Wreck of the Cromer ExpressWhat happened to the Cromer Express?

The Wreck of the Cromer Express was the topic for the Local History Group‘s first winter talk at Orpen Hall.  Jim Connor told the sad story of the Wreck of the Cromer Express at Colchester’s North Station in 1913.  Jim has written a number of books particularly about the history of trains and stations in North and East London; he has also recently published a book on this unfortunate accident at North Station.

He illustrated the talk with a number of poignant pictures of the crew and the wreckage that resulted; the crew perishing in the accident.  Evidently the signalman was at fault for allowing an engine to join the mainline in front of the approaching Cromer Express.  Realising he was in the path of the oncoming train the driver decided to keep moving in order to reduce the impact, and thus injuries, to the passengers on the train.

The full audience, which included both members and a number of visitors, including some who work at the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel, enjoyed the talk and asked a number of questions at the end.

Next Events

Colchester's Avenue of Remembrance roadsignColchester’s Best Known Road

The Group’s next event takes place on Wednesday 9th October in the Orpen Hall.  Local historian Liz White will tell some of the Stories of “Colchester’s Best Known Road”.  If you haven’t guessed already this is the Avenue of Remembrance which forms part of Colchester’s first bypass opened in 1933 but later replaced by the current A12 bypass.

Each of the trees along the Avenue was planted as a memorial to those Colcestrians who died in a number of wars.  Liz has researched and written a book about this so please come and join us to find out more in the Orpen Hall starting at 7.30 pm (doors open at 7.00 pm).  Liz has also published a book on the topic.

All are welcome!  Members £2 and Visitors £4. Refreshments included.

Wivenhoe Quay viewed from High Park CornerWalk at Wivenhoe

On Saturday 19th October the Group will visit the Wivenhoe History Group for a talk & tour.

We will meet at 10.00 am in the Royal British Legion Building on The Quay. The Wivenhoe Group will explain how they researched and prepared a self-guided tour of interesting buildings along the High Street.  Copies of the guide will be provided for you to follow after the talk. It is possible to access further information on the website with your smartphone as you follow the tour.  There are a number of pubs and cafes nearby for those wanting to extend their visit.

We suggest you park in the public car park just off the High Street opposite the Greyhound public house; from there it is about a 3-minute walk to The Quay (turn left at the bottom of Anchor Hill).

It would be very helpful for us to know beforehand whether you are going to join us for this talk and walk in Wivenhoe; please let Gill Poole know on 01206 240512.

Future Talks

  • November 13th – Charlie Haylock returns for the Bernard Colbron memorial lecture talking about the history of surnames.

Reminders and further details to follow.


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