River Wissey Lovell Fuller

A New Book by local author:

July 2005


A King's Lynn & Isle of Ely Boyhood


Cyril Marsters

About eight or nine years ago, as some Pump readers may recall, Cyril contributed some brief articles to the magazine under the general title 'A Boyhood Remembered'. These were intended to be the beginning of a fuller autobiography of his early years. During the past twelve months he has at last found the time to finish the job. The earlier articles have been completely rewritten and with much added material, resulting in the publication of the above full-length book.

Part 1 covers the author's first eleven years of his young life in King's Lynn, describing his experiences of growing up in a working class family in the 1930s. The various incidents, depending on their nature, could in turn be: interesting, enjoyable, traumatic, or funny, and takes the narrative up to the beginning of the war at the end of 1939.

In Part 2 the story moves to the author's wartime years while living at the country railway station near Ely, where his father became stationmaster. As well as his boyish escapades during this period, some more serious, potentially fatal, incidents are described - all luckily survived. The book also has a certain historical interest in its descriptions of the activities at the little working station, for the branch line on which the station was situated no longer exists - axed during the Beeching years.

It was during this second period that the author reached the age of fourteen and started work on the railway himself. Cycling each day the seven miles to Ely North Junction, he became a railway 'signal-box-boy'. Here many new experiences came his way - some quite exciting, especially when for one reason or another, things in the box did not go quite according to plan. He was fascinated with learning about railway signalling in those, now long gone, days of steam and, here again, his descriptions of work in the signal-box are of historical interest, for even this main-line signal box has now disappeared. Today, the signalling there is controlled from far away in Cambridge.

BOY ON A BRANCH, by Cyril Marsters, ISBN 095244931-5, is priced at £9.95 and is available from: Bookends, Downham Market, or post-free direct from the author - 01366 500030

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