Search

Railway relic returns home to Halesworth after being purchased by museum at auction

PUBLISHED: 15:58 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:58 09 January 2018

Halesworth Museum Friends proudly showing off the newly acquired station sign. Picture: Halesworth and District Museum

Halesworth Museum Friends proudly showing off the newly acquired station sign. Picture: Halesworth and District Museum

Halesworth and District Museum

A relic of railway history is to return home to Halesworth, after being snapped up at a memorabilia auction.

Pauline Wilcock, museum chairman, SallyAnn Cockrell, Mark Punchard and Sadie Church, Peter Punchard's children. Picture: Halesworth and District MuseumPauline Wilcock, museum chairman, SallyAnn Cockrell, Mark Punchard and Sadie Church, Peter Punchard's children. Picture: Halesworth and District Museum

The iconic ‘Halesworth for Southwold’ enamel sign, which once greeted rail passengers to the town, was one of the lots up for grabs at the recent Railwayana auction in Diss.

The 10ft blue sign fetched the largest sum at the auction, which saw a vast array of railway rarities once belonging to former signalman Peter Punchard placed under the hammer.

The sign was purchased by the Halesworth and District Museum - supported by a donation from Sallyanne Cockrell - for £3,100, meaning it will soon have pride of place back in the town.

Pauline Wilcock, museum chairman, said: “I am thrilled this important part of Halesworth history will once again be on view for visitors and residents.

A postcard showing how the Halesworth for Southwold line looked. Picture: Halesworth and District MuseumA postcard showing how the Halesworth for Southwold line looked. Picture: Halesworth and District Museum

“The Southwold Railway was once really important for both towns and has long been remembered with affection. It’s great that local generosity has enabled us to see it again.”

While the museum is currently closed for essential structural work, by the time it reopens in the Spring the sign will have a prominent position inside.

The relic originally signposted a narrow gauge branch line linking the towns, which was closed before the Second World War.

Vic Gray, of the museum, said: “The sign was a reminder that once a much-loved narrow gauge railway would carry holidaymakers from Halesworth to the seaside town.

An original picture of the Halesworth for Southwold railway sign. Picture: Halesworth and District MuseumAn original picture of the Halesworth for Southwold railway sign. Picture: Halesworth and District Museum

“That line was closed in 1929 but the sign remained for many years until it was finally removed and had not been seen by the public since.”

Prior to his death in 2016, Mr Punchard developed a strong reputation for his railway enthusiasm, having spent decades of his life working within it, and often gave lectures illustrated by his expansive collection.

A Halesworth stalwart, he comfortably filled an entire garden shed with collectables, gathered during his years working on the region’s railways.

More than 400 lots went on sale at the auction, which was held at TW Gaze auction house in Diss, accumulating a total of around £42,000.

Other popular content

Yesterday, 13:24

Witnesses are being sought after a man indecently exposed himself to children in an alleyway and a woman as she made her way home.

Mon, 15:58

Two cars and a lorry crashed in north Suffolk this afternoon, partially blocking the road to traffic.

Mon, 12:30

A firm has welcomed two new starters at its Lowestoft office and one at its Halesworth office as part a new intake of 18 apprentices and graduate trainees.

Mon, 15:51

An inquest review was held today (Monday) into the death of a man who fell from the back of a vehicle.

Most Read

Yesterday, 13:24

Witnesses are being sought after a man indecently exposed himself to children in an alleyway and a woman as she made her way home.

Read more
Mon, 15:58

Two cars and a lorry crashed in north Suffolk this afternoon, partially blocking the road to traffic.

Read more
Suffolk police
Mon, 12:30

A firm has welcomed two new starters at its Lowestoft office and one at its Halesworth office as part a new intake of 18 apprentices and graduate trainees.

Read more
Norwich
Mon, 15:51

An inquest review was held today (Monday) into the death of a man who fell from the back of a vehicle.

Read more
Addenbrooke's Hospital
Yesterday, 15:10

The former leader of the Green Party attended an event in Beccles exploring the future of sustainable farming.

Read more
Graham Elliott

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 14°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Beccles and Bungay Journal e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Beccles and Bungay Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy