7 episodes

Take an audible journey by train and meet fascinating people living and working across our Great Anglian landscape.

We’ll explore majestic coastlines, the phenomenal wildlife of broads and fens, breathtaking cathedral cities and magical market towns, meeting the people that make East Anglia such a unique and special place to live and visit.

The Community Rail Partnerships invite you to travel six of Greater Anglia’s rural branch rail lines across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire in this audible adventure.

The railways have connected communities and counties across Britain for nearly two centuries, and that time has seen enormous innovation in the trade, work opportunities and lifestyles of the British people. Rail has tracked our lives through innovation, migration, boom and bust, and today the Greater Anglia rural branch lines connect communities here for work, days out and enjoying the beautiful East Anglian landscape.

Settle in for a listen and enjoy a journey through history, culture, art and nature…. it might just inspire a few adventures of your own!

Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

@greateranglia

Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

You can explore travel along the branch lines and the brilliant work of Community Rail Partnerships

https://herewardcrp.org

https://www.esscrp.org.uk

https://eastsuffolklines.co.uk

https://wherrylines.com

https://bitternline.com

Lives On The Lines Greater Anglia and the East Anglia Community Rail Partnerships

    • Society & Culture

Take an audible journey by train and meet fascinating people living and working across our Great Anglian landscape.

We’ll explore majestic coastlines, the phenomenal wildlife of broads and fens, breathtaking cathedral cities and magical market towns, meeting the people that make East Anglia such a unique and special place to live and visit.

The Community Rail Partnerships invite you to travel six of Greater Anglia’s rural branch rail lines across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire in this audible adventure.

The railways have connected communities and counties across Britain for nearly two centuries, and that time has seen enormous innovation in the trade, work opportunities and lifestyles of the British people. Rail has tracked our lives through innovation, migration, boom and bust, and today the Greater Anglia rural branch lines connect communities here for work, days out and enjoying the beautiful East Anglian landscape.

Settle in for a listen and enjoy a journey through history, culture, art and nature…. it might just inspire a few adventures of your own!

Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

@greateranglia

Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

You can explore travel along the branch lines and the brilliant work of Community Rail Partnerships

https://herewardcrp.org

https://www.esscrp.org.uk

https://eastsuffolklines.co.uk

https://wherrylines.com

https://bitternline.com

    Saltwater, sails and saving nature along the Wherry Lines

    Saltwater, sails and saving nature along the Wherry Lines

    Beginning our journey in Lowestoft in this episode we head North to explore the chain of lines known as the Wherry Lines. Find out about the wild animals returning to nature and “The Switzerland of Norfolk”: a paradise garden that once attracted 60,000 visitors a year to a mystery location we’ll reveal!

    We first stop off at the village of Somerleyton to hear about an innovative new project taking place in the grounds of Somerleyton Hall. Beginning with a rewilding scheme across the once manicured lawns, Lord Somerleyton explains his vision of returning swathes of East Anglia to a natural state through the WildEast project.

    Find out about the history of the Broads landscape as well as how life, trade and tourism here has evolved through the centuries when we talk to Nicola from the Museum of the Broads.

    We take a special journey with magnificent marshland views on the quiet stretch of track that connects the two Wherry Lines Branches. Overseen by the beautiful Berney Arms Windmill, train travellers can disembark to explore the landscape here. Beneath this serene exterior work is going to juggle humans and nature though! Mark is a site manager for the RSPB reserve at Berney Marshes and Breydon Water. He explains the careful balance of preserving delicate wildlife habitats, welcoming walkers and a managing a thriving rural economy.

    In Great Yarmouth,tour guide Becci gives us a surprising insight into the rich naval history underpinning this seaside gem. A local herself, she tells us about Yarmouth’s fondness for a festival and shares a few of her favourite facts and hints at the dark side of the town’s history, from witch trials to signing the death warrant for Charles I.

    Our last stopoff on the way into Norwich is at Brundall Gardens where station adopter Greg and Chloe from the local history group join us to share stories of local life. Chloe explains the archive project helping locals retrace their roots, and tells the tale of the visionaries that once built an enormous paradise garden here. Greg keeps the station special to this day in honour of this area’s legacy.

    Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

    Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

    Explore the Wherry Lines at https://wherrylines.com

    @WherryLines

    And explore travel with Greater Anglia at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

    @greateranglia

    Somerleyton Hall: https://www.somerleyton.co.uk

    @SomerleytonHall

    Wild East https://www.wildeast.co.uk

    @WildEastUK

    Museum of the Broads in Stalham https://www.museumofthebroads.org.uk

    @MuseumBroads

    RSPB Berney Marshes and Breyon Water: https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/berney-marshes-breydon-water/

    @Natures_Voice

    Berney Arms Windmill https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/berney-arms-windmill/

    @EnglishHeritage

    Great Yarmouth Tourism https://www.great-yarmouth.co.uk/visitor-info/tourist-information-centre.aspx

    @GreaterYarmouth

     

    Brundall Gardens Local History Group www.brundallvillagehistory.org.uk

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min
    Fens, Bears and Eels along the Hereward Line

    Fens, Bears and Eels along the Hereward Line

    From a famous Anglo-Saxon rebel fighter, to slippery eels and a dancing bear,there’s plenty to explore along Greater Anglia’s Hereward Line.

    In the first episode of Lives on the Lines, the adventure begins with a railway journey across the Cambridgeshire fens. Starting in historic Peterborough, local history buff Trevor explains how generations worked to build the epic cathedral here, and what it means to be a true Peterborian.

    Travelling along the Hereward Line we stop at Whittlesea to meet Geoff, a passionate fenland runner, former maths teacher and station adopter, before Brian Kell BEM explains how he revived a lost folk tradition that sees thousands of people take to the streets here every year.

    We chat to Steve, a born and bred Manea man about life in this fenland village, and explore the epic engineering history that crafted this incredible landscape and wildlife hotspot.

    Our journey concludes in the cathedral city of Ely where local guide Nora Gardner takes us on a journey through time with her favourite local spots. She explains the weird and wonderful uses eels have had for people here through time and the city’s connection to Hereward the Wake – a rebel leader who held out against William the Conqueror long after the Norman Conquest!

    Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

    Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

    You can explore travel along the Hereward Line and find out more about the Hereward Community Rail Partnership at https://herewardcrp.org

    And explore travel with Greater Anglia at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

    @greateranglia

    Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival http://www.strawbear.org.uk

    @StrawBearFest

    Peterborough Local History Society https://peterboroughlocalhistorysociety.co.uk

    https://www.facebook.com/discoveringlocalhistory

     

    Ely Tourist Information https://www.visitely.org.uk

    @visitely

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    Kings, Country and Concertos along the East Suffolk Lines

    Kings, Country and Concertos along the East Suffolk Lines

    What unites romantic sea mists, Green Men, haunting musical scores and Anglo-Saxon Kings?

    It’s Greater Anglia’s East Suffolk Lines! Get comfy for a tour through one of England’s most magical and diverse landscapes by train.

    From Felixstowe pass through Ipswich and on to Melton, a rural spot on the River Deben over which Sutton Hoo presides. Excavations at this burial ground revolutionised our understanding of history, giving a precious insight into the beliefs, rituals and society of the Anglo-Saxons. The National Trust’s Archaeology and Engagement Manager Laura explains some of the incredible learnings from this site.

    The line wends its way through magical, musical landscapes: home to the music of Benjamin Britten, the Aldeburgh Festival and vibrant market towns. We stop off to meet local artist Michael Bullen in Walberswick and hear how he’s been inspired by the ebb and flow of quayside life.

    In Halesworth, local historian Dave treats us to a tour around town. Often missed by tourists visiting by road, this hidden gem is a cornucopia of history, from its station house museum to traditional high street and gorgeous buildings. Dave shares some of Halesworth’s secrets including tales of a cheeky fox, incredible architecture, Green Men and wartime trysts in Crinkle Crankle Walls!

    For our final leg of the journey we’re joined by Trevor, who’s lived and worked along this line for most of his life. He explains how life and opportunity has changed here, from the days of steam to modern day tourism, education and work. Trevor guides us to Lowestoft where the newly refurbished station buildings are home to a fantastic Tourist Office where he volunteers – a great starting point for an adventure by the sea!

    Spoiler alert: this episode features ice cream.

    Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

    Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

    Explore the East Suffolk Lines at https://eastsuffolklines.co.uk

    https://eastsuffolklines.co.uk/community-rail-partnership

    @eastsuffolkline

    And explore travel with Greater Anglia at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

    @greateranglia

    Find out about National Trust Sutton Hoo https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-hoo

    @NT_SuttonHoo

    Halesworth and District Museum https://www.halesworthmuseum.org.uk

    @HalesworthM

    Explore Halesworth https://www.halesworth.net

    East Suffolk Travel Association http://www.eastsuffolktravel.org.uk

    Discover Lowestoft https://www.discoverlowestoft.co.uk

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    Artists, Witch hunts and Puritans along the Mayflower Line

    Artists, Witch hunts and Puritans along the Mayflower Line

    Join a haunting journey along the River Stour in Essex and find out about a wicked ‘witch’ murderer, and extraordinary holiday home and a port town’s vital connection to modern democracy. This episode’s adventure follows Greater Anglia’s Mayflower Line.

    Local guide Bob takes us for a walk around a village with a distinctive scent! From under Mistley’s malt towers we hear how a village and a grand country house grew up together here. We take a walk past the former home of Matthew Hopkins, the Witch Finder General who had around 100 women put to death in his moneymaking crusade through East Anglia.

    The wildlife along the Stour is breathtaking and as we continue our journey we discover more birdwatching hotspots in Wrabness, not to mention a remarkable Grayson Perry-designed house in the landscape. Award-winning station Adopter Julia tells the story behind it and shares the story of the beautiful community garden she manages here.

    We conclude our journey in Harwich, famed for its shipbuilding. Local David is a mine of information on the area and he’s our guide through the narrow streets and wide history of this wonderful town. Find out where sea buoys are repaired, encounter one of the country’s oldest cinemas and get a taste of the many volunteer-run museums in town. For those of you wondering how to pronounce “Stour”, we have the definitive answer too!

    Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

    Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

    You can explore the Mayflower Line and find out more about the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail partnership at https://www.esscrp.org.uk

    And explore travel with Greater Anglia at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

    @greateranglia

    The Harwich Society https://www.harwich-society.co.uk

    @harwichsociety

    Grayson Perry’s ‘A House for Essex’

    https://www.living-architecture.co.uk/the-houses/a-house-for-essex/overview/

    Manningtree Museum and Local History Group

    http://www.manningtree-museum.org.uk

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min
    Steam, Dragons and Landscape Painting along the Gainsborough Line

    Steam, Dragons and Landscape Painting along the Gainsborough Line

    Meet beautiful steam trains, traverse ancient orchards and find out how a dragon – or alligator – found its way to an East Anglian village! We’ll hear about local life and legend in the landscape that inspired one of England’s most influential painters. It’s all to be discovered along Greater Anglia’s Gainsborough Line.

    The Gainsborough Line may be the shortest line in our series, but its history is long! We begin our adventure crossing a magnificent viaduct – and one of the largest brick-build structures in England.

    Just minutes outside Marks Tey at Chappel and Wakes Colne lies the East Anglian Railway Museum. Engineer and fix-it fan Peter gives us an incredible insight into the work he and his colleagues do to restore and revive the majestic history of rail travel and trade. With engines dating from the birth of steam to our recent past we hear how experts are getting hands on with the nuts and bolts of rail and giving us a fun family day out in the process!

    We stop off at Bures where the River Stour forms the boundary of Essex and Suffolk. Gill is a local parish councillor and guides us from the beautiful station garden in full bloom, through this picturesque and historic village. She shares its claim to the crowning of King Edmund – the last East Anglian King – as well as a bizarre tale about a dragon, which you might still spot today! She also points out snapshots of Tudor architecture that tell of life here through the ages.

    Oh and do you know what Pickleball is? You heard it here first!

    The final stop on the Gainsborough Line is Sudbury and home to Gainsborough’s House. This museum is currently being redeveloped to include a major arts hub and was the birthplace and home of this English Landscape Master. We speak to Museum Director Mark and find out about the life and local inspirations of the painter before taking a watery and wonderful walk in the sunshine.

    Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

    Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

    Find out about the Gainsborough Line and the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail partnership at https://www.esscrp.org.uk

    And explore travel with Greater Anglia at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

    @greateranglia

    East Anglian Railway Museum https://www.earm.co.uk

    @earailwaymuseum

    Gainsborough House Museum http://www.gainsborough.org

    @GH_Sudbury

    Bures community website

    http://www.bures-online.co.uk

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min
    Folklore, Fossils and Fishing along the Bittern Line

    Folklore, Fossils and Fishing along the Bittern Line

    In the final leg of our journey we uncover the secrets of Norwich, explore leisure on the water, walk in the footsteps of mammoths and uncover an age-old knitting tradition amongst fishing families.

    It’s all to be discovered, and so much more, along the Bittern Line.

    Norwich tour guide John takes us on an olfactory adventure in the market, through an art deco arcade to castle ramparts on high with stories and secrets from Norfolk’s unofficial capital. Find out how Norwich had its own great fire (well ahead of London!) as we pass through Tudor streets on the way to the city’s beautiful cathedral.

    Out of the city and into the serene landscape of the Broads, we explore Hoveton and Wroxham – a gateway to the Broads, and home to a busy tour company. Ruth worked here as a teen and came back as director of the company years later. She explains the unique magic of this place to tourists and locals alike.

    As the lines wind along the coast, David, a curator from Norfolk Museums, joins us with his top tips for fossil hunting and to explain some of the incredible finds along the Deep History Coast. He tells us about the West Runton Mammoth and paints a picture of an ice age Norfolk where rhino, hyena and giant deer roamed the landscape! He also explains how you can safely hunt fossils on the beach and the vital role the public plays in uncovering these seaside secrets.

    Cromer and Sheringham are two iconic seaside resorts to be enjoyed along the Bittern Line, and we meet local museum founder Tim who tells us how fishing heritage in the area is being preserved by locals today; from fishermen nicknames to the fantastic gansey tradition where close-knit woollen jumpers were worn like a family crest .

    Lives on the Lines is created on behalf of the Community Rail Partnerships with Greater Anglia.

    Presented and produced by Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air Production.

    Explore the Bittern Line at https://bitternline.com

    @BitternLine

    And explore travel with Greater Anglia at https://www.greateranglia.co.uk

    @greateranglia

    Norwich Guided Walking Tours https://www.visitnorwich.co.uk/service/guided-walking-tours/

    @VisitNorwich

    Broads Tours https://www.broadstours.co.uk

    @BroadsTours

    Norfolk Museums https://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

    Deep History Coast https://www.visitnorthnorfolk.com/Deep-History-Coast/

    Norfolk Coast Path https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/norfolk-trails/short-and-circular-walks/norfolk-coast-path

    Sheringham Museum https://www.sheringhammuseum.co.uk

    @SheringhamMuseum

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34 min

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