Owners Upset by Objections to Station Museum
By M R Windle
ANGER over objections to a permanent museum at Wolferton Station has been expressed by the owners who say that it is Sandringham’s increased popularity that is bringing more traffic to the village and not their museum.
Mr Eric Walker, and his wife, Herta. also refuted any suggestion that they had been “opening out of hours” and were upset that they were not notified of any complaints over the past two years. (See Tuesday’s Lynn News).
The Walkers have also received support in a letter from the Rev Ivan Lilley of Watlington, who has accused Sandringham Parish Council of ‘gross distortion’ regarding the Wolferton Station Museum. (Mr Lilley ‘s letter is in full on page 16).
“To suggest as it does, that the museum is a serious traffic hazard and that visitors destroy the peace and tranquility of Wolferton Village would be fatuous, were it not for the serious consequences to its. present owners,” said Mr Lilley.
During August, when he had spent two days sketching in Wolferton, private cars passed occasionally, through the village, “presumably with sightseers ‘doing’ the Royal Estate”.
“More rarely, a car turned off into the station yard,” continued Mr Lilley, who is well known for his paintings of old steam engines. He asks why Sandringham Parish Council had raised no objections to visitors to Sandringham House, gardens and church where daily during the tourist season “thousands of visitors have to cross a busy road” from the car–park.
Mr Lilley was surprised that “in view of its own workings, the Royal Estate had given support to such specious objections. “That such a Royal Goliath should be seen to oppose such a small David, seems to me to be in danger of bringing both the Queen and the Royal Estate into some disrepute with all fair-minded people,” concluded Mr Lilley.
Mr Walker said that tourists were encouraged to visit the village which was shown on the Sandringham map. This map also mentioned the Royal Stud which the public were not able to visit, as well as the Church. The development of Sandringham was the real reason for the increase in’ traffic in the village, he added.
The signal box at Wolferton was unique and was in full working order. Many of the royal children had played in it, but only about one visitor in 100, “the real railway enthusiast” was shown round, said Mr Walker.
Mr Walker was concerned that allegations about opening out of hours and uncontrolled parking arrangements had apparently been accepted by Sandringham Estate and the District Planning Officer as well as by the Parish Council.
“The museum is primarily our home and it is certainly open to our friends and private acquaintances at any time,” he said.
On September 30 Mr Walker had specifically asked the Planning officer to advise them of any objections. No reply had’ been received and he was only aware of them “when we read of them, secondhand, in the local press,” he added.
The application for the museum to be operated on a permanent basis is due to be considered by the planning committee on Monday.
The article was published on Friday 2nd January 1981