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Do you recognise a face from the past?

PUBLISHED: 11:39 22 March 2011

Archant © 2011

Derek James is on the hunt for information about a fascinating snapshot of life on the railways in Norwich. Can you help?

It was a photograph of local heroes which brought back memories for people across the world – and has resulted in this glorious picture of railwaymen.

“As soon as the first one appeared in the Evening News my phone started ringing,” said former Norwich train driver John Pipe. And he heard that the same picture is also hanging on a wall in America where members of Albert Olby’s family now live. Albert left the railway to become a Norwich landlord and at one time was mine host at the Barn Tavern at the start of Dereham Road. Also on the picture, which we now know was taken in about 1947, was Sid Cohen, whose family ran a clothing factory in Colegate at one time. “After Sid died, his wife and family also moved to America,” said John. And I heard from Norman Johnson, who said his father Herman is standing towards the left at the front with his arms folded. Born in 1926, he joined the railway aged 16 where he worked as a driver until he retired. Married to Doreen, they had seven children. “His nickname was Harmo and my brother Gary is now working as a train driver,” added Norman.

Now Ruth Denmark of Hethersett has sent me this photograph, right, of Norwich drivers, firemen, fitters and mates taken round about 1940 at the start of the war. “My dad, William Frosdick, known as Billy, is the one on the right in the front row,” said Ruth. Her mum and dad, Billy and Maud Frosdick, lived at Henderson Road, Norwich, during the war.

“We were bombed and the house was boarded up, but father had to stay living there while we moved out, because we wanted to keep the house” she said. “After the war, it was rebuilt and we moved back in,” she added. “I wondered if any other readers recognise anyone else on the photograph,” said Ruth.

I wonder?

Anyone who worked on the railways is invited to a reunion for members of the “family” at Arkwrights, Hall Road, Norwich, on Friday April 8 at 7.45pm. More details on 01603 407545.

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