Gordon the Gorilla promotes the Bittern and Wherry Lines!
The Bittern Line from Norwich to Sheringham and the Wherry Lines from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are benefiting from an unusual promotional boost this year - Gordon the Gorilla at Norwich station. The colourful Gorilla sponsored by local train operator Greater Anglia is greeting passengers arriving on the main concourse at the Norfolk terminus as part of the GoGoGorillas! outdoor charity art trail. He is decorated in an eye-catching design which features the Bittern bird after which the Bittern Line was named and a Wherry boat which is the source of the Wherry Lines name, as well as images of the broads, reeds, poppies and big skies with which the lines are synonymous. He also features a steam locomotive as a nod to the North Norfolk Railway and Bure Valley Railway which can be reached via the Bittern Line.
The information plaque at Gordon's feet refers to these lovely rail routes and encourages those visiting the station as part of the trail to take a trip out by train and enjoy the beautiful countryside and attractions in Norfolk and North Suffolk that can be reached via the Bittern and Wherry Lines.
As well as being one of the many impressive gorillas on the Norwich trail, Gordon has proved popular with rail passengers and station staff, who are fond of their unusual colleague.
Meanwhile, rumours are circulating that Gordon is slightly envious of his cousin Boris who earlier in the summer enjoyed a train journey to London Liverpool Street station and back to promote the art trail in the Capital !! Though counter-rumours suggest that Gordon thinks his prime spot on the Norwich station concourse is ideal and that all the attention from tourists and children on school holidays has suited him just fine !!
One thing's for certain - he's not quite got the attributes to lead the guided walks programme run by the Bittern and Wherry Line Community Rail Partnerships which take place once a month (see www.bitternline.com or www.wherrylines.org.ukand click on the Line Guide tab for more details), but he'll be happy if he encourages many others to enjoy them !!
Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia said :
"We're pleased to be hosting Gordon at Norwich over the summer and glad that he's helping to promote the fantastic Bittern and Wherry rail routes from Norwich to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. As well as coming to see Gordon at the station, we hope many people will take the chance to use the Bittern and Wherry Lines to enjoy the countryside and coastal towns of Norfolk and North Suffolk. Taking the train is a great way to make the most of some of the most beautiful parts of our region. Working with the Bittern Line and Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnerships to promote these lines not only encourages more people to use the train, but also supports the local communities along the routes - by helping the local economy and bringing in visitors."