Inspired by the ‘Books on the Underground’ movement run by a London-based organization, the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP) will be setting up a CRP railway library with bookcases stationed at Norwich station, Reedham station, Great Yarmouth station and Lowestoft station.
Approximately 300 books have been donated towards the set-up of the community railway library by members of the public, station adopters, Greater Anglia, Network Rail and Atkins Ltd. It is hoped that the new library’s collection will appeal to readers of all ages and anticipated that the books will eventually travel across other railway lines in the region to reach more readers.
Each book will feature a railway library sticker on its front cover with a simple instruction: Ride, Read and Return. Rail travellers are welcome to borrow a book for their journey, and then return it to the bookcases of any of the aforementioned participating stations.
Alternatively, they could choose to take the book home and return it when they return to the station for another journey. Readers are encouraged to take a photo of the book they have borrowed and where they have travelled with it (e.g. another railway station, their favourite café, the seaside or the Broads), and to share their photo on social media with the hashtags #wherrylines and #railwaylibrary.
Book donations continue to be welcome throughout the year; please get in touch with a member of staff at the Customer Services desk at Norwich station concourse if you would like to donate a book.
Maggie Tan, Community Rail Norfolk’s Development Officer, said: “It’s both fantastic and fitting to kick off this project at Norwich, a UNESCO City of Literature, which is also home to one of the busiest and most-loved public libraries in the country. We’re very grateful for all the enthusiasm and support we’ve received from members of the public, station adopters, Greater Anglia, Network Rail and Atkins Ltd.”
Cllr Roger Foulger, Chairman of the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership, said: “I very much welcome the launch of this library representing as it does an inspiring initiative for rail travelers and the community at large to read up on topics of interest to them”.
Paul Haynes, Greater Anglia’s Community Partnership Manager, said: “With today’s hectic lifestyles it can sometimes be difficult to find time to enjoy a good book so I’m sure this fantastic community rail initiative will be very popular, allowing people to pick up one for free while travelling with us”.
Network Rail Scheme Project Manager, Nick John said: “Network Rail and our Principal Contractor on the Norwich, Yarmouth & Lowestoft re-signalling project, Atkins Ltd, are delighted to support this fantastic ‘railway library’ initiative developed by the Community Rail Partnership. This scheme is yet another demonstration of the wonderful community spirit along the Wherry Lines which we are privileged to live and work in. We hope our contribution will help to provide years of reading enjoyment for everyone who lives, works and travels along the lines.”