Mrs Ann, baker
Murrills Richard, grocer and draper
Myhill Geo. T., registrar of births and deaths for Forncett dist. of Depwade union, & relieving officer for same
Norman Joseph, station agent
Palmer Mrs Martha
Patrick Walter, painter, plumber, glazier, and pork butcher
Peacock George, blacksmith
Poll Miss Annie, schoolmistress
Price John, shoemaker
Smith William, shopkeeper
Tann Miles, carpenter and shopkeeper
Williams James, carrier
Wilson Rev. Wm. Greive, M.A., J.P. the Rectory


Alborough George
Cannell Mrs Eliza
Coleman Elijah
Dunthorne Henry
Hales James also carpenter for Sir F. Boileau, Bart.
Kirk William
Matthews George
*Moore William, owner
*Palmer Thomas, owner
Reynolds Edward
Self  Charles
*Smith George, Home farm
Spratt Jas., and at Tacolestone
Tooley Samuel
Tyler George
Walpole James
Ward John, and butter dealer
Waters John