Youngsters being involved with the North Norfolk Railway can be traced back to around the 1970’s although not as an organised club. When former main line steam engine driver and NNR driver Alan Baker took youngsters aside and had them involved in various aspects around steam engine operation. In 1976 as recognition of their involvement and in memory of a volunteer who was a master boiler maker the young volunteer of the year trophy was created “JOHN D HAMMER” trophy. During the 1990’s the club gradually became more organised when David Simpson, Coral Gillespie, Carl Reece and John Howard all volunteers on the railway took on the mantel of organisers and nurtured the youngsters with more structured activities which included an annual sponsored walk from Holt to Sheringham to raise money for projects on the railway. In 2010 a change in organisers led to NNR Director John Durrant taking on the role adding to the activities that were on offer including an opportunity of visits to mainline railway infrastructure such as the Cambridge Signal Box. In 2011 three parent helpers who had become involved through their children’s attendance of the club answered the call for organisers to continue on the past good work of the previous organisers. This has enabled the club to continue and become a formal part of the railway engaging in many more activities and tasks which have included helping renovate the Class 37 diesel, Birds Eye Container, Ballast Wagon Water Bowser & Bicycles at Sheringham and Model Railway Carriage at Weybourne.
Recently with the agreement and backing of both the M&GN Society and North Norfolk Railway Board the club has been renamed from a Junior Club to that of the Young Volunteer Club and created its own constitution and committee to share the responsibilities and structure itself to enable it to continue to grow and prosper for the future and encourage others to join the railway as volunteers.
Over the years of the club many of the youngsters have become full volunteers on the railway and followed careers on the mainline railways, with many adult helpers also joining the ranks of full volunteers in other activities on the railway.
The objectives for the committee are to continue to develop relationships with the railway its staff and volunteers to actively engage the youngsters in constructive activities around the railway to develop their individual skills and involvement in volunteering on the railway.
- To Organise activities for the Young Volunteers Club members
- Educate them about appropriate aspects of the North Norfolk Railway with special regard to safety.
- To ensure their safety at all times whilst attending activities.
- Maintain an educational culture.
- Maintain supporting paperwork consistent with the aims.
All members of the Young Volunteers Club are encouraged to migrate to becoming fully-fledged volunteers upon reaching the age of 14 through a supervised transition process.
Membership is available to boys or girls between the ages of 10 and 16.
The club holders monthly meetings on pre-agreed dates meeting at the Holt Institute at Holt Station on the Old Holt Road High Kelling Holt Norfolk NR25 6AJ undertaking organised tasks and activities: -
These tasks include: -
- Cleaning steam & diesel locomotives, carriages & wagons along with the vintage lorry and dray.
- Minor tasks relating to the preservation of locos, rolling stock and other historical artefacts.
- Vegetation clearance.
- Assisting in maintaining the railway infrastructure.
- Running Weybourne Model Railway.
- Assisting at special events
- Trips to other railways.
- Train rides.
All young volunteers are supervised by responsible DBS checked adult volunteers (generally parents of young volunteers) who, along with other railway staff, nurture and raise awareness of all aspects of railway structure, operation, equipment, maintenance and safety.
All young volunteers must purchase and be equipped with specified (see specified list) PPE (personal Protective Equipment) including full overalls and safety boots for each meeting.
There is an annual membership fee of £20.00 for each young volunteer.
There are plenty of opportunities for young volunteers to help outside of the monthly club meetings, where individual members can get involved in many tasks including: -
- Assisting with special events.
- Running the Weybourne Model Railway
- Special loco cleaning days.
- Distributing leaflets on trains (under the supervision of the Guard).
- Helping at the education centre.
- And much more...
For more details on how to join, please see the links below for publicity document and to complete an application form.
Fill out application form