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Hellesdon woman's nostalgic train journey

PUBLISHED: 15:30 01 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:29 02 July 2010

Janet Clare (nee Hardwick) was the last person to buy a train ticket 51 years ago from the Whitwell and Reepham Railway Station.

Janet Clare (nee Hardwick) was the last person to buy a train ticket 51 years ago from the Whitwell and Reepham Railway Station.

Rob Garratt

It was nearly 51 years ago to the day that Janet Hardwick from Hellesdon, then 16-year-old, bought the last ticket for the train travelling into Whitwell and Reepham station before it was closed for good in a nationwide purge of rail lines.

It was nearly 51 years ago to the day that Janet Hardwick from Hellesdon, then 16-year-old, bought the last ticket for the train travelling into Whitwell and Reepham station before it was closed for good in a nationwide purge of rail lines.

The happy teenager was returning home after a night out in the city - and on Saturday she was back, on the same journey, though in reverse, out of a newly-restored Whitwell station.

One year ago train enthusiast Mike Urry reopened the derelict station 50 years to the day after it closed, having picked it up at auction.

And on Saturday the last passenger to enter the station left it once more in a nostalgic celebration of the attraction's first birthday.

“In those days it was the only way to get back from the city,” remembered Janet, 67, who lives in Pinewood Close, and now bears the surname Clare.

“But the station seems to have changed very, very little. It's lovely it's being used again and it's lovely to be back here.”

Mr Urry, 51, made the national headlines when he fulfilled a boyhood dream to buy the empty train station for £300,000 on his birthday in 2007, laying 1,500ft of track and creating what he believes is the shortest standard gauge route in the country.

Saturday's birthday attracted hundreds of punters over the 12 hour event and also featured a beer festival with over 20 Norfolk ales on offer.

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