Scarning’s Railway & Station
The railway line opened on 11th September 1848. The railway line cut across many farmers’ fields – George Hart, Thomas Neave, Robert Allison, Edward Press, Edward Lombe and Rev William Girling included. The farmers were forced to supply horses and carts for the railway “navvies” (navigation workers) to transport the materials to construct the line and the various crossings. There were three crossings in Scarning – Cordy’s Crossing (where Gatehouse Farm currently is); Podmore Crossing (where Chapel lane currently is) and a third at the Manor Road/Grange Road junction on the A47. Each crossing had a small stout house built alongside to house the gatekeeper and his family. Two bridges were also constructed – a wrought iron bridge near to Podmore Lane, which was been replaced in 1978 with the building of the A47 bypass; and another known as Fen Bridge, which is now known as Cattle Arch bridge, to the east of Draytonhall Lane.
There was also a shortlived Scarning Station from 1848, although it doesn’t appear in the Bradshaw timetables until March 1849. It does appear in Topham’s timetable in October 1848 but is listed as “Scurning”. It last appeared in Bradshaw in October 1850 so it had a very short life indeed, presumably due to the close proximity of Dereham and Wendling stations on either side of our village.
During the 11 Plus era, boy pupils used to catch a train from Dereham, to attend Hamonds Grammar school in Swaffham, whilst girls from Swaffham headed in the other direction to attend the Girl’s High School in Dereham. The line itself closed in 1968. There is more information about the line on Wikipedia.